History of the Elves of Corwyn
ELF-KING%201.jpg

The Elves; or the "Silvar" as they are commonly called, are the oldest, the most regal, and the most mysterious race found on the World of Oris. The origin of the elves is shrouded in mystery, but sages agree that the Silvar are originally from the continent of Eryn Norvë.

THE FIRST AGE


The recorded history of the elvish race began in the First Age, when the elves left the distant continent of Eryn Norvë, and landed upon the shores of Corwyn in search of a new home.

These ancient elvish pioneers were called the "Silvar-Elves" or "Elder-Elves," and were the ancestors of the Grey-Elves found on Corwyn today. After their arrival, the Elder-Elves soon expanded across the entire continent, eventually forming a nation called "Ectharë," which in Silvanestri meant “paradise,”

The Elder-Elves were led by Elegheron of the House of Alessarë, who became the first King of Ectharë. At that time, the only other sentient race the elves encountered was the race of dragons.

Some dragons were friendly, others were not; and by the end of the First Age, the race of elves found themselves at war. They forged an alliance with the races of Metallic Dragons and made war upon the evil Chromatic Dragons. The conflict was terrible and much of Corwyn was laid waste.

The Chromatic Dragons were led by a fearsome Red Dragon named Calegorax. The war finally ended in an elvish victory at the Battle of Merizath, in which Calegorax was slain. But as he lay dying, the Dragon-Lord uttered a famous curse upon the Silvar-Elves and swore they would never prosper on Corwyn.

The Second Age


Throughout the Second Age, the Silvar-Elves continued to thrive; rebuilding and expanding Ectharë. They built four magnificent cities of silver and gold: the Elven capital of Elutheria in the west, Saravôsh in the east, Therakan in the north, Astrakan in the south. The Silvar also built the smaller cities of Alarë,Selunë, and Wyn Falas. With the completion of these great cities, Ectharë became a truly wondrous civilization; filled with art, culture, beauty, and grace.

Unfortunately, this time of peace and prosperity was not to last. For in the year, 572/2, a beautiful elven sorceress named Lorynäe Anarivon murdered King Starion Alessarë and attempt to usurp the Eternal Throne. Lorynäe failed in her bid to steal the throne, but Starion's murder provoked a thousand-year civil war among the elves, which came to be known as the War of Wrath.

The rebellious elves that followed Lorynäe came to be called the Dark-Elves, or Drothë; meaning “those who follow the darkness.” The loyal elves were led by Starion’s son Ismelian Alessarë; who swore to avenge his father’s murder and eradicate all of the Dark-Elves from Corwyn forever.

The War of Wrath was long and bitter; the elven capital of Elutheria was reduced to rubble in the fighting, and soon after, the great elvish city of Saravôsh was completely obliterated in a horrific magical explosion set off by the Dark-Elves. The explosion destroyed the city, killed King Ismelian, as well as tens of thousands of elves on both sides. The explosion was so intense, it created a huge deep chasm hundreds of miles long called "Grôn."

As the war dragged on, the Dark-Elves needed legions of slave-soldiers to fight in their war against the Silvar. So, they used their magical powers to spawn a hybrid half-elf race called the "Gauth," as well as the monstrous race called "Tarks."

ARKELION.jpg

In desperation, the Silvar-Elves eventually called upon both humans and dwarves to aid them in their fight against the Dark-Elves. Humans answered the call; but the dwarves, angry over an earlier slight from the elves, refused to take part in this war. This refusal has made the elves look upon dwarves with disdain and resulted in a mutual enmity which has lasted to this very day.

Eventually, led by Ismelian’s son, King Talarion, the Silvar-Elves gained the upper hand. Talarion; known to both his friends and foes as “Brightstar,” was the greatest elvish warrior in history, winning countless battles against the Dark-Elves and their servants. Ultimately, the Dark Elves were defeated at the epic battle of Grôn, and the survivors driven underground through the very chasm they had created earlier. Their Gauth servants were either killed or banished into the eastern wastelands. Sadly, Talarion himself was slain during this final battle.

The War of Wrath had many dark legacies. Foremost was the permanent devastation of East Corwyn, which was affected by magical fallout called "Ashfall;" a period of 100 years of complete darkness that poisoned every living plant and creature in the region. Ashfall also caused the "Taint;" a sickness that changed the skin-color of the afflicted elves to either black or very dark gray, and bleached their hair a sickly white

Second, the Gauth race was not destroyed, but only banished. They would eventually return, led by a powerful sorcerer named Alokkair; who would continue to wreak havoc on Corwyn for many centuries to come.

The third effect was the Sundering of the elven race, which is described below.

The Sundering


In Elven lore it is told, that when the great elven realm of Ectharë collapsed at the end of the Second Age, it broke into three smaller and distinct Elf-realms. The Silvar-Elves divided themselves into three groups which have essentially evolved into the three different elven subraces known on Corwyn today: the Grey-Elves, the High-Elves, and the Wood-Elves. This event is called "the Sundering."

After Talarion's death, the elves divided into three distinct groups, each led by a powerful Elven Lord:

Thekarë

ISMELION.jpg

The far-northern Elf-realm was called Thekarë, which means "‘Home in the Trees" in the Silvanestri tongue. Over time, the elves who settled here became known today as Wood-Elves, or "Thekyr." The Wood-Elves had rich brown or black hair, pale tannish skin, and bright green, blue, or grey eyes. Unlike the Even nations of Wyntharë and Melinarë, the Elf-kings of Thekarë took upon themselves the task of keeping vigil on the East. For centuries, the Wood-Elves solemnly watched the East and their warriors and rangers protected the West from its evil.

