This is for a future D&D campaign I’ll be DMing. I want to know how a rich and charismatic leader might create his own settlement and eventually turn it into a prosperous city-state. The world is in a high middle ages tech era (with stagnant technological progress for millennia, basically like any D&D world).
Let me set the scene: The elves of this world are longed-lived (D&D style), magically-inclined, and reproduce more slowly than humans. For millennia they have been scattered across the continent, living in small isolated communities, or in human cities. However, a powerful and rich elven wizard has acquired a large territory (10,000 square miles) without any attachment to an existing political entity (but bordering several human nations). He dreams of creating a new homeland for his people, a once hopeless dream shared by many of his kind.
Let us assume that he can convince thousands to leave their old lives behind, and join him in this quest (nobles, artisans, artists, peasants...)
What are the first few steps to take, to go from wilderness, to a small settlement capable of surviving on its own?
Here are the resources available to them:
The king’s magic: he can grow buildings out of natural stone and wood, so there is no need for expensive construction projects. This is in fact quite simple for him, and a home capable of housing a large family can be built in 20 days using this method. Furthermore, he can summon food and water, fend off any pillagers or invading armies... Basically, let us assume that he can sustain a small population (<700) for as long as needed using magic.
The king’s network: being an ex-adventurer, who’s helped save the world before, and has ungodly charisma, he can negotiate any reasonable deal with these kingdoms (be it for trade, protection, ...)
The king’s wealth: he possesses enough gold to run a small country for a few years (up to a decade). This could be used to buy anything that can’t be made with magic, to hire foreign talents, pay for services from abroad...
Elven reputation: the elves are renowned for their skill as artisans, artists, mages... Elven goods are often synonymous with quality/luxury. And we can assume that some famous elven artisans could be convinced to join the cause.
Sea access: I know that historically this has been big for trade, so let’s assume that this vast territory has access to the ocean.
There are however a few constraints for this:
Preserving elven culture: any plan that would result in elves being overrun by non-elven migrants (and thus compromising what was meant as a new homeland), or the loss of elven culture, is not ideal. Elves and humans can reproduce, making half-elves, but such pairings are not common (elves don’t usually find humans attractive).
Elves dont reproduce quickly: a generation is roughly 200 years for the elves, in a world dominated by humans (but with technology stagnant for the past few millenia). So most early growth would have to come from elven immigration.
This is my first post on here, I apologize if the format is inadequate in any manner. I would love to hear examples from real-life stories about medieval settlements, or works of fiction that describe similar experiences.
EDIT1: If you think that any more specifics would be needed for such a settlement, like geography, location relative to major nations... Feel free to assume this if it can better fit any examples you may know, I’m not dead-set on much thus far.
EDIT2: If the military implications of a powerful wizard bother you, then perhaps a defense pact with a very powerful (and nearby) nation would serve as an adequate analogy.