Elves

Elves, the Tribe of ElvaDarkElf2.jpg

Elves are a magically-enhanced race whose long and sinister history dates back to the Age of Dreams. Elves stand between six and six-and-a-half feet tall, and are typically lean and wiry. Their skin ranges in color form ebony or purple to an ashy grey-brown, and their universally straight hair is light blond to white.

During the Age of Dreams, when humans were little more than tribal barbarians following the migrations of animal packs and gathering food where they could find it, one tribe (known as the Elva) drifted too far north, past the Gray Steppes, and came across another and terrible race of creatures that history records only as the Kang. The Kang were far stronger and more brutal than the humans, and so initially set to slaughtering them. But over time, the superior adaptability and intelligence of the Elva prevailed, and they drove the Kang further and further west, until at last they came upon the homeland of these vile creatures – a massive building made of worked stone the like of which no man had ever seen before.

The final battles against the Kang were victorious, and in victory the Elva took the stone mansion for themselves. For decades they dwelled among the stone, slowly uncovering the secrets of the Kang, and of their strange dwelling place. They learned the language of their fallen foes, as well as their secrets. The Kang were nothing more than a barbarous slave race to the creatures that had built the stone mansion. The leaders had been killed, leaving behind only the servants to wallow in their brutal ignorance.

Finally, the leaders of the Elva learned of the destruction of the masters of the mansion. They had made war with creatures known as the Faerie, a mysterious race of beings with strange otherworldly powers. For all their might and intelligence, the masters could not defeat the faerie, and so passed from this world, leaving behind only their servants and their home.

Using what they knew of the Faerie, the Elva tracked them to their home and found that time had not been good to these creatures either; they were decadent and weak, nothing like the conquerors of old. After a few seasons of observation, the Elva attacked and captured several of the Faerie, bringing them back to the stone mansion. There they tortured them, and after many years, succeeded in unlocking the secret behind their strange powers. In a gruesome ritual, the Elva leader, Kaelmin, and his retainers sacrificed the faeries that still lived and absorbed their power.

The ritual changed the Elva leaders; their hair became snowy white, and their skin became the color of ash. Their faces became sallow and cruel, and their ears grew pointed. Their lives were extended, and they remained youthful while other humans aged and died. They were no longer a tribe of men; they had become a tribe of Elves.

The elves made several more raids against the faerie, and soon had transformed all their households. Armed with this new magic, the Elves fell upon other tribes, enslaving them and building the first empire of the Age. So powerful were they that the Highgod Nihilné approached Kaelmin and demanded that the empire stop in its conquests.

Crafty and sinister, Kaelmin pretended to heed the commands of the Highgod, offering to meet with the leaders of the tribes that were enslaved, provided that Highgod also be present to protect him from the angry slaves. Nihilné agreed, believing he had nothing to fear. Once the meeting began, however, Kaelmin focused all his sorcerous might on the Highgod’s unsuspecting form, and struck him down from behind. As the tribal leaders looked on in shocked disbelief, the leader of the elves tore the still-beating heart from the body of the fallen god and devoured it.

The blood of the Highgod coursed through Kaelmin’s veins, making him far mightier than any being before or since, and with a cry of triumph, he ascended into the heavens as Kaelminthanas, the newly born God of Murder.

With their God at the head of their armies, the elves attacked the mortal races with renewed strength. For several generations they expanded their lands and enslaved all who dared defy them. This time is known as the Sintheos, or the “Shadow Times.” Finally, after years of conquest, the elves were defeated and their god was slain, his spirit banished to the Astral Plane.

Since that time, the mighty empire of the elves has been in steady decline, as their old slaves have rebelled, their lands have seceded, and their god lies trapped in the lands between the stars, impotently raging at his imprisonment. Immortality weighs heavy upon them, for an eternity of youth makes all experiences bland with repetition. The elves that dwell within the crumbling halls of their once-mighty cities have grown desperate for any sort of stimulation to relive them from the monotony of eternal life.

Immortality has not been the boon they once thought, and as the centuries pass, mundane tasks such as talking and eating become endlessly tedious. Even the more exciting endeavors become monotonous. They are seized with the gnawing certainty that life has no meaning, and that they are doomed to listlessly wander through it until the end of time. Some elven scholars claim that this endless life is punishment for the bloodshed by their God, and their lives will be forever filled with the tedium of meaningless existence. Most turn to suicide as the only escape from the everlasting sameness of eternity.

Not all elves have accepted this view, and many leave their crumbling halls in search of meaning and purpose for their lives. Some attempt to rebuild the esteem of their race, others travel the world in search of adventure and excitement at whatever the cost, and some find meaning in easing the misfortune of others.

The elves have taken their first steps back into a world they long ago assailed and abandoned. This could be the dawning of a renaissance of power for these lost souls. Or it could mark the beginning of a terrible new chapter in the annals of the world.

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