Name: Erevel, a Half-Elven Community
Submitted By: Jade Williams
The eastern section of Dock Ward, next to the Sunrise Gate, is unlike any other place in the City. It is a community of half-elves who call themselves Erevel. They see themselves as a true race, as nearly all of them are descended from half-elven parents. The community doesn't have definite edges- it is growing as and when it needs to. The centre of the community at present is recognised as the house where The Brothers (Eldocar, Madocar, Felcar, Welcar, and Zendocar) live. Next to that is the meeting hall where Falco lives. Going outwards from there are the houses of the Erevel, and towards the outer edge are the businesses and shops. The Erevel are a very friendly group of people, they have reshaped the streets with bushes and trees, so it is a pleasant place to be. This allows them to meet with their friends and neighbours, and fosters a sense of family in the inner area. The houses in the centre of the community are all Erevel, but going further out, elves and humans are mixed in with the Erevel. Falco knows all of the Erevel that arrived with him, and can find strangers in the community easily. Traffic past the community is pretty much constant throughout the day, and as the businesses are located at the outer edges, it leaves the homes quiet.
The Erevel community had its beginnings 200 years ago, when the Elves in the Heartlands were withdrawing into their communities, and preparing for the Retreat. The half- elves that dwelt within these communities were told to leave, as the elves had no intention of taking them when they left. These half-elves were forced out of the elf-holds in the forests and had to move into the local towns, who were still recovering from the skirmishes that they were suffering without the elves to help keep the goblin-kin under control.
The influx of the half-elves was too much for many towns to bear, their resources couldn't cope, and so, for a second time the half-elves found themselves being moved on. Several towns went further, displacing many of the half-elven residents along with the newcomers, into the wilderness. The half-elves would have drifted away into isolated woodland homes, or turned to raiding the towns if a group of merchants from Luskan- secretly part of the Iron Throne- hadn't seen a business opportunity growing in front of them. These merchants gathered a large group of half- elves together and formed a large caravan, initially using planted spies, agitators, and magic to get them to join it. They planned to use the half- elves as a mobile labour force around the Heartlands, having seen many of the towns trying to erect walls, and defences, while maintaining roads and farms. The merchants explained to the half-elves that they would be better off here, as the towns could get used to them again, seeing they could benefit the community, without the worry of them staying and taking the local resources. The half-elves, without anywhere else to go agreed and began to work for the merchants, those who spoke out or seemed unhappy often ended up victims of 'bandit' attacks or got the dangerous jobs to do. At the beginning the merchants occasionally arranged for half-elves to stay in the towns, as a sign that they were doing the right thing, and making progress. In reality, these half-elves were agents of the merchants, and left soon after.
This situation lasted for almost a century- the original half-elves were dead, and the younger ones had grown up with this life, and knew no different. Things changed when Falco, and his daughter Kayeth, joined the caravan. They were shocked by the sight that greeted them- the half-elves were being worked day after day for a few coins, while those who could not work were begging in the cities, or scavenging for food and firewood in the wilderness. All the time, the payment from the towns went straight to the merchants back in Luskan.
After speaking out against this way of life, Falco was ambushed by agents of the merchants, and only survived due to his daughter's quick thinking, and quicker spells. He spent the next twenty years avoiding further attacks, as he wandered the Heartlands, and eventually gained allies and magic enough to ensure his safety when he returned to the caravan.
In the meantime, Kayeth, a priestess of Oghma had been educating the half-elves, and the merchants had seen the unrest she was generating, so they began pulling their resources out. By the time Falco returned, and showed the half-elves how the merchants had used them, there were only a few overseers and little spare money left in the area. This angered many of the younger members, and they struck out violently, wanting revenge on the humans who had used them for so long. Falco was horrified- he had wanted to shock the caravan with the truth, so they would be easier to persuade with his dream of a half-elven community. Instead he watched as the overseers were killed, and surrounding farms were raided for food and supplies. Kayeth stepped in then- she had become a wise priestess of Oghma, and she rallied the older half-elves that had followed Falco to find the ones responsible for the violence, who were turned over to the local authorities. She stayed with Falco and taught him about the younger half-elves who knew only the way of humans or elves. Her council helped Falco keep his people together as the older generation passed away.
Kayeth was elected as the caravan leader, and, now calling themselves Erevel, they went about rebuilding the caravan into what it should have been. With the help of a priest of Gond the caravans were enlarged, and the Erevel became a travelling merchant company. With these new wagons, Falco set up a trading company that travelled throughout the Heartlands. They used contacts they had cultivated in the cities, and soon gained a reputation for being able to transport goods long distances with few losses. The half-elves that joined this company learned they could have their own society - not one based on the culture of others. They composed their own songs, carved their wagons and made their own style of clothing and furniture, which they often sold to half-elves who were still living in the cities. While life was not ideal, Falco, who was getting very old at this point, was content to stay with the caravan style of living. He wanted to give the Erevel something more permanent- a community of their own, but did not want to risk changing the group again if it could cause another outbreak of violence. Falco also worried that there was no one to take over as leader of the people when he died, even his current children were not as charismatic as Kayeth, who had left to become a high priestess in Silverymoon.
