The elves of Valenar are among the most fearsome warriors on Eberron. Their society is dedicated to martial perfection. They idolize the military heroes of antiquity, believing that the greatest warriors of this age will become vessels for the champions of the past.
That means that, fundamentally, the elves of Valenar are there to fight. They’re not invading other countries in an active fashion, but their presence in Khorvaire is a challenge and an invitation that they expect someone to take on soon – and if that doesn’t happen, perhaps they will become the aggressors.
Ten thousand years ago, elf warriors watered the sands of the Blade Desert with goblin blood, until overwhelming opposition and dragonfire forced them to return to Aerenal (the elven homeland) which lies across the sea to the South. Today, they have come again to Khorvaire and claimed a kingdom, but the Valenar are not content with this newborn nation. Seeking glory in battle, Valenar warbands push deep into the Talenta Plans and Q’barra in search of worthy foes.
Divisions of Power
While most people refer to both the elves and the land they inhabit as Valenar, the elves are properly called the Valaes Tairn (“warriors of glory”). They are the largest sect of the Tairnadal, an elven culture that follows a more militant path then the Aereni. Until the Last War, the Tairnadal lived in the northern steppes of Aerenal, and much of the culture and social infrastructure of the Valaes Tairn remains there. Valenar is a land at war, and the elves of mainland Khorvaire are a mobile army, ready for action.
House Lyrander Half Elves.
Former Cyrans of many races living under what is essentially a colonial occupation government. However most of these former Cyrans had very little loyalty to their former nation. During the age of Galifar few people chose to make their homes in the land beyond the Blade Desert and these settlers received little support from the crown. When the Valaes Tairn mercenaries imported to fight for Cyre in the Last War broke ties to their masters and laid claim to this land, the common folk were content to accept the elves rule. For them, life has changed little: if anything, the elves tax commoners less than the kings of Galifar once did, since the Valenar soldiers are experts at living off the land.
The elves treat their new vassals fairly, and the peasants have come to take pride in the military might of their new lords. They might not be free, but few of the commoners of Valenar see themselves as slaves-no more so than the commoners of Breland or Karrnath.
Every year, more Tairnadal artisans and support folk travel from Aerenal to settle in the new network of taers (elf fortresses), but elves still learning the arts of war, those too infirm to fight, and the breeding herds of the wondrous elf horses remain secure on the island.
Many of Valenar’s forty-five war clans vie for attention and prestige within the kingdom, but this competition is hardly noticeable in light of the elves’ continued aggression against neighboring countries. Welcomed into Valenar to help with agriculture and administrative tasks, the half-elves of House Lyrandar have a great deal of sway within the country, as do the Keepers of the Past, the most prominent religious group in Valenar.
The Keepers share increasing concern over a rapidly growing warrior cult. This cult, known as the Dalan Rae, brings the idea of ancestor worship to a fanatical extreme. Its warriors, known as the Dalan Rael (or “near dead”), believe that death in battle is but the last step to assuming the true form of a warrior, an undying spirit. These fanatical warriors seek an early death at the hands of a powerful foe, for in their eyes such a death ensures their return as powerful spirit warriors. The cult hopes to build a host of such spirit warriors to ride alongside the living champions of Valenar.