History of Elvendeep
- 1 Ancient History of Elvendeep
- 2 Recent History of Elvendeep
Ancient History of Elvendeep
Deepish elves are one of the oldest and longest lived races in Siveth. Their collective memory spans millennia with a few ancient texts preserved from hundreds of thousands of years ago. Ancient history is spoken of as legend, but many of the events in fact happened.
The First City
The oldest preserved texts account histories dating back to 200,000BT (Before Tagrana). They mention the Soranion Forest as the cradle of elvish civilization. The first elvish kingdom’s name is lost, but its center is called the First City--the ruins of which can still be found in Elvendeep. Early cultural developments in music, bronzework, and architecture led to a flourishing elven society. Contemporary Deepish elves posthumously call the people who inhabited the First City the Malchuri, after the river along which the ancient kingdom existed. Elves that lived outside the first kingdom retained tribal lifestyles.
By around 100,000 BT, groups of elves began spreading across Siveth. They settled in forested areas such as in the Great Woods, Keulenestra, the Symaru in what is now Lonrath, the Elgar Forest, Song Deep, the Rainbow Elves in what is now Elluria, and the Red Forest on the Isles of Myst. One group of elves created a subterranean civilization within the Korthos Mountains, in what is now Zul Kiras, and are the ancestors of the Vuulari, Bahr, and Gulanadur dark elves. Some history of the cities and kingdoms of elves formed outside of the Soranion Forest has vanished.
Giants and Dragons
Primordial Giants and Ancient Dragons are considered legends, but they existed alongside the early elves. The Primordial Giants lived across Veth, and elvish lore says the current mountain ranges are in fact their burial grounds. Elves shared cultural practices such as writing with the giants. Conflicts between the elder races of giants and dragons caused them both to experience severe population declines. Primordial Giants became extinct by 100,000 BT, though a few races can trace their ancestry to them. Only one Ancient Dragon named Arpharizaud still lives in Zul Kiras.
Conflict with Dark Elves
Sometime between 20,000 to 10,000 BT, Vuulari dark elves turned their vengeful gaze to the cradle of elven civilization after being kicked out of the subterranean Korthos cities. The First City was abandoned due to the destruction though the Vuulari were beaten, and another exodus of elves occurred to farther flung regions of Siveth. The Wild Elves remained in the surrounding Soranion Forest.
Around the same time, magical cataclysms caused the Symari elves in what is now Lonrath to make a long trek back on foot to the Soranion.
Recent History of Elvendeep
Elvendeep’s recent history is marked by the nation's foundation and multiple wars with the united orcish clans of Zul Kiras..
Founding of Elvendeep
Another magical cataclysm happened between 8,000 to 5,000 BT that effected the elves that settled in the Elgar Forest. One group formed Mazewood that’s still in the forest. Another group called the Yilcari ventured back to the Soranion.
A growing philosophy related to the magical cataclysms emerged called The Cirdelaene. It proposed that all elves return to the cradle of their first civilization and form a new nation made of all the diverse elven peoples. More elves return to the Soranion, but many refuse to accept the philosophy.
The elves that do conglomerate within the vast Soranion created the confederacy of Elvendeep in 5,000BT. Most of the elves involved were the Yilcari, the Rainbow Elves, and the Symari. Elfspire was built over the ruins of the First City. The new nation is a monarchy, with the King or Queen elected by the nobility from each group of elves--now called the High Elves--that formed the confederacy. The Elite Guard was originally created to protect the monarch but later became Elvendeep’s policing force. Wild Elves remained outside of civilization, but the Order Emissariat was formed as an attempt to bridge relationships between them and the Common and High Elves. Deepish society experienced millennia of relative peace.
1,000 BT to the Founding of Tagrana
In the early 700s BT, a large number of refugees flee from west as rint-riding nomads conquer Mingit and Igmerind civilizations. The Igerminds were traditional allies of Elvendeep and were welcomed for a time before they moved on to establish the Kingdom of Beren to the north. The remnant of this event, and of the later acceptance of Berenite refugees, puts an element of human blood in the Deepish Common Elves and continues a long tradition of tolerance.
Elvendeep’s custom is to banish criminals, and a great number of malcontents were sent to the northern side of the Skull Teeth Mountains. A small handful survive the crossing of the treacherous desert and the mountain passes and settle into the Nymrya Vale, founding the tiny and little known elven principality of Nymrya (652 BT). After a fierce war with their exilers, the principality dissipates around 400BT with some elves moving south to become bandits known as the Nimm in the Caern plains--which will eventually become Outer Arangoth.
Orcs to the north align with the last living Ancient Dragon named Arpharizaud. What became known as the Firestorm clan were taught dark magic by the dragon, and they terrorized populations within Beren, Elvendeep, and the Keulenestra Forest.
First Zul Kiran War
Throughout the 100s AT, the orcs of the new United Clans of Zul Kiras destroyed many kingdoms and city-states in what would become the largest golbinoid nation on Siveth. The Kingdom of Beren was the first to be destroyed, and the Igmerinds returned as refugees to Elvendeep.
