Ebreosa is a port city for the elven population living on the peninsula. It is largely populated by elves, and has a sizeable human minority.The city sustains itself by fishing and trading. Most of the human population in Ebreosea are coming from Cin Amon, originally being nobles exiled from the city. They provide a great interface to the most prominent nobles of the city.
Ebreosea was originally founded by elves, but it's origins are lost to memory. The earliest inhabitants were fishers and seafarers from the forests elf population. They themselves coming from Kel'tarath, the original homeland of the elves, there is an unbroken chain of cultural heritage coming down the Ebreosea and the forest elves of the Everdark. They were the ones who have built the first port in the area, and than took permanent settlement on the coast. Later on, the city port started to function as a winter dock for the area, to safeguard the ships from ice and elements. As time passed, the local elf population started to forget a little about their forest origins, and their culture and religion "branched out" of their original customs and beliefs. They still had good relationship with their siblings, but they no longer considered themselves part of their group. From the outside though, they can still be and often are considered one political group. The Everdark elves are rarely concerned by the happenings of the humans and elves outside the forest, but even if they don't realize this, it is only possible because of the position Ebreosea is fulfilling in the area.
As the are grew in population, and trade increased, Ebreosea naturally developed into a larger town, and it's population became more colorful. Humans, who were never before seen in the area, took up permanent residence following their business interests. The town, with it's increased population, were able to support ship building industries(both military and trade ships) as well as producing various wood related products(including raw logs they transfer to other cities, and the famous Elven Longbows)
Still, to this day, Ebreosea is a wood based city. Only the town hall and human owned buildings are made of stone, which also means that the city has burned down and got rebuilt several times over. Each time, more and more magic and warding is used to keep it from happening, but ultimately it has failed every time. For this reason, the town has a very linear, modern feel to it, with well developed infrastructure (sewer systems, roads).
The Pirate Wars Edit
For Ebreosea, the main threat was always piracy. To leave the Big Lake, there is only one, thin strait to pass through. It gives a perfect opportunity for pirates to rob trade vessels, or cut the Lake from the sea altogether. Throughout it's history, Ebreosea has fought three great wars against the pirates.
The First Pirate War Edit
The first war, not long after the founding of the city, was fought for the control of the Big Lake. The pirates, not technologically advanced themselves, used basic ships and makeshift weapons, while Ebreosea used plain, non-magical ships too. Ebreosea quickly found themselves on the losing end of this war. The turning point for this war was when they started to manufacture the Elven Longbows. With this, they were able to take one ship out after the other, and push the pirates out of the Lake.
The Second Pirate War Edit
After almost a hundred years, the pirates were able to muster a large enough force to assault the city from the sea. This came unexpectedly to the city which just recovered from a fire, having spent almost all it's money on reparations. With great maneuvering, Ebreosea was able to drag the fight out for a full year, drawing the pirate ships away from the city several times. The war was only dragged out by this though. The pirates found themselves in a weird position though, because around the end of the year, Cin Amon provided the elves with swords and armours in much better quality than they ever head before, which made a prospective assault very dangerous for the attackers. They commited to an attack nontheless, seeing that victory or death was their only option at this point. This was the time when Er'Therithan, the legendary mage of Ebreosea first lifted the ships in the air. Elven vessels of enormous size filled the sky, chasing the pirate land forces wherever they went, cutting their supply lines and their commanders from the main body. This war changed Ebreosea forever.
The Third Pirate War Edit
The third pirate war was shorter and more straightforward the the previous two. Having flying vessels now, Ebreosea created a fleet of unrivaled power, and simply blasted the pirates out of the strait, captured their leader, dragged him back to the city, and gifted him to the forest elves to take care of. He was never heard from again, his name removed from every record.
Culture and Religion Edit
The importance of community Edit
The elves of Ebreosea, having their roots in the original, forest dwelling times, maintain the belief that community and family is the most important thing. This translates to their daily lives in many ways. Celebrations, and holidays galore, there is rarely a week without a family gathering, or a walk that is dedicated to a famous elder, or an important figure.
