Archives for posts with tag: Taern

Modern fantasy has largely repurposed elves. Elves used to be tricksters feared for their magic and otherworldliness, but especially in fantasy gaming elves have become ancient and noble creatures of high culture and learning. While thinking about the background of my gaming world I decided to adopt a more traditional approach to elves, and so I’ve come up with the following supposition:

Suppose the elves are not a race apart from humans, and suppose they are not ancient. Suppose the faeries left the feywild and entered the world of man, enslaving and entrancing it. Suppose they bred with humans and created the elves (and thus there are no half-elves). Suppose the humans and some of the elves rebelled and fought and drove the faeries back to the feywild (ie. were thrown out of the garden). Suppose there is a barrier, erected at great cost, and planar magic is dangerous and forbidden to most. Suppose some of the elves remain but are not exactly on great terms with the humans, and some of the elves get along fine.

The elves are a relatively new race, one trying to find its place in the world. They have magic in their blood and, like every other race, have as much potential for good as they do for evil. Still, there is something unsettling about them to most of my world’s inhabitants, and they will offer numerous roleplaying and plot opportunities. Furthermore, planar magic and the feywild will be an epic challenge and bring in traditional high fantasy stakes.


The Oligarchs of Taern rose to power in 1370 during an incursion by the undead princes of Morgau and Doresh. They declared the city independent of both Wyte and Tele, which had fought over the territory for centuries. The Oligarchs are ruthless leaders who have brought prosperity to the region.

In addition to economic advancement, the Oligarchs have also encouraged the growth of Taern’s culture and fund art and theater projects (most lauding the Glorious Uprising). The Festival of Lights is a carnival that lasts for a whole week, covering the city in flames ranging from tiny candles to raging bonfires and concludes with ceremony in which all gather to release floating lanterns.

The Oligarchs command the Battersea Battalion, an elite mercenary marine force, to defend Taern and keep its citizens in line. While technically a separate entity, the Battalion’s commanders are employed almost exclusively by the Oligarchs and have taken an oath never to serve a rival state.

This is the first in what I hope will be a long series of posts detailing the world of Telmane. I am writing Telmane in a locally hosted wiki and have enough to start posting regularly. Enjoy!

Taern, the City of Lights, is in the contested region between Morgau, Doresh, Wyte, and Tele. In 1370, the Oligarchs declared the city independent in the Glorious Uprising, fended off an incursion by the undead, and established Taern as an economic and cultural power in the region.