Syngorn

Syngorn
Official art of Syngorn's Tarn Ward, by Bryan Syme from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 83.[art 1]
Official map of Syngorn and surroundings, by Andy Law from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.[art 2]
Full nameSyngorn
Geographical information
Plane
WorldExandria
ContinentTal'Dorei
RegionVerdant Expanse
Society
Leader titleWardens of Syngorn
LeaderHigh Warden Tyrelda
GuardsVerdant Guard
AffiliationWardens of Syngorn
Population38,540 (in 836 PD)[1]
Demographics
Notable locations
Districts
  • Beryl Keep
  • Memory Ward
  • Reverie Walks
  • Tarn Ward
Points of interest
  • Emerald Citadel
  • The Feygrove
  • Lake Ywnnlas
  • Spires of Yurek
  • Stone of the Arch Heart

Syngorn is the largest elven city within the continent of Tal'Dorei.

City description[edit | edit source]

Syngorn is built in harmony with the nature of the Verdant Expanse against the western base of the Stormcrest Mountains. The city encircles Lake Ywnnlas and fits within 40-foot-high jade walls. All entrances into the city are warded by threshold crests depicting Syngorn's symbol, a crescent moon between two trees laid over a cerulean stone in the background. These stones anchor the city to the Feywild, allowing the city to transport to the other plane of existence in times of crisis.[2][1]

The perpetual shade of the thick canopy of the forest maintains cooler weather throughout the summer months. The ice and snow in winter is present, but minimal.[3]

Points of interest[edit | edit source]

  • The Pale Light: Large temple dedicated to the Moonweaver. In 812 PD it was led by a night guide named Nusem.[4]

Beryl Keep[edit | edit source]

Beryl Keep is the military fortress-district located on a hill in the northwest of the city, separated from the rest of the city by the walls of beryl. The fortress houses the military of Syngorn, the Verdant Guard, providing them with barracks, archery ranges, forges, trance chambers, mess halls, and all the other necessities to train an army of long-lived elves.[5][3]

The keep itself is built at the far northwest side of the fortress. The keep's roof is covered by nearly impenetrable canopy of steelfern, and the keep's boundaries are marked by six ancient eucalyptus trees, which, as legends hold, are treants who would be animated to defend the keep in times of crisis. Beryl Keep is commanded by Verdant Lord Celindar.[5][3]

Emerald Citadel[edit | edit source]

Emerald Citadel is a mighty castle of faded marble covered in ivy knots. The citadel looms over northern Syngorn and located at the highest point of the gradually sloping city—the citadel's emerald-tipped spires can be seen from anywhere below. The Verdant Guard protect the citadel and bar the entrance for any uninvited commoners. The Emerald Citadel is the domain of Syngorn's High Warden, Tyrelda.[6]

The portraits and busts of past Wardens line the walls of the citadel, along with opulent tapestries of Yenlara and tapestries depicting the creation of Syngorn. The citadel's basement holds the castle dungeons, as well as deep vaults containing incredible treasures, historical artifacts, and overwrought gifts. The first floor holds lavish quarters for ambassadors and visiting dignitaries. The second floor's chambers are dedicated to business of state, including the High Warden's throne room. The towers above the citadel contain studies and quarters for the High Warden and her family.[6]

Memory Ward[edit | edit source]

The ward is viewed as the mind of Syngorn built within a ring of marble walls on the northeast side of the city. A winding staircase, the "One Thousand Steps", leads into the district's bounds, which contain the "Sequoia of Remembrance" at its center, a three hundred-foot-tall redwood tree that mystically stores the lives and memories of every elf in Tal'Dorei.[3][5]

Almost all elves in Syngorn underwent the "Rite of Remembrance" to preserve their memories in this tree, and "vast number of elves who live elsewhere write into their wills to be a subject of the rite after their death. The redwood is tended by a group called the Dreamweavers, led by Ouestra, the Voice of Memory.[3][5] Around five hundred Dreamweavers and five thousand scholars, merchants, and other elves live in this district.[3]

  • One Thousand Steps: The winding stairs serving as the only entrance into the Memory Ward. Each step is inscribed with an ancient elven idiom, aphorism, or impossible philosophical question.[7]
  • Spires of Yurek: The academy named after Yurek Windkeeper, the counselor to the Voice of Memory and the founder of the Arcana Pansophical. The seven towers of the school are home to dormitories for the Dreamweavers, as well as many scholars who teach, study, and experiment with magic within its marble walls.[7][8]
  • Tower of Moonlight: The tower appears under Catha's silvery glow or, occasionally, veined by lines of the full Ruidus' light. The tower vanishes with the first light of the sun. Few people visited the tower, even among the wardens.[7]

Tarn Ward[edit | edit source]

