History of the Aelotoi
History of the Aelotoi is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
A Brief History of the Aelotoi
- Drawn from the Journals of Gwennelen Mea'reth
- Donated to the Library Aies of House Illistim
- 15 Eoantos of the year 5103
- Modern Era
A most unusual occurrence transpired this evening, one that I believe may forever change the face of our Elanthia. I cannot fully explain my feelings on the matter. Perhaps I share more of my grandmother's oracular legacy than I care to admit.
A magical portal, more powerful than any seen by the living mages and scholars of our noble House, has been opened. We suspect, but are not yet certain, that a rogue wizard- I will refrain from mentioning his name here until there is proof of his perfidy- performed an ancient and forbidden incantation that resulted in this mysterious portal.
From this portal streamed the members of a humanoid race; one we have never seen before. We do not believe they are of our world, as over the ages we have travelled every continent on our fair planet. Most shockingly, the creatures were followed by kiramon - the same type of kiramon that have plagued us on Elanith for many millennia.
And thus it was that the rangers were the first of our House to spy the odd humanoid creatures. The scouting parties found a small group of the off-worlders, huddled near the portal, watching as more of their kind came through the mystical barrier. As they were unarmed and did not appear to be any threat, the patrol leader decided to send word back to the city.
Before the ranger serving as messenger even returned through the forest to the city gates, the kiramon came streaming through the portal and attacked the humanoid creatures. Our rangers left their hiding places and began fighting the kiramon, even as they sent thought through the magical amulets to send aid quickly.
The Captain of the Illistim Guard quickly dispatched soldiers. All among the populace who could bear arms or cast magic set upon the kiramon, eventually destroying them all, down to the last soldier and worker. The winged humanoid creatures were saved, as they rose up and tried to fight the kiramon as well, with what meager weapons they possessed... most often their bare fists, along with whatever sticks, rocks, and other objects they could find.
Word of these humanoid creatures spread quickly among the members of the royal household and the Scholars. First Master Meachreasim bade me accompany him to the site of the magical portal, and we travelled with Queen Myasara and her retinue, guarded by a regiment of Illistim soldiers.
Although were only able to observe it for a few brief minutes, here is what I can recall of the portal itself. In appearance, it was most unusual. It looked like a shimmering cloud, shaped somewhat like an egg laid on its side. A few more of the humanoid creatures emerged from the cloudy orb as if coalescing from within the thick silvery mist, and we could see no signs of what might lie upon the other side. We knew not if there were more kiramon lying in wait there.
Just as the Queen had decided to send a party through the silvery mist to investigate, the portal itself closed, leaving hundreds of the strange winged creatures stranded here in deep in the Wraithenmist, on Illistim lands.
I have never seen or read of anything like this portal; Meachreasim has expressed similar sentiments to me. The Queen, however, was strangely silent on the matter.
At the Queen's command, the captain of the regiment had surrounded the field where the portal had opened. After observing the creatures for some short time, the captain informed the Queen that he saw no threat from the beasts, and that it would be safe enough to approach them. The Queen sent Meachreasim and myself, accompanied by several soldiers, into the winged beasts' midst.
As we approached the beasts, they huddled together even more, many gazing upon us with unmistakable fear. Something in their eyes, though, made me feel that they were somewhat intelligent. Meachreasim asked the soldiers accompanying us to sheath their weapons, which seemed to ease the creatures's discomfort somewhat. They began speaking to one another in a tongue unknown to us.
Very quickly it became apparent that we have no language in common with the off-worlders. It was easy to see, however, that they were starving, and many were also in need of healing. Few had adequate clothing. Meachreasim and I returned to the Queen and explained what we had seen.
Queen Myasara can be mercurial, but her majesty has ever felt compassion towards all creatures, and has in her judgments been far the most liberal Illistim ruler in history. The Queen ordered that a camp be assembled, and the strange humanoids be treated for their injuries, fed and clothed. Meachreasim and I stayed as the soldiers assembled the camp while the Queen returned to the city with her retinue.
I can make a number of observations at this time. Physically, the off-worlders greatly resemble the human race that resides in Western Elanith, with some notable exceptions. They are much of a height with the human race, and share similar skin and hair coloring. They are somewhat slighter in build than most humans. Their eyes, however, are quite large, almost insect-like in their shape and diameter. They can clearly see objects much farther to the sides, nearly to the rear, of the direction they are facing, as I have seen the odd creatures react to objects quite behind them.
