The Elves of Râmd’Ankellé
There are seven branches of Elves that spawned from their progenitor, Orman íl Cadásur. Orman created five followers who became the first Elves in line with him.
The Maígan Elves were the first of their kind, directly descended from Orman. They were peaceful, meant to be a cultural guidepost for newer species. The Maígans bore a stronger connection to magic because of the generational proximity to their maker. They chose a vegetarian diet out of respect for the created world. The Maígans often served as artisans, crafters, and philosophers.
As the Elves came in conflict with other races – like Dragons – the Maígans needed to adapt to warfare. To that end, he Álgherí were born. Known as War Elves, they were the second of their kind. The Álgherí were bred from the most aggressive members of the community, becoming a warrior class. They made the strongest blades and fastest arrows second only to the Dwarves, and they employed magic in combat.
The Shadowkin were the third of their kind. They moved away from Lacígra-D’antenati in the wake of the Elf-Dragon Wars, though it is unknown if this is because they chose to leave or if the Maígans ostracized them. The Shadowkin rejected the strict vegetarianism of their predecessors and began eating meat. Their name was an epithet because of their nocturnal nature. Their diet earned them the “Blood Elf” moniker by Dwarves and Humans. They were taboo; the Maígans understood the necessary evils of war but could not accept the consuming of a living creature.
The Álbezd’Álf understood, but only because they loved to transform into wild animals, often giving into their primal impulses when in their animal forms. The Álbezd’Álf were the fourth of their kind, living deep within the forests of the region. They used magic to transform themselves into the strongest hunters save for Dragons. They worshipped bears, wolves, and cats of ancient Râmd’Ankellé. Dwarves called them by the collective name, Bärvoltr.
The Tántér were the fifth of their kind, also living deep – deeper in fact – in the forest. They hid from society, even from each other, and only revealed their presence to protect nature or during the spring equinox. They took Maígan vegetarianism to extreme measures; the Maígans occasionally killed animals in self-defense or to end its suffering. The Tántér used magic to ease an animal’s pain and allow the earth to reclaim its body into the soil. They never killed, even to their own peril.
The Nóscrelún were the sixth of their kind, taking after their Shadowkin cousins by being nocturnal. They did so because they worshipped the moon as their goddess. They lived on the fringes and borders of Elf Territory. Their territorial nature made them perfect guardians of their homeland. They eventually became bored of their complacent lifestyle.
Elvin Evolution After Time
The aggressive, war-faring nature of the Álgherí led to internal feuds akin to the battles of Dwarven clans. Álgherí in-fighting led to their inevitable implosion. They died off, leaving behind their weapons and magical prowess for future generations.
The Tántér – obsessed with nature – merged with the earth, becoming spiritual entities empowering the mystical trees of the Maígan forest of modern-day Icínq-Régn.
The Nóscrelún – bored by their mundane existence as Elven night watch – felt the stirrings of wanderlust. They decided to leave Râmd’Ankellé, becoming seafarers. They were never seen again.
The Álbezd’Álf had a more complex end. The branch split into three tribes after extensive magical manipulation of their bodies to resemble their favored animals. The first tribe accidentally cursed themselves into becoming bears. They are born with a Human appearance and transform in their early adulthood. They reluctantly kept the Bärvoltr epithet given them by Dwarves. The second tribe – the Kílha Nashba – eloped to the Frostlands to live isolated lived, growing to fill three villages. Only their Úlvarmard – warriors who earned the right – may receive the magical markings granting them the power to become wolves at will. The slavers of the Mítzrâni permanently adopted the visage of large cats. They retained their intellect and bipedal forms, passing these traits to their progeny. Their own aggressions drove them to become xenophobic, enslaving all races they deemed inferior; they respect other slavers on principle and take offense at any culture without an ordered social hierarchy.
The Shadowkin suffered both the worst fate of the Elves and greatest redemption. Drách Asár – the Dragon of Death, the first Vampire – descended upon their village to kill them all after being manipulated by the Womb of Shadows. He fed on them, turning them into his undead children of the night. They worshipped him as their blood god, but eventually rejected Asár. As Vampires. They began dying off either because they were hunted a monsters or due to a lack of fresh blood supply. The Shadowkin were redeemed through the prophecy of the Cadásur and the offering of his holy blood giving the undead new life as Elves once more.
The Maígan Elves were the last branch remaining in Râmd’Ankellé, using the skills left to them by the Álgherí, Tántér, and Nóscrelún to train the first students of the Mystic Academy. They especially used these skills to fight back against the savage, dark forces of the Magus Ménas íl Sagáth commonly known as Menonias. When the Menonian Wars ended, the Maígans accepted Human refugees into Lacígra-D’antenati, later intermarrying with them. The racial blend became colloquially known as Halflings. Halflings still rule in modern Maíga, the Icínq-Régnian kingdom state named after the Elves who founded its existence.
A Dark Legacy
Six of the seven Elvin branches have thus so far been described in some detail in the order in which they existed and vanished. But there is still one more to discuss: Nérg’Nóm. They were noted for having pitch-black skin, silver eyes, and could cast their shadow like a blanket of lifeless cold.
Nérg’Nóm are literally Dark Elves, possessing a unique supernatural connection. They are capable of connecting with and controlling supernatural beings. Entities like Vampires, Ákrah, and demons all fall under the Nérg’Nóm’s sway with no ability to control themselves. Dark Elves are incredibly rare, born once a generation. There is no set branch to which they belong; they were born most commonly to Maígan, Álgherí, and Nóscrelún Elves – rumors circulated the Nérg’Nóm born in those branches formed their abilities because one or both parents practiced dark magic, were too violent, or spent too much time living in the actual dark. Despite rumors, Elves deeply feared Nérg’Nóm power, and laws were enacted to prevent the Dark Elves from mating or using certain forms of magic.
The laws were broken by Sagáth, the father of Menonias. Born to Maígan-Álgherí parents, he quickly developed his supernatural powers and used them to guard Lacígra-D’antenati from an invasion of rogue Ákrah. He was imprisoned afterward for refusing to obey his commander, placed in a cell with no shadows to prevent him from opening a shadow crossing as he knew not the magic for opening a slipgate.
Sagáth became well-respected – a model prisoner. But he became a revolutionary, using peaceful protests to fight against the hard Nérg’Nóm treatment. He secretly wed a Human woman after his release, fathering Menonias. When the boy was born with a mix of Human and Álgherí features, Elf leadership left the family alone.
Sagáth died using his strange abilities to ward away a demonic spirit from his home. As a sign of respect, the Mystic Academy gave Sagáth’s Halfling son student enrollment, thus the First Halfling began his magical training towards his own evil ends.
The Elves of Râmd’Ankellé no longer exist as they once did. The only remaining Elves in what is now the Five Kingdoms are the redeemed Shadowkin living in Terrincolto, having ironically taken over Menonias’ former stronghold at Helson as their capital city.