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The Great Elven Wars

On and off, between 1234 and 1360 Age II, the hills, woods and meadows of Glenhome and Rhorden were completely embattled.  There were two wars with the Ûr Lords during this period, but even when those wars were not taking place; there was great strife in the normally quiet woods and valleys of the Elven homelands.  The threat to these homelands came from the rise in power of a mutated race of elves known as the Aeodan. 

Brief History of the Aeodanthine

The Aeodan (pron.: ā-ō-dan) resemble elves in appearance except for their black skin & hair, silver teeth & nails, and blood red eyes.  It is believed that the Aeodanthine race is a mutation of the Dark Elves who lived in the Eastern Steppes and bred with some of the Shade Folk who lived there.  The Aeodans are completely misanthropic and consider all other races inferior to themselves.  The only racial exception to their aversion to communication was with their forbearers, the Dark Elves. 

The Aeodans had lived in the Eastern Steppes for millennia, but always kept to themselves.  They hid away in the mountains and underground during the Plague of Ûr and Ka, never venturing out except for raids.  When the Dark Caste was formed, they never strove for membership and so they were caste into the lowest enemy classes.  When they came out for raids thereafter, the Ûr Lords hunted them down for sacrifice as all Aeodans prefer death over slavery.  Because of this highly hostile climate, the Aeodans began to migrate themselves to the west, though only to the unpopulated hills and mountains.  Their primary destinations were Rhorden towards the west, and Dag, Vendratti, Kastgor and all of the mountains and valleys south to Tatan and Eastlom.  They can be found in various regions throughout Eirethune, but these areas manifest their greatest concentrations.

1234-1235 First Aeodanthine War

At the beginning of the thirteenth century, a strong Aeodanthine leader rose to power known as Bugahn T’Kar.  Bugahn was a great mage and warrior, and had shown his prowess during many raids on the eastern settlements in the .  After a myriad of successes, Bugahn T’Kar focused his goals on achieving dominance over the Aeodans’ lesser racial relatives, the elves.  Bugahn instructed his clan to begin targeting only high elves that they came upon.  They would then either kill them on the spot, taking their heads home, or they would capture them and sacrifice them in clan rituals to their deity, Kali, the Black Earth Mother.  The elves of the were growing tired of the seemingly increasing number of raids which the Aeodan were making.  Finally, when merchant trains traveling to and from Cellen Wood were being decimated, the elves of Glenhome decided to act.  The Aeodanthine raids had been uncommon, but typically only involved small numbers, so the Elven lords of Cellen Wood elected to send out two regiments to stop the Aeodan menace.

This was what Bugahn had wanted from the start.  A small attempt to destroy the Aeodan from the inferior races would bolster Bugahn’s support for unifying the Aeodanthine clans.  When the first Aeodan clan was attacked, even bitter enemy clans joined with Bugahn to fight back the Inferiors.  Almost immediately, there was an Aeodanthine army ten times the size of a single regiment from Cellen Wood.  High Elven settlements in the and the Ceoltoireacht Hills were being attacked quickly and mercilessly almost overnight.  To many who survived the opening attacks, it seemed as if the Ûr Lords had suddenly invaded Glenhome.

The meadow elves and wood elves joined with the high elves to form a new Elven Triumvirate, again dismissing their need for the Dark Elves to help out.  The Elven forces lunged back against the Aeodan raiders in a bitter war which embroiled the entire eastern frontier of Glenhome and Gelden.  The Aeodan were excellent raiders and at least as furtive as any elf could be.  No settlement was safe on the entire frontier and still the Elven Triumvirate did not call for assistance from the Drow.  Eventually, however, the greater numbers of the elves of Glenhome and Gelden prevailed.  Bugahn and his Prime Guard were ambushed by the elite Eyes of Wood[1] scouting regiment of the high elves.  Bugahn fought to the last man and then took his own life rather than be captured.  After that, the Aeodan went into hiding in the hills and forests on the eastern side of the Misniuil Gap.

1243-1248 Second Aeodanthine War

The Aeodan were enraged by their defeat to the Inferiors.  The Aeodan brooded for less than a decade and then determined that they must crush the Inferiors once and for all.  The new tactic for the Aeodan would be to raid an area and then retreat back into Rhorden, picking a new area to attack thereafter.  Slowly the Inferiors would be cut down, but without sacrificing too many of the Aeodan in doing so.  The Aeodan began their guerilla campaign against the elves and for three years it continued with more an more of the wood and high elf numbers being subject to their attacks.

Finally, the Elven Triumvirate was again reformed to remove their menace.  The Eyes of Wood were sent out this time to determine the pattern of the Aeodanthine attacks and to also determine the staging areas for the attacks.  After a few months of investigation, the Eyes of Wood had a clear plan of attack against the Aeodan, and the Elven Triumvirate again launched an attack against them.  The Battle of Rogaire Springs marked the end of the Aeodanthine threat in the thirteenth century and the start of a brief peace in the glens and valleys of Glenhome.

