Valenar
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Nature: Country
Continent: Khorvaire
Before the War: Cyre

Capital: Taer Valaestas
Population: 70'000 (43% elf, 28% human, 15% khoravar, 5% hobbit, 5% hobgoblin, 4% other races)
Languages: Elven, Common
Exports: Horses, mercenary services
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Description

Ten thousand years ago, the elves of Aerenal established a settlement on the southern shore of Khorvaire. Initially, the hobgoblin emperor was pleased to have a center for trade with the elves, but over the course of the next century this relationship soured and turned to war.

The elves could not match the numbers of the goblinoids and were driven back to Aerenal. War between the empires continued sporadically over the next few centuries. Ultimately, both hobgoblin and elf agreed to respect the current borders — the elves would hold their island-continent, and the hobgoblins would continue to dominate the mainland.

Millennia passed, and the hobgoblin Empire of Dhakaan crumbled to dust. By the time of King Jarot of Galifar, the land once contested by hobgoblins and elves was part of the realm of Cyre. Much of the region was sparsely populated, with the occasional human village, migrating hobbit tribe, and a handful of hobgoblin clans hiding in the shadows.

When the Last War began, Cyre came under attack from all sides and quickly sought allies. While the Undying Court of Aerenal had no interest in returning to Khorvaire, the Cyrans drew the interest of the Valaes Tairn. These militant elves had long sought an opportunity to test their blades in epic battle, and they were only too willing to enter the fray.

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For decades the elves fought on the side of Cyre, battling Talenta warbands, hobgoblin mercenaries, and the forces of Breland and Karrnath. They fought for the love of battle and gold, not loyalty to Cyre.

Then, in 956 YK, the elves took action that surprised the Cyrans and the other Five Nations. War Leader Shaeras Vadallia proclaimed that his people had ties to the land from a time before human feet touched the soil of Khorvaire, and that his soldiers had restored those ties with spilled blood. Vadallia declared himself high king of the new nation of Valenar, and his warriors have been fortifying their position and slowly expanding their borders ever since.

The Valenar elves have no interest in peace, but they participated in the talks at Thronehold to gauge the measure of their enemies and to gain acceptance in the human courts. Today, Valenar warbands continue to clash with Karrnathi forces, and raids into the Talenta Plains and Q'barra occur on a regular basis. Now that the Last War has come to an end, it remains to be seen whether the Treaty of Thronehold can end this elven aggression.
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Industries

The Valenar elves demonstrate an uncanny knack for the art of war and the breeding of horses. The bloodline of Valenar horses can be traced all the way back to the warhorses of ancient Xen’drik, and the creatures have no equal among the native horses of Khorvaire. The weaponsmiths of Valenar create masterwork bows and fine densewood weapons. Beyond this, Valenar primarily exports the service of its warriors, brokered through House Deneith. Few people trust the Valenar elves or are comfortable hiring them in large numbers. Valenar elves, however, are the most talented cavalry troops in Khorvaire, and small units are often hired for specific tasks.
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Life

The elves of Valenar venerate the memories of their warrior ancestors, the giant slayers of ancient Xen'drik. Where the elves of Aerenal honor their ancestors through devotion and prayer, the Valaes Tairn believe that imitation is the truest form of flattery. Heroic deeds and glory in battle are the 2 goals of the Valaes Tairn, and their society revolves around this principle.

The primary social unit of the elves of Valenar is the "warclan", a group of 200 to 500 elves, subdivided into smaller tactical units called "warbands" that consist of 8 to 12 individuals. Unless assigned to guard an area, a warclan remains in constant motion.

The Valenar elves slowly seek to expand their territory, but they are more interested in battle than land. Q’barra and Karrnath remain frequent targets of raids, and Karrnath has established forts in the Talenta Plains to engage the elves before they reach their borders.

A member of the Valaes Tairn values his horse and his patron ancestor above all things. Determined at birth by the clerics of the Valaes Tairn, the spirit of a patron ancestor watches over the warrior, and the elf does everything in his power to emulate and honor his patron.

Males and females hold equal positions among the elves of Valenar, and both ride into battle. The Valenar elves have a taste for art, music, and dance, but everything revolves around war. Their fine weapons and delicate armor are their works of art, and their songs recount the great deeds of the elf warriors of Xen'drik.

Humans still live in Valenar. Once citizens of Cyre, these peasants and farmers have simply changed overlords. The elves have no interest in agriculture, so the humans produce food for the elf warriors in exchange for protection, and life goes on as it does in any farming community.
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Government

The Valaes Tairn consists of a league of individual warclans, not an organized legion. All Valenar elves owe fealty to the high king. Forty-five warclans roam Valenar. At any time, twenty of the warclans — the Host of Valenar — are under the direct command of the high king. Ten of these maintain order throughout the realm, while the rest engage in military operations dictated by the crown. A warclan’s service in the Host of Valenar lasts for ten years, after which a new warclan takes its place.

The other warclans are free to conduct military operations and raids as they see fit, though the high king can call upon them as he deems necessary. Many young elves leave Valenar for a decade or so in search of personal glory and adventure.

A warrior who performs a service for the high king may receive a title and a tract of land. However, the elves prefer to remain in constant motion, and few lords maintain a manor or keep.
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Power Groups

Due to the fluid structure of Valenar, few groups have great influence in the land. Each warclan is a military force to be reckoned with, but most are more concerned with winning glory in battle than with political intrigue.

The dragonmarked houses operate in Taer Valaestas, but only House Lyrandar has significant influence in the realm. House Vadalis has been banned for horse stealing, and Houses Thuranni and Phiarlan are not welcome.

House Lyrandar: The khoravar of House Lyrandar have been granted significant parcels of land inside Valenar in exchange for raincalling services and agricultural assistance. Lyrandar also helps with many administrative tasks in Taer Valaestas. While the khoravar maintain a neutral position, there is no question that they have garnered influence within Valenar.

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The Keepers of the Past: The priesthood of the Valenar elves, the Keepers of the Past maintain the memory of the great elf heroes of Xen'drik. Members of the order travel with warclans to ensure that the warriors bring honor to their ancestors. The Keepers hold tremendous power; if they turned against the high king, many elves would take their side.

The Valenar elves share the religious beliefs of the elves of Aerenal, but with a slightly different focus. They respect the councilors of the Undying Court, but have a greater reverence for the elven heroes of Xen'drik. Each warrior has a patron ancestor and seeks to emulate his ancestor through deeds that let the ancestor live again, after a fashion

The spiritual leaders of the Valaes Tairn, the Keepers of the Past, include both clerics of the Undying Court and bards. War leaders train in bardic traditions to inspire their troops and recount the deeds of their ancestors.
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Known Natives

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