Most intriguing of all are their wings. Each creature possesses them, in varying shades of gold, green, blue and other shimmering but earthy tones. The wings themselves are somewhat transparent and quite beautiful. Their wings do not appear to have any useful purpose; we have not seen them fly. A few of them have exercised their wings, as if trying to fly, but have not been successful. We have not formed any theory about why this may be, but it is clearly distressing to the creatures, because they have examined one another's wings with apparent great concern.
After spending some hours in the camp observing, Meachreasim and I returned to the city to report our findings to the Queen and the other Master Scholars. The Queen has asked us to learn more about the creatures, so we plan to return to their camp tomorrow.
Early this morning First Master Meachreasim and I journeyed to the off-worlder camp. Food, warm clothing, and some sleep have apparently helped somewhat, because they don't seem to be quite as... terrified as they were yesterday. Terrified- there is no other word for it. They huddle together and cast their eyes about as if they are waiting for the sky to fall down upon their heads.
As Meachreasim and I sat upon cushioned chairs in a central pavilion this afternoon, we were approached by three of the off-worlders. Although clearly fearful, they seemed to want to communicate with us. Somehow, they seem to be the leaders of their species; the others of their kind defer to them in all things.
Of the three, a male off-worlder took the initiative in speaking to us. The male and female that accompanied him stood quietly, waiting as he spoke. Although his language was melodious and pleasant to hear, we had no words in common.
Meachreasim and I conferred briefly, and decided that perhaps we could teach them a bit of our language; if elven proved to difficult for the creatures to grasp, perhaps the more guttural common tongue of the humans would suffice. We quickly set about naming objects for them, and the winged off-worlders proved to be adept at learning the names and repeating them verbatim. To our surprise, not only did they quickly learn the common language names, but they also grasped elven names quite easily.
They also taught Meachreasim and myself their words for the items, even as they learned ours. Their language is quite interesting and fairly lyrical in sound. We have not yet been able to determine how complex it is, but they certainly seem capable of expressing complex thoughts and abstract concepts.
The leader calls himself Braedn. The female names herself Mraensa, and the other male is Nadael.
They call themselves, as a group, the Aelotoi. We can only presume this is their name for their race, so we have begun referring to them as such.
Meachreasim and I are quite encouraged by our success today, and have decided to remain here at the camp indefinitely to continue working with the three. Perhaps if we can teach them enough of our language, we may discover who they are and how they came to cross a magical portal into Eastern Elanith.
The off-worlders have surprised us with their aptitude for language. They have learned not only much of the common tongue, but an extraordinary amount of the elven language as well. Everything that we teach the three leaders each day, they teach their own followers in the evening, and those they teach in turn teach others during the next day.
Within mere hours new words and concepts are learned by even the youngest of the Aelotoi. It is truly amazing to watch their learning process, and they clearly are quite intelligent to proceed so quickly. Meachreasim and I feel confident that within a few more days, they will have enough skill to converse freely with us about almost any subject.
Braedn has proven to have extraordinary ability with our language. He has learned elven so much more quickly than we anticipated. Alas, he has not yet divulged any details about his people or their reason for arriving here, and the Queen has grown impatient for this information. She has called a Council and invited the heads of the other Great Houses to attend.
Upon such short notice, only King Tyrnian of the Vaalor and King Eamon of the Ardenai have arrived to attend the Council meeting. Queen Cadhla of the Loenthra maintains an emissary at the Illistim Scholars' library, and the emissary will attend in the Loenthran Queen's stead. The other rulers sent their regrets, but expressed curiosity about the outcome of the discussions. The Nalfein, however, no doubt will have a spy present; they are ever playing at clandestine games even when they needn't do so.
Braedn, Mraensa and Nadael are to be brought to the city of Ta'Illistim upon the morrow. Meachreasim and I will travel back to the city with them.
The three off-worlders were brought to the Council Chamber in BriarStone Keep this morning.
