Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Elves of Lornn

The Faenorr and their kin have been entertwined with Lornnish history for longer than man can remember. According to the elves, when they first breached the veil separating Lornn from the Twilight Realm, the Lands were all but empty of civilization. The Faenorr and their kin colonized the glades and mountain valleys of Lornn, and when they encountered the scattered tribes of primitive mankind, they taught them their gentle wisdom and lore.

As the centuries passed into millennia, mankind grew into its own, and its civilization flourished alongside that of the Faenorr. Eventually, however, the short-lived humans grew impatient with the slow wisdom and unflagging patience of their alien teachers. The greatest loremasters among men began to experiment with dangerous new ways of using the magic taught to them by the Faenorr. Somehow, they made contact with the dark Elemental Lords and began to worship them as gods. Repulsed, the Faenorr at first tried to warn humanity, but the lure of fast power was too irresistible, and humanity fell ever further under the sway of the Elemental Lords. Finally, though it saddened them, the Faenorr were forced to take up arms against their beloved pupils, and war between man and elf erupted across the face of Lornn.

Though outnumbered by the humans, the Faenorr greatly outmatched them in skill and power, and soon humanity found itself threatened with a choice between extinction and submission. Always adaptive, the leaders of mankind came up with a third option and turned to their dark gods for aid. Under their instruction, the human wizards tore open a great rift in the fabric of our universe, and through the gap poured the Mordrimm. These evil beings proved mightier than even the Faenorr, and the tide of war was turned in a matter of days. Caught off guard, the elves were routed and fled back into their Twilight Realm, closing the Veil behind them. No elf would lay eyes on Lornn again for two thousand years. The few Faenorr trapped after the closing of the veil, including their kin such as sprites, dryads, centaur, and the like, retreated into the depths of the great forests. While they eked out a pleasant existence in secret, they were completely cut off from the power of the Twilight Realm, and their stature diminished both physically and magically. Today the ancestors of those Lost Ones are known to humanity as Gnomes.

Of course, the Mordrimm betrayed and enslaved humanity. The Mordrimm fancied themselves as gods, and their constant attempts at creation yielded horrific results. The twisted and malicious creatures they created still lurk in the dark places of this world.

At some point, the future Immortal Emperor managed to find an open path into the Twilight Realm, and for seventy days he remained there. No one knows for sure what he did there, but six months later the Veil had been lifted again, and the Faenorr Host was waiting on the shores of Lornn when the Emperor arrived with his great armada out of the uncharted West.

After the defeat of the Mordrimm, the Faenorr Host was disbanded, save for one hundred of the best Warrior-Wizards. The Olvingaard served the Emperor faithfully as his elite bodyguard for three hundred years. Then, one midsummer morning a little over a century ago, everything went horribly wrong.

The reasons for the Betrayal remain unknown to mortal men. On that morning, the Olvingaard turned on the Immortal Emperor and attempted to destroy him in his own palace. As mighty as they were, the Emperor single-handedly slew all but three of the elves. The following war against the Faenorr was over before it had even begun, for the Veil had been closed again the night before the assassination attempt, this time never to re-open. So hasty and secretive was the sealing-off of the Twilight Realm that many elves were trapped in Lornn.

A century later, they are known only as the Lost Ones, and most wander the forests and mountains of Lornn in a futile search for a pathway back home. Many elves are driven mad by the search, but some have made a home for themselves in Lornn, and few even follow lives of adventure, holding their despair at bay as they take on greater and greater challenges. The reaction of humans to the Faenorr today varies from pity to mistrust to outright hostility, though some instinctive respect for their ancestral teachers still lingers.

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