Historic Vistas: Alustel
Table of Contents
Points of Interest (circa 9770 E.R., Stor-gris era)
1 The Hatarlorn, “North Garden.”
2 The Alarnarl, “Glorious Citadel,” hold of the Elvenking. South is the Pool of Alfain
3 Olt Branu, “Strong bridge,” guarded approach to the Ladhelorn, the “North District”
4 The Traeralann, “Halls of Art,” hold of the gathering of artists
5 The Gonuial, “Stone Trees,” temple of the high priest and site of the Meet-of-Elhil
6 Ruin of House Al-Dustriel
7 Rann Bralu, “Street of Noble Ladies,” where dwell the Galan
8 The Hatarul, “Garden Hill”
9 The Artarul, “Flowered Hills”
10 Rann Herran, “Street of Noble Lords,” where dwell the Galan
11 The Lannolt, “Halls of Strength,” where are quartered the Elvenking’s military forces
12 The Teroth, “Watch Towers,” that guard the approach to Holy Alfain
13 The Andhrim, “Pool of Stars”
14 The Balroth, “Tower of Craft,” hold of the gathering of mages
15 The Alutanhath, Temple to the “Lesser Elven Gods”
16 Branu Allun, “West Bridge,” south of which is the Ladhallun, “West District”
17 The Alluhatar, “West Garden,” wherein is the famous Statue of Queen Celewen
18 Lannevail, “Hall of Song,” amphitheater
19 The Finroth, the six red towers of the Altarim, where are the counsel of the High Elves, who send recommendations to the Elvenking
20 The Lannegon, “Halls of Stone,” the hold of the gathering of sculptors and stone masons
21 The Traerwen, “School of Painters,” hold of the gathering of artists
22 The Ithiloth, “Tower of Memory,” hold of the gathering of historians
23 The Ard Arned, The Great Library, near the Alrunin, “East Lake,” in the Ladhalrun, “East District”
24 The Rann Balar, Street of Craftsfolk, adjacent to the Great Market
25 South Docks, near the Thronwen, “Fish School,” hold of the gathering of Fishermen
General Information About the City
Who Rules: Elvenking Dalos of House Glorale
Other Power Centers: High Priestess Lady Rilia of House Glorale, sister to the king; Lord Cirock of House Aradune, lord of the most politically powerful elven house after house Glorale; Selthala Theladwen, high mage of the tower of craft; The gathering of craft-folk, guild of craftsmen; Galdin Palantar, head of the gathering of artists, painters, and singers; The Counsel of the Altarim, who represent the interests of the Altarim to the elvenking.
Population: About 12,000 elves and a few half-elves.
Major Products: Alustel’s main export is culture: songs, poems, art, religious pronouncements, statuary, and trends. It also exports knowledge-related products: spells, magical discoveries, and books. Its physical products are paltry in comparison, although it does export fish, sculptures, and metal goods. In this regard, it imports far more than it exports.
Armed Forces: The Elvenking’s guard, headed by Lord Harlin of House Meliane, consists of 50 elite elven warriors and 2 griffon riders. Overgeneral Dalanuil of House Aradune, who oversees the war in the Hinterlands, keeps 25 armed warriors at the Teroth, while Lord Yeltinir of House Haran, high captain responsible for defense of the Sarumvest, bivouacs about 25 troops at the Branu Allun and 25 troops at the Olt Branu. In times of trouble, around 1500 elves, veterans of the skirmishes against Rothnog and Stor-gris, would willingly take up arms.
The City: The fabled Alustel (“City of the God”) was nestled deep in the vast Sarumvest, the woodland kingdom of the elves, and served as its capital. The city was surrounded by the Rhanleg, a masterfully crafted wall of thorns that blended into the forest and that did nothing to break up the beauty of the landscape. Forest elves dwelt in their tree top fletches for miles around the city but were not truly considered residents of Alustel, as they lived outside the Rhanleg and thus the city boundaries. The city itself was built at the northern edge of the great Aelnin, and the elves of Alustel made heavy use of beautifully crafted swan-boats to connect the two sides of the city split by the lake. Alustel held many gardens and glades of surpassing beauty. The houses of Alustel were a mix of bowers (homes crafted patiently from trees, made by skillfully planting and tending them as they grew until they interlaced overhead to form a watertight ceiling), fletches (homes built in trees), and stone halls. For its beauty, the stonework of Alustel surpassed all masonry save that of Wawmar itself. The elves prefered to build and work in a hard white stone found in the Erethel Mountains to the East. They carved this white rock into graceful and sweeping shapes, making their buildings, though made of stone, appear light, airy, and open. The streets were crafted from a gold-tinted stone mined from the Erelom Mountains to the west. Those streets were lined with beeches, elms, and linden trees, carefully tended so that they grew tall and strong. From the boughs of those trees hung gold and silver lamps that magically enkindled at the fall of twilight, the most beloved time of the elves.
East of the city were lovely but rugged hills, covered by beautiful wildflowers in the summer and providing a glorious perch from which to survey Alustel. Looking out over the city from these hills, several landmarks would have become apparent: the eastern district, at the foot of the flowered hills, was dominated by another, smaller, hill. Atop this hill sat the Alutanhath, an open-air temple with a mirror-like marble floor and shining white pillars, one for each “lesser elven god.” In the middle of lake Aelnin were three islands. Nearest to the eastern side was the island of the Ithiloth, a blue stone tower that housed the historians of the elves and their great libraries. Immediately across from that spire was the island-hold called Traerwen, the compound where the artists revered among the elves met. The third island, at the northernmost end of the lake, held the great tower of the mages, the Balroth, with its purple metallic roof and intricate, rune-covered walls. The West District was dominated by the Finroth, the six red, star-shaped towers of the high elves, the common folk of the city. A five-member council represented their interests; each elected council member was housed in one of the outer towers, and all the members met in the middle tower, the Toroth, to hear grievances or concerns to take to the Elvenking. The north district was marked by three hills. Atop the first hill was the Andhrim, the beloved pool of the elves in which shone the constellations of the sky whether one looked into it in night or day. The second hill was the sacred temple of the elves, with the Gonuial at its crown, a circle of wonderfully crafted stone trees surrounding a slab of rock carved with the mark of the great elven god Tal-Allustiel. The third hill held the mighty Alarnarl, the fortress of the Elvenking, a stronghold of glorious, dark stone with three white towers extending from its sides and reaching toward the sky.
The Alarnarl guarded the holiest of the holies, the Pool of Alfain, the sacred Swan of the Elves and what they believed was the source of their magic. Looking upon the white swan was like looking at a star fallen to earth, for as it glided in its sacred pool it shone with a radiance that was dazzling. This powerful glimmer extended for a great distance and affected those who dwelt nearest to the swan. The nobles of Alustel, whose homes fronted the pool of Alfain, became changed over the passing of centuries until the other elves of the city took to calling them the Galan, those who gleam with the light of the swan.
The fabled Alustel (“City of the God”) left an indelible mark on history. Many beautiful songs, powerful heroes, lovely maidens, and breathtaking art came from Alustel, and even dwarves and gnomes, folk who would never see the city, spoke of its beauty and importance. As the intellectual center of the known world, the knowledge, art, and culture of the City of the God influenced all of the cultures of the great continent. Alas, nothing lasts forever, not even the creations of the iummortal elves, and, after having stood for more than 15,000 years, Alustel fell in the year 4430 F.R., destroyed by the human Kingdom of Aelfar. Yet the culture of Alustel continued in some measure in the new capital of the elves, the Summervale.