By Adam Miller (Night Druid)
I love the work Adam has done on the Elven Navy and its denizens. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! ~ Blessings, Sable
This is my rendering of Lionheart, headquarters of the IEN. It is my attempt to try to give this place the detail that it both needs and deserves. I have taken great liberties with this document, as the details of the base were left vague at best. I have read the tiny little description in the Radiant Dragon novel, but my version does vary from what was written. I’ve tried to stay as true to form as I can, but recent releases detailing elvish magic and power have changed things considerably. By necessity, I’ve had to include High Magic and its implications on the Fleet, as well as other factors. Many of my ideas were spawned from reading Cormanthor, Kingdom of Elves, Elves of Evermeet, and Evermeet, a Novel. Thus, this document has a colored view of elves as extremely magical beings capable of creating something very special. I have given Lionheart a great deal of power and size that may not be possible with some games. It is my belief that a military the size of the IEN would need a vast headquarters to run their fleet from, not a simple ring of armadas. Such a ring would not have the facilities I believe the elves would need to effectively run their fleet across hundreds of spheres. Thus, I have made some changes in design:
- Lionheart is not a ring of armadas, though it does have that appearance. Instead, it was born of High Magic upon a Mother Tree, and as a result, is enormous (over 2000’ across).
- Lionheart is not periodically disassembled and moved. Instead, it has a teleport power (thanks to its Mythal) that moves it across the spheres.
- Lionheart has a mythal. I really can’t think of a reason why it shouldn’t, and the benefits of having one are numerous. To help maintain this mythal is a magical artifact that gives the elves the power to use High Magi in virtually any sphere.
- The only other real change from Radiant Dragon is that the “coin- shaped vessel that housed the magnificent blue-and-silver Elven Council…” Instead of a vessel, it is now a tower inside Lionheart. Actually, I found the idea of a “vessel” for such a council to be somewhat amusing; it’d have to be well past the 100 ton limit for helms to hold such a large room (I envision something like the US Hall of Congress), to say nothing of offices and quarters for the delegates! A fleet would be needed just to house and transport such a large political body.
High Magic and Mythals
Though elvish High Magic and mythals are an invention of the Forgotten Realms, I believe that such magics should be available to elves across most of Known Space. To accommodate Lionheart’s enormous size, there are two ways I can think of to move it. One is via an artifact; the other is via a mythal power. I prefer the second option as I don’t want artifacts to predominate my campaign. However, Lionheart does have two artifacts, one of which allow the elves to use High Magic while onboard, even if in a sphere that doesn’t normally allow such magic. The other is an artifact from my earlier Unhuman War docs. This artifact allows Lionheart to move about as a ship (but at tactial speeds only).
On the other hand, I have reduced the power of High Magic in my campaign. Most of the higher power magics are limited. High Magic is castable by elves of 15th level or above (with the age restraints in place, however). Most of the rituals are toned down. Mythals are not as impressive; 1 grand power, 4 major powers, and 9 minor powers (each caster in each of the 3 circles can add 1 power only). In ALL Lionheart-style stations, the grand power is teleportation of the station. This power is to ensure the safety and security of the station. Each station has a number of major and minor powers (popular major powers are teleport and scrying defenses; these ensure the security of the station). Many of the lesser powers are very repetitious from station to station. This is due, in part, to like security needs as well as the basics of survival in space. Thus, all of the mythal-laid stations have powers to block scrying, teleportation, and dimensional magic for security reasons. The “space-need” powers include sustaining magical gardens, air regeneration, and climate control (especially important when station is teleported to exceptionally hot or cold spheres).
To further control High Magic, I have made it quite taxing on the caster. Casting a ritual takes all the mage’s power, and he/she cannot cast spells again for a period of time. This, if nothing else, is the best way I can think of for limiting High Magic.
Defense of Lionheart
When the Fleet was given its commission thousands of years ago, the Grand Admiral was given the Lion’s Heart, a powerful artifact, by Corellon himself. This magical jewel would power many of Lionheart’s defenses and give the Grand Admiral the Mandate of Arvandor. So long as he or she held the Heart, they had the blessing of the elvish deities. This Mandate alone has ensured the loyalty of the thousands of elves that have served the Fleet over the ages. Though past Lionheart stations have been destroyed, the Heart has never been lost. It always returned to Corellon, who chose the worthiest elf he could find to serve as the new Grand Admiral. Today, Grand Admiral Lylanna keeps the Heart at the center of Lionheart, entrusted to her most loyal troops, three Baelnorn guardians. The Heart has not been publicly displayed in centuries, and has pass into legend among many elves.
Magical Defenses: The Mythal
Lionheart’s greatest protection is its mythal. It was laid by the five most powerful High Mages the Fleet had at its disposal at the time. Backing them up was a collection of more than one hundred Fleet mages, who provided magical energies to help weave the mythal. Around them danced a thousand or more elves, who called out to the heavens for their deities to bless the station. The Seldarine answered, sending avatars to help with the weaving of the mythal. The price, however, was high. Seljuril’s physical form was consumed by the process, and her spirit became that of the mythal. She guards over her creation, protecting the place that she sacrificed so much for. She was allowed to add a single grand power to the mythal. The other four High Magi were allowed to add a single major power each, and the circle of nine casters surrounding them were allowed a single minor power each. In total, the mythal of Lionheart has a single grand power, four major powers, and nine minor ones.
The Grand Power
Lionheart’s mythal has but a single grand power: the ability to teleport without error, to another sphere. This power can be used only once a year, as the energy to do so taxes the mythal greatly. This power can only be activated by the Grand Admiral herself, who must order Seljuril to move the station. So long as the moves are infrequent (i.e. less than once every few decades), Seljuril will gladly teleport the station. Usually, the move is done after a longwinded debate over its new location between the various admirals and dispatches are sent out to all fleet admirals, notifying them of the move. Cargo ships are rerouted and supply lines are redirected. Such moves are infrequent because of the logistic nightmare it creates within the Fleet.
