NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS UNFINISHED!
Teveren (TEH-ver-ehn) is a country in the eastern portion of the continent of Dorian, east of the Fangs and north of the jungles of Morentar. Once the prosperous cultural center of the continent, Teveren was completely destroyed by Alrenn the Lich in 4060 VR and remained a wasteland for over 20 years, before the wizard Aloysius Pridd used a wish spell to make the land green again in 4083 VR. It is currently in a very slow rebuilding phase.
Etymology and pronunciation
Teveren likely comes from the elvish tev ehrenne, which translates to "most eastern land," a reference to how Teveren faced the Great Fog and was the farthest east one could travel for thousands of years (this includes Monarch Island, which is considered a part of Teveren). However, some scholars argue that the land was named "Te Veren," elvish for "Of Veren" or "Veren's [land]," after Veren, the God of Secrets in the Lotus cosmology. They cite ancient Storybearer documents on Veren worship in Teveren, who was a very popular god in the ancient times and may have even lived in the country in prehistory.
Dates within this article will be Valwyr Reckoning. Appropriate Dorian Slant dates will be added where necessary.
Prehistory & The Bronze Age
Modern conventions of prehistory in Teveren believe that the original inhabitants of the country were Tesselari elves, who had migrated there from Deneshae at some point late in the Dragon Wars. A small selection of humans, halflings, and gnomes were already present in Teveren at this time but had no general sense of community other than small tribal villages; the Tesselari meanwhile had already had an empire of sorts in central Deneshae, and swept into Teveren quickly and with ease. Ancient oral tradition between the elves describes a schism of sorts after they arrived, which led to a large portion of Tesselari traveling west over the mountains to settle as the wood elves of Diomed. Meanwhile, those who remained in Teveren became the high elves. (This is a common tradition told in almost every elven culture in Avo which has wood elves and high elves, so it's likely true, though in a more general, global sense.)
By the time the Storybearers arrived and established contact with Teveren, the elves had already formed a so-called "democratic empire" consisting of twelve provinces united under the Blazing Sun, Empress Melfallasae.
The Age of Magic
The First Era: The Peace of the Empress
Storybearers entered Teveren via the southern shores in 929 VR, where they met with Empress Melfallasae and a very large military escort. Melfallasae welcomed the Bearers in hesitantly, but was known as a very vain elf and enjoyed being profiled by the ancient historians. By the time the Storybearers arrived in the country, Melfallasae had been empress of the land for over two-hundred years, and in fact she remained empress until the tabaxi pushed into Teveren in 1460 VR. This era is historically divided by scholars; some describe the Empress's reign as peaceful from the perspective of external threats, while others point out that within Teveren, Melfallasae ruled with an iron fist and subjugated most of her people, oppressing elves and non-elves (but especially non-elves) to the point where to speak poorly of the empire or the Empress was punishable by immediate death. This brought about a "peace," so to speak, in that there was no war in Teveren until the tabaxi arrived. Melfallasae was also very careful of releasing information to the Storybearers, so there is little detail in the historical record of the Empress' reign.
The Empress claimed to be the direct descendant of Warlord Gyrmundyr, a Tesselari known in elven mythology as the Sarcrusher. However, later investigation long after her death indicates that she was more likely a 4th or 5th generation elf, even though she was very long lived.
The Second Era: The Rise of the Tabaxi
In late 1460 VR, tabaxi sailed around Setero Island, sacking the ancient elven city Alyeata over the course of just three months. Melfallasae, thinking her military might unmatched, pushed south into the Pale Card to meet the tabaxi. What Melfallasae didn't realize is that a second battalion of tabaxi had continued sailing up the Pale Coast, establishing outposts on Gateway and Monarch Island. When the Empress's forces arrived in Alyeata, the remaining tabaxi sailed into northern Teveren.
The Battle of the Pale was a major offensive by the tabaxi which lasted three weeks, in which the Teveren military was crushed by the sheer number of tabaxi and their stealth skirmish and pincer tactics through the Pale Card and northeastern Teveren. By the end of the battle, the tabaxi had formed a pincer maneuver behind the remaining Teveren forces, led by the Empress herself, who opted to die instead of bend the knee to the "ass-licking cats" as she famously called them. She was hung from the Iron Willow in Alyeata while the remaining elves retreated to Deyrnasal to fortify for an assault. The elves put up a better defense at this point, keeping the tabaxi at bay until 1467 VR, when Deyrnasal was finally besieged, becoming the capital of tabaxi rule in the country.