The Tarn Ward, a commerce district surrounding Lake Ywnnlas, which sit in the center of the city. The district is split by the water channels that feed the lake. During the day, the Tarn Ward isn't busy with business save for inns and restaurants, the time of the day when the elves socialize, work, or invest in their hobbies. At night the Tarn Ward the streets remain silent, except for the ethereal elven-songs that guide the informed customers through the streets to their vendors (majority of elves and half-elves raised in Syngorn know this musical language). The vendors speak in hushed, whispering Elvish.[9][10]

Most shops along the Tarn Thoroughfare are affiliated with one of three guilds—the Spellbenders' Guild, the Elvencraft Alliance, or the Mithral Fellowship. The district's Warden is Guildrunner Rawndel, who leads the three guilds with which most businesses in the district are affiliated.[9][10]

The goods of the elven make cost twice their usual cost,[fn 1] and all common magic items and most of the uncommon magic items can be easily found in the Tarn Ward. Rare items rarely have an assigned value and usually can only be bartered for another items or given in exchange for a favor.[9]

  • Lake Ywnnlas: During the day, many magically propelled boats sail across the clear waters of the lake. By night, it becomes a perfect mirror reflecting the heavens above. On rare nights when the spiral-shaped constellation known as the Imprisoned is visible in the sky, spectral figures of starlight dance across the lake's surface, casting no reflection.[11]
  • Guildrunner's Rawndel mansion: The building within a permanent magnificent mansion, constantly

locked to all but the Guildrunner and his guests.[7]

Feygrove[edit | edit source]

The Feygrove was once a large manor in the southern Syngorn that belong to an elven noblewoman named Lady Il'shavfa. By 812 PD, the building has been completely overgrown with plant life, and following the city's return from the Feywild during the Chroma Crisis, a small pocket of the Feywild was seemingly brought with them. The manor has been teeming with fey creatures, and is ruled by a pixie prince named Windybranch. The fey who make their domain within the Feygrove have named it after the archfey who allowed them into the city, calling it "Artagan's Lodge" (after the Archfey who first allowed them into the city).[6][12]

By 836 PD, the fey have spilled out of Il'shavfa Manor and made an entire district of the city into their home. Most of Syngorn's residents were delighted to have a district filled with the fey, and only the most stubborn of elven nobility held a long-time grudge against this "fey menace". "The fey of the Feygrove seemed to have kind hearts, and their chaos rarely crossed the line from churlish pranks into cruelty."[13]

Reverie Walks[edit | edit source]

The Reverie Walks is the artistic and spiritual center of Syngorn in the southeastern part of the city. The district is made up of a shifting labyrinth of living trees and stones. Elves seeking meditation often wander through the Reverie Walks for hours, days, or years entering a trance-like state. No Warden holds sway over the Reverie Walks.[13]

  • Stone of the Archeart: Column of a pure diamond At the center of the Reverie Walks, carved in the likeness of an androgynous elf. This stone is dedicated to Corellon, the Archeart, the progenitor the elven race. Many who seek enlightenment wander through the Reverie Walks seeking to find the Stone of the Archeart, but few find it within it's shifting paths.[14]

Map[edit | edit source]

Official map of Syngorn, by Andy Law from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn.[art 3]

Society[edit | edit source]

Official art of the Emerald Citadel in Syngorn, by Kent Davis.[art 4]

Syngorian society prioritizing the adherence to traditional beliefs in their culture, expecting the new generation to pursue arts, encouraging the search for knowledge, and expecting some training in refined martial techniques. Syngorians establish strong trade bonds between other cities and nations with a healthy and beneficial trading, but most foreign trade and travel is relegated to outer areas of the city. Syngornians take up the trade for both profit and honor.[1] The most common contraband to pass through Syngorn are shipments of suude, stolen goods, and dwarven trinkets. These goods are sold at exceptionally low price, sold at five time the cost in Kymal, and people make a journey to Syngorn for favorable deals.[3]

Most people in Syngorn have their basic needs taken care of by the city's government, to ensure the wellbeing of their people. Nevertheless, some people still fall into poverty.[3]

Government and defences[edit | edit source]

Syngorn is administered by the Wardens of Syngorn, the council of three Wardens in charge of the city's districts, headed by the High Warden. The High Warden is a hereditary monarch.[15][1]

The Verdant Guard keep the peace within the city and the nearby region of the Verdant Expanse. They have a secondary base of operations, beyond Syngorn's walls, called the Shifting Keep. The city is also protected by treants and beacons of detection that keep constant vigil for intruders.[1]

Foreign relations[edit | edit source]

