Sylvas is simply the name for the large forest that is the homeland. Syl is a prefix meaning “woods” or “forest”.
The elven world consists of three realms: Shaped Wood, Wild Wood, and Outlands. Rather than build things from stone or lumber, elves shape their dwellings from living trees, planting saplings of specific types in strategic locations and shaping their growth for decades into structures. They generally live in small groups known as a pod, similar to a human village but smaller in number (as small as 25 or as large as 100, but usually between 30 and 50) and communal in nature.
Elves have various trade hubs set up throughout the kingdom. These are made of redwoods and sequoias, large, slow, trees that resist fire and live a long time. Shaping buildings from groups of these takes an entire lifetime, effectively making each building a gift of a member or group who made it their life’s work. Elves gather in these “towns” as animals might gather at a watering hole, visiting ever so often to socialize with the greater population and maintain relationships with pods from all over.
The capital city, Feywull, is built from giant sequoias, the largest, longest lived tree that can effectively be shaped by single elven lifespans. Left to their own devices these trees live upwards of 2700, but those at the heart of the city have been “cured”, a process by which an elf (a semi-magical creature) merges with a tree creating a new being that looks like the tree but has the soul of an elf. The tree is now practically immortal and can be coaxed to grow or even recede its growth. It is in these sacred grounds that elves come once a year to meet and govern themselves. Pods, towns, and the city make up the realms of Shaped Wood.
Wild Wood is the area of forest between shaped wood. It is mostly left to grow on its own, although a guiding hand may be gently applied from time to time - starting or stopping a wildfire, defending it from those that would do it harm, etc.
Any territory outside of the woods is considered the Outlands. Since trees do not grow in these places, they are considered inhospitable to elves, and thus of very little consequence. Their care for these areas usually extends only to the activity of exemplary beings that might exist in these parts, or of areas of natural importance, like a great river or a mountain.
"Cities" & "Towns" aka Trading Hubs
- Feywull - Walled Capital
- Lothtrin - Walled Trading Hub
- I'ldreth - Walled Trading Hub
- Sylden - Walled Trading Hub
- Walshin - Walled Trading Hub
- Theydin Lod - Walled Trading Hub