The chamber was full to overflowing with the House rulers and their attendants, most of the ranking Illistim Scholars, and others of the Queen's court currently in enough favor to garner an invitation. The courtiers arrived at the event as if it were a great party; ready to ogle and snicker at the off-worlders. Many of the Scholars were, though more subdued in their behavior, equally expecting something akin to a travelling circus sideshow.
Only Meachreasim and myself, having spent the last days in the company of the Aelotoi, had any inkling of their intelligence. We knew that they were no mean beasts, but an advanced culture. However, even the two of us were unprepared for the vast implications of the tale that would unfold before the elven court this day.
I will endeavor to recount the day's events here as accurately as I can. This day has been most trying, but I will make this record as complete as my scattered thoughts will permit.
For our work with the Aelotoi, Meachreasim and I were granted places of honor near the Queen's Council seat.
Queen Myasara, as the host of the Council meeting, called the session to order. After formally greeting the visiting King Tyrnian and King Eamon, she requested that the visitors be brought into the Council Chamber. As guards escorted Brandn, Mraensa and Nadael into the chamber, tittering laughter rippled through the courtiers' ranks. Ever the most snobbish among us, and never happy unless demeaning those they consider lesser, I wished fervently that the Queen had not permitted their presence. Braedn and the other Aelotoi, to their credit, ignored the loud whispers and laughter, proceeded to the center of the chamber, and bowed low to the Queen.
Myasara nodded gracefully to the off-worlders. "What is your name?"
"I am called Braedn, your Majesty."
Myasara blinked in surprise at the Aelotoi's perfectly pronounced elven. "The Scholars Meachreasim and Gwennelen told me that you had learned much of our language, off-worlder, but even so I am surprised at your facility with it. Elven is not an easy language to grasp."
Braedn merely nodded. I found myself grateful that I had spent hours the evening before, schooling the three Aelotoi leaders in courtly etiquette.
"Very well." Myasara settled back in her chair. "I shall come straight to the heart of it. Who are you, and what are you doing in elven lands?"
Braedn hesitated, as if searching for the right words. The seconds dragged on so long that the courtiers began to whisper far too loudly amongst themselves, wondering if he were too stupid to understand the Queen's questions.
"My people are the Aelotoi, your Majesty. I am our... leader, I think is the correct word." Braedn smiled and bowed slightly to the Queen.
Myasara nodded. The Kings Tyrnian and Eamon simply stared at Braedn, as if surprised at his intelligence and comport.
"And what has brought you here? I should like to understand that magical portal through which you travel."
"I know not the origin of the portal, your Majesty," Braedn admitted. "I know only that our world was dying, and upon finding the portal, we used it as our means to escape."
"Dying in what way?" King Eamon queried, shifting in his chair. The Ardenai have ever been interested in the world and growing things.
Braedn spread his hands wide and shrugged slightly. "Dying, your Majesty. Our world has become barren. Few plants and animals remain with which we can sustain ourselves. The Overseers stripped our lands bare, and did not care if we died for lack of food and water. We were grateful to find the portal to your world."
"So... you are saying that you did in fact come from another world entirely?" King Tyrnian raised an eyebrow towards Braedn.
"I believe so. There is no place like this remaining on our world," Braedn waved his hands to indicate the greater world beyond the Council Chamber, "There are few plants and little water. My world is barren, with storms of dust and rain so harsh it will peel one's skin away. I have never seen what you call trees before, though my ancestors tell stories of them."
"Why were the kiramon hunting you?" Queen Myasara asked.
Braedn gazed at the Queen, clearly puzzled. "I know not the meaning of the word kiramon, your Majesty."
Raising an eyebrow in Braedn's direction, the Queen asked, "Then what do you call those creatures who followed you?"
Braedn nodded in understanding. "They are the Overseers, your Majesty."
"And why do these Overseers you speak of hunt you?" King Tyrnian interrupted, as Queen Myasara bent leftward to place a restraining hand upon his arm.
Casting an amused glance at King Tyrnian for his interruption, Queen Myasara resettled the heavy skirts of her white velvet gown and leaned back into the cushions of the Sapphire Throne. "Very well, Braedn. Your story now, in full. We will withhold further comment, and our judgment, until you have finished spinning your tale." Her eyes twinkled, belying her stern tone.
And thus it was that the off-worlder Braedn began the tale that would forever change our perceptions of ourselves, our race, and alter our future irrevocably.
