Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Elves of Kirkaldin

In the Morning of the World, one great forest covered the northern reaches of Kirkaldin. Autumn never came to this place, the climate perpetually warm and tropical. Into this forest, the Wind, creator of life itself, sent the Elves. He bid them thrive and bring goodness unto the land. The Elves decreed that they would do no harm to the trees, cherishing the shelter and sustenance that the trees brought to them. Such was their bond with the forest, an almost symbiotic relationship, that a strong, sylvan magic began to develop. The Elves tended to the trees, nurturing them and keeping them strong, treating the sicknesses that would occasionally befall them. In turn, the massive trees bent to their will, allowing themselves to be molded and shaped according to the needs of their caretakers. Such was the magic that the Elves developed the ability to step into the ethereal essence of the trees, literally passing physically into the trunk, traveling through this wondrous plane of existence and reappearing elsewhere within the forest. This became known as the Woodwalk.

Soon the Elves had fashioned homes within the immense trees, carving vaulted rooms and spiraling staircases within the trunks. Flame was forbidden within the forest of the Elves, but a combination of the new magic and the amber sap that served as the lifeblood of the forest gave birth to the sunglobes, crystalline orbs that gave off a natural golden light.

The Elves were a strong and righteous race, honorable and true. They married for life, the bride and groom creating a necklace from thin woven strips of wood that they wore until death. As they were a long-lived race, some couples remained together for hundreds of years, bearing dozens of children. The worries of the Elves were taken from them in a daily ritual performed by their king. Each day, the Elves would bring a blossom to the king's courtyard and place it in the fountain to float upon the surface of the water. Their sorrow and stress they put into the flower and so it passed into the pool. Every morning, the King would drink of this water, the Kingsdraught, taking the worries of his people into himself and leaving them happy and carefree.

With the coming of Man, a disagreement arose among the Elves. The first weapons were fashioned in the forest, drawn from the bodies of the trees and shaped into gracefully curving blades. Soon Man had developed weapons of metal, first copper, then bronze and finally steel. The communities of Man began to war among themselves and some factions of Elves believed that soon Man would come to the forest. Man was greedy and selfish, destroying the natural environment around them, laying waste to the trees and polluting the water. They would want what the Elves had.

The Elves soon became a divided people, those who coveted metal for the defense of their lands and those who stood by their ancient ways, the way of the wood. There came no civil war, no violent separation of their people. A meeting was held and the decision was made. With the mountains as a dividing line, the Elves of the Old Way migrated to the eastern side and their brethren to the west. In the forest of the West, soon known as Greymander, the making of metal weapons began, swords and steel-tipped arrows. Chain mail armor and sweeping helms were created as the Elven smiths grew more proficient in their new skills.

It was discovered that the metal of Man prevented the magic of the Woodwalk and soon the Elves of the west stopped using the ability altogether. In time, the mountains were thrust higher and higher by the natural movement of the landscape and the great forest became two, the western forest now called Elfwhere. There were also those Elves that felt the call of the ocean and eventually left their homes in Elfwhere to set off across the Sleeping Sea and settle in the islands far to the west. They were labeled the High Elves and in many ways became superior to the others. They were great healers and developed new areas of magic, yet undiscovered by their kin. In the High Elves, the Woodwalk soon changed, allowing them to pass through water in much the same way that those of Elfwhere passed through wood.

Many changes come with the telling of the In the Shadow of the Black Sun tale. This story is of course available at all ebook sellers. Find out what transpires by clicking the following link: The Complete Trilogy at Amazon US.

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