The War for Thamatra
Kingswood is a vast forest that is located about mid-latitudes roughly centered on the Northern Continent. Physically, it is the third largest of the forested elven kingdoms, (Celebor and Wyrdwood being first and second, respectfully), and is almost half as large as Vilaria. Population wise, it ranks 4th in the elven kingdoms, with the notable exception of being almost completely half-elves of mixed human lineage. This difference has sometimes caused periods of strained relationships between the peoples of Kingswood and the rest of the elven nations.
Kingswood was founded as a sylvan and grey elf kingdom by Valan the Long-Lived, after the End of the Years of Darkness. During this time, the grey elves established themselves as the dominant culture over the sylvan elves, forming goverments and city-states within the great forest, and developing trade with the other elf-realms. Border towns were established as trading posts and defense garrisons, and a system of roadways were built and patrolled, as well as a centralized military for defense of the kingdom and it’s allies.
The wood elves tended to dwell outside of the grey elf communities, preferring to be more “in tune” with the forest and it’s denizins. As a result, most wood elves became somewhat disenfranchised in the affairs of the realm, but continued to remain active in a local fashion thru their clans.
During the conflicts later known as the Wyrm Wars, the elf warriors of Kingswood were mustered and sent to the aid of the Elven Alliance (a predecessor to the Federation). With this massive drain on the population, the goverment became decentralized, and most administrative functions were assumed by the the Chapterhouses of the Order of Mielikki.The remaining elves were mustered to defend the realm – this was fortuitious, as the Goblin Horde later attacked Kingswood while the bulk of the kingdom’s forces were away.
About this time the barbarian horsemen from the Vilarian Highlands traveled south thru Kingswood, to also fight for the Alliance. While the barbarians were in Kingswood, they aided the local wood and grey elves in repelling the goblin invaders. Afterward, they “socialized” with the elves who remained. The resultant “baby-boom” produced barbarian/elf strains that bred true. These became the basis for the new populace.
Thru the years the half-elf culture grew and prospered. The half-elves are the majority of the population, with a respectable mixture of wood, high and grey elves making the minority, plus some humans compassionate to the causes of Kingswood. There are also isolated pockets of wild elves in the more remote regions.
With the change in demigraphics, some of the settlements built by the grey elves were inhabited by half-elves or wood elves, while others dwindled and were eventually abandoned and lost. Ranger patrols sometimes will come across a forgotten enclave ruin or hidden ranger caches in the forest.
Although Lord Valan is still recognized as the King, sole monarch and Defender of the Realm, the decentralization of the goverment that occured during the war remains in effect. The Chapterhouses still directly manage the different regions of the forest realm, and has established bands of rangers in each village to provide for the common defense, and occassionally maintain or restore the peace. These bands are usually composed of clans, family-type tribal units who oftentimes took to the ranger calling as a matter of heritage and tradition. The villages and their surrounding countrysides are patrolled, with cooperation by neighboring clans on the manning of border regions and roadways.
The Kingswood city of Valancourt is still considered the capitol for the realm, since the Royal Court and King’s Army is located there, but, for the most part, the locals manage themselves. The King is quite content with this arrangement; it allows him to pursue other interests (Lord Valan is known to have a tirelessly curious mind, and pursues continuing education as a hobby).
Kingswood is mostly self-sufficient, but does trade for those goods they cannot produce, or those goods they desire for their properties. A prime example is the trade in textiles and woolens from Brendanmoor, which is used in the making of ranger garb, particularly the green/grey cloaks favored in the region.