"If you do not know where you have been, how do you know where you are going?"

The events that shaped modern-day Shosara are complex. Some are still being argued over by scholars, as far as their causes and their impact upon the course of history. Chronicles of the times, however, were meticulously kept, so while the why is up for debate, the what and when are not. This volume explores the development of Shosara from before the Separation to the present day. Events before the Separation are treated somewhat sketchily, as most Shosarans consider the nation to have truly begun at the Separation, known more commonly as the Founding.

The Early Days

Shosara began its existence as a northern colony planted by elves from Wyrm Wood who had grown restless. Inspired by Floranuus, they set off to the north, not knowing what awaited them, only knowing that they must travel. Thirty days' ride from the Wood, they came upon the perfect site for their settlement, a broad, flat plain set between high mountain ranges, with a slow, deep river flowing through the middle. Here was fertile land, a good water supply and protection from extremes of weather. A colony was planted, and Named Shosara, from the elven meaning Great Promise.

For many years, the colony grew and thrived. The harsh winters of the northern lands, shorter growing season and inhospitable creatures of the Land of Great Promise produced a hardier, more resourceful population. New situations required new ways of responding, which over time led to new ways of life. Under the pressures of their environment, the Shosarans developed a wider range of creativity. Their very inventiveness, however, proved to be nearly their undoing.

The Separation

During the reign of Queen Dallia, the diverging customs of the Shosarans became an issue at the elven Court. Wyrm Wood had long been the center of elven culture. Traditions and rituals created at the elven Court were disseminated throughout the world, setting the standards of the elven way. To diverge from the dictates of the court, in the view of the throne, was to diverge from being elven. Shosara's status as an elven nation was called into question.

Impassioned pleas were made by Shosaran delegations to the Rose Throne. Children grow up, went the argument. They move into their own homes, and take up their own lives. Becoming adults does not stop them from being their parents' children. It does not end their respect for the people that taught them the basic precepts of living. Shosara still held great respect for the Court. Different conditions of living, however, required different ways of living. Please, the delegates said, regard us as children who have grown up and moved away, as part of the natural process of life. We are not rebelling against you. We are simply maturing.

After much consideration, Queen Dallia agreed that she did not know enough about the living conditions of the Shosarans that had engendered their new traditions. She made plans to journey to Shosara, to view the situation first-hand, so that she could make her decision regarding the fate of the Shosarans fully informed. No holder of the Rose Throne had ever seen the northlands, and Queen Dallia had never left the Wood before. This was a momentous decision. Like all such events, there were doomsayers and predictions of disaster, and as always, they were ignored. Tragically, this time they were correct.

As the Queen's caravan left Wyrm Wood, they were set upon by the great dragon Alamaise. No record of the accusations was made, but survivors say that Alamaise raged at the Queen, claiming that numerous crimes had been committed by the elves against dragonkind. Queen Dallia attempted to negotiate, pleading with the dragon for mercy and a rational solution, but Alamaise was having none of it. In his fury, he attacked the caravan, slaying the Queen and most of her retinue. The few survivors fled back into the Wood, bearing the sad news that the Queen was dead.

The issue of Shosaran variance lay fallow for a time. For two years, no successor to the Rose Throne could be found. Despair settled into the hearts of elvenkind, a mere shadow of what was to come. At last, Queen Failla of the Western Kingdoms journeyed to Wyrm Wood, acceding to the throne of the elven Court and setting the stage for the greatest turning point in Shosara's history.

For many years, Failla had devoutly followed the dictates of the Court, treating the slightest whim of the reigning Queen as having the weight of law. The idea of any deviation from the dictates of the Court shocked her deeply. As far as she was concerned, Shosara must be brought to heel, its divergent ways abandoned without a second thought. The pleas made to Dallia fell upon deaf ears when presented to Failla. She would not journey to Shosara, perhaps fearing for her own life, but certainly having no care for the welfare of her subjects. Separation was threatened unless the Shosarans fell into line.

