Elven Wars (essay)

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This is a creative work set in the world of Elanthia, attributed to its original author(s). It does not necessarily represent the official lore of GemStone IV.

Title: The Elven Wars

Author: Not listed

The Elven Wars - an evocative image that conjures to mind the Great Houses of the Elven Empire striving for some significant gain. However, the term Elven War would never slip from the lips of one of the Elven Nations. The very term is inimical to the thought processes of any Elf of any House. The reason is so straight-forward that it eludes most who consider themselves scholars in the Modern Era. Likewise, the term exists for the self-same reasons that an Elf would never consider uttering them as an identifying time frame.

Chronological Disputation

For that is indeed what it comes down to - time. To an Elf, true events that deserve annotation occur within Ages of time, thousands of years where a generation or two of the Elven Nations would have some recollection. Consider the recounting of the History of Elanthia as told by the lore masters of the east: The Age of the Drakes, The Second Age: Elven Empire, and The Age of Chaos. Whether or not these histories are recounted sufficiently from any individual perspective, these names evoke a sense of massive time scale. and events that occur within them generally are recounted with the names of both combative elements: The Drake - Ur-daemon wars during the Age of the Drakes, or The Undead Wars during the Age of Chaos which involved all races and therefore might have been too cumbersome to illuminate as all the others. Even the Faendryl - Ashrim conflict, referred to frequently by other races as the Dark Elf - Sea Elf war, during the current era's time frame follows this standard.

No, it is from a race other than the Elves themselves that such a name as the Elven Wars would be coined. Yet, the reason for the historical reference being coined that way remains the same. One or two generations may be involved from the historian race perspective. And the lack of the second antagonist being identified would indicate a self-centric view of history, rather than a more traditional all-inclusive view represented by historians of the Elven Empire. With this as a basis for understanding, the Elven Wars obviously would be a recounting of historical events from a race whose population does not conceive of Ages, and one who is more self-centered in their understanding of the true import of historical events.

In the case of the Elven Wars, one must turn to the human race for understanding. The humans meet all the criteria set forth - a significantly lessened concept of the passage of time due to a shorter lifespan, and an undeniably human-centric view of events. Thus, an elven scholar might refer to these as the Elven - Human conflicts of the Modern Era, if an elven scholar deigned to refer to them at all as pivotal to the current Age. Now, the more troubling question lies before us - which of the significant and prolific sects of humans might be involved. Given that there is no indication of House or affiliation, one is left to suppose that it likely would be a significant, fairly established power center for humans that might border on Elven Nation territories, thereby leading to these conflicts.

In this case, one would not be wrong - it is to the rise of the Turamzzyrian Empire and that collection of historians that we must turn, if we wish to better understand what this evocatively named event or events might entail. This effort will not attempt to establish significant detail of the event or events, other than to list them by name as a human historian might and to provide some sense of timing and involvement to allow those interested to delve further into matters.

The First Elven War

The first in this collection of conflicts occurred in the Modern Era of the current Age, during the Chandrennin Dynasty as humans are wont to name their histories. The emperor of that time, one Krellove Chandrennin, stands named of initiating the conflict against members of House of Nalfein along borders considered neutral between the empire and the House. The conflict appears to have lasted some five years, from 4605 to 4610 M.E., and resulted in the building of a fort at Barrett's Gorge. In human terms, the conflict histories hold the Empire as victorious, under the leadership of a General Vaycero of Idolone. This view of success might be a challenging one from an Elven perspective, since the conflict ended with the death of its initiator, Chandrennin, and the subsequent installation of an Emperor more sympathetic to the Nalfein perspective.

The Second Elven War

The second in this collection of conflicts occurred in the Modern Era of the current Age, during the reign of Rallick Anodheles. This conflict lasted a scant three years, from 4769 - 4772 M.E. A high-ranking religious official, one Prelate Fzendoor stands named of agitating for the conflict, and causing the emperor to embark on this scheme. Again, the House of Nalfein is involved, and the dispute seems to be a continuance of imperialist expansionism. There are some rumors of political tampering, not discordant with the known practices of that House, but evidence is scant. Victory was counted as within the grasp of the empire, until - again - the conflict was drawn to a close with the death of the emperor. In this case, the emperor's direct battleground leadership can only be viewed as inspired, yet chain of leadership devolved to the aforementioned religious official - with the predictable result of defeat.

The Third Elven War

The final conflict normally spoken of in this collection of conflicts occurred in the Modern Era of the current Age, during the reign of empress Selantha Anodheles II. This conflict, the shortest of the three, lasted for approximately one year, from 4841 - 4842 M.E. Here, a noted yet unidentified seer of the empire stands named as the agitator for the conflict. The Faendryl, on the south-eastern border of the empire, were the target, and in keeping with that sect's inglorious tradition demons were unleashed to do their masters' bidding. While the shortest of the three conflicts, this one conflict alone may withstand the test of time and be named a critical event of the current Age. The impact of this decidedly one-sided event led to changes in geography and spawns of denizens from beyond the Pale being loosed upon the lands. The event, from human historical perspectives seems to have concluded with the empress' death and the building of the Demonwall.

The Resultant Impacts

While these conflicts individually and in aggregate may not compare with the wars of past ages, their significance to the human race cannot be easily overlooked. In each case, the demise of the emperor ends the conflict - surely a harsh and seemingly as yet unlearned lesson. In each case, there appears to be religious involvement or at least religious support perceived on behalf of the humans - a decidedly un-Elvish trait that might cause these events to be considered irrelevant and thereby insignificant in the Elven histories. In each case, the true motivation of the conflict protagonists seems unclear and thereby may be considered as darker or unworthy - or at least seemingly unimportant, increasing the prevailing perspective that humans are a belligerent and untutored race. And in each case, the ultimate response of the involved Elven House, or sect in the case of the last conflict, is yet to be revealed - not unusual when the aggressor race seemingly has the persistence of leaves on an oak tree rather than the span of the oak itself.

In closing, it is not the intent nor the desire of the author of this work to favorably or unfavorably view the skirmishes outlined above. Only such detail as is recounted from the human tellings is included herein, and without rejoinder of the Elven perspective stands far short of being notable or worthy of inclusion into formal histories. But that does not mean they are not worthy - only that more research is required. It is this author's hope that further understanding will be sought, and that perhaps in that understanding future skirmishes might well be avoided - although this seems unlikely, given that leaves always return to the oak, even if they shortly again will fall away.