Excerpt from Fall from Grace: Volume I
Chapter One: The Collapse
Historians and scholars have debated about this concept for decades, and though there is no clear consensus, most Elven scholars agree that something devastating occurred in about 1200. No one is sure, as no one remembers what happens. Those of us alive at the time have a holes in our memory that are almost impossible to explain. Whatever happened, it was cataclysmic. I refer to it as the Collapse, as afterwards, all civilization collapsed. Anarchy reigned supreme, and almost all records of the time before the Collapse were destroyed, lost, or just vanished. Across the Descendant Races we see the same narrative: an individual emerges, pulling the disparate people together under them, founding new civilizations. The earliest new records are dwarven, telling of King Simmpa. The Orcs rallied to Tythus, man to Saint Daniel. In what would become the forests on Malinor, the first High Prince, Native, rallied the elves together to found Laurelin on the site of an old wood Elven colony. That foundation moment is where we will start.
Chapter Two: Early Malinor
Some still refer to Al'Khazar as the Jewel of the North. If I had to pick a similar name for Laurelin, I would have to insist on naming it the Heart of Malinor. The first and most of the second generation of post-Collapse Elvenkind lived here at some point in their lives. The former residents that still walk among the living will doubtlessly have dozens of stories about their beloved city, which for so long was the sanctuary of the Elven people. It's walls offered protection from bandits and thugs, which rarely ventured South onto the Prince's Road, fearing Elven justice. This wondrous city is the backdrop for the first part of our history.
Native, High Prince of Malinor is probably the most memorable figure in the history of the Descendant races. He was tall for an elf, and sported an impressive beard. By all accounts he was a kind elf, just in his actions. During the early days he stood behind a counter in Laurelin and would assist elves with whatever they needed, whether it be employment or housing. Malinor, at this point, was still quite young, innocent. The Wardens had not even been founded, there was no High Council, and only a few dozen elves scraped together an existence in the forest. The druids, searching for balance in the world, gathered around the Wayward Druid, Respiren. Native allowed them to establish their Grove in Laurelin, west of the North gate. This began the complex relationship between the High Council and the Druidic Order which shaped so many lives in the centuries since. We, however, cannot get ahead of ourselves.
Native, after a few years, started to appoint Princes to assist him in his duties. So that he could focus on constructing more houses for the growing population, the farmer Toren was appointed. So was the engineer Flefal and the merchant Talian. Ariana was the first Princess, though there are no records of what she did during her time on the Council. Prince Toren established a large farm in the center of Laurelin to ensure the early Princedom did not starve. Talian established the market down at the docks. Flefal's accomplishment was the Elven Railway, which connected the capital of Laurelin to the mining town of Ravenhold. It was not until later that Native and Halephon would transform the sleepy village into the vacation paradise of the Malinorian elite. The Swift Elves guild appeared and disappeared in the early days, combining with another group named the Sentinels to found the Wardens. Under Commander Blackhawk they grew in strength, fighting the beasts that lurked in Malinor's forests.
Native's signature accomplishment was the Gauntlet, an obstacle course he designed. Many contenders were fried to a crisp by the fiery lava awaiting them at the bottom of the course. Laurelin flourished, with affordable, but not cheap, housing. At this time, the druids were granted two non-voting positions on the High Councils to be filled by the Archdruids. The High Council was almost entirely wood elves, with the exception of Prince Toren, who had the platinum hair of a High Elf. Racial divisions were nonexistent, and all elves lived in peace.
Unlimited prosperity did not last in Malinor though. Native began to frequently go missing for years at a time. All of the Princes except for Toren travelled often or simply disappeared, and when Native was around, he was reluctant to appoint replacements. The Wardens moved south to a larger encampment. Many new elves decided to settle in the new villages of Serpent's Ridge and Elvendale. Peace settled over the sleepy city of Laurelin. Things remained settled until, far to the Northwest, the death of Kal'Bryste changed everything.
