World Travel Guide
Kingdom of Vyssby T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.7
Population: 34.7 million (68% Shei, 16% Human, 8% Dragonoid, 6% Asyndi, 2% Zish.)
Government Type: Conciliary Monarchy.
Current Head(s) of State: King Arathys Blackthorne and Queen Thairoa Leathurah-Blackthorne. While they maintain final say in all decisions (the king and queen rule as one voice), they are advised by the Council of Duchies, that make up the entirety of the dukes and duchesses of the kingdom.
Capital: Am-Xitha (formerly Am-Raynia)
Alliances: Kingdom of Miroa, Irys, Windsong Republic, Tallis-Kah Territories, Farwind, Taijun, Zodasia.
Pacts of Nonaggression: Draconic Empire, Albadosia.
NOTE: Populations do not include half-breeds of species, save for Dragonoids, due to the fact that Dragonoids are so varied onto themselves, and cannot be easily folded into either dragons, or another group. Half-Shei are considered Shei, Half-Asyndi and Asyn-Shei are considered Asyndi, and Half-Xalayi are considered Xalayi. Dracothar and Half-Giants are too few in number to accurately count in a census, nor would many opt to take one.
The following is a list of cities within the Kingdom of Vyss on the continent of Shalzaar This atlas will not be an exhaustive literary work of each city, but rather a basic guide to each city and its place on the continent of Shalzaar and further, the whole of Imarel, to give the world traveler some measure of what to expect whilst traveling abroad.
The Kingdom of Vyss was once known as the Kingdom of Shei, when all Elves were simply Tallis-Shei and there were no other racial divergences, such as Wild Elves or Shadow Elves. All Elves were, at the time of Am Raynia's founding, in 4500 BF. With the events of the War of Eternals, and 1,000 years after, the Kingdom of Shei was thought utterly ruined, with only stragglers, refugees and looters remaining on what was rumored to be cursed land. Whole adventuring groups, caravans and others would disappear into the Shei woodlands and never be seen again.
In 1099 AC, an explanation to these ghost stories was given by the reemergence of the descendants of the Moon Elves that fled below their once great cities. These Tallis-Vyss, or Shadow Elves had actually come to the surface centuries past, but had willfully chosen to remain underground, venturing out only at night, for the sensitivity of their eyes. Many of their great cities had been rebuilt, but hidden behind exceedingly powerful illusionary magic.
With their return to the world stage, the Shadow Elves were initially very xenophobic and understandably, exceedingly hostile to Shar'Vaire. With time, trial and a three brutal wars, the Kingdom of Vyss has established strong ties to their human neighbors in the Kingdom of Moonfall, the Windsong Republic, the newly formed Zodasian Alliance, and their cousins, the Tallis-Kah.Cordial relations with the Dragons to the north, Taijun and with Irys are maintained, though Farwind has only managed to gain a non-aggression pact. No formal treaties exist between Vyss and Miroa, the Albadosians or the newly formed nation of Xirath on Meluah.Top
Atlas of the Kingdom of Vyss
Am-Raynia: The city of Am-Raynia was the capital of the Kingdom of Shei before the War of Eternals, originally founded in 4490 BF with the help of the Shar`Vaire. In the beginning, the Shar`Vaire saw the Elves as friends and a sort of kin, having been banished from the Heavens themselves they too had a sense as a people to lose their home. So, with the spirit of friendship in mind, Am-Raynia was constructed on land the Shar`Vaire took from the Zissah centuries before. Am-Raynia became a sprawling, wonder of architecture, some said rivaled distant Am-Shei in its splendor. While the Shar`Vaire themselves would never admit it, Am-Raynia rivaled even D`Mir in its wonder.
It was not to last, however. When the War of Eternals started with the slaughter of the Jir-Tasaar colony (which would later be known as Am-Tasaar) the city of Am-Raynia was the next to be hit, mere days later by thirty Imperial Shar`Vaire airships, including five Dreadnaughts. While the Tallis-Shei had airships of their own, they were simply no match for the better-crafted and more heavily armed Shar`Vaire vessels. The day Am-Raynia burned it is said that there were so many Shar`Vaire airships in the sky that the sun could no longer be seen and the only light came from their vicious sorcerous weapons.
