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Yvresse

The Kingdom of Yvresse is the land of mists. It encompasses not only a sizable part of eastern Ulthuan, but also the islands of the Eastern Ocean. The mainland is a wild coastline, fringed by deep coniferous forests. The foothills of the Annulii march off to form distant peaks that tower dramatically into the clouds. Yvresse is the least densely populated kingdom of Ulthuan, and by those Elves from other realms, it is often considered a bleak coastal realm, and less than lovely but to those who call it their home, the towering cliffs and soaring sea birds are sights as fine as any to be seen on the continent of Ulthuan.[1a]

To the east of the mainland are the Shifting Isles. This is an area shrouded in legend, where ancient spells of illusion shield the eastern coast of Ulthuan from intruders. The whole area is wreathed in mists, and within these billowing clouds, strange and terrifying things are often seen; whether these are the products of men's ensorcelled imaginations or whether they actually exist is something not often discussed. However, the Shifting Isles definitely live up to their name, and each is seldom encountered twice in the same spot. This creates treacherous mazes of shoals and sandbars which can confuse even High Elf sailors.[1a]

Yvresse has only one major city: Tor Yvresse, a metropolis as beautiful and grand as any of the Elven cities of old. Sadly, its glory days are long past. Many of the old mansions are uninhabited, and the great amphitheatres are silent and empty. The walls of the city are mighty and deep, but there are never enough warriors to man them, and many wonder if the city could withstand another serious invasion.[1a]

The people of this land raise regiments of some of the most determined and steadfast warriors in Ulthuan, as befits the homeland of Eltharion and so many other paladins. The favoured weapon is the spear, and the warriors fight shoulder to shoulder with almost unshakable discipline.[2a]

Path to Saphery

A secret passage can be found that leads from Yvresse to Saphery through the mountains, though certain paths require being taken in the dark. Such a journey requires moving along twisting paths upward that seem to bring the mountains no closer. Such a route will lead to a narrow defile between two jutting fangs of rock that wind downwards into a dark hollow in which stands a tall, glistening stone at the confluence of three gurgling streams. Spiral patterns and ancient, faded runes have been carved into the rock, and one can make out an image of a carved gateway against a far cliff. Even non-mage elves can sense the reservoir of magic collected here.[3b]

Reaching the base of the hollow, one must kneel at the watchstone and sing a secret, lilting melody, one whose mythical cadences are felt in the soul as much as heard. Each word slips through the darkness, and the landscape responds with trees sighing and rocks stirring themselves from their slumber. Soon the terrain shifts, and the stars above spread out before you, their luminescence rippling behind the magical haze washing from the mountains. A glittering haze gathers at the lip of the hollow, and rolls down the slope towards the singer. To interrupt such a song now would be perilous. The mist then rises to fill the hollow. Strange shapes appear within it, the revenants of long dead Elves, fragmentary images of times and places yet unknown to the living. The mist gathers around the hollow's occupants, coiling as if itself alive, cocooning all in its moist, clammy embrace.[3b]

To speak now is dangerous, yet all sound is muffled by the mist. The sheer cliff of white rock ahead, where once there had been but an image of a gateway, now yawned open, black and terrible. Sinister moans and a breath of hot, vibrant air blows from it, rich with potent energies. The gateway leads to the 'river of magic', yet beyond it lies. Not a darkness empty of wonders, but filled with magic and miracles. No sooner does one step inside than one feels their senses assaulted by a great and terrible weight of things, monstrously powerful things, lurking just beyond the edge of perception. One can see nothing, yet the power lurking in this place supplies the fuel whilst one's imagination supplies the tools to render all manner of terrors and dreamscapes. Indeed, the darkness retreats in the face of such freshly realised potential: vast expanses of dark mountains ruled over by glistening towers of meat, marching swords and spears atop great riding beasts, powerful armies destroying one another in a verdant field of blue flowers, and thousand other such visions, each more vivid and bizarre than the last.[3b]

There is little one can do to cease or retreat from such imagery. The magic coursing through the mountains is raw and elemental, devoid of conscience and mercy. Any sense of time is rendered meaningless in this place beneath the Annulii, for there is no time, no dimensions, and no sense of place within the world. Eventually though, the intensity of such visions fade before a powerful sense of having emerged from the waters of the most powerful river imaginable. With a great gulping breath, strands of magic slide from one's mind as the darkness of the mountains reasserts itself. At this point, one will travel along a narrow passageway cleft in the mountainside, one whose rock glistens with the dewy residue of magic. Coming onto a wide shelf jutting from the cliff of the mountains, the air becomes sweet as columns of green trees stand tall around the plateau, at long last within Saphery.[3b]

Locations of Note

Trivia

  • In Defenders of Ulthaun, Yvresse is noted for having harsh and unforgiving terrain, with jagged rocks, sheer cliffs and mist, isolated watchtowers and little to no travelers.[3a]
  • Eltharion's rangers are second to only the Shadow Warriors of Nagarythe in skill, wearing conical, face-concealing helmets of burnished bronze and silver, with dark cloaks that render them nearly invisible in the darkening twilight. Their sense of hearing is also enough to startle even fellow Asur.[3b]
  • At night, a faint glow permeates the land as an aura of raw magic sweeps from the Annulii. The closer one gets to the mountains, the stronger the taste. Indeed, a visible mist of magical energy lingers on the trees and ground 'like a light dusting of snow' between the Annulii and Tor Yvresse, where one can feel the power in every fragment of Ulthuan as through it sprang from the rocks themselves.[3b]
  • Though Waystones are a common sight within the other kingdoms of Ulthuan, in Yvresse, their locations are a closely guarded secret. After the catastrophe of Grom's invasion, geomancers from Saphery had divined where else the toppled stones might still be positioned to operate, and then secreted them in hidden places where none but those who knew the secret paths could discover them.[2b]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th edition)
    • 1a: pg. 13
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (6th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 37
  • 3: Defenders of Ulthuan by Graham McNeill
    • 3a: Chapter 6
    • 3b: Chapter 8