Chapter Three: Safe Within Our Walls
Kal'Bryste profoundly changed life in Laurelin. There was a large population shift from Ravenhold and Elvendale to Laurelin. The capital became a cosmopolitan city, where orc, elf, human, and halfling mingled mostly peacefully. The Wardens increased in size, becoming the largest military force in Aegis. Almost all new elves served in the wardens for at least a few years before they could afford a house in Laurelin. Commander Blackhawk was increasingly brazen and combative towards the High Council, viewing the civilian government that he was sworn to obey with disdain. After his abrupt disappearance, it was revealed he had been plotting a coup alongside rebels located on the outskirts of Malinor. He was replaced by his second in Commander Quazar, who held many of the same views as his mentor, but was generally too incompetent to overthrow the High Council.
During this time Native's absences became longer and more frequent, and Malinor was managed by Prince Lafthi. During this time, learning began to expand. A library was established in the Grand Tree with a full time curator, to which Ebs was appointed as the first. Mylas was raised to the Princehood, and he constructed the Sister City, a popular suburb of Laurelin. However, Laurelin housing was still in demand, as it was prestigious to own a home in Laurelin. The city became so crowded some fondly remembered the serene days before the undead assault on the North.
Malinor did not send any official forces North, but many individual elves fought at Snowy Fields and Alstion. The Wardens were concerned about the undead advance, but Native was either absent or unwilling to dedicate to a war so far from home, so the Wardens stayed idle. After the fall of Alstion, Princess Indelwehn was raised, and she would serve a more important role than any could imagine.
Chapter Four: The Golden Years
When new of an attack on Sanjezel, capital of Krugmar, came, Princess Indelwehn rallied the Wardens and other elves to the fight. When they arrived, their numbers bolstered the losing orcs, and the undead were driven back. At the site of the victory, Princess Indelwehn and then Warlord Morgroka'Gorkil signed the Malin-Krug Pact, which tied the Holy Princedom of Malior with Krugmar in a military alliance. The combined forces of Malinor and Krugmar were so formidable that none dared threaten the two nations for the next half century.
At home, a small rebellion fizzled out, and life continued as normal. There were two expeditions into the Verge,the first lead by Lirinya, the second by Ebs. The first was quickly abandoned, but the second founded Fionn, a flourishing town near the combined human dwarven settlement. In Laurelin, a boarding house was set up by Princess Indelwehn for new elves. The first know of pair of elven twins were born to the Warden Felore Nightstalker(a dark elf) and Treelord Haelphon (half wood elf) Evendale was reclaimed by the wood elves after years of neglect, but nothing materialized. Archaeologists started researching dark elven ruins South of Laurelin. The owner if the treetop inn, Lirinya, was raised to Princess. The Wardens fought a decade long campaign for Wrath's Clutch, a fortress South of Alras controlled by the Undead. After it fell, war almost broke out between Malinor and Urguan over an elven fort erected to assault the citadel. However, the High Council intervened, ordering the Wardens to abandon Fort Fairleaf. Then, the Wardens attempted to destroy Malinor.
It started rather subtly. First, warden recruits were withdrawn from Laurelin's gatehouse. Then, druidic officials were found murdered, which lead to a cycle of killings in Malinor which the Wardens refused to investigate. Ebs, forced to abandon the Verge by huge slimes, and Sythra, a new arrival, investigated further, and found connections to Quazar. The pair went to Indelwehn, and she went to Native and the High Council. The night before the discovered coup, High Prince Native disbanded the wardens. Sythra was appointed to head the new guard, the Vanguard, which would be permanently based in Laurelin. The Bearded Elf then announced that he was departing Malinor, stepping down from High Prince. Many elves present were overcome with grief and sorrow. The High Princes final act as High Prince of the Holy Princedom of Malinor was to appoint Ebs as Prince of Malinor.
Immediately, the first election for High Prince was called. Princes Lafthi, Toren, and Ebs with Princesses Indelwehn and Lirinya convened in secret in Lafthi's treetop home in downtown Laurelin. After two rounds of voting, Indelwehn was elected High Princess of Malinor. A new age was dawning on Malinor, and none could have possibly realized that the undiscovered taint that lay hidden in the new High Princess would influence the course of the nation.