1314-1360 Third Aeodanthine War

The Third Aeodanthine War was the most terrible war that Glenhome had seen since the Second War of the Ûr Lords.  The Fourth War of the Ûr Lords had cost many elves their lives, but the glens and valleys of Glenhome were ready to rebuild.  The Houses of Raj Gohn had been working well to keep the lands of safe from the Ûr Hordes of the Eastern Steppes.  At this time, most of elves of the northwest thought that this was to be a time of long peace.

1314-1316 The Dark

The Aeodan had not forgotten for one moment the disasters that the first two Aeodanthine Wars had wrought.  They had bided their time through the times of peace and war, slowly rebuilding their number and planning their vengeance against the Inferiors.  Finally, it had come time for their plan to be enacted.  They would not be piecemealed again.  The Aeodan formed a singular army and with it they would attack Glen Ár and the High Elf settlements around it with as much force as they could muster.  There would be no time for reformation of the Elven Triumvirate if they attacked quickly and fiercely. 

The other aspect of the Aeodanthine plan was to make contact with their ancient relatives the Dark Elves.  The Aeodan knew that the Drow had always been treated as undesirables by the High Elves and that the Drow had also not contributed in the wars against the Aeodan.  The Aeodan orator, Gulart Eimeer, began to conduct many secret discussions with the chief Drow Lord in the Ceoltoireacht Hills, Dazar Lyonian[2].  Gulart promised the Drow that they would be the rulers of Glenhome and be paid homage by all of the other Elven lords in the region.  There would finally be a time of Drow acceptance and respect by all, and that perhaps even an could be formed with the Drow taking their rightful place at the throne of this majestic state.  Of course, the Drow would need the help of the Aeodan to achieve this righteous goal.  Dazar Lyonian became mesmerized by the hope of Drow ascendance and so he gathered the Drow forces to assist in the Aeodan attack of Glen Ár.

Glen Ár fell in a massive attack by the Drow and Aeodan.  The settlements around them perished in the brutal attacks from the Aeodan army.  Some of the Drow were caught up in the frenzy and more of the settlements of the eastern Ár Dale were wiped out.  Many of the high and meadow elves of Ár Dale fled south into the where the Elven Triumvirate began to reform.  At the Battle of Thod Grove, the Triumvirate was shattered by the brutal and almost possessed army of Drow and Aeodan.  After the battle, Dazar called for submission and for peace.  The elves did not trust the Aeodan, but when they witnessed Gulart handing Dazar his sword in homage, the other Elven lords did the same.[3]

1315-1316 Rise and Fall of the Ceolmoigh

After the Battle of Thod Grove, King Dazar declared the unified Elven Kingdom of Ceolmoigh.  All of the Elven lords were to pay allegiance to the new Elven (albeit Drow) King and all would have a place in the new court.  Dazar’s old keep in the Ceoltoireacht Hills became the new capital and court of the kingdom and each of the Elven sub-races sent representatives to communicate to the new liege.

Soon after the court of Ceolmoigh was initiated, complaints from the High Elves began to be issued indicating that their settlements were still being attacked by the Aeodan.  In fact, many of the Aeodan from Rhorden were moving into High Elf settlements, evicting or even slaughtering the inhabitants, and then occupying or razing the dwellings.  After a time, King Dazar sent out his scouts to investigate the High Elven complaints.  Of course, it was true and King Dazar began to beseech Gulart that the Aeodan must stop their violence against the High Elves and settle peacefully any differences they might have.  Gulart agreed, but yet the attacks on the High Elves continued.  Again, King Dazar requested Gulart that he should do what he could to stop the attacks, and again, Gulart consented.  Of course, the attacks continued, and so King Dazar demanded that Gulart act at once to stop the attacks.  In a famous and well-recorded incident, Gulart refuted Dazar’s demand.

King Dazar demands action from Gulart.  Who is this so-called King of the weakest Elves who dares to demand anything from Glorious Aeodan? Even the worm race of High Elves spit at this so-called King’s words.  What should the Aeodan do?  The time of the Inferior is over and all must be subservient to the Aeodan.  These mutant races are naught but fodder and food should we so desire it.  We have had enough and now the charade is over.

With that, Gulart transformed his arm and arm into a demonic barbed set of a thousand knives and pierced the chest of King Dazar, ripped out his heart, continued up into his head, and continued to slice and spew the carcass of the Drow King on any present in the court.  The time of the Drow Ascendancy was quickly over.

1316-1341 Aeodanthine Reign of Glenhome & Destruction of the High Elves

Gulart teleported out of the courtroom and joined a large army of Aeodan outside the walls of Keep Ceolmoigh.  The keep fell quickly and the army of Aeodan began a systematic destruction of all of the lords who had been gathered at the court.  Gulart had also summoned some beasts from the netherworld to assist in their systematic destruction of Keep Ceolmoigh, but that would not be the last task that they undertook.

