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The History of the Elves

The Formtaking
Long, long, LONG ago.. there were no Elves. Wild magic was strong in the world, and Elementals of all types played on the windswept beaches of the Maelmordian Seas and in the shadows of the great primeval forest that would one day be known as the Cillidellian Wood. They lacked understanding of life, were uncaring and cold to it, for they could no more die than the elements could. Some of them were curious though, and watched the animals live and die, and thought. In time, some Elementals learned to manipulate the wild magic, to shape it into spells, and harness its power. For most of the Elementals, this ability was merely an amusement, a toy, but a rare few saw the potential for more. Over centuries they built their skills and power, gathering together at Cillidellia, a valley where the fiery lava of the depths approached the surface, where the ancient green strength of the forest met the forever blowing winds that flow off of the Maelmordian Seas, where wild magic was strong. Here these Elementals began forming a spell such as they had never undertaken before. They had seen life, and wanted to do more than see. They created the spell of the Formtaking, which would forever change the world. Drawing upon the power of one hundred Elementals, for the structure of the spell would allow no more or less, the spell created life. The Hundred were taken into the magic, and altered, changed, and when they emerged they had gained bodies, genders, breath, and faced the unknown darkness of death. For their bodies, unaging though they were, could be damaged or destroyed, and the Elves, for they were Elementals no longer, knew respect for life, with the gaining of death.

Cillidellia
After the Formtaking came a time of chaos. The Elves were new to life and emotion, tempers flared and their efforts to survive were imperiled by the constant strife. At this time, Mariel, who had been instrumental in the creation and working of the spell of Formtaking, and who had been the first to step out into the world, began to show her true skills in leadership. With her gentle understanding of balance, and considerable strength in magic, she kept the Hundred together, organizing them into a community. With their combined magic they created a home in the valley where they had existed for so long, and under her direction began the creation of a permanent dwelling place. They began with an ancient oak and melded magic deep into its structure. Connecting it to the lava beneath with wild magic, they created a living building, with magic flowing throughout it. During this time of creation the Hundred learned to live within the world, and when Cillidellia finally reached its completion, towering on the border between forest and sea, many had become confident of their ability to survive. Curiosity began to grow among them, and the Hundred and their descendants began to explore the world, moving out into the Cillidellian Wood and beyond, though always keeping Cillidellia in a special place in their hearts. No longer needed as a sanctuary, the green tower of Cillidellia became a place of study, where Elves, both young and old, examine the world.

The Crossing
After almost two thousand years, a number of Elves decided to travel across the Maelmordian Seas, to the continent which their spells had told them must be there. They worked for a decade, building a beautiful fleet of ships, the Seven Ships of the Crossing. In 1933 YF they sailed across the Maelmordian Seas, landing on the coast of the northern continent. The explorers were enchanted with the continent and wandered across it, splitting into smaller groups and rejoining every five years in the heart of the first forest they had found, which they named Haon'Dor, to share the stories of their travels. In 2240 YF, while traveling far to the north, one group met with a new race. These were Dwarves, and they welcomed the travelers into their city of Dwarvenhold. The Dwarves were intrigued by the travelers tales of the world, and the idea of unknown mountains with unknown riches within. A sizable group of them asked to return with the Elves, when the Seven Ships sailed home. They returned with the party to Haon'Dor and stayed there for a time. In 2333 YF, after four hundred years of exploration, those of the Elves who had decided to return sailed for home, and the Dwarves sailed with them. They sailed one of the Seven Ships, taking the place of the many Elves that had decided to remain in Haon'Dor and to create a new city there, which they named Loth-Llorien.

Loth-Llorien
Loth-Llorien was built in the treetops of, and within the trees of, Haon'Dor. It had begun as a meeting place, a place where the explorers from Cillidellia could gather and share with each other their experiences. This tradition continued, and every fifth year Loth-Llorien is filled with Elves who have traveled from their scattered homes across the continent to meet, mingle, and to share their stories. During the other four years of the cycle Loth-Llorien is calm and peaceful, providing a safe place for young Elves to grow and learn before embarking on their own journeys. The Elves of Loth-Llorien watched with interest as Humans spread across the land under the guidance of their dark creator, Maurice. They met with many Humans in their travels, and were intrigued by them and their vibrant involvement in life, so intensified by the certainty of death. The Humans were equally enchanted by the Elves, so beautiful and so unhurried. When Maurice left the realm in 4018 YF, and Humans were thrown into chaos, the Elves were sympathetic. When Thalos was destroyed by the Revolt of the Minotaurs, the refugees fled north through the forests, eventually reaching the River Fastwater. There, on the eastern edge of the Haon'Dor, they built a new city, with the assistance of the Elves. They called it Midgaard, and Elves were welcome there for almost two hundred and fifty years. Then Mayor Rasputin came to power. Rasputin had been scorned by the Elven lady he had courted, and never forgave her. He was exceptionally good at manipulating public opinion, and was easily elected Mayor. From the very beginning, Mayor Rasputin began to destroy the peaceful relationship between Humans and Elves. With poisonous speeches and rumors he twisted their image in the eyes of Midgaard's citizens until he had the support he needed to vote into law, in 4358 YF, a banning of Elves and all things Elven, including the Half-Elves, which had risen as a sizable minority in the time of peace. Even this was not enough, and he finally declared war on Loth-Llorien. The Elves of Loth-Llorien were more saddened than angered, but after the first invasion of Haon'Dor, the Elven Defenders were formed to protect Loth-Llorien, training in the arts of combat and defense. With the death of Mayor Rasputin an uneasy peace was made between the two cities, but his policies of hatred had left a lasting scar on the people of Midgaard, and the freely trusting relationship of earlier times has never re-formed in the seven centuries since that dark time.

Other Elves
The Elves were never content to live only in Loth-Llorien though, and spread across the continent, exploring, building small homes, and, on occasion, forming new villages. One of these is the Village of Malenest, nestled in the woods near the source of the River Fastwater, north and far to the west of Loth-Llorien. Settled not many decades after Loth-Llorien, Malenest was merely a peaceful village for over two thousand years. Its citizens lived and grew, and the occasional new settlement was started in the woods, or in the plains to the east. Life was quiet, and other then listening with interest to the stories told in Loth-Llorien, they calmly ignored the shifting world to the east. This changed, however, in one recent horrible summer, the summer of 4825 YF. A clan of Orcs raided the village, killing many, enslaving more, and burning many of the ancient home trees. With heroic efforts, the remaining Elves, besieged as they were, held off the Orcs, killing enough of them that they retreated, finally, to lick their wounds and recoup their strength. Unfortunately for Malenest, the Orcs found a perfect den in the caves to the north of the village, where once the Elves had enjoyed exploring and playing. All that winter the Elves counseled, torn between leaving their home, retreating back to Loth-Llorien, and staying, and attempting to free their friends and family from endless slavery in the darkness of Vile Rune. When spring came the Elves were still there, and they were preparing the village. With powerful spells they bound protection into the heart of the village and with Elven patience they began training themselves for the eventual descent into Vile Rune, to free the slaves of the Orcs. The Orcs remain in Vile Rune, sending out raiding parties during long, hot summers, and building on the backs of their slaves in the darkness below.

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