Chapter Five: Unbalanced
The new High Princess’ first years in office were uneventful. First Haelphon then Sythra were raised to the High Council, the former becoming the first half elf to have a seat, and the latter becoming the first dark elf to sit on the Council for some time. Princes Lafthi and Toren became rare faces in Malinor, but were not removed due to their experience, which supporting a High Council of new faces. In the North, the Undead captured Al’Khazar, sending the elven community there fleeing for Laurelin, which was becoming inundated with people. The Druids left Malinor at this time due to intense infighting after the Archdruid Appollan was found murdered by his lover, the Archdruid Dusk. Serpent’s Ridge was the site of clashes with a rogue clan named the Kaxils. The Mages Guild, under Ambros, took over the Old Council Chambers. Then, betrayal bit into the hearts of every elf in Malinor.
Princess Lirinya had been plotting with the undead for months, after despairing at the departure of her lover, High Prince Native. She was convinced to attack Ravenhold, and the massacre that followed has no parallel in elven history. An undead feint on Elvendale served as a distraction as Lirinya began her attack, and as she rained down fiery death from above, the civilians were butchered by the hordes of undead beasts. The villas and miners houses burned crimson as relief forces from Laurelin arrived, too late to save the city. Lirinya was eventually captured and cured of her sickness, but it was much too late for the people of Ravenhold. Some on the High Council wished to rebuild the city, but Indelwehn forbid it.
Elvendale was the site of the next full scale battle, and though the forces of Malinor prevailed, the victory was pyrrhic. The village was all but destroyed, it’s market a burning husk. The order was given to evacuate the village, and the remaining wood elves sought protection in a refugee camp in Laurelin. Disaster struck next when Prince Mylas was killed by the undead. He was buried outside of the Sister City which he had so diligently labored to complete. ((Note, at this time Mylas was reincarnated as Bungo. This cycle was repeated to produce kebab.)) In his memory the High Council held all future meetings in the Sister City Town Hall. At this time, the Vanguard was having considerable difficulty controlling the crime in Laurelin, which was exploding with the population. Most of the Wardens refused to join the Vanguard, and manpower would remain low until the end of the war with the Undead.
During her days as Princess, Indelwehn was habitually kidnapped by the Undead and taken to Wrath’s Clutch, which would be followed by strike teams from the Wardens rescuing her, or failing that, ransom being paid. During one of her stays, she was tainted by the Undead. It grew inside her while she was High Princess, and eventually, it took her over, consuming her. She attempted to have Prince Ebs assassinated, and after he returned from recovery in Hanseti, arrested. Then, it came to light that she had been torturing a young elven boy in her tree house. Prince Ebs was quickly released, and the High Council voted unanimously to strip her of her powers. A week later, Haelphon was chosen as High Prince. Indelwehn was sent to the Ascended to be treated, and kept a nonvoting spot on the High Council to hide what had happened. At this time, Prince Toren announced was leaving the High Council, confessing he did not put in enough time to deserve his spot.
More bad news was on the horizon as Alras fell under heavy undead onslaught. Prince Ebs established a refugee camp in Laurelin’s forest for the survivors. It was flooded by people travelling South, fleeing the advancing Undead. The High Elves began researching their heritage, laying the foundations for Haelunor. However, in the present, dread was overtaking the people of Aegis, and following the loss of the drake eggs and the death of the Wandering Wizard, panic broke out in Malinor. Laurelin’s defences were sabotaged by an elf named Deltaro Black, and when the final battle for Aegis began, the city died in fire and brimstone. The survivors fled to the Verge, where they were met with riots and violent clashes among the refugees. Supplies were short when the ships hastily departed, and what follows can only be described as complete chaos.
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Compared to Asulon and Aegis, Anthos was not the brightest period for the Elves. Filled with isolation and political intrigue, the Elves proved to be their own worst enemy, time and time again, taking very little part in the large conflicts of the day.