The Major Powers
The major powers of Lionheart were designed to aid in its defense and security. The first of these protections is a defense against teleportation. No one, be it mage, priest, or ontrolling, can teleport into Lionheart. All attempts to do so result in the person being bounced, physically, into the Astral Plane. If the person has no means of returning home, they are trapped in that plane until rescue comes. Likewise, the teleport and related spells completely fail to function within the mythal. No one can teleport around Lionheart, nor can the teleport off of the station.
The second defense is a magical barrier against any sort of scrying. Spells and psionics fail to penetrate this magical defense. Attempts to use such powers on Lionheart result in a kind of mental snow that gives the caster a headache and reveals no information. Crystal balls, magical mirrors, and like devices fail as well. However, such devices can be used from within the station to communicate with those outside the mythal. Such communication is possible both ways if the device is specially tuned to a magical system of said devices.
The third defense of Lionheart is a psionic suppression field. All sciences and devotions of the Telepathic and Psychoportive disciplines are completely nullified while the ontrolling is within the mythal. Likewise, all spells belonging to the school of mentalism are nullified. This defense cuts down on spies and ensures the privacy of the many admirals and diplomats aboard the station.
The last major defense of Lionheart is a magical block against any sort of planar intrusion. Astral and ethereal beings cannot enter the mythal, portals cannot be opened, and gate spells fail utterly. Spells that open portals into the Ethereal or Astral Planes will not work on Lionheart, nor will those magical items that create such portals. Items and spells that create extra-dimensional spaces do work on Lionheart, but Seljuril has the power to shut such items down at will if they endanger the safety of the station.
The Minor Powers
Lionheart’s mythal has nine minor powers. Two of these powers are left up to the DM to create; the rest are detailed below. Most of these powers aid in the maintenance of the station in the hostile environment of space. Others aid the station in a number of other ways.
The first minor power of Lionheart is self regeneration. If the station is damaged during a battle, it will automatically start magically repairing itself at the rate of d4+2 hull points per day. This magical regeneration works in addition to any other repairs the elves make upon the station.
A potent healing field is the second of the mythal’s minor powers. All those that spend an extended period of time inside the mythal heal damage. The rate of healing is roughly d6 points of damage per day in addition to the normal healing rate. Lost limbs regenerate over a period of time. Digits are regrown after a week’s exposure to the mythal, while lost limbs usually take a couple of months to regrow. During times of war, elvish wounded are send to Lionheart to heal and recover.
The third minor power is closely related to the first two. The mythal has a beneficial effect on all plant life inside the station. Hence, all plants on the station grow twice as fast as normal. The mythal provides the plants with the nutrients and energy to survive. Thus, the garden can be indefinitely sustained with minimal maintenance. This benefit also applies to the spaceborn plants that the elves use to build their ships. Any elvish ship on board the station will naturally repair 2 hull points per day, so long as a team of trimmers keep the ship growing into the proper form. The many flitters aboard the station need to be trimmed on a weekly basis, however.
The fourth minor power provides Lionheart with a supply of fresh air. The mythal magically cleanses the air and keeps it fresh. The air will never degrade below foul, no matter the cause. If the air is somehow degraded, the mythal will revert the air quality back to fresh within one turn.
To compensate for unusually cold or hot spheres, the mythal provides magical warmth or coolness to keep the station comfortable. Though the station’s temperature will fluctuate from sphere to sphere, the temperature will never drop below 40-degress F nor will it rise above 90-degress F. This keeps the elves comfortable, no matter where they might go.
The sixth power of Lionheart’s mythal is a magical field that affects fire. Nonmagical fire is quickly extinguished on Lionheart, and magical fire always has half its effects. This power is to protect Lionheart more from the smoke fire produces rather than the damage it causes. Note that the galleys of the station are equipped with magical stoves that provide heat but involve no fire. Thus, hot meals are common.
Poison is a favored tool of assassins, and is strictly forbidden on Lionheart. To enforce this policy, the mythal nullifies poison completely. While in the mythal, any poison turns to water, permanently. There is no save and the poison is destroyed.
Though Lionheart is heavily protected by magical means, there is always a chance that those defenses will be breached. To deal with ships on a more physical level, Lionheart is equipped with numerous defensive ballista and catapults. Some are magical, most are not. The elves are slowly replacing worn out and old non-magical artillery weapons with magical weapons, but the cost is high. Almost every elf aboard the station is trained in using at least one type of artillery weapon. Thus, all artillery weapons on Lionheart are considered manned by weapon experts and crack crew.
The two largest concentrations of artillery weapons is the area surrounding the docks and at the top of the great wall. Each dock area is protected by twenty medium ballista and ten light catapults. These weapons are scattered in blister pods along the outside of the dock area. The hanger doors of each dock are guarded by two heavy catapults, which discourage attacks on those doors. Above each dock area is a weapon platform for two heavy ballista and a heavy catapult. The Great Wall encircling the base is topped by a thick ring platform, 50’ across. This platform serves as an emergency landing strip for flitters as well as a gunnery platform for no less than 24 medium ballista and 24 medium catapults. All of the weapons are protected by turrets, which give them a 270-degree arc of fire. No weapon on the platform can be rotated to fire inward toward the towers. In all, over 800 elves are needed just to man these weapons and to keep them supplied with ammunition. Each weapon has a storage bin near it with enough ammunition for the weapon to be fired twenty times. Lionheart has enough ammunition stored in its various cargo holds to fire each weapon a total of one hundred times.
Aside from the incredible magical defenses of the mythal, Lionheart is guarded by the Akh’Imprius, and small but extremely elite army. These brave men and women are the primary defenders of the station. In total, over 1000 elves, hadozee, and allied creatures are counted as part of the Akh’ Imprius, though virtually every elf on Lionheart is armed and knows how to use those weapons. Since Lionheart is a military outpost, no civilians or children are allowed onboard, and everyone on the station is quite capable of defending themselves. The four main types of troops are the hadozee scouts, the eagle-riding skymen, the marines, and the noble knights.
