A Sadness in Midgaard
It all began in 1298 YH, though we did not know it then. It was in that year that a son was born to the wealthy merchant Darius and his wife, a son they named Rasputin. In time we would come to hate that name. At that time I was 112, and well established as a scribe in Midgaard. My father had died many years past, and with his death my mother had returned to the trees of Loth-Llorien. I sold my skills to Humans, Half-Elves, and Elves alike, and time went on.
Rasputin grew up protected by his father's money, wanting nothing. He was bright, and apart from his father's wealth, had a magnetic charisma that could have easily won him the affection of any of the Human girls in the city. He sought none of their attentions though, for he had fallen in love with an Elven lady, far older than he and as fair as her 25th birthday. He courted her with all his guile, doing all he could do to win her heart, but she would have nothing to do with this young, spoiled Human. When he finally realized that nothing he could do would make her his, he began to develop an irrational hatred for her, and indeed, all Elves. He began a crusade against the Elves, and slowly his madness spread. He was canny, attacking the Elves only through the law, and public speeches, never guilty of any legal offense. He spread rumors among his peers, the wealthy scions of the merchant families, and gathered them to his cause. He ran for progressivly higher offices, climbing through the power structure of the city until only one remained. Then, in 1334 YH, he finally reached his goal. Our Mayor retired in a flurry of scandal, declaring his innocence, but retiring because he no longer had the trust of the people. Into his place came Rasputin.
Rasputin quickly began consolidating his power, granting favors and positions to his fellow Elf-haters, and sweeping those who disagreed with him into the shadows. In 1340 YH, Mayor Rasputin signed his hatred into law, and Elves and all of us of Elven blood were banned from the city. Many had seen it coming, and Elves had been leaving the city since Rasputin's election. We who had stayed were rounded up and driven from the city like so many sheep, with only the clothes on our backs and what money we had in our pockets. Those who struggled were beaten senseless, and left outside the gates to die.
We traveled west into Haon'Dor, and camped there, until we could decide what we would do. Some stayed, hoping against hope, but many left the north for the Southern Continent, to create a new home. And so I left Midgaard, traveling first to Seaside, then buying passage across the Maelmordian Seas to here in Safehaven. I found that these busy streets reminded me well of Midgaard, and instead of traveling into the depths of the continent to form a new town I settled here. I began to ply my trade again, writing and reading letters for the relatives of those here with kin in the north, both in fair Loth-Llorien and in busy Midgaard. These letters told of the darkness that swept those unfortunate towns.
Mayor Rasputin in his arrogance and hatred declared war on Loth-Llorien soon after expelling the Elves, inciting the people of Midgaard to invade the fastness of Haon'Dor. In response, in 1341, the citizens of Loth-Llorien approved the Charter of a volunteer militia called the Elven Defenders. This group was the creation of a great Elven warrior named Calhoun. Captain Calhoun defended Loth-Llorien with amazing skill as a general, and nothing ever came of Midgaard's ill-trained warriors' attempts at invasion. The letters from both towns were full of tales of skirmishes and battles, families torn apart and set against each other, and mourning for the senseless violence and death.
Now my mother writes from Loth-Llorien, across the Seas, Rasputin is dead from a fit of apoplexy, and has been for two years. His loyal followers carry on his legacy, and Midgaard will never be the same I fear, but his part in it is over.
And so I set his story down with pen and ink, that all may know of the sadness in Midgaard, city of my birth, that I shall never see again.Driscoll the Scribe
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