Xorus (prime)/Scholarship/Forbidden Knowledge and the Black Arts: Volume I/Footnotes

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These are OOC footnotes for the unofficial document: "Forbidden Knowledge and the Black Arts: Volume I - The History of Necromancy"

This is meant to explain the motivating logic behind embellishments and what gaps or inconsistencies are being reconciled. (It is actually pretty light on 100% fabrications, which are bolded on the linked copy above without the footnotes.)

Forbidden Knowledge and the Black Arts

Through my long years of study and field work as an occult archaeologist,[1] I have had much occasion to treat with the dangerous factions and malign forces of this world. There are many black arts[2] and traditions of forbidden knowledge that are ill-known in the more civilized realms of this continent.[3] What follows here is a brief survey in three volumes.[4] It establishes the ways of dark magic in their historical provenance and ancestral propensities, attempting to set these matters into a modicrum of order.[5] It is the bias of this work to frame the evolution of dark sorcery in thaumaturgical and rationalist terms.[6] There may be points which are most reflective of my own opinion, and its iconoclasm will find ways of displeasing even the Faendryl.[7]

[1] Occult archaeology, or "esoteric archaeology" and "occult philology", are made up disciplines Xorus explained once for a Faendryl symposium.
[2] "Black arts" is used in this to refer to highly corruptive magic performed by villain types that is worse and more condemned than the sorcery typically used by Faendryl. (e.g. the blood mages of the krolvin, who Auchand has said on Discord is the only major culture that practices blood magic, and that it is worse / darker than what we call sorcery.) It is used as a distinction from the term "dark arts", which refers to contemporary sorcery having partly overlapped with historical black arts. The document explicitly and overtly historicizes the word "sorcery", so that its present meaning / conventions are a product of history, while addressing all its conceptual ambiguities.
[3] This document treats magic as arising from intellectual and cultural traditions, with a corresponding history of ideas and influenced by historical forces. It splits apart various aspects under the umbrella "sorcerer" into different origins and kinds. It was also to break up the excessive conflation and near monopoly of sorcery by the Faendryl.
[4] Volume 2 fleshes out the meaning of "black arts" (and magical corruption), taking that term from the original "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" story for the Graveyard. Volume 3 is classification schemes for the unliving. The volumes are stand-alone, more or less, but interrelated. Some terminology in Volume 1 is elaborated in the other volumes. Volume 1 is more or less polished. Volumes 2 and 3 are rough drafts and might better be broken up and cannibalized into more specialized documents.
[5] The document is trying to characterize traditions out of kinds of cultures (e.g. animism -> druidism, shamanism) as tendencies, rather than the messy gritty details of concrete history, where there would be tons of redundancy and reinventions. This was intentionally done to avoid filtering everything through individual race monocultures, which is a defect of Elanthia's lore documentation in general, and instead speaks of propensities from worldviews and value systems with geographical or sociopolitical/economic conditions. 
[6] This terminology is explained later in this document. "dark sorcery" is a distinction from "classical sorcery", and this sentence amounts to saying the document is written with a Faendryl bias. The sentence "sorcery is demonology and necromancy" is true of "dark sorcery", but it is not true (or very strained and forced) of the way this document defines "classical sorcery", which is based instead directly on the Sorcerer class definition (which originated in I.C.E. and in practice has only ever accurately characterized a subset of the spell list in GemStone, whereas the duality of demonology and necromancy lores was not implemented until the GemStone IV conversion.)
[7] Hedge on the scope of its correctness, and allowance for having Faendryl bias but also saying things Faendryl would not like. IC author is contrary on some matters such as the Arkati and Drakes.

The indigenous cultures and dark cults of the lawless regions of Jontara, who engage in what we will call the "black arts," would not characterize their own practices in this way.[8] For this I will defer to ethnographers and religious historians.[9] In this compendium the unifying focus is necromancy in a very broad sense.[10] Various categories and conventions are introduced to make a semblance of coherence from these sinister traditions.[11] It is written with some bias toward more recent history, in its illustrations, to aid in relevancy and practical context.[12]

[8] This is an "Other"-ing framing where archetype categories (e.g. "witch", "warlock", "shaman", "druid") are used compared to some orthodoxy (Faendryl sorcery, magical theory), not necessarily the ways the people being described would describe themselves. It also uses specific definitions for those words, which are not necessarily the same ordinary usage meanings by others. (e.g. Dhe'nar warlocks may not directly be what this document means by "warlock")
[9] This is glib. It would be a very dangerous thing for an ordinary academic to study.
[10] The scope of "necromancy" is more defined in Volume 2. Sorcerer profession mechanical "necromancy" is generally everything related to flesh, blood, life forces, spirit, effectively filling in for the term "animate matter." This texts broaden the historical scope of the term, so that 50,000 years ago it would instead refer to stuff like communing with departed spirits and resurrections, because that is "death magic." While the contemporary meaning is written in an inherently sorcerous form but significantly broader than undeath.
[11] This is explicitly framing this document as IC engaging in convention construction to make an internally consistent rationalist framework.
[12] The recency bias applies more to Volumes 2 and 3 in terms of examples. But the general point is that interpreting records of past events and practices is warped by expressing it in terms of what exists or is considered important in the present.

Lord Xorus Kul'shin
Vice Chancellor Emeritus
Hazalred Thaumaturgical Insitute[13]
30 Koaratos, 5122 Modern Era

[13] This is a completely made up institution and title within the Clerisy. It is named after the ancient Faendryl NPC Abdullahi Hazalred (which is an obvious easter egg of Lovecraft's Abdul Alhazred, the fictional author of the Necronomicon, a grimoire with information on summoning otherworldly daemons in the Lovecraft mythos.) Ranks below the level of "Chancellor" are not defined in present documentation, but this could change in the future (e.g. "Pathways to the Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire" in May 2023).

Volume I: The History of Necromancy

Necromancy is the art of death and power over the living. It is the manipulation of spirit and the soul.[14] In its oldest definition it would include the religious magic of resurrection, the refashioning of flesh, and the ascension of mortals by the Light and Dark Gods.[15] It took its earliest forms in mortuary rituals and the divination of ancestral spirits.[16] Throughout history it has become an ever darker form of magic, splitting from its spiritual roots.[17] It is now the black arts of foul corruption and the utter debasement of life and death.[18] Necromancy is now one of the foundations of sorcery, as the sorcerous arts are presently understood.[19] But necromancy has never been as narrow as the undead, and has taken many other forms in history.[20]

[14] The general idea is that it is not just spiritual magic, or calling on spirits, but coercively or corruptingly using the substances of life and spirit. This is referring to the more modern meaning of the word, which is contrasted by the next sentence. We are also keeping consistent here with DragonRealms on "necromancy" being the hybridizing of life mana, or in special cases holy mana. Life and holy mana are tacitly distinct in GemStone (e.g. Cleric/Paladin base spells and Convert mechanics versus Ranger/Empath base spells), but are treated monolithically as spiritual magic.
[15] This is what the word would have meant in the early Elven Empire or pre-House villages and colonies, roughly 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, before it went down darker paths. Black arts may have already existed in southern wastelands, but the technical term "necromancy" ought to begin in the Elven Empire to refer to divination practices with spirits of the dead and then have its meaning shift later.
[16] Rationalist characterization of spiritual and animist magic.
[17] Necromancy refers to sorcery practices now, which is hybrid magic rather than spiritual magic. This document explains how the precursor forms got twisted into sorcerous forms.
[18] This refers to what most non-Faendryl mean by the word "necromancy" in the present day. The next sentence instead refers to what this document calls the "dark arts" meaning of necromancy (i.e. Faendryl dominated paradigm) rather than the "black arts" meaning.
[19] This is what Faendryl and self-identified "sorcerers" (guild member types) often mean by "necromancy". This typically would not include the darkest stuff, like what this document calls "soulcrafting". It is presumably illegal in Faendryl lands, for example, to make yourself into a lich and continue on in Faendryl society that way.
[20] Explicitly stating that we are using a broader definition than undead magic, and that we are historicizing the concept.

It would be more accurate to say that the core of necromancy is the total disregard for the sanctity of kinds.[21] More broadly than even life and death, it is the willingness to pervert and debase, to transform and transgress and transmogrify.[22] Necromancers violate the categories of what exists in nature, inventing ever newer and more horrible nightmares.[23] In this way it is difficult to illustrate the whole tapestry of the black arts.[24] Whether a given horror is undead, demonic, or something else, is not always obvious.[25] That is the legacy of necromancers.

[21] This is a thesis statement for defining (contemporary) necromancy as a mode of sorcery, where this definition of it is inclusive of the black arts. Implicitly this is referring to "animate matter", whereas a similar statement for inanimate matter might include the darkest stuff covered by the word "demonology", or else be where they converge on each other.
[22] This is rooted in how "sorcery" is defined in this text as unnatural fusions and contradictions. That is keeping consistent with the way sorcery and necromancy are defined in DragonRealms. The distinction between transformation and transmogrification is elaborated in Volumes 2 and 3. Loosely, the convention used here is that transmogrification is more irreversible, more perverse and foundationally corrupted.
[23] This is elaborated more in Volumes 2 and 3. It is retaining consistency with the metaphysical category corruptions used in DragonRealms' magic theory for sorcery.
[24] Hedge for keeping the definitions and examples open ended rather than exhausted by a normative definition. It is also framing a recognition of the inherent blurriness or ill-definition of a lot of this stuff, or that there is a lack of full understanding of what's really happening in the darker stuff. This is related to the meaning of "esoteric" magic later in this document, and how black arts rituals are characterized in relation to flow magic in Volume 2.
[25] This is elaborated much more in Volumes 2 and 3. GemStone has always had precedents of artificially made demons and blurring between demons and undead, dating back to early I.C.E. books and all the way through to modern stories. The simplistic formula of "undead are cursed souls of the dead of this world" and "demons are inherently things native to other planes and not this world" does not actually in practice describe what is true in the world setting and never has. It's much more complicated than that, and this text treats modern "necromancy" as more generally debasement/perversion/etc. of sentient/sapient/etc. beings in general. (One straight forward example is vathors making necleriine demons using a necromantic ritual on Elanthian corpses. Another is the existence of extraplanar undead, such as murky soul siphons. Then there are demonic hybrids with the living and all sorts of monsters corrupted by dark energies.)

I. The Age of Darkness (-130,000? to -50,000 Modern Era)[26]

"For all the privation suffered under the bloodied wings of dragon rule, there was a still more terrible power waiting beyond the veil.[27] The darkness was a blight that cast its fell shadow upon the world, twisting life itself and staining the very earth.[28] They fed on the essence and the soul.[29] Where they came from is not known.[30] But they were legion; and with them, all was sundered. The Demon Lords were of many hideous forms and gave birth to vile perversions, unliving nightmares which haunted the lands.[31] Cruel beyond hatred. So inherent was their primordial corruption -- what we call the Ur-Daemon, the first demons[32] -- it is said they can never truly die. Their remnants linger, in sleeping death.[33] Horrible relics of dreadful power."

- Linsandrych Illistim, First Master of Lore, House Illistim [34]

[26] The -130,000 number comes from the "Timeline of Elanthian History" document. It is using -50,000 because that is shortly before the Houses were founded (i.e. imperial Elven bias), but strictly speaking there was non-urban civilization prior to that but after the Ur-Daemon War, which is described in "History of the Sylvan Elves". The Age of Darkness can be subdivided (e.g. Caylio Javilerre referred to the Arkati dominated period.)
[27] This is supposed to be continuing onward from her writing about the oppression of dragon rule, where Linsandrych apparently interpreted the Drakes as literal dragons, as opposed to draconic manifesting greater spirits above the Arkati. This Drakes vs. dragons issue is addressed later in the document. Using "the veil" metaphor in a Linsandrych quote would date its usage back roughly 55,000 years, before veil piercing magic was invented, and is establishing here early Elven Empire understanding of the Ur-Daemon as extraplanar entities. 
[28] This is partly based off the Imaera related gods lore, and playing off a premise that earlier elves interpreted the Ur-Daemon as "darkness", not knowing or understanding the extraplanar cosmos concepts. This shadow monsters in the forest concept is depicted in "History of the Sylvan Elves" for the Age of Darkness period. "Origins of Tonis" explicitly says the Ur-Daemons "blackened the land" with their "corruption."
[29] This is in the original "History of Elanthia" document.
[30] This has been the premise with the Ur-Daemon in general, that for all we know they're still out there somewhere, but we do not actually know. (e.g. "History of Elanthia" with the Faendryl exile arguments, "Illistim mages pointed out the dangers of penetrating the veil. For all any knew, the Ur-Daemon still existed somewhere beyond it."; Daephron Illian supposedly trying to summon them and accidentally getting the Vvrael.)
[31.1] "Demon Lords" is pure invention, it has not been used for them. The Ur-Daemon have precedent of being called "the Dark Ones" and "the Ur" by NPCs, and this text also refers to them as "Old Ones" and "dead gods" as a Lovecraftian motif.
[31.2] The Ur-Daemon have been portrayed in very different physical forms, including actual visualizations, so it is hard baked that the term has to refer to a wide assortment of morphologies. (Later in this document an oblique reference is made to the possibility of them metamorphing, which could help explain this issue.) The Beast of Teras Isle seems vaguely vathor-like, though it pre-dates the creation of vathors. Ith'can resembled a huge oculoth. Orslathain supposedly had huge wings of darkness. Melgorehn's Reach time warps have shown them resembling huge floating squids, with Drakes breathing fire on them. The "Constellations of the Northern Sky" document instead suggests they should have appendages with six taloned claws. These are generally compiled on the Ur-Daemon page.
[31.3] The "History of Elanthia" insinuates a logical relationship between the Ur-Daemon and undeath, because of Despana searched the land for the old places of the Ur-Daemons (Rhoska-Tor) and somewhere in what is now called Rhoska-Tor, her quest succeeded when she found the Book of Tormtor. The Book of Tormor was said to be written in the language of the Daemons but none can now be sure of its contents. "Gods of Elanthia" establishes the twisting of the living by dark forces as a concept, and more specifically rebuilding life after the Ur-Daemon war.
[31.4] This is a real-world biblical usage of "legion", but the words legion (along with being misshapen and horrible to look upon) and "vile minions of shadow" are also used to describe them in a fresco in the Drake's Shrine, which dates back to the Ur-Daemon War. The premise that the demonic were present in vast numbers and endlessly being reinforced through the rift to their "eldritch plane" is also in the "Origins of Tonis" legend: "Though at first the drakes were successful in containing the extraplanar threat, the Ur had numbers without limit, for they had established a great rift that connected the world of Elanthia with their eldritch plane. They had infested the surrounding lands in such numbers that seeking the rift meant a fool’s death, though drakes and Arkati both tried."
[32] This is interpreting "Ur-Daemon" as just the meaning of the prefix "Ur-" and not necessarily a species name. A Ride of the Red Dreamer NPC also once implied they were not always called Ur-Daemon by mortals: Beonas says, "...we call them Ur-Daemons, now."
[33] This premise has been used for Ur-Daemon body parts in storylines by Auchand and Kenstrom. The eye of the Ur-Daemon we call Ith'can was recharged/revived to some extent, for example, with blood from the Beast imprisoned in the glaes caverns on Teras Isle. Other Ur-Daemon body part MacGuffins include the Eye of Goseth (corrupted the Sanctum of Scales) and the Shroud/Skin (which cut off the Red Dreamer from the power of the Arkati). "Origins of Tonis" uses similar premises on the Arkati versus Ur-Daemon relationship. This incidentally makes it very dubious that Marlu can consistently be Ur-Daemon, because of Cleric/Paladin magic through Marlu. The IC author does not get into it in this document, but would argue Marlu was more likely an Arkati born from the shattering of the veil when the Ur-Daemon arrived.

[34] This whole paragraph is totally made up. Linsandrych is the founder of House Illistim, existing canon quotes are used elsewhere in the document. "First Master of Lore" is an unclearly defined title, because Meachreasim Illistim in recent years is also called "First Master of Lore" (e.g. in later versions of "History of Elanthia"), and it is not defined in later Illistim documentation.

The Age of Darkness began and ended with the dragons. There came a force from beyond this world, the Utter Darkness, which shadowed over them and their barbarism.[35] With this came the true Age of Darkness.[36] It saw the dragons miscast in the light as saviors, and ultimately, the darknesses destroyed each other.[37] The dragons who survived were driven mad.[38] It is not known how this happened.[39] The more chaotic or demonic realms beyond the pale are incapable of opening portals into higher realities.[40] Whether it was an accident, or they were brought here on purpose, the way was opened.[41] Once they were here, they ripped apart the veil.[42] It was not only a single gateway to some other dimension, but many, and the world was flooded with horrible demons.[43] These primordial demons, thus named the Ur-Daemon, were tremendous and terrible powers.[44] They fed upon the magical energies of the world, and their very presence stained their surroundings.[45]

[35] The IC author is following the Linsandrych track here of equating Drakes and the dragons the ancient elves hated and feared. He questions this in an iconoclast way in a later section, suggesting draconic manifesting deities that the elves did not distinguish from ordinary dragons. "Utter Darkness" is a pure invention, and trying to plug a meaning into "Age of Darkness." Later it refers to the Elven word "Draekeche" from the House Illistim motto as meaning "darkness", which is an canon translation and from -49,080 Modern Era. The "barbarism" of the dragons plugs in later to interpreting Yshryth Faendryl's speech.
[36] Caylio Javilerre split the Age of Darkness up into an Age of the Drakes and an Arkati-dominated era after the Ur-Daemon War. The IC author here is using the Ur-Daemon to say something about the large scale introduction of dark energy corruption from other worlds (including demons and undeath) with the Ur-Daemon War.
[37] Playing off "Draekeche" meaning "darkness" and the visual fact in time rift manifestations of Drakes breathing fire on Ur-Daemon, and that both are largely dead or gone now.
[38] This is quoting "History of Elanthia" about dragons being driven mad with fear. The IC author would probably question this as historians trying to rationalize why dragons today are apparently weaker than masters of Arkati. But is not getting into that here, citing it on face value.
[39] The introduction section to "Gods of Elanthia" and other documents such as "History of Fash'lo'nae" have a story of Fash'lo'nae bringing the Ur-Daemon to Elanthia, but "History of Fash'lo'nae" at the bottom shows how thin the actual evidence of that legend is. "History of Elanthia" implies it is not actually known how the portal happened.
[40] This is an embellishment to explain why demons do not come into this world on their own (and why we do not get summoned by demons), including various ones from storylines that have tried to come here on purpose, but when they are already here they can open rifts to let in more demons. The abyran'ra did this in the Rhythus Veranthe event for the release of 725 Minor Summoning, the Ur-Daemon Ith'can was able to open portals with its eyes, the ebon-swirled primal demons of the Southron Wastes (a variety of oculoth) can likewise send their eyes through rips in space. This cosmology explanation was the reason why in the I.C.E. Age, combined with the Eyes artifacts at the poles, which have a direct analog in the Eye of the Drake artifact from the Vvrael quest. The Vvrael, Vishmiir, Althedeus, and so on, have generally always needed the way opened from this side. (Morvule is likewise an expert in demon summoning and planar studies, but had to be summoned back to Elanthia with the aid of a sacrifice ritual by the Luukosian Order. Yet in the same situation was able to fly back and forth from Elanthia and the Maw of Luukos.) Volume 2 makes more explicit use of this basic cosmology premise of more chaotic and higher ordered essences, consistent with the chaotic energy barriers of combat demons. "History of Elanthia" framed it implicitly as weird with the word 'somehow' in the line "Ur-Daemons somehow opened a portal to Elanthia".
[41] This is a nod to the legend that Fash'lo'nae brought in the Ur-Daemon, which is mentioned in a few documents now, and "Gods of Elanthia" attributes it to Faendryl "elder historians".
[42] This refers to the Ith'can ability to open portals / rifts with its eyes. This was stated in a Kenstrom storyline. To a lesser extent in terms of relevance, the ebon-swirled primal demons in the Southron Wastes also do this, their eyes emerging from rips in space.
[43.1] Partly refers to the shattering of Fash'lo'nae's library as an "amplifier" for anchoring "the portal to the Ur-Daemon's home world", and partly refers to the "instability between valences during the cosmic battle" in the "Ithzir Genesis" document. But "History of Fash'lo'nae" also uses the plural wording: "the portals of the Ur-Daemons". The premise of a single major portal though is also hard baked in the setting for the last battle which blasted the landscape for hundreds of miles "leaving it a lifeless wasteland", which in context with the Despana lore only makes sense to refer to Rhoska-Tor and the Southron Wastes. In the I.C.E. Shadow World lore it was possible to form wastelands like that from major portal collapses, which was the then-recent context at the time "History of Elanthia" was written. In DragonRealms there is some implication that excessive magical use or power in an area can leave it blasted and ruined. Mana storms similarly are of this notion of power backlash in I.C.E. Shadow World and the Elanthia of both GemStone and DragonRealms.
[43.2] With the "Ithzir Genesis" premise of valencial instabilities forming gateways to this world, and the Ur-Daemon being able to open their own rifts, and similarly random rifts opening in mana storms and magical backlashes and so forth, for many reasons a lot of demons in general should have accessed Elanthia. Not just the main ones categorized as "Ur-Daemon". It is a long-standing development imbalance/distortion in GemStone, for various reasons, that undead are way over-represented mechanically and demons are way under-represented. This document frames premises for demons to "naturally" be in highly corrupted realms and wastelands, including veil weaknesses allowing them to be immaterially present or influencing.
[44] Another etymological treatment of "Ur-" as its literal prefix meaning. Hedges on how much we actually know about them. For example, Aralyte a Palestra Blade in front of the Beast of Teras Isle (and then using its blood to power up the eye of Ith'can): Aralyte says, "It is said..." Aralyte runs a finger along the cavern wall, and briefly across the monstrous head. Aralyte asks, "Is it true, perhaps?" Aralyte asks, "The remnants of an Ur'Daemon?" Aralyte says, "In time perhaps, I will need to return here."
[45] The premise that Ur-Daemon "fed on mana, both that contained in the land's natural mana foci and that bound around all life" stems from the original "History of Elanthia". Their bodies are highly corrupting, such as what the Eye of Goseth did to the cultists of the Sanctum of Scales.

There was a cataclysmic war between the dragons and other greater powers of this world with the demons.[46] The Great Elementals stormed and the Great Spirits mostly hid or were devoured.[47] It is thought that the war was so profoundly violent to reality that it impacted the surrounding cosmos.[48] Terrible gods were formed in other worlds from the powers unleashed.[49] There were Arkati who hoarded followers, or attempted to shelter lesser races in other places.[50] Those who remained in the forests were consumed by shadows, and the living were warped into grotesque mutants.[51]

[46] IC author is being non-commital on how much we actually know of that period. In religion the Drakes and some Arkati fought the Ur-Daemon. In time rifts we've seen Drakes (meaning apparent dragons) breathing fire on gnarled floating squid monsters, which is ambient messaging for a chamber inside Melgorehn's Reach. The Planar Shift (740) rift only describes them as "otherworldly creatures", and the fresco in the Drake's Shrine is described as "countless legions misshapen and horrible to look upon" and "vile minions of shadow." The author uses "Great Spirits" as a catch-all for spirit entities up through Arkati and higher in Volumes 2 and 3 and suspects the Drakes were Koar-like Great Spirits and that actual dragons also fought the Ur-Daemon.
[47] The Great Elementals fighting in this period is asserted by the NPC authors of "History of Elementals".
[48] This is stated explicitly in the "Ithzir Genesis" document. It is mildly implied in "History of Fash'lo'nae" with the shattering of Fash'lo'nae's library which was "scattered to the planar winds, fragmented like a shattered mirror." At least part of it has been visited in-game on the Inorios Plateau.
[49] Kenstrom refers to these demonic beings as "primordials" and the only named one we have now is Althedeus. (Another might be the force behind the "golden eyes" phenomenon, most familiarly Chaston Griffin with his unnatural mental influence powers, but nothing has really been established yet. Other possible cases of it might be Emperor Aurmont's son, and the imprisoned force in the Torre reiver ancestor histories, most clearly stated in "Unfinished Smuggler's History of River's Rest".) This premise of Althedeus being formed in another realm by the powers unleashed by the Drake/Ur-Daemon War has been used repeatedly in storylines. It is also in the "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire" document in the Disciples of the Shadows section.
[50] For example, "History of Eorgina" and "Legend of L'Naere".
[51] The devouring shadow monsters of the forests are described in the early part of "History of the Sylvan Elves". The second half of the sentence is partly based on the twisting and deformation of life that Lornon Arkati do in the Imaera description in "Gods of Elanthia", and various monstrosities that have been created through dark magic. Althedeus itself did similar with its own dark corruptive powers. That is framed from multiple directions, such as Grishom Stone and Elithain Cross under the manipulation of Althedeus, the Shadow Realm creatures that have been encountered, and "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire" referring to "gruesome shadowy creatures" encountered sailing east of Atan Irith.

The Ur-Daemon were slain or banished from this world in a great battle that blasted the landscape for hundreds of miles.[52] With this accomplished there was a powerful gemstone set near the pole of our world known as the Eye of the Drake.[53] This sealed the interdimensional rift and strengthened the essence barriers separating the worlds.[54] There are legends of "the Great Drake," sometimes thought to be Koar, sealing it as a wound in his very being.[55] The lesser dragons, known as the Wyverns, were tasked with guarding over the more mortal races. But without the Great Drakes lording over them, the Wyverns ignored their charge, and have all but receded into myth.[56] With the failure of the Eye in 5098, Elanthia saw more otherworldly threats.[57] The Vvrael hold the world on the edge of a widening abyss.[58] The Vishmiir were driven back into the Void.[59] Althedeus was destroyed attempting to possess a vessel to bear its chaotic power of shadows.[60]

[52] This is quoting the "Gods of Elanthia" introduction section. This document interprets the wasteland as the Southron Wastes and especially Rhoska-Tor, where "Southron Wastes" is a historically older term, but Rhoska-Tor we interpret as having old language roots in common with Dhe'nar-si. That is because the Dhe'nar-si term "rha'sha'tor" is used in the "Dark Elven Horror Stories" document, and "History of Elanthia" implies it was not called Rhoska-Tor in the Second Age. So this is choosing to give the two forms common etymology rather than having it be a later loan word between languages.
[53] This is from the Vvrael quest. The entrance to the Rift was initially sealed with a gemstone floating over the ornate pedestal.
[54] The first part of this sentence was the explicit premise, the second part is a minor extrapolation because the "Eye of the Drake" was blatantly based on the "Eyes of Utha" from the I.C.E. setting, which had the same function and took the same form of a gem floating over a pedestal in inaccessible fortresses near the poles of the world. The failure of the Eye can also be used to handwave explain why we're dealing with so many huge extraplanar threats in the past few decades.
[55] Based on the Drake's Shrine and the loresong on the teleportation orbs given to the Chosen. The imagery involved is pretty clearly from the Book of Revelation, so this is playing into that with the notion of a living seal, and the use of Grail quest motifs in the Vvrael quest treating Koar as the analog of the wounded Grail king with the Dolorous Stroke. The Rift room descriptions also suggest a kind of illness in Koar, and there are numerous indicators that you are supposed to be inside the Great Drake in some sense (especially literal on Plane 5).
[56] This is from the "Wyvern" document. The IC author is speaking loosely calling them "lesser dragons", they're more like draconic energy beings created by the Great Drakes, whereas "wyrms" in Elanthia would be an actual literal dragon variety (species of the draconic family.) This is iconoclasm and Faendryl skepticism on religion.
[57] Same point made in note 54.
[58] The Rift was threatening to widen (i.e. the nebulous sphere would've expanded wider into the Drake's Shrine) in the release events for the Scatter. Also loosely referring to the Scatter opening up. Vvrael quest ended with Terate stabilizing but not actually closing the Rift.
[59] Vishmiir event was in 2002 with the day/night release, and they resided in some kind of extraplanar realm called the Void. This document uses the term "Void" later in the context of death mechanics messaging, as well as the term "interplanar void", but these are not intended to be read as equivalents. It just happens to be the case that the Vishmiir are trapped in a realm that was labeled "Void."
[60] This was the climax of the Cross into Shadows storyline in late 2014. This is speaking to an implied difficulty in the most powerful demonic entities to fully manifest in this reality. Althedeus on his own was unable to exist / maintain cohesion in this reality, which is why he needed the urnon golem. DragonRealms has a similar premise, with such demonic powers usually acting through conduits instead of entering and fully manifesting/incarnating. The Ur-Daemon would in this context have been a hugely violating breaking of reality just by being in this existence. There is some indication of that profound alienation in how Lumnis describes them in the "Origins of Tonis" legend: "These creatures are so far removed from all that we know that we are blind in all things concerning them." 

With the demise of the Ur-Daemon came the opportunity for rebirth, but also the need to heal the world.[61] Their unholy power had perverted the forms of life and corrupted the spiritual forces of nature.[62] There were depraved monstrosities, demonic hybrids, amalgamations that were neither living nor dead.[63] The Lords of Liabo slew the unnatural.[64] Through long years the goddess Imaera worked to cleanse the land of dark essences, much as one might neutralize or remove curses from a gem.[65] The lesser spirits known as the fey, such as the nymphs and sprites and dryads, helped heal the flora and fauna of this taint.[66] The most desecrated fallen realms were too far gone and have remained forever haunted.[67] Spirits in those places were twisted with dark power.[68]

[61] For example, the Kuon section of "Gods of Elanthia", and the Imaera section about restoring life on the planet as well as the Jaston section.
[62] This is a straight forward logical consequence of their established nature and properties. Their corruption of the land itself is an explicit premise in "Origins of Tonis".
[63] This is an embellishment that extrapolates from the premise of the demonic hybrids formed in the Third Elven War, and the previously referenced relationship between the Ur-Daemon and undeath. These concepts of an unliving spectrum are fleshed out a lot more in Volumes 2 and 3, reconciling the scattered creature lore in the game. Because of the shared root of Everblood in Drangell's troll curse and ebon-swirled primal demon blood, it seems likely the case that trolls should have originated anciently in demonic corruption.
[64] This is reviving the I.C.E. analog of the period, where the various left over demons and so on from the cataclysm were killed or banished, and the ecology was slowly healed with intervention. It does not make sense that the final battle with the Ur-Daemon would have destroyed all the creatures of darkness and random demons.
[65] This is mostly based on the Imaera lore, as well as the uncursing mechanics. The Council of Light resignation mechanics also show some divine ability of cleansing taint of dark energy from spirit and life.
[66] This is reviving the I.C.E. analog of the period, where this was stated explicitly. Fey of this kind are still represented as servants of various Arkati. This is just describing their use as scrubbers, and sets up the premise for tainted/corrupted fey spirits, of which there are concrete examples such as Ilvari. This is important because they would be an example of "undead" present in Elanthia in all time periods after the Ur-Daemon War.
[67] Rhoska-Tor is still a wasteland. Extreme cases like the Wizardwaste and Bleaklands seem impossible to be fixed. The Green Sisters of Talador have been described in Kenstrom storylines as unable to reverse the Bleaklands.
[68] As with number 66, this is important for the deep history of undead in Elanthia, and they logically should have existed this far back. This premise is used to explain corrupted wasteland fey (e.g. "infernal sprites" that were in the Southron Wastes in the Wavedancer event) and the premise is used in this text to explain how the Dhe'nar learned to manipulate the undead.

These warped and tormented spirits are sometimes considered undead, and have plagued the world since at least the time of the Ur-Daemon War.[69] Extraplanar undead such as the Vishmiir are at least this old as well.[70] Even the lesser demons, or malevolent powers such as the Vvrael, have made undead minions since prehistory.[71] Unliving abominations were made in the Age of Darkness and were a horror for the survivors of the War.[72] Some of these monstrosities, such as the vruul, survive to the present day.[73] There were perhaps always certain kinds of naturally occurring undeath, such as ghosts, or those who become bound by traumatic deaths such as firephantoms.[74] But it was the corruption of dark essences from the demons that brought the true unlife.[75] The physical forms of the Ur-Daemon are so profoundly unholy, the power of the Arkati is sealed off from them.[76] They are inherently anti-magical, and in some ways, incapable of death.[77]

[69] Volume 3 gets into classification schemes for the undead. The presence of this kind of undeath dating back to the Ur-Daemon War is just being consistent with the logic of dark energy taint / corruption.
[70] This is made up. There is some reason to think the Vishmiir had very ancient Marluvian origins, such as the Hunt for History urglaes talisman loresong, so they could have been created any time between the Ur-Daemon War and the founding of the Elven Empire. Possibly even a little later. With the framed premise of Ur-Daemon portals and rifts in that Ur-Daemon War period, it would make sense for some souls of this world to have ended up as extraplanar undead through them.
[71.1] It has essentially always been a premise in GemStone that demons are involved in making the undead (e.g. the Order of Voln induction messaging), and in DragonRealms necromancy is framed as ultimately demonic in nature and origin in some sense. The demons that should have been left over from the Ur-Daemon War and the demons that should have managed to get into this world for various reasons both can have been responsible for directly or indirectly causing undead to exist at all time points. With the Vvrael, Daephron Illian was studying how to summon Ur-Daemon in the early exile in Rhoska-Tor, but it turned out he was studying the Vvrael. So there should be Vvrael stuff in that specific location from earlier, but probably later than the Dhe'nar.
[71.2] With respect to the demons being left over from the Ur-Daemon War, it is a premise that there was a "final stand before the portal leading back to their own dimension" in "History of Elanthia", and similar wording in "Gods of Elanthia". However, what is less clear is that they were all pushed back through a portal, which seems implausible. There could be a subtlety in this that without the support of their portal, the Ur-Daemon might not have been able to maintain themselves in this reality. This could also speak to Marlu's need for loosening portals, and were he really Ur-Daemon, could help restrain the scale of his power. So it might really be that the portal was destroyed, blasting the landscape for hundreds of miles, and the Ur-Daemon that were still here were effectively dead due to the closing of their portal(s). That could also heighten the stakes for the implosion at Maelshyve, because if there are now buried "dead" Ur-Daemon they could potentially get revived with a nearby major rip in reality. But weaker demons would not need to be so dependent, just these tremendous ones needing the support to exist in violation of this reality.
[72] There is some indication of this in the "History of Luukos" legend document.
[73] This is reviving the I.C.E. setting premise that what we now call vruul (back then they were called gogor) were created artificially ~100,000 years ago and used in the cataclysmic war that ended that age. Vruul are supposed to slumber in foul black fluid in tall stone jars for thousands of years.
[74] Ghosts should exist regardless of anything. Phantoms in general could be characterized this way, but it's been directly established repeatedly that firephantoms are caused this way. It is encoded with the arch in Glatoph, and Sir Davard after the Church of Koar burned him in Cross into Shadows storyline, and the girls that Cyph Kestrel accidentally burned to death in Keeping up with the Kestrels storyline. Such undead should have essentially always existed.
[75] This distinction is used and elaborated in Volumes 2 and 3. Auchand has since used it some in his vampires documentation. This document emphasizes the use of "dark energy" from demonic realms as "tainting" and as the distinguishing characteristic of "black arts" from more ordinary sorcery, but allows definitions of sorcery that can include them.
[76] This was established in the Ride of the Red Dreamer storyline, and is reaffirmed in the "Origins of Tonis" legend. The Arkati are discomfited by the very existence of the Ur-Daemon materializations. They are "blind" to the Ur-Daemon in some sense, and the Ur-Daemon are beyond the capacity to be seen by "seers." This is unexplained in any deep way, but could be plausibly read as them being outside the "Fate" cosmic forces of this existence and some broken violation in that way.
[77] Same as number 76. It's also insinuating a deep and natural relationship with undeath. The "in some ways" line is referring to the ability to revive their body parts and so on. This has been explicitly stated by NPCs, such as Tseleth leading up to the Sanctum of Scales release: Tseleth says, "A piece of an Ur-Daemon never dies." Tseleth says, "It is full and brimming with the power of its originator." Tseleth says, "Each artifact of the Ur has a power that the Arkati cannot touch, cannot penetrate." 

In the wake of the Ur-Daemon War, those gods we call the Arkati were on top of the hierarchy of powers, and formed a cold war between their factions.[78] Those who "once dwelled upon Lornon" saw the world as their plaything.[79] Lornon is rumored to be a gateworld.[80] Hovering on the boundaries between planes of existence, legend holds its underground caverns were once the workshops of Fash'lo'nae, and early myths held Marlu was imprisoned in the cold moon.[81] It may even be where the Ur-Daemon first entered.[82] There are Faendryl elder historians who believe the spirits of Lornon were corrupted with demonic power, and in this way became darker, thus becoming prone to working with the powers of undeath and demons.[83] The Dark Gods often spend their time residing in other, more hellish planes of existence, fashioning servants that blur the distinction between demons and the undead.[84] Luukos was regarded as the Soul Eater in the Second Age. But he was not singled out as "God of Undeath" until after the Undead War.[85] Most undead are not Luukosian, except maybe in some very religious sense, with the cosmic balances of Life and Death.[86]

[78] This is a characterization of the Arkati lore, and suggesting it shook out that way. Since other powers were involved. There were Great Elementals in that period, and there are more local gods, and there's always been some premise of lesser spirits and Arkati who became less powerful over time and so forth.
[79] This is quoting "Gods of Elanthia" and "History of Elanthia".
[80] This is based on the "History of Fash'lo'nae" document, and also reviving that premise which was explicit in the I.C.E. Shadow World setting version of that moon.
[81] This comes from "History of Fash'lo'nae", while the hovering on the boundaries line is reviving the I.C.E. version premise.
[82] This is referring to the idea that Marlu came first (such as in "History of Fash'lo'nae") or that the Ur-Daemon were interacting with Fash'lo'nae (such as in "Gods of Elanthia") before he blasted the door way open somewhere on Elanthia (here assumed to be Rhoska-Tor and the southern wastes.)
[83] This premise and interpretation of the Lornon gods (that they were darkened by being on Lornon rather than the bad childhood myths or ideological sorting) comes from the introduction section of "Gods of Elanthia". Its use is a consistency consideration for Volumes 2 and 3. The issue is that in GemStone's original framework, the Dark Gods were manifestations of darker energy, related to the Unlife. They had fundamentally different origins from the Light Gods. Evil magic and "unholy" power was associated with these more chaotic/demonic forms of essence. Then in the Elanthia setting we still have dark essence, demons, unholy power, undead and taint concepts, and Lornon Arkati being associated with such things, yet they are now supposed to be of the same origins as the other Arkati. The corrupted-by-demonic-power-on-Lornon premise reconciles this foundational inconsistency.
[84] This has been established in various ways over the years. Luukos has the Maw of Luukos, for example, and Eorgina was in some other realm when communed with near the climax of the Daukhera Darkflorr storyline in Icemule. Ivas has the incubi. The notion of blurring the distinction between demons and undead is an important concept in all three volumes. These are probably mostly the "infernal realms" described in volume 2's cosmology model rather than "outer" valences.
[85] The "History of Luukos" legend frames historical details that mean Luukosians in Elanthia were not making undead until after the Undead War. So these lines are about retaining his other qualities and reasons for the animosity between him and Lorminstra that would have been recognized in the Elven Empire period. (Most of the time "Elven Empire" does not refer to the Age of Chaos and later, where instead the usage is usually "Elven Nations" or "United City-States". There can be odd present-tense exceptions like the beginning of the Ta'Loenthra document.)
[86] This is manifestly true in practice for the undead that actually exist in GemStone. Luukos may have some sphere of influence relationship with the undead, but most undead are not actually Luukosian or made by Luukos. (In DragonRealms it is actually clarified that not all undead are demonic in origin, and even then it is thought demonic patronage in some way is required. Necromancy is fully broken off from Immortals involvement in that Elanthia.) Life and Death balances have generally been used in the religion lore, such as in the "History of the Order of Voln" document. This concept will be used near the end of this document for explaining and reconciling the death mechanics information.

II. The Second Age (-50,000 to -20,000 Modern Era)[87]

"Of the first age, little is known, save for one thing -- the dragons ruled all Elanthia.[88] There are no written records of this time, but paintings on the walls of caves, carvings on petrified trees and glyphs found in the Southron Wastes all convey the same desperate messages, of flight, fear, and starvation.[89] Above all, the mighty wings and claws of dragonkind."

- Linsandrych Illistim, First Master of Lore, House Illistim[90]

[87.1] -20,000 Modern Era is when the earliest rumors of Despana are heard. This is also the date range for the Second Age used by the "History of Elanthia" document. A reasonable argument could be made that the Second Age should go up to closer to -15,000 Modern Era with the actual Undead War fighting. But this document labels -20,000 to -15,000 as "Undead War", using the whole Despana build up period, even though the actual war was much shorter. Then the Third Age is the Age of Chaos, but its date range is debatable.
[87.2] "History of the Truefolk" even refers to a "Third Age" including the Undead War, and then talks about the "Age of Chaos and Beyond" after that. But we do not use that convention and simply refer to the Undead War, and the Age of Chaos as after the Undead War. "History of Elanthia" implies "Age of Chaos" equals Third Age, with the "Modern Era" being explicitly the "Fourth Age".
[88] Linsandrych Illistim equates dragons and Drakes. Dragon and Drake are used interchangeably in Meachreasim Illistim's "History of Elanthia" document.
[89] These details are directly referenced later in this document when talking about the southern wastelands in this very early period. The premise of no written records that far back is also stated in the "History of Fash'lo'nae" document and referenced to some extent in the "Elanthian Moons" document.
[90] This is a canon quote in the "History of Elanthia" document.

