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About Fid

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    Once Forgiven, Twice Deposed
  • Birthday 01/01/1995

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  • Character Name
    Prince Belestram Sylvaeri

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  1. Prince Emeritus Belestram nods to Dwalin, puffing contentedly on his pipe and enjoying the fruits of a long life well-lived. “They should extradite me, old friend- I’m so good at bingo, it’s criminal.”
  2. -={=+=}=- The Wronged: Lodbairn Emberhorn and the Clan Goldhand The Assailant: The Hooved Beast of the Forest The Wrong: The Ignominious Death of Durlak Goldhand Terms of Settlement: The Destruction of the Beast, and the annihilation of its Den. -={=+=}=-
  3. Belestram stumbles upon the writings in his search for tales of his grandfather, and is captivated.
  4. “A good dwarf, and a sturdy ally to Aegrothond in all ways. We shall raise a cup of giselin to this one,” says Belestram and bows his head in respect. “May his beard grow ever longer.”
  5. The Seaglass Marvels of Aegrothond Greater and Lesser Renarias Many distinct cultures upon the Continent maintain traditions of craft which exist solely for the purposes of aesthetic beauty, and the realms of Aegrothond are no exception. While the crafty among the Houses of the Elder Blood may be known primarily for their skill with the smith’s hammer, and in the realms of metallurgy and gemcraft, the greater collective has developed an art which is far less utilitarian in nature, and pleases the eye with its colourful fashions. This art is known as the Mode of Renarion, or renarias in common parlance, after the elf who first promoted its use and caused it to become a mainstay in the cultural fabric of the Elves who dwelt in Aegrothond. In those early days, the seafaring Houses came into common contact with the vibrant stones made smooth by the rolling of the interminable Sea- and it was not long before the aforementioned master of stonecraft began to fit them into various craftworks of his own hand. The decoration of weaponry and other personal effects came first- but ere long it became common for the Households of Aegrothond to inlay their door-frames with intricate designs of seastone and shells which told tales of the Great Sea and the deeds of their forebears. It would be many years before these miniature artworks began to spread into the realm of what a modern observer would consider a “true” mosaic, and due to the difficulty of transportation very few have survived from those elder days. The first among them were placed around oblique menhir, standing-stones which lend themselves poorly to ship travel. In more modern days, the larger mosaics are generally placed upon a flat surface and framed with traditional stonework and carving. Lesser Renarias- The Art of a Seaward People Despite their somewhat diminishing name, “Lesser Renarias” are far more diverse than their “Greater” cousin, and a far larger body of the former exist in the modern time due to their smaller size. In most simple terms, the phrase refers to the practice of fitting small seastones into designs upon weapons, jewelry, furniture, door-frames, and standing structures of importance. Sometimes, these designs are as simple as three stones in a line- but the more extensive among them tend to depict stories and moral fables derived from history. The practice of door-frame renarias are particularly common, with most family homes possessing these stony artworks across and around their central portals- it is believed that such a practice was originally intended to ward off evil sea-borne spirits, but in modern days it is more directly a representation of familial pride. Though the process of creating such designs is varied, the basic methods centrally involve an adhesive agent derived from beeswax. This agent is applied to the carved sockets of the stones, alongside a powder of seashells- together, these components ensure that the stones will not come loose in time. Of course, inlays which need to withstand greater torsion forces and wear will commonly instead be applied with smithing techniques- a fine example of this is the sword-hilts crafted in the Forges of Aegrothond, which are usually inlaid with crimson and golden stones. A common decoration employing renarias in modern days is the depiction of spirits of the ocean, who are myriad and go by many names. These minor deities, and others of a similar nature, are atimes conflated into the realm of the Sealord, who is a near-defunct religious staple of the Almenodrim. An elf-like god, he wields a mighty trident capable of calling down thunder and a driftwood crown which allows him to control the Sea itself. While his religion has been lost to time in large part, his influence remains. Greater Renarias- The Mosaics of Aegrothond By far the most famous and acclaimed version of the renarias tradition are the vast mosaics compiled by the citizens of Aegrothond in order to depict the great events and historical deeds accomplished by those that dwell within the bounds of the realm of the Free Elves. Without exception these marvels take several months to complete, and as a result they hold a very special place in the society of the free Principality- and most Elves of Aegrothond who have any skill with craftwork tend to attempt at least one in their lifetime. Some grand examples at the current capital, Caras Sylvadrim, are as follows: Edrahil and the Dragon Depicting the epic combat of Edrahil against the Dragon Ankar, who preyed on the Folk of the Mountains and the Wood in Aegnor’s day. This mosaic was created by Lord Cullas Sylvaeri, inspired by the then-recently discovered third part of the Lay of Aegrothond. It employs red granite stones along with some sandstone and silica fragments, which create the illusion of flame from the dragon’s maw. It is located in the library of Maehr’evar. Illynora Sylvaeri Depicting the legendary healing abilities of the first Princess of Aegrothond in the modern day, Lady Illynora Sylvaeri. The mosaic was also created by Lord Cullas Sylvaeri, to honour the passing of the great healer and to ensure her likeness would inspire others to continue along her path. It is crafted from petty-jade stones and malachite, as well as shale. It is located in the Houses of Healing, in Aegrothond. Sylvaen the Everflame Depicting the forefather of the House Sylvaeri and the first leader of the Almenodrim, who is featured prominently in the beginning chapters of the Lay of Aegrothond. This mosaic was created by Prince Belestram Sylvaeri in the early days of Arcas, but lost until Cullas performed a curation of all of the mosaics and restored it. It is crafted of granite, sandstone, obsidian, gold