This also means that every elf in the city is striving to do something great and unforgettable for the community at large to be remembered by. Having said that, this is probably the same thing that the corrupt members of the senate say at public about themselves when they have to reason why this or that deed has to pass, on surface "for the community of the elves", in practice, to line their own pockets. But even they are not immune to the prospect of eternity, and spend a lot of gold on statues, paintings, shrines, glorious vessels to have the community remember them by it.
The religion of Ebreosea has it roots also in the ancient times. It is impossible to understand the religion without the culture carrying it, and vice-versa. Community being so important as it is, religion is also centered around the important figures of elven history, and it's heroes. While elves remember, and even pray to these figures, it is commonly understood that they started out as simple people, not much different than those who remember them. This also means that there is no official theology or holy books to read, the emphasis is on mimicking the heroes and heroins of old time. This can an usually does lead to differences, because one hero might have done a great deed through following orders, while the other have done his deed through breaking the chain of command.
Elves don't have temples in Ebreosea, instead, smaller or bigger shrines are present in every walk of life. One can find them in stores, bakeries, mills, in the walls of houses facing the streets or the bedchambers. These shrines are used to place offerings and pray. On the larger holidays, people are dancing around the statues that are on the streets permanently, and are usually raised by the members of the senate. These celebrations always include feasts and state sponsored import-wine from all around the world.
The architecture of of Ebreosea changed an awful lot throughout its existence. What started out as a village, and organically grew as more and more, it possessed originally the look and feel of any other town. Due to regular fires, and the wars with the pirates, today, it resembles nothing that it used to be.
Any elf who would ever want to have a standing with his or her peers, would never-ever live in anything else but in a house made of wood. A regular elf would build his or her house out of logs, would have two or three rooms and a fireplace. His house would have one or two wards against fire (mandated by the senate, no less) and would comfortably house a family. An upper class citizen would live in a groove or outside a city, his house up on a tree that was magically shaped to hold his house. Magical fire protection is a must here, too.
The only folk in town to own a brick or stone house would be humans who would live here.The wider society looks at this as an abomination, a perversion of the elvish ways, but it is tolerated nonetheless, as everybody realizes that it is in the interest of the wider society to house these "savages".
The streets that used to be thin and all over the place, has now been exchanged with linear streets, in the middle of the city at least. This allows for a decent flow of traffic in and out of the city. As a general rule, carts are allowed from dawn to dusk to enter the city, and during the darker, winter days, city lights are illuminating the streets for 8 to 12 hours to provide ample lighting for traffic.
What makes Ebreosea truly unique, is the amount of marble statues on squares, streets, and basically anywhere, depicting heroes from olden times. The marble has to be transported here from Cin Amon, and is the single most expensive thing in the towns life. Any self respecting member of the senate will spend a fortune on a sculptor and marble for a large statue first thing in his career. This, along with the shrines lead to city that looks and feels like a well coordinated piece of art.
Ebreosea's favorit pub is called "The Shipmaster". It is located over the water, on poles, in the docks. With time, it has grown to be a complex of two story buildings, trying to house guests and travellers as well as giving a place for the locals to meet and have fun. It has it's own small stage in the pub area. Unlike many other buildings, The Shipmaster has never burned down due to it's location, making it one of the oldest building in the city. Thorough renovations are required around every hundred years, though. It has been a family business for all it's existence, but different families owned it at different times, as the previous owners family either moved or got replaced by less benevolent ways.
When it comes to the richest of the rich, they have a place on the coastline for mostly themselves. Here, for miles and miles, giant clam shells are dotting the view. In one shell, one could comfortably fit two or three houses with a small garden. The most exquisite of this location actually resides on a cliff, several hundred meters above the water, where two clam shells balance each other out perfectly. The picturesque view comes at a price though, since this is probably the most expensive real estate in all of Naluri.