Since the city's inception the elves of Syngorn were wary of outsiders, but it wasn't until the treacherous war of the mostly human Kingdom of Drassig that the elves of Syngorn adopted a severe prejudice against humans and their outsider allies. The wound was partially with the end of the Scattered War, the fall of the authoritarian Kingdom of Drassig, and the alliance with Zan Tal'Dorei, but humans were still kept at arm's length. The relations with the dwarves of Kraghammer, however, were more tense, because the dwarves haven't made amends for their support of Drassig. Syngorn and Kraghammer didn't have trade treaties, and dwarves who swore fealty to the Ironspeaker of Kraghammer were barred entrance from the city. The non-elves could be granted citizenship within Syngorn, but the occasions were extremely rare and usually occurred only by decree of the High Warden. The foreigners resided in Syngorn in temporary lodging and were "firmly prompted to leave should they overstay their welcome. Half-elf children were considered flawed and an embarrassment to not only the family that bore them, but to the cultural purity of Syngorn. They were tolerated within the city, but rarely with respect or companionship."[5]

By 836 PD, all the travelers has been welcomed throughout the city's bounds. Though the visitor of the city are expected to follow Syngorn's strict cultural laws to respect their millennia-old traditions. Anyone who disrespect laws get one warning, the second violation entails a banishment from the city's limits. Syngornian handmade crafts are revered by collectors around the world.[1][16]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Syngorn is a large city with a population of 37,030 in 812 PD. It was one of the most homogeneous cities in Tal'Dorei, with the vast majority of citizens being elves (91%). The rest of the population was made up of humans (5%), halflings (2%), and other races (2%).[2] The elven extraordinarily long life-span prompt sparse childbirth rate. The birth of a child is a rare and highly-regulated process—"prospective parents must gain approval from the office of the Voice of Memory to procreate, and any unapproved children are sent out of the city to be raised in outposts or foreign cities. All elves call such an occasion 'regrettable', and truly do treat it with sorrow—but the laws of Syngorn are clear on this point, and few elves are willing to speak out against rulings which have stood for a thousand years."[3]

By 836 PD, the population had grown to 38,540, in part due to less restrictive laws for the foreigners. Elves remained as the majority race within Syngorn (85%), when the population of humans (9%), halflings (3%), and other races (3%) saw a slight increase.[1]

Notable people[edit | edit source]

Since not all surnames are known, the following table is sorted by first name.

Name Type Description
Verdant Lord Celindar NPC Warden and commander of the Beryl Keep.
Devana Vessar NPC Cartographer and stepmother of Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia.
Delegate Kel'jaia Uloeh NPC Gnome delegate on the Tal'Dorei Council
Lyssev Sorveline NPC Elven monk has been wandering the Reverie Walks for five hundred years (as of 836 PD), seeking answers to questions unknown even to the gods.[13]
Ouestra, the Voice of Memory NPC Warden of the Memory Ward and leader of the Dreamweavers.
Guildrunner Rawndel NPC Warden of the Tarn Ward.
Syldor Vessar NPC Diplomat, ambassador in Emon, and father of Vax and Vex.
High Warden Tyrelda NPC High Warden of Syngorn.
Velora Vessar NPC Half-sister of Vax and Vex.
Windybranch NPC Pixie prince of the Feygrove.
Yurek Windkeeper NPC Founder of the Arcana Pansophical.
Symbol of the Wardens of Syngorn from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 39.[art 5]

Factions[edit | edit source]

  • Dreamweavers: Oracles and tenders of the Sequoia of Remembrance. They are among the most well-respected factions within Syngorn, and their leader, Warden Ouestra, is the most revered and socially powerful of the Wardens.[3]
  • Myriad: By 836 PD, the Myriad "longer had any presence Syngorn, uprooted by citizens' uprising.[17]
  • Rawndel's guilds
    • Elvencraft Alliance: The guild entrusted with creating art bringing the essence of the Syngornian culture far and wide across Tal'Dorei. The Elvencraft Alliance is considered to the oldest guild of Syngorn. The front rooms of their guildhall are a museum of ancient elven crafts, preserving Syngorn's cultural heritage.[7]
    • Mithral Fellowship: The association of master metallurgists and smiths crafting goods from metal and jewels, sometimes in tandem with the artists of the Elvencraft Alliance. The fellowship members are tasked with arming the Verdant Guard and the armies of Syngorn, due to their highly prioritized task, none but authorized members of the fellowship are allowed within their guildhall.[7]
    • Spellbinder's Guild: "Many of Syngorn's most trustworthy mages are members of the Spellbenders, a guild dedicated to creating new spells and using them to create works of art, defend their homeland, and improve the lives of Syngornians. Their guildhall is only accessible to those with the express permission of Guildrunner Rawndel."[7]

History[edit | edit source]

The Court of Ullusa was an Age of Arcanum-era elven society in Tal'Dorei. It fell during The Calamity, and the survivors fled to the Feywild. Shortly after the Divergence, a group of four hundred elves led by Yenlara returned to the Material Plane and founded Syngorn, which at one point housed nearly of the elves of Tal'Dorei.[18][1]

