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Of Elves by Landil Freanimath
Introduction Elves are wise, noble and elegant humanoids who are found, in varying numbers, on all the main continents of Erasan. Elves look much like humans, only slightly taller, and with pointy ears and paler skin. They have an immense knowledge, especially of the subject of magic, which is rivalled only by the famed draals. This book summarises the history of the elves, from their creation to the current age.
The Age of Creation The elves were one of the earliest truly intelligent creatures created by Lyria. Although they were certainly not the first creatures that Lyria created, it appears as though they were her favourite. Their influence quickly spread across the world of Erasan. To begin with, Phobos, with his very limited knowledge of creation and his hold on the works of the Creators being weak, had little effect on such creations of Lyria and Eanir. Nonetheless, it was not long before he was able to influence creatures, and in time and aided by his constantly increasing strength, Phobos became more adept at contorting these existing creations, including the elves. To begin with this meant only discomfort for the creatures of Erasan, but in time their effects grew. Along with many creatures, the elves were able to adapt to these changes, whilst the Creators mistook them for simple errors in their work. It was many centuries later that Phobos was actually able to create his own monsters; much longer still before they had any degree of intelligence. The elves had been created to live in harmony with nature, and for the most part of these early years, they did. However they also desired to know more about the world and much was learnt about the world, its creatures and its magic.
Gradually, unrest grew as a result of increasing viciousness of the world (land, sea and the living). Problems between elves and dwarves grew. In addition, it wasn't uncommon for groups of elves to split away from their homes and form what would later become drow colonies. It should be noted that the first drow were not originally opposed to the elves, but did distance themselves and lived differently — deeper in forests, sometimes underground and in time, worshipping different Gods. It is thought that Phobos encouraged such splits and later corrupted these outsider groups for his own purposes. Such changes separated many groups and broke many allegiances, which in turn led on to the Great War. Yet it also readied the creatures of Erasan for the onslaught which was to come. The use of magic in combat quickly became more popular amongst elves and, for the first time, minor conflicts leading to bloodshed became common. As a result, the world of Erasan descended into what would come to be known as the Great War.
The Great War The period of the Great War spelt destruction for all the inhabitants of Erasan. It reached the very corners of what was then a single continent known as Erasan. Not only was this a war between the creatures of Phobos' creation, but also all creatures under his influence. The intra—race rivalry, hostility and general lack of trust, including that between elves and dwarves, was a major reason for the failings of the defenders of Erasan during the first part of this war. Later, when the world began to unite against the dark lord, many of these issues were forgotten. Being amongst the main aggressors against Phobos from the start of the war, the elves suffered greatly and many great cities fell.
The Age of Myths Luthialeth on Aerath had to be largely rebuilt, though some original buildings remain, even today. The end of the Great War brought with it the separation of the groups of elves that had formed during the war, unlike before, when many more groups had kept in contact. Much had been lost during the war, of course much had also been learnt of warfare, magic, etc. The elves kept their love for nature, but their entire outlook on life had changed. Isolation from other groups made elves from different locations vary very slightly in terms of their beliefs, customs and knowledge, more so than they had been before. Hostilities were frequent even after the war, as many more dangerous creatures roamed the world now, even with the war apparently won. Confrontations were generally avoided between the previously allied defenders of Erasan, but after several generations, conflicts between them began to spark up again. Elf—human contact was minimal during this time, but in most areas where the two lived in close proximity, they were able to establish at least neutrality (and in many cases, alliances). In contrast, elven—dwarven disagreements were fairly common where the two races lived close, but were very rarely violent. Their differing preferences in living areas kept meetings between the two few and far between.
The War of Shadows Soon after returning to his previous power, the virulent nature of Phobos had been discovered by the Creators, and so in general, the world fought against him, united. However the War of Shadows, whilst slightly shorter, proved even more terrible than the Great War. Only a few elven cities remained (on Aerath, only Luthialeth) and their communities were more damaged than ever.
The Current Age Most groups went into isolation, as they had after the first Shadow War, though contact between groups on the same continents was generally kept, contact between the continents was rare. In some areas, humans grew so unused to the appearance of other species that they believed that they must only exist in fairy tales. At the end of the war, it was agreed between the surviving defenders of Erasan that in remembrance and to signify a new start for Erasan, that the calendar should be restarted. Hence the first year after the War of Shadows was year 1. The War of Shadows tore the world apart. Even so, elves continued to grow in numbers, replenish their strength and relearn many things that had been sadly forgotten. Elves today vary much across the continents. Most elves are at least tolerant of humans and even dwarves on Aerath, although their old rivalry is still very much present. Their cousins the drow however, are not so friendly. Many groups also attempted to form alliances with other races. Men and elves have generally been able to get along, in particular the humans of the Emposian Kingdom have had good relations with elves living nearby. Several elven cities and numerous towns remain on Aerath today, with Luthialeth as the capital and largest of all. The elves never quite recovered from this second major conflict; even after 1000 years the scars have
not fully healed.