Education has always been the most important thing for the citizens of Ebreosea. The older generations always saw this as the single best way to preserve their city and their heritage. Because of this, they have set up very good relations to begin with The House of Meteren(3), to allow for their young to be educated. Sadly though, the college does not offer any kind of schooling on mathematics of financial planning, so Ebreosea had to set up its own school for that. Weirdly enough, for the elves, these schools has never really been "real" schools, like those of Meterens and others, so they never called it college or advertised it abroad. It is still known that if you want decent education in these fields, Ebreosea is a fine place to get it, but the general interest hasn't been there.
About the House of Meteren, it must be said that time and time again, Ebreosea would try to bribe and buy the favor of the school leader, with varying degree of success. They were rarely be able to actually make the teacher come to the city, but they were usually successful in getting all the kids of the important, rich families into the school first, leaving precious few places for everybody else.
The city is lead by a senate of 100 influential people. Unlike other elven cities on the mainland, Ebreoseas politics took a turn towards oligarchy due to the amount of money flowing in and out of the city. To be a member of a senate, one has to be voted in by both the people of the town and the senate, and it can only be done by a great deal of financial "creativity". On the other hand, the senate is a great supporter of arts and religion, which further developed the look and feel of the town to the level where itself can be viewed as a piece of art.
The Senate Edit
The senate is the hearth and soul of Ebreosea. The senate itself is not made up of one hundred elf at all times, this is a maximum number. Each elf living in the city can cast a vote to elect a senate member, and if enough votes come together, the person is elected into a senate, if there is free space left still. The senate members are forbidden from forming parties.
In the senate, the members are responsible for dividing up roles and offices among themselves, with the rule that there could be no unmanned office left. So even though one might not want to be responsible for garbage collection, at the end of the day, someone will have to be responsible for it. Senate members are allowed to have staff though, so they don't get overwhelmed. Staff members hold no official title though, and ultimately, the senate memer is the responsible for the decisions.
The title of the senate member is held by the individual for five years, giving them plenty of time to both do good and evil. There is only one exception, when the city itself is in grave danger. During these times, the senate can elect a consul, who will be the sole leader, and he or she holds the title for a year. Any elf who uses the words "consul in perpetuity", meaning indefinitely can and will be killed on the spot. This mechanic saved Ebreosea from descending into an authoritarian mess numerous times.
After the year passes, the consul has to go to the Everdark, since the only people who are allowed to grant an extension to the year of the consul are the dark elves themselves. Since the dark elves could not care less about the daily going ons of the town, they are known to send the elves away on sight, basically denying the consul from the extension. This mechanic also worked well for the town. The only time a consul were able to get a much needed extension was during the first two pirate wars.
As for the corruption and punishment, if a senate member reaches too far in his attempt to enrich himself, Ebreoseas senate has a game called "Fine into oblivion", in which game the non-offending senate members try to guess how much money the offending member has. When they reach agreement, that is the fine. This usually leaves the offending member either in debt or penniless, effectively removing him or her from the town for good.
With all this, a senate member can usually enrich himself and his or her family pretty decently through contracts and other well established means, making the position lucrative at least. It is not unheard of, that a member should be assasinated in a dispute, or taken care of in other means, since positions of power bring such people in.
The Flying Ships Edit
Early in the development of Ebreosea, the issue of storing and maintaining the trademark green ships of the city, the issue of storing them during the wintertime came up. Through heavy work and great investment, the original founders of the town came up with a spell, that they were able to use to lift any ship up in the air for a sustained period of time. The legends has it that they were able to craft permanently flying ships, but this were never proven, unlike the fact that any elven made ship from the port town can and will fly in air if need be. It means a few days at most, but it was more than enough to circumvent a ton of issues that other port town face every day. This secret is closely guarded, of course, and has been the reason for several assassinations and wars throughout history. There are about fifty such ships in all of Ebreosea.