The Elves that survived this slaughter stayed in underground catacombs they sealed off with magic and hid with powerful illusions. Having learned the lesson of Am-Shei well, there were ample food stores in these catacombs and the tunnels under the city were vast, allowing one to travel to any of the important buildings in the city. Further, these catacombs were connected by sorcerous teleportation rings to similar catacombs under Am-Vansa and Am-Talisa. The Shar`Vaire never knew of these catacombs or the rings so they were never searched for as they were confident they had obliterated their enemies. It is here in these tunnels a segment of the Moon Elves would remain and eventually give birth to the Tallis-Vyss race.
For centuries after the conclusion of the War of Eternals, Am-Raynia remained in ruins…or so most were led to believe. The Moon Elves who opted to stay on the surface and fight the Shar`Vaire head on were all but obliterated as a people. Those who survived did so by either hiding amongst Humans or by surviving the horrendous Shar`Vaire prison camps. These Elves would eventually integrate with Human society, thinking their ancestral homes destroyed, burned and unrecoverable. Little did they know that their brethren who had hid and waited for the Shar`Vaire in ambush where they could, lived on, even thrived in the catacombs and later deep tunnels under Am-Raynia. Roughly 200 years ago, the Shadow Elves suddenly emerged from their dark dwelling and established contact with the outside world. Am-Raynia had been completely rebuilt and populated with an Elvish people fundamentally changed forever for their long centuries in the deep places of the world.
The Am-Raynia of today is hidden as are all the major Shadow Elf cities, by a powerful illusion that misdirects those who stumble upon it back into the forest surrounding the city. The only way to find Am-Raynia is with the gift of Truesight, or with a Shadow Elf guide. Because of the War of Eternals, the Tallis-Vyss are incredibly xenophobic, tolerating only their Human neighbors to even send ambassadors to their lands and very occasionally a chosen representative from the Farwind or Windsong School of Magic to see the Shadow Elf culture and learn of its people. Most recently, this honor was conveyed to Lord Kithanis uth Braegon, while serving his tenure at the Farwind School of Magic as an instructor of Imarel Lore. Anybody else who attempts to break the illusion or enter Am-Raynia is slain on sight. No questions asked and more than usually, the body is never recovered.
Am-Raynia is the governing seat of the kingdom, which is currently under the rulership of Queen Vessyra Ri-Talaryn Kasyatirma, the younger sister of Queen Arisyeema Ymiyr Kasyatirma-Soryn III.The previous ruler, Nevrezh Tasheen Soryn II who was slain only fifteen years ago at the Battle of Lyrewood, in a charge to retake the city. It is said that the former Xannti Dragon Emperor, Thanaxiscar the Bloodied Fang took the King's life in a contest between the two rulers. After the close of the Shalzaarian Border War, which would be later renamed the War of Shadows, it was discovered his queen had made a pact with Thanaxiscar that to this day no one knows the fullest extent of, but involved luring the king into fighting the former Dragon Emperor. The city of Am-Raynia reflects the strength of the ruling house, maintaining all the splendor it had when originally built with the added canopy of trees that add a needed darkness overhead, for eyes that can no longer tolerate the light at full strength.
Besides her beauty as a city, Am-Raynia is known for its Tower of Sorcery that teaches all forms of magic, including dark arts once forbidden by Elvish Law. It also presently houses the cracked Star of Bae-Lorh, the ancient artifact brought from Am-Shei that granted all Elves not on Ishaela immortality. When the Star was damaged in the War of Eternals, the power was lessened for the damage, now only allowing long life to those who remain relatively close to it, with diminishing effects the further from it an Elf goes. It has been an ongoing and perpetual goal of the Shadow Elves to repair the Star and return their people to the immortal state their Sivanoshei brethren enjoy.
