Ruled by the mysterious elven lord known by his neighbors as "The King of the Haunted Wood," the heavily forested kingdom in the shadow of Mount Elthen is rife with legends of restless spirits, strange mists into which people disappear never to be seen again, and a mad fey queen living alone at the forest's heart.
None walk alone in the Fisselwood,
Where the gillies and peddlepons play
Watched by elliyan eyes
Most too late realize
Once they enter, most surely they'll stay.
- Traditional Freefolk Poem
Most of the history of Fisselwood is not that of the kingdom, but rather of the wood itself, for it is only in the last few years that anyone has dared to settle inside the borders of this dark and forbidding place.
The forest blankets the wide valley beneath Mount Elthen (Elthenkrag in the dwarven tongue) like a deep green shadow, and for centuries the people of the region carefully avoided it. Rumors of restless spirits luring travelers into the forest depths, strange mists into which people disappeared never to be seen again, and a mad fey queen living alone at the forest's center all ensured that the area remained uninhabited and unadulterated since before the arrival of the Atlan Alliance.
Some of the forest's reputation may stem from the ley lines that are known to run through the wood. In fact the arcane scholars of Winterkeep believe that the lines cross somewhere within the depths of the forest, which would account for many of the legends surrounding the wood.
Another possible explanation comes from the story of an adventurer who claimed to have discovered an unwarded entrance to the Deeplands beneath the forest's thick canopy. It's been a decade since since the claim was made, and all efforts to find the entrance have failed--largely because the searchers seldom return.
Three years ago, however, an elven lord going by the name of Theron Pullusilva came to the forest with his followers and staked a claim to it. He's established a small settlement on the edge of the wood, and last year he formally presented his right at the High Court.
The court was slow to acknowledge Fisselwood as a free kingdom, perhaps due to Theren's elven heritage more than any other factor. Eventually, however, the High Queen put the matter to a vote of the council and Fisselwood became the newest addition to the coalition.
Since then, Theren and his people have remained largely isolated by neighbors are distrustful of the "King of the Haunted Wood." For his part, Theron has not done much to ease their discomfort about having a fey kingdom in their midst, but as his plans grow clearer perhaps this will change.
As a newly established kingdom, Fisselwood has a weak infrastructure. The few transportation routes that exist are dangerous and difficult to use and most are little more than trails through the woods. The kingdom has only set up the most rudimentary government programs and has undertaken few improvements. As for the military, all accounts suggest it consists of little more than bands of spell wielding rangers with little in the way of true armed defense resources.
A key advantage Fisselwood has as a kingdom is its efficient and loyal government officials. There is very little corruption. As a new kingdom, they have the flexibility to quickly enact new economic policies and they adapt easily to sudden financial changes. Also, thanks to the mobility of their agents and warriors, they are able to strike at enemies from afar if the need ever arises.
The small population of Fisselwood can overcome hardships thrown at them as long as the troubles don't last too long. Their health is fair, and they can recover after suffering from war, plague, or famine if given plenty of time.
By all accounts, the people of Fisselwood are very well educated. Almost every citizen speaks and reads both Atlan and Fey, and most are schooled in other areas as well, particularly in the subjects of the arcane sciences and the natural world. Fisselwood boasts many spellcasters, most of which have received excellent training. The general population, meanwhile, has an enlightened view of magic and the arcane.
Fisselwood has many traditions drawn primarily from the fey cultures. Knowledge is often passed down from one generation to the next giving the people of Fisselwood a store of wisdom to draw upon in times of need. They are a religious people, and Vale is their patron Enaros. They draw some strength from their faith and the gods occasionally smile upon them for their piety.
Fisselwood is well-known for its great diplomatic acumen and has earned the respect, if not the love, of the surrounding kingdoms. It often comes out as the primary beneficiary after engaging in critical diplomacy. Most of these efforts to date were around creating strong alliances and treaties with neighboring kingdoms, agreements which will likely serve it very well in times of crisis. Fisselwood also has a rich store of information on both enemies and allies. The general suspicion is that they've acquired this information through magic, but this hasn't been proven.
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Fisselwood is an official part of the World of Aetaltis, but it is also player controlled kingdom from the Tales of the Free Kingdoms interactive adventure game! Click here for more information on the Tales of the Free Kingdoms game!
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Art & Illustration
- Cartography by Nate Mangion