The Hadozee scouts are among the wildest and bravest defenders of the Akh’ Imprius. When the elves made their alliance with the hadozee during the Unhuman War, several hadozee were chosen for guard duty at elvish bases. As these guards gained training and experience, they became more and more valuable and highly prized by elvish captains. Hadozee made excellent marines, swooping down on enemy ships en-mass, striking at weapon pits and enemy officers. Because they were most often the first to set foot on enemy ships, the elvish captains dubbed them the “Hadozee Scouts.” Two hundred and fifty years ago, Grand Admiral Yelzul decided to commission a unit of the Scouts at Lionheart. Should an enemy ship bypass the magical defenses of Lionheart, the Scouts would swoop down from the curtain wall upon the enemy ship and take the fight straight to the enemy. Some two hundred hadozee are counted among the Scouts deployed at Lionheart, all led by Lieutenant Hhaazon (NG hadozee m F10). All Scouts at Lionheart are fighters of levels 3-7.
Assisting the Scouts in defending the curtain wall from enemy ships is the Skymen, a unit of giant eagle-riding elves. The Skymen are not numerous, only fifty in all. However, what they lack in numbers they more than make up in fierceness and tenacity. The Skymen favor bows and lances. Their tactics include pelting an enemy ship with arrows, taking out weapon crewmen and spellcasters. If resistance persists, the Skymen swoop in and bring their lances to bare against those still on deck. Anyone hit by their lances must save vs. breath weapon or be blown clear off deck and into the void. Skymen are usually fighters, but some are mages or even rangers. They are led by Lieutenant Luiliel (CG ef R9; Str 17, Cha 16), a fierce and wild-tempered woman. Even Captain Avaliar has problems keeping this woman under control.
The marines form the bulk of the defenders of Lionheart. They number over seven hundred strong, all armed with spears, swords, and bows. The marines man the various weapons found throughout the base and protect Lionheart from boarders from enemy ships. In times of battle they don chain armor and rush to weapon pits to battle their foes. They fight with cold discipline and iron will. All marines on Lionheart are fighters levels 3-8. They are led by Lieutenant Crimson (LG em F/M 12/10 Str 18 (10)), a bladesinger and a powerhouse of an elf. Lt. Crimson is cold in battle; his subordinates say he has vowed never to surrender and never retreat.
The most elite unit on Lionheart is the Noble Knights. Drawn from the nobility a dozen worlds, the Noble Knights are the charged with the personal defense of Admirals, visiting diplomats, and the Grand Admiral herself. They are charged with interior security of Lionheart, which they are extremely good at. All are armed with swords, shields, and spears. They are clad in elvish chain armor, which is always worn when on duty. Only fighters and fighter mages of levels 5-10 are allowed to serve at Lionheart. They are led by Arms Captain Verraand (NG em F/M 12/15; Str 17, Int 17, Wis 18) himself, the leader of the whole Akh’Imperius.
All of these defenders does not count the crews and marines aboard ships that are also part of the defense of Lionheart. For the most part, these ships are not part of the permanent defense force, thus are not detailed here.
Unknown to most elves aboard Lionheart is a small, extremely powerful defense force that would strike fear into the hearts of any enemy. Seven dragons of various species make Lionheart their home. Some pose as elvish admirals, using their shape shifting abilities, and have considerable political influence. Others have come to join with the elves in the defense of elvish worlds, using their powers to aid the elves wherever they can. One has come seeking knowledge, and sees the library of Lionheart as the best place to acquire that knowledge. All dragons living on Lionheart answer directly to the Grand Admiral, and follow her orders without question. They are her secret weapon in the event that there is a political coup in the station (such as the one that destroyed the first Lionheart). Each is detailed in the NPC section below.
Given the importance of Lionheart as a military outpost and the recent aggressions by the scro-led goblin-kin, Grand Admiral Nuliaque has decided to assign a large squadron of spirit warriors to the defenses of the base. A number of these warriors have been taken from hidden bases throughout the spheres, while others were assigned to Lionheart after they escaped the fall of such worlds as Lar and Arborianna. The spirit warriors are all under the direct command of Arms Captain Verraand, who is currently buried in paperwork as he tries to restructure the chain of command for the Akh’ Imprius to accommodate the new recruits. He has put Captain Evlian Ilkirad (NG em F9/W8) in charge of the spirit warrior squadron, but that position is tentative at this time. If Captain Ilkirad proves to be an incapable leader, or should a better leader present himself or herself from the ranks of the spirit warriors, Arms Captain Verraand would be willing to replace the Captain.
At the present time, the number of spirit warriors is a mere ten warriors and a pair of zwarths, each with a crew of six elves. Hangers for the spirit warriors are under construction and teams of elvish laborers are working hard to convert unused barracks and cargo bays into hangers. The new spirit warrior hanger will be located between Docks B & C, on the opposite side of the station from the defensive hanger. This was a strategic decision on the part of the Arms Captain, as he did not want to cluster too much of the defenses in one location. When completed, the hanger will be spacious enough to support thirty warriors and five zwarths. Grand Admiral Nuliaque hopes to have a force this large based on Lionheart by the end of the next year or the beginning of the year after that. The warriors, when inactive, will “sleep” in glassteel tubes lining the walls which will be filled with magical gases that will keep the spirit warriors healthy. The zwarths will be docked in a pentagram-like setup.
The Lionheart Fleet
To further protect Lionheart against attacks, a number of elvish ships have been assigned to defend the station. These ships’ only duty is to patrol the space about Lionheart and remain at the beck and call of the Grand Admiral. This fleet consist of two armadas, eight men-o-war, twelve cutters, two battle dolphins, a trio of hammerships, and twenty flitters. These ships can be found anywhere within a single day’s travel of Lionheart. Lionheart itself is the base of thirty one battle-rigged flitters, six dragonflies, and three dasmelflies. The dragonflies are used in hauling cargo, but could be pressed into service if the need arose.
