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Three Paths

This is a fragment of a somewhat antiquated Syulvan charge upon young adults in the community

Three paths, three choices, three identities.

Find justice; find wealth; find healing.

Serve many; Serve self; Serve all.

The warrior hunts justice with the edge of the axe;
The thief grasps riches by the hilts of the blade;
The sister calls healing from the sky and the glade.


What follows is a fragment of the Lay of Alenvar

The Towers will protect us;
Were they not built on the paths of the Powers?
Here in Vanasol, Galor once stood,
Calling forth the sea to drown the cold.
There, by the towers twin,
Cirda once declared her will,
Defending that ford from evil.
Thither, upon the crest of Barethsol,
The Green-axe forbade the frost.
They will guard our lands.
Turn east, Alenvar, and tame the Dwarf-Peaks.

-Marglir, speaking to the Assembly.

Elves and Men

[This text shall give an overview of the relations of Elves and Men and show (rather than really explain) how their emnity started and grew. It is one of many books to include into the Guild of Arts library, to provide a history for the game in order to make the world more realistic. Of course it is also a guide to be used when designing npc's, although unique people often differ much from the avarege described here.] Most of the Elves now live in the South, at havens along the coast and the great rivers, and in the deep forests. Some of them live in big houses of stone, build by dwarfish craftsmen, others beneath the open sky at the side of the beasts that roam the wide lands. But each of them has a deep love for the countryside and many make long wanderings during all seasons. The Wise remember the times when they were spread far across the land: from the North, where the summers are short and great white bears live, to the mountains far East, home to many Dwarves that were friendly towards Elves and did much trade among them. Great things were achieved in this times and there was great lore of all kind of arts. 'Tis said, that a shadow fell upon them and there was war and great mischief. In those dark years, much was lost and only few remained untouched by the evil. `Too gread had their might been then', said the Wise, `too tempting for but the strongest to resist and much shame came of their deeds.' Thus ended the Age of Wonders and the few remaining Elves were scattered throughout the wilderness, where little of their once vast knowledge survived their aimless wanderings. 'Tis the time when the first Men came across the mountains, to take possession of the now unoccupied lands. Their share in the events ending the previous age is not known, and among them are no records of that time. Those first men and women were primitive and full of fear, for they worshipped cruel gods and had little knowledge of the surrounding nature. They dwelt in the ruins of the great elvish cities, exposed to wind and weather and soon the Elves felt pity for them, for their live was short and many diseases raged among them. Maybe it was the debt laid upon Elves in the years of the shadow, that let them share their knowledge so freely, and many of the noble folk walked among Men and tought them much of what they remembered and what seemed useful for those primitive people. First they were delighted to see the progress the humans made, and there was much empty land for their spreading settlements. But the new peace did not last long, for many Men envied the strength and wisdom the Elves still had, and their merry way of living. They began to distrust the old folk and their leaders proclaimed the Elves would keep much of their knowledge hidden and were ill-willed towards Men, for they did not wish to share their long live with any other mortal. No good came of that, and the Elves refused to give further advice and were not longer welcome in but few humans homes, and when they came they came in silence and kept their visits secret. But still the dark times were well remembered and they would not wage war on Men; instead they moved on and left the humans to their own buissiness. Again there was peace, but the Humans number and science increased, whereas the Elves in their exile barely remained their art. For long centuries much remained unchanged: Men took more of the land, and Elves retreated from their expanding dwellings. Some of them wnadered south until they reached the sea, and when they could go no further, they stayed and build cities of their own. Others walked wherever their fate lead them and among those Woodelves were many bards and poets, but also hunters and warriors of great skill. For many years they kept Men from entering their realm, but the prize they paid was high and nearly all was lost, for humans came like an illness upon them and every living thing. Even though the elvish lore of curing dieseases of body and mind was still great, the mighty spells that brought so much pain of old and could save them now were forgotten. But in this time of need, some of the lesser spells were finally rediscovered and there was much battle and war. 'Twas a dark chapter, full of hatred and betrayal and is accounted for in song and tale other than this. For great were the deeds of either side and of it came the world as we stride upon today: where Elf and Man lives in peace, each in his own fashion but with respect of the other. [This `book' was written about 200 years ago, were there was indeed peace between both races, since humans could not overcome the elvish magic and reason suggested that the only way was to live side by side. Even today, most cities have a mixed population and in most of them, elves are the minority. And as the power of humans increases, the more a threat are they to the remaining elves, and now, only a few years (if at all) lie before another war that would be the end of the elvish race. Thus they are facing the same fate as the Ancients and without access to the knowledge stored in the Guild of Arts on Adonthell, their doom is extinction.]