The Corruption of Luminaire
In the early 1440s, a strange corruption appeared in Malinor's capital city. Slowly at first, though with increasing potency, the corruption of the North spread, tainting the surface of the once great city. Due to Luminaire's close proximity to the realm of the North, and its relatively unprotected forests, it became an easy target for the forces of the Scourge. The trees withered and lost their leaves, and the people of Malinor fled to a refugee camp down the river. Thus was the beginning of New Malinor.
New Malinor flourished and prospered, but with the passage of time, it was started to be ever present that the people were not happy with the leadership. The Conclave of Malin was created in secrecy, until they acquired enough force to oppose the High Council. They declared war on New Malinor, while the towns of Lenniel and DarkHaven were neutral in the conflict, Lenniel agreeing to allow the Conclave troops to march through their land if necessary. In the end, the people of New Malinor simple accepted it, most of the Lumidrim, guard force at the time, defected or left to join the conclave, and Prince Ebs even arrested by them. On the 30th of Sun's Smile, 1450, New Malinor was taken by the Conclave of Malin and the High Council abolished, in a bloodless initiative, as the forces of New Malinor simply surrendered.
The New Elven Nations
After the destruction of the age-old nation of Malinor, the Elves experienced a period of instability with several new nations. Power consolidation was quick and oftentimes violent, the peaceful resolution of the Conclave rebellion turning into bloody combat among the victors.
The Early Years of Conclave
The newborn nation of Conclave was idealistic in comparison to its predecessor. It's Charter allowed for representation by the minor races, instead of just Elven towns. It's tax system was much more effective than the Malinorian system, making the Justiciar and the nation one of the richest very quickly. The military was given much more power than before, even getting choices in political matters. Some may say this is the result of the military destroying Lenniel, instead of a peaceful revolution. The military was bolstered by the Lumi'drim had joined, and all seemed perfect. However, constant attacking of the Conclave seemed to test its military limits. The Elven forces won most of the battles, only losing two of the larger ones.
However, the constant attacking scared away many of the Elven minorities, leading to resurfacing of towns such as Lenniel and DarkHaven. Almost immediately, fights for their independence were beginning. The Tallonni Confederacy encompassed the lands of Lenniel and DarkHaven, holding a larger area than Conclave. However, Conclave took a while to recognize them, and when they did, attempted to beat them into submission. The anger between Tallonni and Conclave would continue until the Black Scourge attacked Lenniel and forced most of its residents out.
High Elves, in contrast to Wood and Dark Elves, found the new Conclave disgusting, as the terms for purity did not promote the equality between the races and the 'mali'valah' (Elves that act like humans) that the new country promoted. Thus, a new project began in which the High Elves would split off from Conclave and head to a new city. This underground bunker came to be known as the Tomb, and was a refuge for nearly 30,000 High Elves, and it rivaled Lenniel and Conclave in terms of population.
The Tomb was a bunker consisting of many gates, several gardens, and four main branches. One was a vast library several stories high, containing many of the works that Anthos had forgotten. The second was an area for scientific experimentation, in both farming and physics. The third was a vast housing unit that stretched deep beneath the surface of the earth, and contained all the people who lived within the Tomb. The final branch was for the training of the Sillumiran. It was small, and nearly irrelevant.
Very few outside the High Elven community knew of the Tomb, and by the time of Anthos' end, most of the 'pure' High Elven population had moved there already.
The Elven Leaders and Policies
Among the Elves, many leaders emerged who thought that their way would be best. These people led the Elves to assured victory (or destruction, in some cases).
- High Princess Titania Hawksong- The Princess going into Anthos, she held claim to the Elven leadership throughout most of Anthos, after eventually stepping down in the city of New Malinor. Her rule was rather lax, but contentment was the general theme.
- High Prince Eleron Sylvaeri- The Last High Prince of Malinor, he showed a great interest in leading, but fell due to inactivity and the betrayal of his military, the Lumi'drim.
- Other High Council Members - Prince Kaun, Prince Ebs Telrunya, Prince Urasept Mordir, Prince Darius DeNurem.
- Kalameet Izalith - The First Justiciar of Conclave. Some say he started the rebellion over the High Council burning down his house. Nonetheless, with the help of several common Elves, he started the Conclave and led it for about three years. His mysterious disappearance still makes some people wonder.