Part of the development of these ships was trying to extend the reach of them over land. Overconfident in their abilities, first, Er'Falleth, a prominent mage tried to steer them over the Everdark jungle, crashing several of them until he got the magic just right. When he felt he finally figured everything out, he boarded when of these vessels, and embarked on the journey to Cin Amon himself. The jungle, though, didn't take kindly to it, and gigantic, never before seen tendrils came out, and ripped the ships out of the sky. That was the last we heard of Er'Falleth.
Through practice, a seasoned captain of a flying ship could in theory circumnavigate the globe itself in twelve days, but there has never been an attempt to do this. A ship can reliably stay in air for about two days, and the magic that makes it fly needs to be recharged after that. This recharge requires water though, the ship has to stay in water as any other ships would. In the meantime, of course, it can function perfectly as a ship. This also provides a way of "lake-hopping", meaning the ships would fly and land in a lake at the continent, and hop from one lake to another when charged sufficiently.
Cin Amon Edit
Beyond trade with the forest dwelling elves, Ebreosea trades with Cin Amon among others. The friendly relationship is due to similar political environments, and shared interest in peace in the region. The city offers a great avenue for goods to flow into the mainland, and the other way around, people who are looking to trade through the sea, bring their wares into Cin Amon first, and after that, to Ebreosea. The mainland route through the Everdark forest was established very early in their relationship, while the first Pirate War was underway, and the elves named it Tier'Atesshan, the Path of Safety.
The backbone of trade with Cin Amon is based on export of wood based products, as well as salted fish and sea goods in exchange for stone and minerals. Cin Amon also has a great love for rice, which is the single most important food of Ebreosea as well. Ebreosea has no source for these stones, nor the know-how to properly manufacture them, so they are entirely dependant on outside sources. The only exception is marble, which the elves love for their statues. This imbalance would normally lead to military conflict, but Cin Amon is also dependant on its single source of elven longbows. Beyond its excellent quality, this bows are made of wood only found in the Everdark jungle, and the local elves would never ever sell it to humans. This leaves Ebreosea the single manufacturer, and a strong political ally of Cin Amon.
While Cin Amon is known for launching offensive campaigns to establish it's dominance, Ebreosea maintained its influence and independence mostly through the power of it's navy and it's relative seclusion. Any military on feet would have to work it's way through the forest elves first, which would be enormous task with siege machinery in itself, without the added difficulty of defending itself from the forest elf military, which would be further enhanced by the Everdark itself. The famous fungi that lives there can easily claim the life of any unvary traveler.
Everdark Elves EditIt is worth mentioning, how important it is for Ebreosea to maintain friendly relationship with the elves who live in the Everdark jungle. Without their guidance, it would be near impossible for the caravans to pass through the jungle, all but cutting the city from the mainland on foot. Therefore, while it hasn't been always easy, the city tries it's very best to stay on the good side of their land living brethren. The relationship is complicated by the fact that while officially Ebreosea does not interfere with the blue fungus growing in the Everdark, the magic that flies the ship requires it. Therefore, some of the senate send out parties to farm it, without the approval of the the Everdark elves. The local elves are not oblivious to this, and while they resent it and kill any such party on sight, this continues. To better their chances, the senate members blackmail, bribe, coerce, or otherwise subdue locals from the Everdark to aid their parties. This usually requires a great effort, but when it pays off, it pays off big time. These efforts are further aided by some of the mages who come back from the jungle and know it's inner workings, since they can use magic to disguise these parties to stay hidden from the locals.
From the outside, it might look like that the elves of the region are just elves, but this couldn't be further from the truth. The elves living in the city are civilized in all sense, they travel, leave town and come back, pray, love, and generally live a life any city dweller would. This isn't true for the elves of the everdark. They live a life in accordance with the jungle itself, for which the jungle in turn literally sustains them. They have no other worries in their life beyond stopping themselves from turning into drows, and so far, they succeeded. The cost they had to pay for this was their civilized self, from the city dwellers point of view.