II.A Ancestral Spirits

The history of the world begins with the written language of the Elves, which was shortly before the founding of the Elven Empire at the dawn of the Second Age.[91] There are only prehistorical relics and proto-writing, cave paintings and petroglyphs, for the times beyond sixty thousand years ago.[92] Knowledge of the Age of Darkness for the most part is limited to the oral traditions of the elves, as the issues of distortion are that much more severe in the more mortal races.[93] Linsandrych Illistim founded her city alongside the Order of Lorekeepers, religious chroniclers of the ancient wisdom of the Arkati.[94] But while the Elves indulge themselves in imagining the accuracy of their own culture tradition, much of the elven dogma may only reflect the beliefs that were widely held at the time of the founding by privileged parts of the society, when the first great libraries were built and books were made and preserved with much labor.[95]

[91] The Linsandrych Illistim quote from "History of Elanthia" about the absence of older written records and the characterization of the NPC author of "History of Fash'lo'nae".
[92] Same as 91. The "first written history of the growing empire" is the Chronicles in -49,238 Modern Era on the "Timeline of Elanthian History".
[93] This is related to the Chroniclers with Linsandrych Illistim in "Timeline of Elanthian History" and the Order of Lorekeepers, and to some extent "History of the Dhe'nar", and "History of the Sylvan Elves" shows the sylvans did not have writing until the early Second Age. The premise that other races (e.g. dwarves) would have more distorted oral history is partly reasonably and partly IC elven author bias.
[94] "Timeline of Elanthian History" document and the retconned version of the Order of Lorekeepers document which replaced "Nantu" with "Ta'Illistim".
[95] This is IC author interpretation. But a similar statement is made by the NPC author of "History of Fash'lo'nae", talking about how supposedly more ancient ideas may only reflect beliefs held at the time of the Houses founding period. It is setting up a class / elites structure bias to orthodox history, which reasonably ought to exist for socioeconomic reasons. The first house was House Illistim, which also began with the construction of a library (Ta'Illistim), where the Chronicle keepers moved. This was -49,107 Modern Era per the "Timeline of Elanthian History", and this date is the year zero of Illistim calendar dates. (Vaalor calendars use their own founding date of -48,897 Modern Era as their year zero.)

It is without dispute that some of the Arkati guided the elves and other races in the Rebuilding after the Ur-Daemon War.[96] The sylvan and imperial elves in this way both have views of the spirit world centered on the Light and Dark Gods.[97] It is not at all obvious, however, that this truly represents --- even among the elves --- the very earliest forms of religion.[98] Though the goddesses Imaera and L'naere, if indeed those are truly different goddesses, are believed to have manipulated the forms of life, in some legends the elves existed before the Arkati.[99]

[96] "Time of the Rebuilding" is a phrase used for the Arkati dominated period of the Age of Darkness in the "Elanthian Moons" document. The premise that not all gods helped rebuild the world is stated in "History of Elanthia". Arkati assistance with agriculture, for example, should reasonably overlap with early written language / records. So this much should be considered hard fact from Elven history.
[97] This is pointing out a commonality between the dominant religion lore and what is written in "History of the Sylvan Elves", and also setting up a premise that this is an ancient elven bias enshrined in mainstream Elanith theology.
[98] The existence of druidism and shamanism and animism in general should, for the same reason real-world Western scholars do, be arguably more primordially ancient than the polytheism and especially good/evil dualism of the Arkati centered religions. This document is referring to what the Elves would call "primitive" or "barbaric" or "uncivilized" cultures because of their ethnocentrism.
[99] Suggesting Imaera and L'Naere are not really separate goddesses is iconoclastic, playing off their high similarity and the similarity of their names and the fact that L'Naere does not exist in the historical records period. The last part is referencing the "History of Fash'lo'nae", where Fash'lo'nae comes into existence later than an elf, combined with the legends that Fash'lo'nae is the oldest of the Arkati. But the IC author of this text later argues the Grandfather Stone (the premise of this legend) is an admitted forgery by Fash'lo'nae himself, which also comes from the "History of Fash'lo'nae" document. The premise of the ancestors of the mortal races pre-dating the Arkati is reasonably similar to the belief that the Drakes preceded the Arkati and so should not be especially controversial.

Throughout the world there are relatively insulated cultures that might be called "animist," or "druidic," or who hold some flavor of pantheism.[100] Shamans are widely found among many of the more "barbaric" races, whether we are speaking of giants and giantmen, or the orcs and trolls and hobgoblins.[101] It is similarly found among the surviving pre-Kannalan human tribes, such as the Tehir in the Sea of Fire, along with superstitious fears of black shamanism, such as with the Quladdim of the Wizardwaste.[102] There are those who venerate the spirits of nature, and those who worship the elements. There are Illoke shamans and cultists, such as wind witches or fire mages, who are often found with elemental fey spirits like fire sprites.[103] Elemental worship is not always ancient. Sometimes the Arkati are eschewed following cataclysms. Such is apparently the case with the Angstholm gnomes, who survived a great flood, and possibly the Tehir.[104]

[100] This is a reasonable anthropological characterization or categorization by the IC author writing about them from the outside.
[101] This is a fact of the world setting that has been demonstrated many times over with both permanent and invasion creatures, and sometimes documentation such as "Life and Being in the Sea of Fire".
[102] This is from "Life and Being in the Sea of Fire" and "Travels in the Wizardwaste", as well as suggestions of ancient pre-Kannalan Tehir ancestors in "Unfinished Smuggler's History of River's Rest".
[103] This is a combination of implemented creatures and documentation such as the Giantkin clans and Tehir and gnome documentation.
[104] These are from "Life and Being in the Sea of Fire" and "Lines of Blood: A History of the Gnomes".

The krolvin view other gods as lesser emanations of the supreme god Khar'ta, which is essentially a kind of pantheism similar in vein to some who imagine Koar as the God King.[105] There are dead traditions around the fallen Onarian kingdom of Anwyn, for example, which imagined Koar as a dying and rising god whose revival restores the world.[106] The sylvankind still worship both the Light and Dark Gods in balance.[107] There are even those who adhere to a kind of "One" monism, supporting creation myths where all the greater powers come from intermediary demiurges.[108]

[105.1] The first part of this is from "Blood of the Sea: The Krolvin and Their Descendants". The krolvin gods more generally are a very different interpretation of the Arkati, as established in "A Short Primer on Half-Krolvin Society and Faith". Khar'ta in particular is a blend of Koar, Eorgina, and Charl, but "Blood of the Sea" goes further. 
[105.2] The second part of this partly plays off the mural under the Abandoned Inn, and the human "God King" concept of making Koar into a kind of supreme god. 
[106] This is slightly an embellishment. Onar was established to be the patron of the kingdom of Anwyn in the Demon Queen of Anwyn storyline in 1998, and Castle Anwyn is related to the Vvrael quest, which arguably used a lot of Grail quest mythological elements. One of these was the Grail king mythos, which has been interpreted by some as coming from "dying and rising god" mythologies, with the wasteland myth and world restoration. This is related to the earlier section of this document where the Great Drake seals the Rift as a wound in his living being.
[107] This is from the "History of the Sylvan Elves" document.
[108.1] This refers to the One creation myths in the "History of Elanthia" and "History of Elementals" documents. There is no reliable within-world authority who can speak to the factuality of such a thing, since it would pre-date their creation. This notion of the One, Many, and so on, has been reference in game, including by some sort of elemental around Zul Logoth in the Nations on the Brink storyline.
[108.2] The second part of this is characterizing it in Neoplatonist / gnosticism terms, which is where this kind of cosmological notion comes from in the real world. Later in this document this is historicized in the same way, being attributed to "occultist" movements in the Second Age trying rationalize more ancient superstitious beliefs. That is an invention of this document for reconciling the undefined within-setting origins of the creation myth.

The question is whether such commonalities are the result of convergence, or whether they are syncretism and the vestigial mutations of far more ancient religions.[109] It is beyond the scope of this work to study all of world religion. It is limited to making a crude approximation of the history of the filiation of ideas, so that the development of necromancy from its historical roots may be understood as propensities.[110] History by its nature is the warping of the past through the lenses of contemporary interests. Narrative risks making a fiction of the past.[111] But the history of necromancy is largely one of traditions which were ignored or shunned, twisting and evolving out of the rituals and superstitions of those living outside of civilization.[112]

[109] This document does not try to sort out what is really true about religious myths and beliefs, and allows them to be either cross-pollinations or convergent evolution to similar notions. This is analogous to the real-world question of whether the things in common between extant "First Societies" are ancient survivals of prehistorical practices or if they independently evolved from those unknown starting points toward similar stuff as each other in the present day. Then this is adding in syncretism as a third option, talking about similarities being the result of cultural cross-pollination, instead of convergence or vestigial survivals. The IC author would argue that shared details in Arkati origin legends, for example, might just be storytellers taking fictional ideas from each other and contaminating them with anachronistic beliefs / values / ideas.
[110] This document is mostly historiographic rather than historical. It is recasting, reinterpreting, recontextualizing historical texts, and critiquing the methods or assumptions of those historians. It is attempting to explain propensities out of worldviews and culture-traditions for generating the various kinds of necromancy, and the history of collisions is predominantly defined in Faendryl terms because that is where it would be best recorded and now most hegemonic. This is allowing the full history to be a lot messier than the relatively clean and rational-theoretic way it is being characterized.
[111] This is the IC author acknowledging we are framing things by our present day categories and interests, which to some extent is a distortion from how people in past times or other places would characterize themselves.
[112] This is the IC author acknowledging that he is describing other people from the outside and limits the scope of our understanding. That in turn gives some flex for things getting established that might be inconsistent with this later.

Very loosely speaking, we refer here to spiritual beliefs that regard all kinds of things as being in some sense "alive," having agency or powers or even sentience and self-awareness. This may involve fetishes, such as totems, or focus on fey spirits such as nymphs and sprites. Often abstract concepts or words, especially names, are seen as holding power. There is ultimately no distinction between spirits and the material world. Illnesses are perceived as spiritual afflictions, and shamans rely on rituals and herbs to drive out the malicious spirits.[113]

[113] All of this is characterizing the animist worldview, which to some extent is encoded in the spirit spell circles. This paragraph could just as easily be used in the real-world. It is not specific to the Elanthia world setting.

There is not necessarily a difference between a wicked spirit and the non-corporeal undead in this view of the world.[114] This is seen with the Tehir, who refer to all such spirits as raamaani. The Sea of Fire has a very high density of spirits, and knowing how to deal with them is an ordinary part of life. Those few who deal with them to a great extent, the Xshitha Raamaani, do so by bargaining with other spirits. Many of the Tehir tribesmen, in fact, regard the Voln mission with disdain. There is a hierarchy of spirits and much nuance in what we call undeath, and unless the tribe is personally threatened, tormented spirits are often regarded as deserving their suffering. In the same fashion the Arkati are often viewed very differently among shaman religions. The Tehir associate the spirit Luukos with a legendary huge snake that surrounds Bir Mahallah, which acts as an instrument of vengeance against those who wrong Creation.[115]

[114] This is elaborated in Volume 3 and has basis in "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire" document in the Xshitha Raamaani section.
[115.1] All of this is in the Xshitha Raamaani section of "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire". The Tehir relationship to dealing with spirits is also discussed a great deal in "Life and Being in the Sea of Fire", having been intentionally made into an animist culture rather than an Arkati focused culture.
[115.2] This hook about the Tehir interpretation of Luukos, and Bir Mahallah's relationship with dark sorcery and undeath, is used here as a springboard for illustrating how necromancy of undeath can arise spontaneously from animist traditions.

This is important in understanding how it is that necromancy involving the undead arises historically from spiritual magic.[116] There are many rituals involved in making sure the souls of the dead are able to depart, whatever the belief in what happens next, whether that afterlife is in another world or some kind of reincarnation.[117] With the Tehir the custom is to bury the dead as soon as possible, in order to avoid the body becoming possessed by spirits. Vultures are seen as imprisoning the spirits of the dead.[118] Excarnation practices such as sky burials, in contrast, where the flesh of the dead is cut away or fed to wild birds on charnel grounds, form their own basis of perversion for making the undead in necromantic rituals.[119] These sites are often used only up to some limit to prevent ghosts.[120] The very simplest and most primitive way for a shaman to cause undeath is to do the exact opposite of the local traditions for preventing it.[121]

[116] This is a thesis statement of the document. The most important trend line for this is trying to do spiritual magic with dark essences and/or trying to channel from demonic powers, which by the logic of the cosmology / magic theory in this document, naturally turns into "dark sorcery" instead of pure spiritual magic because of the necessary hybridization (corruption) with ordinary mana when wielding those cthonic essences for magic. (This document also as a literalizing convention uses "extra"chthonic to refer to outer valences and distinguishes that from "pales" or "infernal realms" of our own spectrum of existence which instead care called "chthonic." These early theurgic summoners would largely be dealing in chthonic demons, and possibly immaterially through veil weaknesses rather than rifts. Balefire is explicitly an extrachthonic energy due to its spell definition: "Contact with the outer valences has provided sorcerers with a knowledge of a strange form of energy." Mawfire in contrast would be chthonic, because the Maw of Luukos is a "near plane" and not an outer/sorcerous valence. Auchand for example updated the valence page on the Wiki to classify the Maw of Luukos and the Eternal Dream as near planes, and added the distinguishing sentence: "While sorcerous magic concerns itself with the connection to and use of demonic valences, it frequently ignores the planes nearest Elanthia.")
[117] This is an existing premise in the culture mortuary ritual lore, such as the Sylvan documentation with the Otherworld. It provides a natural hook for what if the spirits get stuck and what if they eventually get corrupted. In "History of the Truefolk" it was a Halfling belief (pre-dating the Undead War) that "should one of the Truefolk die in lands far away, they were doomed after death to wander endlessly, searching for those they had loved during their lifetime." Volume 3 talks about this kind of "restless spirit" condition, and also related to the notion of unfinished purpose, which is touched on near the end of this document.
[118] These two sentences are both right out of the "Life and Being in the Sea of Fire" document. The premise of corpses getting possessed by background spirits is also very important for the existence of undead in the deep past, and gets used later in this document for addressing the Dhe'nar learning to control the undead in Rhoska-Tor.
[119] Sky burials have been used in the game, even by the reivers of the Ember Vale in the North by Northwest storyline. This is contrasting the previous sentence as essentially the exact opposite belief, where bodies are fed to vultures on purpose, and suggesting skeletal undead (e.g. skeletal giants) come into existence in this way. This is elaborated in Volume 3.
[120] This is an embellishment. It is a real-world superstition regarding charnel grounds with sky burials.
[121] This is a reasonable extrapolation and common sense perverse incentive behavior following out of religious beliefs and mortuary rituals for helping spirits depart so they do not become undead. This should be a very common way necromancy evolves out of shaman behaviors.

However, while the black arts of undeath arose in the haunted realms from necromancy, it is historical prejudice to conflate them.[122] Necromancy was an art of divination concerned with spirits of the dead, and thus it found special importance in mortuary rituals.[123] Ancestor veneration is often a major aspect of these religions.[124] Those who believe in a transmigration of souls within this world expect ancestral spirits to remain in some way.[125] They are called upon or appeased with offerings.[126] Folk magic is perhaps the very thing Elven materialism was reacting against.[127]

[122] This is the thesis construction of the document again. "Black arts" refers to taint and corruptive energies, and "haunted realms" are described more in Volumes 2 and 3. This document begins by treating "necromancy" as magic involving death rituals, and then in these places with demonic corruption and dark powers, this gets twisted into darker and more twisted forms of magic.
[123] This is a real-world usage of the literal meaning of "necromancy", but otherwise an embellishment for Elanthia, where in present modern day conventions this kind of clerical magic is not considered necromancy and necromancy is instead defined in terms of sorcery. So this is talking about very early conventions before that situation existed.
[124] This is true in the real world. It shows up in parts of the Elanthia lore, and reasonably should be part of the animist skewing cultures.
[125] Notably, the fey of the Wyrdeep allow the Barons of Bourth to be taken in by them in death, which was seen in the burial of Spensor Caulfield. But this line has been left vague, and Elanthia has a premise of Lorminstra allowing souls to return from beyond the Ebon Gates for the Eve of the Reunion.
[126] This is generic animist behavior.
[127] This is an IC author interpretation. Imperial Elven culture in Elanthia seems self-consciously rationalist and rejecting of religious mysticism, but there are others such as elves of the Wyrdeep who are druids. So this document tries to reconcile all this with an Enlightenment style rejection of the more medieval or older kinds of things that would have been pushed into the less civilized provinces in the West. Orthodox religion and theology might also be suppressant of it. Arkati are spirit beings, but the Elves arguably racialized them, for their own dogmatic self-interest. (In DragonRealms they are actually explicitly extraplanar beings, and they were extraplanar beings in the I.C.E. Shadow World setting, and as far back as 1996 in GemStone you have Stump posting about the Arkati residing in the "Spirit realm." It's really just this religious myth stuff in GemStone that does not generally treat them that way.)

The ambiguity in what qualifies as undeath is rooted in this question of what qualifies as living. When all spirits whatsoever are life forces, corruption makes them malicious. But a spirit that was never anything other than a spirit is not a "cursed soul" to be "released."[128] There are in turn rotting corpses that are animated through some incantation, such as one might with any other kind of spirit servant, which are not eternally bound with a soul that is cursed to the body.[129] While this is unquestionably "undead," such a flesh golem is not the primary concern of Voln, who is mostly concerned with the release of cursed souls.[130] Little more than any other golem that has a spirit trapped within it.[131] There are ambiguities in this as well with "demons," as the separation of demons from wicked spirits is a convention. They may be conjured much like spirits through weaknesses in the veil.[132] These are instead forces of darkness which all pose hazards such as involuntary possession.[133] Warding off particular kinds of evil spirits varies by their individual identities and associations.[134] Thus, this "deal making" and localized view of dark forces gave rise to very different, more personal traditions.[135]

[128] These lines are directly addressing foundational ambiguities in the definition of "undead" and why some things are considered undead and not others, and why some unliving things are not mechanically undead for the Order of Voln.
[129] This is the nature of Animate Dead (730).
[130] This is based on being literal with the Path of Enlightenment messaging. Voln would in practice probably strike down corpse puppets, too, but this is hedged by "primary concern" and not a matter of favor in the Order of Voln.
[131] Rolemaster golems and constructs are always animated by a captured spirit of some kind. These could also be elementals and demons. Undead golems are only those where the spirit is an undead soul. There have been Elanthia setting golems with souls in them (e.g. the urnon golems from Kenstrom storylines) and that urnon golem also would have hosted the demon primordial Althedeus. Artificial constructs are not targetted for release by the Order of Voln, so this is reconciling these facts.
[132] Again, it would not have always been understood that there are these extraplanar outworlder entities, so "demons" anciently would have initially been considered wicked spirits or monstrosities of darkness. (DragonRealms also has some framing on historical refinement of what the word "demon" means, with its own temporary overcorrection of equating them with all extraplanars.) There are also extraplanar undead. Extraplanar origin entities (e.g. the water wyrds in River's Rest) are not always mechanically extraplanar, so it is implicitly possible for such entities to attune to this reality. Some demons (e.g. the spells Cloak of Shadows (712) and Torment (718)) are not summoned with summoning circles, apparently being conjured from this world or more passively and immaterially through veil weaknesses. This is explored and reconciled much more in Volumes 2 and 3.
[133] Various kinds of entities have been demonstrated as having possessing powers, ranging from the oculoth possession powers to undead with mind control / behavior manipulation abilities to NPCs in storylines such as Thadston and the bleakwalker or Bonespear in Bonespear Tower and the dybbuks implicitly being possession spirit undead and the soul golems with the wind wraiths.
[134] This is partly playing off the Xshitha Raamaani lore in "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire", but just generally how it should be, different kinds of things needing to be handled different kinds of ways by spirit callers.
[135] This is used to fabricate "black arts" traditions along similar lines in haunted realms, which reconciles and helps explain all the very dark magic that has nothing to do with the Faendryl or Dhe'nar, and does not necessarily come from Lornon. There are little bits of lore about demonic cults and other threats in the Southron Wastes than the Horned Cabal, but for the most part it is very thinly defined. This is bolstering the premise that there should be demon worshippers and so on in the southern wastelands as that is logically where they would have resided given the existing historical framework.

II.B The Elven Empire

"The lesser races live in savagery. It is only with the guidance of our own eternal empire that they shall ever rise from barbarism to enjoy the benefits of civilization. Incapable of ruling themselves, they are rightfully grateful for our benevolence and aid. How can we lead them from this darkness if we live in its shadow? We have forgotten ourselves. It was in unity that we strode forth from the forests, out from under the bloodied wings of dragonkind. It is in unity that we shall reign in peerless supremacy over the troglodytic barbarians who need our leadership as they need the air to breathe. Who among us, then, is more beast than elvenkind?"[136]

- Yshryth Silvius Faendryl, Patriarch XIV, House Faendryl

[136] The paragraph up through "benevolence and aid" is from the "History of Elanthia" document. It was expanded through "need the air to breathe" in the "History of the Faendryl" document. These parts are already canon. The very last sentence is totally made up for this document. It is there to give support to an interpretation of the speech's meaning later in this document, emphasizing its more metaphorical quality (which was contextualized as political rhetoric during Yshryth's coronation by the "History of the Faendryl" document). The time scale used for the first thirteen Patriarchs means that Yshryth Faendryl was coronated after the Houses had been founded but still during the very early Elven Empire. Roughly Circa -46,000s and -45,000s since the Patriarch stabilizes into average 2,000 year reigns after that period, which is consistent with the explicitly stated reign lengths in the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document for the Second Age.

While the Elves had for thousands of years lived in the great gaps the Ur-Daemon War had rent into the forest, developing agriculture with the aid especially of the goddesses Oleani and Imaera, these early settlements were dispersed and only the size of hamlets and villages.[137] There was cultural differentiation as the Elves migrated to the various kinds of terrain, forming the wicks of what would become the seven candles of civilization.[138] There was ultimately a concentration of power in urban centers with the construction of cities.[139] These early cities came to be named after the prominent leaders of movements, and solidified into monarchies which each ruled over distinct regions.[140] These "Houses" were imagined as great families of bloodlines bound in kinship and mutual destiny.[141] The House personified a sphere of power over the terrestrial world, as the gods of old were each the very manifestation of spheres of cosmic forces.[142]

[137] The premise that they resided for a long time in these open gaps, while the sylvans were those that stayed nomadic longer, comes from "History of the Sylvan Elves". It explicitly establishes that these kinds of smaller settlements out in the open were done for a long time before the urban centers were founded. This means the House founder stuff, especially coming out of the forests and building cities, is heavily mythologized. The IC author of this document later calls that examples of the "great man of history" myth.
[138] This is seeding the socioeconomic reasons for the cultural differentiation, so that it isn't really ideologies espoused by single charismatic founders out of thin air.
[139] This is a general civilization development pattern.
[140] Lyredaen has said in the past that this was the real intent for how the Houses came into being in that time period.
[141] This is an IC author interpretation, but reasonably grounded.
[142] This is an embellishment based on the way the Elves and Arkati relationship has generally been framed. "Elven Dogma and Theology" analogizes them as treating "their chosen Arkati as casual vassals might treat an undemanding liege." The original Fash'lo'nae description posited a Drakes to Arkati, Arkati to Elves, Elves to Humans scheme. So this sentence is just taking the spheres of influence view of the Arkati, and having the Elves characterize their distinct spheres of interest and power relative to each other as terrestrial reflections of that higher order of things.

The early Elven Empire was religious in comparison to the modern city-states, but it was a secular theology that placed elvenkind in a great chain of being.[143] What oral traditions had survived from the Age of Darkness framed the "Arkati," an ancient Elven word meaning a guide or recruiter of the lost, in the Elven image --- as a race of higher beings who inherited the world from its prior masters.[144] The Arkati were regarded as undemanding liege lords, and the monarchs of the Great Houses were the stewards of the world.[145]

[143] The first part of this sentence is based on "Time on Their Hands: The Evolution of Elven Art", while the second part is based on that Drakes-Arkati-Elves line of descent, and similar notions (like ascension ideologies) in the lore that are made sense of with the "great chain of being" concept from real-world history. This document later uses it to address alchemy and occultist emanationist doctrines. "secular theology" largely refers to the "Elven Dogma and Theology" document. The term "great chain of being" is used here as an IC historiographer convention for a metaphysical notion that is already present in documentation in less explicit wording.
[144.1] This etymology of the word "Arkati" is totally made up, but based on the real-world meanings (in the context of India) of the word "arkati." The extent to which "ancient" or "archaic" Elven is different from modern Elven isn't clearly defined, there's a case to be made that it wouldn't have drifted all that much similar to Greek and Chinese. But that runs up into problems of Sylvan being a separate language on not much different time scales as the founding period, and questions regarding Dhe'nar-si and the Faendryl dialect being separate languages. Though those could be explained as impacted by the Dark Elven language and possibly impact by southern subcontinent inhabitants that the other Elves do not interact with.
[144.2] The inherited-the-world doctrine again comes from the elven documentation and their self-justification in lording over lesser races, guiding them (like the Arkati guided the Elves) for their own good out of darkness and savagery. It is also the IC author being iconoclastic, suggesting the Elves imagined the Arkati in their own image, and implying that as with the krolvin, the Arkati feed into what the Elves want to believe about them.
[145] The "undemanding liege" line is quoting the "Elven Dogma and Theology" document. The second part of it about the monarchs being "stewards" of the world is an IC author characterization of their position and role in the "great chain of being" dogma, which serves as a basis of political disagreement with the early Dhe'nar who instead view the elves as needing to rise higher up the chain with ascension. This also implicitly relates the Dhe'nar ideology more closely to the imperial Elves than the Sylvans, who by "History of the Sylvan Elves" should have branched off from both of them much earlier.

As the high born elves were vassals to those who were offered veneration, rather than worship, so too those under them were to be vassals of their enlightened despots.[146] It was taboo to offer piety rather than fealty.[147] As the Elven Empire consolidated its power in the East, the rural surroundings became dependent territories, subject to the rule of the urban capitals.[148] In all times and places throughout history, rural regions are more culturally and religiously conservative, which then tend to lose those of their children with more worldly dispositions.[149] This bred the seeds of reactionary movements.[150] But there was no room for dissidents in the building of civilization itself.[151] Those who were more devoutly religious to the gods and ancestral spirits were backwards, dismissed as regressive throwbacks to a more primitive time of ignorance and suffering. Much as their "sylvisterai" cousins who "married the forests."[152]

[146] This is based on a cross of the Elven dogma document and the Elven art document, along with the racial supremacy stuff from Yshryth Silvius (circa -46,000 Modern Era).
[147] Later in the Second Age, Lilorandrych Illistim cracked down on cultish veneration of preserved hair from Linsandrych Illistim, along this kind of sentiment. This is established by a pendant on display in Museum Alerreth regarding Tenesi Illistim.
[148] The Elven Empire had outlying provinces, but this has generally been very vaguely defined. This sentence is general civilization development dynamics.
[149] This is slightly exagerrating in the most absolute literal sense, but this pattern is generally true in the real-world. It's represented already all the way back in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
[150] This is a reasonable extrapolation.
[151] This helps frame and contextualize the Dhe'nar departure from the Elven Empire point of view.
[152] This comes from "History of the Sylvan Elves". It is generalized here to include "rubes" from the open-air regions rather than just the sylvan nomads in the forest. "Timeline of Elanthian History" has western migration and claims going back to -50,000 which is even earlier than House Illistim, and the founding of written records by the Chroniclers in -49,238 Modern Era. Socioeconomic and class forces are here being used to explain the population migrations, of which the Dhe'nar would only have been one example and possibly later (as in the "Timeline of Elanthian History" document and the timing in "History of the Dhe'nar".

There were displacements of the population in this period that are not well recorded, in no small part because the migrants in question were not regarded as important by the elites in the great cities.[153] Those who were ill-suited to the dominant ideologies of the Elven Empire were pushed toward the untamed wilderness in the West.[154] Scholars think these conditions invited the subjugation of other races for slave labor.[155] Thus according to the ruling ideology of the day these were "lesser races," who were incapable of ruling themselves, and so rightly grateful for the benevolent aid and protection of their more civilized masters.[156] To this day even the Illistim notion of "evolution" of races is one of progress toward Elven customs of civility.[157]

[153] This is a minor embellishment, extrapolating off the claiming "large portions of the western continent for their own" around -50,000 in the "Timeline of Elanthian History" document, which is set a bit before the founding of the House cities in the east. It makes intuitive sense that a dynamic along these lines would exist, with the Dhe'nar being the prominent surviving example. The Sylvans canonically did not migrate until later around -36,567.
[154] There are existing seeds of this in the Dhe'nar departure being canonical. It just generalizes it to account for the "western continent" claims in the "Timeline of Elanthian History" document.
[155] This is a thesis statement. It is just the equivalent of the real-world sociological/anthropological arguments about slavery forming with the development of agriculture based civilizations. The time period at which slavery by the Great Houses ended seems undefined, but could plausibly have survived longer in the West into the Age of Chaos.
[156] This is the IC author providing a socioeconomic dimension and motivator behind the Yshryth Silvius Faendryl rhethoric, which we've already linked up with secularized great chain of being theology. This is all part of the "dominant ideology" in question.
[157] This is how the word "evolved" or evolution is used in the Illistim documentation, and arguably how they interpret the relationship between gnomes and cave gnomes in the original Gnome history document (which more recent gnome documentation disputes.) The three volumes of this document is a lot more focused on artificial manipulation of animate beings and the mutating influence of magical environmental factors, which are more active driving conceptions than random mutation and natural selection, but like those has no concept of evolution as "progress."

The Houses asserted power and claims over the western regions of the continent even before they were formally established, but the control of the Elven Empire in the West was always somewhat limited.[158] It was impractical for the forces of most Houses to directly impose themselves on western territories, due to the geographical barrier of the DragonSpine Mountains and the sovereign lands of other Houses.[159] There was a long tendency for the "lesser races" to settle in the West.[160]

[158] The first part of this is just referencing the -50,000 Modern Era entry in "Timeline of Elanthian History". The second part is playing off the Aramur Forean / Black Wolves story in northwest Elanith, and the fact that the "History of Elanthia" document says: "As they bickered, their empire slowly disappeared. The outlying territories declared themselves independent, or rebelled outright. To this day, the Elves have not resolved their internal politics." Also, the "Unfinished Smuggler's History of River's Rest" and relatedly "Of Krolvin and Reivers" has the reiver ancestors in what is now Torre possibly as far back as the Second Age independent of elven rule. (Scribes has said he intended the ancient language shown for that region to be the old form of the Kannalan language. It is lightly mangled Old English.)
[159] The geographic barrier argument is just common sense. The other part about other sovereign land claims getting in the way is extrapolated off the "History of Elanthia" document saying the houses would not defend each other's territories or consent to have their troops led by another when Dharthiir was advancing. This more or less amounts to denying the right of military actions through the lands of other houses.
[160] "History of Elanthia" describes Second Age humans as nomadic, residing on comparatively barren lands, and Elves refusing to allow others to settle more fertile areas. But some residing in the shadows of the great elven cities as beggars and thieves and slaves. With the modern period population distribution, it can be surmised there was some long-run population sorting, though it is unclear how much non-elven population there initially was in the east. The IC author is skeptical of treating it as terra nova. Agricultural slavery would implicitly be more of a western provinces thing, and this document uses that premise of western agriculture for eastern cities in the Undead War section. It's undefined in general to what extent there were elven cities in the west, and how the outlying provinces were administered. 

Nevertheless, to the extent that civilization did take hold over the lowlands of the whole continent of Elanith, or Jontara in general, the Elven Empire never held any mastery over the southern wastelands.[161] The Southron Wastes were thought to be where the last great battle between the dragons and primordial demons had taken place, and it was a barren wasteland that was poisoned with dark magic and malevolent powers.[162] The mountainous borderlands of the Southron Wastes have in all times been an attractive hiding place for brigands and criminals.[163] When the Elven Empire was at its zenith, it was one of the only places exiles could go, or those fleeing from the rule of law.[164] The greatest threats to civilization, in turn, have most often come from the southern wastelands.[165] But in the Second Age this threat was still in its infancy. It would not be fully understood until Despana, whose hordes ushered forth the Age of Chaos.[166]

[161.1] This is an embellishment that is extrapolated off contextual details. The Elven Empire cannot have been in there in the Dhe'nar period (up to around -40,000), and it would not make sense for them to have controlled it in the Despana period (-20,000 to -15,000). Similarly, it would not make sense for them to control it and then give it up prior to Despana, so the most sensible thing is for the "old places of the Ur-Daemon" in the southern wastelands to be an area the Elven Empire wants nothing to do with for various reasons. The Elven Empire also generally did not control the mountains, where the dwarves were and various monster races. 
[161.2] Jontara presently refers to a wider continental definition than Elanith, and was the original De-ICE'd term for the continent. For some reason "Elanith" became used for the continent, when it was originally the replacement term for a region in the northwest corner of the continent.
[162] This is interpreting the lines in "Gods of Elanthia" that way, because it is the only part of the Elanith map consistent with it. The second part is a necessary logical consequence of established premises about Ur-Daemon corruption, and this is necessary to explain the Dhe'nar becoming Dark Elves tens of millennia before Despana's work in Rhoska-Tor.
[163] The Horned Cabal wiped a lot of this out in the "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire" timeline (see years 4953 and 4960), but this embellishment is just generalizing that existing premise, because if that's the dark and lawless region of the continent during the height of the Elven Empire and the worst stuff is farther in, it makes sense the criminal types would reside in the borderlands. (The year 4832 in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire" suggests that prior to the Horned Cabal agitation and the Third Elven War, the Southron Wastes were relatively quiescent as threats to the north. The Southern Sentinel at the time of the Third Elven War was Empress Selantha II's exiled husband, so the war was led by Eastern Sentinel Jerram Happersett.) "Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire" also mentions "other threats from the Southron Wastes" than the Horned Cabal in the present day (of 5102 Modern Era.)
[164] This is an extrapolation but a straightforward logical consequence of the geographic constraints.
[165] This is a made up premise, but sensible and plausible on existing evidence. It would include Despana. The Vishmiir are a defined threat for the Second Age, and there's some indication they came from Marluvian worship, which should likely have been concentrated in those Ur-Daemon associated lands. The Horned Cabal in recent history also fits this mold. The Faendryl may have been taming it down in recent millennia, but have let the Turamzzyrian Empire take the hits after the Third Elven War in general. (Explicitly stated in the case of demons from "The Theory of Governance and Social Order".)
[166] Despana as a civilization ending shock, but also having been around for a few thousand years without being considered a big deal, needs to be reconciled. It would make sense if villainous black magic sorts had a history of hiding out down there, but were minor enough in practical consequence to the Elven Empire that it was more a matter of police actions and maybe raids sometimes to put bad guys down. It should generally be where Lornon types were hanging out as well.

II.C The Exiles

"In those forbidden and blackened wastelands, the ill forgotten places where the dragons and demons of old were slain, many have been the fools who sought their doom. Wanderers in search of the lost secrets of dark powers, they became accursed: sufferers of nightmare visions and the madness born of fever dreams, through them the Night claws its way back from the Dawn. Those who dwell where the demons fell are the anathema. Cursed as the lands are cursed. Cast off from the light of civilization. Of the southern wastes there can only ever be a darkness worse than death. What was once buried there must remain buried. Forever."

- Linsandrych Illistim, First Master of Lore, House Illistim[167]

[167] This is a totally made up quote for the document. It is meant to characterize the view of the southern wastelands held even early on in the Elven Empire. "History of Elanthia" refers to Rhoska-Tor as "barren, blackened land" and the urglaes metals documentation suggests there might be regional ancient lava veins since urglaes is found around Maelshyve. The Night and Dawn stuff is based on the original Illistim house motto, which is different from the heraldry statement in "The Layman's Guide to Elven Heraldry". This is also setting up the non-racialized premise of original meaning for the term "dark elves." The madness and fever dreams stuff is playing off the Grot'karesh Hammer Clan history, and searching for lost secrets is making Despana only one example of it. The quote is making those lands explicitly defined as cursed.

The interior of the wastelands were far more deadly than the northern marches, and thus became the realm of the worst exiles from civilization.[168] Those who were prone to the worship of dark gods, practitioners of black arts and dangerous magic, and seekers of forbidden knowledge were all drawn to the southern wastelands.[169] This was a haven for the most fanatical cults, and is now a graveyard of forgotten theocracies.[170] Necromancy was twisted there into ever darker forms of magic. Despana was only the most infamous of these innovators.[171]

[168] This is following from the previous statement of the borderlands being where the brigands and criminals hide out, which is canonical in the modern Turamzzyrian Empire period. The interior should generally be worse than where those are willing to reside. This is only talking about the wastelands, not the subcontinent jungles, or southern mountains where dwarven clans lived.
[169] This is an embellished premise, but it is the only place where it makes sense for those to be during the Elven Empire, and makes continuity for Despana doing the same thing.
[170.1] The forgotten theocracies part is totally made up, but would be plausible behavior if the dark religious zealots are concentrated down in that region. The cult activity down there is only thinly defined, such as the Disciples of the Shadows. There should be nutjobs who worshipped demons or the Ur-Daemon, and it would only make sense for them to be around (what is now called) Rhoska-Tor and the Southron Wastes (a much older term.) The cults would not have been allowed in the Elven Empire.
[170.2] The general premise of other forces in the Southron Wastes region is also important for being something for the Dhe'nar to push up against, having a warrior caste, where the Hunt for History item Shimmering crimson Dhe'nar shield has a loresong depicting them fighting some great battle at a later time than the burning of Sharath.
[171] This is the thesis of the document. It is making more sense of things and contextualizing Despana.

It was more fundamentally a tradition of malevolent rituals, the utter debasement of life and death, which most often had its roots in the southern subcontinent.[172] This unholy legacy reaches all the way back into the abyss of the Age of Darkness, continuing onward throughout the bloody annals of history, through to the present day with the birth of the Bleaklands.[173]

[172] This is fleshed out in the following subsections on the "black arts" practices down there with corruptive energies.
[173] This is making it clear that this was a problem at all time points, it was just in the margins of civilization during the Second Age. The last part about the Bleaklands refers to the epochxin variants of blood magic with demon blood and Raznel's witchcraft involving "the shadows" which is corruptive demonic realm energy. The IC author uses the word "witch" solely to refer to "black magic" practitioners, and usually more specifically to "black arts" practitioners like Raznel (black arts referring specifically to the use of demonic / tainting essences while "black magic" in our usage does not necessarily carry that implication), and instead uses "cunning folk" to refer to what some might call "good witches". It uses "warlock" in the Dungeons & Dragons class archetype way of conduit or bondage with demonic powers, and not in the "oathbreaker" etymological sense out of Old English. Volume 2 actually constructs dark analogs of the major class types, terms such as "dark mage" used here are defined more in Volume 2.

(1) The Dhe'nar

The most prominent of the exiles to now survive are those elves who became the Dhe'nar.[174] Known to themselves as the "First Born," the Dhe'nar hold an ascension ideology they call "The Way," which they attribute to the Arkati.[175] The Arkati and the Drakes in their view were once races of flesh and blood who had ascended, and so the Elves may ascend with them, provided they follow the true path of "walking with power."[176] According to myth, their founder was the "Best Student" Tahlad Tsi'shalar, disciple of the prophet Noi'sho'rah.[177] They were opponents of the fracturing of elven civilization into Great Houses, and for no longer following the true way as taught by the Arkati.[178] Noi'sho'rah is said to have shrouded his surroundings in darkness, prophesying the fall of the Elven Empire to a woman who would raise the dead against them. He promised fire from the heavens for those who lost the way. With that he vanished, said to have ascended.[179]

[174] This is recognition of the fact that there is barely any established definition for any others.
[175] "History of the Dhe'nar" establishes "first born" (of the Arkati) as the definition of the term Dhe'nar. The way this line is worded is the IC author saying "this is what they claim" rather than "this is what we all agree is the truth."
[176.1] This is largely referring to the non-canon player documentation explaining what "the way" means, because it is not clearly explained in the "History of the Dhe'nar" document by itself. Though the phrase gets used in that document. That document does say: "Noi'sho'rah taught them that the elves are the children of the Arkati, and as a child strives to become as its parents, the Dhe'nar strive to become as the Arkati."
[176.2] The goal of the Way, and the way it encodes how the Arkati are viewed, is given near the bottom of "History of the Dhe'nar": "Much like the elves, however, the Dhe'nar do not view the Arkati so much as "gods" or "celestial beings" but more as role models for what they themselves can achieve. Unlike the elves of the six noble Houses, however, the Dhe'nar believe they can become as powerful as the Arkati. They do not see the Arkati as different or better, only more powerful, thus Dhe'nar bow to no "god". Their religion is not one of worship; instead it is one of self-perfection, not so much as an individual, but as a race in whole; the ultimate goal being to achieve power over all things." Here we are taking this "not .. different or better, only more powerful" as an ascension view of the Arkati and Drakes rather than them as inherently "celestial beings."
[177] This is roughly what Tahlad Tsi'shalar translates as in the player created Dhe'nar-si language. The IC author characterizes this as a myth, but Dhe'nar would probably regard it as historically factual.
[178] This is stated in the canon "History of the Dhe'nar" document.
[179] This is what the "History of the Dhe'nar" document says, and is characterized more dismissively in the "History of the Faendryl" document.