- Darius DeNurem - The Hand to the Justiciar and the Second Justiciar of Conclave. After Izalith's disappearance, he took over and pushed the Conclave into a more unified rule under his singular rule. However, even though he attempted to share power towards the end of his reign, this monarchy-based system disgruntled many Elves.
The Military of the Elves in Late Anthos
The Elven military in late Anthos was quite interesting, for the main reason that it was effective, nearly rivaling the power of the Wardens of early Aegis. However, the splitting of the Elven population would reduce the effectiveness of each military and would create an unofficial conflict.
The first group was the Gladewatchers of Lenniel. This military was primarily Wood Elven, laying home to the town of Lenniel. They were a different group, as they were one of the few groups to have possession of a Golem in late Anthos. They were led by two individuals, both who led the Gladewatches for nearly the entirety of its existence and cooperated with each other.
Dwyn Quavinir Signus
The group was largely peaceful, due to the nature of the town. It was disbanded when the Demones Manor was destroyed by the Black Scourge.
The second group was the Military of the Conclave. Upholding a strict code of laws set by Fabian Virosi, Kalameet Izalith, and Darius DeNurem, the group of soldiers (primarily former Malinorian military), was the reason for the Conclave's survival in its early years. They were arguably the most powerful Elven military, holding the most diverse group of races, but they were the most unstable, having four leaders in their short time period.
Elrolas Hawksong (lead 1443-1445) - The first leader of the Conclave of Malin, he helped them through the early years. He was fired later, and the position was left open for four years. Questions as to why he was fired can stem from a relationship to the previous High Princess of Malinor, Titania Hawksong, who was his mother. Kristian von Craw (lead 1445-1449) - The only human to ever lead an Elven military, he held the position of Arbiter for the four years of Elrolas'. Troop numbers reached a high point during his leadership, though questions are made about troop loyalty and bias towards humans. He had created the framework for Elrolas, and used it to his advantage. Most, if not all successes of Elrolas' military can be attributed to von Craw. [Name Missing] (lead 1449-1450) - After the resignation of von Craw, this man completely reworked the system, resetting the ranks and attempting to introduce new drilling techniques. The stagnancy of Elrolas' military was purged, though activity levels remained as low as ever. He left later in 1450 after Orcs pillaged a city undefended. Griffin Whitewolf (lead 1450-1455) - Griffin Whitewolf, also known as Ikur Narnir'sul improved upon the systems of his mentor, von Craw, re-organizing the Conclave's military into an impressive fighting force that successfully defended against routine Scourge incursion and Orcish raids. However, despite the military effectiveness, Whitewolf could not fight against the growing public disdain for Conclave. When Conclave was eventually abandoned when the Fringe was discovered, he found himself with an empty city and an empty nation. He was granted a seat at an Elven conference in the late 1450s as the representative of the so-called Defunct Third Conclave.
The third group was the Sillumiran, a High Elven group resident to the High Elven refuge of the Tomb. Meaning "Weeping Blades", this small group of individuals was purely for guarding purposes, and was headed by Artorias Thannor until the abandonment of the Tomb in 1452 for the Fringe. In terms of effectiveness, they were little, as they never engaged in combat outside of the Tomb, and the Tomb was never found by outside forces.
The Fringe, Thales and Early Athera - The Rule of Silver
Following the collapse of the Conclave of Malin during the first year of descendant settlement in the Fringe it became apparent that the only remaining political force and cohesive entity for the Elven race was the resurgent Silver Enclave of Haelun'or, based in the fortress village of Tahn'siol. The Sohaer of Haelun'or, veteran politician and architect of the Crimson-Silver Concordat Kalenz Uradir, extended an offer of protection and fellowship to all Elven communities and groups eking out an existence in the Fringe - to join the High Elves under the banner of Haelun'or, with the protection their pact with Oren entailed, in exchange for an unequivocal acceptance of the Silver Law. Through democratic vote the overwhelming majority of elven communities elected to join the Silver Enclave.