Am-Orah: Am-Orah was a city that was the focal point of much of the fighting in the Shalzaarian Border Wars. The Dragons, who were repelled from Moonfall felt perhaps their chances would be much better with Am-Orah. Through the past few years, they have managed to cut off the main trade routes between Moonfall and this ancient Elvish city which forced the armies of the Grand Duchy to march to Am-Talisa first, re-supply then march to Am-Orah. While the Shadow Elves are xenophobic, King Nevrezh had long realized the need to allow the Humans and other races passage through their lands on a limited basis if he ever hoped to secure the city — a triumph he would never live to see.
Unlike many of the ancient cities built by the first Moon Elves, Am-Orah was spared the destruction of Shar`Vaire airships and magic by the city's magi having enough time to erect the intricate misdirection illusions used by all the major Shadow Elf cities today. Unfortunately because of Arisyeema's betrayal, the Xannti Dragons, led by Thanaxiscar were able to penetrate the illusion and take the city. As such, it was once considered a haven of cultural heritage; a lost time where they still smiled at Zorah's Moon and did not feel their skin burn from Kaal's ever-shining sun.
The Misyn-Virana (or House of Memories) is located here and once contained many ancient texts written by the ancient Shei Prince that guided the first Moon Elves here. Also contained here are documents, memoirs and diaries kept during the War of Eternals kept by soldiers, lords and sorcerers that fell in battle, or had the fortune of living through the bloody conflict and donated their works to this vast hall of knowledge. With the recent re-capture of Am-Orah by Sivanoshei forces led by Corwyn Greenthorn and Kithanis uth Braegon, much of this lore was either burned by the dragons or stolen by Arisyeema when she fled the city.
Much rebuilding of both dreams and cultural lore is ahead for the Tallis-Vyss that attempt to reclaim their homes in Am-Orah. Despite the destruction of the majority of the weaker undead that had been raised by the Kiris Miran, there still remains more powerful undead that took refuge into the daylight travel tunnels under the city. Fearsome undead that include Shambling Horrors lurk below and will need to be destroyed before the city is fully inhabitable again.
Am-Vansa: Surviving on the Murkwhisper River that runs through the center of the ancient city, Am-Vansa thrives in the K`Lori Wastes. One of the cities that was destroyed during the War of Eternals, Am-Vansa was rebuilt in much the same fashion the other major former Moon Elf cities were by the Shadow Elves when they re-emerged. Rebuilt brick by brick, the city of Am-Vansa stands as it once did when she was originally constructed, before the Battle of Fort K`Lori reduced the surrounding land to ruin.
Like neighboring Ta-Ithimar, Am-Vansa continually deals with attacks from the Xar-Kah. However, the attacks are usually only on caravans and supply routes going to and from the city. Since the Xar-Kah cannot see through the illusion that protects the city and continually misdirects them away from it, they are left to prey upon the caravans that know the secret ways into Am-Vansa. This has been largely successful as a tactic, though if they haven't overwhelmed the caravan before they've gotten close to the city the chances of meeting an armed contingent of illusion-cloaked Shadow Elf Mage-Knights is painfully likely.
The city itself is an oasis of sorts, under a strange blue-tinted sorcerous dome that exists over the the city. The dark blue tincture protects the Shadow Elves from the harsh light, while allowing all manner of fauna and flora to flourish within the boundaries of the city. Often a way-point for those wishing to travel the K`Lori Wastes and to Mira's Hope, Am-Vansa enjoys a great deal of commerce from various races making their way across Shalzaar.
Ta-Ithimar: On the edge of the K`Lori Wastes rests the town of Ta-Ithimar. Bereft of the foliage that covers most of Shalzaar, the town is actually one huge burrow, with a single passage shaped into the ground by elemental sorcery, then winds deep below into a network of caves that comprise a healthy and thriving community of Shadow Elves. While the arrangement of a town made of Elf-Made caves is somewhat cumbersome for other peoples (especially the claustrophobic) it has given Ta-Ithimar a highly defensible and fortified position against the roving bands of Xar-Kah that prowl the area.
