|Ruler||Queen Telandia Edasseril|
|Demonym||Kyoni (s.)/Kyoni (pl.)|
|Religions||Calistria, Desna, Nethys, Elven pantheon|
The homeland of the elven race on Golarion, Kyonin (pronounced ky-OH-nihn) was almost completely evacuated by the elves just before the fall of the Starstone. They only recently (by elven standards) returned to Golarion to reclaim their ancient homeland and have become an isolationist realm, allowing few non-elven visitors into their mist-shrouded capital, Iadara.
Kyonin may not always have been known as Kyonin and has not always had the same borders as it has today, but it has always been the spiritual homeland of the elves. It is unknown exactly how long elves have resided there. Before Earthfall, the elves did not measure time in any meaningful way, only by the great astrological cycles and the ebb and flow of the seasons. Certainly Kyonin was inhabited for a very long time before Earthfall, as numerous ruins of monuments, buildings, fountains, orreries, and sculptures still dot the forests north of the Five Kings Mountains. The elves lived in harmony with the land during this period, as the structures they built seem to grow from the landscape itself.
Despite the innumerable years the elves had spent dwelling amongst the vast forests and rolling fields of their homelands, they were forced to abandoned their ancient home in -5293 AR. The elven seers foresaw the coming of the Starstone and the devastation it would wreak on Golarion. Seeing no other alternative, the elves retreated from Golarion via a magical gate known as the Sovyrian Stone to the mysterious realm of Sovyrian, from which they are rumored to have originated. They left behind little more than legends and fantastical, ruined cities.
Some elves remained on Golarion as stewards of their former homes and ancient cities, or out of a loyalty for Golarion, while others believed that they could survive the coming apocalypse or believed that the seers were simply wrong. These who remained behind went their various way after Earthfall, surviving as best they could in the new, harsher world, and slowly growing away from the old, elven culture. Many assimilated into human cultures, becoming the first Forlorn. A few remained behind in Kyonin, continuing to watch their ancient cities and protect their racial lore. Kyonin remained effectively an abandoned nation, watched over only by a few elven sentinels for nearly 8,000 years. Few in numbers, they largely kept to illusion-shrouded Iadara and looked on helplessly as their other communities were looted, and their former homes taken over by squatters. Countless cultural and magical artifacts were taken during this time, a slight that the elves have not forgiven to this day.
Coming of Treerazer
The catalyst for the elves' return from Sovyrian began thousands of years later in the foul depths of the Abyss when the nascent demon lord Treerazer attempted an unsuccessful coup against his demonic master Cyth-V'sug. While this was not particularly unusual in the traitorous politics of the Abyss, what was unusual was that Treerazer was not killed for his treason. Instead, he was permanently exiled to Golarion in 2497 AR. He found himself in the southern Fierani Forest, and immediately began sucking all life from it and poisoning its plants, water, and earth. He eventually traveled northwards and discovered shrouded Iadara. There he probed the minds of the few remaining elves and learned of the Sovyrian Stone, and immediately realized he could pervert its energies, break its connection to Sovyrian, and use it to open a portal to the Abyss, from which to draw a demonic horde.
The few remaining elves in Kyonin provided little resistance, and soon Treerazer had possession of the Sovyrian Stone. His infernal manipulations did not, however, go unnoticed. In distant Sovyrian, the elves detected Treerazer's attempts to corrupt the Stone. The elves returned to Golarion in 2632 AR, pouring through the gateway and driving back Treerazer and his foul minions.
Upon returning to Golarion they found it much changed. The world had recovered faster in the past 8,000 years than the elves had anticipated. Fighting for their homes, the elves pushed Treerazer back to the very limits of Kyonin, but found they were unable to destroy him completely. Content that the threat of Treerazer was contained, the elves set about guarding the southern Kyonin where Treerazer had fled, an area now known as the Tanglebriar. With the demon contained, the elves steeled themselves for a further onslaught, expecting the hordes of savage humans that they had been fighting with when they left Golarion. The attack never came, and when the elves began to explore the world, they found humanity to be generally far more civilised than when they had left. Instead of returning to Sovyrian, the elves decided to remain on Golarion, and repopulate their ancestral homeland. Since then, the elves have continued their battle against Treerazer and struggle to re-establish themselves in a new and very different world.
Kyonin is a haven of incredible natural beauty. The predominant feature of the country is the Fireani Forest, but Kyonin also boasts sweeping plains and the northernmost peaks of the Five Kings Mountain Range. The Five Kings Mountains form the southern border of Kyonin. On the western border lies Lake Encarthan, and the northern and eastern borders are formed by the Glass River, the West Sellen River, and the Sellen River, which flows to the Inner Sea.
