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    The Founding of Midmeadow
    Posted on Fri, May 16, 2008 by Dongul
    Greyson writes "The city of Midmeadow knew happy times, especially at its founding. The city was a cooperative effort amongst men and elves. For centuries it thrived in northern Nyrond, never noticed by the conquerers and other threats that roamed the Flanaess. Below is one bard's tale of how this once happy place was established, and what kept it vibrant for many years.

    The Founding of Midmeadow
    Edited by Don (Greyson)

    The Founding of Midmeadow
    is based on Nick Tulach's Living Greyhawk meta regional adventure Blind Fatih, Muted Voices. I have greatly expanded his idea of the Midmeadow's founding, tightened the historical context, and added the notion of the gil mir. Regrettably, the full story arc was never implented in the meta regional campaign (Nyrond and Her Environs). So, there was no development after the original adventure. I hope to develop Midmeadow in future articles, using this concept as a basis.

    A Brief Histroy of the Oeridian Nyrdi

    The only Oeridian people to stay in the region of modern day Nyrond in large numbers were the Nyrdi clans. The larger Aerdy people continued east, eventually settling in the fabled Flanmi River valley. The Nyrdi, however, were weary of the long march east. The open plains of the region, three great rivers, and the proximity to the Nyr Dyv provided the Nyrdi with ample enough resources to convince them to tarry in the region.

    The Nyrdi Oeridians began to approach what the Gamboge Forest (the elves having called it that since their earliest reckonings) in or about the year 403 OR (-242 CY). But, the Nyrdi never entered the forest too deeply or felled too many trees on its fringes. The Nyrdi clans spent most of their time fighting each other and pressing each other from one side of the plains to another. It seemed as if the Nyrdi were perfectly busy checking and battling each other that little time was left for serious, concentrated efforts at building long-term cities in the region’s northern hinterlands. The sylvan and high elves of the forest simply watched from the forest’s shadowed canopy as the humans wandered the grasslands east of the woods. The forest remained largely untouched by human hands for several centuries.

    The elven complacency ended at the beginning of the sixth century of the Oeridian Reckoning (about -100 CY). The Aerdy Oeridians, firmly established in the bountiful region east of the Adri Forest, turned their attention back west. The Aerdy came to pacify their Nyrdi cousins. But, the Nyrdi would not be easily cowed. As rumblings of the Aerdy march west echoed forward, some of the Nyrdi prepared to fight. One of the Nyrdi kings, named Nehron, was strong enough and influential enough to unify the bickering Nyrdi. They were able to muster combined forces under Nehron’s leadership, and he ably marshaled them to confront the Aerdy forces. Nehron held his first war councils under the boughs of the looming forest, and thus the Gamboge was for a time called Nehron’s Forest by the humans of the region. During the months before the final conflict with the Aerdy, the Nyrdi secreted many caches of food, weapons and other riches in the forest’s outer thickets and copses.

    Over the next several seasons, fighting between small scouting parties gave way to more intense skirmishes. The small-scale skirmishes turned into pitched fights between larger forces, until the ultimate showdown came in 535 OR (-109 CY) at the Battle of a Fortnight’s Length. The Aerdy prevailed in that final, climatic battle. The region became the Viceroyalty of Nyrond and the defeated Nyrdi people limped back to their homes. But, they brought more Oeridians with them, as the Aerdy personally occupied many of the conquered Nyrondese lands.

    The Founding of Midmeadow

    Then the conditions changed on the fringes of the Gamboge Forest. The industrious nature of the Aerdy took hold upon the newly conquered Nyrdi. The edges of the forest began to experience deforestation and lumbering. The logging was on a very small-scale, but the forest's sentient inhabitants knew it would only get worse as time went by. The sylvan and high elves knew they could not stop the humans from expanding into the forest and harvesting its rich resources. The elves needed a plan to protect their ancestral homes, which were very much entwined with and inseparable from the natural elements of the forest. They devised a plan that would perhaps slow the frenetic pace of their human neighbors. The elves decided to embrace the humans and offer them a tremendous gift, rather than fight them or try to hide themselves and their tree-villages.