Places in Lionheart
The Docks and Lower Sections
The busiest and most crowded part of Lionheart by far is the docks. Each of the seven individual dock areas is a crowded mess of cargo, flitter hangers, and equipment. Because of space restrictions, no ship larger than a dragonfly can land in this area despite the cavernous size of the docks, with the sole exception of the dry dock (see below). Each dock area has a number of hangers for flitters and like sized craft and sometimes has hangers for craft of larger size (up to 100’ long by 50’ across). These hangers are all located inside the tail sections of the armadas, where ships are unloaded of their cargo, repaired, and stored. Most of the docks contain hangers for battle-rigged flitters. Each such flitter is equipped with magical wands, bows and arrows, and small bombs for their crew to use upon enemy ships.
Each separate dock has a pair of access doors at the aft-most part of the tail. Each set of doors is a massive construct some 60’ across and 50’ high. When open, the metal doors slide along tracks that draw them into the side walls of the armada. The doors are made of a durable alloy consisting of meteoric iron and mithral, which can sustain all but the most fierce and powerful attacks. Even a titan would be hard pressed to put a dent in the four foot thick doors. Unless the station is under attack or a dock section is closed down for repairs or maintenance, all of these doors remain open. It takes two rounds to open or shut these doors.
Depending upon the activity level of the station on a whole, each dock area has d6x50 elvish dock workers at work. If one dock area is shut down for maintenance, only fifty or so workers will be found in that area, conducting repairs and generally cleaning the place up.
Each separate dock has a different function, and thus are each detailed individually.
Dock A: Diplomatic Dock
This opulent dock area is the cleanest and least busy of the seven. All diplomatic vessels arrive and depart from this dock. It has hangers enough for five fair sized diplomatic ships (ships roughly the size of a dragonfly) and four flitters. The main access way of this dock is lavishly decorated with the finest elvish tapestries and statues the Fleet can afford. The floor is purple-veined white marble, extremely rare and precious. Such expense is meant to give any visitor the impression of the wealth and power the Fleet commands.
Much of the space of this dock is not used for diplomatic functions and has been converted to storage space. These areas are not accessible from the diplomatic area, and thus hidden from the prying eyes of diplomats. All manner of supplies, from food to ship parts to ammunition for siege weapons can be found in these storage bays. A few have been given over to diplomats to store whatever supplies they desire while they stay on the station.
Dock B: Command Dock
Sometimes one of the busiest docks in Lionheart, the Command Dock serves as the launching and arrival point of all messenger ships, the place where personal boards or leaves Lionheart, and the mustering point for soldiers being sent out to war. As such, the upper level of this dock area is largely open to allow for ships to land, load up or unload troops, and depart quickly. Only five battle-rigged flitters are kept in this dock area; all other ships depart once they have either loaded or unloaded their passengers. The lower levels of this dock have vast cargo bays and barracks. The barracks are usually a quarter filled, as the marines are quartered here. When the station is serving as a mustering point for an army, the barracks become cramp and a system of “hot beds” is implemented to maximize space (I.E. soldiers take turns sleeping in a particular bunk).
Dock C & D: Supply Docks
These two docks are the busiest and most congested of all seven docks. All supplies, from foodstuff to weapons to parts comes into Lionheart through these docks. Magical cranes that hang from the ceiling above aid in the loading and unloading of crates, allowing no less than five times the amount of cargo to be moved than normal. It is very rare to not find a dragonfly being unloaded of cargo to be transferred deeper into the base. Despite their seemingly chaotic nature, these two docks are among the most efficient and orderly in all of Known Space. More cargo is moved per person than virtually anywhere else.
In addition to landing pads for four dragonflies (which are used to transport cargo from larger trade ships to Lionheart), the supply docks have six piers that extend into space along the gravity plane. Each of these piers can accommodate two ships of up to ontrolli size. Cargo is easily unloaded and loaded here, but not as quickly as inside the dock. Ships with large wingspans (such as Armadas and Men-O-War) can berth here, but take up three slots and thus are not allowed to dock unless several piers are empty. In addition to everything else, each supply dock has hangers for four battle-rigged flitters. In the event of battle, the flitters swarm about the docks, keeping enemy ships at bay until the doors close before joining any counter attack.
Dock E: Defense Dock
Normally, the defense hanger is half deserted. Only a few dock workers and marines on guard duty are usually here. During wartime, however, the patrols are tripled and flitters come and go at a constant rate for repair work and standard maintenance. At times of peace, the defense dock has hangers for twelve battle-rigged flitters and three dasmaleflies. If the need arises, ten cargo bays can easily be converted into hangers for two flitters each. Such conversion takes roughly one day to clear out cargo and put the needed equipment into place.
Dock F: Dry Dock
While the fewest ships can be found here (usually only a single cutter or Man-O-War), it is always active. This dock is probably the best repair bay for elvish ships in all of Known Space. All repairs done here on elvish ships is considered “excellent” in quality. Many captains and admirals constantly make political maneuvers and deals to get their ships repaired at this dock. The waiting list for repairs is over six weeks long, but elves don’t make their waiting lists any longer because the nature of their ships to regrow and repair themselves.
All manner of equipment for repair work and trimming elvish ships can be found here. Sixty dock workers are assigned to repairing ships, working in three shifts of twenty elves each. Along with these dock workers are two high level magic users and ten lesser mages and druids of Rillifane Rallathil are assigned to the dry dock to help in repairs. Between the use of magic and the expert hard work of the workers, the dry dock can repair elvish ships at the rate of 5 hull points per day. During war, the number of workers and mages is doubled and the rate of repairs is doubled to 10 hull points per day. The dry dock is incapable of repairing ships other than those grown by elves from starfly plants.
Dock G: Alternate Dock
The last dock serves an alternate dock to serve when one of the other docks is shut down for maintenance or when traffic in one dock is too much and another dock needs to be opened to handle the traffic. Depending on the situation, the alternate dock can serve the capacity of any of the other docks or simply be shut down until it is needed. During such down times, the dock is virtually deserted aside from a few guards making the rounds. Six battle-rigged flitters are kept here as well, almost always under lock and key.
