Taer Lian Doresh: Fortress of Fading Dreams

Once a proud citadel of the eladrin, known simply as Shae Doresh or the "Spire of Dreams," was destroyed by a curse of the Xen'drik giants in an age long past. Millenia ago, the eladrin feyspire of Shae Tirias Tolai appeared in Xen'drik as the plane of Thelanis, the Feywild, became coterminous with Eberron. The giants of Xen'drik attacked and pillaged the spire, dragging its inhabitants back to their cities to become the slaves that would eventually lead to the elf and drow races. The loss of Shae Tirias Tolai was felt deeply by the remaining feyspires but the lords of Shae Doresh determined to fight back. Over the next two-and-a-half centuries they plotted their revenge and when the feyspires came once more to the mortal plane they attacked the giants in a desperate act of revenge. Perhaps if they had convinced the other feyspires to help they might have succeeded, but their attack only angered the titans and the retaliatory strike flung Shae Doresh from both the mortal realm and Thelanis into the chaotic Plane of Dreams.
For millenia, the eladrin feared that Shae Doresh was lost forever but it returned along with the other feyspires on the Day of Mourning when they became stranded in Eberron. Renamed the Fortress of Fading Dreams, the feyspire-turned-citadel rests in the frozen wilderness claimed as part of the Lhazaar Principalities. In their own mist-shrouded realm, the fey of the Fading Dream harbor unconsoleable grief still and command powerful magics. The wyrds, as they call themselves, are a dangerous wild card that many in Khorvaire are blissfully ignorant of. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the darker forces at work in the world.

Taer Lian Doresh by the Numbers

Taer Lian Doresh (Large Town); Nonstandard (eladrin lord); AL NE; 3,000 gp limit; Assets 600,000 gp; Population 4,000; Integrated (60% eladrin, 12% gnomes, 10% banshrae, 8% quicklings, 4% hags, 3% dryads, 3% satyrs).
Absolute ruler: Shan Lian Doresh, Lord of the Fading Dream.

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Chapter One: A Visitor's Guide to Taer Lian Doresh

With the simple measure of population, Taer Lian Doresh is not a terribly impressive settlement. By the standards of most experts it doesn't even rank as a city when compared to the cities of the Five Nations. The Fortress of Fading Dreams is no ordinary place, though, and its worth is not measured in the number of people who call it home. It is a powerful force in the culture of Khorvairian eladrin with influence far beyond the physical space it occupies on either Eberron the or Plane of Dreams. With such a reputation, there are a number of reasons why travelers would seek the nightmare feyspire.

Access to Dal Quor

Those who study the plane of Dal Quor know that its connection to Eberron was severed thousands of years ago by the giants fighting off an invasion from the Realm of Dreams. Methods for reaching the plane are very rare in this age and the educated also know that the quori who call it home guard these few passages jealously. The Towers of Taer Lian Doresh, however, offer a connection Dal Quor which is controlled by a group other than the quori. The Dreaming Dark certainly has a presence in the feyspire but they are by no means in control and those who would rather avoid the attention of the dream-creatures could possibly reach the Plane of Dreams through this location. It isn't possible to simply step through the balconies or windows in the citadel that connect to Dal Quor, but rituals for moving to another plane might be augmented if performed in Taer Lian Doresh.

Fey Vengeance

Travelers attempting to gain access to Taer Lian Doresh know that it is a hostile and guarded place, but this might be a draw for some. The other feyspires trapped on Eberron (such as Pylas Pirial) are either attempting to live within the world and others (like Shae Joridal and Taer Syraen) are already embroiled in conflicts. By contrast, Taer Lian Doresh is a feyspire which has given itself over to conflict so fully that it is forever changed. Any who seek fey allies against a foe, particularly one tied to the giants, could seek an audience with Shan Lian Doresh to convince him to commit his warriors to a cause. The eladrin lord is far from a friendly listener but he has committed himself to strong action in the past and has proven his devotion to a worthy cause.

Knowledge of the Giants

During the 250 years that Taer Lian Doresh prepared to wage war against the giants of Xen'drik for their attack against Shae Tirias Tolai, they amassed a huge amount of reconnaissance through scrying and spies. The records of the giants themselves mostly lie moldering in fetid jungles or lost in the wastes of the Menechtarun but the information gathered by the eladrin of the Fading Dream is presumably still locked in the secret vaults of the fortress. Adventurers in need of information on the giants may want to petition Shan Lian Doresh for access to these records for some reason. Convincing the fey wyrds of the citadel of the worthiness of that reason, of course, might be a quest in itself and no fey lord gives something away for free.

Chapter Two: Life in Taer Lian Doresh

Surrounding the fortress is the Whitepine Forest, a misty forest of evergreens that is usually hanging with mist. Once a traveler finds his way through this wilderness, he must then find the Approach. Taer Lian Doresh is only approachable from one direction, anyone coming another way will become hopelessly lost, and Shan Lian Doresh himself controls the means of entering the fortress along this route. If a traveler finds the Approach and makes it across the ephemeral Soughing Bridge, he must then walk through the gauntlet formed by the Trees of Sentinel where eladrin bowmen wait to kill any unwanted visitors. The trees were once mighty, living things but they have been transformed into cruel mockeries meant only for killing. Anyone who makes it past this dangerous path is either a friend or an immortal. From here one can see the six great Towers of the city which are always different for each onlooker but always nightmarish. From the outside, the towers' slender walls and needled tops take on some dark aspect from the viewer's psyche and from the inside they show either the ghostly Whitepine Forest or the alien landscape of Dal Quor. The Towers stand tall over the city proper, called the Grottoes and Groves of Taer Lian Doresh. Before the city's downfall these were peaceful and calm areas but now they are a twisting testimony of dark tunnels, tomb-like homes, and everything else that marks Taer Lian Doresh as the darkest feyspire. At the center of the city is Night's Refuge, a marketplace and concert ground where none may be harmed by decree of the city's lord.
See Also: More on the character and history of Taer Lian Doresh can be found on page 143 of the Eberron Campaign Guide and pages 4-9 of Dragon 178.