In 138, Zul Kiras assaults the Great Woods and drives elves back into Elvendeep proper which causes crowding. The provinces are in disarray as they try to find room for the newcomers. The Cirdelaene philosophy is seen as nearing its penultimate conclusion.
Tensions culminated as the First Zul Kiran war from 140-159 AT when orcs reached within 20 miles of Elfspire. The province of Mistwood is annexed by the orcs. The Elven Queen, Allamystrea is slain along with the royal family. Elvendeep is thrown into chaos without any strong candidates to both take the Crown and avoid civil war.
Second Zul Kiran War
A temporary Governor was chosen to fill the role as leader in what’s considered a regency government that has lasted centuries. None within the High Elven nobility attempt to take the throne for themselves.
Mistwood became a battleground as it was reclaimed by Elvendeep in 194 AT through effective guerrilla fighting, but in 212 the province was retaken by the orcs.
Elsewhere, the plains of Caern are given to Arangoth since Elvendeep had abandoned its claim to the desolate territory and let it be overtaken by bandits. An indemnity is paid by Arangoth, which smoothed over relations between the two nations. The area was renamed Outer Arangoth by the Order of the Beady Eye in 305 AT.
The Second Zul Kiran War starts in 316 and ends in 333 AT. Elven victories on the battlefield do not spur unity on the Council floor. The Great Woods was annexed and reclaimed by Elvendeep. Imperialist Councilors appointed a Deepish Margrave to lead the forest and the orcish city of Kadran which is renamed Thunderwood.
Third Zul Kiran War
The new Deepish governor, Sidastrial Frostfall, opposed the re-annexation of the Great Woods, however. He and his supporters staunchly believed in The Cirdelaene philosophy, and a strong centralist and isolationist agenda was put forward by them. Outer provinces were stripped of towns and manors, and wild Sorani elves are given the territory as their own. Spiri elves, which was combined of all the divisions of elves into a whole, moved to the inner portion of the country with the sole remaining city Elfspire at its center. Modern Deepish military and warfare were formalized, which included the Four Columns, mandatory military service, and government control of the economy. Deepish culture became homogeneous at a rapid pace given the centralization around Elfspire.
Mystonian elves joined the Deepish confederacy due to a war with human on the Isles of Myst in 341 AT. Elvish refugees found homes within Elvendeep, and ties remained strong with those left on the isles.
The Third Zul Kiran War resulted in the death of the Deepish Margrave, the return of the Great Woods to orcish control, and the confirmation of Elvendeep’s isolationism. Sidastrial’s approach to war proved successful at keeping the orcs out of the inner provinces, and any notions of reclaiming provinces lost to orcish invaders were abandoned.
Fourth Zul Kiran War
The Fourth Zul Kiran War was more of a stalemate between two immovable forces. Both countries were weakened and left for the worse over the battles that lasted from 441 to 459 AT. Fears of yet another war were an important motivation of political decisions going forward.
During the last few years of war, the High Elves choose a liberal governor named Arton Mistwood in the hopes that it would change their fortunes. Arton is married to a human, and his neice Laerdra is a half-dark elf. Both Arton and his wife--the Arangothian griffon-rider Sora Mistwood--are considered war heroes, but that was not enough to prevent his assassination by conservative High Elves.
The First Deepish Civil War
Despite Governor Mistwood being assassinated over his liberal policies, enough High Elves still wanted progressive change. Topaz Silverbow, a former denizen of Drache and officer of its guard, became governor based on a more radically liberal platform. His first policy was to settle reformed dark elf refugees in Elvendeep, which caused backlash and controversy.
The First Deepish Civil War broke out in 470 AT when several generals attempted to secede from the nation. Peace was only negotiated so Elvendeep could participate in the International Grubball Championships that same year.
The Second Deepish Civil War
The International Grubball Championships did not cause a sustainable peace. since Governor Silverbow was keen on making policy decisions that angered the population. Issues with the dark elf refugees were unresolved, and Elvendeep was turned into a protectorate of Arangoth in 471 AT. Arangoth’s then King Arlok governed the area with a light hand, and in return gave a pledge to give Elvendeep full military support should the orcs invade again. The decision still caused harsh divisions within the Councils and among the commoners.
Fighting ensued and lasted for months. Elves from abroad returned home to fight. King Arlok was persuaded not to intervene. Governor Silverbow’s side was victories, but he nonetheless resigned. Dark elves were--and still are--blamed for fomenting the divisions and strife for their own ends.
The governor elected in 472 AT quietly swept many of Silverbow’s reforms and policies under the rug. Dark elves were once again forbidden from entering the Soranion.
A Sovereign Nation Once Again
The Arangothian Civil War led to the defeat of the northern rule of Leptatarna in 487 AT. Among the changes caused by this civil war was the reinstatement of Elvendeep as a sovereign nation.