At Tahn'siol, the town's walls were expanded to encompass the newly formed district-camps of the Wood Elves and Dark Elves; Lin'ame and Ker'lomi respectively. Elven society became segregated along these lines - Wood Elves lived in Lin'ame, Dark Elves in Ker'lomi and High Elves in the main district of Tahn'siol. The new branches of Haelun'or society were also obligated to provide a chapter of warriors to aid the High Elven Sillumiran in the defense of their walls and the participation of Haelun'or in the ongoing Fringe War. Ker'lomi provided the Div'cruan while Lin'ame founded the Elberu'cinhir - a group that would win great honour on the fields of the Fringe War fighting for the Crimson-Silver Alliance against the Krughanistan Bloc.
With Haelun'or's protection, however, came a great cost. As per the Silver Law, any and all impure Elves were sought out and executed in acid. While many Elves not previously of Haelun'or spoke against this and left to join other communities, such as the Elven diaspora in Alras, many more simply accepted this as a fact of life.
The most notable act of defiance against High Elven political dominance of the Elves in the Fringe came from the Druid Order. Although a number of Elven druids had decided to join their kin in Tahn'siol the majority dwelled in the main grove in the upper ring of the Dwarven city of Kal'Arkon - territory owned by Haelun'or's enemy.
| Many believe that elven history begins in the city of Laurelin, of Aegis. While it is true that modern elven history begins with High Prince Native, Laurelin and the founding of the Princedom of Malinor, ancient elven history goes much farther back. Before the Princedom, before Haelun’or, Laureh’lin and the Dominion, before even the distinction between wood, high and dark elf, there was an ancient, forgotten kingdom. A kingdom ruled by Malin himself, while he still walked the world. This Kingdom was Malinor, the first Malinor, and the place where elven history began.
The story of the Kingdom of Malinor (Kingdom of Malinor being the ancient state ruled by Malin, and Princedom of Malinor being its successor state, founded by High Prince Native millenia later) begins after the first war with Iblees. The Elves had just been cursed with infertility by the archdemon but been blessed with long life by an unknown divine
Malin, the forefather of the elves, knew he had to create a land for his people to live in peace. Aegis at this time was mostly wartorn, and the children of his brothers- Horen, Krug, and Urguan, were equally cursed with such unsavory traits like greed and bloodlust. Always being one for caution, Malin chose the path of isolation from his brothers and their children. Malin led his elven people across the sea, where he would found and rule his new state.
Marvelous cities which would have been alien to the eyes of men and dwarves, great halls hidden deep in the thickest forests, homes which weaved their ways seamlessly into the trees, built perfectly to co-exist with the wild, not replacing it but becoming a part of it. The greatest settlement of Malinor was on the isle of Malin itself, an island named by the forefathers’ children as well. The city built upon this center Isle of Axios was more magnificent than any other, High Prince Native recalled this city as ‘Tavule’ centuries later, but it likely had a true name lost to time. It was there Malin’s throne lay, in the trunk of the eldest elder tree. It was there he ruled his people from.
All elves were one during this time. They were fair of skin, but usually dark of hair. Their height was middling, though some could be shorter or taller than the rest. Malin himself was fair-haired, his eyes ever-changing, those closest to him claimed their color changed depending on his mood. Regardless, the forefather himself was special, but the elves as a whole were more or less homogenous, all the same lithe, sharp-eared beings of long-life who dwelled in their halls and homes so flawlessly woven into nature.
The druids also played a significant role in Malin’s realm. The order was older now and had learned much since the great war with iblees. They held great respect for Malin, as the elven forefather was known to receive visions and convene from the Aspects from time to time. While Malin himself was not a druid, he too held the Aspects’ wisdom. The druids were welcomed in Malin’s kingdom with open arms as mentors and teachers, ensuring the elves knew how to live in harmony with nature.
Malinor prospered for centuries, enduring wars with the other races, and going through various other hardships. Despite its troubles, the Kingdom lived on, under the guidance of the immortal forefather of the elves.
