The Ties that Bind
The History of the Elves
Prehistory and the Golden Age
Though there are few accounts of Elven lore prior to The Green Ravage, Elven Historians and Theologians have evidence that the Elves roamed the lands of Morinar for millennia before the first Dwarf was “carved from stone” or the first man was “moulded from clay.” Born from the trees of Blood Wood, they were the result of a competition between two sibling Gods. As the first truly intelligent creature to grace the world, Elves were able to tame the land and develop a cultured society. Having spread far and wide, there is much pride in these centuries of Elven history, and the long lost Golden Age. Evidence of this era can still be found amidst the various ruins spread around Morinar.
During House Áedén’s rule, at the height of the Elven Empire, a collection of dark beasts rose to clash violently with the unprepared, peaceful Elves.
The Green Ravage devastated the Elven race. Unprepared for war, they found themselves at odds with a race built purely for savage, wanton destruction. They were forced back to Blood Wood, and then further back to their strongholds across the Sea of Wretches. The destruction was swift, and painful. Entire bloodlines fell within months, and the Empire would surely have fallen had it not been for the cunning and adaptability of House Ishild. As the rest of the Empire fell with little resistance, the province of Fyr’yn separated itself, and learned to fight under the leadership of High Priest Valyn Ishild. The war finally reached a stalemate, and The Green Ravage was brought to an abrupt end. The Elves had prevailed – at great cost.
Fyr’yn’s unilateral decision to separate itself from the Elven Empire was frowned upon, and caused further divisions amongst the people. House Ishild believed that the Goddess Imryll had betrayed the Elves, and demanded a shift in paradigm, worshiping her brother Tordynaar instead. Meanwhile, House Áedén stayed true to Imryll, insisting the war was merely a test. Only weeks after the end of The Green Ravage, the Elves found themselves in a brutal civil war – The Parting of Ways.
The Parting of Ways raged on for centuries, and led to the formation of Sorw’yn, ruled by House Áedén. The savage civil war ended only when the Elves made contact with a new beast – the Dwarves. Unwilling to show internal strife in the face of a foreigner, an uncanny treaty was struck between the two Elven countries.
The Elves and Dwarves formed close ties over the years. Trade flourished as the two fought side by side against the Orcs and Goblins. Over time, the Elves of Fyr’yn found themselves enjoying the thrill of battle more and more. They grew accustomed to the ways of war, more so than before. Meanwhile, the Elves of Sorw’yn preferred to avoid conflict, and their reputation dwindled amongst the Dwarves and Fyr’yn. Despite this, the Elves, as a whole, were respected and revered. Whether in battle or in diplomacy, the Elves were capable, and resolute. Slowly, the Elves returned to the mainland, and reclaimed Blood Wood and the surrounding areas as their own.
However, this did not last. The Dwarves required assistance defending what is now called The Boiling Pass. The Elves swore reinforcements – an entire division, thirty thousand strong marched to fight alongside the Dwarves at the Pass. The division never made it, and till date there remains no trace of where the thirty thousand valiant elves disappeared off to. The Elves discovered that dark magic was afoot, and each House blamed the other. Too proud to admit this internal failure, the Elves braced themselves for the inevitable.
And when the inevitable happened, 50 years later, the Elven race was shattered once more. Anguish (the Elven name for the War of Vengeance) was another bloody war in which the Elves lost many an honourable bloodline, and their foothold in the mainlands. Powered by a fury and desire for vengeance never seen before, the Dwarves descended upon the Elves, pushing them back across the Sea of Wretches once more. The Elves fought as bravely as they could – many Dwarves were killed, and Blackstone Hall was conquered.
The bloodline of House Ses’yl was lost soon after Blackstone Hall was conquered. Led by Lady Áw’yn Ses’yl, the family and its most brutal regiment travelled by sea to circumvent the Dwarves during Anguish, marched endlessly, and assaulted Blackstone Hall. The fate of the House is uncertain, but the Dwarves no longer call Blackstone Hall their own.
In the end, it was all for naught. With renewed internal strife, the Elves were unable to hold their lines despite being tactically superior – soldiers do not fight well when flanked by men and women they do not trust.
The Second Fall
When Anguish ended (50 T.E.), the rift between the two Elven nations grew wider. High Priest Valyn Ishild as well as his wife, Lady Ewynn Ishild were both killed on the battlefield – and there was reason to believe they hadn’t fallen to Dwarven blades. Their eldest child, High Priestess Aylen Ishild took control of Fyr’yn at the age of 25. Along with her brothers, she grew determined to restore the Elves to their former greatness. House Áedén was labelled a traitor, though they denied responsibility for the deaths of Valyn and Ewynn Ishild.
