CITIES OF NOTE
Emynost: The beautiful Emynost is the capital city of the Argani. Carved from three large hills, almost mountains, the city is divided into three; The City of Gurbereth is the largest city, and it is here where the Queen lives, as well as most of the Houses. The City of the Sun and the City of the Moon are smaller, and the latter is the least populated. Both are home to Houses, but the City of the Moon is dominated by guilds, the barracks, the Seldi-Lindo, etc. The City of the Sun is the location of the numerous shops and businesses.
Caledamon (as the great peak is known) is split into twelve levels and four delvings. Each level is a vast network if caverns and grottoes and caves, all carved by the Elves. The throne room, on the first level, is the largest cave, and is lit by thousands of torches. Each level has thousands of caves, all serving as the mannish equivalent of buildings or rooms. Carved from the mountain itself are tall, beautiful towers. These towers are only accessible from inside the mountain, and they are connected to the tunnels and caves within. Often, a cave will serve as the Argani's sleeping chamber, and the connecting tower will be their living chambers.The larger towers on the northern side often act as meeting rooms for the Houses, and a nexus points for the various homes. For example Jade Spire is the official tower of House Lassinar. The royal tower, The Peak of Eternal Lights, is located at the very top of the mountain.
The levels are connected by three elevators, which function by water movement. The water comes from the great lake, Glinnen, which marks surrounds the northern flanks. A water fall cascades down from near the top of the peak, thousands of metres up, to arrive back at the waterfall. The Great Falls are an amazing spectacle to behold.
Entrance to the city is on the south-side, through large gates carved of jade, and a road lined with great conifers. These gates are known as The Doors of Menel, and are constantly guarded. The lower levels and the Delvings are mainly dominated by smithies and forges, though there are also residences too.
Caras Galenlas: aka Greenleaf. This is the second largest city in Edhelnore, and the oldest. Its construction was completed before Emynost, and served as the royal capital for a short time. Its thousands of white towers and connecting bridges demonstrate the beauty of Elvish architecture. Like all Elven cities, each building is tall, almost spear-like, and reaches towards the stars. The walls surrounding the city are also divided by these towers.
Caras Galenlas is located deep within Taur Lindor forest, and at night the songs of the Dryad sometimes wash over the city. The three surrounding cities, Gilrin, Lorsa and Tial are of similar splendour, though not as large.
The temporary palace, Avallani House is still located in the north of the city. It is kept empty for when the Queen and her consort come to visit. Its lower grounds are used by the Guild of Excellence, where songs and poets gather.
Caras Galenlas is a splendid city, and the largest number of soldiers are stationed here, in the large barracks known as the House of Blazing Colours. The majority of visitors to Edhelnore, dignitaries and ambassadors, are received here, rather than at Emynost, for safety and secrecy's sake.
Imladol- This small town is located in the Hidden Vale, deep in the Iron Mountains. It is the home of House Allandi, the Sapphire Elves. Although the valley is beautiful, the real city is located inside Mt. Lilaen, the tallest peak in the range and a well for Laen, the Elves's preferred metal. The hammers and picks of Mt. Lilaen can be heard echoing around the Vale.
Caras Eleniel: A vast city of incredible beauty, Caras Eleniel is an architectural wonder. The city is built inside nine large Valaronds, vast complexes made from white stone. Inside each Valarond are hundreds of shops and houses and great halls. Each Valarond is named after and dedicated to one of the Tolton gods with the largest, Eleniel's Hall, dominating the centre. Here lies the Throne of Eleniel, a giant temple dedicated to the Queen of Stars. Though formal worship is foreign to the Argani, this is where the come when they wish to speak with her or consult her. Only twice in their history has she appeared, however. Each of the Valaronds has a similar temple to the other Gods.
The halls are all connected by covered bridges and hallways, though no buildings are constructed outside of the Valaronds. The elves who built the city wanted to live underground like the many of their kin, but with the beauty and splendour of the halls of Emynost. During more peaceful times this city was the trading hub of Edhelnore, with Mannish visitors coming in their thousands to trade and buy from the Elves. The king of Rhutalath even had a home here once, in Vinwe's Hall.
Caras Eleniel is officially ruled by Calador, Melwen's brother and lord of Enedhaur in Ardadain. As he has a court of his own it is merely an honourary rule. Yet Prospero, as Calador's heir, now resides here most of the time, when he is not at the Crystal Hall or summoned to court.
