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Forums : Public Access - Sticky and Archive > Eberron Lore 101 : The Valenar
Nklos (SuperAdmin) 7/6/2010 3:44 AM EST : Eberron Lore 101 : The Valenar
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Nklos
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A lot of our newer people don't know Eberron as well as some of us dinosaurs, and I have like the excuse to look up lore and answer their questions.  So I have decided to do this for as long as I and who ever else is interested.  This of course being a random bit of information on a race or place or what ever that people ask about.  I figure it probably should go somewhere else on the forums but eh.



*             *                  *

Valenar 101

As for traditional races, elves are relative newcomers to the continent of Khorvaire. Originally the elves were slaves to a race of giants on the continent of Xen'drik. They escaped to and founded a nation on the smaller continent of Aerenal.  Elves have occupied parts of Khorvaire sporadically, only recently forming their own nation there known as Valenar. Valenar elves hold different traditions from Aerenal elves, and stress bringing glory to their Xen'drik ancestors through combat.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW?*

Knowledge (Geography)

DC 10: Valenar is a region of desert and plains in the southwest of Khorvaire.  An army of elf mercenaries annexed it from Crye durring the Last War.

DC 15: Valenar's population is made up of former Cyran citizens of many races.  They are generally content to serve the new Valenar overlords, living much as they did before the war.


Knowlege (History)

DC 20: Elves of Aerenal fought with Dhakaani goblin's over this region long before humans came to Khorvaire.  Ruined elf fortresses, abandoned for millennia, dot the landscape.

Knowlege (Local)

DC 15: Battle is part of life among the Valenar elves.  Violent crimes are often overlooked, but theft is a serious crime punished by maiming or even execution.  Only elves are protected under the law, though most Valenar treat non-elf citizens fairly.

Knowlege (Nature)

DC 10: The Valenar elves breed horses of amazing speed and agility.  They are protective of their horses and offended at the sight of a non-elf riding one.  The horses are bred in northern Arenal and gelded so they cannot be stolen and used for breeding.

Knowlege (Nobility and Royalty)

DC 10: House Vadalis is banned out righ from the borders of Valenar, while Thuranni and Phiarlan are not welcome.  House Lyandar has been granted land in exchange for rain calling and has a growing influence in Valenar.

DC 15: The forty-five Valenar warclans all owe fealty to High King Shaeras Vadallia, but only twenty are under the command of the king at one time.  The king grants titles and land to warriors who perform service for him, but these elves don't live on their lands, prferring to remain in motion.

Knowlege (Religion)

DC 20: The Valenar elves worship their warrior ancestors.  By emulating the deeds of their ancestors, they believe the spirtits can live again.






As for traditional races, elves are relative newcomers to the continent of Khorvaire. Originally the elves were slaves to a race of giants on the continent of Xen'drik. They escaped to and founded a nation on the smaller continent of Aerenal.  Elves have occupied parts of Khorvaire sporadically, only recently forming their own nation there known as Valenar. Valenar elves hold different traditions from Aerenal elves, and stress bringing glory to their Xen'drik ancestors through combat.


Warriors of Glory
The elves of Valenar are among the most fearsome warriors on Eberron.  Their society is dedicated to martial perfection. They idolize the military heroes of antiquity, believing that the greatest warriors of this age will become vessels for the champions of the past. Ten thousand years ago, elf warriors watered the sands of the Blade Desert with goblin blood, until overwhelming opposition and dragonfi re forced them to return to Aerenal. Today, they have come again to Khorvaire and claimed a kingdom, but the Valenar are not content with this newborn nation. Seeking glory in battle, Valenar warbands push deep into the Talenta Plains and Q’barra in search of worthy foes.

While most people refer to both the elves and the land they inhabit as Valenar, the elves are properly called the Valaes Tairn (“warriors of glory”). They are the largest sect of the Tairnadal, an elven culture that follows a more militant path than the Aereni. Until the Last War, the Tairnadal lived in the northern steppes of Aerenal, and much of the culture and social infrastructure of the Valaes Tairn remains there. Valenar is a land at war, and the elves of mainland Khorvaire are a mobile army, ready for action. Every year, more Tairnadal artisans and support folk travel from Aerenal to settle in the new network of taers (elf fortresses), but elves still learning the arts of war, those too infirm to fi ght, and the breeding herds of the wondrous elf horses remain secure on the island.

