I went all-out. As a result, I didn't make it past the first round.
For fun, I decided to dig up my original proposal, unedited, exactly as I sent it WotC. It's called The Aurichale Empire.
- CORE ETHOS
- WHO THE HEROES ARE
- WHAT THE HEROES DO
- THREATS, CONFLICTS, VILLAINS
- NATURE OF MAGIC
- WHAT'S NEW OR DIFFERENT
Aurichale Empire is a world of exotic fantasy adventure and intrigue dominated by a nearly-elven race, where worldly adventurers driven by a fierce individualism rise to their true heroic potential battling corrupt political forces clinging to oppressive traditions.
Heroes include: elven Feyrye nobles sorrowfully seeking to undo the effects of their millennium of oppression; human mercenaries and thaumaturges struggling to make a good name for themselves; daring explorers and their doglike Poppet companions, or courtly half-elven changelings struggling with their torn loyalties and the political machinations around them.
The heroes seek their fortune in the streets of Aurichale and other elven cities, or within the warring human Steel Kingdoms; tame the savage wilderness; recover lost artifacts from elven ruins; reform the last vestiges of an unjust class system; or exercise diplomacy and cunning to prevent widespread war.
Enlightened society rejects slavery and oppression and rewards the progressive, independent spirit, but many in power -- or fallen from it -- cling to social injustices. Former manufactured slave races and conquered peoples demand equality and freedom; some threaten violence to get it. Human kingdoms are on the verge of war with the elves or with each other, seemingly because of covert manipulation.
Magic, other than charm and illusion, is hard to produce "on the fly" but easier to do with enchantment, making fireball spells unknown but wands of fire common. The Feyrye and the changelings can create "on the fly" physical effects through sorcery, but it physically ages them. Humans can use sorcery as well, but it requires elven or half-elven blood -- usually acquired by criminal means.
The dominant elven Feyrye, radically different from "standard" elves, are unaging except when touched by iron, steel, or the flesh of another elf. Humans are more common and form the bulk of the working class, with the half-elven changelings forming an intermediate aristocracy. Other, rarer, races, originally created by the Feyrye, are adapted to specific environments. Technology is medieval but fantastic, enhanced by enchantment; the cultural feel is closer to the Victorian Era, with its enormous progressive spirit in contrast to a genteel traditionalism.