In an attempt to improve relations and perhaps persuade the Queen to show some reason in her decision, Shosaran craftsfolk designed a gift surpassing any work ever seen. Taking a rose from the personal garden of the Queen, they enchanted it with powerful magics, preserving it from death. To protect the bloom from physical harm, it was enclosed in a case of impervious crystal, bound about with powerful sorceries. The Everliving Flower was then sent from Shosara to the Court at Wyrm Wood.

It never arrived. Somewhere between Shosara and Wyrm Wood, the messenger was waylaid and the Flower disappeared. Its fate was not discovered until after the Scourge.

Failla was outraged. Not only had the Shosarans strayed from her vision of the elven Way, they had failed to deliver on a promise made directly to her. In a fit of rage, Failla issued a Declaration of Separation against the nation of Shosara, cutting off the elves of the north from the Court and its guidance. When her chief counselor and most trusted advisor, Elianor Messias, spoke against this act, Failla exiled him as well. Of course, everyone knows the outcome of his exile, but the other consequences of Failla's actions have not been widely known outside the northlands.

The shock from this act rippled throughout elvendom. Never before had any elf been cast out from the Court for any charge save outright treason, and never had an entire nation been exiled. Shosara was thrown into disarray. Debate grew into arguments, which turned into near-riot before clear heads finally prevailed.

Calling themselves the Order of the Fallen Rose, a small cadre of scholars and adepts in the capitol city of Shosirriyey put forth the idea that, by acting in such an un-elven way as to send an entire nation into exile, Failla had shown herself to be unworthy of the throne. If this was what the Court had come to, Shosara was well quit of it. The Rose Throne was declared to be vacant, and the Court fallen until such time as a Queen could be found who would revoke the Declaration and take the Court in a properly elven direction once more. While many dismissed this stance as bitterness, it took root, finding fertile ground in those dissatisfied with the previous behavior of the Queen. Later events, including the development of the Ritual of the Thorns, convinced more Shosarans that the Order of the Fallen Rose was correct.

Shosara survived without the Court, without contact with southern elvendom, under its own guidance. If this is wrong, let succeeding generations judge, but let them also know that they would not be present without the actions of their ancestors.

Political Divisions

Shosarans quickly drew themselves up into two rival camps. The Order of the Fallen Rose acted as moderates, keeping the two primary factions from going to war with one another, reminding them that elves do not fight among themselves.

The Dusibi ti'Sperensa, or Reunificationists, originally comprised the larger part of the population. They felt that by bringing Shosara back into line with the dictates of the Court, they could convince Failla to lift the Declaration. After the Dusibi overtures to the elven Court were rebuffed, however, and their delegations were turned away at the border, they lost faith, and subsequently lost followers.

The Telegorotish'hansa, or Separationists, took the more radical view. Instead of trying to reconcile with the Court, they declared that the Court had fallen subsequent to Failla's actions. Shosara would have to continue the elven way of life on its own. No reconciliation could be possible with a fallen Court. Failla's rejection of the Dusibi swelled the ranks of the Hansa.

Both movements fragmented over the centuries, different approaches to the two major philosophies being pursued. The underlying schools of thought, however, remained the same, and provided unifying forces that held together the Shosarans at the same time that they became divided over approach.

Alas, when news of the Separation reached the capitol, her majesty Queen Losira took her own life out of shame. Her daughters followed her into the Citadel of the Shining Ones, leaving Shosara without a direct lineal heir. The Bearers of the Fallen Rose, leaders of the Order, swiftly found a candidate. Insha'tallia Lovrilliyey of the city of Sensirrac, a niece of the former Queen, was brought to the capitol. She acceded to the throne as Losira II, taking her aunt's Name to clear it of any stain on its honor. Thus began the Shosaran tradition of the crown ruling in the name of honored predecessors, and thus began the custom of the heir being chosen by the Bearers of the Fallen Rose.

