The Five Lands
No, I will not go into that place. It is where my ancestors rest…but they are restless.
Ser Aldar of the Six Roses
The Menhir is a region of Eldin that lies in the southeastern part of Irdus, across the Green River, and into the southwestern part of the Greenshea. “Menhir” is the name given to the region by High Elves and translates to “land of men” – it was where the First Men built their first strongholds when they crossed out of Ea’zor. There are countless burrows and ruins within the Menhir. Today, the Menhir is a haunted land with rumors of ghosts, the undead and even banshees that roam the highlands.
Before the First Men migrated from Ea’zor the Menhir was controlled by the High Elves of Ithilanta, though the elves built no settlements within it – the Menhir was simply an extension of their empire from the north. The High Elves, sensitive to the winds of magic, were drawn to the Menhir and they believed that ancient magics were hidden in the hills. There is evidence that an ancient circle of High Elf druids lived within the Menhir and unlocked the secrets buried in the earth. Information about these High Elves is limited, but the fact that High Elves deny any affiliation with the Menhir has led others to believe that these druids may have been a matter of contention centuries ago.
Most evidence of High Elves in the region are from ancient accounts of the First Men who settled in the region. Mora Two-Bears, the first Queen, is said to have slain an “elf witch” who had terrorized her people. This witch was most likely the last remnants of the High Elves in the region who had began to retreat from Eldin to isolate themselves within Ithilanta.
The First Men
While there are many settlements that predate ones in the Menhir, the ruins and strongholds found in the region are the first indication of the kind of feudalistic system that would sweep through the rest of Eldin by the First Men. They would go on to conquer the High Elves and Wood Elves who were not as organized and, until then, had no need for sturdy fortifications or a regimented military. The first ruler of the First Men was, ironically, a woman – Mora Two-Bears. The Two-Bear clan would rule for a few hundred years from the highlands of the Menhir until the First War – which would crown Dorath Eldin as the victor. Dorath Eldin would reunite his people, dividing lands up between his lords and relocate the capital to the Province of Eldin which was more easily defended and had access to the Glassy Sea.
The First Men buried all of their people within the Menhir and honored their dead with burrows. Some were simple grave markers, others were vast catacombs where entire families and their servants were laid to rest. Because of this, modern adventurers traveling to the Menhir can see countless tombs built into the hills which cause the landscape to look very much the same. Many of these tombs seem magically sealed and are quite hard to open and more than one grave robber has come out of the Menhir empty-handed.
Today, the remnants of the First Men within the Menhir is their ancient ruins and nothing more. Few men who live in Eldin today know from what clan their family came from, though there are countless festivals around the Menhir which celebrate the ancestors of men.
The Menhir Today
It is said when the Elf Witch was slain by Mora Two-Bears that the land of the Menhir began to slowly undergo changes turning from rolling hills of green to foggy and confusing downs. There are indications that the First Men had to contend with growing numbers of undead – both elven undead and their own people escaping their burrows. What is left is a mysterious region full of skeletons, ghosts, ghouls, zombies and other ethereal and necrotic creatures. The Menhir is a dangerous place and even the most hardened warriors are weary and well prepared when venturing within its borders.