While there are profound differences between the Faendryl and the Dhe'nar, they have since formed an unspoken collusion of playing into each other's national founding myths.[180] Their myth makers will agree to basic dubious facts, such as Korthyr as nephew to Tahlad.[181] That there was a single unified elven civilization prior to the "great divide" when the elves left the forests.[182] There might have been an eighth Great House, according to some advocates of this legend, had Tahlad not refused and left the just forming empire with his followers.[183]

[180] This is referring to the shared details of Korthyr and Tahlad between the "History of the Dhe'nar" and "History of the Faendryl" documents. The Departure section of the Dhe'nar history is 50,000 years ago, dating that to around -45,000 Modern Era, which in turn means it happened thousands of years after the Houses formed and long after Korthyr was dead. These House founding dates in "Timeline of Elanthian History" are further solidified in their use in basing Elven calendar dates in various documents. So this document is trying to reconcile that inconsistency.
[181] Korthyr would have died some time in the -48,000s and Tahlad does not leave until the -45,000s in the "Timeline of Elanthian History". This document reconciles that by having the timeline entry referring to an Illistim historiographer theory of the Dhe'nar departure, while the Dhe'nar themselves might claim it happened more around -50,000 Modern Era before the Illistim Chronicles were started.
[182] It would be inconsistent with that period in the "History of the Sylvan Elves" document. The sylvans and elves also would have divided much earlier. The "History of the Faendryl" supports these things, but has a lot of dubious stuff in it.
[183] This is from the chronicler preface to the canon version of the "History of the Dhe'nar" document, and the "History of the Faendryl" document refers to Tahlad on similar footing as the House founders. But the actual timeline spaces these thousands of years apart, so it has to be treated as myth making. It can't be treated literally without causing contradictions.

This is regarded by more serious scholars as ahistorical in several respects, and a credulous embrace of the "great man of history" myth.[184] The founding of the Great Houses took place over several thousand years, and their namesakes were of entirely different generations.[185] Korthyr Faendryl was quite old. He died not long after construction began on the capital of what became House Faendryl, one of the very earliest of the Great Houses.[186] The Elven Empire was not a meaningful concept in the time of Korthyr.[187] Nor were the Ardenai those who stayed behind.[188] They lived in cities on the forest edges and woodland hamlets, with adjacent croplands, not unlike the Barony of Bourth with its elven settlements in the Wyrdeep Forest.[189] Not only had the elves of the founding period never "left the forest" itself in anything resembling living memory, their distant sylvan cousins continued to live in the middle of the Empire, in the Darkling Wood, for another nine thousand years.[190] It was not until -45,293, several thousand years after the death of Korthyr, and two thousand years after the formation of the last House, that the faction who became the Dhe'nar are believed to have departed.[191] It was, in all irony, around the time the first sylvan city --- Ithnishmyn, first built in -45,400 --- was discovered by the elven city-states, rather than the time of the founding of the Great Houses.[192] The sylvans soon found themselves subjected to religious cults trying to convert them as well as imprisonment by slavers.[193]

[184.1] The "more serious scholars" part is an embellishment, but characterizing the "History of the Dhe'nar" and "History of the Faendryl" documents as fanciful, and not especially tethered to what actually happened. This document sides entirely with the "History of the Sylvan Elves" approach of being outside the forests for a long time and only eventually urbanizing. 
[184.2] The term "great man of history" myth is used here as an IC historiographer convention for characterizing the way some historians have chosen to represent history in their texts. It is beyond the scope of this document to get into those meta-history theories in general. But the IC author is also implicitly saying Elves used "best people" (e.g. race, nation) theory of history myths in a few forms (e.g. exceptional, original, chosen, highest). To a lesser extent there is some "great minds of history" mythos. This document uses a mixture of historical idealism (in the sense of colliding world views and value systems pushing forward a history of ideas) with historical materialism, some realpolitik, and some environment-mediated morphing of "human" natures due to metaphysical corruption by dark essences. It avoids using the "great man" and "great mind" models of historicizing, but allows high impact and consequence for contingent events.
[185] This is a necessary conclusion of the date ranges used for the House foundings in "Timeline of Elanthian History" and all the documents basing off those founding dates. This is only a 1,500 year span for the city foundings. The IC author is using a little broader definition of the House formation, allowing the seven "Houses" institution to be something that emerged by the end of the founding period and Yshryth Faendryl rather than House = capital city from the very beginning. That allows the Dhe'nar departure in the -45,000s to still coherently be opposition to the political organization of the Elven nation into split Houses rather than something settled two thousand years earlier.
[186] This is cross-referencing Korthyr dying when only the first borough of Ta'Faendryl had been built in "History of the Faendryl", along with Ta'Faendryl having been built by Korthyr's "line" in "History of Elanthia", and Ta'Vaalor and Ta'Faendryl having been founded at the same time in "Timeline of Elanthian History" with only Ta'Illistim pre-dating them. For the Tahlad/Korthyr relationship to be true, it would have to be significantly earlier than the cities and before the Houses were founded and before the Elven Empire was a concept.
[187] This document treats the Elven Empire as becoming a meaningful concept around the time of Yshryth Silvius. It has the Faendryl historians, and in a twisted way the Dhe'nar, being excessively literal with metaphorical language from Yshryth.
[188] "History of the Faendryl" treats the Ardenai as having stayed behind, but its leaving-the-forests narrative contradicts the more soberly written "History of the Sylvan Elves". "History of Elanthia" said the Ardenai reside in "towns and cities" and only vaguely refers to having stayed closer to roots in the deep forest.
[189] The forest edges description is an embellishment. The Sylvans resided deeper inside the Darkling Wood (though using the term "Darkling Wood" for it requires interpreting it as encompassing the forest that far south) and did not have contact with the imperial elves until the -45,000s in "History of the Sylvan Elves", in the limited sense that the other Elves had no idea there was a Sylvan city there on a centuries scale. Which nearly requires the Ardenai to stay away from the deep woods in that time period, because it is a strain to have them residing in the deep woods and not wandering south. Though the Sylvan history is a little "just-so" with the way it is repeatedly having Elves rediscover the Sylvans even though they were always in Elven Empire borderland forests. The adjacent croplands are described in the Horse War section of "History of the Truefolk".
[190] This cross-references "Timeline of Elanthian History" with "History of the Sylvan Elves", and explicitly rejects the literal reading of Yshryth Silvius' speech that is done in "History of the Faendryl".
[191] This refers to the departure date in "Timeline of Elanthian History". This is simply explaining why Illistim chroniclers think the Dhe'nar left well after the Houses founded, while this other dogma exists of it having happened several thousand years earlier prior to the Chronicles.
[192] This is cross-referencing "Timeline of Elanthian History" with "History of the Sylvan Elves".
[193] This is from "History of the Sylvan Elves" and insinuates Dhe'nar harassment of the sylvans in this time period before the departure in -45,293. This insinuation is also explaining the "lavender" lore with Dhe'nar and sylvan slaves in "Speech Unspoken: The Language of Flowers", because they have much more dubious interaction for geographical reasons at any other time period. 

One of the more dominant interpretations among Illistim historiographers is that the Dhe'nar began as a religious, reactionary offshoot of Sharyth Ardenai's return to nature movement in the Darkling Wood.[194] Those who had lost the true way of Sharyth were to be left behind, and after a time of trial and tribulation would reach the promised land.[195] In support of this interpretation of "Sharath," the argument goes that Noi'sho'rah or "First Brother" is actually a title and more literally translated as "First Sister," as the feminine is the gender neutral case in archaic Dhe'nar-si.[196] Sharyth Ardenai herself is inconsistently regarded as either male or female in historical records.[197] No one knows for certain if this identification is correct.[198]

[194] This is an embellished premise for explaining why the Illistim chroniclers have the Dhe'nar departure happening over two thousand years after the last of the Houses formed. It also characterizes Sharyth Ardenai as a return to nature movement beginning in the open air spaces, so as to be consistent with "History of the Sylvan Elves" on this period. This can be reconciled by House Ardenai forming out of the open-air population that stayed geographically closest to the Darkling Wood, and maybe partly into it, without themselves being regarded as "sylvisterai" by the other Elves. The Sylvans should be the ones who really just stayed inside the forest, and that particular area of the Great Forest is where they ended up concentrating.
[195] "Sharath" means "promised land" in Dhe'nar-si. This was canonized in "History of the Dhe'nar". The trial and tribulation line is meant to motivate why the Dhe'nar would reside in (what is now called) Rhoska-Tor for a protracted period. Which is the nearest part of the Southron Wastes to the eastern Elves.
[196] This is implying "Sharath" comes from the name "Sharyth", and insinuates the "sho'rah" in Noi'sho'rah is similarly rooted with Sharath and Sharyth. This then interprets "First Sister" as having an original reactionary meaning of "Sharyth's intent" according to this hypothetical dissident faction. This is an embellishment, but a plausible contrary view for House elves. The feminine gender neutral case of it meaning "First Sister" is true in the player created Dhe'nar-si language (as introduced into it decades ago by Mnar.) Referring to that as "archaic" Dhe'nar-si is how the "Dark Elven languages" document treats and refers to the old player constructed language.
[197] "History of Elanthia" refers to Sharyth Ardenai as a matriarch, while "Timeline of Elanthian History" uses the "his" pronoun for Sharyth Ardenai. There is a similar discrepancy for Linsandrych Illistim. These documents are both decades old, so this document takes that gender indeterminancy at face value, since it is so long standing.
[198] This is a hedge for allowing this whole interpretation and theory to be wrong, which allows Dhe'nar to still believe their version of history. The actual departure would then have happened before the Chronicles started, when Korthyr was a relatively young man. But some of the details would still need to be regarded as distorted a bit by knowledge of later events, even though the prophecy itself is supposed to be prophecy. For example, there could be no singular decision by seven leaders to split into seven Houses, because the Houses were founded over a span of 1,500 years and even then the "Houses" as a political system probably emerged because of the cities rather than the other way around.

The Dhe'nar believe Noi'sho'rah is historical, a true prophet, who ascended as their representative to the Arkati.[199] In some legends Tahlad leads the Dhe'nar away soon before the Houses form, while in others he proselytized for a few thousand years.[200] The ideological disunity between the Elven lineages is thought by Loremasters to be far older than the formation of Houses.[201] In the more cynical view of the "Matter of the Elven Empire," as it is called, devout adherence to "old ways" was a peasant ideology.[202] Where all Elves would rise together as the Arkati had, until their disunity, rather than monarchs as the stewards of eternal civilization.[203] With the fall of the Drakes, and the rise of the Arkati, so too there would be the fall of the Houses.[204]

[199] This is what "History of the Dhe'nar" says.
[200] There is a 5,000 year gap between the Noi'sho'rah section and the Departure section of "History of the Dhe'nar", so this line is trying to reconcile something that doesn't even make sense within the Dhe'nar document itself.
[201] This is partly referring to "History of the Sylvan Elves" and partly referring to "Elven Dogma and Theology".
[202] "Matter of the Elven Empire" is totally made up, and plays off the real-world historical terms such as the "Matter of Britain", which is distorted with Arthurian legend and so forth. This is the IC author characterizing this early period as in historical dispute among the elves, with the founding of the royal lines and their pedigree from powers such as Arkati and Wyverns. Treating the contrary view as "peasant ideology" is the sensible counterpart to the Houses royal ideology. The existing documentation has significant founding period inconsistencies, tinged with legends, so the phrase "Matter of the Elven Empire" is used to characterize that IC.
[203] This is recontextualizing it in terms of the characterization given earlier in this document of monarchs as stewards in a static great chain of being. (The Dhe'nar history document says the other Houses do not believe the Elves "can become as powerful as the Arkati", though there has to be some nuance in this because of ascension theologies like Amasalen, it should probably mean this is not a plausible whole race goal and that generally "ascension" however it concretely exists comes from intervention by Great Spirits such as Arkati using their own power.) The Dhe'nar view in contrast would be characterized as the low rising up the chain, and perhaps the high falling off. The IC author is giving that a socioeconomic dimension.
[204] This is setting up the contrary view of the Noi'sho'rah prophecy as a historical distortion, reading Despana and the Undead War into "Matter" politics as an anachronism after the fact. The Dhe'nar in contrast would maintain it was the original prophecy.

According to this theory, it was following the time of the death of Korthyr's great nephew Khalar Andiris, who had ruled for six hundred years. His successor Zarish Aeglyn only survived two hundred and fifty years before he was assassinated.[205] This set off a period of violent usurpations for over a thousand years, which began at roughly the same time Zishra Nalfein split the court of Ta'Vaalor, founding the last House in -47,578.[206] House Faendryl went through ten rulers, each of whom was murdered by his successor. This was ended with the usurpation by Geniselle Anaya, the first Matriarch, who held the court stable until the ascension of her son.[207] This was the coronation of the fourteenth Patriarch, Yshryth Silvius, which is regarded as the proper birth of the Elven Empire.[208] Yshryth gave a famous speech speaking of elves having left the forest together in unity --- as an extended metaphor on darkness, sedition, and the hierarchy of races --- for which the traitors to enlightened rule were to submit or be expelled into the darkness.[209] There was then a purge of treason. It was only at this point in the early history of the empire, coinciding roughly with the disappearance of the first founder Linsandrych Illistim in -45,895, that House Faendryl began to truly assume its central role over the Empire.[210]

[205] This is the Patriarch timing given in "History of the Faendryl". In "History of Elanthia" it was Korthyr's line that built Ta'Faendryl, which this explained.
[206] This is cross-referencing the timing given in "History of the Faendryl" and "Timeline of Elanthian History". However, "History of the Faendryl" has a major timeline contradiction around the Undead War up to the Ashrim War, being fundamentally inconsistent with the other history documents. Here we are treating the timing in the earlier part of the document as still reliable.
[207] This is all from "History of the Faendryl".
[208] Yshryth was already defined as Patriarch 14 in "History of Elanthia", the "History of the Faendryl" document established his speech was from his coronation. The IC author here is asserting this is the proper birth of the Elven Empire, because of the imperial vision it sets out and its early time period relatively not long after the Houses finished forming.
[209] The political context was already in "History of the Faendryl", but this is more explicitly asserting that what Yshryth was saying about leaving the forests was a metaphor. Later there is argument about connotations of kinslaying in the word "Draekeche" which is the (ancient?) elven for "darkness" dating back to at least -49,080. This is also setting up hostile / exile conditions for the Dhe'nar, if the Illistim chronicler timing for their departure is the correct view.
[210] This is cross-referencing the "History of the Faendryl" timing for this period with the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document "Linsandrych's Legacy: A Detailed Examination of the Dynastic Argent Mirrors and Their Contributions to Illistimi Society With Notes On Selected Post-Lanenreat Figures", once you convert out of the Illistim calendar into the Modern Era calendar. Then it's using these power vacuums and schisms and purges and so forth to say this is how and when House Faendryl came to lead the Empire (premise dating back to "History of Elanthia"), as Linsandrych Illistim had founded the first House and was present until -45,895.

To the proponents of this interpretation, it is not difficult to see in this the roots of the Faendryl and Dhe'nar accounts of the Tahlad legend --- owing to twisting distortions through oral traditions of the chaos falling from Korthyr's line, on the one hand, and on the other excessively literal translations of Yshryth Faendryl's coronation out of archaic Elven.[211] Where Yshryth infamously executed his own mother for bringing ruin and disunity to the Elven Empire from violating its eternal law.[212] There is no question the Dhe'nar did not assimilate themselves with the sylvans in the Darkling Wood, and that their Way bears far stronger resemblance to the elven worldview in the time of slavery than the Imaera-centered polytheism of the sylvankind.[213]

[211] This is IC author interpretation. It is suggesting the chaos and disunity motifs, and Korthyr as Tahlad's nephew, is all a distortion of Korthyr being succeeded by his great-nephew Khalar Andiris and then a bunch of assassinations and coups happen, and that Yshryth's famous speech (on unity and leaving the forest in a singular event) is being distorted with a Dhe'nar departure that happens in -45,293 during the reign of Patriarch 14.
[212] This is insinuating Despana and the rising dead motifs are distortions of Geniselle Anaya overthrowing the Faendryl throne and being executed by her son, after a millennium of petty power squabbles and coups following Korthyr's first successor.
[213] This is a straight foward incompatibility between the Dhe'nar and Sylvan lores. The "great chain of being" metaphysics worldview construction in this document gives them a much closer filiation of ideas relationship with the House Elves than the Sylvans, because that kind of conception is totally absent in the Sylvan documentation.

Regardless of their exact origins, however, it is historical fact that the Dhe'nar came to reside in the Southron Wastes.[214] Archaeologists have found relics in Rhoska-Tor of their spidery runes, which are distinctly in the style of the Dhe'nar warlocks.[215] One cannot speak of the history of necromancy without including the Dhe'nar. Not only for the prophecy of Noi'sho'rah, but for what they did before reaching Sharath.[216] Thousands of years before Despana, the Dhe'nar sheltered in the caverns under Rhoska-Tor, one of the haunted realms from the Age of Darkness.[217]

[214] The Dhe'nar spent time in what is now called Rhoska-Tor becoming Dark Elves in the racial mechanical sense. They have since resided in the jungles beyond the Southron Wastes.
[215] This makes up having relics found which prove the Dhe'nar warlocks were in (what is now called) Rhoska-Tor way back then, but the premise of the spidery runes and having left stuff behind in Rhoska-Tor is in "History of the Dhe'nar".
[216] In "History of the Dhe'nar" it says they learned "control of the undead" in Rhoska-Tor, which this document will take literally as controlling undead that already existed. That document also suggests the Book of Tormtor was something the Dhe'nar left behind, but there are multiple inconsistent proposed explanations of the Book of Tormtor across documents.
[217] This is making use "old places of the Ur-Daemon" in "History of Elanthia" for Rhoska-Tor, and "History of the Dhe'nar" refers to "the dark magic of the region" as distinct from "spells taught by the Arkati themselves." The Dhe'nar history document notably is most explicit on blaming Ur-Daemon dark essence for tainting the bodies and minds and turning elves into dark elves: "The dark essence that had been left behind by the Ur-Daemon War not only tainted the appearance and psyche of the Dhe'nar, but it also had a powerful effect on the flows of magic in the region." This document (in all three volumes) is using that view of the region heavily.

Our understanding of the Dhe'nar in this period is unavoidably limited by the lack of written records.[218] But much is made clear from the nature of the runes that were left behind, especially as compared with the methods the Faendryl were forced to invent when they found themselves in the same situation.[219] It was necessary because of the hostile environment of Rhoska-Tor to live below ground in the caverns. But there was also a need to ward off malevolent spirits, the banshees and infernal sprites, those twisted and cursed by the dark essence of the lands.[220] The Dhe'nar eventually learned how to intercede on the corruption of the wasteland spirits, allowing them to exert control over the will to seek and destroy the living.[221] In this way they were able to not only prevent the possession of their dead by the pale wraiths that haunt those lands, but discovered they were also able to compel the cursed spirits of the region to possess those same corpses and obey their commands.[222] This was in some respects similar to the spirit calling of animist religions, and in other ways not unlike the summoning of familiars.[223]

[218] The absence of written records, other than "spidery runes", in this period is explicitly stated in "History of the Dhe'nar". The way that section is written makes it sound like the Book of Tormtor had to be written in those runes, and only Dhe'nar warlocks can read them, therefore Despana being able to read it and being from the southern jungles would mean Despana was Dhe'nar. The IC author of this document is relatively dismissive of that as twisting things to fit the Noi'sho'rah prophecy.
[219] Similar situation leading to similar methods can help them understand the nature of these runes even though only the Dhe'nar warlocks are supposed to be able to read the script.
[220] Such undead of twisted nature spirits should "naturally" exist in Rhoska-Tor, given the dark essence tainting described in "History of the Dhe'nar". This treats banshees as referring to the fey variety, and "infernal sprites" were a Southron Wastes creature during the Wavedancer event. The infernal sprites and pale wraiths and banshees were in the part of the map closest in direction to Rhoska-Tor. The banshees are also dark fey in DragonRealms.
[221] Using dark essence in this way to control the undead is a premise used throughout these three volumes. It's unholy magic analog of similar things done through Order of Voln symbols (e.g. Symbol of Submission) and so on.
[222] Pale wraiths were another Southron Wastes creature from the Wavedancer event. This is playing off the ability of wind wraiths to possess soul golems, as well as the Tehir beliefs about spirits inhabiting corpses in the Sea of Fire. This "do the opposite" method echoes back to the animism section with mortuary rituals twisting into necromancy of the undead methods.
[223.1] This relates back to the animist section talking about the spiritual magic roots of necromancy, where in the case of the Dhe'nar it would be spirit magic they attributed to the Arkati. But then in Rhoska-Tor they learn elemental magic, but they're manipulating a dark energy. It becomes a form of sorcery, as defined in this document. (Sorcerers are grouped with the Temple caste with the spiritual casters in the Dhe'nar caste system, rather than the warlocks / magi caste which are the elementalists.) 
[223.2] The original premise with the Dhe'nar was that the ones around the Landing had begun experimenting with raising the dead clerical magic, but generally in Dhe'nar culture those who do not survive do not deserve to be resurrected. There might be attempts to define Temple caste clerical magic as siphoning power from around Arkati without directly borrowing powers, but that cuts against the grain of how Cleric magic in particular has always been defined in GemStone, and in Volume 2 of this document that is instead described as "ur-priest" methods which can mimic non-denomination Cleric magic but fundamentally isn't and has corruptive "leeching" dependency effects on the caster. (Analogous to the Dhe'nar warlocks who become dependent on feeding on magical energies in the still non-canon Dhe'nar documentation.)

It was facilitated, however paradoxically, by their study of the elements.[224] Blazing sand elementals are yet another threat found in the Southron Wastes.[225] With the study of summoning and controlling elementals, the ancestors of the Dhe'nar were able to mitigate that hazard as well.[226] But there are other pure forces beyond the veil than those of the elemental planes.[227] There is a force of corruption in those lands, known as the "shadows" or elemental darkness.[228] It is a power inherent in the Ur-Daemon and a source of the primordials, such as Althedeus, those great demons born of the fear and chaos unleashed in the war with the Drakes.[229] With a mastery over the elemental darkness of Rhoska-Tor comes a key for wielding mastery over the undead.[230]

[224] The "History of the Dhe'nar" document says they learned "summoning of the elements into a physical manifestation" while in Rhoska-Tor.
[225] These were creatures in the Southron Wastes during the Wavedancer event. There are sand elemental companion pets.
[226] This further sets up what was implied by comparing the similarity of summoning familiars with their manipulation of the undead.
[227] In Volume 2 these are called "sorcerous elements" and include various terms used in spells and messaging and storylines, including balefire and mawfire. This is an embellishment to the extent that it is set in a basic cosmological model of more chaotic vs. more ordered essences.
[228] "the shadows" is a demonic energy used in Kenstrom storylines related to Althedeus and its realm. Volume 2 of this document treats that as a mixture of elemental chaos and elemental darkness. There are solid roots on treating these as essence substances, but it is still an embellishment.
[229] The Althedeus lore is cited in documents such as "Ithzir Genesis" and "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire". This is basically the same thing as "unholy power", and in Volume 2 it is defined as related to "anti-mana", which is an embellishment but roughly consistent with I.C.E. roots. (Except that the elemental darkness of Rolemaster "Elemental Companion" was a separate concept from the anti-essence of the Shadow World setting.) This is all equivalent to what is called "dark essence" in "History of the Dhe'nar".
[230] This is what was being implied in the previous paragraph, and this concept is used in Volumes 2 and 3. For example, Volume 3 talks about some necromancers suffusing themselves in dark essences to mask their life forces, to make the undead not attack them and instinctually obey them. (This would probably be illegal in Faendryl sorcery because of the corruptive effects on the mind and body.)

The Dhe'nar spent as much as several thousand years in Rhoska-Tor.[231] Legend holds that their leader Tahlad, whatever his actual name was, died on the journey to Sharath.[232] It might well be that the journey actually began with the death of the cult leader.[233] Knowledge of the Dhe'nar in the Second Age is very sparse, as they resided in the jungles beyond the Southron Wastes.[234] While the Dhe'nar are thought to have built a "Library of the Way," the Shialos du S'karli, their revisionist Temple caste is said to have seized control of it. It was sealed off from others for up to thousands of years, until the Great Fire destroyed Sharath.[235] Those few of the Dhe'nar who survived from being in the jungles were not part of the elite who were killed.[236] Though they claim to have found the ruined entrance to the library and committed those potentially distorted texts to memory, these oral traditions have likely warped greatly over tens of thousands of years.[237] The prophecy of Noi'sho'rah resembling the Undead War, and the rumors of having left the Book of Tormtor behind, were quite probably corrupted by knowledge of events after the fact.[238]

[231] The hedging on this is about the lack of written records framed for it in "History of the Dhe'nar".
[232] This is playing off Tahlad being a Dhe'nar-si word that means student.
[233] This is the IC author being iconoclastic, but also pointing at how old Tahlad would had to have been to make historical sense of him.
[234] The wording "the jungles said to lie beyond the Southron Wastes" for Despana in "History of Elanthia" suggest the Southron Wastes region was generally anathema to the Elven Empire and not something they ordinarily traveled through and interacted with in that time period. In other words Elven Empire records of the Dhe'nar would implicitly have been sketchy.
[235] This is from the "History of the Dhe'nar" document, and is using that provenance issue to cast doubt on the veracity of written records that might have survived the Great Fire.
[236] This is from the "History of the Dhe'nar".
[237] The use of oral tradition in the Dhe'nar lore in general serves the function of introducing unreliable narration on the distant past. "History of the Dhe'nar" refers outright to hardship "twisting their ancient beliefs".
[238] This is IC author view from Faendryl bias, the Dhe'nar would disagree with this statement.

(2) Witchcraft

In the outlying regions of the Elven Empire, far from the great cities, there were survivals of folk religion.[239] These were superstitious beliefs and practices that were descendant from more ancient druidism, however blended with the more orthodox doctrines held in high authority.[240] Often these would be regional or ethnic customs. Cunning folk would use rituals and herbs to treat illnesses, the "folk healers" of traditional medicines, and perform divination or purportedly helpful wards and charms.[241] They were concerned with arts like astrology, prophecy or signs and omens, and often had religious ceremonial roles related to the seasons or mortuary rituals with the dead.[242] They might be asked to act as a medium for communing with ancestor spirits, such as during the fall, when Lorminstra allows the souls of the dead to visit the living.[243] Charms might be made to protect crops from locusts, or infants from fey changeling kidnappers.[244]

[239] This is an embellishment. It does not really make sense that the more rural populations would not have folk religion and folk magic, much as there virtually has to be animism going all the way back rather than only developing later. Arguably some of the instincts for this still exist in the Elven Nations, and civilizations in general, in the "Divination: A Comprehensive Guide" lore. This document to some extent is doing a "history from below" contrast to the "great men/minds/etc." histories to help break up GemStone's monolithic race-culture ideologies.
[240] The framework of this document characterized the Elven forest tradition as "druidism", so this is more or less a tautological statement.
[241.1] This document uses this as the historical root for Empath magic. It uses the term "cunning folk" to cover "good witches", so the word "witch" is only being used in the dark and negative connotations. There is a lot of scattered superstition lore, such as thanot as warding charms because of the pentagram pattern of its berries. This is being consistent with later in this document treating "hybrid" magics, especially esoteric modes of hybrid magic, as historically ancient and prior to the full division of spellcraft into separate spheres of magic.
[241.2] The term was not used in this document, but these are examples of "apotropaic" magic.
[242] This is generic folk religion stuff. It is providing the hook for death rituals and magic to get twisted into darker magic with corruptive energies. Volume 2 also gets into this with witchcraft.
[243] This hedges the animist vs. Lorminstra Eve of the Reunion issue. Something similar to this is in the Grot'karesh Hammer Clan giantkin lore with the Festival of the Dead at Kilanirij. This is another hook for twisting into wicked spirit calling and commanding undead spirits.
[244] The Ilvari are an example of fey changeling kidnappers. "Ilvari luck charms" are sold and do not really do anything. "Changelings" exist in DragonRealms and are called spriggans, thought to be spirits related to elemental air. In the I.C.E. Shadow World version the air fey were servants of the god we call Tonis, a thieves patron, and in DragonRealms the dark fey are the creations of Idon one of the thieves patron immortals. Though this is almost certainly a coincidence.

But where there were those of good will, there were also those of ill intent. Witches were those who would use similar methods and traditions to harm others.[245] They would inflict "evil eyes" to impose their ire and scorn, perform ritual hexes and star curses upon others in retribution, and conjure evil spirits to plague or injure those they hated.[246] This was not truly an absolute dichotomy in all times. Jealous former or unrequited lovers, parents of dead children and other sufferers of misfortune, might take their revenge by making hex bags or curse tablets.[247] Such fetishes almost certainly descend from the totems of more primeval religions, ideally made of potent substances, which might range from menstrual blood to baby teeth or amputations.[248] The fear or paranoia of witches led to waves of deaths for the wrongly accused. Witch hunts were most common in places without other forces to blame, such as fey, undead, and demons.[249]

[245] This document is using "witches" almost exclusively for wicked magic practices as a convention, even though the IC author would acknowledge the existence of sympathetic magic practitioners calling themselves "witches" doing good/light practices or morally neutral practices. Similarly with "blood magic", that term is being reserved for the sorcerous form of it, not the more empathic form of it (e.g. Akhash the Tehir spirit caller) which would not be corruptive and debasing.
[246] This is rooting the more (wicked) spiritual magics of the Sorcerer Base list in this culture tradition. Especially Curse (715). But these are not "black arts" as will be described later.
[247] This is the IC author hedge and acknowledgement that to some extent he's set up a false dichotomy regarding the term "witches." Curse tablets refers to the ancient Roman practice.
[248] This is a reasonable anthropological supposition about the filiation of ideas and superstitions, given the initial premise of earlier animist religious traditions partly surviving into later ages.
[249] Witch hunt panics are not defined in current lore, but this is the general dynamic of how witch panics work in the real-world.

There was then a reliance on religious figures to ward and protect against witchcraft, or with the more mortal races, shunning or persecuting magic in its entirety as the wicked weapons of elven oppression.[250] It would not be right to assume a universal division of the sacred and the profane, much less to conflate that with notions of good and evil.[251] In this realm of traditional magic are the older sensibilities of animism, where the mundane is spiritual, and local spirits may be more important or relevant to everyday life than the more distant Great Spirits.[252]

[250] This tension with orthodoxy is setting up the driving of witches into the wilds, while the medicine man types with healing or clerical powers get to stay. Also seeding the bias of humans against magic because of elves.
[251] In other words, this is everyday life stuff, superstition suffused throughout cultures.
[252] This is characteristic of animism in general, and very clearly the case with the Tehir lore. "Great Spirits" is the generic term this document uses for deity scale powers of spiritual mana orientation. If spiritual mana were subdivided like it is in DragonRealms, it might be that the animist magics (e.g. roots of empath, ranger) are moreso using "life mana" while clerics and paladins are moreso using "holy mana." Lunar mana to some extent in DragonRealms is filling in the roles mental mana does in GemStone IV. In this document there is a framed link between "occultism" and "astrology" to seed that relationship.

What is particularly important is that this tradition more broadly is what might be called sympathetic magic.[253] It is not predicated on rational systems of spell laws, magical theory, but is instead rooted in superstitions.[254] It is not the orthodoxy or orthopraxis of formal religion, or at least not in general, but instead informal lay magic from the bottom up.[255] It is what remains of more ancient traditions of spiritualism.[256] From the perspective of orthodox theory, these are still acts of magic, meaning they depend on manipulating magical energies.[257] It is less a matter of witches or cunning folk exploiting the reality of superstitions than it is in causing them to become real.[258] In this way something like blood is only a reagent in the alchemy of realms of power in orthodox magic, while in the descendants of animism there is instead "blood magic," with rules for balances of exchange and potency differences such as blood "freely given."[259]

[253] While there is some pure superstition stuff, such as in the divination lore, in the Elanthia setting there is also real sympathetic magic (e.g. Raznel's voodoo dolls and blood magic.) This document treats this as Elanith's non-Erithian precursors to what is now called Mentalism.
[254] This tacitly falls under the notion of NPC "flow magic" in current canon, but later in this document that is going to be classified as "thaumaturgical" and "exoteric" magic (in terms of how the Elves try to develop it away from informal lay magic), while what we are talking about here is "esoteric" magic as an informal cousin of "ritual theurgy." It is elaborating and deepening the magic theory. Volume 2 talks about forming rites with rigid rules in a kind of perverse imitation of rote magic, especially with black arts magic, to try to make predictable effects without really understanding what is being done "theoretically."
[255] This is essentially a new premise for making sense out of having this storyline sympathetic magic stuff that does not relate to the spell circles and stuff invoked off scrolls. In IC terms it could be disputed how separate orthodox religion with its clerical magic really is from the rest of spiritual magic in the "vernacular" populations, and sympathetic magic which may now in the present age be considered spiritual-mentalist hybrid. Later in the document is a nod to the DragonRealms division between "life" and "divine" mana when talking about mana conventions. DragonRealms also has "Lay Necromancy", which is Low Sorcery, where Low Sorcery in general is relatively informal evil magic.
[256] This is a thesis statement, set up by the prior sections on animism.
[257] This is establishing the important distinction against pure superstition (e.g. divination without spellcraft of any kind), which is that magical energy (essences) must be manipulated into magical effects to qualify as "magic."
[258] Rote superstitious practices acting like de facto rote magic.
[259] This is explaining why the use of say troll blood in an alchemy recipe, or blood in a religious ceremony, or even what empaths do, does not qualify as "blood magic." It is only magic involving blood. "Blood magic" here is strictly being used to refer to these sympathetic magic practices, though the other volumes allow an occultist form of blood alchemy for making homunculi. At this point it is tacitly acknowledging "good" practitioners (cunning folk, some shamans), but in most of this document the term "blood magic" is reserved for the highly corruptive sorcerous form, which involves debasement and perversion through the mediating substance.

In sympathetic magic there are esoteric correspondences between similar forms. Similar qualities such as color or shape would impute power over like kinds, and causal links would be formed in contact, remaining bound together however great the physical separation.[260] Voodoo dolls were made in the image of others, for example, which would act as fetishes for giving power over the victims. It would involve using items from the victim to bind them to the poppet. The most powerful way would be using something of their bodies, such as their hair, or especially their blood.[261] There are all manners of superstitious beliefs involved. Such as using the blood of innocents, whether children or virgins, and knowing the "true name" of the person targeted.[262]

[260] This is just defining the meaning of the term "sympathetic magic", which is imitative magic or correspondence of forms. Sympathetic magic is a term that was coined by the 19th century folklorist James Frazer in his book "The Golden Bough", which is either magic of "similarity" or magic of "contagion." Witchcraft in this document follows these tropes.
[261] This has been done in storylines, such as those involving the witch Raznel.
[262] All of this is framed as animist roots, but now running up against orthodox religion with its good vs. evil values duality, which in Elanthia in the Second Age is Liabo vs. Lornon.

Within the modern conventions of magic, this sort of correspondence of forms is related to what is now called mentalism, and witchcraft may even be thought of as a hybrid magic closely related to sorcery or "dark empathy."[263] In the mind oriented near planes of existence, such as the Eternal Dream, there is no absolute distinction between thoughts and forms. Nightmares will physically manifest from the mind interacting with the dream world.[264] This making of realities would be made manifest through actual magic. Burning an effigy would then not merely wish bad luck on descendants, but instead cause victims to burst into flames.[265] There are esoteric practices such as dream walking or astral projection which are closely related to spirit possession.[266] Divination in the form of necromancy, through the malignancy of witchcraft, was twisted into rituals for conjuring malevolent forces to empower the witch or wielding wicked spirits.[267]

[263] This is establishing the premise of treating this as the Elanith non-Erithian precursor to Mentalism in the contemporary conventions. The notion of "dark empathy" and confounds and hybrid magic are elaborated later in this document.
[264] This was true in Ride of the Red Dreamer and Auchand stated it explicitly on the Wiki, distinguing the Eternal Dream near plane from the sorcerous valences. Nightmare steeds and unicorns in the mount system as of summer 2022 had physically manifesting object from dream world interactions. Ebon's Gate 2022 with Naidem also had some mind/form distortion premise in it.
[265] This is generic voodoo doll kind of stuff.
[266] Dream walkers were present in Griffin Sword War 2 and Ride of the Red Dreamer storylines, and other times where minds have been entered, and are mentioned in "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire". Some minds are able in GemStone to slip into the Eternal Dream during sleep. There is a subtextual argument for the decay/spirit-death mechanics messaging having been based on astral projection. The truffles in Lower Dragonsclaw do some sort of astral projection. 
[267] This is part of the thesis and framed previously in the animism section. It's malignant spellcasters using that propensity to twist mortuary magic into more malicious uses, and then that gets still darker later when dark essences are involved in haunted realms. This sets that up for the next paragraph.

With the expansion of the Elven Empire in the Second Age as a civilizing force, along with the backlash against witchcraft or even magic entirely by other races, witches were exiled into the wild woods or darker hiding places.[268] This led to a rising number of witches in the Southron Wastes, where the folk religion blended with the savage tribes of those lands, and witchcraft incorporated the dark forces found in them.[269] Blood magic began using demon blood.[270] Curses began using more corruptive essences, facilitating rituals for causing the undead.[271] Among these would include transformation curses. The body of a victim might be turned into that of an animal, or it might incite an atavism, causing the victim to turn into some monstrous race or that of some impurity in their blood.[272] There was also the development of contagions. Such cursed conditions could spread, like illnesses, the victims inflicting their own curses on others.[273] One of the more familiar examples of this extant are werebears. Lycans are usually humans cursed to the moon cycles, sometimes treated as "unliving," even though they are not actually dead.[274]

[268] This sets up a fragmenting of witchcraft into split traditions. Volume 2 says more about the different kinds of witches. There are elemental themed ones, spider witches in the Sea of Fire, the Sisters of Blight, and so forth. Raznel was influenced by black arts out of the Southron Wastes and Wizardwaste.
[269] With the "dark essence" explicitly framed in "History of the Dhe'nar", and corruptive effects on various peoples in current canon, this is extrapolated here to imply there is a general issue of this for historical wasteland residents. Very little is defined for indigenous populations. Iguanoids were there in the Wavedancer, as well as scourgemages (which were reskinned fire mages but Volume 2 treats as demon worshipping analogs to rangers). This region probably had its own animism (e.g. black shamanism), but presumably also earlier demonic and Marluvian cults, and Volume 3 makes up something about mummies and underworld themed death religions influenced by underground rifts. The general point of this line is cross-pollinating the folk magic into the wastes and in turn incorporating the dark essence of that region. Later in this document there is framing for surviving knowledge of Second Age folk magic being sampling/survivor biased toward the Elven forms of it due to the records being from Elven occultists. There is IC author framing bias here because he can reasonably speak of a migration tendency of black magic practitioners toward the south, but would have much shakier insight into what those wasteland cultures were before that merger.
[270] This document leans into various arguments for the presence of "indigenous" demons in the region. The ebon-swirled primal demon in the Southron Wastes is a primitive cousin of the oculoth, and its venom blood is a major storyline factor behind dark magic in Kenstrom's events. This line is taking the "blood magic" from the witchcraft tradition and now using demon blood in it which is far worse. This is reasonably what would have happened if this population migration happened even in broad outlines.
[271] This is leveraging off "History of the Dhe'nar" referring to the dark essence of the region, left behind from the Ur-Daemon War.
[272] Raznel turned a giantman into a troll and a human into an orc. This is framing and explaining the generic "witch turns prince into a frog" or werebears and selkies kinds of curses. This "witchcraft" is implicitly partly Mentalist in contemporary magic theory, so the dark transformation of bodies stuff is in it here, and not necessarily present in the prior inhabitants of the southern wastelands (e.g. cultists, black shamans.)
[273] Stuff like werewolves and selkies. This is setting up the seed for Despana later having cursed diseases such as Red Rot. It follows the "contagion" variety of "sympathetic magic" in Frazer's definition of the term.
[274] Werebears being mechanically undead is some weird game history anomaly. I think every cursed thing that was flagged as "Unlife" and targettable by Cleric repel spells was treated as undead when the Order of Vult (Voln) was created in 1994. Volume 3 does a lot of differentiation on the various forms of "unliving." Selkies are much more modern creatures in a game mechanics sense and actually undergo transformation cycles.