Rise of the Invae

Within two hundred years of the Founding, Shosara had new problems. The rise of the mana level that presaged the arrival of the Horrors made it possible for other astral beings to grow more powerful and more populous. Quite by accident, Betildne Tno, a Questor of Vestrial, unveiled a secret society operating in the western farmlands and mining country. Organized in a strict hierarchical structure divided into castes of warriors, workers and administrators, and owing fealty to a Queen, at first the cult was thought to be an attempt to break away from Shosara and found a new nation. When the goal of conquest became rapidly apparent, and battle was joined between the cult and Shosaran forces, the cult was then thought to be a treasonous conspiracy to overthrow the rightful Queen and replace her line with another.

The truth was far more terrible. Examination of some of the slain revealed features of insects, including hard shells, pincers instead of hands, antennae growing from foreheads. When at last an administrative headquarters was taken, the true nature of the invasion became known. Astral beings had taken possession of the bodies of the cult members, and begun changing them in terrible ways. The administrators were far more insectile, some having achieved a near-complete transformation into a gigantic ant-like form.

Magicians were quickly brought to the fore, as the strange invaders seemed vulnerable to particular sorceries. Questors of Garlen also seemed to have some power over the beings. Betildne Tno led a cadre of Questors of Vestrial in random raids, the warriors and workers being vulnerable to unexpected situations and trickery. Apparently the transformation robbed the victims of their creativity and ability to make their own decisions.

After months of heavy warfare, the central hive in the Ticmi Mountains was taken, and the Queen, a monstrous being nearly the size of a dragon, slain. In her dying breath, though, she swore that the Shosarans had not seen the last of the insects. Her words were proven true within the year.

For the remaining decades before the Scourge, a continuous battle was fought against these astral invaders. No sooner was one hive put down, than another was discovered on the other side of the nation. A specialized Discipline evolved, combining the Beastmaster with the Scout and adding unique Talents to create the Insect Hunter. To this day, an elite cadre of Insect Hunters patrols the nation, seeking out and slaying the insect invaders wherever they can be found. More can be read about the Insect Hunters in the chapter on the Order of the Jade Mask.

Treaties with Thera

In the year 446 PF, Meach Vara Lingam, Elder of Thera, announced the completion of Kearos Navarim's final work, Rites of Protection and Passage. This work, it was said, contained the secrets for surviving the coming Scourge. None would survive the coming dangers without it.

Great debates arose over how best to protect Shosara from the Scourge. That it was coming, there could be no dispute. Experiments proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the mana level was rising, and as it rose more and more terrible creatures appeared. The invae had been trouble enough. There would be no surviving the coming of the Horrors. Certainly, action must be taken. But what?

Elves should look to the Wood for guidance, said the Dusibi, regardless of the Court's attitude toward Shosara. There is no Court, said the Hansa. We have been left to make our own way in the world. We must find guidance from the Passions and from our own collected wisdom. The council halls rang with ugly voices and uglier words as fear drove elves to extremes. Many grew concerned that violence would break out as the tensions rose.

Gladly, calmer heads prevailed. Emissaries were dispatched to Thera to secure the secrets of the Rites of Protection and Passage. Doubts arose about the arrangement when the Therans demanded a price for their knowledge. After much negotiation, however, it was agreed that a fair price should be paid. After all, the School of Shadows had spent decades working with highly dangerous magics, and had themselves paid for the Rites of Protection and Passage in blood many times over. Favorable trade agreements were signed between Thera and Shosara, principally concerning the supply of orichalcum but also covering other commodities. In return, the Therans sent representatives to Shosara to train elven adepts in the preparation of magical shelters, known as kaers.

There are those who hold the opinion that Shosara's decision to seek Theran aid was partially responsible for Alachia's decision to not do likewise. Alachia could not bring herself to act in accordance with Shosara, regardless of the danger to her people. Her pride and stubborn refusal to act in a sensible fashion doomed the elves of Wyrm Wood to corruption and pain. Many Shosarans labor under a heavy burden of guilt, feeling themselves responsible for the transformation of the Blood Elves.

Shortly after the agreements were concluded between Shosara and Thera, the First Elder of Thera declared the Theran Empire, and began negotiations with other nations under less favorable conditions. Shosara must count itself fortunate that its own deal was concluded before the Therans adopted their later attitude. Association with the Theran Empire eventually became unprofitable, and finally intolerable, but in the early days, great benefit accrued to both nations.