and red silica, and is located in the upper portions of Aegrothond which are often shut to travelers. A Mural of Kaer’s Fleet Depicting the seafaring ships of Kaer, forefather of the Kaeronin House and descendant of Aearon who was a son of Malin. The mosaic was created by Feanor Kaeronin to honour the ancestor and to try his hand at the creation of one of these marvels, at which he of course succeeded. It is made of various stones, primarily chert and shale, and is located near the upper portions of Aegrothond. Hamatsa, Spirit of Mercy Depicting the mani-god Hamatsa, which is highly regarded among the Almenodrim and considered a guardian of sailors and shipwrights. The mosaic was created by Illynora Sylvaeri, when Aegrothond was first settled, and was wrought of blue seaglass and basalt fragments. It is located outside the citadel, in a small eastward-facing crevasse. The Battle of the Gorge Depicting three comrades in defense of Aegrothond- Cullas, Azdal, and Jorvin- in their fight against a demonic tiger. This mosaic depicts a rather recent event, which occurred in Arcas during the early reign of Feanor I Flameborne. Crafted by Cullas Sylvaeri, it is located near the storehouses, behind the Inn. [To Be Added To]
  6. Belestram is seated above the bay of Aegrothond when the news of Elvira’s death reaches his ears, and for a long time he remains silent- his slender ironwood fingers tapping upon the carved armrest of his high seat. His grey eyes watch the white-capped swells in the Bight. and an odd expression stirs within them. Then, turning to his grandson Finwe, he says quietly: “Tell me, child... what do you know of the Ascended Order?”
  7. A book sits on a pedestal in the library of Aegrothond, the home of the Lorekeeper Maehr’evar. It is emblazoned with the devices of Almenor, the seven stars of the Mariner and the Crown of Malin in silver inlay. One would note upon opening the tome that most of the pages remain blank, save for the very first few- evidently this is to be a work in progress, so that one might read the entire history of Aegrothond at some far date in the future. The pages read as follows: A Chronicle of Almenor, 1753 As Recorded by Belestram Sylvaeri, Prince Emeritus A Breath of Life, and Fair Skies upon the Horizon For many years the Crown and its representatives have remained silent in our isolated citadel of Almenor, for we are not a people easily inspired to advertise our presence, nor to seek glory in word rather than deed. Amid a tumultuous world prone to bouts of ceaseless conflict, it is often preferable to recede to quietude- especially for a dwelling-place which concerns itself primarily with the preservation of the history and moral integrity of Elvenesse. But it is a foolish thing, to look behind and not ahead- for the future grows closer with each passing sunset, and the forges and shipyards of the Almenodrim are never truly quiet. They labour, the smiths and Oathblades, sailors and shipwrights, so that Aegrothond is not consigned to the ignominious pages of perished history as many, even today, believe it has been. Our future is as bright as the crimson sunrise, and the secret fire which burns at the heart of our city is not so easily extinguished. It is therefore the desire of the House of Sylvaen to initiate a chronicle of history for the Isles, so that posterity may read them and know that the hands of the Almenodrim were not idle, but rather toiled and built a greater land for their heirs. It shall honour the labourers, the knights, and the Lords who make this citadel our home, and work every day to make it a better place. Those who have kept faith with the Sea Prince and the House of Sylvaen will be honoured greatly by future generations, for they have stood beside the Realm in a dark and unsteady time. From the ember you have held close to your heart, a great inferno shall be ignited- from the sacrifices you have made, of blood and sweat, you shall reap a thousand times the reward. The forges are lit. The fires are burning. Thusly speaks the Crown. Aegrothond Prevails. The Flame of Silma is Lit The Keeper of House Silma, which stems from the great Elvish hero Siol, has taken up his duties again in full- he has caused the beacon of Silma to be lit in Aegrothond once more. The Flame of Malin, as the House terms it, is a symbolic representation of their devotion to the King of All Elvenesse; a mark that the home in which it burns is a harbour for all Elves who wish to warm themselves by its light. They have taken residence near the Oathblade barracks, and intend to transform the old building into a Hearth and home for all Silma and wandering Elves. The Elder House, which was the second such House to join the great citadel of Aegrothond, is highly regarded among the citizens of the Isles of Almenor. Despite great odds and no small amount of danger to their own wellbeing, the family and its leadership joined the fight against the Usurper King from the Atlasian island. For this reason, they are given the rank of Great House in perpetuity and honoured with the title of Lord Keeper. Citizens of Aegrothond (and indeed all Elves of any nation) are encouraged to seek out the young Haust Silma, or the elder Elros Silma, for more information about the venerable and legendary House. It is understood that this is to be the beginning of a new era in the history of their family, one which has lain dormant for some years. Old Roots Give Rise to a New Vintage A new vineyard has been established upon the western horn of the bay, behind the great statue of Eleron Stormheart, and planted with a special batch of seeds from the forests of Old Malinor. Carried and preserved through the lands by members of the House Sylvaeri, they are believed to have been acquired from the vineyards of the Telrunya Family- a famous wine indeed. The Crown and its representatives now seek a capable and practiced winemaker to take up the formidable task of growing these vines to harvest and fermenting its fruit. The seeds were planted by Feanor Kaeronin, and the ground was blessed by the famous Druid Gi’garun, otherwise known as Brother Pine. The Druid was heard to say that he looked forward to tasting even a small part of home, and the sentiment is shared even by many Elves who never saw the trees of Malinor. An Order of Elves Among Men Reports have reached Aegrothond of a group of exiles and city-elves dwelling in the Orenian Capital of Helena. While information is fairly scarce, it is understood that the group claims to have a Malinic creed which does not conflict with the Tenets of Aegrothond, but the truth of this matter remains to be seen as only two Elves of this organization have found their way to our shores. The Seed Elverhilin is known to play a part in the leadership of the Order.
