At the very heart of the Elderwood, Aurel’s Reach unfurls. Envision the central region of the Elderwood map: this is the Eldergrove, the verdant heart where Aurel’s Reach proudly stands. Its origins remain a mystery to me, yet over countless centuries, it’s blossomed to accommodate a lively 15,000 souls. The city sprawls gracefully alongside a serene, straight stretch of the river, which some say lent its name to the town.
Debate flourishes over the eponymous ‘Aurel’. Was he a pioneering explorer, the city’s founder, or perhaps the river’s original namesake? Only the whispers of ancient trees might tell.
The city’s vastness mingles seamlessly with the forest, a dance of wood, stone, and greenery. One can’t help but notice the distinct Old Town, ensconced behind high walls, evoking ages past with its robust towers and gates. It’s a clear nod to traditional city planning, standing in stark contrast to the rest of Aurel’s Reach, which exudes a more…organic ambiance.
As the years rolled by, the inhabitants took a delightfully eclectic approach to expansion. Their choice of materials and seemingly spontaneous design decisions lend the city a unique, bricolage essence. This delightful architectural marriage ensures the city and forest blend so intricately, it’s hard to discern where one ends and the other begins. Roads and buildings, over time, have harmoniously co-evolved with the trees and groves. Despite the city walls, I’ve often felt navigating the dense Elderwood was simpler than maneuvering through the labyrinthine alleys of Aurel’s Reach.
One might surmise that the Old Town was the meticulous work of high elves, while the remainder of the city seems inspired by what little an Illithid left in the mind of a genius gnome tinkerer. All in all, wandering its streets evokes the same joy as savoring a masterfully prepared 11-course Elderwood feast.