Orichalcum Wars

After Nehr'esham became Thera, and the Rites of Protection and Passage were announced (446 PF), demand for the magical element orichalcum rose sharply. The element was used extensively in the magical workings of the School of Shadows, as well as in the construction of the early kaers. Thera bought more and more, driving up the price and creating an artificially inflated market.

These were good times for Shosara. During the battles in the Ticmi Mountains, extensive deposits of orichalcum were found. Mining efforts built up the stock while caravans hauled consignments southward. Unfortunately, having a large supply of something valuable on hand draws thieves as honey draws flies. In the Shosaran year 506 PF, a fleet of poorly-built drakkars arrived from the Twilight Peaks, bringing a horde of crystal raiders, trolls who had developed their own Disciplines for looting and pillaging. They swept in low over the southern mountains, evading Shosaran watchposts for the most part, and were upon the orichalcum stockpiles before sufficient forces could be rallied for a proper defense. The elven forces were slaughtered, and the orichalcum carried off by the trolls.

This act of greed and barbarism touched off what later became known as the Orichalcum Wars. The high price and strained market coupled with a triggering act of violence lit a fire that surged across the known world. In the south, the troll kingdom of Ustrect allied with the orkish nation of Cara Fahd against the human domain of Landis. Ork tribes earned the name of scorchers as they poured across the land, burning everything they could not carry with them. The dwarves of Scytha allied with humans against Wyrm Wood.

For forty years, the raiders came north. Shosaran forces failed from time to time against the orichalcum raids, but held firm against more serious threats. Banners flew proudly over field after field, as the throne of Shosara was defended to the last elf. Only in Throal were these accomplishments equaled, the rule remaining with the rightful heir during the wars. Ustrect, Cara Fahd, Landis, Scytha, all suffered terribly, some falling never to rise again. In Throal and in Shosara, however, the way of life was preserved, the line held and governance by the proper authorities maintained.

Customs changed during this period. Time spent alone in the wilderness became dangerous. Solitary meditation away from civilization evolved into meditation in buildings set apart for the purpose. Waiting periods were shortened to avoid taking away time from training. Testing for adept aptitudes moved into younger age groups as personnel resources became more valuable than orichalcum. Shosara, however, survived.

Most of the changes were kept after the wars finally died away. Some families resumed the tradition of wilderness ordeals for the rite of maturity; some did not. The meditation houses were maintained, for which everyone would later be grateful. Service in the military ceased to be compulsory when levies were no longer needed, but some families who had many members in the Shosaran forces took up service as a family tradition. Links with Thera, strengthened during the wars, were also maintained. Shosara saw no reason to change a profitable relationship. This attitude of friendliness toward Thera would have a profound impact just a few hundred years later.

The Scourge

After many years of preparation, increasing danger and hard work, the kaers were at last ready. Horrors had begun to infest the land. This had an unexpected beneficial effect, in that the presence of such dangers drove Shosarans into larger communities for safety. Living in denser populations forced many elves to reconcile their political and ideological differences. If they still disagreed with each other, they did so more politely. For their mutual protection, everyone, Dusibi and Hansa, had to work together.

Other races joined the Shosaran elves in their communities. Name-givers other than elves had shared the lands for many years, but had never lived among the elves before. Now orks and trolls, dwarves and windlings, t'skrang and humans moved into the cities and villages of the elves, seeking the same goal: protection in greater numbers. Shosara's obsidimen retreated to their liferocks to prepare in their own fashion, and so did not take part in the subsequent assimilation. Over time, some of these Name-givers adopted elven customs, taking up the Shosaran way of life. In some places, the newcomers' customs were incorporated into elven ways, so as to make them feel more welcome in the predominantly elvish community. Hospitality is, after all, service to the Passions.

Great deeds were accomplished in the final days. Other volumes record the Names of the heroes who in many cases gave their lives so that Shosara could be protected. Villages closed their kaers. Cities either were abandoned as the inhabitants sought kaers of their own, or were domed over into citadels. Great care was taken to avoid allowing in anyone possessed by a Horror. In some cases, mistakes were surely made, innocent Name-Givers forbidden entrance and left to the Horrors, or Name-Givers under subtle influence allowed inside to wreak later havoc. Not all of the kaers and citadels survived the Scourge.