Because of the vast number of elves living and working on Lionheart, a vast amount of cargo must be imported and stored inside the base. Lionheart is not self-sufficient; it must rely upon being regularly resupplied by elvish cargo ships. However, in the event of siege, Lionheart needs a large amount of supplies onboard to see it through. Thus, vast sections of the station have been converted to storage bays. These storage bays can be found in the lower halves of every tail section of the armadas and throughout the lower sections of the central sections. These bays have enough supplies to last the elves for four weeks, if needed.
To increase storage space, the elves have imported a large number of extradimensional spaces, such as bags of holding and holds of holding. There are enough of these magical storage spaces aboard Lionheart to effectively double its capacity of cargo and supplies. Along with magical aid from the many mages and priests aboard the station, Lionheart could effectively endure a siege of up to six standard months.
The lowest deck of Lionheart is covered in a vast, crystalline dome over 1,200 feet across and 400 feet high. The dome covers a vast garden filled with thousands of trees, plants, and animals. Oak trees and ashes predominate, but plants from a dozen elvish worlds can be found within the garden. Likewise, deer and similar animals from many different elvish worlds are kept here. Many elves, when off duty, come to the garden to relax and enjoy a taste of life “ground side.” Some take time to visit the temple of Rillifane Rallathil found here.
The Temple of Rillifane is actually a vast, 120 foot tall oak tree in the center of the garden. Platforms linked by hanging bridges can be found throughout the whole tree, each offering a spectacular view of the garden. The Great Druid Gilnes, “Griffin Heart” to humans (CG em D14 wis 21 cha 18) presides over the temple. This aged elf has been granted special permission by his deity to come to Lionheart to help with the communication between isolated and distant branches of Rillifane’s church. His concern is now the whole of elfdom (particularly wild elves) instead of a single tribe, forest, or world. He is particularly worried with the encroachment of other races upon ancient elvish domains, and works to reverse that trend on a dozen or more worlds.
Serving Gilnes is a circle of nine druids, who also pull duty throughout the station. They usually work to keep the garden in perfect order and use their magic to repair damaged elvish ships. Their quarters are very sparse; they live in hallows within the temple. Despite the attempts by many admirals, diplomats, and captains, the druids do not allow themselves to be drawn into the politics that infest Lionheart. At any time except battle, the druids wear simple robes. During battle, the druids don dark green armor of bark (effectively leather armor +3) and wield scimitars and long bows. Said equipment are kept in a hidden hollow at the base of the temple tree.
The dome that covers the garden, though crystal in appearance, is in fact the same alloy of meterotic iron and mithral that was used on the cargo bay doors. The alloy was treated with a special glassteel spell to turn it into durable crystal. The magic is such that starlight is allowed to shine into the garden, but no light from within escapes into wildspace. Instead, the dome appears as solid green, as if it were just another area for decks like the rest of the station.
Upper Decks and the Towers
Tower of the Grand Admiral
The tallest and grandest tower in all of Lionheart is that of the Grand Admiral. This opulent tower rises over 150’ above the main deck and 50 feet above the protective wall. The slender tower has deceptively thick walls, which are fifteen feet thick at the base. Surrounding the tower walls is an invisible wall of force that almost completely encase the tower with the exception of doors and windows. The wall of force protects the whole tower from any physical attack, including those fired from siege weapons. Only powerful magic can hope to penetrate the wall of force and make attacks upon the tower itself.
The tower itself is a circular spire 50 feet across at its base and taper inward as it rises into the night sky. The walls are made of a green-veined white marble that is more durable than granite, but smooth as glass. There is but a single entrance at the base, barred by twin doors of mithral. These doors are guarded at all times by a pair of Noble Knights armed with halberds, longswords, and crossbows. If they come under attack, they raise an alarm, warning the guards inside. There is a noticeable absence of windows on the tower walls; the only windows to be found are those on the top level (the office of the Grand Admiral). The tower is capped by a pointed roof of mithral sheets. In the starlight skies of many spheres, the tower is quite breathtakingly beautiful and would inspire many artists if it were not for security concerns.
The first two levels of the tower are reserved as guard stations. Twelve Noble Knights are stationed on these two levels at all time. They check to make sure any who wants to see the Grand Admiral has an appointment. Those who do not are turned away and told to make one. They have the power to arrest anyone that who becomes belligerent or dangerous. If there is trouble, the will call upon their backup, two silver metal golems which wait in two shadowy alcoves. All are fiercely loyal to the Grand Admiral and can never be bribed, frightened off, or turned against her.
The third level is almost entirely open space. Portraits and statues of past Grand Admirals decorate this level. A vast variety of art styles are depicted in each piece, all of which carefully capture the likeness of the individual in question. Each is a masterpiece that could fetch thousands, if not millions, of gold pieces on the open market.
The fourth and fifth levels are the Grand Admiral’s private collection of art pieces. Many are mementos from the Grand Admiral’s earlier life as an adventurer. Most are pieces given to her by artists for various reasons, from lovesick painters to grateful woodcarvers. Each has been given a place of honor in her private collection, no matter how valueless the piece.
The sixth and seventh levels is the private library of the Grand Admiral. Many of the books found in this private library are unique, including many journals of past Grand Admirals. Of special importance are tomes that deal with the command and logistics of running the vast Elvish Fleet. Said tomes would be priceless in the hands of the enemies of the elves. At least one shelf has a number of spell tomes that were penned by those past Grand Admirals that were mages; some of the spells in those tomes are unique. Being given the right to read books from this library is considered a tremendous honor to any elf.
The next three levels, eighth through tenth, are devoted to the Grand Admiral’s living quarters. Normally, these quarters are locked (the Grand Admiral is the only one with the key), and the stairs spiral up past them.
