Semberholme

Netheril: flying cities, ancient scrolls written on gold leaf, and just a little bit of hubris.
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Big Mac
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Semberholme

Post by Big Mac » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:29 pm

Myth Drannor got it's own Arcane Age book (The Fall of Myth Drannor) but how much information do we have on Semberholme?

I've found a Forgotten Realms Wiki article called Semberholme, but it's about the region of Cormanthyr, rather than it's capital city.

How did Semberholme work? Did it function like a city-state?

What examples are there of similar elven cities that could be rebooted to provide material for Semberholme?

How can Semberholme be made to feel like it has some things in common with Myth Drannor, but also retain a feel of having it's own identity?
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night_druid
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Re: Semberholme

Post by night_druid » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:33 pm

I never got the impression that Semberholme was all that big. Maybe the size of a large town, tops. Certainly nothing that would cause adventurers to swarm it like they did to Myth Drannor

As far as its character in the Arcane Age, I'd treat it as an elven town within the kingdom that focused on healing and rest. Young couples would travel there to birth children, and the sick would journey there to heal and be cured of their ailments. Maybe something not unlike Rivendell. During the Weeping Wars it was used as a hospice for wounded soldiers.

That's the general character I've gathered about the place.
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Tonnichiwa
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Re: Semberholme

Post by Tonnichiwa » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:01 am

The Forgotten Realms supplement called Cormanthyr, Empire of the Elves has information about Semberholme and the city also called Semberholme, beginning on page 86 and ending on page 94.

It is basically a city that for the most part is built in the trees with very expensive materials because most of the people who live there are incredibly wealthy. It caters to the elderly and pregnant and is often the final resting place of the elderly before their mystical journey to Arvandor. It is also a center of learning for younger elves and has many teachers and priests. A full 60% of the population of the city is female. The majority of people are Gold and Moon elves.

The trees are more dense here than in other parts of the Cormanthor forest and the town as well as the forest have limestone caverns beneath them that are used for refuge during any attacks on the city and surrounding wood.

I haven't seen a map of Semberholme yet though.

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Re: Semberholme

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:43 am

To expand a little on Tonnichiwa's post:
Big Mac wrote:MHow did Semberholme work? Did it function like a city-state?
More or less, yes. It was loosely governed by a council of elves- the Council of Trees. It doesn't sound as if they were a strict governing body, but more just a gathering of the elders of Semberholme and the clans/communities surrounding the city, though the founders of Semberholme (the Ulondarr clan) were accorded the most deference. As Semberholme is the most secure area in the region, it seems as if the Council primarily functions to assist in coordinating defense efforts (and retreat into the caverns beneath the region, if necessary).

ETA: What the text says, in a nutshell:
Cormanthyr, p. 89 wrote:Most of the resolutions the Council of Trees proclaim deal Magic with the expansion of Semberholme, the encroachment of humans, the duties of the Moonshadows, and civil relations (when needed) with other elven communities in Cormanthyr.
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Re: Semberholme

Post by Big Mac » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:28 am

night_druid wrote:I never got the impression that Semberholme was all that big. Maybe the size of a large town, tops. Certainly nothing that would cause adventurers to swarm it like they did to Myth Drannor
Perhaps you are right. The FR Wiki article for the area has this summary of settlements:
Forgotten Realms Wiki wrote:Settlements
  • Aluianti, a former gold elf village, abandoned after the Weeping War and fitted with traps.
  • Bristar, a village once part of Semberholme formerly known as Velethuil, in later Deepingdale.
  • Ferrengrove, a green elf village for elves serving in the Moonshadows, entirely arboreal.
  • Llanthorn, a former village abandoned after the Weeping War.
  • Moonrise Hill, an old moon elf village near a wyvern-infested crag, part of later Deepingdale but formerly called Ssrenshen.
  • Muirllar, a former village abandoned after the Weeping War.
  • The city of Semberholme (city)Semberholme, the ancient center of the region, a village on the banks of Lake Sember.
  • Tsornyl, an old village that was destroyed by the followers of Moander and the High Mages who imprisoned them.
So they are calling it both a villiage and a city! :?
night_druid wrote:As far as its character in the Arcane Age, I'd treat it as an elven town within the kingdom that focused on healing and rest. Young couples would travel there to birth children, and the sick would journey there to heal and be cured of their ailments. Maybe something not unlike Rivendell. During the Weeping Wars it was used as a hospice for wounded soldiers.

That's the general character I've gathered about the place.
Sounds good. The Forgotten Realms Wiki article for the area says it was known for having skilled midwives, and for elves travelling into the area to give birth to children. So some of that would have been happening in the capital too.

Thanks for your help
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