Witches of the South would enter pacts with malevolent forces in exchange for borrowing their powers. Whether dark gods or powerful demons.[275] There was often little sanctity in a witch for their own body. They would embrace having themselves perverted, violated against nature, with such forces working through them as conduits.[276] They might have mediating vermin such as maggots or ichor worms inside themselves.[277] Sometimes this would lead to the witch becoming undead, or otherwise accursed, becoming some shadow of their former selves.[278] There was not necessarily any separation between the witch and a dark power, or even their victims, who might be enthralled to them.[279] It was a personal form of magic often placing the powers of undeath and the demonic equally or higher than oneself.[280] Conjuring in this way was in stark contrast to the Elven Empire, where orthodox magic was imposing control over nature, with elves atop the hierarchy.[281]

[275] This is the general Satan worshipping witch archetype. Raznel would make blood bonds with people. This distinction is allowing other forms of witchcraft to not work this way. This is speaking of a regional historical generality or propensity, not saying "every witch in the south did this and no witches outside the south did it."
[276] This is leaning on the channeling aspect of the framed hybridism of their magic.
[277] This is directly based on Raznel. She had stuff like this as well as scarabs inside her own body, forming or emerging spontaneously when she was cut. Though Raznel learned how to implant such things into bodies from Quinshon, who is a black shaman.
[278] This is the general "corrupted by dark power" archetype. It has been used to show characters being driven mad with taint/corruption in GemStone since the I.C.E. Age.
[279] Raznel would control others sometimes with implanting her scarabs into them. She was also prone to using anti-magic, and stripping magical powers from people.
[280] This is a characterization of the mode of magic, it does not have to always involve subservience to something else. This wording is partly inspired by Torment (718).
[281] This is setting up distinctions between Faendryl sorcery in the Second Age with the "black arts" and forms of magic that would have repulsed the imperial elves. They are reflecting different cultural value systems and ideologies. "History of the Faendryl" has recognizable sorcery being practiced until at least circa -40,000 and so we are preferring to split apart the historical meaning of "sorcery" so the Faendryl of the Second Age culturally make sense as the leaders of the Elven Empire.

(3) Cultists

In the Age of Darkness there was always a minority of demon worshippers.[282] Whether the demonic of the wastelands, or the dead gods themselves.[283] There are buried crypts in the Southron Wastes belonging to prehistorical Marluvian cults, which often contain a very ancient kind of undead known as the vruul.[284] Rumors and legends speak of Marlu himself searching ancient crypts, and it is partly for this reason.[285] Petrified trees from when the wasteland was all forest, before the land was forever destroyed in the cataclysmic war, bear markings of terror and depredation.[286] But the reliefs and frescoes of the interregnum are far more hideous in their depictions.[287] They were made as a rule by worshippers of the darkest powers, illustrating gruesome ritual sacrifices.[288] Cave paintings from the Southron Wastes are portrayals of utter madness. Thought to have been made in the delirium of trance states, such murals are often found with trepanated skulls.[289]

[282] There is only thin already established evidence for this. The timing on the loresong of the Marluvian urglaes talismans from Hunt for History is unclear, but using an ancient language that was sometimes used in game in the early 2000s. "History of Fash'lo'nae" shows archaeological evidence for knowledge of Marlu dating back to before the Elven Empire. There ought to be Marlu worshippers, and Ur-Daemon or demon worshippers more generally, and it would make sense for them to live in the old places of the Ur-Daemon (Rhoska-Tor) rather than in the great forest with the sylvans and imperial elves.
[283] This is allowing a distinction between animists who are akin to rangers of the demonic (in Volume 2 these are called scourgemages), which are left-over from the Age of Darkness or arriving through underground tears in the veil --- there was possibly an example of this in the room painting of the Southron Wastes during the Wavedancer, and the eyeballs of ebon-swirled primal demons have been seen arriving through spontaneous tears in reality in the Southron Wastes --- and actual cultists worshipping the Ur-Daemon.
[284] This is reviving and De-I.C.E.ing the vruul lore, which is hard coded into the area design of the Broken Land. It is making sense of the Marlu description in "Gods of Elanthia" about being seen delving into ancient crypts, which is vestigial from I.C.E. lore about him searching prehistorical crypts for vruul, and then the notion of Marlu loosening portals to draw power is made sense of by assuming there are actually portals to demonic realms present that can be loosened: "Whether his power comes in the same manner as other Arkati, or from the loosening of the portals between dimensions, is unknown." This seems to be hedging on whether Marlu is Arkati or has extraplanar power sourcing like the Ur-Daemon portal described earlier in that document. Footnote 71 suggested a possible constraint of Ur-Daemon dependency on this to sustain their existence in this reality, such that destroying their major portal in itself is what defeated them, which could be a conceptual motivator or root for this premise about the power source for Marlu.
[285] This is explaining the "Gods of Elanthia" description with the original context.
[286] This is based on the Linsandrych Illistim quote from "History of Elanthia". This only clearly referred to glyphs being found in the Southron Wastes, where presumably they survive from climactic conditions. But here we interpret the line instead to include the petrified trees as also being in the Southron Wastes. This is meant to explain and reconcile "Gods of Elanthia" saying the final battle in the Ur-Daemon War blasted the landscape for hundreds of miles and turning it into a lifeless wasteland. Which implies it wasn't a wasteland previously, which is where the carvings on the petrified trees would come from (perhaps artificially fast in cataclysmic conditions, though petrification itself usually only takes several thousand years). The Southron Wastes room painting depicts a huge former lake, now a salt basin, and there are unstable (quite likely unnaturally formed in the Ur-Daemon War) shale mountains capped with limestone that are described as geologically "recent" violent upheavals.
[287] This is referring to the cave paintings from Linsandrych Illistim's quote, and embellishing it in cross-reference to the frescoes in the Dark Shrine of the Broken Land.
[288] This is also leveraging off the Broken Land design. This line is trying to establish that region as having dark worshippers dating back into prehistorical times, so that there were effectively always bad guys with dark magic there at all time points.
[289] This is an embellishment. It is leveraging off the Linsandrych Illistim quote about representing fear, and the "madness" motif in demonic themed places like below the Graveyard and the Broken Land. The trance states are about animism. These volumes treat black shamans and scourgemages as dark magic archetypes of shamanistic nature in that region. The skulls is based off the the Broken Land and Graveyard, and there's also a skull pile in the burial mound in the vourkha area outside Ta'Illistim. Trepanation is getting at the notion of "nightmare visions" and "fever dreams" that the made-up Linsandrych quote in this document references.

Thus, while the Second Age settled over the east and west of the continent with the Elven Empire, the darkness never lightened in the southern subcontinent.[290] There were those who sought the old places of the Ur-Daemon, and worshipped those desolate sepulchers of earth where their blood was spilled.[291] Dark mages who would not abide by the laws of civilization would find freedom in these lands, while fanatics who sought a world ruled by Lornon would found short-lived, sinister theocracies.[292] Mostly unable to oppress and rule over the world themselves, the Lords of Lornon would act through their minions.[293] In time there would be Vvrael cultists, disciples of the primordials, and worshippers of all sorts of other malevolent otherworldly powers.[294]

[290] This is leveraging off the previous embellishment about the Elven Empire not claiming and occupying the southern wastelands based on consistency considerations.
[291] Despana is the existing defined example, but something like that should have happened many times over thousands of years. This line is also using the previous view that the southern wastelands are where the Ur-Daemon portal was destroyed and where the last great battle happened that blasted the landscape for hundreds of miles.
[292] The theocracies is totally made up, but follows naturally and logically from the framed lawless condition of the region and inhabitation by dark religions. Dark mage is an archetype that is defined later, but also more fully in Volume 2. They would be practitioners of dark essences magic (attuned to 'sorcerous elements' like balefire much like mages do with the elements), therefore ultimately sorcerous, who often (not necessarily always) are attempting to come at it from the rationalist orthodox magic theory direction. This is more generally talking about magic practitioners who refused to be bound by regulations and laws. It seeds having pre-exile Faendryl sometimes exiling out there and bringing illegal knowledge with them, and gives a close-at-hand corruption path to blacker arts for Faendryl sorcerers. Dhe'nar "warlocks" might also be prone to becoming "dark mages" in this sense of the term, though the Dhe'nar Stareater legend is loosely how we are using "warlock."
[293] There isn't really any established framing for the Elven Empire allowing Lornon worshipper chaos and machinations within its territories. But they should also have existed. So this is making a hook for explaining where they tended to be concentrated in the Second Age.
[294] In the Vvrael quest the ghost of Malaphor claimed the Vvrael witches and warlocks were wizards and sorcerers of this world who were corrupted by the Vvrael and eventually made their way into the Rift, and likewise Daephron Illian was working in Rhoska-Tor when he broke open the rift and sealed it in a puzzlebox. It's basically a Hellraiser concept. Vvrael witches also were in the Demon Queen of Anwyn storyline after the Rift was released and Terate was dead. So having the Vvrael cultists reside in that general region is making consistency of things. It is canon from "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire" that the Disciples of the Shadows (Althedeus worshippers) were residing in the Southron Wastes, potentially back into the Age of Chaos. The last part of this sentence is open-ended for all the other bad things that might exist.

Warlocks were dark sorcerers who sought to master the corruptive powers of those lands, inventing ways of desecrating the sanctity of boundaries between kinds.[295] Where witches might inflict a transformation curse, it was the warlocks who made aberrations and travesties. They would attempt to fashion chimera monsters with vivisection, or re-mold the forms and qualities of races, and breed unnatural hybrids of the demonic.[296] This would sometimes be done with livestock, or wildlife, but it was without limit. It would be forced upon the imprisoned, slaves, even willing sacrifices.[297] There were those who wished to host demons within their bodies, whether as demonic possession, or serving as a birthing vessel until being devoured from the inside out.[298] There were even cults believing Elves were cursed by the Arkati.[299] That what are now called Dark Elves were the original form of the race, first born as the earthly conduits of the Ur-Daemon.[300]

[295.1] The convention for "warlock" in this document is the Dungeons & Dragons kind of class archetype of powers from binding with demons and so forth. This is keeping consistency with the nature of "Vvrael warlocks" and possibly the Dhe'nar magi being called warlocks (e.g. the Star eater legend). This is more akin to the etymology out of Scots than the "oathbreaker" or "pact breaker" etymology out of Old English, where instead the meaning is more along the lines of pact making with demonic powers in betrayal of good gods.
[295.2] This is setting up "warlock" as the archetype for teratology and monster making, which in volumes 2 and 3 are related to Arcane or more general definitions of "necromancy." But they are more demonology focused, so their necromancy is what volume 2 defines as "demonic necromancy."
[295.3] Warlocks and witches in the black arts usage here is also staying consistent with demons using "conduits" to influence this plane in DragonRealms, especially the more powerful demonic entities which would have issues directly manifesting in this reality. (This concept is explicitly present in GemStone with Althedeus.) Volume 2 of this document talks about places where demonic power is infiltrating this plane, or similarly with Dark Gods (or demonic "gods" in other planes), where the soul can get pulled into the demonic realms if someone dies in that place. Which is consistent with the Temple of Luukos on Teras Isle, and that concept exists in DragonRealms as well. It is meant in this document to help explain the origin of some extraplanar undead.
[296] More framing for teratology. The last part about the demonic hybrids is leveraging off the unnatural offspring of demons and animals from the Third Elven War, and extraplanar hybrids from storylines such as Rodnay. It is providing threads for other forms of the "blood magic" we have seen from Grishom Stone and Elithain Cross.
[297] This is an embellishment but using the framed premise of the region being a haven for dark religions. The Dhe'nar supposedly did not practice slavery until after the Great Fire, according to "History of the Dhe'nar", but the practice may have existed in the neighbors.
[298] This is made up but helps illustrate the kinds of black arts that would exist that would not be Faendryl sorcery.
[299] This is an homage to the Drow.
[300] This slyly plays off the Dhe'nar referring to themselves as the first born of the Arkati, but having the hunger of the Ur-Daemon. This document characterizes the more indigenous parts of the wastelands as prone to ancestor veneration and the Ur-Daemon as dead gods who are still present.

In this way there was not only ambiguity between some kinds of demons and the undead. There were necromancers who sought to subvert the separation of the living from the demonic.[301] The "voice of Rhoska-Tor," as the Dark Elven tongue is called, is considered a divine language in some cults.[302] Demon worshippers sometimes call it the language of the Ur-Daemon, though its source has never been found by extrachthonic linguists.[303] Cultists of elven descent would use this language to call upon demons, much as a Tehir spiritcaller might for the lesser spirits.[304]

[301] This is using the broader definition of necromancy from the beginning of this document. The existence of demonic/living hybrids in Elanthia is long-established canon.
[302] This is from the "Dark Elven languages" document. Its being regarded as a divine language by demon worshipping cults is an embellishment, but something that would probably be true if those cults were present. It would be a manifestation of the influence and presence of their gods in their view.
[303] This is a retcon to recontextualize the meaning of the Daemon's language when "History of Elanthia" talks about the Book of Tormtor. What is in the present age called the Dark Elven language would in the Second Age have been associated with the Ur-Daemon, because of this framing of who was involved with that region in that time period. The part about its source having never been found by extrachthonic linguists is from the "Dark Elven languages" document. Another subtle point is that it should not have been known as the "voice of Rhoska-Tor" in the Second Age, because "History of Elanthia" implies it was not known as "Rhoska-Tor" yet when Despana was searching it, unless the placename itself comes from the term "voice of Rhoska-Tor" (e.g. through the Dhe'nar rha'sha'tor meaning "giver and taker of life" which in turn could speak to how the language was used in that region). Rhoska-Tor has to be considered part of the Southron Wastes in the Second Age.
[304] This is an embellishment but would sensibly follow from the premise in the line noted by footnote 302.

In the wasteland of Rhoska-Tor most of all, there were nightmare visions in prolonged exposure, especially near the protrusions known as Tor.[305] These outcroppings or mounds are mythologically named for each of the "dead gods," which is how the Ur-Daemon are regarded.[306] While such names ought to be the pure fictions of legend, rituals are performed, attempting to commune with the dead Old Ones. Whether it is purely a fabrication of fever dreams, or parapsychic imputing of forbidden knowledge, dark cults grow around these haunted ruins.[307] Cults might at times become extinct, only to arise again, centuries or millennia later.[308] There are many apocalyptic eschatologies among these religions. Those who worship the Old Ones, the dead gods, seek to awaken them.[309] They often believe "lesser demons" are hybrid offspring of the Ur-Daemon, transmogrifications made from the living of this world.[310] Consecrating us with their unholy black blood.[311]

[305.1] The first part of this is stemming off the Grot'karesh Hammer Clan exposure to the Battle of Maelshyve. "Giantkin History" translates Grot'karesh as "magically cursed" or "magically haunted", but "elder elven scholars" translate it as "Daemon-tainted".
[305.2] This interpretation of "Tor" is totally made up. There are several reasons for it. Tor are geological formations that are basically rock outcroppings with hill formations, such as the hill Glastonbury Tor, which is mythologically associated with Arthurian legend and Otherworlds. "History of the Sylvan Elves" describes hills in the region of Maelshyve. Banshees in turn are fey of the mounds/hills in real-world mythology. Likewise, keeps are generally built on mounds, and Maelshyve is a "great keep" from "History of Elanthia" and "Keep" in "Timeline of Elanthian History". The ora lore from the materials documentation also has a very large ora mine in Rhoska-Tor, but otherwise describes ora as being found in mountains and hilly regions. Tor are typically granite, an intrusive igneous rock, and the urglaes around Maelshyve ought to implicitly be in igneous rock (with "History of Elanthia" calling Rhoska-Tor "blackened" and urglaes being implicitly linked to the Ur-Daemon in the eonake lore), but the underground caverns are suggestive of limestone, which is consistent with the Southron Wastes room painting. "Origins of Tonis" on the other hand calls the land "blackened" directly from the corruption of the Ur-Daemon, but also speaks of lava ("hot blood" of the earth) nurseries for newborn Ur-Daemon. So all of this together is the logic of treating the word part "Tor" in the geological meaning of igneous protrusion rocks.
[306] This is a Lovecraftian twist on the Ur-Daemon based on established Ur-Daemon facts, combined with the fey mythology usage of Tor. It is an embellishment to say there are other Tor and that they are named after specific Ur-Daemon, but this retcon is meant to motivate why we supposedly know the names of individual Ur-Daemon (e.g. Ith'can, Goseth, Orslathain) and why this region was considered an old place of the Ur-Daemon. These Ur-Daemon names are represented as used in occultist grimoires in Volume 2 to help explain that point.
[307] This is a made up embellishment. It serves to motivate the existence of the cults, even if they die out and come back later. It provides the seed for alternate possible origins of the Book of Tormtor, because the literal explanation of a book written in the Ur-Daemon language from "History of Elanthia" does not make sense without additional premises. That the Ur-Daemon would have a book at all, and then someone tens of thousands of years later can read it, without some weird magic artifice explaining it.
[308] This premise allows some long-run behaviors without having to posit specific organizations (i.e. cults) or whole cultures continuously existing for tens of millennia.
[309] This is made up, but based on the storyline instances of using Ur-Daemon body parts, such as rejuvenating them with Ur-Daemon blood. As well as the Beast imprisoned in Teras Isle having ambients of almost waking up. And Tseleth saying pieces of the Ur-Daemon are never truly dead.
[310] This is meant to relate the cultists to the "warlock" dark magic archetype described earlier, and based on the canon ability of demons and other extraplanars to hybridize with the living. Then they are just exercising religious beliefs about the demonic, doing some confirmation bias conflating them into their ancestor veneration. It isn't necessary for it to be true that a lot of these demons originated in hybridization of the living with the Ur-Daemon and then banished in the Ur-Daemon War. But it need not be quite obvious that this is wrong, either. Even the abyran might plausibly be made by a more powerful demon out of the missing Faendryl sorcerers.
[311] The blood of the Beast of Teras Isle is black. It was used to charge up the eye of Ith'can for the climax of Cross into Shadows.

These kinds of sentiments lent themselves to still other forms of necromancy.[312] There were those who sought to induce demonic possession, such as the riders of the wasteworms.[313] Others were "dread seers," attempting to "possess" demons, or using conduits such as the vruul for divination.[314] This is a necromantic form of astral projection for harrowing the outer valences.[315] Some sought to master the power of fashioning the demonic from elemental darkness, or the other sorcerous elements, much as an elemental or dream world manifestation might be willed.[316]

[312] Specifically, this is following off the parapsychic imputing of forbidden knowledge, so it's about the sorcerous version of mind and spirit stuff with the demonic and other planes.
[313] Wasteworms are a creature of the Southron Wastes from the Wavedancer event. The idea of there being wasteworm riders is shamelessly ripped off from Dune. The premise here is black arts practitioners acquiring demonic powers for themselves through their bonds or usage of demons.
[314] This is a made up premise that Xorus lectured about at a Faendryl symposium and has used in vignettes, and to some extent did during the Witchful Thinking storyline when probing the memory past of Thrayzar and Pylasar using Melgorehn's Reach. "dread seer" is inspired off an attempted translation of the inscription of the Dark Shrine in the Broken Land, where the theory (though I think it's likely coincidental and the composite word was just trying to mean "cruel") is that its multiple meanings included referring to the vruul as "dread seers." There were I.C.E. motivations for that interpretation. Regardless, the premise is sorcerers doing "demonic possession" on demons or unliving monstrosities like the vruul, as conduits for immaterially exploring eldritch vistas and incomprehensible cosmic horror.
[315] The general idea is it would be the sorcerous analog of dream walking and spirit possession and so forth. It would be necromancy for immaterially exploring the sorcerous valences and infernal realms and so forth. As opposed to the Faendryl sorcery methods of material summoning and materially passing through rifts into other valences like the Extrachthonic Cartographer's Guild does. This is generally about removing the oversimplification of the domains of "necromancy" and "demonology", which is significantly done in Volume 2. The wording "outer valences" here is meant to distinguish it from harrowing near plane "chthonic" infernal realms, such as with "black shaman" methods (which has been seen with Quinshon and the Shadow Realm) or Morvule simply flying down into the Maw of Luukos whereas great effort was needed to summon him back from being lost in other planes. (Morvule incidentally is an expert in summoning and planar studies, which is another point for showing the framed impracticality of being able to get to Elanthia from other realities.)
[316] This is totally made up, but inspired by the premise of what the Broken Land story was about, with Uthex attempting to fashion entities out of energy. This is using that concept specifically for entities of darkness and the demonic, and makes a consistency hook for why Marluvians and so forth would try to twist Uthex's work in that direction.

Warlocks were especially responsible for the innovations of demonic necromancy.[317] These would sometimes be abominations that would not, in the narrow sense, be thought of as undead.[318] They were often in reincarnation cults, seeking unnatural forms of immortality.[319] It was noticed very early on that sometimes the curse of the undead was bound to other objects.[320] Tormented spirits might be stuck to the cursed blade that killed them, and if struck down, would eventually reconstitute themselves.[321] It was only with the destruction of the cursed item that they were "released." In time this insight would be developed into more elaborate ways of preventing destruction from violence.[322] These have ranged from the phylacteries of some kinds of liches, soul fragmentation into unwilling vessels, soul transference, and support hosts of various kinds through the blood of demons.[323] Warlocks often seek to transform their own blood with that of dark powers.[324]

[317] Demonic necromancy is defined in more detail in Volume 2. It is contrasted with low necromancy (roughly, reanimate dead and mindless corpse undead, with rote magic) and high necromancy (roughly flow magic with dark essence). High necromancy is also a distinction in DragonRealms, which includes what we are calling transmogrification. Demonic necromancy includes such things as some forms of teratology, making infernal undead (corrupted with "sorcerous elements"), attempting to refashion the demonic into new forms of monstrosity, and mixing the demonic into the undead in various ways. It might be regarded as overlapping with high necromancy, or possibly even being a special subset of it.
[318] The varied forms of unliving, and undeath as a demonic spectrum, is elaborated in Volume 2. It is somewhat similar to the distinction between "corruption" and "perversion" in DragonRealms necromancy. In DragonRealms the distinction between corruption and perversion necromancy is whether life mana is being mixed with elemental or lunar mana. For our purposes we have distinctions between the "transmogrified" and the living undead or mutant aberrations, but we're not trying to map simply to DragonRealms, for instance because we're including various explicit forms of demonic / sorcerous essences instead of just this life mana hybridization distinction.
[319] This is related to the animism roots postulated earlier as a debasement. This is used especially in Volume 3 to motivate the development of phylactery and other preservation methods.
[320] This is just generally something that can happen.
[321] This phenomenon is then recognized for its potential in preventing destruction from violence.
[322] Some of these are elaborated in Volume 3 in the "Preservatives" category of undeath.
[323] These examples generally have precedent from storylines that have happened.
[324] This is extrapolating off the caustic black blood of the Vvrael warlocks, and to some extent what Raznel did to her own blood and with her paragons. These were essentially a form of demonic hybridization, because they were made with a processed variant of epochxin, the venom blood of the ebon-swirled primal demon which transforms the blood of the victim into epochxin (or the epochxin variant.) These demons reside natively in the Southron Wastes as well as other valences.

These depraved theologies concerning the demonic, especially the Ur-Daemon, are twisted from their roots in ancestor veneration.[325] While these were originally only those demons that descended from the Age of Darkness, or had arrived incarnate through unstable rifting, it would not remain limited to demons which had become trapped in this world.[326] There would sometimes be Faendryl who would escape execution, or the limitations of laws, by hiding in the southern wastes or conducting their work there in secret.[327] These summoners might be converted to dark religions, or make pacts for safe haven.[328] Knowledge of demonic summoning from the outer valences spread in this way.[329] It was also the birth of other forms of undeath, caused by the various kinds of demons.[330]

[325] This is helping motivate the term "Old Ones" and getting into how very differently these black arts practitioners approach and regard the demonic from how the Faendryl do, and why the Faendryl do not view things that way.
[326] Such demonic are being presumed to exist, but they should have existed from world logic consistency considerations. This is speaking of the "incarnated" demonic, those fully materialized into this reality. Elsewhere in this document we speak of immaterial demons, demonic forces, conjured and acting through veil weaknesses or "thinness." This notion does not require veil piercing or fully material "summoning."
[327] This is not explicitly stated anywhere, but essentially has to be true out of realism. Given the previously supposed framework of the nature of the southern wastes in the Second Age.
[328] This reasonably follows from the previous premise.
[329] "History of the Faendryl" has Faendryl demonic summoning beginning before -40,000 Modern Era, based on the Patriarch numbers and the timing leading up to Patriarch 14. This document is treating that as very specific form or style of demonic summoning, involving veil piercing and materially pulling through an entity. In practice it would not make sense for this knowledge to not spill out to some extent over the next 25,000 years from rogue sorcerers. So we have some stuff spilling back to the Faendryl through occultists, and some stuff from the Faendryl spilling over into cultists through criminals and traitors. Cross-pollination of methods. The House Elves likewise needed to already know what demonic summoning is and the nature of the Ur-Daemon for the Faendryl exile to make sense. The scope of Faendryl summoning in the Second Age has to be very restricted, more restricted than implied by the "History of the Faendryl" document. It might also be focused on outer valences, or even just similarly material valences and their entities (as opposed to "infernal realms" as defined in Volume 2 or more dangerous outer realms), which might include extraplanar races or creatures like Ithzir but not necessarily "fiends" like vathors and oculoths.
[330] This is leveraging off GemStone's long but ill-defined history of relating the demonic to the origins of undead. It is incoherent to have demonic summoning without corresponding exposure to undeath. It is one of numerous reasons it makes no sense for undead to have not existed in Elanthia before Despana.

II.D House Faendryl

In the time of the Rebuilding the Arkati had been credited with providing spiritual powers to the more mortal races of flesh and blood.[331] But the ancient elves had long since turned from worshipping the Great Spirits.[332] In the Elven dogma or "Matter" such as with the myth of Yadzari and Amas, imagined as the ancestors of the Illistim and Faendryl royalties, the dragons were regarded as forces of darkness --- sky monsters, not divine powers, and certainly not bastions of civilization --- which their ancestors had believed were warded off by their gods.[333] The Sylvan tradition is much the same, and has the virtue of memory, bridging to the Rebuilding through the hierophants.[334] Dragons were "the darkness" first, demons became the darkness.[335]

[331] This was cited already in previous sections. The term Rebuilding for the Arkati dominated period comes from "Elanthian Moons".
[332] This is established in "Elven Dogma and Theology", and Great Spirits in this document is a generic for all powerful spirit deity entities, avoiding the baggage of the word "Arkati" which is tied up in Drake servant legends.
[333] "Elven Dogma and Theology" can be read as the Drakes being regarded as dark gods, but the plain reading of that document has the Elves not believing the Arkati were servants of the Drakes at the time it actually happened, instead turning to that idea after the fact to rationalize the Ur-Daemon War. It frames the Arkai as gods who kept the Drakes (or perhaps really dragons if these is a distinction) from harming the Elves. The part about Yadzari and Amas is characterizing that part of the legend as merely a "Matter" foundation myth along the lines of the steward / great chain of being conception postulated earlier.
[334] It is unclear how early exactly the sylvan hierophant memory transfer method actually goes back. But the Rebuilding goes all the way up to the founding of the Elven Empire, and it certainly dates at least roughly that far back. But the bestial view of dragons, consistent with the Linsandrych Illistim characterization, is represented in "History of the Sylvan Elves".
[335] This plays off "Draekeche" being the (ancient?) Elven word for "Darkness", and echoes off the beginning of the document saying the darknesses destroyed each other.

Our elven ancestors may well have been confused on this point --- conflating the dragons with more powerful Great Spirits, such as Koar, who had manifested as dragons --- much as the Arkati mostly take humanoid forms.[336] It may even be that those spirits, the Great Drakes and Wyverns, were shaped by draconic influences.[337] Whichever is the truth, elves hated and feared dragons. In spite of the romanticism of later ages.[338]

[336] This is an iconoclastic IC author view. This notion of the Drakes really being higher spirits than the Arkati was floated, for example, by Auchand on Milax's podcast. The point of this line is dealing with the contradictory way this has been handled. "dragons" and "Drakes" are used interchangeably in "History of Elanthia", but other times there's been a notion of them being different, but there are also draconic lineages (e.g. wyrms) that are certainly much less powerful than Arkati, and so forth. So the IC author is questioning whether ancient Elves may have confused actual dragons with draconic-manifesting or incarnating spirits that were more powerful than the humanoid-manifesting or incarnating spirits, and it might well be that both "dragons" and "Drakes" so defined fought the Ur-Daemon.
[337] Same point as note 336.
[338] This is reconciling the polar opposite ways the dragon attitude is treated in documentation. Between say the Linsandrych Illistim quote in "History of Elanthia" and the pro-Wyvern attitudes by Vaalor elves in the "Wyvern" documentation, and such things as the "Imperial Drakes" and the religious mythos of Koar possibly being the last Great Drake.

In the wake of the Ur-Daemon War where the dragons and demons fought, those gods were reimagined as having been mere servants of the dragons, themselves a mortal race which inherited the world from its former masters.[339] From the Drakes to the Arkati, so it was from the Arkati to the Elves, as it would be from the Elves to the lesser races.[340] In this way there was a secular movement to wield magic as the Arkati did, rather than borrowing their powers as from master to servant.[341] This was an especially difficult mode of spellcraft known as Arcane magic.[342]

[339.1] This is a fair reading of "Elven Dogma and Theology". Similarly, the proof of Arkati mortality in it is unconvincing, because they are spirit beings who may take on incarnations, but a struck down incarnation isn't the same thing as killing the spirit. The IC author view here is characterizing the view of the Arkati in the Second Age as fitting and justifying the ideology of the Elven Empire, and then later religion takes this elven atheist revisionism more credulously as theology.
[339.2] This is also reconciling the treatment of parents/siblings relationships in "Gods of Elanthia", which is arguably vestigial from I.C.E., with the origin legends related to Drakes where it makes no literal sense. It's treating this as Elven racial ideologies being read into the Arkati.
[340] This formula used to be part of Fash'lo'nae's gods description.
[341] This is suggesting that the Arkati were providing forms of spiritual magic to the Elves, and that the other forms were learned by the Elves on their own. This is sensible given the nature of the Arkati and the nature of spiritual (especially clerical) magic. The idea that there was a secularizing movement in magic is an embellishment, but basically consistent with how the House Elves were developing.
[342] This is reviving the I.C.E. concept of Arcane magic from Rolemaster and Shadow World, which is already present but not explained in lore with the mechanical Arcane spell circle, and is historically encoding the notion that initially there was not division into separate spheres of magic. But that there was a natural fissure already present for the elemental and spirit spheres to split apart into separate (and easier) categories of magic. Hybrid magic is closer to Arcane magic. The following section is reconciling the magic theory lore from I.C.E., DragonRealms, and what exists all the way throughout all time points of GemStone.

(1) Arcane Power [343]

Arcane magic is the wielding of the raw, undifferentiated forces into magical effects.[344] It is what would later be called "flow magic," in its totality, as opposed to the finished spells of "rote magic."[345] This was split by mortals into modes of spellcraft. The direct wielding of essence in exoteric spellcraft is known as thaumaturgy, while exoteric conjuration or channeling is theurgy, whether or not these are "rote" spell effects.[346] Exoteric magic proscribes the irrational from spellcraft. Esoteric magic is mostly an informal cousin of ritual theurgy, with various sympathetic or mimetic traditions, or else the incomprehensible depths of flow magic with cosmic forces. While the Arcane and sorcery are natively esoteric, the Faendryl developed them toward thaumaturgy.[347] Wielders of Arcane power are able, in principle, to cast spells of any of the spheres of magic.[348]

[343] This section is generally fixing the defects and deficits of the "Overview of Elanthian Magic" document. It is intentionally trying to keep consistency with I.C.E. (Rolemaster and Shadow World) because those are the conceptual foundation and framework the game was built on, as well as consistency with DragonRealms, because Elanthia is supposed to be the same world setting so it should have approximately consistent cosmology and "magic physics" in both GemStone and DragonRealms (and ideally at all time points for GemStone back to 1989.) DragonRealms has magic theory due to GM posts and so forth, and there's some magic theory out of I.C.E., so it is a matter of making those consistent with what exists in GemStone mechanically and lore documents and in storyline premises.
[344] This is partly inspired by the Arcane Blast (1700) messaging, but also emphasizing the non-specialization into spheres of magic.
[345.1] These terms are from the "Overview of Elanthian Magic" document. This section is generalizing the magic theory, so that document is representing a particular set of positions on theory of magic. This document is speaking of broad historiographic and metaphysical categories, so that it leaves the particular schools of thought in actual history to be complicated and messy and open-ended in definition. 
[345.2] The equation of "Arcane magic" and "flow magic" will be made more nuanced later in this section, since the view that separate spheres of magic are metaphysically fundamental would maintain that each sphere has its own flow magic. The IC author is more sympathetic to the view that undifferentiated magic is more fundamental. It uses the term "in its totality" to make this distinction.
[346.1] This sentence is dense in terminology. "Exoteric" refers to what we normally think of as casting spells in a game mechanics sense. What prior sections were calling occultism or sympathetic magic are "esoteric" magic, but when they are actual magic they are still magic just informal in the way they work. Within the category of "exoteric" there are two primary modes of magical manipulation, "thaumaturgic" spells and "theurgic" spells. The basic idea is that the energy is in some sense being manipulated in different ways ("modes") by physical beings. This becomes the underlying reason in the monist view for the split into separate spheres of magic, where the esoteric stuff is the roots of what later was conventionalized as Mentalism. These terms are about magical method, not category of behavior or effect such as a word like "apotropaic" magic which would refer to things like wards against dark magic and protection spells. Thaumaturges may try to "channel" the essence and possibly imitate theurgic spell effects, but ultimately theurgic magic is channeling spell effects and power from external sources. These are usually what we call "spiritual" sources of mana, but could be other powers such as demons. This document has the early black arts using theurgical and sympathetic magic (e.g. their forms of demonic summoning) with dark forces as a distinction from Elven thaumaturgy.
[346.2] "Essence" is the I.C.E. terminology and "mana" is Elanthia terminology, but GemStone still uses "essence" and "flows of essence", and even the notion of background magical energy. In this document we are using "essence" as a generic for magical energy, including darker or more chaotic forms from infernal demonic realms and other valences and so forth, and restricting the word "mana" to the kinds of essence that are used in our ordinary "pure" magic spell circles. In the basic cosmology model Volume 2 uses, these are found in pure form in higher (but still accessible and partly intersecting) "near planes" like the Elemental planes, and other stuff like balefire and necrotic energy and so forth is essence but not "mana" by that definition.
[347.1] "Timeline of Elanthian History" implies Erithians introduced "Mentalism" as a separate sphere of magic starting in 3,786 Modern Era, and people in Elanthia were not regarding Empaths (for example) as mentalist hybrids up through 5103. So we're here historicizing things by calling that a convention shift, and that Elanith had its own precursors to what is now called Mentalism through these esoteric traditions. The key to being esoteric magic is manipulation of magical energy and an effect that actually concretely works, whereas other more purely superstitious stuff doesn't count as occultism and so forth.
[347.2] Esoteric spells in DragonRealms refers to the highest difficulty level of spell casting. This notion is more or less encoded here in the premise that Arcane is magic on hard mode, and Arcane magic in actual development as rational orthodox magic (i.e. the way House Elves tried to do Arcane as opposed to how Arcane is inherently across all cultures) attempts to be thaumaturgical instead, which creates the roots of the split between elemental and spiritual magic. (The Dhe'nar in contrast are described here as arriving at the elemental-spiritual split for different historical reasons.) Esotericism implies a lack of rational understanding of what is happening at a deep level, and the black arts with their dark / chaotic essences are naturally prone to esoteric magic. This references going too deep into Arcane flow magic, which is to say outside the constraints of the thaumaturgical modality (e.g. chaotic / incomprehensible / complexity / instability / self-interacting / uncertainty), as esoteric magic to reconcile these notions. Incidentally, trying to do sorcery with esoteric magic in DragonRealms is highly prone to backlash.
[348] This is the original premise in Rolemaster for the Arcane realm of power, as well as in the Shadow World setting. Equal ability in each realm, but with trade-offs for that flexibility. Similarly, hybrids had more spell list choice flexibility, and the Magic Guide on Play.net still has language originating in Rolemaster Spell Law that wrongly states hybrids in GemStone have access to both Minor and Major spell circles: "Major Spell circles are the deepest and most powerful concepts common to each sphere of magic, and may be mastered only by pure or hybrid users from their respective spheres." What we call Major spell circles could be accessed, but with restrictions such as spell level and so forth, meaning the Hybrid and Arcane caster didn't have access to some of the most powerful single realm Pure spells. (Though they had their own base lists.) This is effectively the same situation in GemStone because of the limitations on Fash'lo'nae's Gift (1750).

In practice this is very difficult without imparting pre-formed spells into magic items or scrolls, or mastering the spheres of magic separately from each other with "rote" spell circles.[349] Most with a talent for magic have at least a minor capacity for Arcane.[350] It is mostly a thaumaturgical mode of spellcraft, in its orthodox practice, only able to imitate the effects of purely theurgical magic. These were the fault lines which led to the rise of separate spheres of magic.[351]

[349.1] This is framing why we can't just train up the Arcane spell circle natively, but are able to use all these spells of other spheres through our magic item use and arcane symbols training. This document is leaning on the DragonRealms concept of magic items effectively acting as the confound instead of depending on what we would call the attunement of the spellcaster.
[349.2] The discussion of "confounds" further down will explain in an IC way why there is native spell circle limitation for these spellcasting professions. Because our character classes are implicitly using what are more explicitly called confounds in DragonRealms, and essentially attunement to forms of mana, it creates specialization limitations on the ability to manipulate magic in other ways. Similar to what tacitly exists within professions with not being able to max out all the lores (e.g. tradeoff between necromancy and demonology). In Rolemaster there were just hard limitations, but DragonRealms rationalizes it.
[349.3] Furthermore, in DragonRealms the lack of attunement to particular forms of mana is the natural state for spellcasters, and it must be actively gained. Through tutelage of another spellcaster, guilds and so forth. This means the lack of attunement (except for relatively rare spontaneous attunement) is the natural state of magic, and that specialization is an artifice that historically would have developed later. This would be consistent with Shadow World and would be consistent with GemStone's arcane blast spell being natively known by full spellcasters of all realms even when they have no spell research training yet. In DragonRealms these mana type attunements involve a physiological relationship of the body. Volume 1 does not go into that. But there is some of that in GemStone in relation of mana to nerves.
[350] This is playing off all the full magic casting professions having self-knowledge of Arcane Blast (1700) (which costs no mana to cast, it is effectively just shoving the raw essence at something). In DragonRealms spellcasters are naturally unattuned and usually only become attuned with training in magic traditions. So we are keeping the premise that Arcane is the natural state of magic casting. But historically the Arkati skewed it with teaching magic involving themselves as confounds. Then the Elves we posit do a rationalist/materialist backlash, going back to constructing magic for themselves starting with Arcane, which then leads to the elemental and spiritual split, and eventually mentalism. It becomes academic whether spiritual magic or Arcane magic should be considered historically prior. Technically Arcane is always prior. And related to this document, the animist spiritual magic traditions do not necessarily begin in Arkati, and you can have dark magic traditions out of Arcane roots and not related to Elven orthodox magic, without having come from Arkati. (And after all, Althedeus would teach blood magic to his minion in any give period, and similar demonic powers can go to the warlocks.)
[351.1] This is setting up the symmetry breaking of being unified magic but splitting up into separate spheres, which is stated explicitly as of version 1.0.1. Arcane magic is tapping the flows of essence, not channeling spells from a deity. It's replicating the spell effects, but not doing it theurgically. This leads to the split between what in Rolemaster is "essence" and "channeling", and what by effect is called "elemental" and "spiritual" in the Elanthia setting. Classical sorcery gets defined here later in a way that shows why it is methodically inbetween and therefore "hybrid". Esotericism could also be considered an informal cousin to thaumaturgy as well, maybe more generally what is left out of the thaumaturgy and theurgy division, with sorcery having natural tendency into it.
[352.2] This sentence is also slightly misleading. Strictly speaking, Arcane magic is not natively exoteric or esoteric as that is speaking to how spellcasters wield magic, who would naively and natively approach it as esoteric magic. The critical notion is that esoteric spellcasting involves some lack of understanding of what is really happening on a deep level, whereas exoteric spells are rationally proscribed and so we are saying the Elves tried to develop Arcane in an exoteric way which resulted in a lot of sorcery. Arcane is classified as "esoteric" magic in DragonRealms. Esoteric magic is a modality related here to informal lay magic, and lack of attunement is the natural initial state of magic users, unless they weirdly got attuned without training for some reason (e.g. Cyph Kestrel, Brieson Cassle). The esotericism is in the lack of rational understanding of the flow magic, and the dark magic traditions are similarly rooted in Arcane. What this sentence is really saying is that the orthodox magic tradition developed thaumaturgically, constructing rote magic or within-spheres-only flow magic, with exoteric spell casting in reaction to theurgical magic, where Arkati taught magic involved attunement toward themselves. This attempt to construct rational magic by tapping the flows of essence themselves becomes thaumaturgy, which is a modality that naturally splits the elemental and spiritual spheres and tries to tame it into rote spell patterns, and as a consequence of that leaves out the esoteric traditions. Likewise, in DragonRealms sorcery is considered esoteric magic, also rooted in irrationalism and emotion, which is a Dungeons & Dragons sorcerer versus wizard kind of distinction. Here we are saying the Faendryl primarily tried to construct sorcery as thaumaturgical, exoteric magic, such as the Mahkra asylum being a "thaumaturgical asylum." But sorcery very naturally turns to esoteric forms, which is part of why it naturally merges with the black arts traditions (and has some mentalist-seeming aspects), which are approaching sorcerous magic that way from the beginning.

