Understanding the Departure of the Dhe'nar (essay)
Title: Understanding the Departure of the Dhe'nar
When attempting to write upon an issue of history which is contested by so many strong opinions, it is very difficult to let the truth shine through from the fiction. However, I maintain that my views expressed here are free from theological and personal influences. While only as objective as a Faendryl loyalist can be, I am not influenced by religion as the historians of the Dhe'nar are.
From the beginning we must be clear on the nature of those called "Dark Elves." All Dark Elves stem either directly or indirectly from House Faendryl of the Elven Empire, all Dark Elves lived for a period of time in Rhoska-Tor. The Dhe'nar simply left the Elven Empire prior to its division into cities over matters of religious and social conflict. An extended period of life in Rhoska-Tor slowly causes a change in the skin pigment of a race after several generations, this change in pigment caused the Elven peoples to refer to the banished Faendryl, who emerged socially for the first time during the war with Ta'Ashrim, as Dark Elves.
Below, I shall attempt to explain the truth behind the Dhe'nar division with the Elven Empire that led to the production of their unique culture and ideals.
The Dhe'nar Division
Dhe'nar origins center on a prophet named Noi'Sho'Rah who lived in the Elven Empire during its early years. Initially, the Elven Empire consisted of one major city which was formed of every major Elven house in a close proximity to each other. This was the cause of great political rivalry of an often dangerous basis as the city expanded in both physical size and population.
Korthyr Faendryl who was currently the Patriarch of House Faendryl, leader of the Elven Houses, felt that the best course of action was a branching out of the Empire into separate cities in order to better control the Elven lands. Also, this division would aid to curb the fiery nature of the political strife between the houses. This decision of Korthyr's is the key issue of Dhe'nar separation; it's necessary to analyze the wisdom of Korthyr in this. Simply, it is best to consider the nature of our modern world. The formation of separate Elven cities allowed for each house to specialize further in its own area of expertise with its own economy and resources. The rate of mortal advancement was greatly increased by these divisions as more progress was accomplished with less political backbiting. Quite frankly, it was the only option that could sustain the rapidly growing Empire.
Noi'Sho'Rah, a man of many years at this time, was greatly opposed to the separation of the Empire. While he claimed a religous epiphany from the Arkati on the matter it is impossible to tell if this was the case with him, or if his age simply made the man a strong traditionalist. The most ardent follower of Noi'Sho'Rah was an uncle to Korthyr Faendryl named Tahlad who was a very charismatic leader as well. Many arguments were held between Tahlad and Korthyr over the issue of Elven division, arguments that eventually resulted in a public insulting of both Noi'Sho'Rah and Tahlad by Korthyr Faendryl. It is clear, that Tahlad harbored jealousy of Korthyr Faendryl with a set amount of religious zeal sparked by the teachings of Noi'Sho'Rah. This social insult was simply a breaking point for the man, and he chose then to take as many followers as he could unite and leave. It's impossible to tell if Tahlad was truly convinced of his religious belief, simply angry at the insult and jealousy, or ashamed from his failure to sway Korthyr.
The First Dhe'nar
Tahlad led his followers to Rhoska'Tor as he was instructed by Noi'Sho'Rah. With him went his most passionately religous disciples and any other Elven citizen who would go. A historian must consider that this was the Golden Age of the Elven Empire. In this time the Empire was expanding and growing at a rate that is nearly impossible to calculate; the opportunity for great wealth and power was everywhere. The people were happy and leaving was a move that very few would want to take. Clearly, those that went with Tahlad were his religous followers and others who could not function in this booming society; outcasts and criminals.
What I have given is the Faendryl perspective on the events that led to the Dhe'nar departure from the Empire. It is no more or less true than the history that the Dhe'nar themselves will testify to. However, I am adamant in my assertion that any story which focuses on the religious beauty of their departure in the name of righteousness is one that has turned aside the reality of what they did. They went to live in the most barren land of Elanthia in the greatest glory days of the Empire. The Elves didn't even bother to send troops or search parties after them; their chances of survival were that slim. Their eventual growth into a culturally rich society is a feat worthy of respect, but their origin is not one of perfection and grace. They are a minority which turned aside the Empire in their devotion to a prophet and a religious fervor; they turned aside the Empire which has defined our modern world.
Taken from the House Chesylcha library, c.1999.