Years of Glory
After the Congress, it took Nammoran a century and a half to find his Secondborn, making him the slowest of the Firstborn. Some of it was his fault, he searched the forest like a shepherd who’d lost his flock, but a lot of it was due to the Seeress’s interference. She was the one who’d made the Harnae promise to train him. Nammoran spent decades in the grove, earning the equivalent of several masters and PhDs from the Harnae, before finding the Secondborn on the floor of the Elvetur, a short journey east of where Nammovalle would one day stand.
Seventeen score in all, the Secondborn were equally divided between men and women and belonged to eight distinct tribes physically different enough to sort them without needing a cap from Hogwarts. Wood Elves were the most common, followed by Sea Elves and Wild Elves. The Fair Elves and Grey Elves were mid-sized tribes and coming in tied for last were Mist Elves, Light Elves and Nammoran’s own tribe, the High Elves. Until the Darkening, the tribes stayed in these proportions until the Darkening, but after Sorrow entered the world, all bets were off.
The tribes settled the Elvetur and shared it with other Elder Races calling the forest home. Two centuries later, Haleya and the Wild Elves followed the hunt to northern Elvetur where they founded Halidar. A century after that, Lord Cerelim couldn’t resist the call of the sea any longer and took his people to the Gulf of Noontide where they settled Jali, the large island near the coast. High Elves and Fair Elves shared small settlements in central Elvetur and the Grey Elves, who were not the most social tribe, hid in secluded groves where they lived in small family groups. Queen Lindarelle took the Wood Elves south to live near Elwarre, which Kandol assured me was an oak, not a Sildar. He insisted that the only Sildar ever to take root on Sangrar was the Harnae’s. Arethnal led the Light Elves to Alyrre in northwestern Elvetur, where they could ponder the Prophecies to their heart’s content, and King Aelynar, first among the winged Mist Elves, claimed the cliffs in eastern Elvetur as an aerie for his people. As for Nammoran, the Firstborn knew the Fair Folk had a greater destiny than sleeping in treehouses and founded Nammovalle, the greatest kingdom of old, at the beginning of the seventh century. By the end of the twelfth century, Indalle and Elrasirre, his sons’ kingdoms were bursting at the seams with Fair Folk, completing the Nammoran family’s monopolization of the Elvetur and surrounding areas. You say sorcerer, channeler, Earthmage and king, I say land baron.
Years of Twilight
During the Battle of Unending Night, many Fair Folk lost their lives. Alyrre was destroyed, Elrasirre burned to ash and the sieges at Nammovalle and Indalle further decimated the Elven ranks. The tribes banded together, taking in survivors, and over time, became one people. Even Aelynar, a true believer in keeping the bloodlines pure, softened his views. Before the war, Aeris had repeatedly petitioned his father for permission to wed Ilnaya, but Aelynar, who’d have made any Grand Dragon of the KKK look moderate in comparison, had refused, insisting instead that Aeris take a winged bride. After the war, he changed his tune – new times called for new measures.
By the end of the Elder Days, just about every Elf had blood from many tribes in his veins and the tribes were more remembered than real. And then, when the Primals revealed the Path of the Reborn, fully nine in ten of the Fair Folk took them up on their offer and marched into the Firmament, destroying what little notion remained of Elven tribalism.
Age of Man – Fanar
A few remaining Elves scattered into the wilds of the remade world, the rest rallied at the Mountain of Clouds under the banner of the House of Nammoran even though Kandol was in a deep healing slumber, what you might call a coma. While he recovered, Velora took charge and by the time he awakened from his Odin sleep, Pel Aesylle was established and Tar-Vydael was well under construction.
Eight centuries into the Age of Man, when the Fair Folk were for all intents and purposes one tribe, the Shadow Lord rose in the eastern swamps known as the Shadowgrim. At Kandol’s request, a splinter group led by Aeris and Ilnaya , who knew the Shadow Lord by his earlier name, departed Pel Aesylle for the Dael Shaelyn, a huge forest bordering the Shadowgrim, where they founded Dol Melerith, the Grove of Stars. Sending those two was a stroke of genius on Kandol’s part, no one else could have possibly aggravated the Shadow Lord more.