That isn't to say the scorpion-men of the K`Lori Wastes haven't tried. At least twice in the last ten years, a huge war band of Xar-Kah attempted to lay siege to Ta-Ithimar in hopes of gaining access to the city and plundering it. The Xar-Kah didn't count on the Shadow Elves knowing teleportation magic that made a siege on the town nearly impossible. The town's ongoing skirmishes with the Xar-Kah are certainly a point of interest for traveling adventurers and mercenaries as are the ruins of Fort K`Lori deeper into the wastes.
Ta-Jyr: The town of Ta-Jyr was the first city to be created by the Moon Elves and established a foothold on Imarel for their people. When the War of Eternals started Ta-Jyr was leveled by an onslaught of Shar`Vaire airships. The bombardment was so intense, that nothing of the original city remained, save for a blackened crater that properly illustrated the potency of the Imperial fleet. No prisoners or slaves were taken, no building was left standing, nor tree to suffer existence without being blasted from its roots.
It would be many centuries after the war, when the Shadow Elves returned to the surface before anything would stand on the ground of Ta-Jyr once more. The reconstruction followed the flavor of Shadow Elvish architecture, with inter-connecting burrows dug around the crater left by the attack. Within the crater, they planted a sacred Hirsalas Tree. The Hirsalas grew unnaturally fast, thanks to the blessing of Zorah and the dedication of her druids to create a fount of life where nothing but death has existed before. The branches cover the entirety of the city and its roots touch every Shadow Elf burrow. To say this tree is protected with vigorous zealotry is an understatement. No race, aside of Humans has even set eyes on the sacred Hirsalas Tree of Ta-Jyr.
Ta-Lyss: Ta-Lyss is a very small town that sprung up not long after the Shadow Elves emerged from their self exile into the dark tunnels below Am-Raynia. A trading town, often Humans (and the very occasional Quar`Vess or Voraath) can be found here. The classic racial xenophobia that exists elsewhere in the kingdom is much looser here. While you still will commonly find the Shadow Elves keeping to themselves, they are more likely to freely trade knowledge, magic and lore here than elsewhere.
It is thought this free-thinking frame of mind may have grown out of having been exposed to their human neighbors so much in the course of the city's existence. It also serves as an informal meeting ground for those who wish to meet a member of the Tallis-Vyss aristocracy; a place where formal arrangements are made to enter the city of Am-Raynia and accords are struck outside the direct scrutiny of the Tallis-Vyssian throne.
Ta-Lyss is also a favorite lodging city for Shadow Elvish and Human hunters that come to test themselves against the wide array of wildlife in the area. One must use all of what they claim, or face the fierce wrath of the druid elders that govern this city at the will of Her Majesty. Hunting for sport is strictly forbidden and is punishable by death…by being hunted, of course.
Ta-Nirin: The town of Ta-Nirin has always had a problem with the resident Jackalares, with packs of them congregating by Murkwhisper Lake. It was always a manageable problem with the assistance of the Royal Guard, who would send soldiers once a month or so to drive them back. However, since the start of the Shalzaarian Border Wars, the troops the Queen can spare are scarce and sometimes never come at all. The fighting to protect Am-Orah is intense and has left remote locations like this city left to suffer until the war has been finished.
The fact that Ta-Nirin hasn't been completely overrun by the beasts is a testament to the skill, ferocity and tenacity the city's own defenders have. They are quite skilled at luring the greedy scavengers into ambushes and finishing them off with magic and bow-fire. The problem the Shadow Elves run into is that the Jackalare numbers seem endless, whereas losing even one fighter for them is detrimental. To this end, Ta-Nirin shows a great deal more tolerance to traveling outsiders than the Queen would like, accepting help from all manner of traveler and adventurer…including a few Shar`Vaire.