The rise of human colonies irritated the elves of Syngorn. The tension was growing between the two, with the human society threateningly encroaching upon the elven territories and logging their sacred woodlands. These tensions, however, did not build to war for a long time. The frustrating memories of this relationship remained a thorn in the side of the elfkind throughout their long-lasting lives.[19]

In the century the human societies were united under the autocratic rule of King Warren Drassig who severed any remaining connections with the elves of Syngorn. The elves were furious, but the ambassador from Syngorn to Drassig's Emon hoped to resolve this diplomatically, upon his arrival in the Emon was apprehended, tortured, and slain. This final act of treachery flared up into the Scattered War.[20]

Not long after the end of the Scattered War, the northern Tal'Dorei has been plagued by a titan Errevon, and Republic of Tal'Dorei, elves of Syngorn, and dwarves of Kraghammer allied once again against common threat. The even was remembered as the Icelost Years.[21]

Kith & Kin[edit | edit source]

In early 800s PD Vex'ahlia and Vax'ildan went to live with their father when they were ten years old, and although they spent several years there, they didn't feel accepted and eventually left.[22]

Campaign 1: Vox Machina[edit | edit source]

Screenshot of Syngorn in the Fey Realm from "The Fey Realm" (LVM2x07).[art 6]

On 27 Duscar, 810 PD, a day after the Chroma Conclave's attack on the Republic of Tal'Dorei, Keyleth performed a scrying ritual to check on Syngorn. She discovered a giant hole in the ground where Syngorn once stood. The members of Vox Machina believed that Syngorn had phased into the Feywild as a defensive response, waiting out until the danger posed by the dragons had pass.[23]

While in the Feywild, Vox Machina entered Syngorn with Garmelie[24] and visited the twins' father, Syldor and conversed with High Warden Tyrelda.[25]

Some time shortly after 8 Misuthar, 811 PD,[26] before the siege of Emon, Syngorn was transported back to its original location in Exandria.[27]

Post-Campaign[edit | edit source]

By 836 PD, the invasion of the Chroma Conclave convinced lawmakers of Syngorn and Kraghammer to strengthen the alliances with the peoples of Tal'Dorei. One ambassador each from both Kraghammer and Syngorn got a seat with voting power on the Tal'Dorei council. The allied nations allowed free trade and open borders across their territories.[28]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 3: "Tal'Dorei Gazetteer", p. 123.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 81.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 3: "Tal'Dorei Gazetteer", p. 124.
  4. "Family Matters" (1x96) at 3:07:40.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 82.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 3: "Tal'Dorei Gazetteer", p. 125.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 3: "Tal'Dorei Gazetteer", p. 127.
  8. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 84.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 83.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 3: "Tal'Dorei Gazetteer", pp. 124–125.
  11. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 84–85.
  12. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 83–84.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 3: "Tal'Dorei Gazetteer", p. 126.
  14. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 85.
  15. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 2: "Allegiances of Tal'Dorei", p. 63.
  16. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 81–82.
  17. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 2: "Allegiances of Tal'Dorei", p. 61.
  18. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 8.
  19. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 1: "Welcome to Tal'Dorei", p. 18.
  20. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 1: "Welcome to Tal'Dorei", pp. 18–19.
  21. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 1: "Welcome to Tal'Dorei", p. 21.
  22. Vox Machina — Kith & Kin.
  23. "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) from 33:33 through 36:43.
  24. "The Feywild" (1x59) at 2:59:46.
  25. "Heredity and Hats" (1x60) at 29:47.
  26. "Path of Brass" (1x74) from 1:23:25 through 1:26:23. Allura notified Syldor and Mikael Daxio in Syngorn to return to Exandria.
  27. "The Siege of Emon" (1x78) at 1:52:34. Vox Machina met with the armies of Tal'Dorei and Syngorn outside of Emon, so Syngorn must've returned to Exandria by then.
  28. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 2: "Allegiances of Tal'Dorei", p. 44.

Art:

  1. Official art of Syngorn's Tarn Ward, by Bryan Syme from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 83. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Official map of Syngorn and surroundings, by Andy Law from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  3. Official map of Syngorn, by Andy Law from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  4. Official art of the Emerald Citadel in Syngorn, by Kent Davis (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  5. Symbol of the Wardens of Syngorn from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 39. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  6. Screenshot of Syngorn in the Fey Realm from "The Fey Realm" (LVM2x07). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  7. Background art of Syldor's residence in Syngorn for the second season of The Legend of Vox Machina, by Addison Bell (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  8. Background art of Syldor's office in Syngorn for the second season of The Legend of Vox Machina, by Roger Odsa and Addison Bell (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.

Footnotes:

  1. "Weapons have a +1 bonus to damage rolls, horses and other mounts increase their movement speed by 10 feet, and other items are possessed of unearthly beauty and preternatural durability."