Edelenn is the most populous continent in Vardalon. Its large land mass nearly reaches from pole to pole, and contains within its confines a wide variety of climate zones. The continent is divided into eleven countries, though until the Council of Nations the borders of these countries fluctuated widely. These countries are Dao Huin, Dunmoriga, Kassara, K'zaro, Moriga, Muwaka, Rahajmanath, Rindis, Seth-arban, Trand, and Vondheide. While each country has one or more languages (and multiple dialects) specific to it, a common language called Edelene is used throughout, primarily for purposes of trade or diplomatic negotiations.
The continent is home to all D&D 5e Player's Handbook playable races, and others besides. They are distributed in varying locations and densities throughout the continent.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Geology
- 4 Climate
- 5 Ecology
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economy
- 8 Culture
Edelenn in Ancient Writings
Accounts of civilization in pre-Sundering Edelenn exist, but the number of texts that have survived is extremely limited. Because of this scarcity, the texts are prized and protected. Some enterprising manuscript owners have even ordered copies of the original in their care and have placed these copies in secure places known only to themselves. This section lists the most salient that pertain to early civilization in Golden Age Edelenn.
The Ruminations of Veld
Perhaps no single text gives as much insight into early Edelenn civilization as The Ruminations of Veld, a five-page parchment believed to have been authored by the mysterious Muwakan sage Veld during the Age of Harmony. The passage of interest, when translated from its original language, reads thus:
From there I lift my eyes, fill them with goodness.
A golden light pervades, cascades, many people raise their voices.
Over the river lightly running a bird flies, swift of wing.
What lands it spies it cannot say, but I have seen.
The grass grows thick in eastern lands, waving in coastal winds.
The mountains rise as Varda bade, silent sentinels ring the land.
From the golden city shines a light of knowledge,
And those who spy it from afar are heartened, their hearts rise up.
There rests my heart, among the golden towers where many sing.
Reference to a "golden city" filled with towers is tantalizing, though what this might have been in actuality has yet to be determined. It isn't for lack of trying; several enterprising archaeological efforts have been undertaken to follow the cues provided in the text, but nothing has come of these. Current scholarly thinking trends toward an interpretation of hyperbolic language and fervid imagination on the author's part.
The Green Book
Although it's primarily known for its relevance to followers of the god Vasham, one of the critical texts that provides a collection of songs and poems that capture the spirit of the pre-Sundering people of Edelenn is the Green Book. This sacred tome rests in the private collection of Armanath Veshaunt, seneschal of the Palatinate of Erstvard, a political region in north central Vondheide. There are two poems that seem to describe early civilization on the ancient continent. The first, Within the Hills, is presumably from the late Golden Age, perhaps penned in the final days. The anonymous author writes:
With waning hope we watch, see the storm roll in.
Over fallow fields flying, clouds descend, darkening the eye.
What can we do when heavens ring with divine dissent?
The cities sit silent, open gates grow still;
where once the women sang, now echoes stir.
On paving stones of streets falls no foot, for fear
rises in the heart, all remain in upper rooms, unsure
of stones that fall from above.
The exact meaning of the last line has long puzzled scholars, but the rest of the passage indicates that cities of late Golden Age Vondheide (at least) had knowledge of agricultural practice, gates (perhaps indicating the need for defenses), streets paved with shaped stones, and that buildings had multiple stories. While Edelenn civilization hadn't completely lost the knowledge of these things, it took some time to build a level of skill that allowed builders to make them again. The second, a quintain called Lament to the Moon is less obvious, but general consensus among textual critics seems to favor an interpretation of a view of early Edelenn.
How can you shine when the dark threatens so?
And yet I am grateful; the heights that surround oppress
But I can see you still. Oh, do not relent
Though the minions of night claw at your robes.
In my weakness I sing to you, I sing to you.
Again, the description of late Golden Age civilization is slight, but the mention of surrounding heights (a word in Ancient Edelene that can alternately be translated as walls) points to an apparently common design element in places where these people gathered.
The final major text in which scholars see a description of Golden Age Edelenn is the eternally frustrating Thurlussake, an account of Thurlus, an adventurous Rindisman sailor who recorded his exploits in the Northern Sea. It currently resides in the special collection housed at the Shrine of the Scouring Wind in northern Rindis. This text has the reputation it does because it is fragmentary-- to the disgust of historians everywhere it was salvaged from a scrap pile by a sharp-eyed acolyte in the shrine.
The text reads thus:
<Passage from Thurlussake>
Based on the scant information that exists about the events of the Sundering, it is currently deemed impossible to know fully when it actually took place and the extent of the changes that took place in Edelenn. Very likely there were seismic events and it is likely that many coastal areas gained or lost land depending on the rising or falling of water.
Edelenn in the Dark Ages
From the earliest extant Dark Age writings we can determine that a majority of the first peoples emerging from the fiery cataclysm banded together in small communities out of a need for protection. Larger settlements were less prone to raids by the more opportunistic, and people of like appearance tended to settle together, wandering until they found a place that could support life, afford protection, and be far enough from potentially hostile neighbors to allow growth. For some the journey would have been extremely rigorous; it appears the direction of travel was generally from northeastern to southwestern Edelenn.
The early Dark Ages are fairly shrouded in mystery, though notable figures and places do appear from time to time. We read, for instance, of the adventures of a small band of intrepid folk, notably Grotsk the barbarian (and his wolf, Spetnik), Meridian the ranger (and her panther, Cat), and the brothers Endoril the druid and Eadric the warrior.
Edelenn in the New Age