  8. The Oathblades The Honour Guard of Aegrothond = A Brief History = The earliest definitive historical record of the Oathblades occurs in the last years of Eleron Sylvaeri, during the decay and dissolution of the venerable Princedom of Malinor. Led by the late Prince’s brother, Cyndaer, the last vestiges of the Lumidrim formed a small battalion in the interest of defending the Crown from the Conclave of Malin- a militarist cult under Darius Denurem and Kalameet Izalith. The company was therefore the first contemporary knightly order established in the Almenodrin tradition. It did not survive the Atheran schisms or Haelun’orian rule, and came to an ignominious end when Eleron was burned at the stake circa 1450. Both Cyndaer’s efforts and the modern Oathblade comradery were primarily based on the mythic Company of Edrahil, whose legendary exploits are told in the Lay of Aegrothond; in it, the legendary Lord gathers a host of Almenorean Elves to his banner and goes forth to slay a dragon. These knights, bearing the red pennants of Prince Aegnor and old Aegrothond, were gathered from Edrahil’s inner circle of friends and relations. Clad in rich armour, and girt around with enchantments and powerful natural magic, their exploits are known to most Almenodrin children. In simplest terms, therefore, the Oathblades are ennobled Elves who act as guards and companions for the Lords of the Almenodrim. Some through service become Lords themselves, while others take up positions of great honour in the governance of Aegrothond- in any case, they are held in high esteem by the Elves of the Isles. It is somewhat accurate to compare them to Mannish knights. It follows, therefore, that the Oathblades are not joined out-of-hand; unlike the militaries of other Elven nations, the Company does not endeavor to grow large in number by accepting copious amounts of raw recruits. More worth and interest is placed in the development of individual Oathblades than in the accession of new ones. Correspondingly, each individual possesses weaponry and training not held by most Elvish soldiers- of which more later. = Accession and Oathing = To become an Oathblade, one must understand the creed and tenets of Aegrothond as well as the history of Elvendom from the days of Malin to the present time. One must be able to ride on horseback and sail, as well as be proficient in the use of the spear and sword. The Oathblades fight monsters as often as they fight Descendants, and they must be prepared for these battles through knowledge of specialized techniques and equipment. The first step towards accession into the Oathblades is by locating one, for only by obtaining the nomination of an Oathblade can one be inducted into the order. Once such a bond is formed, the Elf is given the rank of Aspirant and accompanies the Oathblades in all that they do. Tasks and matters to attend are given out, and an Aspirant’s performance in these will decide how swiftly they are Oathed. Unlike many military organizations, the Oathblades consist of only two ranks- once an Aspirant is deemed worthy by the circle of existing knights, he or she is brought before the collective to speak in favour of their candidacy for accession. If the applicant is accepted, the Oathing process from which the order takes its name can begin. There is a great amount of secrecy surrounding the actual knighting of Oathblades, due to the small and insular nature of the organization. Blood plays a part, as does the eponymous Oath, which is sworn to Aegrothond and the Crown of Elvenesse. The words of the Oath are adapted from the old Almenodrin traditions preserved by the House of Sylvaen. “And Edrahil vowed then to Aegnor his brother, to fear neither death nor torture most cruel, in pursuit of the glory of ages. He swore to uphold his banner, and that of their father the Everflame, in contempt of strife and danger; these words he spoke, and many more, such that Aegnor the Prince of Aegrothond was moved to shed a tear. But Edrahil did not weep, for he knew that there was no fate greater or more virtuous, than death in the service of one’s family.” -Excerpt from the Tale of Aegnor, Lay of Aegrothond II. The vow of an Oathblade is considered to be valid until death, and those who break it in treason are held accountable. Unlike other criminals of Aegrothond, the knights are considered for purposes of punishment to be members and banner-bearers of the Princely House- they are therefore eligible to have their name cloven, which is a fate worse than death. = Marks of an Oathblade = The Oathblade’s primary non-combat badge of office is a bolt of crimson fabric, embroidered with the devices of the House of Sylvaen: the Seven Stars of the Mariner, placed in a semi-circle about the Crown of Malinor. This is worn traditionally as a sash upon the belt or across the shoulder, in times of peace or alternatively when armour would be unwieldy or inappropriate. It symbolizes loyalty foremost to Aegrothond, and is granted by the Princes upon Oathing. A second badge of office is one which the Oathblade typically assists in creating- namely, his weapon and armour. Due to the Almenodrin focus on smithing as a sacred art, the weapon of an Oathblade takes a great deal of time to make- of high-quality steel or other rich material, and carved with letters of power which elevate it far above a regular weapon. After the weapon is made and employed in the Oathing process, work begins on the knight’s armour, which can take many years. Each piece is forged of specialized material, and rendered to commemorate great deeds. By virtue of this and the often empowered nature of the armour, a veteran Oathblade’s kit tends to be near-priceless in value. As compiled by Oathblade Avaeramos Enrique and Prince Emeritus Belestram Sylvaeri. Circa 1753 = The Roster of the Oathed = Oathblade Avaeramos Enrique Oathblade Feanor Kaeronin Oathblade Elros Silma Oathblade Ali’ere Silma