While the history of magical theory is mostly beyond the scope of this text, it suffices to note there are many schools of thought that fundamentally disagree about the foundations of magic, and this is a philosophical dispute that dates back to the early Elven Empire.[352] It is better to illustrate two very broad categories of metaphysical theory, which have no practical difference, which together influenced the merger of sorcery with the black arts.[353] Loosely speaking, there were the "monists" who believed that "the essence" was undifferentiated in its most primal form, while the "dualists" (or in the present age the "trinitarians") believed magic is naturally divided into separate coequal "realms of power" with their own distinct forms of "mana."[354] In this world view of the "spheres of magic," there were the "elements" wielded directly by mages, and the "spiritual" powers that were "gifted as manna" from the heavens.[355]

[352] The motivation for this is realism. It does not make sense that there would not be conflicting magical philosophies, especially on metaphysical and methodological questions. Academic disciplines always have philosophical disputes on their foundations. So this section illustrates how contrary metaphysical views of magic can exist without an empirical difference between them.
[353] This is the tie-in with the historicism of the document. There is not an empirical difference in the magic, but the philosophies themselves guide development in different directions. Especially relevant for merging foreign traditions. Doing two broad categories leaves the whole thing open-ended in specific historical details.
[354] This tension is present in the I.C.E./Rolemaster basis of our whole magic system. The Arcane concept was invented later for Rolemaster Companion, and the Shadow World setting adopted it and made it historically prior to hybrid magic which was historically prior to the three single realms. But then you have a conflict over which is the more natural and fundamental state of magical power. Later Shadow World books include a paragraph to the effect of "I don't know what we were thinking when we came up with hybrid magic, because mixing these completely different things together doesn't make sense."
[355] This is historicizing why there is an Arcane circle, why the spells in it are often spells that could belong to other spell circles, and why there are these spheres of magic in spite of having Arcane magic. This sentence is not including Mentalism, because of the framing that a third coequal sphere of magic is comparatively recent history with the Erithians, and the earlier framing that esoteric magic traditions were informal rather than orthodox magic theory. This section is mostly talking about organized magic in civilization, especially the Elven Empire, but its motivation is for explaining Faendryl magic.

It was dangerous to try to wield elemental magic with the powers from spiritual sources.[356] The inanimate world was made of the elements and the animate world was made of the spirit.[357] When the Erithians began making themselves known in Elanith, it became fashionable to regard "mentalism" as its own sphere of magic.[358] This subsumed our various antecedents of sympathetic and astral magic, as practiced by occultists and esotericists, such that some long standing magicks are now regarded as partly mentalist.[359] The spiritual planes of existence that had been characterized as dream worlds now tend to be regarded as mental realms, and so there are three kinds of "near planes" corresponding to purest forms of the three kinds of "mana" or magical energy.[360]

[356.1] This is inherently sorcerous with corruption and backlash risks in DragonRealms, which categorizes different kinds of sorcery depending on which kinds of mana/magic are being improperly crossed. In GemStone we have some explicit chaotic backlash framing for doing this kind of crossing in the combination of Elemental/Spiritual/Mentalism dispels.
[356.2] This is helping motivate the split into separate spheres of magic. You cannot use power from deities to cast mage spells, and so on, because bad things will happen. But if you want the bad things to happen, you're doing forms of sorcery. This implies some natural discovery of sorcery from doing things wrong, and then trying to form rote magic with the intention and rational design of doing those things "wrong."
[357] This is an oversimplification, the body is not made of spirit. It's just characterizing the split in spheres of magic in terms of the metaphysical dualism of materialism and immaterialism, with the Elven Empire having been previously characterized in this document as largely materialist in its metaphysical prejudices. 
[358] The IC author bias is that Mentalism is more of a fashionable convention on the elemental-spiritual interface than an actual coequal sphere of power.
[359] This precursor framework is necessary for the world setting to make sense. It's not like there were no empaths before Erithian Mentalism was introduced to Elanith. This wording is also subtly focused on the Elven Empire in its orthodox magic framework, and does not include informal "esotericism" from witches and "blood magic" and so forth.
[360] This is an embellishment. It follows on the existence of the Elemental Planes in "History of Elementals" and the existence of spirit planes such as in "Giantkin History". But we have the dream realm of Ronan/Sheru from "Origins of Ronan and Sheru", and now souls of the dead taking on different forms in Naidem, and so forth. Volume 2 uses a simplistic cosmology of these three pure realm "higher" near planes, the higher planes that can actually be accessed from this world, and "lower" near planes of the "sorcerous elements." All of which are distinct from "outer valences", where the "near planes" vs "sorcerous valences" is a distinction Auchand introduced on the valences Wiki page.

Those of the monist schools of thought dismissed this as sophistry, or impolitely with less charitable words. There were merely tendencies toward elemental and spiritual "phenomena" from wielding the essence in distinct ways.[361] Those who manipulated the flows of essence around themselves were "evoking" the background essence, those who drew their magical powers from other sources were like a fluid "channel" or focal lens, and what we now call "mentalism" is a resonance or "influence" of one's own "aura" or essence personally.[362] One was often prone to "elemental" effects, the other to "spiritual," and the last to forms of self-transformation.[363] It was reading mystical nonsense into magic to think that using ineffective methods spoke to the fundamental structure of the cosmos.[364] Where the separatists hold the material world is made of the elements, that the elements and spirits are themselves wielded directly, monists assert that is only confusing cause and effect. The separatist schools in turn regard preternatural monism as the mystical nonsense, as it was essentially the immanent worldview of druidism, with the words changed and dressed up as theory.[365] These philosophies do not even agree on basic matters of cosmology. Some believe "mana" is inherent to this world, others believe it originates in the other planes.[366]

[361.1] "Elemental" and "Spiritual" are De-I.C.E.'d replacements of "Essence" and "Channeling", which were more causal in their magical meaning, whereas elemental and spiritual are more about the kinds of spell effects most dominant in each. So the past few decades have been increasingly elemental-izing what was from the Rolemaster "Essence" lists, because it was just the Mage Base list that was elemental and not Essence realm in general. This line is getting at cause vs. effect disputes.
[361.2] In the Arcanist point if view, the effects can be generated without theurgy, if the essence is manipulated in the right way. But then the separatists are just doing theurgy, channeling from the spirit sources. So they end up disagreeing on what is fundamental or even what is historically prior due to the Arkati, and what the nature of magic is when done by deities.
[362] This is making use of the terms "evoke" and "channel", which get used for game mechanics, but it's not really trying to read magic theory into those mechanics. "channel" stems from Rolemaster, and "evoke" is just the word we are using, because it's generally evocation magic in the Dungeons & Dragons sense. "aura" is post-I.C.E. category for GemStone. Savants do not seem to have defined prime requisites, but following the pattern of other professions it would be Influence. So the "resonance" or internal channeling of aura here is what mechanically would be called Influence. The real point is that Mentalism is an inwardly and largely self focused mode of magical energy manipulation, rather than drawing on outside sources of power.
[363] This is explaining why given kinds of effects tend to dominate out of these separate forms of underlying causation.
[364] Orthodox magic theory being rationalist in its metaphysical biases. This statement is partly coming from the view point of physiological limitations with mana / confound attunement, and to what extent this represents fundamental magical reality as opposed to conventions getting hard baked.
[365] This logically follows from the previous premises.
[366] Since mana is already suffused through this world, but is also in those other pure planes and those planes bleed through into ours (e.g. "History of Elementals" document), this question cannot be settled. Which means both views should exist. The Alusius NPC once claimed elemental magic here is due to the Confluence and that Bre'Naere had different elements than Elanthia.

There is a basic dispute on whether the forces of magic may be freely willed from nature, or if the world is inherently unmagical, with "spells" only briefly altering the properties of this world with otherworldly energies in ways limited by their immutable laws.[367] Some believe the unified fabric of magic remembers the spell patterns weaved into it, others say that "rote magic" is widely found in the wilds simply because it is "cutting nature at its joints."[368] There are at most collapses of metastability in the essence field due to the shifting of cosmic forces.[368.3] Those who believe magic is inherent in spell patterns often regard mana as a kind of conserved substance, which transmutes between forms and causes the willful manifestation of effects when expended.[368.4] While others say "mana" by itself is not magical at all, but rather that it is merely the potential of a field, and magic results from imbalances once worked into the background essence reversing themselves back toward normality.[368.5] Spell patterns are regarded instead as tensions twisted into the field from "extending" oneself, which when "cast" or "released" unleashes effects which are not directly controlled.[368.6]

[367.1] In the Shadow World setting the essence originated in other dimensions and this world was ordinarily just physical and magic did not work if you got too far away from this planet which was near an interdimensional rift. In DragonRealms magical properties are altered by other planes intersecting and basically changing the magic physics of Elanthia.
[367.2] Likewise in DragonRealms a "spell pattern" is defined as temporary deviation of "mana streams" from their natural states, and that when the spell is complete this unravels back into its natural states. (This is loosely how magic works in I.C.E. Shadow World as well, with the term "flows of essence" instead of "mana streams" and an otherwise natural material universe of physical laws.) This means they do not frame magic as having permanent spell patterns existing in the mana field. Likewise, DragonRealms has a (silvery-grey/rusty) mineral named cambrinth that stores the energy of manipulated mana (like the potential energy stored up in a stretched rubber band), while mana itself (the analog of field "potential" as opposed to "potential energy") in its passive state does not perform magical "work" in the physics sense of that word. It is the relaxing of the spell pattern that powers the magical effect. The analog of cambrinth in GemStone would be "ahnver", the De-I.C.E.'d term for "arinyark", which was a naturally occurring mineral (bluish-green) that could be charged up like a capacitor of power/"mana" points. But ahnver slipped through the cracks when the materials documentation was being written, though it exists in a few places in GemStone today.
[367.3] So, basically the question is whether magic is will and wish fulfillment, or the intersection of natural laws between planes (and so forth) defines what is magically possible. Invention versus Discovery. This would be philosophically irresolvable much as it cannot be agreed upon in mathematics. Though DragonRealms and I.C.E. Shadow World both land solidly on the natural laws view of magic, and GemStone has some precedent of treating magic that way. Flow magic and what this document calls "esoteric" modes of magic help explain why it can seem like will and wish fulfillment.
[368.1] This line is getting at the point in footnote 367.2. The pattern forming from rote spell use interpretation is given in the "Overview of Elanthian Magic" document. The carving nature at the joints line instead is based on Plato discussing the reality of ideal forms, and that what works best will happen to correspond to the structure of the true underlying reality. In other words, we're really discovering rote magic, by finding the things that are easier or even possible to make happen.
[368.2] The contrary perspective rejecting this view would maintain it is very difficult for mortals to affect the flows of essence so hugely and permanently, much as that view is rejected in DragonRealms below godlike power. Though there have been spell pattern release events in GemStone, which could be rationalized in some way, such as mana field metastabilities and spontaneous symmetry breaking and so forth.
[368.3] Metastability is a physics concept when dealing with energy level or states concepts. Something is stable in its current situation, but a perturbation could jostle it enough to make it fall down into some other level. Intuitively this is like an object on the edge of a table. This line is meant to be the monist view of the spell pattern release events we have seen in game, where the "joints" of nature can change from shifting cosmic forces, which has the same consequence as if invented spells could somehow be remembered in a magic weave and become universal in this reality. This is speaking of rote spells, but is related to the view of why the three spheres of magic are natural decompositions, even though monists say the unified field is more fundamental. This is likewise a concept from field theory in physics. More subtly, this is also allowing magic to work differently in other realities in their own predictable ways, where sorcery and Arcane magic are more likely to still be useful because of their inherent natures. As well as for planar intersections to permanently alter the metaphysical laws underlying magic in this reality, which can bring about universal changes in the spells used in all places. This is partly meant to diffuse the relevance of narrative/setting distorting institutions such as guilds in certain places on this continent, which correspond to mechanical player classes, somehow determining the way magic works for everyone as in the most unrealistic parts of "Overview of Elanthian Magic". DragonRealms handles this somewhat more organically by having guilds with different spell books and other cultures with their own spell books and conventions.
[368.4] This is meant to incorporate notions of "mana" as quantities and statements that get made treating it like energy conservation, such as mana converting into equivalent forms and being neither created nor destroyed. Action and reaction. Mana is referred to here as some kind of magical charge which can be expended until it reaches zero.
[368.5] This is a contrary perspective where the central concept is instead that disequilibriation is naturally driven back toward equilibrium, implicitly more of a holistic variational principle of least action, and that these equilibrium points are determined by the configuration of cosmic forces in the essence field. This is much closer to the way magic is supposed to work in DragonRealms, where spell patterns are like stretched rubber bands and magic comes from the "mana streams" relaxing back into their natural states. So in this view it is not the spell pattern that creates the magic until it runs out of charge, it is the breakdown of the spell pattern that causes phenomena to manifest. We do not get into it here, but if intersections of other planes with their energies changes the metaphysical laws of this reality, then the physical matter in that new setting is going to get passively corrupted in a kind of metaphysical radiation poisoning. This is how Volumes 2 and 3 treat GemStone's magical wastelands and haunted realms.
[368.6] This is playing off the in-game messaging of being "overextended" when casting too much mana, and the "release" verb costing some but less mana and not triggering any spell effect. The idea that once cast the effects that happen after are not controlled by the caster is consistent with GemStone's spell mechanics and Rolemaster spells in general. Warding spells for example were generally set up to have a roll to successfully connect, then another roll providing additional variation on how severe the effects.

Regardless, it was much easier to develop what is now called "rote magic" within the split realms of power, which in the monist view only had the significance of making spellcraft "more tractable" rather than fundamental.[369] This, too, is a subject of disagreement. Separatists often say flow magic was easier in the distant past, and the forces are less flexible now, crowded as they are with spell patterns.[370] Monists dismiss this entirely, saying the low hanging fruit were plucked, and that single realm specialists or "pures" make for weak Arcanists.[371] They hobble themselves by developing their magical ability in narrow ways that are ill-suited to the Arcane power.[372]

[369.1] This is following the previously framed premise that it is more difficult to make Arcane spells. The pure realms became like separation of variables, restricting equations to single coordinate axes instead of having mixed-term dependencies, and less prone to chaos. If it was a literal sphere, it'd be like only theta angle directions or only phi angles, or only radial changes, changing one variable and holding the other two constant.
[369.2] Part of this tractability issue is physiological limitations, since the ability to manipulate magic is related to the nervous system of beings of flesh, as evidenced by what happens to nerves when overextended on mana. In principle it would be possible for a physical being to exist (DragonRealms link) without the same limitations, much as one may embed different varieties of magic into a wand and have the wand used by anyone not of that spell casting realm. The monist view would be that these physiological limits are not cosmologically fundamental.
[370] This is the view given in the "Overview of Elanthian Magic" document.
[371.1] In the view of magic as making discoveries, there are easier and harder discoveries. The easier ones are plucked first. And for the Arcanists, the pure realms are about doing magic on easy mode, going for low hanging fruit and simplifying things for wielding more mana/power in spells. 
[371.2] This is restoring the Rolemaster definition of "pures" as referring to single realm of power specialists. In GemStone the terminology has drifted so that hybrids are spoken of as another kind of "pure", when the terminology should have been "full spellcaster" (pures and hybrids) as opposed to "semi spellcaster."
[371.3] This is setting up a duality of being a stronger monist is a weaker specialist, and a stronger specialist is a weaker monist. Crudely, it'd be like someone who casts magic through the use of Fash'lo'nae's Gift (1750), which gets mana expensive and limited in the power and spell level of rote magic it can access. Speaking just in terms of rote spell access. Whereas those specialists have native access all the way up in their base lists, but have no native access to most of the Arcane.
[372.1] This is making things consistent with what is explicitly true in I.C.E. and DragonRealms, but more implicit in the GemStone implementation. Though DragonRealms treats the Arcane view (what necromancers there do) as really delusional in actuality, but the unified field mana view is a philosophy in that setting. In the I.C.E. Shadow World setting the flexibility of Arcane power is sought after by the mighty, being the way the Lords of Essaence had done magic in antiquity.
[372.2] This is also subtly setting up a premise that the single realm specializations, and their confounds / attunements and rote magic spells, are short-cuts to power in the sense of raw spell level and mana involved. It is relatively speaking magic on easy mode, similar to the appeal of "black arts" magic as described in Volume 2. This is to help address the nominal paradox players find in "well why should a 35 year old human be as powerful as a 500 year old elf" or "why would elves take so much longer." That can more generally be addressed with logarithmic curves for NPC population norms, but there would also be this higher standard expectation of not short-cutting the fundamentals and full roundedness. (e.g. similar to a warrior skilled in a weapon class, but the elves would be required to train all the varieties of weapon in that class instead of just the one.)

Separatists regard each sphere of magic as having its own mode of "flow magic," while monists hold there is only the pure essence, and that the separatist philosophers are reading their own limitations into the cosmos.[373] Sorcerous backlashes occur from spells using the wrong kind of power, interpreted as either the "clash of incompatible powers" or "cutting against the grain," whether or not it is "sorcery."[374] The separatist philosophies became dominant, though mostly out of practicality bias.[375] The work of inventing new spells is done in the mode of "flow magic," and the "rote" patterns that become spells are usually made within these "pure" spheres of magic.[376] These are often codified into "spell circles," the slices making up those spheres.[377]

[373] The irony of this is that "carving nature at its joints" can be regarded by the separatists as the monists reading their own limitations into the cosmos. But this is going of "Overview of Elanthian Magic" talking about spheres of magic having their own forms of flow magic. For monists there is just flow magic and it is inherently Arcane flow magic, and there would be relatively little in the way of rote Arcane magic.
[374] The sorcerous backlashes are drawing off DragonRealms, to some extent combinations of dispel magics in GemStone, and to some extent magical failures such as when failed enchants resulted in cursed items. Here "clash of incompatible powers" is the separate spheres of magic worldview, while "cutting against the grain" is the monist view of nature is easiest cut at its joints. The very last part is about the distinction between the sorcerous backlash of something like dispel combinations versus an actual sorcerer spell.
[375] The practicality bias zing is the IC author bias. The three spheres are reasonably natural divisions in this framework. But there would be some truth in development going into directions were gains are easier.
[376] This is from "Overview of Elanthian Magic" and the comparative absence of Arcane spells in the game and the framed premises from this document. 
[377] This contextualized meaning of "spell circle" is an embellishment, but related to the monistic single sphere analogy in footnote 369.

The terms "realms of power" and "spheres of magic" are almost interchangeable. The former is preferred by those emphasizing cause, while the latter is used by those emphasizing effect.[378] In the separatist view, these are the divisions of nature, with metaphysical verisimilitude.[379] For monists these are "somewhat natural" ways of dividing up the realms of power, but ultimately they are arbitrary conventions.[380] One might distinguish between elemental and lunar mana, or split life and divine mana, or any number of conceits.[381] Mentalism giving proof to the lie.[382]

[378] Realms of power is the Rolemaster terminology. This is just stating explicitly that the spheres of magic in the Elanthia setting are effect / phenomena oriented in what they are called, and then you have metaphysical philosophies disputing whether that is substantively correct or just characteristic phenomena from underlying causes.
[379] Ironically, nature cut at its joints, at the realm of power level rather than the spell pattern level.
[380] Somewhat natural because they come from distinct modalities of essence manipulation.
[381] These are the four divisions of mana in DragonRealms, whereas GemStone presently uses three. There's some precedent of moon oriented magic in GemStone (e.g. Melgorehn's Reach, the Red Forest release, Imaera's shrine release, Lornon's Eve in "Elanthian Moons", etc.), and it would be plausible for ranger/druid animist kind of magic to be considered distinct from mana from deities, so those could split apart elemental and spiritual. Mentalism would actually go with lunar, or possibly lunar and life, because of the plane of probability and so forth in DragonRealms. Moon Mages there are roughly the same thing as Astrologers in Rolemaster, which are Mentalist-Channeling hybrids. Necromancy in DragonRealms are the subsets of sorcery that cross other mana types with life mana. For this document we are more explicitly including in demonic energy forms for "black arts" necromancy, which is seemingly a much more implicit and ill-understood aspect in DragonRealms.
[382] This is referencing off the introduction of "Mentalism" as a third sphere of magic as a convention reorganization, which "Timeline of Elanthian History" implies should be because of the Erithians, and this document's framing of esoteric magic precursors now redefined as Mentalism.

Hybrid magicks are those forms of spellcraft that fall in between the spheres.[383] In the separatist schools of thought, most "hybrid" arts are usually "a little bit of this and a little bit of that," separately using fundamentally incompatible energies.[384] The exception to this are "fusionist" forms of hybrid magic, such as sorcery, which are interpreted as the unnatural fusion of separate kinds of power.[385] Sorcery is sometimes considered the whole category of fusionist magic, with different kinds of sorcery depending on the forms of power involved, while others use a much narrower definition.[386] Whether sorcery is "pure" is deeply disputed.[387] In the view of the monist philosophies these hybrid forms of magic are historical remnants of when mortal magic was not yet split into separate realms of power.[388] Hybrid magic that might be characterized as "fusionist" is really just "rote magic" that is more or less "Arcane" in some limited way.[389] In the separatist philosophies, it is not a more pure or primal form of unified mana, but instead a violent contradiction that unnaturally reacts in ways prone to metaphysical corruption.[390]

[383] This is true by definition, such as in the "Magic Guide", which is carried over from Rolemaster Spell Law.
[384] This could reasonably characterize empaths and bards after the GemStone IV conversion. In the Rolemaster Spell Law version, it's seemingly meant to be a combination, and the caster's warding resistance goes by the single realms. Hybrid casting is such a calculation mess that the Shadow World Master Atlas started recommending having the player pick one realm or the other as the source of their power to just simplify everything. 
[385] This is what "sorcery" means in DragonRealms and the fusion concept exists in GemStone. The premise of hybrid magic being closer to Arcane power, including historically, and that Arcane is the raw primal form of essaence (mana), is established in the Shadow World setting. So in this document we are using this notion of what hybrid means in the context of sorcery.
[386] DragonRealms defines different kinds of sorcery, with different kinds of corruption, depending on which kinds of mana are being unnaturally combined. This document (especially Volume 2) invokes various terms used in creature and spell messaging as "sorcerous elements" and allows quite a few variations of sorcery to exist. This document is also generalizing beyond the elemental-spiritual dichotomy for sorcery, which refers to what will be defined as "classical sorcery." Which is what the "much narrower definition" is referencing. The Sorcerer profession definition is straight from Rolemaster Spell Law, and the base list as implemented in GemStone has never matched it, including a lot of stuff that didn't come from Rolemaster Sorcerer lists.
[387] This is partly referencing the mangling that has happened to meaning of "pure", and partly referring to this issue of whether Arcane is the raw primal form of magical energy or if it is just fusionism.
[388] This view is framed in this document, and also reviving that premise from the Shadow World setting.
[389.1] The next section will limit the scope of what the word "sorcery" means. It's not Arcane magic in general. But the next section also yanks some Faendryl focus away from sorcery. The original premise was: "No other house had mastered both spirit and elemental magic as well as had the Faendryl Elves." This is not the same thing as sorcery, it just explains why as a subset, the Faendryl would have been poised to be relatively strong in sorcery. And by that same reasoning, Arcane, so we are pushing for the Faendryl to have pressed for a universality scope to magic and it bent increasingly to sorcery over time. 
[389.2] In DragonRealms sorcery in general, of which necromancy is a subset, is considered part of Arcane magic. There is some language used about sorcery in DragonRealms being emotional, irrational and "esoteric" magic, that is understood by few and that there is significant amounts of use in spite of lack of understanding of what is really happening, which is supposed to be true of what necromancers are doing and how that is likely really ultimately demonic in nature but not being understood. That is similar to the fundamentally alien way Evil spell lists are described in Shadow World. In this document this kind of dark esotericism is represented in the black arts traditions, which is related to Arcane coming from the non-orthodox direction of the practices and cultures in places with dark essences / sorcerous elements like Rhoska-Tor. Faendryl sorcery in its orthodox rationalism is largely fusionist philosophy, but there are also monists believing there is some fundamental unified form of Arcane mana / essence that transcends the differentiation of planes and their magical properties.
[390] This is the nature of sorcery in DragonRealms. There is similar messaging in GemStone, such as the word "unnatural" in Ensorcell (735) flares.

To the extent there is such a thing as "rote Arcane" magic, it is often a transmutability into other spells, universal augments, or reforging magic at its very foundations.[391] Arcanists might take a sorcerous "nightmare" spell, which is a curse --- inflicted on an individual through failing to ward it off --- and transform it into a "nightmare fog" that sweeps through the land inducing madness.[392] Powerful runes or wards might be Arcane in nature, or making more major gateways, remotely sensing things by their essences, or direct manipulation of nodes and flows of essence.[393] Often an Arcane circle, if one were to construct such a thing, has many spells that could be cast within single realms.[394] But it takes Arcanist talent to be so flexible.[395]

[391] This is partly based on the Arcane spell circle in GemStone IV, partly based on the Rolemaster Companion and Shadow World Arcane spell lists, and partly based on the description of Arcane magic in DragonRealms.
[392] This is based on Arcane spell manipulation and engineering in Rolemaster
[393] This is based on the Shadow World spell lists which are Arcane in nature, such as the Warding list, the Rolemaster Companion Earthnodes list, to some extent the elemental lists in GemStone, and the Arcane magic description in DragonRealms.
[394] This is partly based on the spells in the Arcane circle in GemStone IV that cast with either Sorcerer or realm specific CS, that were once spells in other spell lists, and it is partly based on the high redundancy of spells in Rolemaster across spell lists.
[395] This is the Shadow World concept of Arcane power talent, to some extent justified in GemStone IV by spells like Fash'lo'nae's Gift (1750), and to some extent the Rolemaster Companion nature of Arcane magic.

The Arcanist pays a price for this fluidity.[396] The more specialist wielders of magic make use of confounds.[397] These are external forces for leveraging the power of magical effects.[398] Often this is an "attunement" to some source of power, which becomes limiting for other forms of magic.[399] Hybrid and Arcane wielders may have difficulty with the more powerful spells of the pure realms.[400] However, when spells on others come from the more versatile mode of wielding the Arcane power, they become more robust against dispelling.[401] This is from their lack of reliance on confounds.[402]

[396] In Rolemaster the Arcanist spell casters have the same kind of trade-offs that Hybrids, just with all three realms of power (essence, channeling, mentalism) instead of just two realms for hybrids. There are also many blends of Arcane mana in DragonRealms, it's just that there it's only the Necromancer variety that is being dealt with, and spellcasters in DragonRealms naturally begin as unattuned. They attune because of guilds / traditions that use confounds to augment magical effects.
[397] This is pulling in the concept which is used explicitly (though not in its fullest nuance mechanically) in DragonRealms. This document uses the position that confounds exist in GemStone's Elanthian magic as well, it's just swept under the rug and implicit compared to the game mechanical ways they are used in DragonRealms. GemStone has the analogous concepts and attunements. Making use of the confound concept helps us explain how stuff like "blood magic" is different from just, say, using troll blood as an alchemy ingredient. The Arcane mana usage in DragonRealms that is not necromancy does have this confound absence property.
[398] This is the definition of the word. Its being a "confounding" element in the spell casting for augmenting the spell power is why it is called a confound.
[399] This is implicitly present in the profession classes of magic users in GemStone, and then in some cases further narrowed, such as elemental attunement. The trade offs between "lore" training should also be interpreted this way, lore skills should be treated as differential potencies or attunements to the class confounds. Similarly, "convert" status for clerical and paladin magic should be interpreted as a mana source, as well as the class confound being narrowed to a single deity. This would be specific to the way those classes do their magic, and not about worship. (i.e. It would make no magical sense for a Cleric to have polytheistic conversion, just because that is not how Cleric magic works. That dates back Rolemaster and Shadow World.)
[400.1] This is a limitation built into Rolemaster spell research training, and the language from Rolemaster Spell Law on this for hybrids is still present in the Play.net "Magic Guide". Hybrids such as a Sorcerer in Rolemaster have the flexibility of choosing Open and Closed spell lists (what we call Minor and Major circles) from two realms instead of only one, but Hybrids are restricted in how high in spell level they can learn from the Closed (Major) lists. Their Base lists go as high as a pure base list, and could have redundant spells with pure base lists, but it'd be from an assortment of other classes and so not as thorough and often not as high in any given kind of spell effect as the pures (limited number of spell slots and a wider variety of kinds of spell with multiple power level versions of the same spell) which are more focused in that kind of spell to the exclusion of other kinds of spells. The "Magic Guide" still says hybrids can learn Major lists, but this has never been mechanically true in GemStone. 
[400.2] More informally, this "difficulty with the more powerful spells" is encoded into Fash'lo'nae's Gift (1750), which only gives access to common scroll system spells. Magical items such as scrolls get around the confound issue, which is about the physiological limitations and attunement of the caster. In principle there are "spell patterns" not neatly in the spheres of magic that might only be workable off scrolls, not being patterns that can be permanently remembered (i.e. spell self-knowledge) by our mechanical magic classes, much as we cannot with rote spells of other spheres without the aid of an object. But examples of such non-learnable spells are the magic item spells in our treasure system not accessible by 1750.
[401] This is largely based on the defensive spells in GemStone's Arcane spell circle, such as Arcane Decoy (1701) and Arcane Barrier (1720).
[402] This is an embellishment but a sensible reason for it within this magic theoretic framework. Sorcery and necromancy are considered (hybrid) subsets of Arcane in DragonRealms and do have confounds. But what we are going for here is the notion that introducing confounds when doing Arcane is how you end up with splitting into narrower specializations and ultimately leading to non-fusionist "pure" magic. Monism vs. separatism in the history of sorcery would be about confounds.

With mages these are the elemental planes, with clerics it is to a divine power and the spiritual planes, with druids it is to the forces of nature. Empathy is an unusual hybrid magic which is historically rooted in traditions of sympathetic magic. Empathy itself is a mentalist confound, with magical effects focused on flesh and blood.[403] Sorcery in the old sense would anchor on the constitutive essence of specific kinds of matter.[404] Witchcraft, blood magic, and black shamanism use mediating substances.[405] Liches infamously make use of phylacteries. Necromancy in the modern sense uses life forces such as animus and spirit, matters of thanatology, and dark sorcery or warlocks attune to realms of sorcerous elements and demonic powers.[406] Thus this trade off exists in fluidity with dark magic.[407] Arcane magic is not inherently dark, or corruptive, but instead is often metamagical or defies categorization.[408] However, it has that natural tendency, for much the same reasons as sorcery.[409]

[403] All of the confound examples in these three sentences come from the confounds for character classes in DragonRealms.
[404.1] This is based on the Rolemaster definition for the Sorcerer class, which is still the language used for the Sorcerer profession on the Play.net website. Sorcerer base lists in Rolemaster fit this definition much better and more literally than the GemStone implementation of Sorcerers, which has since reoriented to necromancy and demonology, which for the most part are not Sorcerer magic in Rolemaster. (Though professions like necromancer and witch and so forth in Rolemaster Companion are treated as Sorcerers for training purposes, and sorcerers are often included when talking about evil magic stuff.) In Shadow World the Sorcerer class is not "evil" for system purposes, because it is the "Evil" professions that use dark essences / the power of Unlife. However, Shadow World also treats the Evil "pure" professions as hybrids, so they're effectively "dark sorcerers" which is the terminology distinction used in this document versus Rolemaster style "classical sorcery."
[404.2] DragonRealms also talks about a "sorcerous focus" as a mediating device between two incompatible forms of mana, allowing the efficient manipulation of the other form of mana by proxy. This is a rationalizing approach evading "the emotional terror of pure sorcery" and tunes narrowly into specified realms. So "classical sorcery" with its constitutive matter confound, as described here in this document, is about the Faendryl doing a rationalized orthodox magic approach to sorcery in the Second Age.
[405.1] Lich phylacteries in GemStone have generally not just been the anchor for sustaining the existence of the lich. They have also been the augments of the lich's magical power, and the lich is much weaker without it if whatever reason they manage to come back as a demi-lich. This has been seen explicitly, for example, in Council of Ten liches such as Zeban. In Volumes 2 and 3 we treat phylactery liches as a special case, partly because the word "lich" is older than the D&D archetype, and not all Rolemaster liches used phylactery type objects. (They also acknowledge someone could hold a convention that a phylactery is the defining feature of a lich, and that other varieties without them are more like special kinds of wraiths or mummies. Another reason we do not go in for this convention is because liches in DragonRealms do not have souls, they only have remnant vestiges of spirit and mind.) This is something akin to the One Ring trope with Sauron, having the phylactery object as the confound of the lich's dark powers. 
[405.2] This is based on things that have happened with NPCs in storylines, especially Raznel and Quinshon, and to some extent Grishom Stone and Elithain Cross. "Witch" in this document is a convention for the black magic users, not the "good witches", and this mediating substance / confound point is part of how we are defining the word for this document. The mediating substances such as blood and vermin like maggots, worm, and scarabs, and sorcerously debasing the mediating substances. The close similarity between the premise of this sentence and the preceding one on "classical sorcery" is a subtle internal consistency for there being a deep and natural relationship between these forms of magic, and why these black magic traditions (and later black arts forms of them) would be considered "sorcery" in a more general definition of the term.
[406] The "thanatology" confound for necromancers comes from DragonRealms. The first part of the sentence about life forces is based on GemStone's Sorcerer abilities such as Sacrifice and its in-game explanation. The last part about "sorcerous elements" involves the Sorcerer profession use of Balefire (713), which is defined as a sorcerous element in Volume 2, and the demonology lore skill. Attunement to demonic powers is invoking the Dungeons & Dragons warlock kind of class archetype. This is specifying "dark sorcery" because we are using "classical sorcery" to refer to the Rolemaster kind of spells which mostly do not have anything to do with demons or the undead and are about the immediate destruction of specific forms of matter.
[407] This is meant to establish that magical manipulation with these other energies follows the same modalities and physical limitations as the rest of magic. But in Volume 2 it is argued that "dark essence" magic is basically easier flow magic for creating malevolent / bad effects and so effectively provides a short-cut to power for malicious uses.
[408] This is partly based on Rolemaster's Arcane spells, and partly based on how Arcane magic is described in DragonRealms. For example, a saved post by Armifer on the subject, from 2010. This post also builds in its natural strong tendency leading toward sorcery. Similar logic in it also informs what this document says about teratology and cryptozoology. Likewise, in the I.C.E. Shadow World setting, the Lords of Essaence (ruled at the end by Empress Kadaena) were largely responsible for mutating and creating the race/monster varieties, and they were generally Arcane spell casters. Later Rolemaster books also have monster races (e.g. orcs) being created by demon magi (Rhodintor).
[409] This document talks about the reasons for sorcery having corruptive tendencies, and why it is prone to destruction, which is explicitly true in DragonRealms. Arcane magic is not inherently prone to destruction, but as we've defined it, it's harder to manipulate without failures and so forth. And this is tacitly acknowledging the corruption of the Lords of Essaence, and the framing that sorcerous magic comes out of Arcane magic historically because the destructive effects of handling mana this way are easier to accomplish. This section is setting up the rationale for why Faendryl universalism with magic gave way to increasingly sorcerous magic, and then the nature of sorcery will show why sorcery was inclined and able to merge with some of the black arts, becoming "dark sorcery" and a darker more corruptive form of magic. (Mostly in later time periods, but a rogue sorcerer in the Second Age going out to live with the wasteland warlocks would probably be doing "dark sorcery".)

(2) Sorcery

In the early years of the Elven Empire, the black arts were deemed religious magic and highly forbidden, necromancy and theurgical conjuration of wicked spirits or demons were not sorcery.[410] Sorcery "as Korthyr knew it," what might be called "classical sorcery," was much more narrowly defined.[411] It was a hybrid form of magic that was concerned with the immediate destruction of animate and inanimate matter.[412] That is, it was an effect without mediation, assaulting the matter itself.[413] This involved channeling toward a target and turning its own essence against it.[414] The destruction is specific to the essence of the exact form being targeted.[415] There is even a superficial resemblance to "mentalism" in this when the target is the mind or body.[416]

[410.1] This was already framed more or less by the previous sections. This is using the Rolemaster Spell Law type of sorcery, which is still the Sorcerer definition on the Play.net website, to define what "sorcery" would have meant in the early Elven Empire before Faendryl summoning. It would not have included demonic summoning and undeath in that period, unless someone were loosely using (DragonRealms link on this same ordinary use of language issue) the word "sorcery" as equivalent for these black arts. We've set up the "black arts" as arising out of the debasement of spiritual magic with dark energy sources, and the sort of thing demon worshippers were doing. It uses the term "theurgical conjuration" for that kind of demon summoning, which would be like the demons of Cloak of Shadows (712) and Torment (718) rather than the demons of Minor Summoning (725) which are pulled materially through a rift. The "highly forbidden" is making sense of the condemnation in the Faendryl exile dating back to "History of Elanthia". 
[410.2] In Rolemaster the demonic summoning is more of an Evil Mage type of magic and necromancy in the sense of creating undead is Evil Cleric magic. (Though Rolemaster Companions may have demon summoning classes that are essence-channeling hybrid and these get effectively treated as Sorcerers.) These classes (along with many others) were not implemented in GemStone. Various spells from the Evil spell professions were incorporated into the Sorcerer profession, so the Sorcerer profession in GemStone has never matched its class definition, which came from Rolemaster. Because only some of the Sorcerer spells in GemStone are actually Rolemaster Sorcerer spells. Others are from Evil lists. Manny's guide from the I.C.E. Age argued for this reason Sorcerers in GemStone are evil.
[411] This is explicitly historicizing the word. It doesn't make sense for Faendryl to be doing "sorcery" but for sorcery to be defined in terms of necromancy and demonology that early. This is easy to make sense of by looking at earlier versions of the Sorcerer profession in GemStone and in Rolemaster.
[412] This is the Sorcerer class definition from Rolemaster and on the Play.net website. It refers to spells like Mana Disruption (702) and Limb Disruption (708) and Pain (711). This document's modern definition of "necromancy" and "demonology" as generalizations of the animate and inanimate matter distinction to generalize beyond elemental-spiritual duality to analogs of that with sorcerous elements is meant to reconcile all this.
[413] Rolemaster Sorcerer spells were all clearly of this nature, it's not like throwing a ball of fire at something. Limb disruption only works on limbs. Etc.
[414] This is illustrating a "hybrid" modality of spellcasting, compared to what was described in the prior section about "channeling." This is reiterating the prior section's description of classical sorcery using the constitutive matter of the target as its confound, which reconciles the Rolemaster and DragonRealms concepts of sorcery. This description explains how Dark Catalyst (719) (targeting mana), for example, is very much a sorcerer spell and not a wizard spell. Due to the way it works.
[415] Limb disruption only works on limbs. Dark Catalyst does not work on something without mana. Etc. One subtlety about this specificity of ideal forms is that it is a backdoor into sorcery for occultism, which here we are leaning into its real-world ties to Neoplatonism. Since we treat this occultism as part of Elanith's precursors to mentalism, this is in a subtle way speaking to the seeming overlap of sorcery with destructive mentalism, and explaining why that is the case. As such the next line is actually a logical continuation of this line.
[416] One third of the Rolemaster Sorcerer spells were "mind" type attacks, with redundancy in mentalist spell lists. This is related to Rolemaster's categories being cause oriented rather than effect oriented. You could have a Channeling profession in Rolemaster that is all elemental effect spells by using elemental spirits. So, this is explaining the mind effects of sorcery in GemStone, though Dev has been gradually de-mentalizing sorcery for a couple of decades. By our definitions, when the target is the brain or mind, you get a mind type effect. And since mentalism is defined as the self-manipulation of essences, sorcerers manipulating the essence of the target has a natural similarity to mentalism, but only in destructive ways. This logic combined with sorcery being relatively closely related to Arcane power explains the semblance of mentalism in classical sorcery. Dark sorcery does things in a different way. (e.g. nightmare is a curse, mind jolt is exposure to another valence)

In the separatist view of sorcery it is inherently destructive because of the chaotic and violent reaction of incompatible forms of power.[417] In the monist view this "destruction" --- which will, or should, come as little surprise --- is merely less difficult than "creation."[418] The essence is inherent in all matter and sorcery is the immediate disruption or annihilation of that matter at its metaphysical basis.[419] These philosophies would both shape the development of Faendryl magic, which attempted to retain a universalist scope, while the other Houses tended toward focusing on specific realms of power.[420] The Faendryl for this reason were always pre-eminent in sorcery --- which was regarded as a highly destructive, but not malevolent, form of magic.[421] There was no stigma to sorcery. It was inherently a weapon in a way other forms of magic were not, but it was not "evil," and one could reasonably speak of it as one would a sword.[422]

[417] This is the definition of how sorcery works in DragonRealms. This rationale is not present in the I.C.E. materials. The separatists would also reject the unified mana perspective as it is rejected by "mana spectrum" theorists in DragonRealms, that so-called "Arcane mana" is really an unnatural aggregate of distinct forms of mana. Monists would be like DragonRealms "mana field" theorists.
[418] This implicitly follows from the premise of the previous sentence. Monists are just interpreting it differently. But this sentence helps frame why there is a natural tendency toward sorcery without it being driven by cultural malice. The Faendryl disproportionately develop sorcery out of practicality bias, much as humans later do with single realm specialization magic (and their anti-sorcery biases.) It is faster paths to wielding higher power or crafting spells of higher power.
[419] This is the Rolemaster lore for essence and sorcery, combined with the metaphysical language from DragonRealms.
[420.1] This is giving better meaning to "History of Elanthia" saying: "No other house had mastered both spirit and elemental magic as well as had the Faendryl Elves." This is not saying Faendryl focused on sorcery. People assumed that initially because of the demonic summoning and implosion at Maelshyve, and the sorcerer profession being elemental-spiritual hybrid. But we are establishing why sorcery fell out of this approach over the long run. 
[420.2] More specifically, the separatist approach leads to a lot of different kinds of sorcery by combining different forms of essence, while the universalist approach helps bring in and incorporate the black arts in the Faendryl exile period. It converges on the same thing.
[421] Other Houses have had and still have sorcerers. There has to be differentiation between more and less acceptable sorcery. There is nothing all the objectionable about Mana Disruption (702), for example, unless someone was especially aggrieving at the chaotic disruption of mana and the corruptive pollution that might cause long run. Classical sorcery has been here defined in an inherently destructive way in its meaning. It does not include the malevolent stuff in the black arts.
[422] This is analogous to the notion that any tool can be used as a weapon, but things that are designed to be used as weapons can have much more limited range of non-weapon uses. Limb disruption is really only useful for breaking or exploding limbs. It can only be practiced by blasting limbs with it. Its reason for existence is to smash the limbs of its targets. This is all sensible as war magic, and so forth, but it is not the high minded "research" that Faendryl are framed as doing. Though some of this, such as Phase, would plausibly come out of trying to research the essence foundations of matter, and so forth.

