And now, in a continuing service, an entry from the Encyclopedia Ardrisia.
The elves of Val’Dhar maintain that theirs was the first truly civilized land on Ardris, preceding the human barbarians and vicious dwarves and others. The fact that historical records show that there were already well developed societies on the west coast of what is now Westhame is beside the point. The elves have their minds made about this, and it’s no good arguing, it’ll just end in either tears or thrown objects.
Val’Dhar is the home of about 70% of all the elves on Ardris. Theirs is a mountainous country with fertile farmland and two rivers flowing through it, the Fiarna and the N’gaal, the latter of which feeds into a massive freshwater lake, Lake Selissatas. Val’Dhar recently settled a ‘slight border dispute’ (read: border war) with their northern neighbors, the orc kingdom of Terokka, and tensions between those two lands still run high.
Val’Dhar is a mageocracy, a system of government where the most powerful wielder of arcane magic rules. The competition for Archmage, called The Arcane Election, occurs once every 450 years and the runners up in the competition end up filling other government positions. The current Archmage is Archmage Noral’lasstas D’Vallis, and is about 75 years into his term, which the elves still consider the “honeymoon period.”.
The elves of Val’Dhar are known for their skill with arcane magic, woodlore and their social rituals. Val’Dharrans have rituals for nearly everything from The Ritual of Judgment Of Criminals to The Ritual Of Choosing A Spoon For Breakfast Meals That Do Not Include Dairy Products to The Ritual Of Greeting Relatives That You Only See Twice A Year. Some of these only take a few moments to perform, others more so – marriage ceremonies often take 6 weeks to perform and require intensive endurance training on the part of the audience to remain awake and smiling after the first two weeks.
The Encyclopedia Ardrisia , volume 47 (Triad Schemes to Vyla’s Harp), Kilanio University Press, 48th edition.