Artapherana is a name collectively used for four unique and fascinating trees
which can be found only upon the Efirhal Hill in
Milkengrad. Each one of them appears to
represent one of the four elements and has a personality of its own. A glow of
colored light emanates from each tree, according to its element and, when winds
blow from the Thaelon, a melody is heard,
sometimes sad, sometimes joyful. This melody has the ability to create certain
emotions to those who hear it and is used as a means of communication.
Their individual names of the trees are Aeolerin, Nertelyx, Hydraloth and Helpheran. The exact origin of the Artapherana is still unknown, but sages in the 4th century a.S. connect them with the League, a secret elven guild that played an important though subtle role in the Helcran development.
Appearance. The four Artapherana can be described as follows:
the Tree of Air
The Tree of the Air, Aeolerin, looks like a willow tree. She reaches approximately 25 peds in height. Aeolerin’s trunk is shaded with a mixture of light brown and silver. Her leaves are a dark green, with a thin silver line running through their centre. Aeolerin emanates a bright white glow that looks like a visible breeze that passes through her ever-moving branches and surrounds her like mist. Aeolerin expresses her anger with a burst of hot wind.
Aeolerin has an affection for spiritual persons such as sages, artists, diplomats, priests and philosophers. Her favourite race are the elves. Anactari who promoted science and arts were adored by her, without doubt her favorite was Curogane II. Aeolerin likes spiritual persons, books, tomes, and other literature, and is the symbol of the Anactarian Library.
the Tree of Earth
The Tree of the Earth, Nertelyx, bears a strong resemblance to an oak tree. His height of 40 peds makes Nertelyx the tallest of the Artapherana. Nertelyx has a thick blackish-brown trunk with shiny leaves of an indefinable colour, a mixture of gold and dark green. Nertelyx’s acorns emanate a golden light that fades within a few minutes of separation from their tree. Nertelyx uses a lightning bolt that derives from its acorns to defend himself.
Nertelyx is the symbol of the Smith’s Guild in Milkengrad. He is considered to favor all kind of practical trades and persons such as smiths, miners, craftsmen, laborers, architects and mathematicians. His favorite race are the dwarves or Thergerim.
Hydraloth, the Tree of Water
The Tree of the Water, Hydraloth, is similar in form to a poplar tree and is 30 peds tall. Her trunk is decorated in shades of white and very light brown colours. Hygraloth’s leaves are semi-transparent, have a crystalline look and a pale green color and look very much like the crystal grass that covers the top of the Efirhal, the hill where the Artapherana stand. Hydraloth uses electricity bolts to feign attackers.
Hydraloth is the tree that favors the humans. She is the symbol of the civilian harbour in Milkengrad. Merchants, sailors, lawyers, politicians, fishermen and explorers are considered to be favoured by her.
Helpheran, the Tree of Fire
The Tree of Fire, Helpheran, looks like a plane tree. He is approximately 35 peds tall. Helpheran’s trunk is a deep reddish-brown in hue. His leaves have a bright red colour and give off a yellow glow. Helpheran’s seeds are as round and red as fresh embers. The general appearance of Helpheran is as if he is perpetually on fire, making him the brightest of the Artapherana. He uses fire winds to express his dislike.
Helpheran, the symbol of the Military Academy in Milkengrad, is also the most passionate of the Artapherana. He shows affection with an increase in his light to military men, hunters and statesmen. However he seems not to favor a certain trade; rather, he focuses on the personal attributes of those who approach him. There are several tales of the great sympathy Helpheran expressed for the Anactari Helronn and Curogana. He emanated a glow that blinded everybody in the vicinity except his beloved kings, and when they passed away Helpheran began to radiate so wildly that the citizens thought the city was on fire.
The Artapherana are four unique trees to be found only upon the Efirhal Hill in
Myth/Lore. There exist several stories about the Artapherana’s psychic abilities. It is commonly believed among the Centoraurians that the Artapherana have the ability to "see" into the souls of the living and reveal their deepest fears, desires and dreams. The legends can be listed as follows:
Helronn, the founder of Milkengrad was adored by the Artapherana and especially Helpheran. Each time he entered the circle of the trees they rejoiced so much and their light became brighter. Helpheran's fire was so intense that everybody in the vicinity, except Helronn, was temporatily blinded.