Nevertheless, there were fundamental reasons for sorcery and the black arts to eventually merge, in addition to the historical forces driving them together.[423] This is rooted in the nature of corruption.[424] While magical accidents of "pure" spheres of magic can result in corruption, where the essence of a thing is broken and made chaotic, sorcery lends itself to this "cursing" much more directly.[425] Similarly, when dark forces are brought in from what are now called the sorcerous valences, they must be used or even fused with the forces of this world.[426] In this way "dark sorcery" is inevitably and unavoidably corruptive, but "classical sorcery" itself is often able to cause similar effects.[427] Sorcery is especially cruel when inflicted on the living.[428]

[423] This paragraph is about to explain that dark essences have to be used in an inherently sorcerous / hybrid way because of their unnaturalness in this plane, which is reviving the Shadow World treatment of the Evil "pure" spell classes as hybrids. The historical forces mentioned here are the population migrations described earlier and later the Faendryl exile. Etc.
[424] Corruption is defined more thoroughly in Volume 2.
[425] This is partly referring to failed Wizard enchants cursing the items, partly to stuff like Kingdom of Reim being cursed into undeath because of sorcerous backlash from its magic users of different kinds trying to stream mana together, partly how this document defines the word "curse". Rolemaster sorcery also had "black channels" curse spells. Sorcery as disrupting the essence foundation of matter directly plays into the definitions of "curse" and "corruption" in this document.
[426] This is the concept in footnote 423.
[427.1] This logically follows from all the preceding premises, and helps explain how the Faendryl transition into using darker forms of their own magic, then being in Rhoska-Tor where there is a lot of "dark essence" per "History of the Dhe'nar". This sentence is also playing off the high redundancy between the Rolemaster Sorcerer base lists and the Evil pure lists, while in the Shadow World setting only the Evil lists were evil for system purposes because of the kind of energy it was using. The difference here is that we are also including the DragonRealms notion of ordinary sorcerous magic being corruptive. It treats stuff like necromancy and the undead as ultimately demonic in origin, but that it is happening in a way that is largely beyond the capacity of the necromancer/sorcerer to understand. That in turn is similar to alien nature of Evil spells in Shadow World, which are an entirely separate source of power for spell users, and cannot be used without corrupting the caster.
[427.2] The ability to do the same kinds of sorcerous spell effects in the different ways, with ordinary mana and dark essences such as "anti-mana", also works the other way. It helps explain why Vvrael warlocks and witches cast seemingly ordinary spells. Volume 2 defines "anti-mana" as the purest most corruptive extreme of what this document calls "the sorcerous element of darkness."
[428] This is due to the inherent nature of what classical sorcery is and does to targets. But this is framing how a sorcerer could exist who doesn't use any of the animate matter targetting spells.

During the reign of Yshryth Faendryl's grandson Thanris Akelyn, Patriarch XVI, a thaumaturgical asylum was established and named for his sister Elizhabet Mahkra.[429] While in the Age of Darkness the demonic were seen as evil manifestations of darkness itself, plaguing the old places of the Ur-Daemon, it was understood by the early Elven Empire that "demons" were originally extraplanar entities.[430] They were able to arrive in this world through unstable or unhealing rifts, as a result of backlashes of magical energy or unusual celestial alignments, or powerful mana storms opening portals to other worlds.[431] The ancient metaphor of a "veil" between worlds, referring to such things as the "Otherworlds of the fey" or even "the veil between life and death," was adapted to instead refer to the essence barriers that separated us from other realities.[432] When Elizhabet Mahkra studied the use of sorcery to turn the essence of the veil against itself, or what became called "piercing the veil," she tore the fabric of reality in a way that flooded and shattered her mind with immediate exposure to a very highly alien world.[433]

[429] This is from "History of the Faendryl". The Patriarch numbers combined with the timing for Patriachs 1 through 13 require this to have happened before roughly -40,000 Modern Era, which is roughly twenty thousand years before Despana and twenty-five thousand years before the Faendryl were exiled for demon summoning. The phrase "new magic" in "History of Elanthia" for demonic summoning was a lie, and "History of the Faendryl" requires it to be a lie. (Elizhabet Mahkra is an obvious anagram of Elizabeth Arkham, the insane asylum from Batman. Arkham itself in turn comes from Lovecraft.)
[430] The Elves would have known about the Ur-Daemon and demons long before they understood anything of cosmology. This is also based on "History of Elanthia" saying: "Now believed to be extra-dimensional intelligent creatures, the Ur-Daemons somehow opened a portal to Elanthia approximately 100,000 years ago."
[431] This is just consistency with existing world setting premises and phenomena. It does not make sense for demons to have not been "naturally" / accidentally present in the world, so the Elves would have always known what "demons" were, it was not some new and out of no where revelation at the Battle of Maelshyve. This is talking about full manifestations or incarnations, demons fully materially in this world, directly analogous to being summoned in the Faendryl manner. What this document describes as theurgical conjuration is either calling upon or hijacking these already present demons, or summoning immaterial demons through weaknesses in the veil, meaning thinness rather than holes. This notion of thinner veils in some places has multiple established precedents, including Sorcerer Guild summoning chambers and the Sorcerer sense verb. This is also partly why this document talks about the distinction of demons from other wicked spirits being a convention.
[432] "Otherworlds" is a term used in the Sylvan documentation, and in the real-world is also part of fey mythology. "Essence barriers" is from the Shadow World setting terminology, and refers to things like the energy force barriers in the Order of Voln or misdirection wardings. Referring to the veils between planes as "essence barriers" is essentially correct, but the use of that terminology for it is a reasonable embellishment. That is effectively what the veil or "fabric of reality" is.
[433] This is from "History of the Faendryl". The term "pierce the veil" stems at least as far back as Arthurian legend, and was used in the Vvrael quest, but the term "penetrating the veil" was used earlier in "History of Elanthia". This concept of "turn the essence of the veil against itself" is contextualizing it with the definition of classical sorcery given in this document and thereby explains how and why Faendryl demonic summoning is different from what the "black arts" were doing. The last part about her mind shattering is both from "History of the Faendryl" and the current messaging on Mind Jolt (706). 

In this way it would become possible to summon beings not of the "near planes," such as the elementals or spirit servants, but highly alien or malevolent beings from the "outer" dimensions.[434] This was regarded as dangerous, and was one of the taboos to survive into less religious times, not least of which because of how these entities corrupt and taint the world around them.[435] While it is true the Palestra were founded by Thanris' successor --- Ondreian Shamsiel, Patriarch XVII --- nearly twenty thousand years before the Undead War, contemporary propagandists tend to distort this into revisionist history.[436]

[434.1] This is partly based on in-game messaging and the "History of Elementals" document. Volume 2 of this document uses "near planes" as part of a basic higher and lower planes cosmology for this existence, as opposed to the outer/sorcerous valences, which is partly based on the Shadow World cosmology and partly Auchand's update to the valence Wiki page. Basically, the notion here is Lornon gods like to slum it in the lower "infernal" planes, and the "black arts" practitioners were largely dealing in infernal realm demons or things left over from the Ur-Daemon War. To the extent the Dhe'nar did demonic summoning, it would have been more along these lines. It is the Faendryl who start messing with outer dimensions stuff, but not really infernal realms stuff in the Second Age.
[434.2] Volume 2 also posits parallel material valences (as distinct form parallel material worlds of this existence which are other Elanthia versions) to describe comparatively habitable valences with extraplanar creatures (and races) that could plausibly be regarded in cryptozoology terms rather than "fiends." These could often be alien but not particularly chaotic or malevolent, and the subject of cataloguing for the Enchiridion Valentia. This is making some structural bias for Faendryl mapping out too dangerous things to be avoided, and the sorts of comparatively innocuous things that let them downplay "demonic" summoning. Aside from their major summoning war magic and for training Palestra and Armata, the highly corruptive and malevolent "fiends" would be more the province of the black arts or apotropaic countermeasures studies by mainstream Faendryl.
[435] This environmental corruption by demons and forces/entities of darkness is a very long standing premise. It is explicitly present, for example, in "History of the Faendryl". The dangerousness of this kind of magic is framed in "Gods of Elanthia" with Marlu, and was a large part of the I.C.E. premise for the dangerousness of Fash'lo'nae followers. The "taboo" is keeping consistency with the Faendryl exile.
[436.1] This framing is necessary for recontextualizing stuff in "History of the Faendryl" that does not make sense in combination with the rest of the documentation on these issues. Its timeline in particular for the Undead War to Ashrim War is deeply inconsistent with the rest of the history documentation and needs to be treated as some form of revisionism or redaction.
[436.2] "History of the Faendryl" has Palestra existing to handle Faendryl demonic summoning 10ish Patriarchs before Despana. The Palestra academies were not founded until after the Ashrim War in the later "Path to Palestra" document. The Palestra reasonably had to have been quite different in purpose and function in the Second Age, so this document is doing that retcon to make sense of things.

The Palestra were specialists in countering the hazards of the demonic, whether accidentally released, or brought forth on purpose by dark cults in the Southron Wastes.[437] The Faendryl of the Second Age did not openly embrace the demonic, unlike today, where minor demons are indistinguishable from house pets.[438] The Enchiridion Valentia is now a semi-public archive of the Clerisy, with whole Palestra academies for handling demonic summoning on wide scales.[439] These academies were not founded until after the Sea Elf War.[440] In those early years the Basilican sorcerers would carefully probe and classify extraplanar threats, so that they could be more effectively countered if those threats were encountered.[441] It was a highly restricted practice and failing to abide by the strict letter of the law would be punished with execution.[442] To the extent that it was a highly cautious and purely defensive study, secrets kept under the strict control of the state, it was not controversial.[443] It was understood that otherworldly forces --- such as the Vismi'irkha, or Vishmiir, a very powerful kind of extraplanar undead --- were serious threats.[444]

[437] This premise of wasteland demon worshippers doing this is an extrapolation and embellishment created in this document. The accidental release of demons is something that should exist naturally in the world setting logic. So emphasizing these directions helps establish how the Palestra could exist in the capital of the Elven Empire when the other Houses were not supposed to know the Faendryl were doing a bunch of demon summoning stuff.
[438] The commonality of minor demons is shown in "The Theory of Governance and Social Order", and demonic summoning is portrayed as presently common in "History of the Faendryl". This framing is reconciling the factual grains of truth in "History of the Faendryl" with the reaction to the Battle of Maelshyve and Faendryl exile. In "Introduction to the Enchiridion Valentia and Summoning" all summoners under Patriarch XX Eidiol Jivanatha Faendryl had to schedule summoning and inter-valence travel attempts at the Basilica in advance for the first several hundred years. It then talks about this scheduling rule being ditched to allow more freedom, but that brings us back into the problem of widespread and free practices, so we have to treat that as revisionist history as well in terms of emphases, with the important thing being capital crime to not report summoning discoveries.
[439] There is a tension between earlier Faendryl documentation and "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" on the Basilica versus the Clerisy when it comes to the Enchiridion Valentia. The Palestra academies are defined in "Path to Palestra". This line is implying it's much more large scale and public than it was originally.
[440] This is established in the "Path to Palestra" document. It becomes unclear what "graduates" and instructors for Palestra could mean for the time of Ondreian Shamsiel Patriarch 17, or how "magicians could come and hire them directly from the Palestra for a small fee" when this is supposed to be secret forbidden magic. "History of the Faendryl" probably has to be interpreted as some revisionist propaganda over-reading present day practices into past precursors to exaggerate precedents.
[441] This explains the role of the Basilica, and how and why this was being done in the Second Age, in a much more restricted fashion. The Basilica makes it more of a state secret and regulation kind of thing. Palestra might be hired by the Basilican sorcerers in this context, but it would have been a much more internal thing than "History of the Faendryl" makes it sound. While the Basilica plainly exists back into the Second Age, the other Pentact divisions are much more dubious, and should probably be given some historical evolution rather than being dragged all the way back to the founding of House Faendryl.
[442] The severe punishments for violating summoning laws is part of the "History of the Faendryl" documentation and the "Introduction to the Enchiridion Valentia and Summoning" documentation.
[443] This is an embellishment but not wildly implausible, and gives a sensible Second Age seed for how the Faendryl started more innocuously on this path, and got worse with it later. "History of the Faendryl" makes it sound like they were openly all in on it from the beginning, which would maximize the view of the Faendryl exile as pure cynicism by other jealous Houses.
[444] "History of Fash'lo'nae" establishes that the Vishmiir "had plagued the world prior during the Elven Empire", which is wording and terminology that requires it to have happened during the Second Age. This document's framing would allow extraplanar threats like that to have been a lot less common back then due to the Eye of the Drake.

But the violence to the veil, with the sorcerous methods of forming gateways, posed inherent risks.[445] The more powerful the tear in the fabric of reality, the greater the likelihood of allowing access to hazardous powers, such as unbound demons or corruptive energies from the outer realms.[446] For this reason an "implosion" that immediately annihilates the air is far more acceptable, even though the destruction is permanent, than an "implosion" that only temporarily vacuates an enclosed space by tearing an unstable hole into the interplanar void.[447]

[445] This is leveraging off the prior definition of "piercing the veil" in terms of Faendryl sorcery, as well as the Illistim stated risks regarding the Ur-Daemon in "History of Elanthia". This is also glancingly recognizing that other kinds of portals (e.g. elemental) are usually not stigmatized, even though they can have high destructive potential. The Solhaven Cataclysm in 5109 would be one example, The Amber Flame of House Illistim almost burning down the city is another. Similarly "History of Elementals" implies the dangers of elemental plane bleedthrough with veil weaknesses. Volume 2 addresses this double standard on portals and summoning elementals, and why demons and sorcerous veil piercing are regarded as worse.
[446] Demons still come through the unhealed tear in reality at Maelshyve, per "The Theory of Governance and Social Order". Corruptive radiation from it is cited in "History of the Faendryl". This is also playing off the Illistim complaint about the Ur-Daemon risk due to the Maelshyve implosion in "History of Elanthia". Related to note 445, essences from the elemental and spiritual planes could rightly be conceived as magical corruption, but this is regarded as innocuous or possibly even good by biased magic practitioners, where those forms of mana are regarded as natural to this reality.
[447] This is based on the difference between what Implosion (720) does in GemStone and what it does in the Rolemaster Sorcerer Air Destruction list, which would be the more conventional "classical sorcery" method. The "interplanar void" is something that is defined in DragonRealms. There is vague stuff in documentation about the currents of planar motions, such as "History of Elementals" and "Griffin Sword War". DragonRealms talks about planar intersections changing magical properties, and we've seen planar bleedthrough like that in storylines such as "Return to Sunder", and "History of Elementals" defines elemental nexus sties in terms of plane intersections. Which in turn we see with the Elemental Confluence.

Moreover, though "the demonic" can be defined any number of ways --- and Faendryl propagandists today often try to characterize all extraplanar beings whatsoever as "demons" --- those "unholy" demons, those fiends of darkness which are profoundly corruptive and whom no one denies are malevolent with an intense hatred of life, are deeply related to the undead.[448] Indeed. There are kinds of demons which can hardly be distinguished from undead.[449] Undead were present since the Age of Darkness because of demons, whether left over from the primordial cataclysms, or more recently arrived through uncontrolled rifts.[450] The role of the demonic in inflicting curses, including undeath, is one of the reasons they were anathema in the Elven Empire.[451]

[448.1] There has been a push and pull for years on how "evil" demons are inherently. They are described as having an "intense hatred of life" in "History of Elementals", which distinguishes elementals from demons, and that document pre-dates the Common language Enchiridion Valentia and spell Minor Summoning (725). The minor demons in the Common language abridgement of the Enchiridion Valentia should be treated as a Faendryl propaganda move by Patriarch Korvath in 5103. Which makes sense in the context of that storyline. The combat demons Voraviel constructed (vathor, oculoth, necleriine) should be much more in line with what everyone means when they refer to "demons", which he said in a saved post: "Something that'd justify the nearly worldwide anathema towards demon summoning." Incidentally, the demons in spells Cloak of Shadows (712) and Torment (718) do not set off town justice mechanics.
[448.2] Volume 2 of this document gets into the difference between "fiends" and merely extraplanar species. The basic cosmology it uses allows all "infernal" demons to be inherently evil, while some outer planes entities are merely alien but possibly destructively insane or dangerous, which is roughly consistent with the Shadow World cosmology and demons. (Volume 2 also stipulates that such outer entities most usually will need to manifest out of the darker and more chaotic "sorcerous elements", their intrinsic alienation to this existence naturally tending toward cursed matter.) Mechanically, elementals and Ithzir and astrals like ki-lin and so on are "extraplanar", but not mechanically "demons." So the view some people pushed for with "extraplanar = demons" is long defunct in practice. But the Enchiridion lore makes it sound that way, so here we call that Faendryl propaganda. As pointed out in footnote 434, there may be a Faendryl bias toward studying and summoning "valence creatures" that are low in corruption, especially for minor summoning, while fiends and eldritch horrors are war magic or countermeasure studies (such as Aralyte the Palestra Blade studying how to vanquish the primordial Althedeus.)
[448.3] DragonRealms also splits the demonic apart from other extraplanars in this way. It talks about the greater extraplanar entities acting through "conduits" in this plane, which here we relate to "warlocks" and "witches" in the black arts. It talks about the lesser things that can be regarded as "creatures", much as we see in the Enchiridion Valentia. But it talks about the violence to reality of such greater entities directly manifesting in this reality and that it shatters sanity to so much as look at them.
[449] This premise has pretty much always been present in GemStone, going all the way back to ambiguities in the Rolemaster bestiaries. Necleriines are very concrete example of this ambiguity in the Elanthia setting. This ambiguity is also stated in that DragonRealms post about extraplanars. It talks about "concept" entities which here we would call occult entities of the "dream worlds", which can manifest in grotesque and undead seeming forms. These include "shadow" entities formed of concepts of darkness. These things are easily confused with demons. This is possibly an important parallel to draw with Althedeus being formed by the fear/chaos/power of Ur-Daemon War. But there is also a Plane of Shadows, with unclear relationship to the Plane of Probability.
[450] This is the demonic relationship to creating undead, which is framed in the Order of Voln messaging, and the Ur-Daemon aspects of the Despana lore. There should have been demons present for all the previously stated reasons.
[451] This is a sensible extrapolation from established world setting premises. This document bolsters it with the made up Lindsandrych Illistim quote about the southern wastelands. We've seen NPCs cursed because of demons, such as the paralysis of Praxopius.

But it was mostly the southern wastelands in that period that had what is usually considered "the undead."[452] The Faendryl had acquired some knowledge of undeath by the time of Despana. But necromancy in that sense of the word was only an incidental aspect of their approach to demonic summoning.[453] Which was the construction of rational models of the cosmos and systems of rules for the handling of otherworldly forces.[454] One of the earliest models held Elanthia as the center of the cosmos, with mystical shells surrounding it formed by the tensions of cosmic forces, and these outer layers were called "valences."[455] The demonic were imagined as formed by those forces and they hungered for the magical energies of this world. While this "onion shell" model is old fashioned, the word "valences" stuck.[456] It was approached as a matter of scientific inquiry, as though summoners were naturalists, classifying unfamiliar life forms on new continents.[457] In this way it was very unlike the necromancy and conjuration of the southern wastelands, and those traditions would mostly not merge until the Faendryl were exiled to Rhoska-Tor.[458]

[452] This should probably be true given the way everything is framed and argued in this document. It does not have to be totally true. There are so many ways for undead to come into existence that do not require necromancers. There should be ghosts, phantoms, restless spirits most everywhere.
[453] This should follow as a logical consequence of studying demons, and the Faendryl left behind lich qyn'arj in Old Ta'Faendryl. Volume 3 treats the "festering taint" kind of mutants in Old Ta'Faendryl as the Faendryl studying Despana's disease magic, which is necromancy in our broader definition of that word. So this is part of the transitioning of Faendryl sorcery broadening into the more modern necromancy/demonology framework. This also fits into teratology and cryptozoology being described example of Arcane magical research in DragonRealms that is not necessarily necromancy, as defined over there, which is sorcery involving the combining of life mana with other mana (which our modern definition pays lip service to.) And those in turn fit into the occultist tradition for the Faendryl described below in the next section.
[454] This is the rationalist / materialist worldview framework that has been given earlier for the House Elves.
[455] This was the cosmology model Banthis originally intended when work was being done on demonic summoning the late 1990s. This model was presented at Simucon. It is where the term "valence" came from with this stuff.
[456] This is nodding to the word "valences" now being out of context. Demons hungering for our magical energy is a premise that goes back to at least the Ur-Daemon in "History of Elanthia", and has earlier antecedents in Unlife concepts from the I.C.E. Age. This concept of feeding upon this plane is also present in the DragonRealms conception of demons, where they are by definition malevolent as a class of extraplanar beings, associated with "anti-life" and necromancy.
[457] This is how the Faendryl represent it modernly, such as in "History of Elanthia" and the Enchiridion Valentia documentation.
[458] This is an embellishment made for this document. It's establishing collisions and mergers of magic traditions over historical time. It would make sense for that spilling to happen because of geographical proximity, especially with that region being treated as "anathema" in the Second Age. These population migrations could be used to define sorcerous practices in other cultures/regions, but things have been set up already for the Faendryl paradigm to be dominating what the Sorcerer Guilds do with magic (i.e. the Sorcerer profession mechanically.) So there's only so much that can be diversified. This document is focused on necromancy and the black arts, not so much trying to define sorcery in all race cultures at all times, though it provides the backbone for doing that later.

(3) Occultism

There were those in the Elven Empire who were sympathetic to the old ways, and sought to rehabilitate "lost knowledge" to the "disenchanted world."[459] Occultists would seek out the surviving remnants of folk magic, or even druidism, and attempt to credulously explain its superstitions within rational world-views in the pursuit of "higher knowledge."[460] These traditions would lead to emanationist doctrines, which describe physical beings as projections of ideal forms, ultimately from "the One" through primeval demiurges.[461] In contrast to the "valences" model, there are higher and lower "planes of existence," where beings exist in these planes simultaneously.[462] What we call the dream worlds supported this, our "subtle bodies" existing across planes.[463] There were mystical ideas, such as microcosm and macrocosm, where what was "above" was reflected "below." The individual was an echo of the world soul and bound within vast cosmic cycles.[464]

[459] This is based on real-world occultism, and such things as the Theosophical Society. This section is creating backdoors for knowledge spreading between these culture traditions, and the rationalist third-way middle ground attempt between orthodox magic and superstition. It's giving Elanith precursors to Mentalism and explaining various disparate threads of lore.
[460] This is directly inspired by real-world occultism.
[461] As mentioned previously, this is giving a more self-consciously Neoplatonist dimension to the One creation myths.
[462] This helps motivate and root the basic cosmology model used in Volume 2, and helps explain the usage of terms "valence" and "planes of existence", as coming from different cosmological models. This is inspired by the real-world esotericism usage of "planes of existence" with astral projection kind of stuff.
[463] This is directly based on real-world esotericism and astral projection. There's a reasonably strong case to be made that these concepts were part of the design of the Broken Land.
[464] These statements are derived from real-world occultism and esotericism. (Hermeticism, Gnosticism, etc.)

This was deeply related to the "great chain of being" worldview, which descends from the divine to inanimate matter, which in turn led to alchemy seeking to transmute matter to higher states.[465] There were attempts to understand the Arkati, and perhaps spirits in general, as manifestations formed in other planes because of mortals.[466] This was used to "explain" notions of the Arkati becoming more powerful by gaining followers, or individuals "ascending" from their physical bodies into non-corporeal forms of existence by striving for perfection.[467] Esotericists would seek immediate apprehension of the cosmos, or "gnosis," through soporific potions and methods of divination.[468] Ancient wisdom was sought as "hidden" in the initiation rites of more "primitive" mystery religions.[469]

[465] This is directly based on the worldview behind real-world alchemy. This setting up the framework for ascension belief systems.
[466] This is how the deities actually work as defined in DragonRealms.
[467] This is providing intellectual foundations for these kinds of doctrines, though there is some empirical fact involved, such as what might be worded instead as the "transcendence" of the disir, or Eorgina herself having said she gains power from her followers when Li'aerion opened.
[468] This is partly based on Gnosticism, partly based on real-world use of entheogens for religious purposes, partly based on Lovecraft's Dream Cycle stories.
[469] This is based on real-world "mystery religions" as well as 19th and early 20th century esotericists/occultists looking to ancient mystery religions in this way. This is setting up motivation for House Elves to be importing some of this "folk" stuff back in more rationalist terms.

What is preserved of folk magic from the Second Age is mostly thanks to occultists.[470] It was a heterogeneous movement that took different and inconsistent forms.[471] House Illistim tended to draw occultists focused on divination and astrology, because of their patronage of "seer" gods, and the style of Lumnis to favor inspiration and flashes of insight.[472] The universalism or cosmicism of the Faendryl tended to foster other kinds of occult societies.[473] Those were more of the flavor of forbidden knowledge and the lack of restraint in its pursuit, sought after through more rational methods. Which was more in the style of Fash'lo'nae.[474] They would look for the "cryptids" of folk religion, and seek out paranormal phenomena not understood by existing theory.[475] But there were others of a more gnostic, even Marluvian bent, who would use sorcerous methods like those of Elizhabet Mahkra to try to "jolt" their minds into the higher cosmic horror.[476]

[470] This is setting up limited and distorted perspective of something that would otherwise have not been recorded at all.
[471] This eclecticism is thematic.
[472.1] There is a long-standing tension in the Lumnis lore, where she is a patroness of fortune tellers and soothsayers (dating back to the ICE Age when she was the patron of Astrologers which were basically what Moon Mages are in DragonRealms), and her Western followers emulate her by acting as oracles and seers in "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire". While she would also be the goddess of knowledge in the more sciences sense. "History of Lumnis" treats her like a general inspiration goddess of all forms of knowledge, and this wording here is partly based on Gift of Lumnis and RPA messaging. The Illistim patron gods are described in "Elven Dogma and Theology" and their societies along these lines are in the Illistim Society document. In any event, occultism is more of a third way thing, and not what would be seen as Illistim orthodoxy.
[472.2] With occultism and astrology, this is also tacitly interfacing with the Moon Mage and stellar alignment stuff with the concept realm ("Plane of Probability") in DragonRealms. Which in turn via our occultism premise is a tacit interface for GemStone's mentalism with Moon Mage stuff. This is also tacitly rehabilitating via House Illistim the Valris (Lumnis) association with Astrologers, which are Rolemaster's version of Moon Mages.
[473] This is leveraging off the worldview bias set up for the Faendryl earlier in this document for the given reasons that motivated it.
[474] This is generally thematic for the Faendryl overall. But "History of the Faendryl" explicitly talks about how Fash'lo'nae is the closest thing the Faendryl have to a patron Arkati.
[475] These are categories of real-world occultist research. This is interfacing with Faendryl cryptozoology in other sections, regarding the traditions behind the Enchiridion Valentia.
[476] This is a Lovecraftian kind of notion, where Lovecraft himself was inspired by the Theosophists, but twisted into his cosmic horror version of it. This whole paragraph is embellishments to make sense of things that probably should have happened in context. The use of the word "jolt" is leaning on the Mind Jolt (706) messaging. This is also setting up some precedent of Faendryl prejudices on acceptable and unacceptable ways of approaching the demonic and extraplanar studies. This Marluvian occultism is a thread that gets picked up later in the sections about Bandur and Uthex and the Broken Land.

It is one of the hallmarks of occultism to favor "psychological" evidence over the material world. With its willingness to reverse effect and cause with magic, or indeed even accept the truth of superstitious beliefs, occultists regarded "sympathetic" or "mimetic" magic as not magic at all.[477] That is, these were immediate phenomena in the interaction of mind and action with whatever was beyond the material world, not the manipulation of mana.[478] Natural philosophies were ignorant or self-limiting.[479] This may even be why we now define spheres of magic by effect.[480]

[477] This was directly based on the introduction of a real-world book on occultism from about a century ago.
[478] This is playing into the behavior of the dream world planes with their interaction with minds. This is not actually agreeing that such magic does not involve mana manipulation. But it is playing into how the esoteric mode of it allows understanding of what you're really doing to be limited, and that such people could believe they're doing something different from "magic", which for the orthodoxy framed at that time would be elemental/spiritual thaumaturgy/theurgy.
[479] This is an anti-orthodox magic position from the rationalist worldview direction. It's about handling the sympathetic and esoteric magic traditions prior to the view of three spheres of magic rather than two spheres of magic.
[480] This embellishment is about rationalizing the earlier arguments about Arcane power, with terms like evoking and channeling, and the separatist worldview becoming dominant, and the wording for them like "elemental" and "spiritual" is more effect/phenomenon oriented. But with philosophies likely having been invented trying to interpret them as substantitively correct, such as trying to believe matter is really constituted of handful of pure elements (of fire, air, earth, water.)

Occultists would collect "lost" or "forgotten" knowledge in grimoires, which were often elaborate forgeries, or shameless plagiarisms and reformulations of much older texts.[481] There would be hierarchies of otherworldly or spirit entities, much as one might find informally with shamans, and these do not necessarily correspond in a straight forward way to the modern categories.[482] "Earth-monsters" in archaic Elven might be some breed of elemental, or some earth spirit, possibly servitors of an earth oriented deity.[483] Grimoires are notorious for unreliability.[484] They were also biased toward the elven traditions of spiritualism, often synonymous with "druidism," rather than the animism of more mortal races which tend to instead be called "shamanism."[485] These are, of course, crude over-generalizations of widely diverse indigenous beliefs.[486] "Shamanism" has altered states of consciousness, and human druidism is ancestral to northern reivers.[487]

[481] This is true of real-world grimoires. It's also building in some unreliable narration in the sources of knowledge.
[482] This is inspired by real-world grimoires with their posulated hierarchies of demons and angels and so forth. Volume 2 has some made up excerpts from made up Elanthian occult grimoires in this sense, and Volume 3 gives a bunch of names for made up ones.
[483] It's important to emphasize things as convention schemes, and the historicism behind words meaning different things or different baggage/connotations/context in different eras. This is an important premise for what Volume 3 tries to do with the unliving.
[484] This is true of real-world grimoires.
[485] This is partly based on the hegemony of Elves in the Second Age, and partly because the word "shaman" really has been used for the non-elven races in GemStone, but there have been elven druids. This gives some more breathing space overall.
[486] This is a nod to controversy over the use of words like "shaman" in real-world anthropology.
[487] Trance states are a general "shamanism" motif. The last part about the reivers is glancingly trying to address the awkwardness of the multiple retcons of the reivers that have happened over the years. There's druidic stuff around Luinne Bheinn dating back to 1997, but the reivers have since been retconned to having much more recently migrated.

However, the esoteric works of the occultists would indirectly capture some dim or far more ancient survivals, and often represent the knowledge that was discarded.[488] The western lands and the mountains, to say nothing of the Southron Wastes, often held heterodox religions.[489] Theological texts found in these regions are often disputed as "apocryphal."[490] But the Arkati have never been reliable sources of truth, which is why serious scholars dismiss the value of asking them questions.[491] They are notorious for allowing cultures to interpret them differently, and for "proving" their legends.[492] Occasionally they even admit it, such as Fash'lo'nae having made the Grandfather Stone.[493] It is very difficult to say one religious legend is more "true" than another that wildly contradicts it.[494] Those who sought the "hidden secrets" of the past would search through such texts, seeking proof of lost lands, relics and gods whose existence were denied.[495]

[488] The "knowledge that was discarded" is one aspect of esotericism, and it's a folklore/mythology and literature thing in general to try to read vestiges of older stuff surviving in later stuff outside its older original context.
[489] This is a slight embellishment, but should be true.
[490] Auchand has tended to make his Arkati legend documents dubiously sourced or referred to as apocryphal. "Origins of Ronan and Sheru" for example is "commonly held to be apocryphal", and "Origins of Tonis" is "a translation of an elven text discovered in a cache near the Western Dragonspine." And "Origins of Amasalen" is only around 150 years old and found in Icemule.
[491] This is extrapolating off the vague and unreliable nature of communes, and the explicit statement of the NPC author of "History of Fash'lo'nae" that trying to directly ask Fash'lo'nae about this stuff would not be a useful approach. Likewise Voln refuses to answer theological questions in "History of the Order of Voln." 
[492] The first part of this refers to such things as the krolvin version of religion in "Half-Krolvin Society and Faith" and the Tehir view of Luukos in the Xshitha Raamaani section of "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire" and the different symbols of Imaera in "Gods of Elanthia" and so on. The second part is an iconoclastic statement, which the IC author might apply to any number of things, such as Li'aerion.
[493] "History of Fash'lo'nae" actually states in the analysis section that Fash'lo'nae admitted to making the Grandfather's Stone, which is supposed to be where he came from in the legend.
[494] There are lots of contradictions and inconsistencies between the religious legend documents. Xorus ripped through a lot of them in a Mist Harbor library lecture once.
[495] This is treasure hunter and occultist kind of stuff in general, like with lost lands the Theosophists had various notions of Atlantis and Lemuria and so forth. The last part is an oblique reference to situations like L'Naere, whose rumored existence was buried by the Loremasters and House elites.

Because of this cosmopolitan attitude toward knowledge, there was also a backwards flux of methods into the Elven Empire.[496] It was because of the occultists that the summoning circles of folk magic and witchcraft, which were about spheres of protective warding from spirits, were adapted by the Faendryl into methodical systems of extraplanar summoning.[497] The Enchiridion Valentia as a "little handbook" had its roots in occult grimoires.[498] It was also this tradition that somewhat softened Elven materialism, making the Faendryl more open to the study of necromancy.[499]

[496] This is setting up part of the motivation for this section. It backdoors some of this other stuff back into urbanized civilization.
[497] This is an embellishment. But it's taking the folksy use of summoning circles, and maybe cunning folk apotropaic magic and the thanot lore with pentagrams being "the ancient magical symbol of protection." Pentagrams have been used in demonic summoning contexts in game, such as on top of Bonespear Tower or the cavern of Castle Anwyn. So this embellishment helps mutate the practice into Faendryl summoning methods, where they become stripped of original culture context and made mechanistic.
[498] Enchiridion literally means "little handbook" in the real-world. This is an embellishment relating the occult grimoire stuff just described and making that a tradition/practice precedent where the subject of them instead became these extraplanar things. In terms of filiation of ideas. This is setting the Enchiridion Valentia in the context of two distinct intellectual traditions mixing in Second Age Faendryl (occultist / cryptozoologist) sorcerers.
[499] There is an initial rationalist/materialist prejudice set up, so this occultism third-way stuff with its backdoors gives an avenue for softening that up, which then gets motivated and pushed further along later by changing historical conditions. The ideal forms concept tacitly present in the "classical sorcery" definition gives a natural occultist interface into orthodoxy. This is also mildly trying to explain "History of the Faendryl" referring to Thyrsos Kanigel Faendryl as a "necromancer" in what sounds like was around the time of Patriarch 20, Eidiol Jivanatha Faendryl, who made the law requiring all summoners to report discoveries of new creatures into the Enchiridion Valentia. This would apparently have been in the -30,000s Modern Era. ("Introduction to the Enchiridion Valentia and Summoning" implies Thyrsos got 48 people killed, and says initially Eidiol required summoning and valence travel to be scheduled in advance at the Basilica.) 

III. The Undead War (-20,000 to -15,000 Modern Era)[500]

"Thousands of them! Ghouls, zombies and worse, all blackened and half-rotten. They poured onto the plains like a dam-bust of screaming and stink. Now, we were all veterans of the orc wars, and there's not much what could shake us...But nothing could ready a dwarf for the banshee. Horrible! I don't care what them other folks thought. I thank Eonak for them red elves and their demons!"[501]

- The Journal of Rhak Toram, warrior of the Dusk Mountain Clan, survivor of foul Maelshyve.

[500] This is using the convention of having a 5,000 year period for when Despana was known to exist. But the actual "Undead War" was much shorter, near the end of this time period. Technically, the Second Age could be brought all the way up to the Battle of ShadowGuard. The "orc wars" is not really defined explicitly, but probably refers to Dharthiir's orc/troll/etc. alliance, which began a few hundred years earlier. So this would support what this document does, distinguishing a kind of pre-Undead War conflict with Dharthiir in outlying land as like a preparation staging drill for the full scale war, and then the Undead War proper starts with what this document calls "the Surge" with the hordes of undead. This is reconciling the "History of the Sylvan Elves" going further back into the -15,400s.
[501] This quote is from "History of Elanthia". The last lines of it are an expansion on the original quote, which exists in a museum piece that was in the Wehnimer's Landing Museum, and is now in the Stormbrow Gallery on Teras Isle. "red elves" refers to the scarlet color Faendryl would wear. This quote uses specific names for different kinds of undead, which subtly creates the implication that these were known concept distinctions. Banshees were the highest level undead in GemStone at the time "History of Elanthia" was written.

There have at times been myths that the undead did not exist before Despana, or that it was not knowledge that was in the possession of mortals.[502] There are religious legends about the Arkati in Conclaves and Koar issuing divine rulings, which make far too much of Luukos having once been on a shorter leash.[503] This is as much nonsense as believing Despana made the first undead by reading a book someone else wrote on how to make the undead.[504] There are many kinds of undead, and many were known to exist in antiquity.[505] Those who wrote at the time speak of ghouls and zombies, having known the differences between those kinds of corpses.[506]

[502] This is an unfortunate misreading of "History of Elanthia" that was used in the "History of Luukos" legend. The Undead is a proper noun referring to Despana's horde, the document is not saying Despana created the first undead to ever exist. There are many reasons that would not make sense, and "History of Luukos" had to hedge by having Luukos doing it much earlier but not giving it to his followers. This document allows Luukos to have changed behavior after the Undead War, but does not endorse the lack of undead before Despana, which has established contradictions and does not make sense for a lot of reasons.
[503] This is referring to a legend in "History of Luukos" about Koar issuing a ruling after the Undead War.
[504] This obvious problem originates in "History of Elanthia", and the Ur-Daemon having books makes little sense when they have since been depicted as behemoths.
[505] Volume 3 talks a lot about various kinds of undead, and which kinds exist "naturally", and which would be very ancient beyond the Undead War period. It is also canon in "History of the Dhe'nar" that the Dhe'nar learned to control the undead in the -40,000s when they were in Rhoska-Tor.
[506] This is playing off the Rhak Toram quote, though it is not 100% convincing. Because these terms could have all been coined during the Undead War.

