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THE ELVES

The elves represent the first born race of the eldest immortal
of the world of Kailie. When the world was new, the elves were
one race united and were the only sentient race, meaning the
only race with speech and civilization. This continued for nearly
three thousand years before the birth of the other sentient races.

As the elves spread across the mainland of Kailie, they domesticated
animals and settled as any race would. Being long-lived, they have
a naturally low birthrate and did not place much strain upon the land.

In ancient times, the only threats to elvish civilization came from
angry wildlife, such as wolves and dire platypi (an ancient species
long since irradicated). As elvish control spread, great towers were
constructed to show the dominance of the elves over the land. These
towers formed the centers of government, with the various Lords of
the Towers being, in effect, near royalty in their local domains.

The first great schism among the elves was a direct result of these
towers construction. The more traditional of the elves, led by Amanis
Woodcrafter, believed that the elves had no business building towers
and altering the natural order of the world. The more modern elves,
led by Alahandra Banewulf, believed in the future of the elven race
as guardians of the world, not merely residents on its face. With the
sides thus drawn, war was inevitable. The so called "wild-elves" took
to the Havenwood, blocking the forest and denying entry to the so called
"high-elves" (who arrogantly refer to themselves only as "elves"). Forming
a new school of magic through their music, they defended the forest not
through violence, but by erasing memory of the wild-elves from the rest
of the elves.

After the schism which seperated the wild-elves from the elves, the next
great crisis among the elves was being prepared. The Lord of Order,
Duuktsaryth, had created lesser immortals to flesh out his world. While
in theory this was an excellent idea, in reality this lead to the creation
of other sentient races, each of which believed it should have a larger role
in this new world. While at first this was of no consequence, eventually
this led to small wars between the long lived elves and the lesser races.
These skirmishes led to the fortification of the Towers, and the installing
of warlords with much greater authority. The Lord of the Western Tower in
particular took his role as Defender of the Elven Lands very seriously. A
small village outside his lands was sacked by gnoll raiders, who carried
off the entire population of the village. The captured elves were eventually
taken to the arid lands of Xandria, there to serve the gnoll Pharoah for all
time as slaves.

With this tremendous failure, the first true defeat faced by the elves, the
Lord of the Western Tower took great pains to find stronger defences for his
lands. With great care, he studied the ancient works of the greatest mages
and discovered that he could unleash powers untold... with some sacrifice.
His first attempt at this power caused an explosion that rocked the land for
miles in every direction, lowering the terrain such that a swampy marsh was
created south and west of his tower, and the areas to the east were levelled
into a gentle, low-height plain. While this plain would be fertile ground
in later days, this second defeat is generally cited as the moment that the
Lord of the Tower, Rathamar of the West, finally snapped. His madness took
a heavy toll on his lands, and with his next experiment he did find superior
powers, but was forever damned as a member of the undead. He and his entire
garrison descended into cold evil, and his proclamation of himself as "Rath
Khan, Emperor of Kailie" went largely unheeded, as his lands held little of
the elvish population it had formerly born. It is rumored this great power
was granted by Taigis, the Elvish God of Chaos, but this cannot be confirmed
because no elves survived the transformation, and the worship of Taigis has
been taboo since the birth of the elves.

Some of the new gods, unwilling to create their own races and jealous of the
power of the elves, created a plan. This plan, centered on Portia and
Alessandra, led to the final crisis of the elves. These goddesses, intent
on the downfall of the elves, began to whisper dreams of power, lust, greed
and self-centrism into the minds of the elves. The Lord of the Eastern
Tower fell prey to this evil, and his mind was warped by the thoughts thus
planted. His followers quickly fell into line and launched a massive war
against the remaining tower to the South. This power was nearly unstoppable,
and the remaining followers of the Lord of Order prayed fervently for help.
As their tower was under siege, the first response to the prayers was felt:
a great grove of trees grew to surround the Southern Tower, and the Lord of
this tower knew that his prayers were answered. This grove repelled those
seeking to enter it. However, this grove had the unintended consequence of
locking those within the tower, unable to flee beyond the grove. These elves
eventually died within the tower, cursing the very grove that had grown to
protect them.

As the dark-elves, as they were now known, began their sack of the villages
surrounding the Southern Tower, Alahandra Banewulf began her greatest plea to
her god. And with this final entreaty, the Lord of Order took notice of
the plight of his people. Casting a fiery mountain down on the Eastern
Tower, he caused the tower to become little more than a crater in the
ground. Those remaining dark-elves quickly took to hiding among the ruins,
where they eventually founded and built a city among the ruins: Malveillant.
The remains of the Eastern Tower is again a dark and evil place, with many
still plotting the day the dark-elves will again challenge the elves for
supremacy among the elvish races.

In modern times, the four branches of the elves are a cornerstone of nearly
all areas of the world of Kailie, and with the opening of the Havenwood to
outsiders, much has changed. The wild-elves have become followers of Amelia
the Good Goddess, a nature-driven religion based securely in the world of
the forests and known as "Eclat". The high-elves (or "elves") remain
followers of Kylin, but have become xenophobic, fearing that the other races
of Kailie seek their destruction. The dark-elves still plot and connive to
conquer the world through guile, and the forsaken Xandrian elves remain in
slavery to the gnolls of Lisht.