Songs & Clans of Eirethune
Eirethune’s history begins in the songs of the clan bards. The songs are still song around many of the taverns and campfires of current day Eirethune, and they have not changed much. Eirethune’s civilization began in clans of many races, covering hill and mountain, wood and valley. The clans were initially single-species for the most part, but the relationship between the clans depended more on geography or wealth. Clan raids were very common, although for the far majority of instances, the raids were not genocidal. It was easier for a warlike clan to periodically prey on an agrarian clan’s wealth, rather than try to change their own ways and become an agrarian clan themselves.
The Madur & Khalid-Ka
Although there are many different races in Eirethune, the races were further divided by geography and language. There were many different clan tongues which each clan used, but eventually there was a common means of expression between them as nomadic clans moved about and communication became more important. The nomadic movements of clans were widespread, but there was a distinct barrier which the clan movements never seemed to cross. This barrier was a line from Icereach through the northern steppes south of Kharin Dûn and Kazden Dûn, and straight south through the mountains to Eastlom. To the west of this line, the clans and their primitive common language was known as Madur. To the east of this line, the clans were known as Khalid-Ka.
There was also a division racially between the Madur and the Khalid-Ka left over from God-Time and the Schism of the Kanthune. The Madur were comprised of humans, elves and halflings and all manner of mix in-between. There were still clan tongues, but Madur was spoken by each of the clans regardless of race or location. There was one instance of nomadic clans crossing the border between Khalid-Ka & Madur, and that was a group of clans known as The Tainted.
The Khalid-Ka of the East was comprised of humans, orcs, dwarves, gnomes, and everything that they could be mixed into. Indeed there were giant and tiny sized versions of each of the races and their mixtures which were also considered Khalid-Ka. Internally to this area, there were two more divisions. There were the people who lived underground, known as the Ka, and the riding & nomadic people of the steppes, known as the Ûr.
There was also a strange race among the Khalid-Ka known as the Shade Folk. The Shade Folk are semi-corporeal and rarely pay attention to any creature outside of their realm. Some believe them to be undead, but it is more likely that they just live between planes of existence, although they are most akin to the physical plane of Eirethune. Their clans during the First Age kept to themselves and would move and hide elsewhere if the population of other races crowded them too much. It is also thought that the Shade Folk are creatures from the time prior to the creation of the Kanthune. There is a belief that in the early ages when Eirethune was being populated with beings other than the Guardian Gods, there were spirit creatures abounding. Most of these spirit creatures were minions of the Guardian Gods themselves, created to inhabit and enjoy the realms of each of the guardians. During the Schism of the Kanthune, these spirit creatures also were affected and became the animals and creatures of Eirethune. However, there are still instances of these natural spirits found in remote woodlands, mountains and other places distant from the world of man and orc. The Shade Folk are perhaps the sentient humanoid analog to these spirits.
The history of The Tainted is completely unclear; however, the results were very distinct. The Tainted was comprised of all of the Dark Elven clans that were present in Madur. The reason for The Tainted to resettle was primarily because the other clans in Madur pushed them out, either through force or through abhorrence.
At some point millennia ago, there was a tale told of clan treachery sung, where one dark elf killed his half-elven cousin over a gem found on a hill. This song was expanded to tell the story of how a dark Elven family invited their half-Elven brethren to their clan, and then subsequently ate them. This song was further expanded to tell the story of a dark Elven clan who would make friends with neighboring clans and then eat them; and the dark Elven babies would spring forth from their feces and become adults in only one day. The songs continued to be embellished and spread like wildfire throughout the lands of the Madur.
The problem was that the Dark Elves always kept to themselves. They would trade, or raid, or help the clans immediately around them, but only if they knew them. For the most part, the Dark Elves were the only races to live deep underground and to hide from their neighbors in such misanthropic ways. The isolation of the Dark Elves did not help to dissuade the uneducated clans who had never traded or communicated with them. As time went on, raids against the Dark Elves almost became a sport. When this began, many of the Dark Elven clans elected to resettle. When they found that the unfounded hatred for them was prevalent wherever the Madur was spoken, they continued their trek east, until they came into the mountains of the Khalid-Ka, where no one had heard the tales.
It is said that that the Tainted were the only ones in the Eastern Steppes who interacted with the Shade Folk in any sort of way. They were kin in their feelings of not-belonging to anything around their own. It is also said that through their interaction, the mysterious race of the Aeodans were created.
Next Up...Second Age: Age of Expansion