Necromancy was not unheard of, neither was demonic summoning.[507] Despana was the first necromancer to make hordes of undead as a vast army, incorporating the dead of her enemies from the battlefields.[508] She innovated methods of hierarchical control, or leverage, as well as for rapidly increasing the size of her forces.[509] What had once been the slow artisan work of individual craftsmen, or the hazards of the demonic, was suddenly sweeping through the land as literal plagues.[510]

[507] These are the embellishments introduced forcefully by this document. Incidentally, the term "demon-spawn" is used in "Ilynov Journal" at an earlier date than the Battle of Maelshyve, and the soldiers journal from Battle of Shadowguard also refers Despana's horde as "demons" and "fiends." It also uses the word "ghost" as a notion of previous familiarity. It also uses the word "Lich" for Dharthiir. But it also expresses unfamiliarity with undead. The names Despana and Dharthiir seem to be gradually learned from the soldier's perspective, but this has to be regarded as the author's own unfamiliarity. The journal dubiously describes Despana herself being there, without mentioning how this identification is certain, or describing her at all.
[508] This embellishment need not necessarily be true, but could be a demarcation for explaining why Despana was a Big Deal comparatively, when necromancers of undead had already existed. This turning of the dead and raising corpses on the battlefield is illustrated in the "The Battle of ShadowGuard, A soldier's journal (An eyewitness account)" document on 22nd Day of Koaratos. 
[509] It was established explicitly in a Plat storyline called Fallen from Faith that necromancers can only control something less than twenty undead without the use of artifacts or special artifices (e.g. alchemy, rituals). The Horned Cabal for example relies on using the Sphere of Sorrow to make big hordes, and the Plat storyline actually asserted the first necromancer to make an undead did so with the Sphere of Sorrow, contradicting a commonly held interpretation that it was Despana and the Book of Tormtor. This hierarchy premise is central to the argument made in this section of the document. It motivates and explains why the Faendryl used demons, and why felt using demons (not, say, elementals) was the only option.
[510] This is referencing the Red Rot as well as the unhealing wounds in the Giantkin history for this period. The Battle of ShadowGuard journal also talks about a festering wound that could make the author turn into one of the undead. This document generalizes this somewhat, having Despana using magical disease curses. This is partly reviving the Rolemaster bestiary information on some of these undead, which were able to infect and turn others into undead. A mechanical example of a disease curse undead would be the shambling lurks.

III.A Rhoska-Tor [511]

The blackened wasteland of Rhoska-Tor is historically a region of the Southron Wastes.[512] A haunted realm of the Ur-Daemon, it is highly corrupted with dark powers.[513] It is sometimes spoken of as a separate place from the Southron Wastes, or more narrowly is referring only to the blasted plains and badlands surrounding the ruins of Maelshyve, as it has since become more strongly tied to the Undead War.[514] Its history is much older than Despana.[515] "Rhoska-Tor" descends from ancient Elven, or "rha'sha'tor" in archaic Dhe'nar-si, meaning "the giver and taker of life."[516] This land is thought to have been a nursery or breeding warren of the Ur-Daemon, as well as their graveyard, perverting their surroundings with their unnatural cycles.[517] There are profound powers of undeath in Rhoska-Tor because of this foul heritage, as the great demons of old twisted and warped the living, much as they fed upon the life essences of all that was around them.[518]

[511] There is a lot of scattered Rhoska-Tor lore, and this tries to synthesize it into something coherent that makes sense of everything.
[512.1] It was referred to as "blackened" in "History of Elanthia". In the original context of "History of Elanthia", before the continent map was known, it was not obvious where Rhoska-Tor was in relation to the Southron Wastes. It can be regarded as a special region of the Southron Wastes, but often gets tretaed as its own region. Part of the problem is it hasn't been clear how wide an amount of territory qualifies as "Rhoska-Tor", if it's the immediate vicinity of Maelshyve or if that's one spot in a Rhoska-Tor region. This document relents by letting Rhoska-Tor be a broader region, and defines the specific part of it where Maelshyve was built.
[512.2] This document is allowing volcanic rock to explain some of the "blackness", but that should likely not solely be a matter of natural geology. "Origins of Tonis" says the Ur-Daemon actually "blackened the land" directly with the power of their corruption.
[513] This follows from the "History of the Dhe'nar" document description of it.
[514.1] This is historicizing the term, since this document gives it an earlier history than Despana, and explains why it was considered an old place of the Ur-Daemon when Despana was searching. This gives some flexibility for usages where Rhoska-Tor seems to be more narrowly referring to the vicinity of Maelshyve. 
[514.2] The "blasted lands around Maelshyve" comes from the urglaes lore. It is described as "plains" by the Rhak Toram quote. "Badlands" is used to reflect the geological formation conditions described later in this section, and allows some hill formation stuff as a hook for fey banshee mythology and the ora lore with the very large ora mine in Rhoska-Tor, along with reconciling the hilly terrain description given for it in "History of the Sylvan Elves".
[514.3] The language of "a barren and blasted land where life was never easy and nothing grew" also describes Rhoska-Tor on the Play.net website page for Old Ta'Faendryl.
[515] At a minimum this is true because "History of the Dhe'nar" is canonized, but this document fleshes out other reasons.
[516] This comes from the "Dark Elven Horror Stories" document and taken as factual for at least the modern Dhe'nar-si language. But here we're attributing it as ancient. "History of Elanthia" says "what is now called Rhoska-Tor", so this term has to actually be more recent than when Despana searched for it, which is part of why we refer to it as a region of the Southron Wastes. And we say "descends from ancient Elven" rather than asserting it was always called that. This document uses generics like "southern wastelands" to not have it being called Rhoska-Tor in the Second Age.
[517] This is inspired by the "Origins of Tonis" document and the nature of Ur-Daemon body parts. The dark essence from them being left behind is taken from "History of the Dhe'nar". In the Tonis legend the "newborn Ur-Daemons" were "kept in a sort of creche dug out of the very earth, fed by its hot blood" in a location near their great portal.
[518] This is doubling down on this causative relationship which is being asserted in this document.

Rhoska-Tor is geologically bizarre and was drastically transformed in the Age of Darkness.[519] It is a vast limestone plateau with extensive subterranean caverns, but protruded with volcanic rock and vertical faults.[520] It is named for the terrible outcroppings known as the Tor.[521] There are, in turn, pseudokarsts formed from this igneous rock, eaten away by caustic black blobs.[522] It is thought the demons would slumber, or gestate or metamorphose, in the molten rock below oozing black wounds in the earth.[523] These ancient lava fields themselves are artificial.[524]

[519] Taking all the details together makes for weird implications, such as the need for stable cavern systems, but also geological instabilities and some regional volcanism. This description is intended to be highly consistent with the existing room painting for the Southron Wastes, which is the portion adjacent to the Rhoska-Tor region of the wastelands. This sentence is also being consistent with what is explicitly stated in "Origins of Tonis": "The Ur-Daemon War sundered continents and warped the face of the world, as the horrors from beyond clashed with the drakes and their Arkati."
[520] The igneous protrusions are largely meant for the urglaes lore and the literal geological interpretation of "Tor", though there are existing premises for volcanism in the subcontinent such as Sharath. The vertical faults and badlands are partly meant to explain the steep sloping (valley and hills) that is represented for near Maelshyve in "History of the Sylvan Elves". The limestone plateau is meant to explain the "plains" and presence of extensive underground caverns as karsts, as well as the presence of alabaster and marble and so forth. The mixing of plateaus with mountainous upheavals also already exists in the game, described as "cordillera" in the Southron Wastes room painting around the Ash Barrens section. 
[521] This is a totally made up fact that was mentioned earlier. This document is setting these things up to be related to the Ur-Daemon having slumbered in lava underground, which is literally shown in game with the Beast imprisoned in Teras Isle.
[522] These "acidic lumps of jelly" and possibly the "plasmatic inky black horrors" were Wavedancer event creatures in the Southron Wastes and presumably magru based. So this is making a consistency with the magru in the Broken Land and our premise of Marluvians in the Southron Wastes. The Broken Land magru were made to imply they created the Dark Grotto tunnels by dissolving away the rock with sulfuric acid.
[523] This is primarily based on the Beast of Teras Isle, and to some extent on the "Origins of Tonis" legend. In the Tonis legend they were "infesting" the surrounding land, where it says the "corruption of them had blackened the land and twisted the rivers" which made Tonis thin and weak from exposure to it. The premise of "newborn Ur-Daemon" gestating in the "hot blood" of the earth in "creches" comes directly from "Origins of Tonis".
[524] This statement is explained in the next paragraph. It rationalizes why this should be happening in the same place as a limestone plateau. It is implied in existing documentation as well. "Origins of Tonis" says: "The creatures oozed and glided across the land, deepening their corrosive grasp upon it by the moment. Sickened by what he saw, Tonis marked the location of the rift and prepared himself for the trip back. And then he saw the newborn Ur-Daemons. Skittering and terrible, they were kept in a sort of creche dug out of the very earth, fed by its hot blood."

Theorists have long speculated that the Ur-Daemon were drawn to the volcanic region where the southern subcontinent collides with Elanith.[525] They are thought to have ripped the major flows of essence toward themselves, which they would then feed upon for their own foul purposes.[526] They corrupted the resulting earthnodes with their darkness.[527] This caused essence storms and fluxes below ground, exacerbating the region's underlying volcanism.[528] There were then eruptions toward the surface, and below the surrounding ocean.[529] The boiling sea caused the sea and steam to expand inland, slaughtering vast swathes of marine life, as well as severe floods from unnatural weather. The skies were blackened with ash.[530] The Ur-Daemon would drain the life's essence out of the seas, causing rapid accumulation of marine sediment.[531] Over tens of thousands of years, this limestone was carved away with acidic erosion, forming vast underground caverns.[532] Though it is a high plateau relative to modern sea levels, it is low lying compared to the upthrusted lands next to it, making it into plains with scarps and highlands reminiscent of a valley.[533]

[525.1] Regional volcanos known to exist include the great mountain at Sharath and Mount Ysspethos near Tamzyrr. This sentence is tacitly assuming some IC belief in plate tectonic action, though within setting it might be thought of as an artificial collision of the lands due to the scale of the powers unleashed in the Ur-Daemon War. (The I.C.E. Shadow World analog of the First Era war cataclysm had continents sinking.) The premise is based on the Beast of Teras Isle in its volcano. The "theorists have long speculated" line and what follows from it is an embellishment.
[525.2] This large scale geological disruption by the Ur-Daemon is already an existing premise in documentation. In the "Origins of Tonis" legend it is stated explicitly that they "sundered continents and warped the face of the world."
[526] This is meant to explain the unnatural earthnodes of Rhoska-Tor and why they are magically corruptive. It follows naturally from the Ur-Daemon feeding on them. It also reconciles the dark essence or demonic energies explanations for Dark Elves with the unusual mana nodes explanations for Dark Elves. This is leaning on the I.C.E. Shadow World explanation of nodes as convergences of flows of essence.
[527] The "dark essence" in the "History of the Dhe'nar" account.
[528] This is partly based on the definition for Energy Maelstrom (710), whose spell description was based on: "summon[ing] dark energy to swirl around him or her, creating a fierce storm." Its original wording back to at least February 1994 was more explicitly invoking the "essence storm" concept, which was the I.C.E. version of what are now called "mana storms": "The caster summons dark energy to swirl around him or her, creating an essence storm which will blast through everyone and everything in the room. A most potent spell which can be very dangerous to bystanders." That these storms could trigger volcanic behavior was part of the I.C.E. lore for them, and there was some indication of similar behavior (more moderate) as well as quaking when the Elemental Confluence was approaching Elanthia.
[529] This explains some ancient lava fields for the urglaes lore and Rhoska-Tor being "blackened". It also explains why the previous paragraph referred to the lava as artificial, and the Ur-Daemon wanting it to the surface so they could submerge in it.
[530] This boiling seas and skies blackening with ash premise is meant to be a de-mythologized explanation for the Orslathain sunstone lore in the "Elanthian Gems" document, which suggests the sea was boiling and tons of soot was getting thrown into the atmosphere during the Ur-Daemon War. This is tacitly assuming the sea levels were higher in that period (it is established that this is fluctuating over millennia such as in "Unfinished Smuggler's History of River's Rest", and past warmer climates without northern ice such as described by Barlan Kane), so the ocean would be further inland closer to what are now the wastes, whereas the present day climate has glaciers and ice sheets. This description of the heavy sudden floods and inland swells of dead marine matter is meant to rapid form limestone and set up unstable badlands conditions on top of it or further inland. This is consistent with the Southron Wastes room painting, which depicts very unstable geological formations of shale and limestone which are violent upheavals, as well as slot canyons which are implicitly flash flood hazards. Sinkholes would implicitly be another hazard under these conditions. 
[531] This frames limestone formation, which can happen quickly under ideal conditions. The "Elanthian Gems" documentation establishes there is a lot of alabaster in southwestern Elanith, and that there was a huge amount of alabaster in Rhoska-Tor, which is made from sulfurous volcanic geothermal water and limestone (though possibly as an evaporite), assuming it is gypsum alabaster (while calcite alabaster is made from stalagmitic limestone, but harder and less of a match for the "Elanthian Gems" description). Though this alabaster has been almost all turned into despanal by sorcerous energies. We are using a model where the limestone plateau is closer to the ocean, and badlands are further inland. The huge amounts of shale of the Southron Wastes could then come from long-run drainage of the Rhoska-Tor badlands. This rapid accumulation of marine skeletal matter is also partly meant to help motivate why later historians believe the Ur-Daemon drained the mana "bound around all life." There's a lot of skeletal matter in the Southron Wastes room painting, but that's probably more about the absence of water in the environment.
[532] This explains the extensive underground caverns. The black blobs previously mentioned and the lava could have pseudokarsts in the igneous rock as well. That would be further west in the badlands region, closer to the Southron Wastes region visited from the Wavedancer.
[533] This is meant to explain why it looks like a valley in the "History of the Sylvan Elves" document but plains in "History of Elanthia". Strictly speaking, "plains" and "valley" are not a contradiction as the plain can be enclosed on two sides and be a valley, but here we are describing something like a "rift valley" with (limestone) plains toward the east and then badlands of unconsolidated sediment (with sandstone) further west, and with the climate of Rhoska-Tor this would need to be a dry valley with underground drainage in the karst system of a limestone plateau. This would probably be volcanic tuff (e.g. the Easter island heads) and tuffaceous / basaltic sandstone from hydromagmatic explosions, which would help explain Rhoska-Tor being described as "blackened." This would be consistent with deposition distribution patterns of sandstone and limestone that would come from rising water levels from the east. (The part of the Southron Wastes southwest of Rhoska-Tor was painted for Wavedancer, and has a lot of limestone and sandstone in parts. But the Southron Wastes has whole mountain formations of shale, as well as "ashen barrens". That is potentially consistent with our description of Rhoska-Tor geology, assuming the water from Rhoska-Tor had slow / stagnant drainage into the west. There is a constraint of "Gods of Elanthia" and "History of Elanthia" both implying a battle turned it into a lifeless waste, and "History of Elanthia" has petrified trees there with preserved carvings from that time period.) Though this is secondary and we are emphasizing sulfuric acid cavern formation from geothermal conditions, partly to explain the alabaster (gypsum) presence, and the Patriarchal palace from "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" is marble which is metamorphic limestone. This is saying "reminiscent of a valley" mainly to emphasize the artificial and tectonic ways it came to exist, as an embellished premise of this document, and to keep the Tor concept as hilly badlands rather than a single confined valley. In fact, "History of the Sylvan Elves" also describes the area as hilly, so we need a hill concept: " As the demons flew on across the hills, incinerating stands of trees as well as animals and fleeing horses, Oriahn could do naught but witness his men scream and die." The description of the trees and wildlife perhaps needs to be treated as a Sylvan history cultural distortion.

There are untold horrors in the darkest depths of Rhoska-Tor.[534] The Dhe'nar and Faendryl sheltered in the upper limestone caverns.[535] Though the region is unstable, sometimes suffering cavern collapses from earthquakes.[536] Further below ground are unknown ruins and dangerous races.[537] The violence to the flows of essence in this region have caused rifting in the veil, forming often unstable or temporary gateways to other worlds.[538] There are wasteland demons, such as the ebon-swirled primal, which are now all but indigenous to this world because of these hellgates.[539]

[534] This is made up as a potentiality hook. It would be a waste to not have the deep underground be this way. But it is not totally made up, because there are at least some unfamiliar monsters, generalizing off the loresong of Diamond-edged slender eahnor longsword etched along the blade with ancient Faendryl runes from Hunt for History.
[535] It is an embellishment to imply that there's a lot more further down, possibly areas sealed off by cave-ins. The premise of deeper caverns and those being worse was framed to some extent by "History of Elanthia".
[536] This was the premise of the Maelshyve archaeological dig event that happened in game, where there was also mana storming that happened. These cave-ins have to be infrequent for the Maelshyve caverns to make sense in the first place. The quaking does not have to be tectonic, necessarily, it could be instabilities from the rapid way we have the geology of the area forming. There could very plausibly be sinkhole hazards in Rhoska-Tor as well.
[537] This is partly made up. But reasonable and likely what should exist. Especially with this document's premise that the Faendryl pushed pre-existing forces in the area below ground with the expansion of Faendryl control of the land. The existence of unfamiliar underground monsters below Rhoska-Tor fought by the Faendryl is already canon in the Hunt for History loresong for the item Diamond-edged slender eahnor longsword etched along the blade with ancient Faendryl runes.
[538] There was mana storming during the Maelshyve archaeological dig event, and rifts can form naturally from this kind of phenomenon. There was an underground rift like this in the Southron Wastes room painting during the Wavedancer event. (That is not meant to imply that particular rift was one of these "hellgates", and might even only have been originally intended as a poetic description of a wall fissure. However, it very strongly resembles the messaging that was later used for the ebon-swirled primal eyeballs, which spontaneously arrive in the Southron Wastes through crimson rips in reality with bursts of heat.)
[539] It is an embellishment to imply this is a routine phenomenon in the region. But it is canon from the Eyes of the Dawn storyline that the ebon-swirled primal demons reside natively in the Southron Wastes. While also existing in other valences. The term "hellgates" is made up, but fitting for the concept. This is also providing a hook for Marlu in "Gods of Elanthia" possibly drawing power by loosening "the portals" between dimensions, which implies there must be portals to demonic realms sitting around somewhere that can be loosened. These could be under Lornon, for example, but it would make sense for them to be in the "old places of the Ur-Daemon" as well.


[Dark Cavern, Nexus]
Pale walls of curved sandstone surround you, their surfaces runny with frozen rivulets of stone resembling dried wax.  Clusters of pale, white stalactites huddle on the ceiling, each of them bathed in the fiery light rippling forth from a scarlet-laced russet rip in space.  Waves of essence buffet the area every so often, gusting with the roaring heat of the desert.  You also see a number of glowing white stone orbs scattered throughout the area.

Primal Demon Eyeball Rifts:

A ripple of heated air begins to waver in midair, emitting waves of heat throughout the area.  Soon, a jagged crimson line begins to form in the center of the disturbance, extending both vertically and horizontally, the line begins to rip a tear in reality.  Within moments, an ichor-soaked floating primal eyeball emerges from the newly formed opening and when it is clear, the tear shuts rapidly behind it.

There are many demented edifices and terrifying monuments in Rhoska-Tor, owing to its long history of dark theocracies and cults.[540] There are dangerous traps that are long since forgotten, intentional snares for collecting sacrifices, or even for feeding monstrosities that were at one time worshipped.[541] The landscape is as exotic as it is filled with deadly mysteries.[542]

[540] This would follow reasonably if the premise was allowed for this to be the region where the bad stuff was concentrated all the way back to the Age of Darkness, and for being one of old places of the Ur-Daemon. The climate is presumed to be relatively good at preserving things long-term. Strictly speaking this is an embellishment, but Varevice is logged as having intended eldritch ruins in the region, when she was building New Ta'Faendryl (never released.) Mhorigan had previously stated that much of (New) Ta'Faendryl was intended to be an underground city, which would help fix the underground period's definition problem.
[541] This is made up. But concrete actually used examples of "snares" are given in Volume 3, and this would be an obvious place to have some.
[542] This is a guiding hook. Because Rhoska-Tor is very thinly defined in existing documentation. It should not be just another desert, there should be something very obviously "wrong" with it just by looking at it. Like the land itself is tortured and unnatural.

Prolonged exposure to Rhoska-Tor, especially close proximity to the Tor themselves, induces transformations in the living.[543] Giantmen famously went mad with bloodlust when in the vicinity of Maelshyve, and those who survived their madness became more magically adept, founding the Grot'Karesh Hammer Clan.[544] Gnomes become feral and were banned by Patriarchal decree.[545] Humans will be corrupted by the darkness, like the parasitic Collectors, or the Disciples of the Shadows.[546] Most infamously, Elves are subject to "the scorch," becoming Dark Elves.[547] Their features become sharper, their bodies physically weaker, with greater capacities for magic.[548] Their ears and tongues change, producing sounds outside the ordinary range, acquiring an inborn language.[549] The "voice of Rhoska-Tor" is a mode of signaling where meaning is constructed directly from intonations, through layers of overlapping sounds involving no shared vocabulary of words.[550] In spite of the term "scorch," it was only the Faendryl who dwelled especially close to the ruins of Maelshyve whose skin was darkened, while others had become quite pale or other complexions.[551]

[543] This is trying to generalize and expand the corrupting influences beyond Maelshyve or even the Battle of Maelshyve, so that the whole region has a lot of bad juju, and some of these spots are that much hotter with badness. The Southron Wastes in general could have a lot of bad juju, but this is trying to be careful to limit the scope to talking about this one area of the southern wastelands, so as to not exhaust the whole thing in a single sweeping definition. Overall these places are better treated with slices of insight like the Wizardwaste in order to not hollow out their menace.
[544] This is from the "Giantkin History" documentation.
[545] The second part of this is canon from the Gnome history document, though the reason for it is not given, and it is not entirely clear if they are totally banned from the city or only banned from residence. The first part is playing off the feral gnome sickness in the gnome history, and this premise was used for a Dark Elven horror story from Xorus. The general idea would be gnomes getting too close to those underground ruins of Maelshyve and getting twisted by the dark magical forces. (This is similar in premise to the bloody halfling cannibals from the halfling settlement near the Hinterwilds.) But the Faendryl also would not want them snooping around, with all the control they do on the spread of sorcerous knowledge.
[546] The Collectors are from the Felstorm storyline approaching River's Rest in 5112. The Disciples of the Shadows have their corruption defined in "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire", and other shadows corrupted NPCs have been encountered, such as Therendil (nominally Marluvian) having tentacles from his head and Quinshon having shadow tentacles for a mouth.
[547] This is a term some players used over 20 years ago, referring to how some Dark Elves had acquired darker skin complexion near Maelshyve.
[548] This is foundational from "History of Elanthia" and was also in "History of the Faendryl", and similar changes happened to the Dhe'nar earlier.
[549] The "Dark Elven languages" document describes why there is a universal Dark Elven language.
[550] This embellishment is reconciling the "Dark Elven languages" document with statements during an OOC meeting by GM Khshathra, the Dark Elf guru around 2012, trying to treat Dark Elven as a mode of signaling or communication rather than language itself. (i.e. Dark Elven mode of communicating in the Common language and non-Dark Elves not being able to catch all of it). That seemed inadequate and not entirely consistent with the "Dark Elven languages" document, so this premise reconciles both notions and explains its universality and why it cannot be understood by other races and why it does not depend on shared vocabulary and why it has no etymology in common with other languages. Elsewhere in this document refers to "orthographic conventions" of Dark Elven, because there would not be a single version of writing for the language at all times among all fractious and dispersed groups.
[551] It was already established in "History of Elanthia" that only the ones closest to the ruins of Maelshyve had skin darkening, and the Dark Elven skin color range mechanically goes all the way to pale. So this is doubling down on the term "Dark Elves" not really, for the most part, referring to skin color. But still having complexion altering effects.

The causes of these effects are impossible to isolate because of the profound abnormality of Rhoska-Tor.[552] Blame is widely attributed to the many unusual mana focii,[553] the dark magic of Despana or the undead,[554] the corruption of the demons summoned by the Faendryl,[555] sorcerous backlashes and explosions,[556] the implosion and unhealed tear in reality at Maelshyve,[557] mana storms,[558] the unholy power of the Ur-Daemon,[559] the valencial tears and instability deep underground,[560] and any number of factors. These are all valid, as they are all present. But the scorch is ancient and vastly pre-dates the Undead War.[561]

[552] This is trying to reconcile the many disparate explanations that have been given for the magical effects in the region (e.g. the changes on Dark Elves) across scattered documents. The only solution is to include all of them simultaneously, but point out which ones pre-date Despana.
[553] This one was in "History of Elanthia" and the Dark Elf page on the Play.net website, which omits that it was those closest to the Maelshyve ruins that had the skin darkening while the other changes were more widespread. But that also cannot be about Maelshyve itself, due to the Dhe'nar, but rather whatever it was Maelshyve was built on top. It is not obvious from "History of Elanthia" that it was mana foci that did the skin alteration, which in turn isn't something that happens to ordinary Elven wizards spending all their time in workshops on nodes, but this document embellishes and explains it in terms of dark essences corrupting the earthnodes.
[554] There is some of this in "Elanthian Gems", such as the despanal lore, and possibly the "Giantkin History".
[555] This was in "History of the Faendryl"
[556] This is in the magically altered insects document, "Insects Changed by the Magical Landscape of Elanthia"
[557] This is in "History of the Faendryl" and the premise reinforced in "The Theory of Governance and Social Order".
[558] Not in documentation. But this was framed as a phenomenon in the area in the Maelshyve archaeology dig event.
[559] This was in "History of the Dhe'nar" and arguably in the "Giantkin History".
[560] This premise is mostly in this document, but for the reasons motivating them.
[561] This is necessary because the Dhe'nar are canonized and vastly pre-date the Undead War.

The Dhe'nar suffer from infertility issues because of it, requiring a great deal of planning by their Temple caste for breeding.[562] There have been cases of powerful, very old Dark Elves, who must feed on magical energies.[563] Not unlike the Collectors.[564] Alabaster from the sulfur-laden limestone of Rhoska-Tor has been almost all transformed by sorcerous energies into despanal.[565] There is an unusually high amount of cursed metals, or those associated with the sorcerous elements, especially urglaes which is found in the ancient lava flows.[566] Deep mines in Rhoska-Tor will sometimes unearth prehistorical artifacts, and mining is very dangerous for multiple reasons.[567] In the present day the Agrestis often relies on hired Palestra as security for miners.[568] There are specialists in sensing and avoiding interplanar instabilities in these excavations, while others who live more dangerously use those same "dowsing" methods to seek out troubles.[569]

[562] This was the premise in the player-created Dhe'nar lore, but may not be explicitly present yet in canon documentation. In the canon documentation it is masked in a propaganda sort of way by racial purity rhetoric.
[563] This comes from the player-created Dhe'nar lore, but magical energy eating is a canon concept in various contexts. Such as the Ithzir and the Ur-Daemon. One of the canon lizards from down there in "Creatures of Eh'lah and Sharath", the sha'rom lizard, absorbs magic energy similar to the myklian in the Broken Land. Volume 2 gets into this concept.
[564] The Collectors are a storyline group who try to escape mortality by feeding off the magical power of relics / artifacts.
[565] This is from the "Elanthian Gems" document and the geochemical nature of alabaster.
[566] This is extrapolating off the ora mine and urglaes deposits and so forth in the materials and gems documentation.
[567] This embellishment is leveraging off the prior hellgates concept, and the geological instability of the badlands. The prehistorical artifacts part is a potentiality hook. It is partly inspired by the veil iron obelisk thought to be an Ur-Daemon artifact that was in the Wehnimer's Landing museum and now present in the Stormbrow Gallery, which I've been told at one point (circa 2000ish) allowed familiars to pass from the Landing to Teras and/or allowed access to the Teras thought net from the Landing. Though I do not know for certain that is true. But that obelisk was "recovered from the ora mines in Rhoska-Tor."
[568] This is an embellishment leveraging off "The Theory of Governance and Social Order", where the Palestra are used throughout the Pentact branches.
[569] This is a made up premise, but straight forward from the previous premise of mining under these conditions. Similar mining hazard concept was used in the Shadow Valley story, the "Tale of Silver Valley".

III.B Despana

No one knows who or what Despana was.[570] There are as many tavern tales for her origins as there are for the disappearance of Princess Chesylcha.[571] There are cultists who hold she was a demonic demi-goddess, having first called herself Maelshyve, and arrived in this world through the instabilities in the veil below Rhoska-Tor.[572] Others imagine her as having been a human liberator from Elven oppression, achieving some form of undeath. There are works of art where she is imagined as bathing in blood or feeding on it, such as sculptures depicting her as a human woman with fangs, while the Arch-Lich Dharthiir poses as her lover.[573] Her contemporaries believed she was from the jungles beyond the Southron Wastes.[574] There was a known elemental cataclysm there 25,000 years ago, with a rain of fire from the skies turning the forest to ash.[575]

[570] This is quoting "History of Elanthia", the foundational information for Despana.
[571] This is riffing off "History of Elanthia" saying of Chesylcha: "There are as many stories about her death as there are storytellers." The word "disappearance" is used instead of "death" because she is only presumed dead in "Timeline of Elanthian History". This is reinforced in the Maeli Gerydd museum piece having Maeli Gerydd (in the wedding party) going missing, and the forehead gem loresong has the gems of Chesylcha's handmaids ending up in the ocean. There is also inconsistency between documents on what actually happened to Chesylcha. In "History of the Faendryl" Chesylcha's throat is slit, while in "History of Elanthia" it says "Whether it was a Nalfein or Human assassin, or whether she simply fell ill, none are certain." Whereas the Faendryl history states: "but the Faendryl never had a doubt as to what happened. The evening of her death, Chesylcha's three sisters all fell to their knees, screaming in pain and holding their heads. When they were again sensible, each reported seeing the same thing: an assassin of House Nalfein, there by grace of a secret alliance between the Nalfein and the Ashrim, slitting their sibling's throat." This inconsistency would not make sense if there was a body that could be examined.
[572] This is what Maelshyve is in DragonRealms, she comes back to Elanthia having been banished. This line is letting the deranged demon worshippers be onto something. The consistency hook on Maelshyve and DragonRealms is another motivator for there being either permanent or temporary "hellgates" under the wastes from rifting / instabilities, so that theory of Despana's origins has some sense of how she got here in the first place, since this document is also committing to the severe impracticality of demons and other extraplanars being able to get into our plane without the way opened on this side for them.
[573] This is based on the museum artwork that was in Wehnimer's Landing, now in Stormbrow Gallery.
[574] This is quoting "History of Elanthia".
[575] This is from "History of the Dhe'nar".

More incredulous scholars dismiss this explanation of the Great Fire and say it was only an eruption.[576] They argue Sharath was founded next to an explosive volcano, noting the high prevalence of obsidian. Others counter this by asserting the mountains in the Southron Wastes are highly unstable, and seem to be unnatural geological upheavals of shale and limestone from the Ur-Daemon War.[577] They doubt the mountain even existed before the Great Fire. The earliest recorded rumors of Despana began in -19,864 shortly after this disaster.[578]

[576] It is represented as a volcanic eruption in "The Settlement of Eh'lah". In "History of the Dhe'nar" it makes it sound like the mountain was not even there prior to the cataclysm. This line is reflecting that tension. The counter-arguments to this might include the fact that the nearby Southron Wastes is full of clearly geologically recent mountains of shale rock that is constantly rumbling and unstable with landslides. Which is potentially consistent with the Ur-Daemon sundered / tortured earth in "Origins of Tonis", and there could be unnatural sudden mountain formation for some deep underground reason. Precedents such as Melgorehn's Reach establish the within-setting plausibility of an artificial or rapidly formed mountain.
[577.1] Extrapolating off "Obsidian Council" as the name of the new governing body after that cataclysm in "History of the Dhe'nar". There was also volcanic glass on the white beaches next to the jungles beyond the Southron Wastes during the Wavedancer event.
[577.2] This is directly based on the room painting and environmental hazard mechanics of the Southron Wastes, and the "History of the Dhe'nar" wording implying the great mountain did not exist until after the cataclysm.
[578] This is cross-referencing the approximate timing in "History of the Dhe'nar" with the exact date used for Despana in "Timeline of Elanthian History". This line is not meant to be implying the disaster was also in the year -19,864. Only that on Elven time scales these were not far off from each other, and giving a little bit of motivation for "History of Elanthia" saying her contemporaries believed she was from the jungles down there.

It was said that Despana was searching the old places of the Ur-Daemon for forbidden knowledge and dangerous relics.[579] It is for this reason that she established her base of power in the haunted lands of Rhoska-Tor.[580] In this respect she was part of an established tradition, which had been contained by the Elven Empire for thousands of years.[581] While there were always threats from the black arts of the wastelands, they were never mortal threats to civilization.[582] Despana herself was not regarded as a great threat from the very long precedent of her inaction.[583]

[579] This is quoting "History of Elanthia" and following the implication of "her quest succeeded when she found the Book of Tormtor" in what is now called Rhoska-Tor. In that time period it would have been considered the nearest part of the Southron Wastes to the Elven Empire. It might even be that Maelshyve was built in that spot looking forward to that reason.
[580] "History of Elanthia" establishes that Maelshyve was a keep built in Rhoska-Tor. This sentence refers to it as "haunted lands" due to this document's arguments about how undead should naturally be present there because of taint / corruption.
[581] This is the embellishment introduced for this region by this document.
[582] This is limiting the scale and scope of the practical threat in the Second Age from this region.
[583] This is explicitly recognizing the very long delay between her construction of Maelshyve and the Undead War, in "Timeline of Elanthian History", while "History of Elanthia" had said those undead constructed Maelshyve and that "their numbers grew rapidly."

The construction of Maelshyve Keep was finished in -18,756, which was over three thousand years before the Undead War.[584] It was founded on an ancient mound of the Old Ones known as the Torm Tor.[585] It was rumored Despana had acquired a powerful book on undeath, thus named the Book of Tormtor, that was said to have been written in the language of the Ur-Daemon.[586] There is a great deal of ambiguity in what this actually means. In some interpretations it is taken entirely literally.[587] Others interpret it to mean Despana acquired knowledge of the dead language of the Ur-Daemon through esoteric methods, and thereby knowledge of dark magic more immediately through mental contact.[588] Whether through ruins or some lingering presence below the wastes.[589]

[584] These are the dates from "Timeline of Elanthian History".
[585] This is totally made up. The premise was framed earlier in this document that Tor refers to the geological feature. Rhoska-Tor is a name that was coined later, per the wording of "History of Elanthia", so the "tor" could have come from Book of Tormtor (where Tormtor is a Drow easter egg from Dungeons & Dragons.) But since we are using "Tor" in the sense of Glastonbury Tor, this line is going the opposite way with it. The supposed "Book of Tormtor" is being called that because Maelshyve is built at the Torm Tor, where the implication here is that there is some "Torm" Ur-Daemon. Perhaps the in-world setting etymology root of the word "torment." Calling this a mound is partly motivated by banshee mythology and partly by keeps being built on mounds.
[586] As previously mentioned in these footnotes, the Dark Elven language could not have been called "the voice of Rhoska-Tor" in the Second Age, because "History of Elanthia" implies the placename "Rhoska-Tor" was invented later. And there's some reason to argue that Dark Elves should not have been considered a racial concept in the Second Age, since the Faendryl were not called Dark Elves until after the Ashrim War. So the premise is that contemporaries are using this wording to refer to the tongue of the demon worshippers posited to be in that region.
[587] It does not actually make literal sense for there to be a book written in the language of the Ur-Daemon and that mortals with no knowledge of that language would be able to read it. There is the "comprehend languages" kind of magic, of course, but that is Mentalism and Elanith does not have Mentalism magic in that time period. It would have to be more esoteric.
[588] This is a Lovecraftian notion of somehow learning extinct languages across time or mental contact with dead/sleeping daemons.
[589] One way would be essentially a kind of Ur-Daemon artifact after all, whereas the other could be one of the Ur-Daemon (or some other malign entity) itself.

Then if the book existed, it was from Despana herself writing it.[590] Still others believe she found her way into the ghostly library of Fash'lo'nae, or that the Book of Tormtor was left behind by the Dhe'nar warlocks 20,000 years earlier.[591] It was a relatively common interpretation to believe that this was actually written in an orthographic convention of the Dark Elven language.[592] While the Dhe'nar were not the only Dark Elves to have come into being in the southern wastelands, these points along with the prophecy of Noi'sho'rah would lead to them being blamed.[593]

[590] This would make a sensible path for an actual book existing while retaining the truth of that Ur-Daemon link.
[591] These are from "History of Fash'lo'nae" and "History of the Dhe'nar" respectively. Along with "History of Elanthia", all three of these documents have Illistim NPC scholars listed on the top, so taking that with "History of Elanthia" saying none can now know what its contents were, the only conclusion available is that scholars do not actually know what the Book of Tormtor was in reality. It's more of a mythical thing for explaining or rationalizing Despana. This document actually creates an avenue for the Book of Tormtor not needing to have existed for Despana to have done what she did.
[592] This is explicitly talking about the alternative possible meaning for language of the Daemons. With the stipulation that in that time period Dark Elves probably were not thought of as a race in the way they are now. This also opens the possibility that the written form of Dark Elven is some dominant convention in the region that comes from the Despana period.
[593] The rumor of her being from those southern jungles, the notion of the Book of Tormtor possibly being left behind by the ancient Dhe'nar, the prophecy of Noi'sho'rah (perhaps mangled by contemporary knowledge of Despana), and maybe whatever undefined involvement of the Dhe'nar in Despana's agenda. The Dhe'nar might also be perversely leaning into the theory that Despana was Dhe'nar themselves. The point of this is to provide a hook for why Dhe'nar become called "Dark Elves" as a whole lineage when it took Ashrim genocide for the Faendryl to get labeled "Dark Elves" and that term should really originally have been about cultural condemnation. This is a subtlety. But it's a mistake to just naively take the Dark Elf racial mechanic that simply and literally, when the lore behind the term gives it a political motivation and meaning. But Dark Elves as a whole are not an ethnicity, with radically divergent cultures, and at best are a shared language group.

There is no sorting this out. The Book of Tormtor was presumed to have been destroyed in the implosion of Maelshyve Keep.[594] However, it has sometimes been claimed to be held by others, most recently by Shar. Her general Nyvelise was responsible for spreading a commonly used spell of animating the dead in the year 5105.[595] There have been countless fake Books of Tormtor over the millennia, ranging from student hoaxes to elaborate forgeries, such as the kind found in the black market of fraudulent holy relics.[596] What is important are the innovations in undeath that were accomplished by Despana, whatever the sources were she built upon. While the undead were nothing new to the world, they had never been wielded as vast armies by necromancers.[597] Widespread undeath had only been encountered when dealing with extraplanar horrors such as the Vishmiir.[598]

[594] This is going off "History of Elanthia" saying the book was lost in the events that followed.
[595] This is from the Animate Dead (730) release events. Shar had previously been searching for the Book of Tormtor in the late 90s.
[596] This is an embellishment. But there is no way this would not be true.
[597] This is the perspective and framing being built by this document.
[598.1] The Vishmiir had fought with the Elven Empire according to "History of Fash'lo'nae", and the Vishmiir make hordes of undead minions. (This document references the Vishmiir several times just because there are so few ancient things like this that are already defined.) This is just generally acknowledging that these extraplanar threats we deal with typically come with undead hordes, so even if it happened less often in the Second Age, larger scale undead incidents would happen with extraplanar horrors / demons. This document is just leaning on the Vishmiir in particular because there is explicit lore and loresong implying how ancient they are in their relationship to Elanthia. The embellishment that no vast armies by necromancers had been done before was mentioned previously in this document, but that does not necessarily have to be true. It's just helping distinguish Despana while having necromancy of undead be a known thing for thousands of years prior. Despana might be taken as having innovated rotting corpse kinds of undead, especially communicable diseased undead.
[598.2] The Faendryl method of countering her strategy also helps explain an apparent absence (or at least lack of effectiveness) of future imitators of Despana. Whatever of these that have happened since then were presumably put down within the region by the Faendryl, along with the Grot'karesh and Dhe'nar and so forth. There seems to be nothing established about clashes with the Horned Cabal, for example, within the subcontinent region prior to Grandmaster Fineval and invading the Turamzzyrians.