The last two levels are reserved for the office of the Grand Admiral and her aides. The eleventh level holds four individual offices, each for one of her most trusted aides. A great deal of the paper work is done by those four elves, who only pass on the most important papers to their superior.
The office of the Grand Admiral herself is eloquent and beautiful. The room is virtually bare except for her desk, chair, and two chairs before the desk. The walls are pierced by twelve large windows, equally spaced along the wall. The spaces between the windows are covered in tapestries depicting the greatest victories the Fleet ever had. The floor is completely covered by a thick rug with the emblem of the Fleet in the center of it. One immediately is given a sense of elvish power and might upon entering, which the Grand Admiral fully uses when meeting with dignitaries. The full personal defenses of the Grand Admiral are known only to herself, but undoubtedly include several fully charged wands, magical weapons, potions, and other magical items.
The High Keep
At 135 feet tall, the High Keep is the third tallest building on Lionheart, after the Tower of the High Admiral and the Elvish Council of Worlds. It is, on the other hand, the largest. It is actually a collection of four large towers surrounding a central tower, connected by thin bridges of stone. There is little doubt at the sight of these towers that the High Keep is a place of powerful magic. Many elvish wizards that are part of the Fleet gain training and trade spells within the halls of the Keep. Generations of knowledge, collected from thousands of elvish wizards, is stored inside the Keep. The outer towers serve mostly as living quarters for the many mages stationed at Lionheart, complete with barracks, kitchens, mess halls, and other essentials of life. The central tower is known to contain a library, council hall for meetings between powerful mages, a lecture hall, a magical field to test new spells, and an armory of magical items. The exact magical defenses of the Keep are unknown, but several High Mages took part in the laying of those defenses.
The council chamber is often used by a circle of seven very high level mages that directly serve and advise the Grand Admiral. The head of the circle is Sar’Casualik, the Seeker of the Holy Might, a gold elf High Magi. Though undoubtedly the most powerful High Magi in Lionheart, Sar’Casualik is not what he appears. He is an ancient gold dragon that has served the Fleet for the last four hundred years. It is not known how he gained his abilities to cast High Magic, but his skill is unquestioned. All members of the leading circle know his secret, as does the Grand Admiral, but not another living elf on Lionheart knows what Sar’Casualik is. He is given greater detail below.
While, at only 40 feet tall, the library of Lionheart is not extremely tall, it is very big. Inside can be found thousands of tomes and volumes from every world elves dwell upon. As a result, the Library is a popular place of off-duty elves, who like to lounge around and read whatever peaks their interests. The poetry section is especially popular with younger elves.
Administering the Library is Eilaviawyn, or the Blue Musician of Fortune, a moon elf female with striking blue eyes and hair the color of sapphires. She is a very pleasant elf but takes her duties very seriously. Every book is a treasure to her, and those that damage or steal them face her wrath (which no elf would dare). Otherwise, she can be quite the flirt, especially with young, handsome recruits. What no one but a select few on Lionheart knows is that she is actually Azurazenthorne, a blue dragon. Azure (her short name) was once an evil dragon ravishing elvish towns, but underwent a drastic change of heart when she was shown mercy by an elf she tried to kill. Now, a mature adult, she has worked her way through the Fleet to this position, which she values greatly. Azure is dealt with in greater detail below.
The Astrolabe is an odd tower; its base is rises 75 feet into the air, tapering as it reaches its top, and is topped by a 50 foot crystalline sphere. The base of the tower houses offices for the elves who work hard creating star charts and flow maps for all ships in the Fleet. The scribes take great care in their work, resulting in the best charts and maps all of Known Space. Any chart that is known to come from the Astrolabe is valued no less than five times standard prices, due to their accuracy and exacting detail.
The sphere atop the tower base is itself a magical star chart. The center of the room is a circular table ten feet across and a foot thick of black crystal. Hovering within this table is an illusion of all spheres that are known to the Fleet in relation to each other. The spheres are pinpoints of light floating in a cloud of ever moving, every changing gas that represents the Phlogiston. This illusion can be projected into the space directly above the table, allowing a three dimension view of all of Known Space. Further, Taisro “the Traveling Fox” (NG em B14 cha 17), the chief cartographer and master of the Astrolabe, can command the illusion to give a large, three dimensional illusion of any sphere the elves have visited. This illusion shows the orbital positions of the major worlds, moons, fleet positions, and any other sort of information the elves deem important. This map is vital in controlling and maneuvering such a vast and thinly spread fleet as that owned by the elves.
The sides of the Astrolabe are covered with magical scrying devices, including four magic mirrors, twelve crystal balls, and six other devices of unknown origin. Through these magical devices the Council of Admirals communicate with the dozens of fleets scattered throughout the Known Spheres, giving them orders instantly that would ordinarily take months to be sent by any other means. This means of communication is one of the best in Known Space outside of circles of extremely powerful archmages.
Elven Council of Worlds
The second tallest building in Lionheart, the Elvish Council of Worlds is a great tower with a coin-shaped top. This massive tower rises over 145 feet into the night sky; the top is supported by a trio of stone support pillars. Access to the Council Chamber itself (which takes up the entire top) is gained through a magical disc that lifts the elf in question 90 feet into the air and into the chamber. Inside, the Chamber is magically enchanted to span over 300 feet across despite the fact that it appears to have a diameter of only 60 feet or so. Within these hallowed halls elvish ambassadors argue, debate, and fight over issues affecting the elvish presence in space. For the most part, unless an elvish nation has a vested interest in space (such as those nations found on asteroids or starfly plants), they do not normally send an ambassador. Only when a threat is so great that it endangers the majority of elvish nations do all nations send ambassadors. Virtually every elvish nation has a special ambassador trained for such an emergency.
For the most part, the elvish ambassadors argue over issues of trade agreements, local wars, and like issues. At any one time, the Council Chamber is but a fifth filled with elvish ambassadors arguing and making deals. Since elves have a compulsive need to argue down to the finest details, any issue brought before them will likely take months, if not years, to be resolved. Elvish lobbyists are among the most patient in the whole of Known Space.
