Category:Great Tal Island
|Great Tal Island|
|Kingdom of Tal Leaders:||Alarithil, Elronien, Losille|
|Area:||4,028 sq miles (10,432 km²)|
|Distance From Haven Island:||273 miles (439.351km)|
|Travel Time from Haven Island:||Avg. 55 hours|
|Seasons and Weather:||Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn (34° - 75°)|
|Notes of Interest|
One cannot get too close to the Elven Isle before their galley is dwarfed by the powerful Man-O-Wars of the Kingdom of Tal, flying the Six-Point Star of the Astaldo Coalition. On this island you are a guest of the elves, a hospitable but vain and haughty bunch. Craftmen of elegant artefacts and fine weapons, traders from the other islands will surely find items on which to turn a tidy profit back home. The island itself is mild and windy, almost unaffected by seasonal change. Like the people that inhabit it Tal seems to persevere through the ages, resisting climate and geographical changes that would deface it.
Travellers can expect to stay in safe and welcoming homesteads, though many think the elves odd – aloof, as if a Tallian in the presence of a foreigner is very different to a Tallian surrounded by his own. The elves also seem very loyal to their own kind, so crime is sparse. Or that may because of the exuberant, stalwart militia guards that seem to have a presence on almost every street and road on the island. A man in need of a free meal and bed may earn it by volunteering for watch duty.
But step out of the bounds of the civilized Kingdom and into the forests and one finds themselves surrounded by the beautiful and revitalizing displays of mother nature. The air is moist and cool, and the trees themselves seem to shape and move in guidance of a stranger. Hiking through the Tallian woods is a very moving, changing experience – moreso if a traveler should encounter an enclave of wood-elves and find themselves a guest a tree-born camp, or be hosted by the hobbit tree folk who call the ancient forests of the island home. A word of caution however: nature demands reverence, and will punish those who do not show her proper respect. Many is the brazen fool who felled the wrong tree and wound up choked by a stray vine, or with an arrow in his back.
Geographic sub-areas in Great Tal
Great Tal is wet, mild and windy. Fields of plains and crops of grassy hills are punctuated by many lush, green forests, which are kept well-watered throughout mild summers and biting, often snowless winters. To emphasize – it rains at least once a week, regardless of season. Much of Tal is flatland, with some small and shoddy mountains to the north and west, where winter snow is more common, and villages, where they exist are mostly fishing ports or mining settlements. The South-West and West-Midlands are dominated by woodland, with few scattered settlements between, which gradually decline into slivers or clumps of trees as one goes further toward the metropolitan North-East.
Settlements of Great Tal
The Kingdom of Tal
Heart of Ennorath
The Heart of Ennorath has a beating pulse of energy all its own. Serving as both a residential lot for the lowborn, as well as a central marketplace, it is a thriving, busy environment. While the streets themselves are packed with the bodies of traders and citizens going about their business, even the buildings that tower above them seem to be packed together. Most of the shops have at least two floors, one containing the various businesses of Ennorath, while the upper floor houses the families of lowborn elves who own the property. Only a small city garden tucked off the side of the main streets offer any semblance of peace and quiet in the otherwise bustling town center; though it is not usual to find children of various classes sneaking off to play together while their parents are busy.
At the eastern end of the city high road, the well maintained cobblestone thoroughfare broadens considerably before splitting into three narrower and divergent access ways. At the end of each access road stands an imposing structure that rises to at least the height of the adjacent city wall, though most of them are grand enough for the upper levels and tiered rooftops to be visible above it. Ornate design and grand signage above double door entryways announce the purpose of each edifice to be found in the parliamentary row. It is here that the business of governing the province unfolds daily, and that is evidenced by the constant traffic of politicos and the civilian population in and out of the Houses. The House of Commerce would seem to sustain the highest volume of activity, as subjects of the kingdom venture to its capital to pay taxes, or request permission to do business. Only slightly less busy is the House of Domestic Affairs, the politicos of the Highborn elite always about the business of keeping the interests of the Coalition at the forefront of their planning. The Ambassadorium would seem to be the least trafficked of the houses of late; the Highborn not particularly known for their outreach to other races or cultures beyond kingdom borders. All of the houses are connected by the adjacent wall street, and members are as likely to be found passing back and forth above the city, as below.
Wood Elf Enclave
All the many paths in the west of the forest eventually lead upon an expansive woodland clearing, many miles from the forest's edge. The grass underfoot is an inch long, and shimmers like silk as it languishes in the light of the strong sun above, which has an unobstructed hole in the canopy through which to peer intently down upon the many wonderful budding vines that hang from sturdy, poetically intertwined branches. It would be sensible to assume that this unearthly beautiful patch of woods would be home to the tenders of the forest. Looking up, and peering closely, the friendly traveler will discern a multitude of modest homes, crafted almost within the trees themselves, connected by branches that cross and bunch to form walkways only the sure-footed wood elves can traverse with any ease. And unless invited by a resident of the enclave community, this still picture is all one shall glean of the elves themselves. Furthermore, if mayhem be the intent of the onlooker then they shall never have had seen this place at all, and instead remain lost in the shifting forest, until fortune spits them back out into civilized Tal.