The Wood-Elves were well aware that the curse of the Dark-Elves had stained that land permanently, and that nothing good would ever come from that dreadful region. The Wood-Elves of Thekarë made their capital the beautiful forest city of Therakan, called the ‘Circle of Trees,’ and the Wood-Elf Kings sat upon the famous Oakheart Throne. The forest that surrounded Thekarë became known as the Silvarwood, and the Wood-Elf culture that thrived there was a wonder to behold.

In the Third Age, the Wood-Elves also expanded west through the region known today as the Pale and established Malanäe; a small colony, located on the eastern shores of the Athlan Myr. The elves of Malanäe traded with the men of both Thalar and Amar, as well as dwarves of the north.

But their presence was also known to Alokkair, and he greatly desired to destroy the Wood-Elves, and remove them as a threat to his domination of the West. Also, Alokkair harbored a deep hatred against the Wood-Elves and wished to avenge his earlier defeat at their hands, during the Battle of Orgorod. Eventually, through a series of wars, the Wood-Elves of Thekarë were greatly weakened and their vigil on the East waned as Alokkair grew strong again behind the Saugreth-Muir.

In the year 1233/4, Alokkair made his boldest move. Under his direction, a huge orcish army led by a terrible Demon named Vorilax invaded the Silvarwood and completely destroyed the Wood-Elf realm of Thekarë. The elvish city of Therakan was left in ruins and the Wood-Elves were all slain or forced into exile. At this same time, the three Silvarils of the Wood-Elves were lost as well, but legend says that the Demon-Lord never found them. The stones were hidden by the Wood-Elves in the secret tomb of Anarion Liëflynne; the last fallen Elven King of Thekarë.

After Alokkair’s invasion, the Elf-city and the woods around it became a haunted place of dread called Mystwood, in which no Wood-Elf dares to tread. The few surviving Wood-Elves who escaped the attack upon their homeland migrated southeast to the Ravenwood, and to other scattered woodlands as well. A few even joined with the High-Elves of Melinarë.

ELF-2.jpg

Wyntharë


The far-western Elf-realm was called Wyntharë, which means "‘Home in the West" in the Silvanestri tongue. The elves of Wyntharë were the most reclusive and powerful of the three elven groups. Their mastery of magic knew almost no bounds, and some say it surpassed even the greatest of talents of the Saar and the Council of Sorcerë. These western elves eventually evolved into the Elf-race known today as the Grafyr, or "Grey-Elves" of Corwyn. Their skin was pale, their hair silver or gold, and their eyes were bright amber gold, pale grey, or even a deep violet purple.

The Grey-Elves were the shyest of elvish races and found no joy in even the smallest contact with other races, and had such meetings only rarely. The Grey-Elves that founded Wyntharë were led by the beautiful Queen Ariel Alessarë, who had been a powerful mage in Ectharë. The Grey-Elves built the magnificent Veiled Throne of Wyntharë, although only two elves ever sat upon it.

Little else of their exotic culture is known today, except that the Grey-Elves built a marvelous civilization far in the western Corwyn, with secrets still unknown. Sadly, this wonderful elven civilization was not to last. In the Year 884 of the Third Age, a terrible tragedy befell the Grey-Elves. A powerful earthquake known as the Great Rift tore their realm apart; leaving their cities in ruins and most of their folk dead or horribly injured.

The great elvish cities of Wyntharë: Alarë, Selunë and Wyn Falas, were either consumed by the sea or left in utter ruins. This tragedy caused the Grey-Elves of Wyntharë to become bitter and morose. They began to yearn to return to their ancestral home of Eryn Norvë. Over the centuries that followed, nearly all of the Grey-Elves of Wyntharë left the shores of Corwyn and sailed back west; never to return. The Grey-Elves were led back across the Wyn Myr by King Ajathar Alessarë; who was a descendant of the Elf-kings of Ectharë, and the only son of Queen Ariel.

Melinarë


The last of the three great Elf-realms that evolved from the First Age elvish civilization of Ectharë was the southern Elf-realm was called Melinarë, which means "‘Highforest" in the Silvanestri tongue. The elves that inhabit the Melinar Forest are called the High-Elves or ‘Melynn,’ and make up the largest and most powerful elvish nation on Corwyn. In fact this woodland realm is sometimes called Highforest by outsiders as a nickname, for its High-Elvish heritage. Few outsiders are allowed within the great forest, and most trade is done along the coasts, or in specific elvish cities located near the fringes of the forest.

ELVEN%20RULING%20HOUSE%20CHART.png

The High-Elves are seen by many as arrogant and stubborn, and sometimes even resented by both humans and dwarves. This attitude comes with the great age of elvish society, who naturally sees itself as superior to all other races, as Corwyn was first explored and cultivated by elves alone. The High-Elves of Melinarë are a quiet, introspective folk that love artwork, crafts, reading and writing.

The High-Elves delight in making items of wondrous quality with wood, clay, and metal. Their skills at the creation of weapons are superb, surpassed only by the elvish mastery of armor. It is here that the long kept secret of elvish chain mail is still kept. Elvish armor smiths are true masters of their craft, making suits of elvish chain that give a +1 bonus over all other suits of chain mail made by humans. For a suit to be made to fit another race is very rare indeed and these fine suits can cost thousands of gold pieces, and are only owned by royalty or the wealthiest merchant lords.

Deep within their beloved forest, the High-Elves live a quiet life in harmony with nature. They are not as friendly as the Wood-Elves, and not quite as aloof as their Grey Elf cousin either. Most High-Elves have a love of nature and despise the creatures and dark sorcery of the East. On many occasions they have come forth out of their forest realm to fight alongside the races of men and dwarves against the tyranny of the East.