Approximately 120 miles upriver from Casa Buraca, past other small settlements of Esken and Cinoca, lies an unassuming little town called Colena. Nestled on a hill in the mountain valley, Colena traces its roots back to the expeditions out of the White Walled City. The history of exactly who the first settlers to the area were are not recorded locally, and the town’s remote location between mountains too tall to traverse offers little evidence as well. Because of the geographical distance between it and any major hold on the peninsula, Colena’s origins are vague in public records as well.
The history of a minor settlement like Colena would not be called into question were it not for the exceptional skill of the archers from the town, as well as their distinct physical characteristics. While the average height of men from Caelon typically ranges from 5′ 4″ to 5′ 8″, the Colenian men and even women exceed this norm. Colenian women’s average height ranges from 5′ 6″ to 5′ 10″, and the men range typically from 5′ 9″ to 6′ 1″, with some exceptions even higher than that.
The tallest reported Colenian man was Guillo the Giant, who lived 120 years prior to the Battle of Gelgadongo. He was so tall that various sources have listed him at 6′ 7″, 6′ 9″ and 6′ 6″ at the low end. The man’s skill with a bow was so legendary that it is said he never lost a competition wherever he went. Combined with his appearance, he left a lasting impression on the area that remains to this day.
The archery skill of the Colenian men pre-dates Guillo the Giant by quite some time, as well. The archers of Colena have been sought after by various kingdoms throughout the Age of Kings, employing them both as trainers and soldiers. Because the village itself is so remote, the population has remained low, even despite the fact that their archers are so sought after across the peninsula.
During the Battle of Gelgadongo, several of the archers from Colena stood on the battlements of the city, successfully assisting with the repelling of the Warathi forces who were not prepared for the accuracy and efficiency of the bowmen on the walls. Among the celebrated heroes of the battle was Oreco Mendibar, who for a prolonged time stood alone on one of the walls as the tide of Warathi soldiers crashed against them. While he survived the assault primarily because of the successful flanking of the forces by the Olenosi hillrunners, the image of one man standing alone against such a massive force of attackers was powerful enough to be included in songs of the era.
The secrets of the excellent bowmanship and origins of the Colenians may be lost to time, but their reputation lives on, extending far from the tiny town on a hill in between mountains.