I will freely admit that we, the elves, have not always treated other races with the same respect we reserve for ourselves. We evolved long before most of them crawled from their caves and expressed a coherent thought in speech. Most of our race believes, in fact, that the lesser races are unintelligent, filthy, unevolved creatures with whom association is a waste of our time.
Those of us in the Illistim Ministry of Scholars, however, have a more tolerant view of the other races. In studying these other cultures for the Chronicles, we have seen our race reflected in ways we do not necessarily like. We scholars are most certainly in the minority among the elves, however. But I digress, and will continue narrating the day's events...
Braedn nodded to the Queen. He hesitated for some moments, his gaze focused on the marbled floor, as if gathering his thoughts.
"I suppose our tale begins with the Arrival, and with L'Naere." Braedn again fell silent for a few moments, as if unsure how to explain.
At the mention of the name L'naere, the Queen and two Kings exchanged glances with one another before returning their attention to Braedn. King Eamon's expression was that of open surprise and skepticism. Queen Myasara's pale features betrayed her wariness, and King Tyrnian's gaze sharpened upon Braedn to a dagger's point.
I caught Meachreasim's gaze, wondering if he had any explanation for their odd behavior. He merely shrugged slightly, a worried crease to his brow that quickly faded into his customary impassive expression. My unease grew.
Finally, Braedn continued.
"Amongst our storytellers, the tale of our Arrival has been handed down from generation to generation. As the legend goes, we were not born of our world, which we call Bre'Naere. It was given to us by a goddess, L'naere, to save us, when warfare threatened to destroy our First World. In a bid to save our race from annihilation, L'Naere created for us a new home, and helped us on a pilgrimage to find new life.
"We do not know the name of the First World, the world before Bre'Naere. We did not yet have the skill of writing at that time, and our history was passed through storytelling. If we ever knew the true name of the First World, the name has been lost to the ages and the Overseers' destruction.
"There is even dissention among our people over L'Naere, whether she existed or is some fiction created by a long-dead storyteller and handed down through the ages as fact. Many of us, though, believe there is at least a small kernel of truth to the tale.
"As the legend goes, L'Naere was a kind and giving goddess. When the First World was threatened with destruction by unnatural forces... I believe you call them, in your tongue, something like demons... L'Naere saw our imminent destruction and began to create a new world for us. She populated it with the living things from our First World. She recreated the flora and fauna, and helped our ancestors to gain access to this new world, which we call Bre'naere. As the story goes, she disappeared shortly afterward. Thus, we know not whether L'Naere really existed at all, or was merely a fiction to entertain children that somehow became legend."
Braedn paused to clear his throat, tugged slightly at the collar of his fine crimson tunic. A group of seamstresses from Ta'Illistim had toiled many hours altering large wagons loaded with castoff clothing donated by both elves and humans. As a result, most of the Aelotoi were now garbed presentably well.
Queen Myasara gestured, and a chair was provided to Braedn and his companions, along with glasses of cool water. Braedn nodded his appreciation, and settled himself before continuing.
"Our history says that we lived many millennia in peace after L'Naere's departure. We learned to farm the land, and grow animals for food, instead of merely existing on what we could hunt and forage. We built villages which eventually grew into cities. We had fine artists and skilled architects. We developed written language to preserve what we had learned about ourselves and our world. We were ruled by a government that was determined by popular election of leaders, and it served us well. All this, and more, we lost with the arrival of the Overseers. Our culture was destroyed 15 millenia ago."
Braedn smiled bitterly.
'As closely as we can account, the Overseers arrived on Bre'Naere about fifteen millennia ago. They destroyed all we held dear and subjugated our people into a life of slavery. They did not stop at destroying our art, our books, our buildings... they wrecked our bodies as well. We did not always have wings."
Murmurs rippled through the gallery at Braedn's comments.
"You're saying that... the Overseers modified your bodies?" Queen Myasara's tone was horrified.
"Exactly that, your Majesty. Our eyes and our hearing were changed by the Overseers. Our wings... we did not have wings before the Overseers came. They violated our people in every way imaginable," Braedn's voice was flat, toneless.