The Embracing of Curogane II
The Anactar Curagane II was Aeolerin's favorite. Many evenings he sat under her branches and they had some form of communication. It is still remembered that when Curogane II approached Aeolerin, her light fell like soft white rain upon him and her branches embraced him gracefully.
Contemption of the
Arpagar, the usurper of the Anactarian throne, was deeply contempted by the Artapherana. Each time he approached the Efirhal either he was blinded by their light or their light faded so much that they seemed to be normal trees. The melody of the Artapherana for the seven years of Arpagar’s reign, was the only sound the Artapherana made. This melody (later on called “Tunes of Wrath”) expressed all their anger about the usurping of the throne and the suffering of the Helcrani.
Resistance to the
At the Fall of Milkengrad, in 617 b.S., the Artapherana let none of the invaders approach them. They used their innate powers and with hot wind, lightning, fire and electricity helped Senrin with his task to keep the invaders away from the Efirhal. And later on during the occupation no Turacanthian was allowed near them, reminding them that they were foreigners to a foreign city.
Curogana and Thar
There is also a legend that Curogana fell in love with Thar upon the Efirhal. The trees created a romantic atmosphere with their light and one exciting melody that created a romantic atmosphere. It is rumored that every time the royal couple was sad, they sought refuge among the Artapherana. They have traveled many times, as kings of Tharania, all the way to Milkengrad just to stay for a couple of hours under the shadow of the Artapherana.
The Ultimate Trial
In severe crimes that are punished with death the accused has the right to request the Ultimate Trial. The one who passes it is relieved from all accusations while the one who fails it is executed.
To pass the Trial, one must be presented to the Artapherana and accepted among them as they let no person disgraced by murder or low vice approach. The Trees cannot and do not judge if the accused is guilty of the crime; they rather focus on his/her personality and if he/she is worth of living. In case they find the accused worth of life they reward him/her with a bright light, symbol of their acceptance. The unworthy is condemned by the Trees and their light fades slightly, while fire and lightning prevent the unclean person to approach them.
Rise and Fall of
When an Anactar dies, the light of the Artapherana fades for some time. This way the whole city of Milkengrad knows when their sovereign has passed away. On the other hand, when an Anactar is inaugurated and receives Helronn’s sword upon the Efirhal and among the Artapherana, the blessed trees seal the ceremony with their light. However, if the Anactar is illegitimate their light fades away, as happened with Arpagar and Cumrann.
Taming of the Dragon
During the reign of the Anactar Ascandir a dragon is said to have attacked Centorauria and finally reached the capital. He inflicted many casualties to the Helcrani who came to confront him and he seemed invulnerable to normal weapons and the mages from Ximax were still on their way to the city. However, the dragon was attracted by the Artapherana and - astonished by their beauty - lay down and fell asleep among them. Later, he didn’t seem to be aggressive, accepted offerings from the citizens and eventually developed a relationship with the Milken Protectors of the Trees. The city fed the dragon, while he decided to make his nest upon the Efirhal and share his wisdom with the locals. However, never did the dragon explain the reason of his aggressive behavior. Nevertheless, after a couple of months, the dragon left the city suddenly and for no apparent reason heading westwards towards Hèckra and wasn’t heard again. Rumors say that, if he appears again, he will be recognized by the medallion of the Protectors that the Anactar himself gave him as a token of friendship.
Origin. The exact
origin of the Artapherana is yet unknown, except maybe to the top members of the
the League’s leader and inspiration, is
said to have brought the four great Artapherana seeds and planted them upon the
Efirhal, but what their original source
was nobody knows.
A rumor connects them with the Tree of Life and the Carpi’coór, saying that lost souls who sought refuge in the Eu'reóll mixed with it and became these powerful, sentient seeds, but as nothing more is known it is unsure to elaborate on this any further.
Information provided by Curgan