Age of Man – Tyrnavalle
Pel Aesylle and Dol Melerith were the only Elvenhomes on Fanar, but others prospered on Tyrnavalle. After the Reckoning, Halevalkara, descended from Haleya, the king of old over the Wild Elves, awoke on the newly raised sub-continent. He gathered what Fair Folk he could find and made a new Elvenhome in the heart of its Quendi Forest.
Now seems as good a time as any to overwhelm you with a partial list of Elven begats. I know its dry, but it is important to preserve. King Haleya of old begat Tyrin the Archer (and Tildienne, who married Elras). Tyrin begat Tiganye, who took the Path at the Reckoning. Tiganye begat Halevalkara, Halevalkara begat Tarhanyar, Tarhanyar begat Haleya II and Haleya II begat Indirel, who married Emerre, Aeris and Ilnaya’s son. Emerre and Indirel begat Erebald, Erellan and Inerem. When you think about it, that’s not a very much begatting considering we’re talking about a span of ten thousand years, but then again, the Fair Folk did live longer than Methuselah.
In the Quendi, the mantle of leadership passed from Haleya II to Emerre, bringing Tyrnavalle into the fold as a tributary of House Nammoran. Emerre’s reign was cut short after three centuries (that is short, in Elvish terms) by Orcs in the Battle of the Highpeaks after the pirate lord betrayed him and the allied armies of Halitai. Following his death, there was some disagreement between the Emerre’s three sons. I never got the real scoop on this one. Kandol was out of the loop when it came to Tyrnavalle. I did meet Erebald, much later in Tirel, when he still remembered and I didn’t, and then again, when I had remembered and he had forgotten. They did patch things up eventually and it’s a good thing seeing as how they ended up related by marriage too. It made for better family reunions.
Anyways, Erellan and Inerem struck out in different directions and each took some of the Quendi Elves with them. Inerem, the youngest of the three founded the House of the Rising Sun nowhere near New Orleans and no, it wasn’t a brothel. It was an Elvenhome deep in the jungle, northeast of the human Azmerath Empire.
Erellan, the middle brother, took his followers south to live along the banks of the great river coursing through the Fillani Jungle. He named his group the House of the Blue Star (the Fair Folk always were fond of fancy names) and when this news traveled north to Quendi, Erebald wouldn’t be outdone and named his Elves the House of the Crescent Moon, effective retroactively to the first day the Fair Folk set foot in the Quendi.
Erellan discovered that he had neighbors. Elves, descended from those who’d lived in Indalle and Jali seven thousand years earlier, lived on the islands off the southern coast. They called themselves Sea Elves too, because they lived by the sea, not because they’d miraculously restored the ancient bloodline, though Tolandyr, their leader, had enough of it to turn him pale blue, like a Smurf dipped in powder sugar. As Sangrar of the Elder Days had made way for Mankind’s, some Fair Folk had sailed away, desperate to escape destruction. Tolandyr’s ship was the fastest of the bunch and, when the winds stopped blowing, when the waves stopped crashing, he found land first and had the Seas Elves ever since. He did have an advisor, the Ancient One, who came to the islands many centuries later, about the time Thar who was Umbar fell from Heaven. The Ancient One’s name was never revealed, but he was obviously born under the Full Radiance. I have my theories as to his identity and before you ask, I’m sure he wasn’t the Herald. Yes, the Herald also went by that name, but with so many long-lived people such a coincidence was bound to happen. I’m surprised there weren’t more Ancient Ones.
The New Age
All three Elven houses survived the Long Night and transitioned into the new world. Like human survivors, memories of the earlier age faded, but it took longer. By the time Tarik and I started our weekly dinners, Erellan and Inerem had passed away, but a very old and forgetful Erebald still ruled from the great oak Caliden.