Tallian Hobbit Settlement
The sound of waves crashing against the shoreline begins to blend in with the animal noises and birdsong within the trees that encroach the borders of the bay, though it may be sight, more than sound that alerts a traveler that they have arrived at their destination. A large sign has been erected prominently at the head of the path. Welcome! is all it says. What it is welcoming wanderers to is the peaceful settlement of the Tallian Hobbits. The little folk can be seen wandering around the bases of the giant trees where shops and other businesses have been quite literally carved into the trunks. The towering giants of trees seem to thrive despite the settlement that has been built within them. Fish hanging to dry from outside a few of the stores hint at another form of trade the Tallian Hobbits are well known for, and a few fisherman might be found lazily casting their nets into the calmer waters of the bay. It seems to be a peaceful place, but the relaxed air the Tallian Hobbits seem to have around visitors may have less to do with complacency and far more to do with their confidence in their ability to defend themselves- and their secrets.
Player run Businesses
Clans with Headquarters in Great Tal
Training areas in Great Tal
Entrance through the runic archway leads onto a wide open compound, paved with flagstones of beautiful emerald and sapphire slate. Robed men and women, some of great age, others in idyllic youth, are busily crossing between one of the three grand towers that surround the central courtyard, or else milling lazily in groups as adolescents do. There is little in the open compound to accommodate leisure however, save a wide ring of stone seats encircling the very center, and the distracted plainly outnumber the carefree.
There is an astonishing variety of elaborate decorative structures visible, representing various environmental extremes. Four in total, one features the lip of a volcano rising from the floor with steaming magma pouring from its rocky mouth, another shows a ring of stone encircling the deepest woodland. The third comprises a fissure upon a barren plateau, rising unevenly out of the ground, and the last simply a pool of dark water, magically formed into a liquid dome that hangs in stasis. Each of these is spaced evenly between the others, forming a wide square around the centre of the compound. They are each ringed by glowing slate, and seem to shimmer as one looks upon them. Their purpose is only suggested when a passing mage walks up to one of them and becomes enveloped in the shimmer it exhumes, vanishing from sight. They are portals, apparently to pocket-lands of magical construction, crafted as areas of practice and demonstration.
Economic areas in Great Tal
There is only one way into and out of this market hub, for surrounding it a seven-foot-high wall encloses those who seek to spend their crowns within. An opening is watched over by four swordstaff-wielding guards, two on either side of the wall, and if theft or unrest were to occur the denizens find their exit blocked until culprits are caught and arrested. Within, there are a multitude of stalls and other set-ups, including an open-air blacksmith in a far corner. Many proprietors make their living from the sale of exotic fish, of which there is no shortage in this affluent seaside township, but some have merchant contacts over the sea and trade largely in foreign wares. Given the value of a single crown you can be sure the people are unwilling to give them away, and haggling is as rampant throughout this bazaar as it is in bazaar's all over Tal.
Pilgramage Areas in Tal
Shrine to Jirhai
Amidst the gorgeous natural garden of the forest that is filled with every color the imagination can muster, sits an old gazebo. The building itself seems natural; natural in the fact that it grows from the very ground of its own accord. The twisted branches, which provide shelter from the weather, form a watertight rooftop to protect the stone monument beneath it. Little white flowers pop up from dark brown bark, whilst green leaves stretch out over the rooftop of this tree like structure. The monument beneath the gazebo is none other then a statue of Jirhai in child-like form. The area around the shrine is blissfully tranquil, totally at peace with the world. The magics that have gone into building the shrine have surely left their mark, by way of serenity. The enchantments are said to even go so far as to forbid entrance to those who mean to harm this shrine or the Druids tree that lays further south, beyond this sacred place.
The Druid Tree
Beyond the gazebo and the wards that protect the sacred place within from harm, is a clearing ringed by trees. The babble of water becomes immediately evident, and it is not easy to miss the four streams flowing to the center of the circle. Their source might be more difficult to determine, as outside the wards, there seems to be no veins of river or stream that connect to them. The streams cascade down the natural tiers that form a circular depression in the area. On each rise, roots can be seen lifting from the earth, and the deeper down the rises grow, the thicker and more entangled the roots that cover the ground seem to be. Rising from the central pool where the waters collect is the Druid's Tree. Its boughs extend even beyond the depression housing it. Within the full blooming greenery of its canopy, the soft glow of the Divine can be visibly seen. Occasionally an unfelt wind catches the branches and leaves, sending glowing flecks dancing across the area. Those sensitive to the Divine may be able to feel the flow of natural magic that courses beneath the bark. However even beings without a sense for magic can likely hear the whispers of ancient thoughts washing over their consciousness. Whether those words seem to be relevant or not, largely depends on the being and their purpose for entering the Druid Tree's haven.