The Age of Origination
Life on our plane of existence started well before light ever touched its surface. In the beginning were the Eldest, which embodied various core characteristics of our particular plane. Sho’thar embodied shadow, while I’nil embodied light. Memnis embodied the elements, and together with all the other Eldest, the first life was known to spread across the planes. Descended from them were the Fae. Closely resembling their predecessors, the Fae were also near pure embodiments of their particular traits, but deviated slightly from their elder roots. Where Memnis embodied all earth, fire, wind, and water, the Fae of the forest chose to follow the paths of water, earth and life. Over time, these deviations finally led to the creation of man.
The oldest of these roots lie in the Elven bloodlines. They are most widely believed to be the most direct decedents of the Fae. They still hold immortality in life, though these new peoples could be killed by blade or unnatural means. It is said all other life descended from the first Elves, adapting to their various life styles and habitats through the ages; Dwarves growing stout and hardy in their mountain top and subterranean dwellings, where the Orcs grew more muscular and powerful in their war like culture. Though, with the birth of man, that conflict began to arise.
The First War
Seeded among the Elvenkin, the Drow held a deep resentment in their hearts for their Elven brethren. While it was generally accepted by most that the Eldest worked in harmony with each other and held no hierarchy, the Drow viewed things differently. They believed that Sho’thar was the greatest of the Eldest, the most superior being of all living things. They believed that all other Eldest were created by the hand of Sho’thar and that darkness and shadow should be revered above all.
Thus began the spark of conflict. Their White and High Elven Kin at first were oblivious to the Drow plans of domination. They kept their plans hidden, only discussing them in the most secret and selective of meetings. Any dissention or even a hint of mistrust led to brutal consequences, and the Drow silently planned their attack.
On the eve of the Winter Solstice, the attack broke forth at the moment the sun set. The Elven kind were completely taken off guard, and the Drow swept across the land, demanding their bloodkin submit to their rule or die. Many fought, but since peace had been prevalent for so long, those that stood against the Drow tryanny were slaughtered. Blood soaked the land and thus beginning the Age of Darkness. The Drow maintained their domination for near 700 years while their bretheren mourned the loss of their kin. Death was rarely experienced amongst this immortal race, so the day of domination came as a brutal shock to all White and High Elves.
The Second War
Abhorring the brutal and forced rule by the Drow, the White and High Elven kind slowly began banding together. Another 200 years passed, until at last the revolt took shape. The sun was high and the summer was hot when the White and High elves took to their blades and armor. They were relentless in their strike, fighting back and killing any Drow that even so much as lifted the slightest form of protest. The fight was the bloodiest war the land had ever seen. After months of battle, the White and High Elves finally won a narrow, but resolute victory, regaining their freedom, and coming again into a brighter age. Some of the Drow submitted themselves to the victors, but were so few and held such little affection among their brethren that eventually their kind amongst the light dwellers died off. A time of peace followed as the remainder of the Drow fell into the shadows and all but disappeared.
The beginning of the separation began when the Drow took to inhabiting the darkness. Believing themselves the Chosen of Sho’Thar, they dedicated their lives to learning of the powers that darkness could provide. They made their homes in the caves, only seen on the darkest of nights, and rarely at that.
The Third War
Following the Second War, a great age of prosperity fell over the land. It was a quiet time on the war front, and all the other races living along side the elves began to prosper. Trade grew, higher learning spread and was expanded upon, and all the while the High Elves oversaw all official regulations to keep the peace intact. Yet, the Drow had not given up their plight. In the shadows, they worked their connections, gathering allies quietly under the radar of the High Elves’ sharp watch. They coerced some of the human clans to fall into the shadows with them, promising to make them powerful children of the dark. The fast breeding, strong, and readily adaptable human race was perfect to implement their plans of domination. Coincidentally, the Grehlok were born, unknowing victims of the Drow’s plans to enslave them. Hundreds of years passed, as these connections were slowly amassed until the Third war broke out as the drow lead the forces in full. Orc, Norratt, Drow, Goblin, and Troll, along with the newly crated Grehlok forces launched a full out attack on all the major cities. They cut a line through the allied lands, and worked their way towards the capital city. While fierce and strong, the High Elven leaders had always been wary since the first betrayal, and stood ready to face another surprise attack. This time, they won. The war lasted through a decade of bloodshed, but at long last, the Allied Nations prevailed. Tired of the war, loss of life, and needless violence, they issued a decree that all races and peoples that had proven themselves accomplices to the Drow were to be exiled or be killed on sight. There were given three months to prepare to leave and then were forced to take to the seas and travel to the unknown regions, now called the lands of exile. The loss was great, and souls were heavy at the toll of the great war, and a somber peace once again fell on the allied continent.