  9. MC Name: _Fid_ RP Name: Lodbairn Emberhorn Dwelling(Kal’Varoth, Hefrumm, etc.): Traveling Candidate: Gimli Grandaxe, a good and stout-hearted Dwed
  10. “I do not recall this elf or any mention of his existence as a relative of Kalenz, my uncle,” says Durion. “Renarion’s blood is true- he is of my own line... but this ‘Silir’ is most certainly an impostor.”
  11. “And verily I say unto you, go forth and fear no darkness; for ours is the way of the Light, and no foul evil may turn us away from our Oath.” -Aegnor I Starfinder, first bearer of the Seastone Crown. The Venerable House of Sylvaen Mar’lin Sylvaeri The House of Sylvaen, often known colloquially as the House Sylvaeri, is an ancient Elven bloodline which traces its furthest roots to the ancient homeland of Malinor. Alongside the elder Elves of the House Silma, they serve as representatives of the Elder Bloodlines upon the Continent. While the extent of their early history is best told in the Lay of Aegrothond and other tales, they have made their mark upon modern Elven history as well; many have served as High Princes, Princes, and Lords in Old Malinor, the Dominion, and Aegrothond. The Sylvaeri Despite the great span of years which has passed since their formation as a distinct bloodline, the House has remained generally uniform in appearance and in phenotypic traits. They are almost always possessed of peculiarly grey eyes, akin to their forebear, and this is the surest method of discerning pure blood. They are more varied in the colour of their hair- while the dominant colour has always been dark, the Sylvaeris of the Atlasian era are largely fair-haired. Their skin is also fair, though tends towards tan in those who spend a great deal of time in the sun and sea-spray. The House dresses primarily in shades of crimson and gold- simple garb, and fitted for the active trades. Common also are earthy tones, and sometimes autumnal wreaths, though these are considerably rarer. They are not, despite their other vices, particularly prone to vanity- as such they rarely adorn themselves for the benefit of others, and only do so to their own humble satisfaction. To this end they have a greater appreciation for jewelry, especially in the realm of gold and precious gems- but they love silver best, and pale diamond and opal-stones which are found deep beneath the earth. They are not miners themselves, however, and as a result the House has often made alliance with representatives of Dwarven Mountain Clans; they are welcome in their woodland halls, and the Dwarvish language is commonly learned by their children. The sons of Almenor are with few exceptions proud and haughty, and value personal honour highly; the spirit of fire associated with their ancestor burns true within their hearts, and ire comes more easily to them than to other Elves. Grudges and feuds are seldom left unpunished when slight (perceived or true) has been done upon them- though these resolutions may come many generations later. Some who bear the blood are by this virtue grim, and even dark-hearted- but most tend towards a nobility of spirit, and do no evil. The Forges of the Almenodrim Of all the families of Elvendom the forge-craft of House Sylvaeri may be considered chiefest and greatest; by virtue of their friendships with the Dwarves they long ago grew wiser in the lores of metals and gems, and developed their own styles to better suit their Elven natures. Therefore the steel wrought of their forges is considered to be among the best in the world, and is prominently reinforced with woven natural magics and other, more secret arts which are taught only to few. The Oath of the Seven and Bloodsilver Rings There are few customs which define the House of Sylvaen more clearly than the Oath of the Seven, which is sworn by all of-age members and is considered the rite of passage for young Elves. The Oath, and the accompanying tradition of forging rings made with the blood of the oathkeeper, find their roots in the establishment of the House by the Seven Sons of Sylvaen. This tale, and its meaning, is fully told in the Tale of Dagnir, which is a constituent part of the Lay of Aegrothond. Symbols and Banners Most prominently featured upon the crimson banner of the House are the hammer and anvil of Sylvaen, which are set below a crown; the latter represents the Crown of Malinor, which was worn by their ancestor Eleron, last royarch of that fallen Princedom. The seven stars which flank the arms are of the constellation Narnir’vallei, which is known in Common Speech as ‘The Mariner’. It is beloved of the House, and the grouping can often be found in their works, and even sewn upon their garments. The use of the arms follows the practice of a quintessentially Elven form of feudalism; they can be worn by any sworn to the House and honour of Aegrothond, and as such are not reserved solely for the bearers of Sylvaen’s Elder Blood. Heirlooms of the House Due to the rich tradition of forgework kept by the family, the Sylvaeri clan are possessed of a commensurate amount of relics, artifacts, and jewels of rare and unmatched craft and beauty. Most of these were wrought in the old lands of Almenor, but some are more recent- and with few exceptions are associated with great deeds and Elves of yore. The Necklace of Stars Known also as the “Light of the Almenodrim”, the Necklace of Stars is one of the greatest treasures of all Elvendom, and the work of Sylvaen’s own hand. It is set with