Elves made up the kingdom of Malinor. There were no subraces during this time, no distinction between mali’ame, mali’aheral and mali’ker. All were simply Mali. Those who lived by the seaside may have had darker skin, and those who lived in the mountains may have been paler, but in the eyes of all, including Malin himself, an elf was an elf.
The defining characteristic of the Kingdom of Malin was that it represented the era of elven history before the great split. It was the first true elven nation and the only one to ever truly claim to unify the elves, not just as a political entity, but as a cultural one.
As its name would suggest, the Kingdom of Malinor was a monarchy. One ruled by Malin, the first (and many consider only) King of the elves. However, Malin had a council of leaders who would advise him and run different facets of the kingdom, be it commerce, military, politics, et cetera. Since he considered all elves his children, those on his council were titled Princes and Princesses, even though the positions were not hereditary and in theory, any elf was eligible for the role.
This was the system of government that Native would later emulate in his successor state, the Princedom of Malinor in Aegis, millenia later. Native, however, would take the title of High Prince instead of King, believing humbly that Malin should be the only one to take that title.
No religion truly dominated the ancient Kingdom of Malin, although almost all of the faiths and doctrines carried by modern elves today had their beginnings in the Kingdom. Malin himself was said to follow the Aspect’s teachings. Not as a religion perhaps, but as a lifestyle born of the love for his forests, and a fondness for druids, who had fostered the Green Spirit Taynei’hiylu, a dragon that had been like a daughter to him.
Other faiths were prominent across ancient Malinor. The Aengul Aerial was universally beloved by all elves, seen as a savior and believed by many to have been the one to have blessed their race with long lifespans. One of Malin’s Council, Princess Veluluai, was said to have created a cult following for the worship of shamanistic spirits among her followers after traveling through the lands of the ancient orcs and bringing the faith there back to the elven homeland.
While Aerial and the Aspects seemed to be the more popular choices, many elves just simply chose not to worship, as was their right to do so. Religion did not feature very prominently in the lives of the ancient elves, who were ruled very secularly by Malin and his high council of Princes.
The downfall of the Kingdom of Malin came through a series of slow steps. The first and most significant was the disappearance of Malin himself. It is unknown whether Malin died or simply went missing, but overnight, the forefather of the elves was gone. Ancient Malinor was at a loss, as no one other individual had ever ruled them, and without him, the High Council of Princes fell into disarray, no central authority to guide them.
Out of this sudden instability came the schisms of the elven race. It was around this time that individuals such as Larihei, Veluluai, and Irrin Sirame ended up taking the fate of their people into their own hands. They would become the progenitors of the high elves, dark elves, and wood elves, respectively.
The high elves would form a new society, seeing the crumbling of Malinor is weak. The golden pools they bathed in turned their skin paler and their hair silver and their mantra of purity would develop shortly after. They concentrated in the western regions of Axios and built towering silver spires where old Malinorian forest cities once lay.
The dark elves fate was bound to Veluluai, whose actions led her and her followers to be cursed by an old, primordial being. She would later seek blessing from the moon spirit Luara, who turned her and her people’s skin dark as ash. Now seen as pariahs by the rest of elfkind, they would retreat to the Isle of Ceru in south-east Axios where they dug into the mountains and formed their underground nation of Magara’lin.
The wood elves were the last of the old elves (un-mutated) to schism, and the last to hold on to the crumbling Kingdom of Malinor. They saw the other two elves as spitting upon Malin’s memory, and thus abandoned them. They retreated into the deep forests and formed many nomadic Seeds. Their new primal, wild lifestyle lent them to a fierce worship of the Aspects, fiercer than any elf had worshipped the two gods of nature during the days when elfkind was one.
Thus with Malin gone, elfkind split into three, and each holding its own culture and territories, the ancient kingdom of Malinor was officially no more. The three subraces of elf would continue to live on Axios, at times working with one another, at times fighting amongst one another. It would be another few millenia until each elven nation would migrate en masse back to Aegis, where they would come to settle in the city of Laurelin and form the new Malinor, the Princedom of Malinor, under High Prince Native.