A study into the Elven Nation: The Lost Races
Of all the races of Agon, the elves stand amongst the eldest. Recently the mirdain have granted our brethren access to their libraries and ancient historical texts. Through the study of these scrolls and chronicles, it has been revealed that at the time of the Nithron, the elves were one race and they served the Nithron as their most loyal servants. When the Nithron mysteriously disappeared, the Elven peoples awoke to find their benevolent masters' halls empty and silent. A tremulous feeling of freedom gradually began to settle on them and the mirdain described the days to follow as the Tender Emancipation. After much counsel and deliberation, the Elven servants decided to quit their master’s halls and find new homes. Some would seek out the peace of the forests, others the majestic calm of the deserts and some took to the seas to settle in the Jungles of Yssam. However, of the 3 branches that went their separate ways, only the mirdain (and their separatist brethren known as the Ciel Fey) have survived intact. What follows is an accounting of the two lost civilizations of the Elven race. The Ithwen and the Arthain.
Of the once vast, sun-worshipping empire of the Ithwen there remains absolutely nothing. These Elven people's entire culture was snuffed out like a candle in less time than it took the sun to climb the sky at noon from late morning. It remains a complete mystery as to why the slumbering dragon known as Far-Loradain awoke that morning and, with almost surgical precision, removed and destroyed every trace of the Ithwen nation from the continent of Yssam. Within hours all the cities had been razed, all the people slain, all cultural artifacts destroyed. Today all that remains are some secluded ruins and temples that the dragon was perhaps too preoccupied to demolish.
At their zenith, the Ithwen were a very strong and spiritual culture whose society was based upon the worship of the sun. The Ithwen saw the sun as the father of all, that which bestows life, strength, and free will. They embraced the virtues of strong will, passion, and any characteristic that they interpreted as being sun-like. In the same vein, the Ithwen military presence was, in its day, an incredibly strong and well respected one. Allied to the mirdain, the Ithwen armies would often march across the land to aid their Elven brethren to quell any and all alfar threats. Unlike their cousins in the mirdain and Ciel Fey, the Ithwen worship of the sun was not connected to nature in any way. The Ithwen sought to emulate the fiery and eternal passion and strength the sun represented for them. Unlike their cousins who lived in and close to nature all the Ithwen cities and structures were built or carved out of solid rock and granite. This spoke to their rigid pride and strength of body and mind.
While there are absolutely no clues as to why the celestial dragon Far-Loradain awoke and wiped out these peoples less than a century ago; the new information linking Cyriakos, the draconic son of the deceased goddess Eanna, to the machinations of the God-King Melek is something to take note of and bear in mind.
Of the four (known) branches of the Elven race, none have fallen so far from grace as the twisted Arthain. Ancient folklore seems to indicate that the Arthain, in their Zenith, were a highly cultural race of sand dwellers. Carving stunningly graceful cities and dwellings out of natural rock formations of what used to be the desert plains of central Agon (and is now the Pall) the Arthain spent their days in quiet contemplations and philosophical debates concerning any and every aspect of life on Agon. Scrolls and pictographs dating back to a time before the fall of the Chaldean empire depict the Arthain as favoring long, flowing wraps and hooded robes to cover their characteristically lanky frames and dark skin.
At some point around two centuries before the fall of the Chaldean, the Arthain fell prey to what appears to be a virulent and irreversible disease of the body and mind. It is, for the moment, unclear if the disease was magical in nature (and therefore possibly constructed) or a freak natural occurrence. What is known is that scores of Arthain succumbed to this sudden plague. Many died, and of those that survived only a handful retained their sanity and of those, all were now completely barren.
After many years spent trying to recover from this disaster (be it magical or natural in nature) a small group of desperate Arthain turned to the dark arts of necromancy to try and salvage some type of continuation for their race. However, the art of necromancy is not one that can be merely dabbled with. Within less than a decade the dark practice had become accepted and readily developed by the entire race (or what was left of them).
Over the centuries the Arthain have developed the necromantic arts to such an extent that entire colonies of Arthain have existed in an almost immortal state, albeit a very twisted form of necromancy. Scavenging body parts from unlucky travelers and using them to extend their lifespan as well as create twisted versions of pets and guardians.
Today the Arthain dwell mostly beneath the twisted lands of the Pall hidden from the eyes of the world. After centuries of a steadily downward spiraling society, this lost branch of the Elven race has degraded into nothing more than flesh-crafting ancients and masters of the necromantic arts hiding from the sunlight and horrified stares of the rest of Agon.
Behrem, Acolyte of the Watcher
Our words are quoted for truth...