Any military as large as that of the Elvish Navy needs allies to survive against foes who’s numbers cannot be easily counted. The allies of the elves are invited to send a diplomat and his or her staff to Lionheart to ensure their own interests. Most do, usually sending a single diplomat with a staff of four scribes and aides. The Embassy serves as an office building for those diplomats. The High Magi have specially enchanted the offices to be completely secure, and even they cannot scry into any office in the Embassy. Likewise, psionic powers completely fail to penetrate the Embassy. The diplomats are given complete confidentiality and can easily keep their secrets.
Diplomats from two dwarvish kingdoms, the hadozee homeworld, a halfling nation, the Tyrspace Navy, a couple of human nations, and a half dozen more allied nations and kingdoms. The Embassy is being half used, and there is plenty of room for new allies of the elves.
The Creator’s Throne
This temple dedicated to Corellon takes the form of a great dome with its main entrance flanked by two obelisks of black marble. Inside is a great throne of pure mithral, upon which Corellon will sit when he watches over Lionheart (or so the priests say). Before the throne is several rows of seats for the faithful of Corellon to pray to their deity. High Cormiira Naira Silvenstar (CG em P13 wis 18) is in charge of running the temple. He has twenty lower ranking priests working under him, who work throughout the station on a variety of duties. Many elves come here to worship, confide in priests, or gaze upon the ontrolling frescos that decorate the roof of the dome. The temple can seat four hundred elves during services.
The Timeless Tower
Across the street from the Creator’s Throne is the Timeless Tower, a temple dedicated to Labelas Enoreth, the elvish god of time and history. The tower appears as a great, narrow hourglass that reaches 100 feet above the streets. Inside, the temple is dotted with dozens of balconies where the priests and the faithful sit during ceremonies. At all times, the pace is very slow and enjoyable. Many elves enjoy the tranquil nature of the temple, especially dock workers seeking to escape the frantic pace of their work.
Administering the temple is Kalianer Windcloak, “Master of the Winter Dragon” (CG em P12 wis 19 cha 17). A Chronologian within the church, Kalianer has had to work long and hard to gain his position. He sees his post as a reward for a lifetime of such hard work, and thus has slowed down the pace of his life. He has eight lesser priests under him, serving to keep the temple running and pull double duty as scribes. Many tomes in the various libraries of Lionheart have been penned by these scribes.
The Tower of Dreams
The smallest of the four temples of Lionheart, the Tower of Dreams is dedicated to Sehanine Moonbow, the elvish goddess of the moon, dreams, and stars. This simple but elegant tower of marble and glass rises 120 feet above the ground deck, and is covered in relief sculptures of Sehanine and her relation with her faithful. Inside, the numerous glass windows allow the starlight in to illuminate breathtaking frescos that seem to come alive in the dim light. Cornesel Moonshot, “Heart of the Legendary Mountain” (CG ef P11 int 16 wis 19 cha 17), is the High Starsinger. She is one of the Grand Admiral’s most trusted advisors, and meets with her on a regular basis. In addition to her duties running the temple and giving advice to the Grand Admiral, Cornesel is very active politically. She sits in on many Council debates, and uses her influences to push through issues that she personally feels very strongly about.
Cornesel is served by six lesser ranking Starsingers, who keep the temple in perfect shape. When not working in the temple, the Starsingers are about running various errands for Cornesel or the Grand Admiral herself.
Elves, more than any other race, needs to take time off from their duties to enjoy themselves. One of their greatest passions is preformed arts, such as plays and concerts. The elves of Lionheart, despite the frantic pace of their lives (or maybe, because of it), are no different and hunger for such arts. As a result, any elf that can play a musical instrument or read lines in a play are expected to volunteer to perform. Many soldiers use their free time to learn such arts so that they can join in concerts or plays. While not mandatory, it is somewhat an honor among the troops to take part in such things. Rarely, the Grand Admiral herself will participate, to the cheers of all of those who serve her.
The Theater is circular in nature, 200 feet across, but is squat, only 50 feet or so high. It boasts a stage, many props, and an open roof. The acoustics are excellent, as everyone within the theater can hear what is said on stage without the aid of magic.
Council of Admirals
A large, round tower, the Council of Admirals is one of the more important buildings of Lionheart. The crystalline tower houses the offices of the seven admirals that are permanently stationed at Lionheart. It also doubles as a council chamber for the times when all the admirals in the Fleet are called (usually one a century or so). Six more offices are also found in the Council Tower, for use by any visiting admiral. Political intrigue and maneuvers are extremely common.
Tower of the Blade
A magnificent tower of shimmering blue-green marble, the Tower of Blade is the guild headquarters of all Bladesingers on Lionheart. The tower itself is roughly one hundred feet tall and is capped by a topaz-colored dome. A pair of smaller towers flank the main tower, attached by short, two-story buildings that house the living quarters of individual bladesingers. The main tower serves as a library, training hall, and general commons for the bladesingers. The highest level is the spell library and the general commons, and is covered by the dome. The inside of the dome is painted with exquisite fresco work of famous bladesingers, Fleet victories, and other scenes of glory. This chamber is one of inner peace, remembrance of past glories, and the promise of future glory. The two smaller towers hold several offices, armories, and caches of magical items.
The tower is home to most of the bladesingers assigned to Lionheart, but the actual number of residents is rather low. There are perhaps a mere two dozen bladesingers dwelling within the tower at any given time. That number is in constant flux as warriors are constantly being assigned and reassigned. The head bladesinger, one commandant Vilar (LN em F8/W8) is a cagey warrior and a loyal member of the Elvish Fleet. However, years of service has taken its toll on this man, and he has the appearance of an elf a hundred years elder. He is a fleet hard-liner, fiercely opposed to anything not elven. He reserves a particular hatred for scro, who invaded his homeworld of Spiral. Grand Admiral Nuliaque has given her aides standing orders to refuse giving him appointments, as she has tired of his constant badgering and the shouting matches he has had with other officers in her office. She is seriously considering reassigning him, but he has powerful friends among the ranks of the admirals.