Inside the kaers, troubadours recited ballads of the world before the Scourge, so that the children would know what the sun was. Gardens were carefully tended, flowers being grown for their ornamental value alongside vegetables for more mundane use, species being preserved for the great replanting that was to come. The art of remaking paper was invented, so that children could learn the complex elven writing system, and become literate. To this day, Shosarans still reuse their old paper, along with anything else, no matter how small the scrap, that could be remade into something useful. The long years in the kaers taught the elves, already aware of the irreplaceable value of nature and its resources, a new and abiding respect for their environment.

These attitudes were adopted by the other Name-givers in Shosaran kaers. While many retained their own race's rituals of life and death, their way of living, their outlook was affected profoundly by their daily contact with the elves, and by the circumstances under which they lived. By the end of the Scourge, every Name-giver in the surviving kaers had taken up the practice of remaking and reusing everything they could. By conserving their resources, there was more to go around for everyone, and so no one in the kaers went without any basic necessity of life. The spirit of inter-racial cooperation this effort engendered bore fruit after the Scourge, during the Rebuilding.

The races also became familiar with each other's customs. Out of politeness, the elves made their public rituals accessible to all Name-givers in their kaers, and attended the rituals of other raceswhen allowed. By taking part in each other's rituals, the inhabitants of the kaers built a stronger sense of community. After several generations, it was not unusual to see an elf helping set up the maze for a windling Naming ceremony, or an ork standing sentinel before an elven Meditation House. Many Name-givers assimilated into Shosaran society, while customs from other races were adopted into the elven way. The culture that emerged from the kaers, while predominantly elven, bore traces of the centuries of cohabitation with other Name-givers. Many people of other races thought of themselves as Shosaran, and lived in the Shosaran way, despite their not being elven. Shosara has accepted these people as its own.

On the Loss of Sereatha

One of the greatest cities of Shosara before the Scourge was Sereatha, the City of Spires. Located in the southern reaches of the nation, Sereatha was a center of culture, a gathering place for the best in the realms of the arts. Its many Named spires housed orders dedicated to crafts, to aesthetic pursuits and to the Passions. From the Spire of Justice, the Swords of Justice maintained order and brought the compassion and justice of Mynbruje to the southern lands. Within the Spire of Floranuus, the Learners' Guild sought the inner path, studying the nature of what it meant to be elven. From the Crimson Spire, the Knights of the Crimson Spire taught the traditions and customs of the Shosaran Way, and protected society from those who would forcibly or by treachery disrupt those ways.

Then came the Scourge, and Sereatha prepared in the same fashion as other major Shosaran cities, creating a citadel of true elements to shield the city. Provisions were laid in, gardens were created to preserve flowers, and wardens were appointed to guard against invasion. During the Scourge, the wardens would maintain a watch on the city's protections, strengthening them if necessary, and keeping vigilant against the possibility of intrusion by Horrors.

Prior to the sealing of the citadel, a particularly subtle Horror managed to gain control of the small daughter of one of the wardens. Years later, as the girl grew into a troubled adolescent, the Horror used her to get at the warden. Fearing the repercussions if it became public knowledge that his daughter's continuing sorrow was the work of a Horror, he allowed the Horror access to his own mind in return for the release of his daughter. Once the Horror had control of the warden, the citadel was quickly breached. The Horror closed the breach behind itself, to keep other Horrors out, and fed slowly for many decades. True to its word, it left the warden's daughter untouched, but consumed the minds of every member of her family.

Eventually, the Horror was slain, but by then other Horrors had discovered the breach. For decades, a desperate battle was waged within the citadel, as more Horrors came in and the population retreated further and further. At last, only a few spires remained inhabited. Then the tides of magic turned, and the Horrors began to withdraw. When the Scourge was declared over and the citadel was opened, there were not enough Name-givers remaining to rebuild the city. As it was, few wanted to remain at the site of so much anguish and death. The survivors of Sereatha abandoned the city and moved north, to merge with the populations of more successful citadels. Only the Knights of the Crimson Spire remained, continuing their sworn duty to protect the elven way of life, and to rid the land of all remaining Horrors.

