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    Posted on Thu, April 23, 2009 by LordCeb
    rasgon writes "Being an account of the ancient city-state of Erlacor, where humans and Winged Folk once allied.


    As a wingless woman of the Al Kalak Elam, or avariel as the elves call us, I am perhaps uniquely positioned to write the history of the human nation that defined my people's history above all others. Forced to walk on the ground, raised outside the culture of my birth, I understand the human point of the view as few as my kind can. {Or she's equally clueless about all three cultures - ed.}

    Erlacor was founded in the conjunction between the elven kingdom of the Silverwood, the Yaheetes Flan, and the aeries of the Al Kalak Elam.

    There are some condescending or self-hating sages who will tell you that humanity learned the arts of civilization from the elves. Not so; the elves of those days would no sooner have taught a human than a human would have deigned train an otyugh. No. The human communities were their own invention, and showed it, too. While the grey elves created centers of learning and racial pride, enormous works of art dedicated to the advancement of their culture containing the very soul of their people, humans accumulated random piles of shelters and animal droppings dedicated first and foremost to vomiting refuse into the local river. Human "civilization" owed nothing to elves. {And what does she think happens to elven waste? Next time you go to Enstad, try drinking out of the Handmaiden. I dare you. - ed.}

    Erlacor was something new. A random pile, to be sure, but one that strove for something more. The first human town that had some glimmering of what it means to be an elven city. Why this place in this time? The answer was the Al Kalak Elam, who for the first time acted as a bridge between the two cultures, bringing trade and knowledge between man and elf.


    The city-state of Erlacor was founded along the pilgrimage route to the holy city of Haradaragh in the Lortmils. It was the closest major settlement to that destination, and thus a natural place for Haradaragh's allies, the Al Kalak Elam, to gravitate as younger individuals followed human merchants down the mountain and into the valley below. Once they arrived, they began offering their services as swift messengers, their wings making this an obvious choice. Soon flights of Al Kalak Elam were a regular sight in the Sheldomar Valley, and their presence attracted the attention of the aloof elves dwelling in the vast Silverwood.

    An ancient city, Erlacor must have been founded in the early centuries of the Flan Tracking calendar, or approximately -2000 CY. Benefiting from its location near the confluence of the Sheldomar and Kewl Rivers, it soon became a powerful community ruled by a succession of dynasties of hereditary kings. Over the centuries it only grew in prosperity and influence, until the fall of Haradaragh heralded its long decline.

    Doom would finally arrive in approximately CY -1400, in the form of a great High King to the north. Said to have been chosen by the druids to avenge themselves against invading tribes from the north, this High King - sometimes called Im Cawitha, or "one who (speaks in/is named in) (whispers/in the winds)" - had soon accumulated a large base of power centered at a location much further up the Sheldomar River, near where it curves out from the Rushmoors. I believe this Im Cawitha to have been the lich Vecna, an obscure ancient king whose exploits were recorded most prominently in The Chronicle of Secret Times by Uhas of Neheli.

    In approximately CY -1400, after the defeat of the Mara in what is now the Gran March, Vecna turned his sights to the elven lands and the human lands to the south. King Imruk of Erlacor came to the capital of the Winged Folk, which was known as Myrravin, and begged them for an alliance that would help him defeat the demon armies of the man the druids had unwisely named High King. After several of the Winged Folk were killed by the High King, the Winged Folk agreed, and together the human and Winged Folk armies won the day, slaying the Whispered One's armies and preserving Erlacor.

    Some say that Imruk had secretly been an ally of Vecna all along, others say that emissaries of Vecna came to Imruk after the battle to whisper terrifying fantasies, while others believe he simply fell prey to ordinary human frailties. Regardless of the truth, Imruk began to fear that the Winged Folk, with all the skill and power they had shown on the battlefield, would come after his own armies next. He decided on a preemptive strike. Imruk invited the avariel soldiers into his encampment for a victory celebration. With the Winged Folk intoxicated and merry, Imruk's archers calmly shot them down. Eight tenths of the Winged Folk army died that day, and Imruk and the avariel king slew each other only a few days later. With her king dead, Erlacor subsequently fell into Vecna's hands.

    The Winged Folk, for their part, retreated back to Myrravin, where they swore to have nothing to do with humanity ever again. I can scarcely blame them, given their ill treatment, but human civilization has been all the poorer for it.


    The people of Erlacor were related to, and maintained some commerce with, the Mara to the north, but they were cut off from them by the elven kingdom of the Silverwood until it was largely destroyed by Vecna. Their greatest allies were the Winged Folk, who were based in the Lortmil Mountains to the east.


    The people of Erlacor revered the Flan gods of the Old Faith: Obad-Hai, Pelor, Nerull, Ehlonna, and Beory.

    Historic site

    The precise location of the city of Erlacor is still a mystery, but is commonly thought to have been what is now Jurnre. Certainly there are subterranean ruins predating the Suloise settlement of that city, depictions of winged beings resembling half-elves indicating extensive commerce and possibly interbreeding with the Winged Folk for some time. Ancient coins found in the ruins depict a winged crown, as well as the gold "thrones" associated with Haradaragh. Rumors of a magical crown that enslaves the wills of the Winged Folk ought not to be given credence; if the King of Erlacor had such a thing, why would he have needed to trick the Winged Folk into an ambush? Something more minor, perhaps a gift given by the avariel in friendship that grants its wielder some of their powers, seems more likely.


    • Estes, James. "On Wings of Eagles." Dragon #233. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1996.
    • Lenox, William. "The Winged Folk." Dragon #51. Lake Geneva, WI: 1981.
    • Sobhrach. "The Lortmil Mountains." Oerth Journal #2, page 14-18.
    • Wilson, Steve. "The Flanae Tally of Years." Oerth Journal #1, page 13.
    • Wilson, Steve. "The Olven Calendar." Oerth Journal #1, page 9.

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    Re: Erlacor (Score: 1)
    by Icarus on Tue, April 28, 2009
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    Rasgon!!  A great article!   I happen to love the Avariel, and this was a particular treat, indeed.  I can recall how I devoured the James Estes article when that issue of Dragon arrved.  I read it time and time again. 

    One of the things that I love about your writing is how it is thoroughly filled with canon references and is so complete, it's difficult to tell where the canon ends and fanon begins.  It is a treat to read an article that hits the theme of the Avariel so well. 

    Well done, and congratulations on another marvelous article.

    aka Icarus

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