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History of Vaniya 1: The Grey Elven Empire

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Thousands of years ago, even before humans had even created their first cities or nations, there was an empire. This empire, ruled by the self-appointed “Grey” Elves, was the largest single nation the continent of Vaniya has ever seen. Through means unheard of today the Elves raised monuments to the world and used magic which no mortal man could ever master. It was not long before the Elves had established footholds in every corner of Vaniya, and then not long before they had full control of each and every region.

The Elves reigned for many centuries, and ancient texts even tell how they found out the secrets of prolonged life and immortality. They enslaved the “lesser” races, and only the mountain dwelling Dwarves were considered worthy enough to trade with, if not their equals. This domination of the landscape gave rise to much science and progress which has yet to be seen, but still created a static environment where the Elves would not yield to change, but cling to their old ways, creating a dangerous mix of new technology used in old and fickly way, with a single Wizard King to rule over it all. Magical energies were abused, and forced to work in ways not natural for it. The sources of magic were enslaved in the Elves’ hubris like any other species, and a reckless disregard for natural balance ruled over the empire, only barely kept in check by powerful and ambitious Elven wizards.

Centuries of undisputed rule passed by, until the empire eventually faced calamity. In what ancient texts describe as “a single day”, the whole empire suffered such an event that would leave their cities tumbled and the race in ruins. It is unknown how the empire eventually crumbled, but the effects can still be seen in the wild magical energies that surround the Sleeping Lady. Leading scholars and historians believe that the wasteland surrounding the volcano is a result of the abused magical energy bursting forth completely wild and out of control.

After the fall of the empire, the Elven cities were crippled. No longer sustained by their magics, they were torn apart by the unleashed powers of contained magical energy, bursting forth in chain reaction. Most cities were only destroyed, but others were warped by the unstable magical powers into places of wild and destructive magic, some of which still exists to the present day, bleeding magical energy into the world.

The cataclysm shook the very foundation of the Elves. Now utterly devoid of magic, the remaining Elves retreated into the wildernesses of Vaniya into tribal clans. Slow to recover, they lost all their culture and glory of their ancient empire and reverted to the ways before their empire. While some remembered the glory of their empire, these Elves slowly died out, and the new Elves rose to take place, heedless of their former glory. Eventually they watched humans take their lands and dominate the landscape.

Elves in the present day are only shadows of their former selves. Still long lived, but not immortal, they have regained only some of their former ways. Druidic magic has arisen again in the various forest tribes, but the scars left the Elves cut off from the Aether, impossible to perform arcane magic. Some Elves want nothing more than to reclaim their lost heritage, but their numbers are few and there is very little communication between the various tribes, let alone cooperation. Most Elves are content to living their lives as best they can, avoiding the humans who fear or despise them.

Elven relics and artifacts are highly sought after in the present day. Magical items crafted with Elven magic still remain in the world and are often very powerful, dwarfing human creations when comparing their power. However, most Elven artifacts are unstable due to their power source, and there are many records of such items having entirely unforeseen effects when used. Despite this, any intact Elven items yield great prices among collectors and scholars, making relic hunting a lucrative, if dangerous business.

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Updated 08-22-2011 at 04:35 PM by Actana

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Chronicles of Vaniya