Ta-Zaanyr: The town of Ta-Zaanyr sprung up after the War of Eternals, having been comprised of Shadow Elves that had originally hid under the catacombs of Am-Orah. These Elves settled here simply to enjoy the quiet forest and forget about the troubles of the kingdom. Under the dense canopy of trees the Nyseeah Forest offers, the light-sensitive Tallis-Vyss who live here are mainly druids, seers and rangers content to maintain the wildlife and remain excluded from the outside world. The typical Ta-Zaanyr home consists of a burrow dug under a tree and consists of many tunnels. Very little of the city is above ground in fact, save for a few trading posts, a meeting hall and an inn for armies passing through to help secure Am-Orah.
It is quite possible the traveler through the Kingdom of Vyss would miss the forest-blended town of Ta-Zaanyr completely if one did not know where to look; the human armies of the Grand Duchy of Brookshire actually got lost the first time they crossed deep into the Shadow Elvish lands, in an attempt to locate this small town to stock up, before engaging in the battle to the north. It is likewise impossible to see from the sky, making it a harder target for the Dragons. It's often the joke of many Humans in the Grand Duchy that if you want to find your way into the city swift, hit a tree with an axe; you're liable to upset an Elf at his home! Ta-Zaanyr is a popular place for adventurers and treasure-hunters as well as they look to test themselves at the Screaming Halls to the due south.
The Ruins of Fort K`Lori: Originally a structure built during the first Shar`Vaire occupation of Shalzaar to exterminate the Zissah, it had been abandoned for the most part, with the gifting of Land to the Tallis-Shei people. When the Shar`Vaire returned to exterminate the Elves, the Tallis-Shei occupied Fort K`Lori and attempted to use the structure's ancient defenses against its creators. Heavy Witchfire cannons and a single Radiance-charged defense gun proved to be an unpleasant surprise for the Shar`Vaire invaders. Taking the fort by land also proved to be taxing with ancient Shar`Vaire siege golems in place all around the fortress. It seemed the Tallis-Shei, if they could hold out, would finally have the weapons of their enemies to change the course of the war.
They underestimated the cunning of the Shar`Vaire however. Contacting scholars back in D`Mir, it was discovered that the Fort had several secret entryways in which a saboteur could gain access if he or she could get past the golems. Head on the ancient iron-crafted siege golems were incredibly tough, but if stealth and care was used to not alert them, one could simply slip by unnoticed and enter the fort. The plot succeeded and a single Shar`Vaire necromancer found his way into the Fort.
Once within, the necromancer unleashed a powerful alteration of the sorcerous plague used to slaughter the Elves at Jir-Tasaar. The Moon Elf defenders managed to kill the necromancer but it was too late; by the time the Shar`Vaire's corpse hit the ground, riddled with arrows and charred by sorcerous flame, the plague had all ready slain the defenders and swept throughout the fort. What happened next is unclear, though it is commonly known that the necromancer knew he was heading to his death and had prepared for it; soon after his death he rose once again as a lich and claimed the fort as his domain. The sorcerous plague he had unleashed was so powerful, it poisoned the very land for centuries following the War of Eternals, creating what is now known as the K`Lori Wastes.
Today, the fort remains the sanctuary of the lich that adventurers have nicknamed 'Old Black Bones.' It is said he still wears the tattered vestments of a Shar`Vaire Theocrat and his bones are blackened by the very plague he unleashed. The fort's Elvish defenders have been risen as diseased, undead fiends that move with nearly all the graceful precision they had in life and serve the lich without question. Other things dwell within the ruins that have names that cannot be spoken, atrocities so vile that the mere sight of them has caused horrific revulsion in the less stout of heart. Many adventurers, treasure-seekers and others have braved the fort, though between the ancient defenses that continue to operate after thousands of years and the more recent undead occupancy, few return with little more than warnings and a few trinkets.