During the age of Galifar, this territory was claimed by the nation of Cyre. Few people chose to make their homes in the land beyond the Blade Desert, however, and these settlers received little support from the crown. When the Valaes Tairn mercenaries imported to fi ght for Cyre in the Last
War broke ties to their masters and laid claim to this land, the common folk were content to accept the elves’ rule. For them, life has changed little; if anything, the elves tax the commoners less than the kings of Galifar once did, since the Valenar soldiers are experts at living off the land. The elves
treat their new vassals fairly, and the peasants have come to take pride in the military might of their new lords. They might not be free, but few of the commoners of Valenar see themselves as slaves—no more so than the commoners of Breland or Karrnath.

A LEGACY OF WAR
The culture of the Valaes Tairn is based around the heroes of Xen’drik— the champions who fought back against an empire of giants and freed the elves. When a child is born among the Valaes Tairn, the priests of the Valenar—the Keepers of the Past—read the signs to determine the patron ancestor that will guide him through life. It is each child’s duty to honor and emulate his patron ancestor, even as he strives to bring glory to his family. Many elves can share the same patron ancestor, leading to competition among them as each strives to be the perfect embodiment of his or her patron. Most of these patrons are mighty warriors, but a Valenar might just as easily follow the path of a weaponsmith, a siege engineer, or a war wizard. There are even elves whose patron ancestors are civil engineers or laborers, and while they are rarely the subject of song or story, they play a signifi cant role in Valenar society.

The Valenar tradition of war is one of speed and stealth. Most Valenar soldiers are rangers—deadly stalkers who can live off the land, and who have an almost mystical connection to their remarkable horses (usually their animal companions). Some Valenar supplement these skills with levels in wizard or fi ghter. The Keepers of the Past can be clerics or bards, and a Valenar bard following this faith can take spirit steed as a 4th-level spell. A cleric of the Keepers of the Past can choose from the Destruction, Protection, and War domains. As a pantheon, the Spirits of the Past are neutral in alignment, and their favored weapon is the double scimitar.

While they are best known for their cavalry, the Valenar take great pride in their skill with the weapons of their people. A Valenar elf receives the Martial Weapon Profi ciency feats for the shortbow (including composite shortbow), scimitar, and Valenar double scimitar. This replaces the elf weapon profi ciency racial trait described in the Player’s Handbook.

TRAVEL IN VALENAR
While much of Valenar is plains and steppes, the realm has a variety of more hostile environments. The Jungle of Scimitars holds many dangers for the unwary, and anyone who seeks to approach by land must cross the bitter sands of the Blade Desert. The elves themselves rarely trouble travelers,
provided that there is no hint of horse-thievery and that the party presents no challenge to the realm. Adventurers who are antagonistic or overly fl amboyant draw the attention of elf warbands and glory-seeking warriors, but a group that conceals its weapons and keeps its eyes on the earth is left
alone as an unworthy challenge.

Valenar is sparsely populated, with a handful of hamlets and villages scattered across the plains amid decrepit elf and goblin ruins. In the last forty years, the elves have refurbished a number of their ancient fortresses, which now provide sanctuary to the roving warbands. Travelers are never allowed into the heart of an elf fortress, but local crafters maintain temporary trade villages outside their walls, catering to the needs of strangers.



Beliefs: The Keepers of the Past, the priesthood of the Valenar elves, maintain the memory of the great elf heroes of Xen’drik. Keepers travel with war clans to ensure they honor the great ancestors of the elves.

The Keepers share increasing concern over a rapidly growing warrior cult. This cult, known as the Dalan Rae, brings the idea of ancestor worship to a fanatical extreme. Its warriors, known as the Dalan Rael (or “near dead”), believe that death in battle is but the last step to assuming the true form of a  warrior, an undying spirit. These fanatical warriors seek an early death at the hands of a powerful foe, for in their eyes such a death ensures their return as powerful spirit warriors. The cult hopes to build a host of such spirit warriors to ride alongside the living champions of Valenar.

Language: Valenar elves speak Elven, but they are more aggressive and straightforward in conversation than other elves are, even on simple topics.

Relations: The other races view the Valenar elves as dangerous aggressors, and few doubt that the elves of Valenar will soon go on the offensive again. Although respected for their peerless cavalry troops, the elves of Valenar receive an indifferent reaction at best from members of other races.

While this problem is pronounced for any large group of elves, few see one elf as a threat. Those elves traveling in the company of other races still have an easy time moving through other cultures peacefully.  Lands near the borders of Valenar are rightfully suspicious of military activity, however; this makes any sort of social interaction more difficult for elves in these regions.

*From Player's Guide to Eberron



So if anyone wants me to answer another one of these, send me a subject.  Want to do one on your own..... you know how to make a post.

Yeah!  Good times.
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