The tale of the fall of Sereatha was brought to the capitol by a troubadour adept, Lexonda Firricim, one of the survivors, who spent her few remaining years in the hall of the Relievers, never overcoming her sorrow. She said that the warden's daughter, still protected from all harm by the word of the Horror, lived among the ruins of the City of Spires, driven utterly mad by her experiences and weeping incessantly for the loss of her family and her home.

Post Scourge Exploration

After four hundred and fifty years, within the capitol city's citadel, the mana clock stopped. For the first part of the Scourge, the ball of elemental earth had risen above the dish of elemental water, climbing steadily as the Scourge peaked. Then the tides of magic turned, and the ball began to drop. Wizards and elementalists kept a watch on the mana clock, locked deep within the royal residence in a vault carved into the living rock of the city's foundations. Closer and closer the earth came to the water — and then it stopped.

For several days the distance was carefully checked. Not one bit did it change. At last, the Warden of the Clock reported to Queen Tsadiye that while the Scourge might or might not be over, the mana field appear to have stabilized. The Queen went to see the clock herself. She gave the matter careful thought, consulted the Bearers, and at last decided that the watch should be continued for another twenty days. If the clock showed no change in that time, an expedition would be mounted to see if the Scourge were indeed over.

Twenty-one days later, volunteers went down into the tunnel to the outside. The first Gate was closed behind them, sealing them off from the citadel. They opened the second Gate, closed it behind them, and opened the third Gate, to the outside. They did not return. Tsadiye declared a week of mourning, and had a memorial pillar erected to the brave explorers in the Court of Heroes.

One year later, a second party went down the tunnel. Again, they passed the first Gate, and the second. Two survivors returned, closing the third Gate on their way back. They told of a world laid waste far beyond anyone's worst imaginings. In some places, they said, there wasn't even soil, just expanses of raw bedrock. Horrors still roamed abroad, although there were fewer than would be expected if the Scourge were still ongoing. The explorers had found the bones of the first party, and while examining them had been set upon by ravening beasts, all mouths and teeth. The two survivors had fled when the rest of their party fell, and only escaped by sheer speed. Queen Tsadiye heard their tale and ordered a second memorial pillar erected to the fallen. There was no shame, she said, in having survived, or having fled in the face of otherwise certain destruction. She further ordered that five years must pass before a third exploration party would be assembled.

One of the survivors of the second party, Lluenya Sadhooaj, a Swordmaster of the Seventh Circle, volunteered for the third party. When the time came, he led the way through the Gates, closing each one as they went, including the third Gate. After four days, the party returned, having lost three of their members. Lluenya reported that with sufficient force of magic and arms, the surface could now be reclaimed. He recommended an expedition in force to establish a defensive perimeter around the citadel, and that the effort be well underway before the city's defenses were dropped. The Queen conferred with the Bearers, and drew up a plan to begin the return to the outer world. The work would be hard and dangerous, but there would be no trouble finding volunteers. Every Shosaran wanted to see their nation green and healthy once more, and was willing to risk their own lives for that purpose.


For two years, armed parties scoured the surrounding region, dispatching any Horror or construct they found, calling in reinforcements when necessary. Meanwhile, Questors of Jaspree and Garlen directed the replanting of the land, the construction of new facilities to house the troops and support staff, and the repair of what few structures remained outside the citadel. Many times, Garlen lent her power to the defense of the barracks, her Questors holding back Horrors until help could arrive.

At long last, however, the tide was turned, the Horrors grown few enough and the perimeter secure enough that Tsadiye ordered the lowering of the citadel and the reopening of the city. On Opening Day, the citizenry gathered to watch as the great elemental shield came down, and Shosirriyey stood open to the world once more. A collective gasp ran through the crowd as the reality of the devastation struck home. No amount of description by those who had been outside could bring to heart the true extent of the damage.