Chapter Three: Power and Politics

The archfey Lord of the Fading Dream is the undeniable ruler of Taer Lian Doresh, through a grace which demands loyalty as much as ruthlessness which punishes disobedience. Like any fey court, though, intrigue and petty rivalries make this dictatorship into a labyrinthine sea of secrets.

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Shan Lian Doresh

The Lord of the Fading Dream is a secretive and ancient archfey. He watches the world from his dark tower in Taer Lian Doresh by invading sleepers' dreams and plots revenge for the events that led to his city's transformation. Though visitors rarely ever see him in person, let alone get the chance to confront him, Shan Lian Doresh is a powerful foe capable of destroying most challengers. He draws upon his enemies' fears in combat, creating dreamwraiths which distract and torment them while his breathtaking blade of phantasms slices through flesh and sanity alike.
Many fey creatures still swear fealty to the eladrin lord, chief among them his Knights of Terror, but all who live in Taer Lian Doresh are twisted by their association with the nightmares of Dal Quor. The wyrds of Taer Lian Doresh are not the only servants of Shan Lian Doresh, though, and some mortals swear oaths to the fey lord in desperation. Warlocks pledge their lives to Shan Lian Doresh sometimes in exchange for nightmarish powers, and psionic characters also seek the powerful learning of the Fading Dream to improve their powers.

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See Also: More information on Shan Lian Doresh can be found on pages 5-6 of Dragon 178.

Santyriana

This terrifying night hag is the most powerful of her kind in Taer Lian Doresh and a valued advisor to the Lord of the Fading Dream. When not in the Fortress, Santyriana acts as the Lord's emissary to Dal Quor and with her network of sister hags throughout Khorvaire. Santyriana preforms horrible experiments in her tower, pushing mortal captives to the breaking point before devouring them.
Santyriana is also the leader of the Shrouded Sages, a cabal of mystics who deal in nightmares the way that others might deal in trade goods. The sages sift through ancient relics and the dreams of the innocent to find clues and plots which may help Taer Lian Doresh. They are also alchemists who can provide agents of the Fortress with draughts to bring sleepers to Taer Lian Doresh or with spells to make their nightmares into real creatures that the wyrds can use for their own purposes. The sages' potions are distributed in the mortal realm by the sadistic troupe of entertainers called the Harlequinade whose patriarch, Marrot the Fool, is one of Shan Lian Doresh's close advisors.
See Also: More information on Santyriana can be found on page 6 of Dragon 178. Information on the Shrouded Sages can be found on page 7 of Dragon 178 and page 144 of the Eberron Campaign Guide. The Harlequinade and Marrot the Fool are discussed on pages 9-11 of Dragon 181.

The Paranymph

The enigmatic creature known as the Paranymph is the mouthpiece for Taer Lian Doresh, forging pacts with mortals and recruiting more to join the fold. Her past is shrouded in mystery as are her ultimate intentions but this fey creature, who lives a life of oscillating extremes, is wholly devoted to the advancement of Taer Lian Doresh and its goals. Most mortals have their first brush with the power of the Fading Dream through this creature in dreams or, rarely, in person and no mortals ever forget the disturbing encounter.
See Also: The Paranymph is described more fully on page 6 of Dragon 178.

Sidgevin

Once a ruler of a small fey realm, the eladrin noble Sidgevin is the most bloodthirsty of the wyrds, which is no small feat. His heart is poisoned with hatred and frustration at his fate, causing him to become cold and unforgiving. He prefers to kill rather than torment and stays away from the court intrigues which might endear him to the Lord of the Fading Dream.
See Also: Sidgevin is described on pages 12-13 of Dragon 181.

Chapter Four: Guilds and Organizations

Beyond the noble rulers of Taer Lian Doresh are outside interests with dark plans for using the feyspire to their own advantage.

The Dreaming Dark

As a unique window between Dal Quor and the waking world, it comes as no surprise that that the Dreaming Dark have a keen interest in the feyspire. Quori can freely enter Taer Lian Doresh, with the permission of its Lord, and interact with mortals there, though they exit into their own plane. Meetings with agents on Khorvaire might take place here or plots to capture and kill troublesome enemies. Most negotiations with Shan Lian Doresh fall to Amdrashar, Consul of the Dreaming Dark and Inspired lady of Riedra. Amdrashar enters the feyspire from Eberron and so can exit into the waking world as well, either luring mortals into the clutches of her fellow quori or delivering instructions to Dreaming Dark agents in Khorvaire.
See Also: More information on Amdrashar and the Dreaming Dark's plots in Taer Lian Doresh can be found on page 7 of Dragon 178 and pages 6-8 of Dragon 181.

The Lord of Blades

While the Lord of Blades would like to ally with Taer Lian Doresh against the Five Nations, his efforts at diplomacy have been so far refused. The warforged general is interested in a force of military outsiders but they are just as interested in the race of warforged and have held his envoy captive for some time. The Lord's envoy, Adjuvant, wanders Taer Lian Doresh but is not allowed to find his way back out.
See Also: Adjuvant and his failed expedition are described in more detail on pages 5-6 of Dragon 181.

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