This have led to a weird relationship between brothers. The city dwellers look up to their jungle dwelling brothers, as for them, they represent what it means to be a true elf, unstained from the luxuries of fine clothes and money, on the other hand, they are woefully left behind in terms of culture, science and knowledge, the happenings of the world. So, while there is at least a one way flow of ideas from the Everdark to Ebreosea, the the entities are very much separated. Of course, for Cin Amon for example, the fineness of the situation is very much obscure.
Part of the flow of this knowledge are the city dwelling elves who, in their search for power, go to the Everdark to look for something they could not find among the city walls. For example, the second-born son of the Le'Symenthel family, Sonor, has left to the Everdark, and lived there for years, only to come back one night, and lock himself up in his estate. Since then, he has never left the estate while the sun was up, and his servants whisper that the darkness and shadows are bending to his will.Whether it is true or not, it only took a year after he got back to secure a position in the senate for himself, and now he is looking at the mage college...
Ebreosea trades with Fiwanting as well. Not having any place to produce ample amount of wheat, Fiwanting is the single source of this for the city. They also trade for onions, carrots, and lettuce. In exchange, Ebreosea provides the druids with seafood and other goods.
Titans Crown Edit
Ebreosea has been known to send out ships to the Titans Crown, with druids from Fiwanting on board to trade. This is rare though, because this is one of the most treacherous and difficult route to ship, and while the return is huge, the danger is even bigger.
EtherForge received three flying ships in exchange for it's help during the third pirate war. The elves were able to don the finest quality armor and weapons that the city had to offer, saving countless lives. EtherForge also equipped the ships with magical heavy crossbows that fire elemental bolts and can be attached to the rails to fire off the ship. These crossbows needed at least several elves to move around on the ship, but provided such great benefit, that they could single handedly turn the tides of any battle. Ebreosea was so thankful to the forge-city, that it gifted three flying ships to it, with full knowledge that they won't be able to use these ships to create their own. The city provided crew too, so they will be able to learn how to steer and fly them properly, and some of the crewmembers found new home in EtherForge too.
Noteable People Edit
Er'therithan was a powerful mage who invented a way to make ships fly in the sky. He left this secret with the mages of Ebreosea, who guard it ever since. While not much has been left to us about his personality, he forever lives on in the memory of elves as the hero of the second pirate war, and an inspiration for all. Some suggest that upon his supposed death, he had one last trick up his sleeve...
Byford was the leader of the pirates during the first pirate war. In the elvish literature, he is described as a man smelling like smoke, wood for one leg and with only one eye, always ready to rob, eat children and just generally the enemy of everything good and just. In reality, he was probably worshipping *matts champ*, and when he realised the growing power of the then young city, he tried to reestablish his own hold of power over the Lake. He showed generally good tactical abilities, and inspired his man just as much as the elvish leaders did. What his man was unrivaled in, was ferocity. They feared neither death nor injury, and this gave them the edge during the first half of the war. His ultimate downfall was the advancement in technology in Ebreosea, and Byford could not take defeat. Even when he was down to his last ships, he still summoned his murderous frenzy, and attacked anything that got in his sight, only to die by an elven arrow going through his chest.
Notable Places Edit
Temple on the border Edit
On the border of Ebreosea and the Everdark, there is a stone structure. The structure itself is circular in shape, with entrances from all 4 directions. On the inside, the visitor can find that the roof of the structure is painted white, and in the middle, circular yellow shapes are visible at different heights. In the middle, there is a stone slab, a size of a dining table.
Not many know about the existence of this structure. Some of them say this is just an ordinary structure, nothing to see here.Others say this clearly a religious building. Of course, this would be stupid, since everybody knows Ebreosea doesn't work this way. And what would be the yellow thing? The sun? It's crazy! And why would there be an altar in there, to sacrifice to the sun, to bring it back?
And the answer proves elusive to this day...