The Tangled Trees is one of the four old elven communities of Cormanthyr (the others are the Elven Court, Myth Drannor and Semberholme) in the great forest of Cormanthor. Hundreds of elves still occupy the area but they are extremely hostile to outsiders and are likely to attack on sight. The elves of the Tangled Trees typically worship Rillifane Rallathil.
The village itself is large by the standards set after the Retreat in 1344 DR, though many of its residents are on patrols or otherwise wandering among the Tangled Vale along its networks of twisted paths and webbed throughways from connected tree forts to other platroms high in the branches. Its population is largely comprised of youngsters, adventurers and others who did join the Retreat. The village was once called Faelorin, though it was destroyed by the dragon Venom after its mate was slain. The rebuilt village became known as Tangled Trees.
Tangled Trees and its surrounding vale encompass the Vale of Lost Voices to the north, and stretch east to Elven Court and southwest to the River Verire, though much of that territory is now taken by wyverns and the humans of the Dales. The territory is defined primarily by the twisted, tangled nature of the trees, a relic of the days of the dragon Venom, and is inhabited primarily with the green elves of Cormanthyr. Tangled Trees lies on higher elevation than the rest of the forest, and is home to many valleys and hills from the river's run off. The River Duathamper is the primary water source for the realm's inhabitants.
Tangled Trees is comprised primarily of oaks, firs and elms, though they are the twisted variety that render travel nearly impossible in some places. The central and southern areas are more thickly populated by the trees, while the area near Rauthauvyr's Road is thinner and home to more of the humans. Some oak trees in the area have canaries carved into them. The canary is believed by the local elves to be the favourite creature of Rillifane Rallathil (the work of Makk Fireseed), and these oaks have been turned into shrines. Their upper branches are often adorned with the skulls of anyone who has been caught interfering with them and subsequently killed.
Tangled Trees remains home to a healthy population of deer, rabbit, and squirrel, though much of what once was was destroyed by the reign of Venom the dragon. The place used to be home to a large group of centaurs, though they fled east after the dragon came and never returned to the tangled woods.
The area known as Tangled Trees lies in the Tangled Vale, the woods south of Elven Court. The area was once called the Emerald Vale, and during the rise of Cormanthyr, it was home to a sparse few wild elves. The area came to the forefront of the elves' attentions in the year -982 DR, when the woods and the hills of the area became inhabited by the great Green dragon, Venominhandar, or "Venom" for short, and his draconic followers. Venom was no ordinary dragon; the elves quickly recognized his startling intelligence, magic resistance (even to Elven High Magic), and his sway over the draconic forces he commanded, including young green and black dragons and a slough of wyverns. What was worse, the dragon never seemed to sleep like others of his age and was never caught off guard.
Over the course of five hundred years, Venom repulsed attack after attack from the elves, and gained more and more territory with each retreat the elves were forced to follow. The dragon used his innate powers of warp wood to shift the trees in his domain, twisting them together and forming a tangled resistant terrain that the elves had difficulty penetrating, and thus arose the name of Tangled Vale. By -400 DR, his territory stretched to the River Verire to the south and west, and Old Elven Court to the north and east. Venom became a major threat to the elves and to Cormanthyr.
By -291 DR, the Cormanthyran army was spread out across the woods' northern borders, dealing with the Netherese exodus and survivor state conflicts from that nation, and thus could do little to fight Venom at the time. Green elves, growing frustrated with the army's lack of efforts in their homeland, were retiring from the Akkh'Velahr and joining a resistance movement under the command of General Halflar Audark. For fifty years, Halflar led a crusade against the dragon, killing many of his minions in the time. In -249 DR, the General, along with 300 of his men, finally stormed the lair of the wyrm and slew it decisively, driving off many of its minions in the process. Swelling with victory, they marched back to Myth Drannor with the dragon's head, when disaster struck.
It turned out that the reason Venom was so alert was because he was in fact two dragons, a mated pair, thus also accounting for the amount of green wyrmlings in their command. Halflar had slain the female, and the male caught up with the general and slew his entire brigade. The place of death was henceforth known as the Vale of Lost Voices, and became a place to lay elven warriors to rest. Despite the dragon's revenge, the damage had been done. He grew older and his territory shrunk, before his end finally came in -206 DR. A moon elf warrior by the name of Jassin Aunglor, armed with a moonblade, entered his lair and attacked. After a great battle, the roof collapsed, and the dragon, Jassin, and the blade were never seen again.
After the fall of Venom, the elves slowly moved back into the woods, trying to undo the tangled effect on the trees to little avail. Eventually, with the raising of the Standing Stone, the elves gave much of the territory to the Dalesmen and carved a road through the forest to facilitate trade. It took two centuries after the Dales Compact, but eventually, the Tangled Vale became a habitable environment once again.
Tangled Trees is the only major settlement left in the area, and thus today its name is used for the village as well as the entire Vale or community. However, the area was once known to house other settlements, such as:
- Duathamper: Formerly a large village, it served as a military outpost for staging attacks on the dragon Venom. It once had a number of tunnels beneath it to serve as hide-aways for the soldiers and places for weapons caches. It traded heavily with Myth Drannor.
- Dysrisa: A small village whose residents were known for the skill with animal husbandry and was also a place to fetch rare berries and roots.
- Eerienne: A former village that served as a retreat for elves disillusioned with the empire of Cormanthyr, highly xenophobic and distrustful of outsiders.
- Faelorin: A small village that served as the staging point for General Halflar's attack on Venom the dragon. After the mate was slain, the other dragon destroyed the village almost entirely, despite the fact that it had been moved to the ground from the treetops to prevent aerial attack. After its ruin, elves did return to settle the area, and it became the spot for the present-day settlement of Tangled Trees.
- Sar-Andathl: A small military outpost once administrated by Tenyajn Haell, a general in the Cormanthyran army and considered one of the finest archers to ever live.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 102. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 100. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 101. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (1994). Elminster's Ecologies (Cormanthor). (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
- ↑ Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 79. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 98. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 99. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ Eric L. Boyd (April 2007). “Volo's Guide: Cormanthor: War Amidst the Trees”. Dragon #354 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 71.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), pp. 101–102. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.