The Aeodan now made it their mission to subjugate the entire Ár Dale and all of the elves who called it their home.  At first there was resistance, but it was extremely disorganized and the demon and Aeodan overlords made light work of any uprising that occurred.  Finally, after a half of year of despair, disorganization and death, representatives from the various Elven lords who were left around the valley decided to make peace with the Aeodans.  There had been discussions of calling in lords from other areas around Glenhome, but three aged Elven lords swayed the decision of the Elven peoples.  The three Elven lords were Delmanir, Éoren, and Celaborin.  The first two were meadow elves and the last was a wood elf.  The Dark Elves and High Elves were still quite committed to fighting back against the Aeodan, but the voice of peace and of communication was more clearly heard by lords who were in complete disarray and were suffering from the plague that the Aeodan had wrought.

The Aeodan were quite amenable to Elven subservience and they welcomed the Elven proposition with the same diplomatic façade that had led to the Dark Elves disaster.  The Aeodans began to constrain movement in the valley as much as possible between the elven peoples.  No one could travel from one settlement to another without specific permission from the Aeodan lord who was in charge of a district under penalty of death.  These restrictions led to a great lack of knowledge of what was happening in various parts of Glenhome, in particular, to the systematic murder of most of the High Elves present therein.

Firstly, the High Elven lords were removed from their leadership of the communities so that they could not communicate what would transpire in their settlements and fiefs.  When the scholarly and arcane were removed from a High Elven settlement, the Aeodan typically would be sacrificing the rest of the settlement to the demons who they had summoned and were still keeping as weapons against rebellion.  The massacres were carefully planned and great care was taken to make sure that as few people could find out about the destruction as possible.  Some of the High Elven arcane who was not executed for performing some false crime became aware that something horrible was going on, but typically only through dreams and visions.  Eventually, however, the truth was becoming clearer and clearer as more and more of the elves around Ár Dale received the visions and dreams.

1341-1342 Bond Sylvanicana & the Destruction of the Aeodan

The visions of doom and horror were gravely affecting everyone in Glenhome.  Finally, Dark Elf mage, Talkuri Dir’Tai, was able to cast a spell on himself which allowed him a few special abilities.  One, he could meditate for as long as he desired, entering a deep trance for potentially weeks.  Two, he could project and display all that he envisioned in the room around his physical body.  Third, onlookers could communicate to Talkuri to direct his visions so that they could more clearly see elements of the visions that they were interested in.  This ability to review Talkuri’s revelations eventually permitted people to see exactly what was happening in the valley.  The High Elves had been killed in such great quantities to reduce their number to only 2 percent of their pre-Aeodanthine war population.  [4]

The Visions of Talkuri Dir’Tai became the focus for revolt against the Aeodan and their demons.  Word began to permeate through the valley, into Rhorden, Balmorien and Angleside.  The elves reformed the Bond Sylvanicana and set aside their differences with the Drow again as a greater threat clearly was present.  Word was sent to House Caer Ddaden with the information from the visions to identify what had transpired in Glenhome.  There was no civil war here, which many outside of Glenhome had believed.  This was a war between civilization and endless terror.

On one day in the winter of 1341, the elves rose up across the valley.  They knew that the demons and Aeodan elite were capable of tremendous devastation, but these beasts could not be everywhere.  Any Aeodan who was seen was killed immediately by the elves.  Elves from afar had arrived and were helping in the general purging of the Aeodan.  The lords of Caer Ddaden sought out the few remaining High Elven leaders and arcane, and worked to free them before the Aeodan fed them to their demons.  The entire valley was drenched with blood, but the Aeodan’s grip on the elves would forever be broken.  Many of the demons were banished in battle, but many more of them just left because those who had summoned them were losing power, and thereby provided no interest for the demons.  Settlement by settlement, copse by copse, grove by grove, the Aeodan was being eradicated in a horrible war which would forever scar the valley.  By the end of 1342, the Aeodan had been removed from Glenhome.  They had also been removed from Rhorden and Gelden and Thearth.  There were probably some still hiding in the hills or underground somewhere in the northwest, but if they ever made their presence known to the elves; they would be quickly eliminated for the elves would never forget this genocide of the High Elves.

Next, Death from the Seas

[1] The Eyes of Wood still exists in Glenhome, although they are very insular.  They are rarely found in cities, keeping primarily to the woods of Calandiren.  However, their entire membership is almost certainly to be seen during important festivals to Sylvana.

[2] Dazar Lyonian was a strongly aspiring drow leader because he had come from an ignoble family in the Briste Hills west of Amu Wood.  This area was home to the most hateful and insular drow anywhere.  There were few, if any, drow of religious conviction there, thieves filled their halls, and the mages were almost all necromancers.  Dazar left this behind, traveled to the east and worked his way through hard service to the drow lords throughout the ring of hills surrounding Glenhome.  He was fortunate enough to also have saved a drow lord from certain death, and for that he was given a family title and rights to own land.

[3] The Sword of Gulart was a crystal sword, beautifully engraved, which reflected and amplified light.  In outdoor battles, it was used to blind foes with the flick of one’s hand.  The sword was never found after the Aeodanthine Wars so it is believed to still be in the caves of the Aeodan.

[4] Talkuri Dir’Tai was said to be the master diviner of elvenkind.  There is said to be several secret libraries containing his research somewhere in the south of the Amu Plain.  Talkuri was very careful of his work, so much so that it is said that much of the research requires information from more than one of his libraries in order to complete one of his spells.