a great multitude of diamonds and other gems, cut to perfection by the ancient hosts of Aegrothond. It bore for a time one of the Crown Stones, taken from the circlet of Malin. Belethil- The Star of Morning A gem crafted by the hands of ancient Dwarves, Belethil is steeped in the traditions of Malinor, and greatly treasured. It was lost when Sylvaen cast himself into the sea, and none have seen it since. At times, when the moon is high, it is said that the path which it traces upon the surface of the ocean will lead a traveler to Belethil’s resting-place. The Crown of Storms A younger artifact than the first few, the Crown of Storms is representative of the later deeds of the Almenodrim- most specifically of Aegnor Starfinder and his descendants who dwelt upon the shores of the Sea (and for whom it was made). Though the Crown itself has been lost to time, it was fabled to render unto the wearer the wisdom of the ancient mariners- to render them safe from the furies of the storm, and even to prevent drowning. Whether these tales are true or not, is entirely unknown.
  12. Edrahil and the Dragon Which is the third part of the Lay of Aegrothond, in which the deeds of Edrahil are told. In the elder ages of the world, when the Sun and Moon were bright and untarnished by years uncounted, a fair realm was spread between the mountains and the sea. In those days the paths of the Elves were greatly sundered and broken, and not least of all these rifts was the breaking of faith between the Almenodrim and the Crown of Malinor, of which the Song of Dagnir tells. By this virtue most who departed Tavule had come to follow the Great Houses, which had come together in order for to be known as the wider realm of Aegrothond. For a time they were guided by Sylvaen the Everflame, of whom many a tale is told- but by the time of this telling he had passed into oblivion, and led no longer. Now Prince Aegnor the Starfinder ruled over the holdfasts which had been his father’s, and he took upon his own shoulders the mantle of Lordship of the Almenodrim and the stewardship of the land and the people. Six brothers remained to him, left over from exodus- and each was possessed of a craft and mastery so that their holdfast flourished and grew. Thus they together spread their princely wisdom, and all the lands were glad for it. One among them was foremost in martial skill and ability, and it is he that will feature most prominently in this tale.Lord Edrahil was his name, which is well-remembered, and he was the fourth son of Sylvaen. Great faith he kept in the Oath of his House, and a will indomitable to purge the darkness from the fouler places of the world; to this end he traveled often beyond the far bounds of the realm of the Almenodrim, to seek out all evils and break them beneath the power of his bright will. Thusly were the lands of the Elves kept safe from harm, to grow and be fruitful. Now in the northern mountains in those years the dwarf-manses were in constant strife with all manner of dark creatures which grew and multiplied, having been left behind by the wraths of Iblees and other, older evils which have no name. Chiefest among these at that time was the wyrm Ankar, which had fled to those parts after the first breaking of the Deceiver. From the high peaks this beast commonly ventured to terrorize the peaceful Dwarves- a terrible wrath incarnate, borne upon a sudden wind and a gout of freezing breath. Ere long it came to be that the wyrm’s hunger was not sated with dwarf-flesh and gold, and it began to hunger for the far sweeter meats of the south. The first settlement beneath his wrath was called Myrdaen, a village known for its refining of fine wool and ornamented cloths of all kinds. It came like a cold wind from the north, and tore the land asunder- feasting upon the sheep and cattle, and driving aside the stones of Elvish buildings with brutal force. Of all who dwelt there, few survived- and in great clamour the Lord himself was felled by the snapping jaws of darkness incarnate. Some managed to escape, and hastened to the shores of the Sea where the Court of Prince Aegnor was held. There the beleagured Elves made their plea, and were received in dour mood by the Prince and his lordly brothers. So it came to pass that Edrahil heard of this grey terror of the high mountains, and his mind at once was set with fateful purpose. “By what right doth Ankar claim the mastery of the skies, who was made in mockery of Creation?” he cried aloud, and his eyes shone with a sudden flame. “Too long have we allowed this danger to play upon our borders, and done nothing! Give me leave, brother, and swiftly shall Ankar’s monstrous head adorn your mantel-piece.” And his Company of friends struck their spears against their shields twice with great clamour, calling their assent. But Prince Aegnor sat a while in deep thought, causing even the rowdiest Elves of the Court to fall silent. “Cheaply valued is thy own life, brother, and the lives of thy Company,” he spoke at last, and his eyes grew dark with foretold doom. “Great danger lies upon the paths of the northern mountains, and small comfort will pride be to thy widows if thou art slain in pursuit of this beast. If thy hearts do not know fear, let them at least know wisdom. Death and grim fate shalt thou find in the North, and naught more.” All eyes were upon Edrahil then, who was silent, his eyes aglow behind his golden mask. But it was Erendriel the Bard who spoke, and stood forward from the other nobles with hand upturned- whereupon glimmered the ring of blood-silver, bound and sealed with the Oath of Seven. “Hearken to the rings of our brotherhood, if thou shalt not hearken to the pride of thy