Caras-Lumi- This underground city is the official capital of the Lumiar (Opal Elves). Here they mine the eog which is abundant in the deeps. Mount Lumi, in which the city is located, is a dormant volcano, which accounts for the eog veins. The lowest levels of the city are built on islands surrounded by lava, crossed by bridges of obsidian.
Caras Aldari- This city was once the capital of the Sylvani Elves, and is built in the high branches of great Mallorn trees. Although the Argani have built some towers on the outskirts, the city is still untouched, and the Argani who live here now are comfortable living amongst the leaves of the trees. Great halls have been created by overhanging branches, and steps have been carved into the thick trunks, ascending hundreds of metres.
Iaur Spartis- This town is now virtually abandoned. It was built in the second age by Spartis's folk, during their sojourn in the Elven lands. The houses are built in the mannish style, though they have artfully incorporated Argani techniques. The Argani do not dwell here, though many come to study the relics of a by-gone age, and learn more about the past. The Elves have kept it as a monument to Durin and his kin.
Ondorama, Caras Elcali and Caras Sirim- These three towns serve as trading posts for travellers along the river. Though trade has long since slowed, visitors still come down river from Tauron. Each town has a collection of Night-Halls and Feast-Halls, the Argani equivalent of inns and taverns. In later centuries walls fortresses have been built too, in case of unwanted visitors from Rhutalath.
Sirando- The main port city in Edhelnore. It was constructed as a port for Men to use, though traffic has decreased a lot in the past few centuries. It is still used by Atlanteans, for official business and trade and, rarely, for people from further afield. Night-Halls and Feast-Halls abound, though most have fallen out of use.
Shara- This port was established purely for Elves, and foreign boats are not allowed to dock here. Boats sail constantly to Tol Nole More importantly, all those Elves who make their final voyage to the Blessed Lands depart from here. Consequently, a large temple has been built here, dedicated to al the Gods, for those who wish to pay their last respects before they set sail.
COMMERCE AND TRADE
The Elves have always been self-sufficient, and untrusting of outsiders. As a result, trade with other nations has never been an important business for them. Since the Rhutalathian Conversion and the closing of the borders, this has become even less. The Argani still trade with the Wood-Elves of Tauron however- fruit and furs from the Woodland realm are highly-sought, and the Sylvani desire the superior steel of the Argani. Ships occasionally sail up and down the Aesira river with trade goods, though a large armed convoy usually accompanies them.
Trade from Belestar is also frequent. Traders from the hinterland, often desirous of Argani gold and steel, travel north to sell their wares at Caras Eleniel or Aldari. The ports of Sirando and Isilond are still open to the Atlanteans and other friendly nations- the Atlanteans purchase Elven wine in large quantities- not for its taste, but for its status.
The roads of Edhenlore are excellent, and of a high quality. All are paved, often with marble, and every league there is a stop-rest, with a small shelter and often water. The roads have sidewalks for people on foot. Unlike mannish roads, however, the Elven roads are not very wide- they have little need for wagons, and armies rarely march from Edhelnore. Only the Queen's Walk is wide enough for a couple of wagons.
The Elves prefer to build their roads along natural landmarks, such as along rivers, through canyons and along deer-paths. They do not like to modify the land too much. As such, the Elven roads tend to wind a lot, and are not as straight as those of the Atlantean colonies. The roads often wind out of their way to pass a beautiful landscape, before going back on themselves. To the Elves, the journey is as important as the destination, and an immortal race are not in a hurry. These roads often infuriate foreigners.
Each road is paved in marble of a different hue, so one can easily know which road he is on. In addition, there are signposts regularly. Every twelve leagues there is a Hostel, with a few beds and hot water and food. These are usually free, especially to Argani.
The Queen's Walk- The most important road in Edhelnore. It leads from Belestar, through Caras Eleniel and to the gates of Emynost and beyond. It is wide-road, to help facilitate traders and ambassadors' entourages. It is also patrolled occasionally, due to its proximity to Rhutalath. The marble here is yellow.
The Last Road- The Last Road heads east, towards the port of Shara. This is the 'last road' an Argani will take before he heads to the Blessed Lands. This road is well-travelled, and paved in black marble.
The Iron Road- This road winds its way north to the mountains, offering some stunning scenery. It snakes endlessly and at one point doubles back on itself to offer a view of Edhelnore across a 1000' drop. It is paved in red.
It later crosses into Larador, though the border is heavily guarded.
The Vinyaro Road- This road goes south from Isilond, all the way to Rowenna's city of Vinyaro in Belestar. It is used infrequently by traders, and is paved green.