The Most Sacred Spot in Partum for Elves

Havre d’Anges is one of those places that seem to ignore how everything works in the world around them. It is a place immune to political intrigue, religious manipulation, and threats of violent destruction. Tied as it is to the plane of Arborea it simply does not function the same as anyplace else in Partum.

Elves in Partum that have heeded the call to return to Arborea make the journey to Havre d’Anges in order to board one of the ships that makes the journey from this plane, the Prime Material Plane, to the outer plane of Arborea, the original home of the elves. Even dark elves are invited to participate in this final pilgrimage thanks to the Aelerfyne Invitation although only a handful of drow are ever expected to take advantage of it (seeing as no evil creature can travel to Arborea via the ships that sail from Havre d’Anges). Old political rivalries and other feuds are put aside as these elves make their way to Havre d’Anges. Rarely do these elves ever take anything of value with them and most of the time they don’t bring along family or friends beyond those necessary to make the trip. Since Havre d’Anges is sited on the northwest coast of Fanolania the elves spend a lot of time travelling through that country. Inns offer discounted rates to those heeding the call (but not necessarily to those accompanying them) and care is given to making their journey as effortless as possible.

Once the elves arrive at Havre d’Anges they must first pass through the small town of Porte au Paradis. Here everyone that isn’t heeding the call to Arborea is forced to stop, as only the called may cross the causeway during low tide to Havre d’Anges. This is not a negotiable issue. Havre d’Anges has the ability to expel anyone it wishes at any time, and for any reason. There is no need for mortal intervention. The site itself can simply teleport anyone, without error, back to Porte au Paradis. This includes people of evil alignment, anyone who tries to sneak into the holy site, and anyone that overstays their welcome. The only people allowed to stay overnight are the attendants (those called by Arborea to serve as caretakers and guards at Havre d’Anges) and those awaiting the arrival of the ships to take them to Arborea.

On rare occasions there are elves that heed the call to Arborea and yet they are not in a fit enough frame of mind to complete the journey. This includes those that are suffering from dementia, insanity, or that are evilly aligned either by curse or choice. These individuals are subjected to a special form of religious rite that helps to correct mental instability and realign the personae of the targeted souls to be more in harmony with Arborea itself (that is to say Chaotic Good, although other forms of good and neutrality are tolerated). So somebody that struggles with evil impulses will have to undergo enough rituals and rites that they can be considered safe enough to journey onwards. This determination is not made by anyone other than Arborea itself. No amount of bribery, coercion, or influence can alter who is and is not allowed to board the ships.

This raises a very specific and curious concern for some folks. Once an elf steps into Havre d’Anges as a pilgrim heeding the call they cannot leave by any means other than via the ships to Arborea. They are not considered to be imprisoned, nor do they view themselves as being held against their will. They are merely in limbo as they await their turn to sail off across the sea and the stars. Truthfully nobody would ever want to return to their mortal existence in Partum once they have begun the journey. It is perhaps the most curious and peculiar aspect of being an elf.

The number of attendants varies, but there are usually around a thousand elves that live full time in Havre d’Anges. Most are priests and priestesses devoted to preparing the elves travelling through for the final phase of their journey. They are not in any way affiliated with the church hierarchy and answer to no Bishop or Archbishop. The chief attendant is called the Keeper of the Haven and it is their role to provide a measure of oversight to how the attendants go about their duties. Secluded as the Haven is, it is never a factor in anything outside of itself in terms of political power or influence. The small town that exists in Havre d’Anges exists solely to give the full time residents and the pilgrims passing through a means to exist by distributing food and clothing. Nothing in Havre d’Anges is truly bought and sold because money means nothing in this sacred place. Nothing is ever exported from here and that which is imported is paid for by the King of Fanolania. This money and the soldiers he has stationed in Porte au Paradis comprise the monarch’s material support for the holy place and is provided as a matter of devotion by the elven King.

The overall architecture of Havre d’Anges is the finest example of elven architecture anywhere in Partum. The small town, the grand cathedral that rises up to dominate the whole of the rocky mound, the scattered gardens tucked away between buildings and in courtyards, and the sweeping battlements that serve more as decoration than defense are simply breathtaking. If one is able to secure a tour of Havre d’Anges, however brief, it is highly recommended.