From spring to summer, a soft breeze blows on the lake Elibor, in the Duchy of Gorvanon. It is called the Eor Wind, and it comes from the South West, bringing over the lake the frangrance of the orchards on the hills of the Ermin Abilar. If you follow the wind, you will reach the resort city of Elibora, nested on the northwest shore of the Lake, against the mountains of the Emin Tarab.
(SEE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR THE MAP OF ELIBORA)
Elibora, like Orgonze more in the South, sits on a rich natural network of hot springs whose waters are famous for their curative virtues. It was founded in 4457 by Erbos II, Duke of Gorvanon. The Enclave was still young at that time and Erbos, unlike the following Dukes, was a man who thrived for pleasures and distractions. More in the style of the Dukes of Moranon and the Barons of Ballar, he had gathered a rich and snobbish court around him, composed of epicurean nobles who were seeking the pleasures of life. It is under Erbos II that the wines and delicacies of Gorvanon blossomed, along with the great tradition of elaborate cuisine that has since then made the reputation of the Duchy. Few buildings remain from that time of pleasures in a Duchy that has since then forgotten its decadent pleasures to replace them with practical distractions, but the visitors can still sample some of the old magnificence in the hostelleries and manors of Labron and the winter gardens of Gorvil. One other place, still intact, is the city of Elibora.
Spreading from a wide lakefront the city now houses about 5000 souls. At the time of its splendor, it used to have more than 10000 inhabitants, that would turn easily into 20000 in Summer when the nobles and their parties would settle here for vacation. But those who remain in the city keep a jealous care of it and although aged, it is still in perfect condition, even though most of the buildings are empty. The buildings of Elibora are mostly built in dark grey granite, with roofs of blue baked tiles. In the center, the buildings have often two three or even four floors.
The lakefront is called the Promenade. It is a wide road, paved, facing a sandy beach with piers where in summer people can rent boats to make a tour on the lake. It ends with the small harbour, dedicated both to luxury or pleasure boats and some fishing boats providing the inns of the city with fresh fish every day. The river TUIR that crosses the northern districts of the city flows into the harbour. The four main buildings on the Promenade are, the Harbour Offices, with the lighthouse, the Gorvanon Trade Bank, the old and prestigious Lakeshore Inn, the most selective and expensive hotel in town, and the Casino. All of these are hundreds years old and still kept in pristine condition. The Casino is open in Spring and Summer only, but the Lakeshore Inn is one of the few places open all year long. The service is perfect, the restaurant of the highest quality and the rooms splendidly decorated and comfortable.
The city spreads from the lakefront with the simple structure of a half wheel, with the main streets either parallel to the lake or going from it like the beams of a wheel.
In the middle of the city are three squares evenly spread along its length. The central one, the largest, is the main square. It is there that can be found the biggest church in Elibora (there are 6 in the city). It is the church of Saint Predon. It is magnificently decorated and sports many gold statues and rich enamels, carved woods and silver ornaments. Like most of the buildings in Elibora it has been built in the dark grey granite stone from the nearby mountains and has a roof of dark blue baked tiles. Facing the church is the rich and elegant city hall of Elibora where lives and works the Governor of the city. As of 5301, he is BLAS THEMON.
The south square sports a wide gazebo where concerts are held during the high season while people take refreshments from the many taverns lining the square and wander around the weekly flowers and antiques market.
The north square hosts the wide building of the Elibora Baths, where rich people come from all over the enclave to drink or bath in the famous waters.
Elibora offers dozens of inns and taverns, but most of them are closed off season. The most famous are The Gold Rooster Inn, the Clouds Tavern, the Laughing Boar tavern, the Eagle Inn, the Oaks Inn, Barbas' tavern, the Baths Inn and the Merry Sausage Tavern.
Security in the city is enforced by a well trained milice, discreet but efficient as Eliborans do not appreciate noise and troubles and desire to guarantee and perfect rest to their rich customers.