Age of Fire
As the war soon became a faded memory, the Allied races once again prospered. The rich continent flourished to the height of its glory. Trade thrived and the people were in good health and happy. The lands were truly quiet and undisturbed until a creature of unknown origin and power arose from the bowels of the earth itself. At first rumors were spread that it was a volcano that had erupted, but as reports fled into the High Elven halls, it was discovered that the sudden fiery destruction was brought on by beasts that had never been seen before. They rode the skies on leathery wings, spewing from throats and ripping down buildings with their talons. The destruction caused by the beasts was brutal and terrifying. The chaos spread faster than the allies could respond. Baffled by these creatures named “Dragons”, the allied nations united to try and beat back the massive brutes. Yet their flesh could not be pierced, nor spell constrict. Even attempts at magical fortifications were for naught. Many stood their ground on the frail hope that their efforts to defeat these dragons would succeed only to be met with utter slaughter and desolation. Though the decision was harsh, the allied nations finally admitted defeat and swiftly put all their effort into evacuating their beloved lands. Rumors were spoken that these fire born beasts would not cross the seas. They mustered their ships and supplies together and took to the waters to flee their homelands, sailing towards the lands of exile on the hope that they would be able to cling to what remained of their civilization on the unexplored shores of their ancient enemies.
The Eldest are the oldest known beings of existence. They are said to live within the very fabric of this plane. While general belief is that all the Eldest exist in harmony with each other, some races worship them for their individual powers. Though rarely seen, the Eldest have been rumored to take physical form when they deem necessary to communicate to their followers. They can take any shape, either male or female, though tend to represent their respective powers. It is said that those that dedicate their lives and their life studies to a particular Eldest will come upon their blessing.
Ordin the Eldest of Mentality
Ordin is known to be wound into the thoughts and minds of all living beings. It was Ordin that first gave origin to consciousness and thought. Through his mastery, all living beings were able to explore cognitive thought. He is also said to represent a universal consciousness, and those that study his ways tend to focus on the manipulation and sharing of the mind.
Sho’thar the Eldest of Darkness
Sho’thar is said to live in all dark places – from the faintest shadow, to the deepest depths of the sky. Those that study his path find ways to meld themselves to the darkness. The Drow revere Sho’thar as the most powerful Eldest and believe him to be the true ruler of this plane of existence. However, those that are not Drow tend to respect the rest and protection the night can bring.
I’nil the Eldest of Light
I’nil is the very embodiment of light. She is considered the absolute opposite of Sho’thar. Most generally believe that Sho’thar and I’nil exist in harmony, taking their respective watches over this plane in the night and day. Those that follow I’nil typically try to bring joy and peace to those around them.
Memnis the Eldest of the Elements
Memnis represents all the elements of this plane. From fire to earth and water to air, Memnis is woven into all of these basic foundations. He is known to be the foundation of magery in the mastery of elemental power.
Noktal the Eldest of Death
Respect for Noktal is held in quiet reverence. It is said it is his essence which harbors, protects, and transports the soul to the next plane. While those that wish to harbor his power generally study the destructive arts, he is also known as a bridge to spirits which have passed. Most believe he is part of the balance of life, and those that seek his favor may find ways to either bring crippling destruction on their enemies, or ask his favor in ferrying the souls of the dead back to this plane.
Keirna the Eldest of Life
Keirna is considered the counter to Noktal, in the sense that they balance each other. She is considered the gate keeper to bring life into this plane of existence. Her power is often called upon to rejuvenate the living and is often associated with restorative and healing powers.