brother! For we are not of those who step back from perdition, and stand idly by, while brother-Elves are so cruelly put upon.” And the Prince was given pause, saying- “Rightly dost thou speak, Erendriel, though calamitous doom of one kind or another I presage of you. Wyrms do not tire easily of Elven silver, or turn away from simple cruelty.” Then he stood, and upon his brow the flames of the Seastone Crown glimmered with a ruddy light. “Go forth, then, ye twelve Companions, and as a token of hope take with you the Helm of our Father, who is perished.” And Edrahil received the Helm, and bowed deeply, for it was a high gift. Within the fortnight he set out north, and thusly began the great quest from the citadel of Tamun. Here it will be noted that this citadel was at the very edge of the realm of Old Aegrothond- that is to say, at the juncture shared by the mountains and the lowlands which swept down towards the Great Sea. This was because the Almenodrim (and indeed most Descendant Peoples of that time) kept to the ancient laws set forth by the Four Brothers, who demarcated all the lands of creation for their descendants. Therefore Men were granted dominion over the plains, Orcs over the deserts, Dwarves over the high mountains, and Elves over the broad forested lands wherever they may be found. In keeping with this practice Tamun was raised upon a wooded foothill, not far from the true mountains of the dwarrows, and served as a border-fort for general purposes. In any case, as the northernmost fortress it had been first to receive news of Ankar’s attack on Myrdaen, and thus the mood was high when the crimson banner of Edrahil was seen approaching from the south. Twelve there were in total, alongside their Lord- the aforementioned Company of heroes, and Erendriel the Bard who chose to ride with them. Hardy Elves were they, who had seen many a trial in their time and had sailed west with the Seven when the call was sounded. They had participated in the wars of the old homeland, and knew well the sting of dragon-breath. The keepers of Tamun received them gladly, and informed them of the state of the Northlands. In the time of their marching it seems the wyrm had grown bolder, so that even the fortified cities were no longer safe, and feared him. But Edrahil only smiled, and called for more mead, saying: “It is he who should be trembling, good Elves. Soon, we shall make a fine powder of his ancient bones.” And so it was that the final night in warmth was passed, and there was little trepidation (far less, as you shall soon see, than there should have been.) The dew lay heavily upon the path into the Vale of Tamun as the Company of Edrahil set out, and clung to their scarlet cloaks in silvery droplets which shone in the morning sun like so many stars in a crimson firmament. Well-armed and armoured they were, for each among them bore a sword and a spear, and a shield rendered by the highest arts of the Almenodrim. Upon their faces were fearsome mask-helms of gilded steel, but beneath them the Elves smiled and were merry- for Edrahil led them whom they trusted, and Erendriel seldom ceased to sing and jest. “A score of red-breasted robin-fowl we look!” he laughed in melody, and the songbirds sang along with him in lilting tones. “To pluck the worm from the northern mountains, hear hear!” And a great shout of mirth and joy rose among the Company in march, for they did not know fear. Edrahil ordered then the banner to be lifted, and together the voices of the Elves rang farewell in ancient song as the town sank into the hills behind them. “Again they come, and swift they ride, “For Elvenesse, for Elvenesse!” Their voices rise with ringing pride. And trumpets high above them soar, for elder fathers, dispossessed for many kin, who fought and died, And nations torn and rent by war. For fear is foreign to their hearts, and blades with gladness strike and reave, Through forest air grown thick with darts, And long-spears wrought by Elven arts, Which forest-cloth like needle weave.” And so forth they sang in joy beneath their seven-starred banner of scarlet, as the road turned northwards and the foothills began to grow great and dark to either side. Ere long the heads of the mountains became hidden in the clouds, and the forests of Elvenesse gave way to stone and fallen gravel. As the last great tree faded beyond a ridge the group made camp, and settled in for an unhurried sleep. When the sun rose upon the second day the Company of Edrahil set out once more, though they sang less and spoke sparsely to one another; for the path had become difficult, and in places it wavered and fell into sudden crevasses which had doubtless been the death of many a reckless explorer. All about the road were tall crags of grey stone, interspaced atimes by small springs of clear water too cold for drinking- they had flowed down from the glaciers which crowned these mountains, too high above to be seen. The band stopped for short luncheon at noon, having brought with them a wealth of provision from the grateful Elves of Tamun, and set up a way-camp to rest their weary feet. Some jested that they hoped that the greater part of the journey was finished, but most remained silent- marveling at the broad tallness which was arranged about their fellows. So it was that one of them spotted a small creature crawling upon the rocks far below, which were woven with mists. He called to his companions, and Erendriel nocked a swift arrow in his heartwood bow. “Hark!” the Lord Edrahil cried into the abyss, and the astute Elven eyes of the Company discerned that the creature was in fact a particularly hairy dwarrow of auburn mane and pale complexion. “What business have ye here, in the lands between the forest and the mountain?” But the Dwarf did not reply, instead waving his short arms and swiftly scurrying from sight.“How odd,” remarked Edrahil, “I did not recall the Dwarves to be so fearful of Elves, especially in these parts. I wonder what it was that caused him to flee?” But no sooner had the Lord spoken, than a warbling cry pierced the air alongside many black-hafted arrows. [To be Continued]