The Screaming Halls: Lost and forgotten, the actual name for this structure is The Halls of Lord Jhariath J`Dyn. The Hall was constructed by the Shar`Vaire lord some 1,500 years before the first Elves crossed through the Shalzaar Portal. There had been a Zissah settlement nearby as well that Jhariath is said to have controlled, but that has been long since devoured by the forest. Lord J`Dyn was a Shar`Vaire Theocrat that kept Zissah as slaves and used them in cruel experiments that involved crossing them with other reptiles in order to come up with a more efficient slave and guardian.
The experiments were a little too successful.
J`Dyn was slain by his creations, which it is said still roam the Halls today, killing those who would seek entry into the abandoned Halls and possibly continue the Theocrat's abominable work. The Hall gets its name because of the persistent stories that you can sometimes still hear his dying screams as the Zissah abominations ate him and his family alive. Those who have entered the hall describe monsters that look like a cross between Zissah and snakes that spit venom and live unnaturally long lives filled with madness. Called Ziyn by their creator, they are known to roam the immediate woods around the abandoned halls at night, seeking prey to feast upon. Other failed experiments wander the halls freely it is said, tamed by the Ziyn to deal with those who enter the Halls uninvited.
The Shalzaari Portal (formerly the Forgotten Portal): A name that was applicable until 50 years ago, the Forgotten Portal's proper name is the Ring of the Prince. It is a giant ring that springs from the ground and rises high enough into the sky that its apex disappears in the clouds and is covered in ancient Sivanoshei runes of magic that empower it. The Ring was the means that allowed the first Elves and Humans to arrive on Imarel, from the moon of Ishaela. A matching ring exists in the city of Am-Shei, where it is heavily guarded by Sivanoshei who carefully monitor the traffic in and out, since its recent activation by the vampire, Ko. How she was able to re-activate a portal the Prince himself closed was left to much speculation, till recently when her diary was recovered from her airship, The Falling Orchid.
The Prince trusted me; a point which I find pleasing to the point that I find myself giggling occasionally as I return to this place. I remember all the pomp and circumstance he put in handing over the runestone that will breath life into this portal for me once more. Pompous swine. "Destroy it," he had said. "Destroy it and let the evil that has betrayed us forever be stranded where it cannot follow." If he had any sense at all, he would have destroyed it himself. So I obliged him with the notion I destroyed it, a bag of enchanted stone dust was enough to convince him of that. All that remains is securing the Blade of Shadowed Rites and all things will be as they should be. I wonder if my sire will be very happy to see me after all these centuries?
Since the Forgotten Portal's re-opening, it has served as a bridge between the city of Am-Shei and those few they have audience with. Commonly this includes emissaries from the Windsong Republic, the Grand Duchy of Brookshire, the Kingdom of Farwind and a handful of times, a Quar`Vess diplomat representing the Shar`Vaire has been allowed passage, since no Shar`Vaire has yet been given leave by His Majesty Greenthorn to set foot on Am-Shei, on pain of death. Strangely absent from this list of diplomatic ties is the Kingdom of Vyss itself. The Shadow Elves hold a great deal of umbrage towards the Sivanoshei, who they felt allowed their wayward kin to die at the hands of the Shar`Vaire. As such, they consider the Sivanoshei 'dead' and do not recognize them openly, despite the fact they allow use of the Portal without restriction, save to guard it from destruction.
Shadowcove: The origins of Shadowcove are unclear, though it is a known haven for the Kal`aire since the beginning of recorded history. It is known that the Asyndi Champion, Hazaad had come to this place when he was made into a Kal`aire at the end of the War of Twilight and later when Mourne Dur`lane was made a Kal`aire he too often came here, using it as a base of secret operations for his Enforcers when they set forth to rein in the remnants of the Shar`Vaire Empire. It is thought that Shadowcove may have been once a place where the ancient Asyndi gathered, but later during the course of the War of Twilight, the structure was somehow half-phased into the Shadowlands. Other historians suggest the structure was made by the first Kal`aire and has no Asyndi origins at all; that it was brought from the Shadowlands, by the will of the Spirit of Vengeance to establish a foothold on Imarel for the Kal`aire. While the truth remains obscure, Mourne Dur`lane mentions this in his legendary memoirs:
'I have walked these halls and explored each room with curious endeavor and I must admit that the architecture seems alien, even to one such as I, who has seen whole civilizations rise and fall. The glyphs etched in the stone are not of Asyndi, Elvish, or even Infernal craft, but a language I have yet to translate. The spirits that protect this place are not my ancestors, but they know my name and my purpose. Of all the mysteries Shadowcove presents, it is clear to me that it has been here longer than my people and will likely remain when all things have turned to dust and Vengeance finally sleeps.'