The tabaxi rule in Teveren was tumultuous due to various political issues which ultimately fractured into several factions in the country over their 800 year reign. This resulted in the Second and Third Tabaxi Wars. The Third Tabaxi War in 2298 VR in particular was devastating to the populace of Teveren, due to very high level magic being utilized on both sides. The civil war was so devastating to the tabaxi that several splinter rebellion forces began to skirmish against both sides during the war, further breaking apart the rule in Teveren. Two years later, Queen Glides-Against-Soft-Fur announced a full blown retreat of all tabaxi in northern Dorian, returning them to Morentar and leaving an enormous power vacuum that many were eager to fill.
The Third Era: The One Thousand Kings
Following the retreat of the tabaxi, dozens of individuals vied for rule over Teveren, resulting in several wars, both violent and cold. This, coupled with Akhentour's own struggles for leadership, led to a 367 year span of time where Teveren had no de facto leader. This time was also fractured by the most devastating event in Avonian history: The Catastrophe.
The political strife in Teveren fractured greatly as a result of the magical block imposed by the gods during the Catastrophe. In effect, the event solidified the concept of the 1,000 kings, as many of the most powerful factions vying for the Teveren crown were wiped clean by the event. The Crimson Cabal, Lord Hyrcale's Crown, and the Reunification were all obliterated as the gods sapped the magical energy from them.
After the Catastrophe, many in Teveren, mostly those of lower status who were previously unable to bolster the type of imperial or magical military might needed, continued to vie for leadership of the country. For the next 300 years, this culminated with numerous short-lived reigns by lesser nobles and military officials, before Alectrius Dorian amassed his army and crushed his enemies, creating the Dorian Empire in the newly crowned King's Pride.
The Fourth Era: The Dorian Empire
In 2668 VR, Alectrius Dorian founded the Dorian Empire, after his enormous army and formidable navy conquered the whole of the island-continent. In 2674 VR Alectrius began the first of fifteen Crusades, centering on cleaning up Teveren of the "evil hordes" which had risen in the absence of a true ruler. In truth, Alectrius used these crusades to quash any and all rebellion across Teveren, to ensure his reign would not be questioned. The Alectrian Crusades began the concept of the "adventuring" lifestyle, as many of the crusaders continued adventuring in small bands following the end of the Crusades. The crusades lasted nearly 300 years and, ironically, ended up creating many new enemies against the Emperor.
Most of the crusades focused on Teveren, but four of them occurred in Akhentour and two were in Morentar.
The capital of the Empire became King's Pride, while Alectrius' first born son, Kazwic, ruled Teveren as the Grand Prince in the city of Ogoni. The 600-year reign of the Dorian family was one of political upheaval and intrigue, marked by a swift advancement of nobility and land grabs throughout the continent. The Crusades made a lot of enemies of the Dorians, which ultimately ended Alectrius' life when he was assassinated by unknown forces in 2925 VR. Alectrius' son Kazwic took over as Emperor. Known as the Vile King, Kazwic ruled terribly, creating a permanent Crusaders Corps which ruled as military stewards in nearly every city in Dorian. The Corpse, as they soon were called, were not as powerful as the ones Alectrius founded, but were much larger in size and availability.
Eventually, in 3275 VR, Urmenator Dorian, emperor at the time, was killed in a coup by his own son Erlighein, in a broad attempt by the Usurperites to dethrone the Dorian family, a coup that was ultimately successful, causing the Dorian Empire, which was already fragile at this point, to collapse quickly.
The Fifth Era: The Prosperity
Following the fall of the Dorian Empire, Teveren entered into an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. A power vacuum of 23 years caused strife immediately after the fall, but Good Queen Esperanza united the country through a newly established trade route with the Yonavi islands, bringing about goods and services largely unknown prior. Esperanza's connections with the Yonavi people allowed for the Teveren people to exist with new ideas and goods while also avoiding any outside political intrigues for over 700 years. Various technological and magical marvels from pre-Catastrophe were studied and rebuilt in Teveren, putting them on pace with Valwyr in terms of advancement.