  13. The Tale of Dagnir Which is the first part of the Lay of Aegrothond, and the earliest story of the Almenodrim. Among the tales of sorrow and ruin which come to us out of the elsewise forgotten years before the rising of the Moon, there are yet some in which the eldritch dolour is lifted, and a light is shown to endure even beneath its gloaming shadow. Of these histories perhaps the most stark is that of Sylvaen, and of the Almenodrim who were his progeny. It is told fully in the Lay of Aegrothond, the longest of all Elvish ballad-poems, which concerns in its majority the Parting of Kindreds and the many deeds, both fair and ill, of that family in the First Ages of the world. It is retold here in prose to lessen its length, for alike to all Elvish poetry it is prone to elaborate musings which are not conducive to the educational purposes of this text. The Lay begins in the ancient land of Malinor, wherein the great Eternal King kept his court and dwelt undying beneath evergreen boughs of yore; Malin was his name, which is honoured forever, and upon his brow was a crown unquestioned. His sons were as one, their ways unparted, for neither false prophets nor forces of earth and heaven could dislodge the keeping of blood which bound them hence. They loved well the trees and valleys of their realms, and delved in the deepest reaches of the forest to build their villages, being foremost among woodsmen. Among them, firstborn of the Father, walked Sylvaen Everflame, of whom this tale is told. He was tall, and fair of face, and resembled in all ways his father save for his locks, which were of raven-dark hue, and for his gaze, which was of piercing grey akin to the sea-floes of ice in winter. While his kin walked the deep forests he took a different path, and instead traveled to far western reaches of the Kingdom, near-to the mountains which held some erstwhile manses of the young Dwarves. In that land he built his holding, which he named Almenor, and few citadels were fairer in that time, or in any time since. In that place of silver fountains he came to know Serinwe, who would come to be his wife- and together they reared the Seven Sons of oath and legend, who led their people to glory and tribulation in equal measure. Their names were Aegnor, Edrahil, Renarion, Muindir his twin, Ilurien, Vitras, and Erendriel who was youngest of all; and they themselves were fruitful, so that the pillared halls of their kin rang with the laughter of children which the Elves valued more highly than any treasure. This great family was known as the Almenodrim, and they are remembered thusly in many songs, most chiefly by their own descendants. In the days before the Curse they were greatly peopled, so that several distinct Houses sprung up among them- but each bore loyalty to the Everflame and wavered not from their path alongside the Seven, throughout all of their history. Of all the children of Malin Sylvaen was the greatest in forgecraft, and in the tempering of steel and the making of mail he and his descendants were never outmatched, save perhaps by the most great-skilled of the Dwarf-smiths of yore. The hauberks and plate of their forges did not rust, and did not sustain the tarnish of age and weather, shining new-burnished even after an age of wear. All of their works were highly treasured, for they were crafted with arts which were not known to other wrights, and have been forgotten. It must, too, be noted that steel was scarce more than a servant to them- and it was in the working of silver, gold, and precious gems that they truly excelled, ultimately peerless. Made in those elder days were some of the greatest and most beautiful treasures of all noble Elvendom, which were beloved of all the Elder Folk and held in regard even in the furthest reaches of the continent. Among them were the Necklace of Stars, and Mίr n’Ardhon, and of course the great carved gem Belethil which was lost, of which more shall be told in other tales. All which could be wrought by hammer and anvil they excelled in creating- but no weapons, for the sons of Malin had no need for them, save of course for spears of alder and bows of yew, which they used to hunt wild game. In those days there was no strife, and all Elvenkind dwelt in harmony and peace. But even as Sylvaen and the Almenodrim laboured with great zeal and saw no ending to their works, doom of an eldritch sort came to the halls of Almenor. It began, as such things are often wont to, with a falling star, which tore the heavens and fell burning from the firmament. A clash like thunder heralded its coming to the plane of Aos, and a great fire and clamour levelled the forest about its landing- for such was its heat in that time that all which came in contact with it was immolated entirely. With a roar of splitting earth a chasm was opened about it in that wilderness, and there it would have remained if not for the curious whim of fate. It was Aegnor who found it, riding upon the great northern hills with his banners- and ever after for this reason he was oft-called by the name Elpharon, which means ‘star-finder’. Marveling at the desolation, he delved into the blackened cavern at its center- and though it burned his hands, he could not find the will to leave the glede-star