Dry winds scoured the land, carrying stinging storms of ash and sand. Water was hard to find, as rivers had changed course and springs had gone dry. Black clouds hung low over the land, threatening much but delivering little other than lightning and shadow. Violent storms blew up without warning, bringing hail and high winds to undo the difficult work of rebuilding. Hardly a scrap of life was to be found, and what was there had grown defensive, even paranoid. Approaching an animal could cost one's life, at the fangs and claws of something that had been docile, even friendly, before the Scourge. And the smell — ash and corruption, the funeral pyre of the world.

Shosarans, however, do not give up easily, even in the face of nearly overwhelming adversity. Now that the city was open, and working parties no longer had to pass the Gates of the kaer, rebuilding could begin in earnest. No longer a beachhead, the dwellings outside the walls grew quickly into a settlement, and from there into a greater city, surrounding the citadel with homes and shops, gardens and fountains like the capitol of old. Babies were born at such a rate it seemed that Garlen would have the entire world repopulated in a single century.

Other kaers throughout Shosara were contacted, one by one. Some inhabitants threw open their doors and gladly pitched in on the work of rebuilding. Others cautiously tested the word of the contact teams, checking to be certain that it was safe for their kaer to be opened. Still others refused to believe the word of outsiders, even bearing the token of the Queen. After all, Horrors were known to be great liars and subtle in their deceits. Some of these people took many years to convince that the Scourge was over and the rebuilding begun. Some have yet to be convinced. Then there were the kaers that were breached. Very few survivors were found in such, if any. Not all kaers in Shosara were located. Some of the lost kaers may yet survive, not knowing that the Scourge is over. Others may harbor Horrors as yet undiscovered, waiting for their next meal to arrive. Eventually, all of the kaers will be located, and their condition assessed. No Shosaran should be left in their kaer when the world is safe once more, and no Horror should remain alive.

Further Trouble with Invae

In the process of searching out the kaers through the nation, hives of invae were also uncovered. Apparently the Horrors left them unmolested through the Scourge, or perhaps the invae are merely another type of Horror. Whatever the reason, they had firmly entrenched themselves, and met their discovery with savage fighting. This time Shosara did not have the resources of a well-established nation. The invae, on the other hand, had had hundreds of years to prepare.

In some areas, Shosara had to be content to confine the infection and keep it from spreading. Some of the hives were destroyed utterly. Others were invaded by Shosaran forces, only to find that the queen had been spirited away under the cover of the battle. Tracking down their new locations took time, and that time was used by the invae to fortify, to prepare, to breed. The ancient Discipline of the Insect Hunter was taken up by more than elves this time, as Shosarans of many races took up the quest of driving the invae from our world.

Changing Relationships With Thera

Shortly after the opening of the capitol citadel, envoys arrived from the Theran Empire. They congratulated Shosara on having survived the Scourge, and indicated that they would be glad to resume the pre-Scourge trading agreements. Queen Tsadiye viewed this with mixed feelings.

Thera had saved the Elves from the Scourge. Alachia had condemned all of southern Elvendom to corruption and pain. On the other hand, the Therans practice slavery. The taking of free will was just too much, and Tsadiye declined to renew the agreements.

The Therans departed in a foul temper, with many threats. Fortunately, her majesty took those threats seriously, so when the first Theran vedettes showed up, Shosara was ready. The skirmishing never turned into a proper war. Shosara repelled the initial Theran attempts. After that, Theran intelligence must have discovered the damage to Shosara's natural resources. With the invae occupying some of the former orichalcum mining regions, and a lack of labor for such work due to the rebuilding, Shosara had little to tempt Thera other than the possibility of slaves. Thera had ample resources in terms of Name-givers closer to home, and left Shosara alone. Relations between Shosara and Thera were never formally severed, just quietly dropped. No embassy was sent from either side.

Now that the fate of the Everliving Flower is known, Shosara has ample reason to hate the Therans, and to send delegations to Throal to pledge support against the Empire. The adventurers who recovered the Flower from the Mist, and the group that took the Flower from Parlainth to Blood Wood, would be revered as great heroes in Shosara.

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