Then, in 4055 VR, the lich Alrenn began to destroy the country, using its own technology and magical acumen against it as arcane power for his undead army. In a flash of five years, Teveren went from a peaceful, technologically advanced civilization to utter ruin. Most of the population of Teveren were killed, save for a few along the coast who managed to sail eastward to Monarch Island and the newly discovered Katalpa, forming the city of Survivor's Crest. Even after Alrenn was destroyed for good, many of his undead forces remained in Teveren, including his terrible nightwalkers.
The Sixth Era: The Rebuilding
Since Alrenn's destruction, rebuilding Teveren was the singular goal of Aloysius Pridd, who cast a wish spell in 4083 VR to bring life back to the country. The land turned green and trees began to grow once again, but several powerful undead beings continued to roam the countryside. Aloysius continued to fight these beings, and was last seen in 4098 VR heading eastward from Davast Keep toward Setral's Temple, which housed a dangerous nightwalker that he intended to destroy.
Akhentourian archdruid and former Guildmaster of the Redfang Guild, Bravan Tesserani, arrived in Teveren in 4085 VR, at Aloysius' behest, to continue growing plant life in the area, and by 4100 VR, most of Teveren began to look as it did prior to Alrenn's destruction.
Location and Borders
Teveren is located on the central eastern side of the continent of Dorian. It is bordered on the north by the Snow Rose Mountains and the Frostline, on the west by the Fangs, on the south by the Lionsrange, and on the east by the Serafey Sea (also known as Serafey Strait).
Geology and Topography
Teveren was historically a heavily wooded area, with five separate and distinct forests: North Rose, Rosewood, Pinewood, Redwood, and Pale Card. The Redwood and Pale Card forests were deciduous, while Rosewood, North Rose, and Pinewood were coniferous. North Rose in particular was a conglomeration of Rosewood and Pinewood, creating a dappled red and green forest. Unlike Akhentour, the people of Teveren carefully logged their forests to ensure they did not exhaust the supply of trees; the Five Forests were the pride of the country.
Teveren was split by the long River Caerwn running west to east. In the center of the country were Lake Akoa and the Great Marsh, which in ancient times was also a lake, prior to a shift in the land itself which caused hills to rise and disrupt the flow of Caerwn. The Marsh was thought to be slowly drying up as it lost most of its water supply. Lake Heness, in the southeast of the country, was supplied by the River Athlen.
More recently, following Alrenn's destruction, Teveren was a wasteland of dead trees. Lake Akoa was completely dried up, River Caerwn ran brown with muck and ash, and all of the cities were in ruins. When Aloysius wished for the land to return to green, it did so, though most of the forest homogenized into a single, deciduous forest, with pockets of the old forests strewn throughout.
Teveren's climate ranged from cool and temperate in the to rainforests in the south. After Alrenn, the climate became warm and dry, though it is slowly returning to a temperate climate like before.
Currently, Teveren has no administrative regions.
Teveren has no current form of government beyond the local work Aloysius and his assistants have put into regrowing the land. Previously, the country was ruled by a prime minister, who oversaw a council of elected representatives in the five districts of Teveren, one for each section of forest. These representatives were essentially governors, who in turn oversaw elected and appointed officials in each major city.
The Teveren people followed the Lotus cosmology as most do in Dorian, with special respect paid to Pav, the Wind Walker, who is known as the god of forests.
Teveren culture was broad and extensive prior to its destruction. The country was best known for making playing cards, using the bark from the Pale Card trees (known as card bark), which could be cleanly stripped from the trunk of the tree without harming it. It is believed that the infamous Deck of Many Things was created with card bark.
Because of their monopoly on playing cards, a vast majority of card games originated from Teveren, including five scale draw, goblins'n'ogres, pickle shuffle, and deark.
Beyond cards, Teverens were known for their fantastic furniture making skills, and the wood from Redwood was especially prized by royalty for its deep maroon color. Rosewood, meanwhile, was a distant cousin to darkwood though much easier to work with, making it standard for building ships.