The Queen of the Harshland Woods rules her domain with a dreadful grace. For as long as any human of Kyvann can remember, the northern forests were known to be under the Queen Anuvariel’s dominion. Her history, and the history of her subjects, is shrouded in mystery.
This is not because Elves are a tight-lipped bunch (the opposite is true, in fact), but more because their concept of truth is different from other mortal races. A metaphysical bunch, they delight in riddles and half-truths, pointing to a greater, more cosmic meaning. Conversations with Elves somehow feel at once whimsical and deadly serious.
What is known of the Fair Lady of the Forest is that her subjects’ devotion to her is absolute. The Elves of the Harshland Forest carry the utmost respect for their monarch. Anuvariel is known among her people as “She-who-walks-among-flowers” because it is said that during her childhood, her footprints in the forest floor would burst into bloom. She is the subject of wistful ballads and love songs involving knights errant, star-crossed lovers, and the tragic deaths of her male suitors.
It was difficult to tell myth from truth before Magnus Ruduval made his alliance with the Horizon Elves (though any elf would tell you that they’re one and the same). The humans were surprised to see the Elven strike force led by a tall, grey-eyed Elf named Sylas, or “Star-catcher,” Anuvariel’s firstborn son. This was the first time any of her literal children had been confirmed by human historians. Due to the cooperation of the two races during the Iron Crusade, as well as the reparations paid for past human incursions, Elven diplomats and historians have taken up residence in Lloegr. The people of Aglarond, in particular, see this influx of racial diversity as a great boon, and are hard at work cataloging Elven histories.
Anuvariel’s royal line is responsible for the birth of her forest, for her mother Sindulial was the first who planted the Living Tree Korinthal. A seedling when it was brought from beyond the Horizon, it has grown to symbolize the strength of her dynasty, as well as the healing forces of Nature which her people venerate.
Though the human kingdoms have come to entertain the fair folk, trips to the Horizon have proved dangerous for human guests, and so Anuvariel’s land remains shrouded in mystery.
The woman herself is as dangerous as she is beautiful. Her entire bloodline wields great magic, and while she may seem distant to the residents of the material plane, her arrival would mean great danger to any of her foes. Anyone who treats with the Fair Lady of the Forest would do well to tread cautiously.
Art Credit: Juan Mao