Fyr’yn, under the leadership of High Priestess Aylen Ishild had grown prosperous once more, and began an easy expansion back into the mainland. The Dwarves had run off to hide in their mountains, and the Elves took back what was rightfully theirs. Majority of the mainland was once again under Elven control, stretching from Blood Wood till The Talon Bay. It was at this time that Humans first made contact with the Elves. Human emissaries arrived at an Elven fortress in Blood Wood, and demanded that the Elves leave the mainland. Naturally, this demand was met with a refusal. The year 20 T.E. saw another war break out – Elves of Fyr’yn fought against The Talegnorians and their Dwarven allies. The Great Theft (the Elven name for the War in the West) saw the Elves lose the mainland once more, and the Elves of Fyr’yn were pushed back across the Sea of Wretches to lose their birthright once more.
Sorw’yn had a significantly harder time after Anguish – bordered by Orcs and Goblins to the East, they had constantly been fighting off incursions and raids. Led by Ser Ár’yl Áedén of House Áedén, the Elves of Sorw’yn grew cruel and callous to outsiders. When The Great Theft took place, the Elves of Sorw’yn were pre-occupied with fighting the foul beasts, and were unable to provide any assistance to Fyr’yn, though they did wish to.
House Aer’yn formed soon after Anguish, and though it has always been a small House with little estate, its bloodline became a well-known one across the Elven lands. Led by Maestro Eógan Aer’yn, House Aer’yn was determined to be at the forefront of warfare. A House of thinkers, tinkerers, and creators, they have constantly been sought after by both House Áedén and House Ishild to help in war efforts. Their lands are constantly covered by pillars of smoke as they work away at their private creations.
The Era of Reconstruction
The Great Theft ended with a tenuous treaty between Fyr’yn and The Talegnorians. High Priestess Aylen Ishild realized that this was a time of rest for the Elves of Fyr’yn, and so it was. Reparations were made between House Ishild and House Áedén, but the two opted to remain as two separate nations. Now led by Ser Maiara Áedén of House Áedén (his father, Ser Ár’yl, having died a natural death), Sorw’yn continued to fend off Orcs and Goblins from the East, and Fyr’yn provided assistance when possible.
When The Period of the Warring States began, the Elves watched in silence as Humans slaughtered each other. As it progressed, the Elves of Fyr’yn realized that this was a chance to form alliances. A hundred years having passed since The Great Theft, the Elven might had been restored, and it had come time to play favourites.
Both Fyr’yn and Sorw’yn became involved with Human war. With a desire to hurt House Martyn for past treacheries, the two Elven nations provided aid to House Bannon. Though this proved fruitless, the members of House Bannon still have respect for the assistance offered by the Elves, despite horrific odds. Fyr’yn was also involved in the People’s Rebellion of Kronslund, and built strong ties with House Warrick. This proved a fruitful venture, while Sorw’yn also garnered some trust amongst House Laurent.
As the Period of the Warring States came to a close, the Elves found themselves with allies for the first time in centuries. Alongside this, the internal hatred between the two nations was over, with only a few fundamentalists left in either camp.
The Modern Day
The Elven relations with House Warrick, House Laurent, and what remains of House Bannon remain strong. Trade has flourished with Kronslund and Galimond, both cultural and material, and the Elves provide military assistance when necessary.
The Elves watched as the Orcs entered the mainland once more. Unwilling to get involved so close to Dwarven holds, for fear of starting another war, the Elves stood fast and watched the war unfold. Soon after the Orcish incursions were thwarted, the Elves of Fyr’yn began a brutal war with Aesmoor in an attempt to regain Blood Wood. With High Priestess Aylen Ishild reaching her prime age, she felt it wise to take advantage of the opportunity to leave behind a great legacy. The War of Stolen Homes began in 160 S.E. and has yet to end.This puts a strain on the Elven alliances with Galimond and Kronslund, but these friendships have not faltered yet. Meanwhile, the Elves of Sorw’yn continue to fend off Orcs and Goblins from the east, though they now attack less frequently.
Many Elves, called Apostates, abandoned their homelands, seeking opportunity in the mainland of Western Morinar. These Apostates, along with their families and retinue, have approached numerous Noble Houses with services to offer. As these nobles quickly discovered, there were many things that these Elves could teach them – from artistry to martial prowess, centuries of experience gave Elves much knowledge to impart. Some Apostates found themselves training soldiers, while others became artisans, and few lucky ones found themselves in royal courts. These Apostates have, over time, further improved the reputation that Elves have as a whole among Humans.
Despite the constant war with Aesmoor, the Elves are largely at a better place than they have been since The Green Ravage. A time of prosperity has arrived once more, but there is concern that it will be very short lived.