The exception to the immense beauty of Kyonin is the Tanglebriar, the demon-haunted swamps between the southern edge of the Fierani Forest and the northern edge of the Five Kings Mountains. The area was once part of the Fierani Forest, but became something far more sinister when Treerazer was banished there. The demonic essence of the demon lord and his minions has corrupted the forest, turning it into a dark swamp where the light of the sun rarely reaches the ground, and evil fey cavort with Abyss-spawned demons.
Kyonin has the largest population of elves on the planet, despite their low birth rate. Kyonin is considered the spiritual homeland of the elven people; as such, many elves are steadfastly opposed to the idea of non-elves living in Kyonin. Some extremely conservative groups, such as the Winter Council, are known to be violent in their opposition.
There are, however, three communities where non-elves are welcomed. The port city of Greengold was founded to allow trade with foreign merchants on Kyonin soil, and has flourished into a cosmopolitan city inhabited by members of every civilized race. Additionally, half-elves occupy the fishing village of Erages, and gnomes have built a treetop community above the elven settlement of Omesta.
Despite the fact that the return from Sovyrian happened over 2,000 years ago, the elves of Kyonin are still in the process of reclaiming the settlements they abandoned while fleeing the Starstone.
The elves of Kyonin worship a large assortments of deities, although Calistria, Desna, and Nethys are the most popular. Kyonin is also one of the few places on Golarion where the gods of the elven pantheon are commonly worshiped.
Queen Telandia Edasseril, bearer of the Viridian Crown, is the ruler of Kyonin. Although she is an absolute monarch, Talandia is a liberal queen who understands that freedom is one of the highest ideals of the elven race. As is the case in human courts around the world, elven courts are no strangers to factionalism and intrigue, and members of her court and her advisors question her decisions, or actively work to advance their own interests. Their advice is wide-ranging and include urging her to retake more of their ancestral racial holdings across Avistan and Garund, definitively deal with Treerazer and his minions, or address the drow issue. In addition to members of her Iadaran court and her own advisors, independent elven groups, such as the conservative Winter Council, also hope to change the queen's mind on a number of issues. Queen Telandia knows that for elves to recapture their power in the current age, they must shrug off their cloaks of isolationism and reengage with the world, and with each passing year, more non-elven ambassadors are allowed into Kyonin to explore the mysterious nation.
Unlike the Forlorn, the elves of Kyonin have no desire to live amongst non-elves, despite the many cultural and technological advances humanity has achieved in the last few thousand years. In the eyes of the Kyonin elves, human cultures and religions are simply too diverse and chaotic to compete with their own culture's serene refinements. Kyonin therefore follows a strictly isolationist policy, and its rangers patrol its borders with deadly effectiveness.
This can lead to some complicated interactions with Kyonin's human neighbors. The Iadaran government is on generally good terms with freedom-loving Andoran and the crusaders traveling up the Sellen River to reach Mendev. Other neighbors, however, showcase the worst elements of human civilization: bureaucratic Druma, chaotic Galt, and the constantly warring River Kingdoms. Additionally, Kyonin is effectively at war with Razmiran to the north, because its ruler, Razmir, has declared the elves to be heretics. The war is not a particularly active one, however, as Kyonin's northern border is well-defended, and Razmiran is not eager to lose more troops. Rulers of the River Kingdoms have been known to seek recognition from the elven nation, but the elven queen has no interest in treating with such transitory realms. This has caused considerable friction, even to the point of conflict, but River Kingdom inhabitants have long ago learned to treat the elves with caution and respect after several failed incursions into Kyonin.
Kyonin has long desired to reclaim the human-occupied elven ruin of Sevenarches in the River Kingdoms and has established the colony of Hymbria toward that end. Kyonin's control over this outpost has been growing increasingly tenuous in recent years due to populating Hymbria mainly with malcontents and other undesirables.
The elves have never fully forgiven humanity for the illicit trade of elven goods that were taken from Kyonin during the elves' long absence. Organisations such as the Pathfinder Society are especially reviled, and the elves have responded violently to the Society's interference in elven matters. This was demonstrated in 4708 AR when the elven queen had a Pathfinder group known as the Leaves of Talhindir assassinated.
Five Kings Mountains
One of Kyonin's greatest assets is the system of teleportation gates known as the aiudara. Similar in design and function to the great Sovyrian Stone, these lesser gates connect Kyonin with locations around Golarion, and allow them to draw on far-flung resources at a moment's notice.
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