In Summer, on Arth Erea of Etas (last day of the second week of the 7th month, or 16th day of the month of Etas), starts the festival of Saint Predon. It lasts for the whoe following week (Morea) and is an occasion for musical contests between bards from all over the Duchy, games of skills (archery, fencing, climbing, wrestling...), religious processions where the remains of Saint Predon are walked across the city and displays of flower arrangements. Of course, all this is acoompanied by feasts, parties, dances and many drinks.
Other institutions of Elibora are the theatre and opera. They are represented in two buildings in the city, the Argam Theatre (taking his name from the most famous dramaturgist of Gorvanon) and the Prilach Opera (From the great composer Anton Prilach). The Opera houses the Elibora Orchestra, a very serious musical formation that performs in the opera, vocal and non vocal pieces and on the Gazebo of the South square in spring and summer. The Theatre houses the Argam Performing Company that tours Gorvanon in Winter and returns to the city in Spring and Summer for many acclaimed performances.
In Spring and Summer, the city displays many flowers on the windows of its buildings and in the many little gardens scattered all over town, at the crossroads or in the center of squares. The main streets are lined with trees, most of them being a particular kind of cherry trees from this area, the Cassogs, that have beautiful pink flowers in Spring.
In winter though, the soft Eor wind is replaced with a rainy wind coming from the mountains. The city looks greay, mostly deserted. More than half of the buildings are empty and people hurry under the rain to go back to their houses. Most of the taverns are closed and no festivities take place, nor are there distractions offered. The city waits patiently for the spring and summer visitors to come back... Those who come to the city at that time will find it gloomy, with few people to meet. The houses look slightly ominous in their dark stone and tall shapes and only a few candle lights can be seen through the windows. The waters of the lake are grey, often tumultuous, with waves crashing on the deserted beach and empty piers. It is a sad sight indeed filled with a melancholy that has however drawn some bards, poets and artists looking to capture this feeling.
People come to Elibora in two ways. Most of them take a boat from Thalvir (this takes about 2 days) or take the road around the lake (going along the north shore-this takes about 2 weeks by cart or wagon).
The countryside around Elibora is mainly composed of low hills that climb slowly toward the mountains of the Emin Tarab. A few farms can be found, surrounded by small enclosed fields often hidden by thickets and small woods. In the hills are a few places of interest: the cave of Saint Predon, a sanctuary created where the saint is believed to have spent his last years as an ermit. Rumors say that this is not the real cave where he lived and that the actual one, still filled with treasures in the form of his writings is still hidden somewhere in the mountains.
There is also the tomb of Erbos II. The duked loved his city so much he desired to be buried in a hill overlooking it. It is a mausoleum that can be visited for a small fee. Once again, rumors have that Erbos had, when fearing for his succession when his brother Ergos was threatening to overthrow him, built a hidden underground safe where he placed most of his fortune. The fact that when indeed he was killed by Ergos most of his treasure had disappeared would strengthen this rumor. Many adventurers though have been searching the mountains in vain for this secret place and it has now become just a local legend. Finally, two curiosities, but never visited because of their ominous reputations are the remains of a watchtower built probably by Argolath before the Enclave was created, and a small village, in fact a community, built many years ago by some nobles who wanted to enjoy the city without living in it. They erected some manors gathered in a wood where they spent their summers. It is said that some tragedies happened, a dark affair of murders and jealousy and the nobles left their manors never to return. Since that time, a few people have tried to claim them and live in them, always to leave after a while when they didn't commit suicide or die for mysterious reasons. The place is now believed to be haunted and no one in Elibora would go there, even though it is not very far from the city, in the hills above. This "village" was called NEVEL. Most of the houses are now in ruins, but they still stand in the dark woods, a tribute to a long past beauty and glory, displaying richly carved balconies, fountains and columns...
(North is toward the right side of the map)
1/ THE PROMENADE
2/THE LAKESHORE INN
4/GORVANON TRADE BANK
8/SAINT PREDON CATHEDRAL
18/ERBOS II BOULEVARD
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