Bruin's Diary

[These are the translations of one of the Ancients scrolls, found by Tanath in the ruins on Adonthell. It is the remains of the diary of a mage called Bruin, and the most important text for the player, since it tells (among other things) about the storms. Much of it is unreadable or lost, so not everything will make sense to the player. But most mysteries will be revealed, when the player meets the people, Bruin wrote about. I will give a detailed explanation after the text.] ... months. The people are divided into two camps. Not a few have lost the will to survive as it seems to me. They are engrossed in their prayers and await their death, and the Cenobiarch is with them. Alianne is organizing the defences, and we aid her as good as we can. Would only her father be on our side! Nobody dares to speak it out loud, but there would be less despair and resignation, would he command the soldiers. My heart [...] I see the great man in this mood. Even Alianne can`t ... ... and Ilahnd have returned. The men`s deaths would be a great loss in better times, but now, with every killing, our defeat comes closer. What they have learned gives a little hope, though. There are less enemies than expected. I guess, they can`t bring over many ships when the sea is like this. I miss the sea. I see it in my dreams sometimes ... ... asked me for the transformation. He said, he would be empty anyway. I fear, Alianne will not like it. Bahlen was always a good soldier, and I wonder how well the others are, when he shows [...] but I can`t turn him away, can I? It makes me think of the Cenobiarchs ignorance. I don`t want to end like this.

11. Meargrod Against Aliannes wish, Bahlen has chosen his doom. I can`t blame him for his decision. Another Khou'zan is worth a dozend men at least, but Alianne thinks it would be bad for the soldiers morale. I won`t break the word I have given Bahlen. In his current state he would be of no more use then her father, wether she likes it or not. The ... ...came to speak me afterwards. I can see that even she is desperate, but I admire her strength and courage. If only I knew a way to aid her. She said nothing about Bahlen though, but I still feel guilty. How shall we stand against the enemy, when we work against each other? If only the Cenobiarch would change his mind. I have to ... ...with Madras. The boy learns fast, but my heart is not as happy as it would have been in Ghalian, before the war. Had he been my student then, I would have made a great mage of him. But all he will learn now, is how to kill people. Should we survive somehow, then I shall show him all the beautiful things he misses. Alas! I have little hope that such will happen. Alianne has talked to her father, as I have asked her, but he has made up his mind. I can`t believe, that the great Cenobiarch is such a fool.

13. Meargrod Last night I dreamed of the sea again. Not the pleasent sea of Ghalian, but a dark and rough sea, that threatend to swallow our ship into its cold depths. It was frightning, since it depicts our current situation all too well. It gave me an idea though. The others were not happy about it, but Aliannes eyes were full of fire again. Finally, Zemyle and Peliad agreed to help. Even Madras may be of some use. All we have to do now .... ...plan is made. Ahlgund has drawn maps of the enemies stronghold, but we have to wait for Ihland, who is on duty at the tunnels and [...] he remembers. The soldiers are merrier then everybody else. I think they already sense victory. At least, they will follow Alianne and won`t listen to the Cenobiarchs words. I hope Zemyle and Peliad will do the same. Otherwise ...

[Of the Ancients: They are rather religous people and mainly peaceful. Their leader, highest priest and god is the Cenobiarch. His word is law, but the current Cenobiarch is patient and even more peaceloving then the average Ancient. An exception are the wizards (men and women), who have too much power of their own, to be much concerned about their leaders commands. Most soldiers are also the opposite of the typical Ancient, since they are keen on fighting and have little to do with religion, although the Cenobiarch is their rightful commander.

Of the diary: Its writer is BRUIN, an elderly mage who stays at the temple with his collegues PELIAD and ZEMYLE and the apprentice MADRAS. ALIANNE is the Cenobiarchs daughter, his youngest and last surviving child. She tries to withstand the Elves until the end, whereas her father has resignated and tells his people to be ready for death. She has taken lead over the soldiers, but is distrusted by other Ancients, who still follow the Cenobiarch. Only the wizards offer her their help. AHLGUND and ILAHND are the survivers of a group of scouts, who had been sent to gather information about the Elves and their fortress on the other side of the mountains. Since there is no way over the top, long ago, tunnels have been digged to reach the fertile land on the western side. Now, those are held against the elvish warriors. BAHLEN is second commander of the soldiers (after Alianne), but he has lost his hope and gets transformed into a Khou'zan, a Soulless Knight. He grows stronger and becomes resistent to many spells, but loses vital parts of his mind, wich makes him less than animal. A Khou'zan is not self-aware, can`t communicate and all his thoughts concern the art of battle, in which he gains great skill. Bahlen thinks, that his great fear and despair vanish when made to such a creature. (Btw. The thing in the dwarfish mines is nothing other than a Khou'zan.)

Of the war between Elves and Ancients: I guess, its not really important to give detailed explanations, but some players might wish to know a bit more about it, since nearly half the game takes place during its final months. The main cause were elvish magicians, who had overthrown their government to rule instead; just your everyday civil war. Since the few uncorrupted wizards were of little help, the elvish guerillias sought aid from the Ancients, who also had great magic power. In the end, it was Ancients against elvish usurpers, but no one was spared. With great losses, the evil mages hunted down every Ancient they could find, being drunk with power and mad with the thought of ruling the world. (You can think of that conflict as a nuclear war, except that it was fought with powerful magic instead of H-Bombs.) In the end, they succeeded over the Ancients, but became too weak to resist against the remaining good elves. But then, the Ancients were no more, and the few surviving elves were set back to the stone-age.]