behind. All marveled at it, and at its providence, for even the most experienced among them had not seen such ore. Concluding their businesses in those lands the Almenodrim brought it to their home, and though none could foresee it, sealed the fate of their House. For upon that metal lingered an evil which had no name, born of the darkness and vapour of primordial creation and forgotten by Gods and mortals both. At that time Sylvaen, being come to his full mastery and eminence, was filled with new intent and purpose- and growing bored in his lordship over forgecraft the great wright took great interest in the star-iron discovered by his eldest son. Many months after its arrival the metal did not lose its immense heat, and would burn those who laid hand upon it; Aegnor had failed to tame it, and it had scarred the reach of Muindir who was Sylvaen’s most promising student. So it was that at long last the father of the Seven came first to behold this curse of his family, and resolved to make something of it forthwith. But as he took up his hammer to strike upon the ore the smith beheld a great darkness which descended upon the great fires of his forge, alike unto a black grip which sought to take him in vice. And it spoke to him, this being, in a voice alien as the rubbing of coke on steel. “I have seen thee, Everflame, and all thy purposes and works are laid bare before me- but I deem them to be lesser far than those of thy Father, who is Malin. You shall fade, as leaves of autumn in the winter wind, and none shall know thy small name in posterity. As paupers thy sons will be, and grim fate shall find each among them in his time.” And the elf-prince was stricken by sudden doubt, for in his heart stirred a fear which had not been known to any in those blessed years; it was an evil not of this world, but rather of the one which had come before, and was never meant to linger. “By what vile sorceries dost thou speak unto me, creature of darkness, and what false poison dost thou pour upon my mind?” he cried out, and stepped back from the forge-fire which burned not yet so hot as the metal before him. “In skill of hand I have no single peer- all shall remember my works, and those of my sons, who shall be lords when I am gone.” But despite his remonstrance the creature of gloaming had seized upon the core weakness of his being, for though Sylvaen was foremost in cleverness and craft, his brilliant mind of metal and stone had become flawed in its vainglory, and in the obsession with legacy which was to haunt his line forever. “Stay thy despair, my child- for I sense a greatness in thy blood which shall surpass thy brethren,” the fallen star whispered, in tones of dulcet, layered upon with the cloy of paternal sweetness. “I will show thee much of that which thou knowest not, and change the path thou treadst- for great wisdom I see in thee, and a great promise also, which shall change the doom of the world in its stride. In my image thou shalt shape what none hath shaped before, and all shall know thy will, and fear it.” And though Sylvaen was not yet won over, his mind was curious- as all wrights he wished primarily to expand his art, and to craft ever-greater things until he had exhausted all possibilities of matter and shape. It occurred to him that to bind this star to his will would be the greatest achievement of his time, and a fine treasure in the vaults of Almenor; no creation had yet been beyond his ability in all his life, and no metal could give him pause at the height of his expertise. So it was that a fateful artificery began, which would last many days and many nights. Three times the smith began his work, and three times the metal defied his expert hand- for the spirit which perched upon it was possessed of its own design, and did not lend itself to mastery. For many hours they strove in the deeps of the Almenodrin forges, until the anvil of the wright glowed hot, and the smith himself was nearto spent. At last, putting forth all his lores and knowledge, the Everflame made corporeal the doom of his House- but it was not of his design, and the great shadow was upon it. So it came to pass that the first sword was born, and the Gods wept, for in the hand of Sylvaen it was destined to cause great pain and strife. The visage of the blade was as wrought iron, black and cruelly sharp, and it shone with a dull polish which caught and twisted the faces of those who would look into its surface; its guard was alike unto an umbel of upthrust thorns, and its hilt bound in pallid corded wire. Dagnir was its name, which was given to it by its creator, and harshly indeed did he lament its making; deep into Almenor he bade it be taken, and set inside a dark chamber to which no elf went willingly. And there Dagnir lingered, awaiting its fate. Sylvaen and the Seven soon forgot the star-stone in its entirety, and returned to their works of art and craft, growing more fruitful even than they had before. In those days the halls of Almenor were second only to the capital in populace, and greatly rich also, for they continued to trade with the Men and Dwarves who dwelt beyond the borders of the Greenwood. But the peaceful days of the First Ages were swiftly drawing to a close; and darkness festered in the far deeps of the world, marked by none save the delving Dwarrow-kind, who could not comprehend it. For Iblees’ work upon the Nether had been done, and the days trod ever-closer to the great war which would change the course of history forever. [To be Continued]
  14. Pour one out for Elvenesse

    1. LackingVibes


      u know what u did misterbonez

    2. Fid


      he’s dead, jim

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