Though the current Illistim ruler is famous for her compassion, I cannot ever recall seeing Queen Myasara more saddened than she was by Braedn's words. She sighed deeply. "Please, sir, continue."
It is a sign of respect, for any elven ruler to address a commoner, especially one not of elven descent, as "sir". Awareness whispered through the gallery as the nobles took notice.
Braedn nodded. "For the last fifteen millennia, we have lived in complete subjugation. The Overseers forced us to mine our planet of every valuable resource that could be plundered. At first, it was only precious minerals and gems. As those were depleted, our planet was also stripped of all of L'Naere's Gifts, the flora and fauna that had sustained us throughout our race's lifetimes upon Bre'Naere.
"In short, your Majesty, there is nothing left of our beloved Bre'Naere. There is almost no food, and what little water exists is poison to us," Braedn gazed seriously at each of the three seated rulers in turn.
"Therefore, I must beg of you to allow us to remain in your lands, your Majesties. If you do not, we will surely die."
The Queen was silent for a long moment, lost in thought. Finally she looked up at Braedn once more. "How did you get here?"
"I will try to explain, your Majesty. We don't quite understand it ourselves. We found, for want of a better explanation, a shimmering portal. We had never seen anything like it."
"Do you know how it was created?" King Eamon queried.
"No, your Majesty," Braedn answered. "At first, we were afraid to go near the shimmering rift. We debated for several minutes about what to do. Some among us counseled that it must be evil, and to enter it would mean certain death. Others felt that we had no choice but to explore what might lie on the other side of the portal... because to stay on the barren Bre'Naere, in slavery to the Overseers, meant certain death to all our people.
"As the elected ruler, it fell to me to make the final decision. 13 evenings past, I entered the rift, fully prepared to die in my attempt to find a better life for my people. Instead, to my relief and elation, I found myself in your wood. I found the nearby lake and drank clean water for the first time in recent memory. Then I crossed safely back through the portal to my people, and convinced them to return with me. And that is where your people found us, shortly before the kiramon discovered we had escaped and came through the portal after us."
"Can you explain why the portal disappeared?" King Tyrnian gazed steadily at Braedn.
"I cannot, your Majesty. I know not how the portal was created, nor how it was destroyed."
King Eamon spoke up. "Can you further describe your slavery under the Overseers? You mention they did not appear to read or write. How did they come to be on Bre'Naere? How did they communicate with you? What did they look like?"
Myasara glanced uneasily at Eamon as he voiced questions she clearly had been unwilling to ask. Eamon rested a hand upon her arm, casting her a reassuring smile.
"They were insect-like. They were roughly the height of an Aelotoi man, though in some cases a bit taller. They had lidless eyes and borewings, though we never saw them use their wings to fly. Their bodies were hard-shelled. They communicated with pheromones and clicking noises... the mental commands we always understood, but the genetic modifications they made to our hearing enabled us to understand their spoken commands as well. Some among their number would not touch our minds and only spoke to us aloud."
I sat in stunned silence as loud conversations broke out in the gallery while Braedn finished his description of the Overseers. There was no doubt that the Overseers were kiramon. Braedn's description of the telepathy confirmed it beyond any shadow of doubt. My stomach clenched horribly as I counted the centuries in my mind, counting backwards to the expulsion of the kiramon at the end of the Elven-Kiramon Wars.
The kiramon had arrived on Braedn's world exactly when we had expelled them from Elanith, 15 millennia ago.
The moment Braedn finished speaking, the Queen clapped her hands.
"Silence! Everyone will leave, now," Myasara's voice rang above the din.
She fixed Meachreasim and me with a momentary glance. "Except the two of you."
Chaos reigned for several minutes as the nobles and the rest of the attending Scholars left the Council Chamber, followed by the royals' attendants. Finally, only the three rulers, Queen Cadhla's emissary, Meachreasim and I remained, along with the three Aelotoi.
Nonplussed, Braedn simply waited.
The Queen took a deep breath. "Is there anything else you can tell us about the Overseers, Braedn?"
Braedn shrugged. "More than you would want to know, your Majesty, without a doubt. I can tell you of their brutal ways, their mutilation of our kind, the merciless stripping of our world. Many of them commanded us by thought, yet they rarely bothered to read what we were thinking, which allowed us a small amount of freedom as long as we performed as we were bid. They cared little for us, sparing extra effort only for our females of breeding age so they could maintain their supply of slave laborers.