Located in the barracks area of Lionheart, between Docks A & B, Simua’s Hall is owned by the high elf Simua (CG ef W6 Cha 18). The place serves as a tavern, feast hall, and entertainment hall for off-duty soldiers. The food is considered excellent; Simua’s is one of the few places on Lionheart where one can get fresh fruit. Her stew with fresh bread and sliced fruit is a favorite among soldiers. The wines and ales served here are good but expensive. The main draw, however, is the entertainment. Simua’s sisters are both bards of rare skill (NG ef B7, B5) who frequent the place regularly. In addition, the place sports a raised dance platform where scanty-clad elven dancers (of both sexes) perform for cheering soldiers. She has a half-dozen performers, who also double as servers. While performances can get racy at times, Simua keeps a tight reign on what goes on and what comes off. She wants to entertain the men and women of the Fleet, not earn a reputation as the master of a prostitution ring. A few of the more conservative elements of the Fleet has called for the place to be shut down, but some of those same critics have been caught there incognito.
This fairly large store is found near Dock E, this place was put in place not long after Lionheart was completed. At the time, the money that helped get the place started was provided by Malvanhal (LG em F6), a former merchant who joined the Fleet during the First Unhuman War. He was rich when he joined, but the death of his brother by orc pirates caused him to seek revenge. After the war, he officially left the Fleet, but remained on to build a whole chain of shops and stores in Elvish Bases throughout at least a dozen spheres. His chain has earned him a great deal of money, of which the Fleet takes 50%. A native of Twilitespace, he named the chain after the sphere he loves. Malvanhal, now an aging elf, spends most of his time in his home sphere. The business is now mostly run by his grand-daughter Ari-Saeanisala (Aris for short, NG ef W4/P4 Wis 16, Cha 17), a young and beautiful elvish maiden. She was kidnapped by the scro once, but rescued by a marine in the Fleet (now her love interest). Aris runs the Lionheart branch of Twilite Surpluses, which is also the headquarters for the whole chain. She is a skilled businesswoman, bringing in hundreds of gold pieces profit each week.
The store has all sorts of goods that would interest a soldier in the Fleet, from clothing, jewelry, books, weapons, and most anything else a soldier could desire. Prices are fair, and usually within the range of most enlisted men. Aris has two other workers on hand, both civilians but trained warriors (treat as 2nd level fighters). She is on good terms with most of the command staff, and is a friend of the Grand Admiral.
The Ape Armory, as it is commonly called, is found fairly close to the Embassy, separated from that building by a row of rose bushes. The Armory is not a large building, consisting of a small sales room and the main armory in back. The sales room is the forward fourth of the building, and is really nothing more than a brightly colored silk sunshade over a small, grassy lawn. Six highly polished and exquisite suits of armor (two suits each of plate, chain, and leather) are on display on heavy racks. These are showpieces to attract customers. The back part of the building is a solid stone structure with a hot forge heated by a small, trapped fire elemental (8 HD), a bath of ice water, and hundreds of tools for making and repairing metal and leather armor.
The place is run by Huuz’rhan (LG hadozee m F7), a retired hadozee scout who has taken up armoring as his profession. He is very good at it, and crafts some of the best suits of armor that a common soldier can afford. Two dwarves and a high elf are his staff. The elf and one of the dwarves are apprentices of Huuz’rhan, while the other dwarf, Balefire (LG dm F6), is his silent partner. The place caters mostly to soldiers, marines, and sailors who cannot afford expensive suits of elvish chain or plate, and must instead turn to a more affordable alternative. Repair work is also big business for the Armory, and they are all skilled at getting the dents out of armor and making it look as good as new. Huuz’rhan and his staff are incapable of making elvish chain or plate armor, but they are capable of repairing it so long as it is not too badly damaged. Prices are usually reasonable, with only a 10-15% markup. Huuz’rhan is known to cut deals for his friends or those soldiers in a pinch. Armor repair is also reasonable, usually running 10-40% of the cost of the armor, depending on how damaged it was when brought in.
Hole in the Sky
Of the many taverns on Lionheart, Hole in the Sky is probably the most famous. It offers some of the best ales on the station, with a wide selection of spirits to choose from. Elvish feywine, dwarvish ale, and some human concoctions are all available for reasonable prices. The tavern is located directly above the catapult platform over the doors to Dock C, and has a massive glass window that offers a magnificent panoramic view of wildspace. The windows are treated with glassteel, and are nearly indestructible. Many of the tables are set up with strategy games such as chess or Fleet’s Glory (a game that uses ivory miniatures to represent warships) or gambling games like poker, knucklebones, or blackjack.
What really attracts the soldiers, besides gaming and spirits, is the owner, Eirzara (CN ef B7). Eirzara is a very skilled singer, musician, and dancer. She likes an audience, and loves to flirt with the men. Her acts tend to be even racier than those at Simua’s, and in fact she has twice been thrown off the station for public nudity and once for inciting a riot. However, her tavern has never been shut down and she has been able to return after the heat died down because of the amount of dirt she has on several high-ranking admirals. Though unproven, she may have a lovechild fathered by the previous Grand Admiral, which could be a reason why some admirals are reluctant to throw her off for good.
One of the smaller buildings, Sindiath’s Tower is the Lionheart branch headquarters for that trading company. The tower itself is a small, four story building of white granite, covered by a thin layer of quarts crystal. While small, the tower shimmers with a glory all its own when in the light of a primary firebody. The officers of this tower serve to keep the Fleet informed of the movements of Sindiath ships, what information the Line discovers, and any other information Line captains deem that the Fleet may be interested in. A Line ship travels to Lionheart every other standard month to file reports at the tower, where aides sort and process the reports before passing them on to the Fleet. Not all of the reports reach the Fleet, as it is the aides’ duty to filter out any report that is inconsequential or unneeded. Filtered reports usually take two or three years to be disposed of.