Shë Tauësoi — Elves
The First Born of the Seven Tribes of Ithelak.
In the fifth year of the world, the first child was born: a boy. He was fair skinned, golden haired, and his blue eyes shone like bits of the sky mingled with the stars reflected in a summer pool. His father and mother, the First-Born, the created of God, named him Ëlwëth. Four more children were born to his parents, each dissimilar to him. First were born twins, a boy and a girl, who were very much alike. Their skin was pale and their hair was white; their eyes so light a gray that they seemed to contain but wisps of cloud. They grew taller then Ëlwëth very quickly. Then wonder of wonders, there was born a boy so dark that he gleamed in the firelight. His skin was black, like polished stone, and his eyes and hair gleamed with the same metallic luster. Then was born another boy, with skin colored like hardy mahogany. His red hair was a marvel to his darker and lighter brothers and sister alike, and his eyes of brown matched his skin in beauty and color. Finally, when Ëlwëth was six, there was another set of twins born to his mother. The first to come was a little girl, golden haired and blue eyed. She seemed to glow with an inner light of the sun. After her came another girl, as dark as her older brother who was so black. The contrasting twins was a source of delight to them all, but Ëlwëth clave closest to Ëniuël.
When Ëniuël turned twenty, she wed Ëlwëth. By that time seven others had been born, each with characteristics and temperaments dissimilar to all the others but one. Each in their turn they wed, each to that one most like him, as God had intended in their creation.
In the forty-second year of the world the Lord Creator called all the mortals before Him, and spoke to them. He declared that He had chosen their attributes for each of them individually, and that He had a plan for each family. He reminded them of what they had been told by their parents about what He had commanded them in their creation: that the mortals were to rule and reign over Ithelak as His stewards. They were to command and to order it in its growth and development, and to fill it. He told them that to this end He would give each family a blessing, apart from the others, to aid them in their role. These blessings were not to be used to destroy or work against His plan, but were to be used as they were to use their hands in His service to His glory. To each family He gave a special language to be used to keep their family unified and distinct from the others. To each family He gave a unique jurisdiction and a name as well. The family of Ëlwëth He called Elves, and gave to his family the jurisdiction of light and knowledge. This was prophetic of the fact that the Elves would be the only tribe to maintain a remnant who had faith in Him throughout the ages.
This gift enabled them to command light to appear and to disappear, to make it change hue and direction, to absorb and release it, and even to weave it out of the air into a fibrous like material that was light as well as strong, and which retained the hue of the light it was spun from. They learned through time to weave beautiful garments for court or war from this material, and also to crystallize swords and weapons. But they excelled most in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, and were the first to use a writing system for their language.
But Digaleig, the last boy born of the mortals, whose family had been given the name Dragon, envied the Elves their gift. He was not content with the jurisdiction alloted to him, which was that of heat and flame. And he sought to take the power of the Elves, and in revenge for being refused he stole Ëniuël from Ëlwëth, in hopes of marrying her and bringing the power of the Elves into his line. There was a great battle between him and Ëlwëth, and in desperation and anger, Digaleig slew Ëniuël. For his acts he was banished from the circle and counsel of the First Lords, and he fled with his wife to the mountains, where he brought up his people in hatred.
Later that year, there was another birth. A little girl, similar to Ëniuël in looks, but milder in spirit. She grew up, and Ëlwëth wed her on her twentieth birthday. So it was that God mended the wrong done by Digaleig, but not wholly. For later Digaleig subverted the tribes of Dwarves and Men to side with him in a great rebellion, which laid the world waste. They ruled with destruction for 764 years, until the First War of Liberty began. At the end of the war, when all but fourteen of those faithful to God were slain, they escaped in a boat from a cataclysmic flood that destroyed all of the face of Ithelak. After the Deluge, in 1466, the seven tribes began anew on a changed world.
That is the history of the Elvish creation, and now I will describe themselves more particularly. In appearance they are beautiful and well proportioned, obviously very naturally suited to activity. They have deep golden hair, and a complexion not white, but lightly tanned like to the color of a gem. They are lighter in frame than the Men, Dragons, and Dwarves, shorter than the Sylphs, and taller than both the Naiads and the Sylvans. Their eyes are a deep blue, and turn golden with age. They are very keen of sight, being able to see in almost complete darkness and to a very great distance in good sun. This sight extends itself in many cases to a sort of Second Sight that shows them at times, unbidden, visions of things future, present, and past that they had not seen or heard of with their mortal senses. They are nimble with their hands, and prefer to fight in closed distances and on the ground. They are very skilled in this form of combat, and can disarm and eliminate opponents much bigger and stronger than they themselves are, even when armed sometimes. But their great triumph is literature, for they wrote most of the histories of the ages, and have books written on almost any scientific or artistic field.
These attributes are not to be construed to be applicable to all of those who have Elvish blood in them. For in the Second and Third Age the tribes mingled with each other, and so there are many of those class which the common tongue refers to as Mingles: mortals who have the blood of two tribes in them. And during the Great War there were even many of those called Crans: mortals who have more than two tribes mingled in them. After the war and into the Third Age these last became more common, so that they were more numerous than the Mingles and Lords of the tribes. In these mixed peoples, the blessings of God became diluted, and even erased in most Crans. But the attributes which seemed to be retained above others in those mingles who had Elvish blood in them was the keenness of physical and Second Sight, and the quickness of wit and knowledge.
After and during the Great War the tribe of the Elves became separated into various parts of the world, and so each in time developed their own culture. Those of Ülva became secretive, ritualistic, and mystical. Those of Tskarnor became more warlike and inclined to political intrigue. There were very few Elf-Lords in Tskarnor in the middle of the Third Age, most of the leaders of the nation were Dragon-masters, or Fire-elves: mingles of Dragon and Elf. This was the Xzantarian line, which was usurped by the Wood-elvish Cylorians. But even after the rise of the Cylorians the culture of the Xzantarian reign maintained its foothold. Directly after the Great War God led a certain family of Elf-Lords to travel to Minor, across the sea. They reconquered the land they had owned before the war and set up a great kingdom there. But there was perversion of the leaders and the nation split into northern and southern parts, while the last of the True-elves set up a small colony in a forest in Northern Minor. The Minorian Elves (although mingled with Naiads) traded around the globe, and became rich. Until the Fourth Age.
The history of the Elves has become almost a history of Ithelak, but that is because Elves play such an important role in it. During the Fourth Age they were almost wiped out, and there were very few Elf-lords left. At the end of the Iron Empire and the start of the Fifth Age they began to try to pick up the pieces, but fell into mere tradition, and did not accept the truth of the Elvish Creed. That was when the Lord God came down as an Elvish Cran to teach all mortals redemption.
Filed under: Imaginative | Tagged: Elves, History, Ithelak, Reading, Tribes, Writing | 6 Comments »