"They completely decimated Bre'Naere with their ruthless stripping of the land. There was nothing left of value on our world, except my people. And many of our number have died in recent years simply from sickness and lack of food and fresh water," Braedn's voice, ever brittle, trailed off into silence. His gaze dropped to the floor, only a small tic in his cheek betraying the difficulty he felt as he described the difficulty of his people's plight.
"You shall not want for anything, that I can promise you," Myasara smiled sorrowfully at the three Aelotoi. "Know that whatever lies ahead, your people will be provided for."
Braedn bowed his head to her in thanks. He seemed to relax slightly, exchanging small looks of relief with his kin.
Ringing for a member of her staff, the Queen bade the responding housekeeper to see the three Aelotoi to comfortable rooms and a warm meal. Silence fell as we watched the group leave the Council Chamber.
"Do you think it could be true?" King Tyrnian's question broke the stillness.
"They describe the kiramons' ways in perfect detail. Right down to the telepathy, and the mutilations," Myasara rose from her throne and paced the center of the room, twisting her hands nervously. After a few moments she turned to face Eamon and Tyrnian. "Think you that we elves, our ancestors, visited this horror upon them?"
Eamon regarded her seriously. "We cannot discount the possibility, even probability, that we did."
Tyrnian spoke, a hard edge to his voice. "We had no choice. Had we not ejected the kiramon from this world, they would have destroyed us, along with every other lesser race on Elanith. You know the history of what they did here, Myasara, as well as any. Your people suffered more than most."
Queen Myasara gazed sadly at Tyrnian. "Aye, I know well what they did. My people did bear the brunt of it. But when our ancestors created the portal and removed the kiramon from this world, we never intended to hurt anyone else. That was not at all what we wanted."
Eamon smiled gently at his childhood friend. "Mya, of course no one intended it. It has happened, though. And you, we, have been given a way to make amends."
"Aye, we will give them a home," Myasara chewed her bottom lip pensively. "I do not think we have the ability to remove the physical scars of their subjugation, though," she gestured at her shoulders, clearly meaning the wings.
"We do not even know if that would matter to them, now, my dear," Tyrnian said. "After all, they have had the wings for fifteen millennia, and they may consider the appendages part of themselves, now. In any event, I do not think it is worth considering at this juncture."
Myasara nodded. "You're quite right. I am most interested, though... in this mention of a goddess named L'Naere. I believe that as rulers and high-ranking Scholars, everyone present here is familiar with the legend?"
Everyone nodded, except me.
The Queen glanced at me before pinning Meachreasim with a reproving smile. "Meachreasim, my dear uncle, you have been lax in Gwennelyn's education. Explain to her, briefly, please," Myasara resumed her pacing, her footsteps ringing on the marbled chamber floor.
Meachreasim turned to me. "I will share with you the fuller version later. For now, you must understand only that there is a legend of a traitor Arkati, one that the most educated and esteemed scholars have debated the truth of for millennia.
"As the legend goes, there was once an Arkati named L'Naere. In the time of the early ur-daemon wars, when we elves still served the Arkati gladly, this L'Naere was purportedly one of their number. She was, as the tales go, the Arkati known as Giver of Life. If the myth be true, L'Naere created at least two of the lesser races.
"When Fash'lo'nae opened the ur-daemon plane and permitted the ur-daemon to enter Elanith to kill the drakes, many Arkati chose to aid their masters, the drakes. As all Elanthian schoolchildren are taught, those who aided their masters died. The remaining Arkati hid from the war, and those Arkati are the ones who remain to wield their influence on our world today.
"L'Naere was exiled to Lornon and Liabo along with the other Arkati, but the legend doesn't say exactly which of the two moons she was sent to. What is known is that she objected to Fash'lo'nae's plan to unleash the ur-daemons upon the planet, and greatly feared the loss of her creations.
"In an effort to preserve her work, L'Naere supposedly located another world and furnished it with flora and fauna from Elanith. She then began a secret plan to move members of her races to this other world. Somehow, her plans were betrayed. The other Arkati, for their part, felt she had been moving Elanith's inhabitants elsewhere to consolidate her own power, and distrusted her immensely. One of them, no one knows who, betrayed L'Naere's activities to the drakes.
