Friday, September 13, 2013

The Sage's Sanctuary: Silanoran, the City of Flowers

These pages have been penned by Soroviel the Scholar

In answer to your questions, I have prepared these pages. Within them shall ye find the histories of this ancient city and the legends of its fall. Included as well are the fortunes of the Murastirial house and the legendary Eferian Cloak as well as several of mine own theories regarding its present location and the theories of many scholars since the War of the Moon.


The Founding

The Fifth Age poet Saransiere gained great fame after reporting his sight of a star falling from the heavens. It struck the earth in the midst of the Arvoreen Meadows, many days journey north of that city. Saransiere claimed to have been seeking inspiration and of a night he looked up to see a great tail of fire streaking down from the Vault of the Sky. It gouged from the very earth a great lake, which subsequently filled with water. He dubbed the waters Sillamuravesi - the Moonstear Pool. Word of the wonder spread, for the star was still present in the low waters and many flocked to see it. It was not one of the bright stars valnaseren but rather isseseren or a dark star made of iron rather than pure crystalline minerals.

He built his own home there, and soon thereafter a temple of Senia was founded. Many pilgrims came to drink of the blessed heavenly waters, which were then associated with the Dish of the Moon. Tulians came as well, and a double-foundation was built upon the banks of the pool. The king in that age gave rulership of the city to Saransiere, naming his family Murastar - the tearful.


The Flowering Circle

The Murastirai loved Silanoran with great fierceness. As the Tywyn of the city, Saransiere's nephew Alascorin caused to be builded there the Flowering Circle. Some ways from the Valnatula river, amongst the great wide meadow of blossoming asphodel, goldenrod, and meadowsweet, there was constructed this great circle of the Silver Road. It brought many more pilgrims to Silanoran and eventually the kings of Arvorienna deigned to construct a summer palace there by the waters.

The Love of Anunia

The city was considered very holy for its double-temple, but more important to the Murastirial line was the worship of Anunia, the Lord of the Wind. They constructed many temples and monuments to the Wind Lord and oft there was poetry performed along the shore of the lake in his honor. The hosts of Silanoran marched beneath a triple banner of Senia, Tulia, and Anunia and they were known as the Varimornan hosts or the Armies of the Three Colors. These knights came to be protectors of Arvorienna and the lands south, and fought in several of the Arvoreen Wars against the Anarean folk as well as in the Wars of the Lance against the goblins.

Tulomor Murastar, Tywyn of the City in the year VI.337 and also Windspeaker of Anunia in that time, was given a great gift by the temple: the Eferian Cloak which was said to be woven of the fabric of the heavens itself.


The Cloak of Eferus

Imbued with the spirit of the West Wind, the Eferian Cloak has many and sundry powers associated with its use. Since no Vesimian document ever speaks of its recovery, I am forced to believe it lies within Silanoran still. Many scholars believe that the cloak was spirited from the city... but I do not believe this to be the case, elsewise it would have surfaced in the years since.

The Enätys Silanoranin Murastirai reads:

VII.37 -- The delegate from the Mount of the Winds outside of Aroviënna has gifted our lord, Tulomor, with a great aegis. It is called the Cloak of Eferus, and many mannish and elvish artisans labored to complete it. The mantle is of the finest blue brocaded with golden and orange thread from Meirienia. It has been laid about with many enchantments, and the Windseer promises that he who wears it shall never come to harm.

While the Festal of the Moon War furthermore says:

In the year 688 the royal family was utterly destroyed. The news came to the Tower of the Sun-Watchers by fateful messenger. Tyrmaa is a small settlement, so we received word later than everyone else. That has always been the way as long as I have dwelt there. King Morfínderon poisoned, Queen Luvoristen put to the sword… the Summer Palace attacked...
Silanoran itself, gem of the northern coast, was sacked only days afterwards. We heard of the cities' defense: the Murastirai with their bladedancers, the retreating highborn guard… but the Vesimian armies poured from the Flowering Circle like endless rain. Turoëlayn Murastiran was said to have personally accounted for some fifty Vesimän bladesmen, for he wore the mantle of Eferus. 
Whether Turoëlayn escaped, we do not yet know, but there are many who claim the Murastirai hoards where sealed in their tombs against the invasion when the foes could no longer be held. I doubt that any but one of that family could open those crypts, so at least we need not worry about the Vesimän soldiery taking hold of their treasure-host and turning those weapons upon us.

Se Lange Silanorin contains the following passages:
All the southern meadows were afire. The Vesimän sotamnai burned everything upon emerging from the Asentanith Ympera (Flowering Circle) so that they could hold mastery over an empty landscape and not be attacked from the high grasses. They surrounded the Summer Palace and soon garrisoned it with their forces. For a week or more a brief and fierce war raged in the city between the ever-expanding sotamnai of the Vesimäns and the Murastirai in the city. At the forefront of the fighting was Turoëlayn Murastiran, clad in the Eferian Cloak and wielding the sword Valosbrén (Bright-silver). 
The sotamnai overwhelmed his forces and scattered bones before the gates of his palace. Turoëlayn himself was lifted up onto the shoulders of the men and then thrust within his vault. They closed the door and the noranai took control. They heard his screams of indignation, but not a nouriso among them knew how to open his locks.  
Whether the Cloak was buried or hidden before the last Murastar, Turoëlayn, was imprisoned in his own vaults I cannot say. However, there is a scholar who lives within the city known as Alomyr who may know more of this matter, having studied it for many years from a position of relative safety.

The Fall
Silanoran was undone by the Flowering Circle, for it was through this entryway that the Vesimian forces attacked. There was a desperate stand at Saranor Tower, where the Varimornan Sotamnai destroyed the bridge that forded the Valnatulva. The foes camped in what was then the Old City, quartering in the city buildings. This became their foothold in Silversong for many years. Several strikes towards Arvorienna were turned aside only with the aid of the Green Wizards.

During this time the last few Murastirai founded the Silver Order and joined with the Green Wizards to harry the Vesimians. This caused great destruction near the Well of Sighs (the Battle of the Well) and at the head of the Calodymir Spur (the Battle of Calodymir Bridge). Nevertheless, Vesimian knights held the city for most of the war.

A further note: Queen Lurovisten, who despised her husband Morfínderon, spent most of her later years in the Summer Palace of Silanoran where she was eventually slain by assassins. It is said that the ruins of that place are avoided by all monstrous beasts of the wood, and for good reason.

The City Today
The Moonstear Lake has been sullied by some dark force; the once blessed waters are murky and filled with a strange filth. Reports of adventurers who have dared it speak of a dark shadow beneath the water that circles the mound of the star near its northern shore.

As for other beasts... orcs and kobolds as well as ogres have oft been seen in the southern parts of the city, particularly out on the Charred Mere where the Flowering Circle once stood. I have seen rumor of gnolls from the west having come to the region as well. From time to time Satyrs may emerge from the forest to do their worship at the Fount of Mirth where once they met frequently with the elves. Highmount, in the northwest, has been the traditional approach into the city since the Tellabryn River is fair water and clean (and its bridges have not been destroyed like those of the Calodymir and the Valnatulva) but I have seen reports of ankheg up along the ridge there.

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