It is thought, because of its partial existence in the Shadowlands, that the surrounding territory known as the Weeping Woods has suffered ill effects. Moving into this thick and ancient wood brings one into an immediately darker place; the sky, even if crystal blue will appear overcast and grey as dimmed light streams through the tangled canvas of dead trees. Animals here are few, save for dire wolves and a rare Shadow Dragon that have taken up residence within the wood. Spirits of the Guilty, those the Kal`aire have hunted and slain throughout the eons of Imarel also wander the Weeping Wood and the halls of Shadowcove, warning those who would trespass upon the innocent.
Shadowcove itself is a ponderous structure that looks as though its blackened walls have sprung from the darkened ground like a great, angry thorn seeking to claw the heavens. While it has the smooth consistency of stone, it is much stronger having survived Radiance strikes with little more than a blemish from where the blast struck. It has only been attacked once in all recorded history, but Mourne's own brother, Surik but even the insane demigod not batter down its gates or tumble its massive walls. All others are wise to leave the Children of Vengeance be, lest their full wrath be unleashed.
Mira's Hope: Mira's Hope is a colony that consists of mostly Humans and Shadow Elf outcasts and their Half-Shadow Elf progeny. These Shadow Elves and their half-breed children have been shunned from the Kingdom of Vyss and are not recognized by their kin for falling in love with Humans that they will without a doubt out-live by centuries. Mira Y'Saen-Stormdancer, who formed the colony is a Half-Shadow Elf herself, whose parents were executed for siring her; her mother had been promised to a Tallis-Vyss lord and the slight was taken grievously. Raised by her human uncle in the city of Addensford, Mira grew up with a bitter dislike for her Tallis-Vyss kin and vowed to find a way to give sanctuary to those who could not abide by the ancient laws of their kind. The colony of Mira's Hope is the culmination of that effort.
That is not to say it has been easy. Having no other land to cultivate besides the forgotten shores beyond the dangerous and rarely traveled K`Lori Wastes, Mira's Hope has survived on its people being extremely self-reliant, practical and steadfast. The Ocean of Lost Dreams has provided them with the bounty of fish and rare Lahmi-Su, or Dreaming Kelp, which has proven medicinal uses. The strongest of the colony even brave the wastes and hunt the monsters there for rare hides and things wizards and alchemists might find use for and some have even ventured into the ruins of Fort K`Lori itself to fetch forgotten relics of Elvish origin.
The neighboring Wastes are treacherous at best, teeming with undead soldiers from the War of Eternals, a race of semi-intelligent bipedal scorpions called Xar-Kah that are not fond of anybody wandering their territory and a host of other more mundane though no less hostile creatures that might be found roaming badlands. This has by and large been incentive enough for the Kingdom of Vyss to not come in and simply obliterate the colony, content to simply shun those who go there and leave them to their fate in the Wastes. Despite all these things, Mira's Hope has managed to thrive as a small shoreline community, even going as far as establishing trade with the distant Tal`Rahian city of Sundown.
Besides exotic ocean fish, Dreaming Kelp and treasures they've plundered from the Wastes, Mira's Hope has also become a vital stop and re-supply point for both sea-faring vessels and airships looking to restock and press north around the Dreaming Coast. This has given the small colony enough clout with the rest of Imarel to ensure that if the Kingdom of Vyss ever does decide to try to overtake them, there will likely be more than a few willing to fight for them.