The Fae are considered the closest descendants of the Eldest. They are believed to be the spiritual embodiments of the aspects that surround them. For example, were you to enter into a vast forest, it is likely that there is a Fae that inhabits that forest as its caretaker and protector. There are Fae of almost every aspect of the plane of the living including rivers, oceans, mountains, caves, light, darkness, fire, and wind among many others. However, unlike their Elder ancestors, they are both spiritually and emotionally tied to the elements that surround them, and as such are far more subject to interacting with mankind. They are also known to be swayed by their emotions, drawn to great acts of both mercy and jealousy. It is not unheard of for a Fae to become corrupted.
While very few have seen an Eldest, many have seen a Fae. Sightings are still considered rare, but they have been seen often enough to know that there are many of them throughout the plane of the living. When they make themselves known to mankind, they often appear similar to otherwordly elves, though it is common for them to take other forms, such as trees, water, or air that resembles their spiritual element and environment. They can also be completely invisible, only to be heard as a whisper on one’s ear. Fae are considered to be completely immortal as no blade or poison can kill them, and they do not age. Though, there is theory that they are not entirely impervious to the hand of mankind.
Far more approachable than the Eldest, there are many tales of Fae and mankind interacting, for better or for worse. There are those that have made pacts with Fae. For example, there are tales of Forest Elves swearing their lives in service to the Fae of Arborae, a forest Fae of one of the vast wooded regions on the main continent. In exchange for their aid in protecting and nourishing the forest, it was said that the forest elves could hear the whispers of the trees when anyone entered their woods. There is also rumor of dark Fae granting their powers in blood pacts to the Drow to fuel their more delicate and dark rituals. For good or ill, Fae are powerfully connected to the very fibers of the plane of the living. They tend to show favor to those that show them that they are willing allies, and can make the lives of those miserable who seem less than cooperative. Little is known about just how complex and deep their power can reach, but it is known that mankind knows only a taste of what they are capable of achieving.
“Magik, in its smallest form can control the largest of things. Take the wind for example: a few, well placed words can turn a bright and sunny day into a blustery gale. Water, fire, earth, wind… just imagine the power one can wield with the knowledge of the ancients. Tread carefully, though, for one single misspoken phrase and you may strike your friend with lightning rather than your foe with fire.”
– Verax Jornsbeam
Magik is merely a form of expression. When learned to be expressed properly, certain words and phrases can be used to channel power. Runes are the written form of these expressions, and while usually more passive, they can be just as powerful as their active, spoken counterparts. Others have woven this power into song. The words used among the allied races are said to be derived from the most ancient of Elven tongues. Though their pure origins have been lost to time, certain words which have been passed down through the generations still express degrees of power.
There are many stories questioning how magik itself became so widely used among the many species of mortal, the greatest of which includes the tale of the first sorcerer. His name was Magi and his followers called themselves mages. Through the years the name stuck to everyone that practiced the art, fewer and fewer remembering its roots as the years progressed.
“Folks still ask questions about Magi: ‘How old was he when he died’, ‘was he an Elf’, or ‘what was his favored spell’? All pertinent inquiries, though all irrelevant. The most important question of all is ‘From where or whom did he learn to wield this power?'”
Born from the ashes of the dragon ruined country, members from the remnants of the Grand Alliance military, formed the Elendari, vowing to protect the people at what ever cost. They accept all races from the allied nations into their ranks, and aid the people with what ever resources they can muster. It was the Elendari which lead the evacuation effort form the main land after the dragon attacks and set up the first shore-line camps in the exiled territories.
They offer protection and aid to any that wish to join them, and have made a strong effort to unify forces on the harsh shorelines. Pitted in enemy territories, many have turned to the Elendari for safety in the midst of orc infested countryside.
Any player can join their ranks as long as they vow to uphold their code of honor and dignity. They believe in treating all people fairly, and protecting the weak. Gaining rank among them can be earned by exemplifying these standards and freely helping all innocents who seek aid and protection.
The most recent shoreline group is lead by revered Alliance Grand Commander Leh’thani Ravin. A high Elven strategist, she has seen more than a few battles in her long life. She welcomes audience with all that seek it, and oversees operations on Estel Dor, or "Hope Landing", the new outpost in the Exiled Lands.