    The sylvan elves approached the humans shortly after the Battle of a Fortnight’s Length. They identified themselves as the Eryn Edhel, or Forest Elves, and indicated that they represented themselves, their cousins the high elves, and all of the peaceable creatures of the Gamboge Forest. The Eryn Edhel presented the humans with plans to build an enchanted city of oerth, stone and wood ten or so leagues away from the forest. It was close enough to be on the verge of the woods, yet far enough away to allow the humans to expand without the two cultures inadvertently bumping into each other. The humans that had already fled to the forest’s edges (most to take advantage of caches) would be allowed to stay. But, the great masses would have a new city of living palisades and flowered gardens to enjoy for lifetimes to come. The elves, most likely through human intermediaries, would deliver portions of the forest’s bounty to the new city. All the Eryn Edhel asked for in return was to be left to live privately and peaceably in the weald’s deepest groves and intra-forest glens.

    The new human lords accepted the idea and began to gather at the appointed place. The Eryn Edhel sent their most powerful druids and magic users to raise the human city in the open meadows midway between the Gamboge and its sister forests, the Nutherwood and Phostwood. The puissant elven druids sowed the seeds of the strongest trees – roanwood, oak and elm. These hearty trees were magically grown and nurtured to mature within several years rather then decades. They would constitute many portions of the city’s walls and many of its buildings. Mounds of oerth were raised and sculpted to create defilades and berms. The humans did not stand idly by. They were introduced to the dwarves of the Flinty Hills. The dwarves allowed the humans to drag blocks of stone to the construction to form gate houses and building foundations. Under the consultation of their elven benefactors, the Nyrondese also built cleverly designed canals and wells to supply the city with water and to take waste to leech fields.

    After several years of determined work, the city of Midmeadow was ready for habitation. The elves presented their masterpiece to the Nyronders, who were overcome with humble gratitude. In tribute to their elven friends, the region’s most respected artisans presented a stone sculpture depicting elves and men working together. The sculpture was erected in the center of the city, in an open, tree-lined square called Summer’s Plaza. The Eryn Edhel christened Midmeadow and left one more gift for the Nyronders before they departed. They presented the gil mir, or star jewel in Common. They promised that Midmeadow would be protected from the tribulations of the world as long as the jewel remained safely in the city. Crops would always grow, herds would always flourish, and peace would prevail so long as the gil mir remained within the city. Midmeadow would not be immune to the challenges and difficulties of the world, and the Nyronders would have to work to reap the bounty of the plains. But, the greater sorrows and travails of the outside world would largely ignore Midmeadow and its inhabitants. And, the elves would leave one of their own to serve as a custodian of the gil mir. A high elf-maiden named Linsora took up the jewel, and served as its keeper. It was available for all to see, touch and enjoy at her grove in the city’s Crystalmere Park.

    Thus the Nyrondese of the north had a fair garden city in which to dwell. It was a pleasing home to many thousands. Midmeadow was easily appreciated by the eye, and certainly defensible against the roaming monster or gang of bandits. It was not a fortress like the gray lump of rock being constructed in far-off Rel Mord. But, it was a point of light in a literal hinterland of the growing Aerdy empire. Midmeadow had an intoxicating effect on the newly arriving Aedy lord, Baron Hepsclen. He was so taken by the beauty of Midmeadow that he dared not build his keep in the city and mar its elegance. He did, of course, identify a manor inside of the city’s living walls on a few acres of gardens where he spent much of his time conducting official provincial business, as did his heirs. Hepsclen also established a villa a league away on the outskirts of town where he could retreat and host family members.

    Midmeadow retained its natural beauty and magnificent uniqueness until Nyrond spilt from the Great Kingdom several centuries later. And the elves enjoyed the seclusion of their woodland realm without threat of molestation, too. Midmeadow became one of those very rare miracles in a world full of failure, strife and misunderstandings.

    The gil mir was an object of awe and wonder for many. Others thought it was a well crafted trinket and nothing more. The gil mir would play a silent role in Midmeadow’s future, whether it emanated a mystical power or not.

    References:
    NMR3-03 Blind Faith, Muted Voices, by Nicholas K. Tulach
    NYR7-04 Davben's Book, by Don Brown
    Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, by Gary Holian, et. al.
    Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins, by Roger E. Moore "
     
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