This changed when The Brothers (Eldocar, Madocar, Felcar, Welcar, and Zendocar) turned up. They were a mysterious, charismatic group who had the will and the drive to keep a community together. After getting to know these brothers, Falco immediately put his idea of an Erevel community into action.
He had been through Arylon several times- not being tied to a central base meant his trading company could travel a lot longer distances than normal caravan routes. Arylon seemed like the ideal place for his new community. He knew it was a relatively new city that hadn't yet developed distinct separate areas (like the wards of Waterdeep). That would make inserting the Erevel into the area much easier- they wouldn't stand out or be isolated into a specific row of houses. Arylon was also big enough to accept the influx of Erevel without upsetting the current balance of trade or resources, as had happened when Falco was young. With the city's background (being formed from an alliance of various countries and cities), Falco hoped they would be more tolerant of newcomers, and the Erevel could integrate themselves into the city and not feel lost as would have happened in another, larger city.
He came to the city, and after lengthy discussions with the Council, invested a sizeable sum into purchasing specific tracts of land. Most of his people then moved into the city. The caravan still operates, albeit in a much-reduced capacity, being a small player now, but it brings word to the half-elves around the Heartlands that the Erevel community is open to any who seek refuge there. Falco pushes the community, trying to get it stabilised before he dies, and hopefully giving them a sense of identity so it can last, and flourish.
The plain stone buildings have been extensively redecorated- the houses have an extensive wooden framework, with stone panels for strength. The wooden beams, where visible, are always carved into intricate flowing patterns, similar to that found in elven stonework. The stone panels, making up the walls are usually covered in growing bushes and vines, making the entire area seem like a beautifully sculpted garden, always on the brink of growing out of control. Most homes are two-story, single houses, with the shops and warehouses being only one floor. The area is blooming with trees and flowers that the new settlers have planted. The normally straight city streets have been subtly reworked to look like slightly winding paths, still heavy-duty cobblestone streets, they now have lines of trees in many places, and in high summer can be completely shaded. The plant life has been brought in by the residents and is tended to lovingly by them as it is just starting to settle in. In several places, the druids of the community have worked their magic, and trees now show several years growth, and in some of the better-trodden spots, the vegetation is firmly rooted. The roads along the outskirts of the community are heavily used cobblestone streets, but moves are afoot to change the inner roads, to narrower stone or wood- covered paths, as they see much less traffic.
This is an area unique in the Realms, and as such, most corners- when turned- reveal sights that astonish those just passing through. The winding paths that lead through the community, can just as easily lead to a small garden, as to a main road.
Meeting Hall - this is a large three story building. Falco lives in the upper floor, while the lower floor is a large room with many tables and benches. Festivals and meetings take place in this hall, as it is large enough to accommodate all of the major names in the community (i.e. business owners, the original settlers). Smaller meeting rooms and libraries are on the second floor. Falco's quarters include an astrolabe and telescope in one corner of the building, the roof has been replaced by expensive glass panels.
Guild Halls/ Temples:
There are shrines to the Powers noted below: Fenmarel Mestarine - He is the main deity the Erevel follow- venerated by those elves who break with tradition, and remain with humans. Erevan Ilesere- an elven power of change, and some Erevel rogues. There's only one major shrine to Fenmarel Mestarine, the others are at most a statue (like Lathander), or a personal shrine in houses (Erevan Ilesere). Finder has been featured in several stories that the bards in Song Hall have seen, but there is no activity from the power, so there is no worship yet. The bards in Song Hall venerate Milil, but not in a temple- just sigils on the song scrolls, books, musical instruments, personal worship, etc.
Song hall/ bards college - this small building is growing faster than anyone expected- as the Erevel gain a history, they are writing many songs, and modifying several elven and human songs and tunes to record it. It is run by a highly charismatic elf, named Galdarion.
Other Places of Interest:
Trading company - started by Amber and Quinn -, who are trying to liase with the rest of the group still travelling.
Virgin Square - Hiring point for Caravan Guards- some of the Erevel still lust after the adventurers' lifestyle.
Places of Danger:
The area, due to its non- standard layout has many areas that can become hazardous at night, or when visibility is poor. The city guard does patrol the area, but there are always dark paths, and unlighted areas. The Erevel, as a community are very friendly and open, and so there is little danger towards the inner sections of the community. However some thieves do prey in the outer areas at night.
Average Erevel: 5'6" tall, 150 pounds, live 160 years.
Hai & Mellow - This Erevel druid and his brown bear cub companion are tending the trees and flowers in the community- making sure they are strong enough to flourish, before he moves on.
Lady Darostar - one of the few elves to settle in this area- she is one of the bards, and is trying to record the beginnings of this community. She has recently become an Arylon Councilor due to the support of the Erevel Community.
Amber & Quinn - These Erevel are continuing to work with the caravan, and are beginning to compile trail maps, and caravan schedules of the Heartlands.
Galdarion - This charming, handsome elf has formed a college for the bards of the city at the edge of the community, and the Erevel are compiling new songs and history there.