"No one can say how many she successfully moved before she was caught by the drakes and killed as a traitor. No one even knew what world she had moved them to, as she had so carefully hidden her trail. Her name was summarily stricken from all records, and no other Arkati has ever been known to speak of her again."
The import of what Meachreasim had just explained to me sank in. "She moved some humans off this world?"
"So the legend goes," he nodded. "The legend also says that she offered the same sanctuary to elves, first, and that the elves declined her offer. As for the humans, the legend claims that she simply moved some of them without anyone's permission or consent, and that she would have moved more races, had she not been caught and killed. Arkati were ever presumptuous," the old man chuckled.
I wondered briefly at the folly of good intentions.
The echoes of Myasara's footsteps died away as she seated herself upon her throne once more. She glanced at the Loenthran telepath. "Has your Queen anything to ask, or add?"
The emissary was silent for a few moments, then shook her head. "I am sure My Queen will be shocked by this news, your Majesty. I believe it best that you converse directly with her, privately."
Queen Myasara sat pensively for several moments, drumming her fingers upon the arm of her throne. Finally, she gazed about the group, sadness evident upon her pale countenance.
'It is ironic, is it not, that in endeavoring to save ourselves, this world, and by extension the lesser races of Elanith from kiramon tyranny, we inflicted this horror upon one of the lesser races still?"
The Council was ended, then, and we each retreated in silence to ponder the day's revelations.
Since yesterday's Council, the details of Braedn of the Aelotoi's tale have spread throughout the city and beyond. Reaction has been, of course, quite mixed. The elitists care not for the Aelotoi's plight, believing the lesser races inferior and being, in general, quite uncaring of any role our ancestors may have played in the Aelotoi's subjugation.
The prevailing opinion, however, has been one of quiet introspection. In the last few thousand years, and particular under the noble rulers of Queen Myasara's generation, there has been a groundswell of tolerance exhibited for the lesser races. Many among the elves have been quite willing to donate food, clothing, lodging, and other necessities to the newcomers. We are learning that there is much more contentment to be found in helping the Aelotoi than we ever expected.
The Aelotoi, in their turn, have been eagerly learning new trades, and have proven to be apt pupils. They exhibit ready smiles and easy manners, and have declared that they do not bear any grudge for what happened so many millennia ago. They have accepted our word that we did not know any sentient race lived upon their world when we exiled the kiramon there.
Meachreasim and I, for our part, continue to spend time with Braedn and his companions, teaching and yes, learning from them. This may yet become my life's work.
The Queen has been conversing with Queen Cadhla of Loenthra and King Gaendel of the Nalfein via the magical amulets, soliciting their opinions on the situation.
I felt to my core that the world had changed when first I saw the Aelotoi, and change the world has. It will be most interesting to see how things continue to develop as the months and years progress.
Queen Myasara closeted herself with King Tyrnian and King Eamon before dawn. Several hours later the three emerged, tired but resolute.
In an unprecedented move that shocked the most rigid of the elven elitists to their very cores, the Kings and Queens of the Five Noble Houses today decreed that all Aelotoi are to be granted the right to earn full citizenship in all elven cities.
Further, Queen Myasara has announced that an abandoned Illistim town east the southern portion of Whistler's Pass, Glimae'den, will be refurbished and given to the Aelotoi, to be used by them as their new home. The refurbishment is expected to require several months.
The acclimation of the Aelotoi to Elanthia continues. As King Tyrnian surmised, they are not interested in having their wings removed. Braedn has explained that their wings seem a part of them now, and that to give them up would be like giving up a badge of honor one has earned through great hardship. They haven't yet determined why they cannot use them to fly on this planet, and research in that area is ongoing.
To our surprise, the lesser races have also heard of the Aelotoi's arrival, and donations of goods have begun arriving from across the DragonSpine. As of this writing it is unclear how the humans feel about their long lost cousins, but the Turamzzyrian Empire did send its good wishes to the Aelotoi along with several wagons of tools and clothing.
As more weeks of adequate nutrition and empathic care come and go, the Aelotoi are proving to be startlingly beautiful and unique among Elanthians, both in body and spirit.