Despana was a master artificer of urglaes, harnessing its powers as the metal of elemental darkness.[599] With her creation of powerful lieutenants, along with terrible artifacts for projecting her control, she was able to make a hierarchy of command over hordes of lesser undead.[600] The vast bulk of her horde were mindless rotting corpses that would instinctively obey or follow more powerful forces of darkness than themselves.[601] Ghouls would obey ghoul masters, skeletons would obey skeletal lords, and so on, which would in turn obey greater undead such as liches.[602]

[599] This is from the urglaes lore. It is reviving the Rolemaster lore for the metal, though that was still roughly preserved in the urglaes lore. The term "elemental darkness" is a convention used in this document, being shorthand for "the sorcerous element of darkness." This is elaborated in Volume 2.
[600] This premise was framed earlier in the document. There is some existing framing for necromancers in Elanthia needing to leverage off artifacts or minions to control large scales of undead. Some of this is relatively implicit (e.g. the Horned Cabal's dependence on the Sphere of Sorrow for wielding large hordes; the Tablet of Death, etc.), but it was also explicit in the Fallen from Faith storyline in Plat. This is setting up a vulnerability in her horde methodology that makes the Faendryl summoning demons a silver bullet for stopping her.
[601] This is reviving the Rolemaster bestiary lore for these kinds of undead. It was true of skeletons, zombies, and ghouls.
[602] This was explicitly true in the Rolemaster bestiaries, which was the creature lore at the time "History of Elanthia" was being written in late 1995.

Other kinds of undead such as the cursed fey spirits of those lands, most infamously the banshees, were most likely conjured and compelled with great concentrations of power using urglaes artifacts.[603] Those of the living who died in those lands might be possessed by spirits, or become trapped into undeath by burial in the tainted corruption of the wasteland.[604] Methods were made so that the fallen on battlefields would rise together in mass.[605] Most importantly of all, Despana was a plaguelord, fashioning cursed diseases.[606] Warriors would find themselves afflicted with rotting wounds that would not heal, or the soldiers in infirmaries would transform into zombies from their injuries.[607] These were as the transformation curses of witchcraft, except resulting in the undead.[608] Ghouls would make more of themselves by clawing with their nails.[609] Others were infected through contact with fluids, or through bites, or even through pestilent vapors.[610]

[603] This document is preferring to treat the Rhoska-Tor banshees as corrupted nature spirits (fey) from the taint of the Ur-Daemon, so that Despana is really conjuring / summoning them, rather than the kinds of banshees that come from cursed sorceresses. Being categorically different from the rotting corpse undead, this is giving her a different control method. In DragonRealms the banesidhes are black-hearted fey as well, and GemStone has had bainsidhe invasion creatures in the past (e.g. Castle Anwyn).
[604] Possession of corpses by spirits is a concept in "Life and Being in the Sea of Fire", and this notion of burial in tainted lands is a trope that is also present. The Grot'karesh incidentally keep their dead in crypts.
[605] This was described in the "The Battle of ShadowGuard, A soldier's journal (An eyewitness account)".
[606] The most clear and explicit example of this is the Red Rot.
[607] This is represented in the "Giantkin History", and the latter part especially is explicitly described in the "Battle of ShadowGuard" soldier's journal document, which also has the festering wounds.
[608] This is an embellishment but the framework of this document giving historical continuity between these traditions.
[609] This is the original ghoul lore from Rolemaster. By 1995 the disease curse from ghoul nails was known as Ghoul Rot.
[610] The fluids and bites are generic. The pestilent vapors (like the Living Dead movies) raising undead is something Raznel was actually doing in the Witchful Thinking storyline, but for the notion of infecting, the Red Rot was treated as airborne when it resurfaced in 5103 (though it was not represented as turning Dwarves into undead.)

It was for this reason that Despana and her horde, which came to be called "the Undead," had not been taken seriously by the Elven Empire.[611] The rulers of the Houses were aware Dharthiir, the Arch-Lich who was her chief minion, had begun recruiting the barbaric races in the mountains and outlands in -15,497.[612] This was about three hundred years before the siege of ShadowGuard.[613] In those years there were relatively minor clashes with her allied forces, including by the Sylvankind, which then lent precedence to the belief that it was just another police action.[614] There was nothing unfamiliar to the Vaalor in cutting down orcs, or slaying rogue dark mages raising mischief out of the southern wastes.[615] There was much reason to underestimate the weak undead.[616]

[611] This sentence may sound like a non-sequitur coming off that paragraph, but the point is that the real threat of her horde was from these not obvious directions, which was not understood until later. This line is pointedly interpreting "the Undead" from "History of Elanthia" as a proper noun for referencing Despana's horde specifically and not the undead in general.
[612] This is from "Timeline of Elanthian History". The "History of the Sylvan Elves" document had the Undead War going back into the -15,400s and that needs to be handwaved as lower scale skirmishes. It implies the Battle of ShadowGuard happened in the -15,400s but all the other documents with dates disagree. It should be reinterpreted as having Sylvan scouts coming across Dharthiir allied mountain forces, but not coming out to the other Elves until a much later date when ShadowGuard happens
[613] We are using the other documents having ShadowGuard and Maelshyve destruction not that far separated. But we're not going to use -15,186 because it doesn't give space for "years" or war or the Battle of Harradahn. So this document says ShadowGuard was really in -15,196 and just commonly gets misdated as -15,186 (maybe because of legibility of the digit in whatever record in the Chronicles, calendar system discrepancies, and maybe a headache of unreliable documents in the period with politically motivated revisionism.)
[614] This is a mild retcon for reconciling "History of the Sylvan Elves" with the other Undead War period history documents with dates. It is also giving some sense to Rhak Toram speaking of "the orc wars" as something more distinct than normal dwarf-orc clashing. What we are doing is having the Sylvan scouts coming across Dharthiir forces back into the -15,400s, but then they noticed what we're calling "the Surge" around the time ShadowGuard gets taken out (and what's happening to the crops in the provinces and so forth), and only then do they come out and help the Faendryl fight the Undead.
[615] This is an embellishment. But with the premise of the nature of the southern wastelands in the Second Age, this is a sensible thing the Vaalor would have done.
[616] GemStone has done some serious level creep since "History of Elanthia" was written. But the general idea leaned into with this document is that the weak undead can be controlled in greater numbers, and having big numbers becomes the central threat, particularly when these undead can inflict unhealing festering wounds or turn the wounded into more undead. They do not need to defeat the opponent in single combat. They only need to make contact or get too close, then those wounded or dead get made part of the Undead hordes. So Dharthiir goes for the heavy infantry House first.

Chronology of the Undead War is muddy and sometimes contradictory.[617] Library Aies was badly damaged in the siege of Ta'Illistim by orcish hordes out of the mountains at the height of the war, followed by many years of disarray in terms of the preservation of written records.[618] There was also a surplus of self-aggrandizing accounts by various elven families, which have about the same credibility as the memoirs of criminals.[619] The war is characterized as having lasted a few hundred years, or as little as one year, depending on how the details are emphasized.[620]

[617] This is explicitly framing the fact that the official documentation has a bunch of contradictory dates and time ranges for the Undead War. The grounding for the premise is that you have a surplus of dubiously reliable personal memoirs, and a long period of time of shoddy document preservation and replication. So even though the documents that exist would be using Elven calendar dates, it is unclear how trustworthy the dates are in a surviving copy. Similarly, if the provenance of the document is unclear and the numbers have to be interpreted, the Houses use calendars with similar but different origin years based on their House founding dates. The "Ilynov Journal" accounting of ShadowGuard (converted out of Vaalorian calendar dates) ranges from April -15,187 through November -15,186, with ShadowGuard besieged as early as January -15,186, while the Battle of ShadowGuard document spans only one month, July into the beginning of August -15,186. We also do not know what kind of calendar drift (e.g. Julian vs. Gregorian calendars would be a whole year off on Elven civilization time scales) happened over thousands of years and the corrections that were or were not applied (and how many times between copies) to the dates.
[618] The first part of this is an extrapolation from details in the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document. The second part is from the Half-Elven history document.
[619.1] This is meant to give some wiggle room on the absolute authority and implications of the Battle of ShadowGuard journal and the Ilynov Journal documents, and to give some motivation for why chronology of that time period would be difficult for much later historians. The analogy with criminal memoirs is that onced freed from the liabilities, criminals will admit to things they did not do for posterity, and misrepresent things to make themselves sound bigger and more significant. The "criminals" dig is also partly coming from the IC author being Faendryl.
[619.2] This is also throwing some salt into the ShadowGuard journal's final entry as fantastic, of the Vaalorian undead soldiers somehow breaking free and turning on Dharthiir (after standing around idly allowing Dharthiir and Taki to duel), allowing Taki to strike at the lich. But this undead turning on Despana's own forces phenomenon, whatever the cause of it, helps support the hierarchical control disruption premise used in this document.
[619.3] This is also throwing shade on Ilynov Journal. It has Taki Rassien gathering the Sabrar with Despana threatening "even the mighty Vaalor" in April -15,187 , and then Taki "prepares for a battle at ShadowGuard" in January -15,186 (the forces described as already besieging ShadowGuard at this time with "a surprise attack on the forces besieging ShadowGuard"), then news of Taki's defeat in the city in November -15,186 (which Battle of ShadowGuard journal document has happening in early August.) This makes the month vs. one day tension even worse, so as noted in other footnotes here, it can be reconciled by having Dharthiir not seriously trying to take ShadowGuard at first but instead bottling up the pass around the mountains.
[620.1] This notion of emphasis-on-what-counts is the way to reconcile these contradictory documents. The "History of the Faendryl" can be using "Undead War" to refer to the entire 5,000 year period Despana was known to exist by the Elven Empire. The "History of the Sylvan Elves" is using a few hundred year date range, reinterpreted here to refer to comparatively low level pre-"Surge" skirmishes with Dharthiir and his allied forces (though this requires bending its timing, which has them only starting to deal with it after ShadowGuard falling.) The relatively short war with a stalled battlelines/front is treating the Battle of ShadowGuard as the start of the Undead War and not that long period Dharthiir was up to hijinx leading up to it. Which incidentally gives everyone a few centuries to know who and what Dharthiir was prior to ShadowGuard (which is still haunted with undead in the present day, having been turned into a haunted place with corruption and so forth.) 
[620.2] There might also be some relatively static presence of Undead forces at ShadowGuard for a longer period of time, then a lightning fast surge through the western provinces, with Dharthiir showing up at ShadowGuard (with a sudden increase in hazards / ability) to then lead an eastern offensive toward Ta'Vaalor after catching the Vaalor legions off guard. This would give some flex time for other Houses not cooperating, the year prior time span in the "Ilynov Journal" document, and some sense to "History of Elanthia" saying " At last, the Faendryl were able to unify the command of all the Elven armies and mount an organized defense", when a one month time window would seem too short / recent for that wording. But this point is trying to reconcile the "Ilynov Journal" and "The Battle of ShadowGuard, A soldier's journal (An eyewitness account)" document extended time spans for ShadowGuard with the time spans in "History of Elanthia", which instead made it sound like an advancement into Elven territory toward Ta'Vaalor and then Taki and the Sabrar going to a fortress in the invasion path to "make a stand", and then immediately getting steamrolled, while there is no geographical reason the Undead horde should have waited around ShadowGuard that long if it's as far inland and wide open as shown on the current Elanith map.

The Battle of ShadowGuard is sometimes given as the summer of -15,186, with the destruction of Maelshyve in the late autumn -15,185.[621] Others place the Battle of Maelshyve at -15,188 and then ShadowGuard in some earlier year.[622] It is generally accepted that the war lasted for years.[623] There are even some races who conflate the Undead War with the whole Age of Chaos.[624] There are warped Faendryl pseudo-histories making it sound as if the war lasted for thousands of years.[625] The most consistent chronology is arguably the Battle of ShadowGuard at -15,196 and followed by the Battle of Harradahn in -15,195, where Despana's horde was routed, and a stalemate was reached under Faendryl leadership that held for roughly a decade.[626] What matters is that the Elven Empire did not understand the severity of the threat until the defeat of the elite Vaalorian legions at ShadowGuard.[627] Despana's capacity for rapid escalation was contrary to her own precedent.[628] The Elves were shocked to discover that the Undead, what had been a mere nuisance to be vanquished for vain glory, had within a single day become a mortal danger to civilization itself.[629]

[621] "Timeline of Elanthian History" and the Vaalor journal documents use these dates, though the Vaalor ones are converted into the Vaalor calendar equivalent. The Ta'Illistim Monarchs document also uses -15,185 for the end of Lanenreat's reign (using Illistim dates), having been (de facto) deposed during the Undead War. It actually treats Laibanniel in -15,185 as overseeing the "initial defense of Ta'Illistim", which means implicitly it's using the -15,186 date for ShadowGuard, and Lanenreat had resigned for failing to contain Despana and her hordes. This implies something happened to Ta'Illistim after ShadowGuard. The Lanenreat section saying "hordes" and Laibanniel section saying "undead hordes" is a seed for a coming paragraph to say it was Dharthiir's orc/troll/etc. allies in the mountains that hit Ta'Illistim at first. Which geographically makes sense.
[622] "History of the Sylvan Elves" and "Elanthian Gems" in the jet section, which uses the sylvan dates, have -15,188 for the Battle of Maelshyve, which by definition has to happen later than the Battle of ShadowGuard.
[623] "History of Elanthia" had said it lasted for years: "The Undead advance slowed, then stopped. A stalemate was reached, with neither side able to push the other back. Daily charges across the lines of battle brought heavy casualties, but little progress. This state of affairs lasted for years."
[624] The Giantkin history could be read this way. But "History of the Faendryl" makes it sound that way very directly.
[625] This could be just very loosely referring to the whole period Despana was known about. But "History of the Faendryl" only gives a couple of Patriarchs for the entire 15,000 year period between the Undead War and the Ashrim War. It was pretty clearly written to imply the Undead War was very long and the underground period up to the Ashrim War was relatively short. These Patriarch numbers need to be retconned in some way, such as state sanctioned history redacting the Patriarchs in the underground period, or re-numbering the earlier Patriarchs.
[626] Doing it this way just means a digit error is being done, where instances of -15,186 should be saying -15,196. Or the equivalent in the other calendar systems. Then there's a reasonable length total war phase and the Battle of Harradahn fits.
[627] This was framed in "History of Elanthia"
[628] This is extrapolation from the time gap in "Timeline of Elanthian History"
[629] This is going off the timing in "History of Elanthia". The Battle of ShadowGuard journal twists it somewhat, having a month long siege of the same place (or closer to a year long siege in Ilynov Journal and over a year of threatening Vaalor), and then Taki Rassien showing up (after over half a year in Ilynov Journal but only a one month reinforcement call delay in ShadowGuard journal) and that part being the 1 day event. Whereas "History of Elanthia" words it as a month long advance, "cut[ting] a swathe" into Elven territory, up to the point it was threatening Ta'Vaalor itself. (ShadowGuard is also represented as significantly north of Ta'Nalfein on the Elanith map, about the distance from Tamzyrr to Brisker's Cove, with no apparent reason why Dharthiir should not just ignore it and go around it.) A static siege at one location is nominally inconsistent with "progress was lightning fast, easily destroying what little resistance they met in the outlying provinces" and "the battle of ShadowGuard lasted less than one day." The prior dig on war memoirs is taking some of the edge off this point. The premise that this "shocked [the other houses] into cooperating" originates in "History of Elanthia", where "at last, the Faendryl were able to unify the command of all the Elven armies and mount an organized defense." This document also presses into the point of the Elven empire's "outlying provinces" away from the East as having been hit especially very badly, which has never really been elaborated.

III.C The Faendryl Exile [630]

What the Elves had failed to understand was that Despana had united the malign factions of the southern wastelands, and over those many long years there was a merger of the traditions of the black arts.[631] There was a leap in the arts of necromancy because it was felt as an abrupt revelation.[632] The fall of the outlying provinces in the West was lightning fast, while the southern horn of the DragonSpine was clogged with hordes. In the first month of the invasion into the core of Elven territory, what might be called the Surge, the Undead were regarded as a conventional but mindless force.[633] It was pressing its way through the southeastern outlands, and the Houses wished to single handedly defeat Dharthiir.[634] They would not consent to lend their forces to the glory of another House, nor would they allow the legions of other Houses to cross their borders.[635] House Vaalor was, bizarrely, the path of the invasion.[636] With the benefit of hindsight, it is now believed Dharthiir intended to make his forces be surrounded as a tumor in the very center of the Empire, which at the time was regarded as illogical and suicidal.[637]

[630] This is setting the fusion of black arts traditions on the one hand, and then the conditions for those spilling over into Faendryl sorcery, and vice versa, to help explain the later widespread use of the dark sorcery paradigm.
[631] This is an embellishment. Since we have heterogeneous smaller scale factions existing in that region, and Despana having come to dominate that region, and Dharthiir having made allies of various races against the Elves, it is a sensible consequence of this that these stipulated "black arts" traditions would be merging in Despana's long dormancy period in "Timeline of Elanthian History". Then from the point of view of the Elven Empire, there would have been a sudden burst in unfamiliar necromancy. 
[632] More subtly, this document is creating an internal logic for the Book of Tormtor possibly being more myth than fact, because it would have been tempting to erroneously assume some ancient dark magic was discovered and rapidly acquired by way of an artifact. It could instead be that a lot of merging and innovation was done to large scale and only revealed all at once.
[633.1] The lines distinguishing the outlying province invasion from the core Elven territory invasion is meant to reconcile the timing discrepancy between "History of Elanthia" and the Vaalor journal documents concerning ShadowGuard and the months long lead-up to it. This wording is meant to imply the undead were blocking in the pass around the DragonSpine while they wreaked havoc in the West. Then there's a mass of undead there in the southeast to make sense of the Vaalor journal references, and then there is a "surge" toward ShadowGuard so that there is sense in that being a sudden event that only lasts one day on the one hand and on the other hand describing the month long duration as advancing in the direction toward Ta'Vaalor when the Vaalor journals have a month(s) scale battle at ShadowGuard. This wording added to version 1.0.1 is meant to make both accounts of the Battle of ShadowGuard and its duration consistent with each other. (Other footnotes below address this point from before this new wording was added.)
[633.2] The phrase "the Surge" is totally made up. "The Undead" is being used as a proper noun for Despana's horde. This is following off the Undead War section of "History of Elanthia", and to some extent the early parts of the Battle of ShadowGuard journal document. "the Surge" is creating a distinct phase of the Undead War that allows some flex on the timing. There can be some earlier stuff happening, but then a sudden escalation with ShadowGuard getting overrun as they shifted gears and began pushing northeast into the core Elven Empire. "the southeastern outlands" is talking about pressing into and building up toward ShadowGuard.
[634] This is cross-referencing "History of Elanthia" wording with the Elanith continent map, which wasn't really defined yet when "History of Elanthia" was written. This approach is really "the heart of the Elven empire", so "the outlying provinces" should refer instead more to the western territories, where there would be weaker concentration of forces. And the framing we have given of sovereign land claims being in the way of each other and not allowing military border crossings.
[635.1] The borders line is a slight embellishment from "History of Elanthia" saying "no house would commit troops to defend the territories of another." It would not be possible for some of these land locked Houses to get their troops anywhere without going through the main lands of another House, so what we're doing here is interpreting this line as meaning something more to the effect of "defend the [outlying province claims] of [other Houses]." This is trying to make sense of the line "Each house wished the glory of vanquishing the Undead for themselves", because in terms of the continent map, only Houses Vaalor and Nalfein were geographically positioned to be fighting the invasion. So we have to assume this involving those western provinces which are ill-defined.
[635.2] We are also tacitly committing to a model of forces moving north into the West (in terms of outlying provinces) because Despana's progress being lightning fast, and within a month threatening the heart of the Elven Empire, because in terms of the actual continent map there is not much distance between Maelshyve and core Elven or even Vaalorian territory. And if the only thing that's happening is the thrust toward House Vaalor, the stuff about the other Houses wanting the glory for themselves becomes incoherent. It makes more sense for that to be talking about defending their Western provinces.
[636] This is referring to "History of Elanthia" saying: "Within a month, the Undead had cut a swathe to the heart of the Elven empire, threatening Ta'Vaalor itself." This has to be interpreted delicately to reconcile it with the Battle of ShadowGuard journal document and ShadowGuard's position relative to the Sylvans in "History of the Sylvan Elves". Some of the pressure can be taken off by instead reading it as the horde kept moving onward toward Ta'Vaalor after ShadowGuard. The notion here is Dharthiir directly going after Vaalorian fortifications (e.g. ShadowGuard) and moving in an arc toward Ta'Vaalor while skirting the territory of House Nalfein. And then House Nalfein is not defending Vaalor fortifications, the whole not defending each other's stuff situation. Second Age borders are not defined. But it would be plausible that House Vaalor had its own land access around the southern DragonSpine for moving its legions.
[637] This is an embellishment. The strategy is based on extrapolating from the threads in the lore that indicate the use of disease magic and the wounded living turning into undead. It changes the logic of what makes sense for deploying armies. Dharthiir is getting into a close up melee fight with the infantry forces House and doing that damage up front before the longer-run fight with the more magic oriented houses. This logic is also motivating the orcish raids on House Illistim at almost the same time postulated later in this document. Also because of Lanenreat lore and the distance from the Undead. However, this wording is partly leaning on the position of ShadowGuard on the current Elanith map, which is probably much too far north given its implied latitude in the Sylvan documentation. If ShadowGuard were instead placed near the pass leading around the DragonSpine Mountains, on the edge of core Elven territory, the Surge would be mostly heading north into the Western provinces and then the first month in "History of Elanthia" is referring instead to some increased build-up in the direction of ShadowGuard, which is the invasion shifting to instead become northeast focused and starts steam rolling toward Ta'Vaalor when ShadowGuard falls. (e.g. Dharthiir swells his Undead army by incorporating people in the west who had not voluntarily joined him before turning northeast on the Elves directly.) This line is also about reconciling why this is largely bypassing House Nalfein, which for a living military would make supply lines vulnerable to being cut off and then surrounded, and has Dharthiir (who doesn't take to the field until two weeks into it in the soldier journal document) not immediately trying to take ShadowGuard but instead having a temporary false stalemate while the Western provinces fall.

The Vaalor soon discovered the Undead were organized under more intelligent leaders, were able to act strategically, and that their own wounded or dead were rapidly being incorporated into the enemy forces.[638] This alarming situation led the Sabrar to make a suicidal strike into the heart of the invasion, with Taki Rassien and Dharthiir said to have vanished from this reality in the clash of their powerful blades.[639] This temporarily disrupted the hierarchy of the Undead.[640] There were then berserker invasions of orcs and trolls out of the DragonSpine Mountains.[641]

[638] This line is inspired from the "Battle of ShadowGuard" journal document.
[639] This was framed in "History of Elanthia", but the specific detail of Taki and Dharthiir vanishing in a sword clash comes from the "Battle of ShadowGuard" journal. The "Ilynov Journal" document suggests the details of this were still not known a century later, and this journal is retrieved back in 2014. It is implicitly a sorcerous backlash from the clash of the incompatible essences in the swords, similar in principle to when the Griffin Sword shattered in the duel between Morvule and Ulstram, and this sorcerous backlash must have thrust them out of this reality.
[640] This is an embellishment. It is reasonable to think this temporarily disrupted things with the Undead, giving breathing space for the Faendryl to take unified command of the situation. Dharthiir probably wasn't the only lich, though, so the emphasis here is on temporary. This line does two things. It gives a hook for the Faendryl to recognize the hierarchical dependency of Despana's undead army. And it tacitly acknowledges ShadowGuard is still overrun with Undead in the present day. ShadowGuard has been visited in this way during storyline events. So this document treats it as a place that became haunted.
[641] The document is being non-commital on whether this was pre-planned, or Despana shifted gears temporarily when Dharthiir went missing. This line is meant to explain the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document having Lanenreat resign, when the Undead should not have been near House Illistim, and her successor doing the initial defense against the *undead* hordes. It geographically makes sense that Despana's orc/troll and maybe minotaur allies in the mountains would hit House Illistim first in an eastern campaign. The Mirror Valastiel's personal diaries were also stored in Library Aies, "but were lost during the Undead War with Despana." This creates a strong implication that Library Aies was damaged during a siege or sacking event, while the Undead front lines should not have been anywhere near Ta'Illistim. 

With the severe blows to Houses Vaalor and Illistim, and House Nalfein in immediate peril, House Faendryl was able to unify the Elves under their own command.[642] They were able to establish a stalemate the following year at the Battle of Harradahn, having been forced to call for aid from all the peoples who had not been recruited for Despana.[643] However, in what was a supreme irony and reversal of the natural order, time was working against the Elves.[644] The undead had no need for rest, or supply lines, or the ordinary constraints of war. They lacked any instinct of self preservation, confounding the logic of military tactics.[645] Where there were battle lines held in the southeast, there was widespread chaos and death in the West.[646] Plagues were spreading that had been made through dark sorcery.[647] Blights were killing the fields and wildlife.[648] The living were in very serious danger of widespread famine and mass starvation.[649] It was understood by those in charge of the war, which is to say the Faendryl rulers, that the war was almost lost as civilization was unavoidably on the brink of collapse. This was not obvious to the other Houses. To those fighting on the lines, there was only stalemate, and those in the cities were far from the fields. The war planners hid the desolation of the West to prevent demoralization.[650]

[642.1] Houses Vaalor and Nalfein would have taken the brunt of the Undead invasion for geographical reasons. This line is adding in House Illistim getting hit out of the mountains as an extrapolation from the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document. That House Faendryl was able to unify command under these conditions is given in "History of Elanthia". They grouped forces to the west of ShadowGuard in "History of the Sylvan Elves", which does not make much sense unless ShadowGuard is significantly further south than the current Elanith map depicts and House Nalfein further east is getting hit by Despana's forces out of ShadowGuard.
[642.2] The most current map of Elanith places ShadowGuard much too far inland (and would be a more reasonable location for Harradahn), about as far north as Brisker's Cove while Maelshyve is roughly as far south as Idolone. This is awkward because it means this Undead horde under Dharthiir is passing right through core Nalfein territory, ignoring House Nalfein and apparently not being fought by the Nalfein. This is awkward enough that the map should probably be retconned, and arguably is not consistent with other documentation. "ShadowGuard" in the Second Age would more sensibly have been between the Sylvan settlement of Nevishrim and Ta'Nalfein or what is now Feywrot Mire, which makes much more sense for Sylvan scout and army grouping positioning relative to ShadowGuard in "History of the Sylvan Elves": "The elves, shocked by the loss of ShadowGuard, a site less than 100 miles to the east, welcomed the sylvans and fervently sought their allegiance against the forces of Despana." ShadowGuard would then be sensibly named with the specific Second Age purpose of guarding against bad stuff coming out of those southern wastelands, and effectively analogous to Minas Morgul which was the forward most fortress guarding against Mordor and is now haunted with undead. Then the fortress would be a kind of choke point that Dharthiir can't just go around, and makes this House Nalfein issue not a problem. The horde can keep heading toward Ta'Vaalor after ShadowGuard at this position and the original wording still makes sense.
[642.3] Following off note 642.2, with the lightning fast progress happening in the West, the Battle of ShadowGuard journal depicting a month long (or longer in "Ilynov Journal") siege can be reconciled with "History of Elanthia". Dharthiir would be bottling up Elven land forces at a choke point while hordes wreaked havoc in the Western provinces, and only then committing to a "Surge" northeast. But this would require changing the Elanith map to put ShadowGuard farther south as the border of the core Elven Empire. The wording in this document about focusing on House Vaalor as the invasion path in contrast is allowing House Nalfein to be temporarily bypassed. Since Dharthiir gets taken out at ShadowGuard, we would read it as his strategy being continued, cutting the swathe toward Ta'Vaalor.
[643.1] The Battle of Harradahn is mentioned in "History of the Sylvan Elves", dating it as the following year is the chronology convention explicitly chosen earlier in this document. The stalemate was established in "History of Elanthia": "The Undead advance slowed, then stopped. A stalemate was reached, with neither side able to push the other back. Daily charges across the lines of battle brought heavy casualties, but little progress. This state of affairs lasted for years." This incidentally contradicts the 1 year timing in "Timeline of Elanthian History", but the daily heavy casualties does not allow a very long period of war on this scale. That's why this document uses approximately 10 years. The Undead advance after ShadowGuard into Vaalorian territory can be fast (after initial disruption with Dharthiir gone), then slower, then stalemate after Harradahn. Also, with the existence of these front lines and a lightning strike being done on Maelshyve, this document supposes a bunch of Despana's forces were not actually at Maelshyve. This bolsters the vulnerable-hierarchy strategy argument for a decapitation attempt and why her forces apparently fell apart fast with Maelshyve. 
[643.2] "History of Elanthia" does not say who among the Elves made alliances with the non-elven races. Ta'Illistim Monarchs has Laibanniel "formed the first official alliances with non-elves", but this may only be talking about House Illistim. With the way it is framed in this document, it would make sense for this to have been the Dwarven overking of Kalaza, due to the orcs and trolls. That would plug into what Rhak Toram meant about how they were veterans of the "orc wars." Though "History of Dwarves" says there was sadness after the Battle of ShadowGuard, and does not specify the details of the "Elven request for help." "History of the Sylvan Elves" has sylvans contacting the elves first, after the Battle of ShadowGuard, though the chronology of this is suspect. It uses a date range of -15,400 to -15,180. It does have the Eranishal legions with "a top-notch army of Faendryl elves" in -15,195 at the Battle of Harradahn. In "History of the Truefolk" it is Faendryl emissaries that go to talk to the halflings. It isn't defined in "Giantkin History".
[644] Elves having the advantages of being very long lived and able to outlast things and wait things out. But also being slow-breeding.
[645] This is a logical consequence of having an undead army, and the trope is seen in other settings, such as the White Walkers of "Game of Thrones" (though they move forward very very slowly, not needing to be in any kind of rush.) The one complication in this is that Despana's hordes included the living, which do have such constraints, and there were a lot of these at the routing at the Battle of Harradahn which was later than the Battle of ShadowGuard.
[646] This is cross-referencing the stalemate of front lines in "History of Elanthia", while also more explicitly including the detail of the very rapid conquest that had been done in the "outlying provinces" of the Elven Empire, and details such as "History of the Sylvan Elves" talking about the crops rotting in the fields. Part of the logic here is that if the elves are holding a front line against the heart of their empire, they're not logistically in a position to do much to protect outlying provinces in the west.
[647] This is generalizing from the Red Rot and the festering wound kind of stuff in "Giantkin History" and the "Battle of ShadowGuard" journal. The Red Rot itself is particular to the Dwarves going up against undead in Maelshyve, but it does not need to be the only disease curse.
[648] There is some indication of this in "History of the Sylvan Elves" and it is a sensible thing a necromancer enemy would have done. It is partly inspired by Raznel's blight around Darkstone Bay. Volume 2 talks about desecration witchcraft, and earlier in this document talked about warding charms to protect crops from witchcraft. "Blight" generally refers to plant disease, but I'm having wildlife in turn getting sick from it, much as with Raznel's blight.
[649] This logically follows from the premises, combined with the high mobilization levels, and the population disruptions in general. (e.g. humans leaving to join Despana)
[650] These several lines are inspired by Germany in World War I. The Kaiser himself did not know Germany was on the brink of having to surrender, because his generals hid the direness of their logistic situation under the British naval embargo and so forth. There was just stalemate fighting on the front in France, so to people in Germany, there was no reason to perceive themselves as losing the war. This information asymmetry is setting up some premise for why the other Elven Houses regarded what the Faendryl did at Maelshyve as unjustified and why the Faendryl rulers said there was no other way. The previously framed notion of a long build up of black arts traditions merging is also World War I inspired, based on the long delay since the Franco-Prussian War having masked how much more destructive war technology had become, with the analogy being between the attitudes at the start of World War I and the Elven Houses glibly viewing defeating the Undead for their own glory, followed by war trauma from getting mugged by reality. This is setting up the trauma responses and resentments for the post-war period. The nationalist withdrawing and implicit autarky is reminiscent of post-WW1, but the decolonization is more like post-WW2.

The military strategists of the Faendryl came to the decision that the only way to survive the war was to execute a lightning strike on Maelshyve.[651] By decapitating the hierarchy of the Undead, whatever remained would be far more easily destroyed.[652] The fundamental problem was that these greater undead, such as the liches, were very difficult to keep dead.[653] What needed to be done was to banish them from this reality entirely, so that it would be impractical or impossible for them to make it back to this world.[654] The other problem was actually reaching them.[655]

[651] So these resources and logistical conditions and so forth, a direness situation only fully understood by the centralized war planners, compel a need for a lightning strike. Which is informed by the Undead hierarchy/leverage conditions.
[652] This is rooted in the earlier premise of large numbers of weak undead, which are comparatively easy / safe to kill when dispersed in small numbers, and the otherwise natural fractiousness of the allies in Despana's coalition.
[653] This is a reasonable surmise with Dharthiir being an Arch-Lich, and it should follow that there would be lesser liches. Difficulty keeping permanently dead is foundational to the lich archetype, so there's some notion here of phylacteries in Maelshyve or whatever.
[654] This is giving a very specific role to the use of the veil tearing version of Implosion in destroying Maelshyve, and making consistency with "Maelshyve" in DragonRealms having been an extraplanar exile returning to Elanthia, and possibly even tying into how there are liches (who carry their own phylacteries) in the Scatter. The Rift would then be a hook for the threat of Undead War figures returning eventually, though the Rift itself is effectively a prison. Since this document has Vvrael cultists in the southern wastes, it might be this is how at least some of them ended up in the Rift in the first place. This would also help explain the Vvrael quest premise of Daephron Illian studying ancient Vvrael related texts during the early exile in Rhoska-Tor.
[655] There were front lines between the Elven Houses and Maelshyve. But then there'd also be a mass of forces guarding Maelshyve Keep. So the issue becomes how do you get these lieutenants all concentrated in close quarters to banish them from this reality all at once in an implosion. If you just implode Maelshyve at the outset, you have Undead leaders not inside the fortress for it, and you still have a problem. (Though the ones bound to phylacteries in Maelshyve get destroyed even if they are somewhere else, leaving fragmented or leaderless undead hierarchy in other places; and if there were phylacteries hidden elsewhere or being carried by the liches, the liches themselves are banished off world.) There's some awkwardness in the basic story premises from "History of Elanthia" --- how do you go from stalemate frontlines to Despana's armies "said to have been utterly destroyed" from a lightning strike on Maelshyve (i.e. why would they all be there), and why not implode Maelshyve at the very beginning. ("History of the Minotaurs" is an existing canon example of survivors of Despana's forces.) So this document is going with the Faendryl trying to delay/avoid doing it, until the situation showed it was necessary, for the political cover of how they know everyone is going to react to it. Along with a strategy of making sure her liches are all taken out with her, especially with the uncertainty on whether phylacteries or where they were all located. There might be some more premise to be had of the horde pulling back and concentrating in a mass at Maelshyve since the allied forces were doing a lightning strike toward it, and then it's a matter of using the demons to get them to all go inside the fortress. But generally a lightning strike in a static front line situation suggests the Elves were leaving their cities wide open to invasion to pull this decapitation attempt.

It was decided that the only choice was to summon a great number of powerful demons from the high ground.[656] These would swarm into the plains below toward Maelshyve, shocking and overwhelming the living forces.[657] These demons would be more powerful forces of darkness than the undead lieutenants that were controlling the bulk of her mindless hordes.[658] The rotting corpses would then be broken from their command hierarchy, following either the demons, or instinctively turning on the living warriors that were allied with Despana.[659] They would then retreat inside Maelshyve Keep, and the undead hordes would chase them into the fortress.[660] The Faendryl would then implode Maelshyve and banish all within it with a tremendous tear in the fabric of reality.[661] But the Faendryl ruling class was aware that the other Houses would never agree to these actions.[662] Nor would they even see it as necessary from not knowing the true direness of the situation.[663]

[656] The allied forces being higher up on slopes with Maelshyve in a "valley" below and the demons spreading through the valley is framed in "History of the Sylvan Elves". The high ground aspect is about relatively uncontrolled demons generally moving in the right direction.
[657] The Rhak Toram quote calls it "plains" around Maelshyve, though I think the general Rhoska-Tor region should have badlands geology, with tuffaceous sandstone in addition to limestone plateau for the plains, with igneous intrusions and outcroppings. Generally speaking, this reaction of the living to the demons is leveraging off the Breaking from the Third Elven War in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire", and the general notion of some demons having chaotic/evil auras analogous to undead sheer fear. "History of the Sylvan Elves" also talks about wildlife scattering and fleeing when the demons were summoned, but that version weirdly describes trees in the vicinity. But it also establishes that the area is hilly: " As the demons flew on across the hills, incinerating stands of trees as well as animals and fleeing horses, Oriahn could do naught but witness his men scream and die."
[658] This is a critical premise. The Cleric repel spell lists (at the time "History of Elanthia" was written) used to classify the level of undead relative to "the lesser demonic" and "the greater demonic." It isn't obvious in the Rolemaster bestiary context of 1995 that the undead would have any instinct to attack demons, and there's a strong argument that these mindless undead would instinctually obey dark demonic fiends. So these demons would rip away control from the undead lieutenants, much as combat demons can steal the minor demons that are summoned by Sorcerers in game mechanics. There is indication of control disruption and turning on the leaders in the Battle of ShadowGuard journal document, even if the way it is described sounds implausible (e.g. maybe the thaumaturges stumbled on something that worked as control interference at that moment, similar in  a way to the Order of Voln symbol of submission.)
[659] This makes the use of demons not about raw brute force, but because the special intrinsic nature of the demons and their relationship with the undead. So using a bunch of elementals, for example, would not work in this same way. The point is to drive everyone (especially the undead) into Maelshyve Keep for the implosion. So if the undead are instinctually turning on Despana's living forces, they are going to turn around and retreat into the fortress, since they are being flanked on all sides.
[660] This is the straight forward logic of what would happen if Despana and her lieutenants lost control of the bulk undead in this situation.
[661] This is a specific means to a specific end, but it causes permanent damage to the veil in an old place of the Ur-Daemon.
[662] This is set up from the prior framed anathema of the southern wastelands and demonic summoning and all that in this document, as well as the unknowable Ur-Daemon hazard that the Illistim mages talk about in "History of Elanthia".
[663.1] This embellishment is from the premises established in this document. This helps rationalize why the Faendryl waited for banshees to throw their own side into disarray and retreat before executing the strategy they had already planned. It's because they know the blowback that will happen from it. This is also about making it clear that their "new magic" was not actually new magic, it was forbidden and condemned magic that the others would not have agreed to using. 
[663.2] Any sort of premise of "well people did not know" in GemStone depends to a significant extent on tamping down on the scope of NPC magic such as portals and scrying methods. But what we're getting at here is more along the lines of logistical matters of quantity, which is more abstract and centralized control of information over a relatively short span of years. It could be known things are rough in the West (imagined as the Houses having some raw resource economic dependency on their outlying provinces), but at the same time not really known how material resources have been tapped out. That the state of total war would be imminently unsustainable, which is roughly the same thing as a not-obvious but impending sudden collapse.

And so it was that the Faendryl lied to their cousins, claiming to have discovered a new form of magic that would end the war.[664] The Faendryl had waited for conventional battle to fail, with the release of the banshees, hoping this would justify the necessity of what was widely condemned as forbidden black arts.[665] Most of the allied forces and other Houses were horrified to find themselves in league with demon summoners.[666] Many of the Faendryl had never cast such magic before, and some of the demons had broken loose, inflicting carnage on their allies.[667] But it was the demons themselves that were the greatest outrage.[668] Tearing the veil so violently in Rhoska-Tor, especially where Maelshyve was built, was regarded as unconscionably dangerous. For all anyone knew this could have caused the Ur-Daemon to return, or some other malevolent power that would be far beyond their ability to stop.[669] It was feared that the Arkati themselves would strike down on the Elves in retribution for this violation.[670] The rulers of House Faendryl tried to argue that there had been no other way, but were unable to convince the other Houses of it.[671]

[664] It does not make sense for it to actually be "new magic" for a lot of reasons, ranging from Marlu and Marlu worshippers to how far back in time Elizhabet Mahkra and the Enchiridion Valentia had to be, due to the timing framed in "History of the Faendryl". Some of the other allied races might have perceived it as new magic or taken its newness on face value.
[665] This is the premise set up by this document. It's the more consistent and better reading of existing documentation that talks about it as "new magic."
[666] This is represented in various history documents. It is stated explicitly in "History of the Truefolk" of the Paradis Halfling reaction, and "History of Elanthia" said: "All the Elven houses were appalled at the spells the Faendryl had unleashed. The summoning demons was thought to be a particularly heinous act." There is another thread, represented in "History of the Sylvan Elves", where upset comes from demons having gotten loose and attacked allied armies. But the foundational premise was being appalled at demonic summoning in itself. So this document uses that as the central complaint.
[667] This is from "History of the Sylvan Elves": " With so many of the sorcerors never having cast the spell before that day, and in such a vast context, it was inevitable that some would falter and lose concentration." It is also helping frame that demonic summoning was not actually common in House Faendryl in this time period, that "History of the Faendryl" is being misleading on that issue.
[668] This is referencing "History of Elanthia" saying "summoning demons was thought to be a particularly heinous act."
[669] These two lines are based on the Illistim mages complaint about the Ur-Daemon risk in "History of Elanthia", and the unhealing tear in the veil at Maelshyve that is mentioned in "History of the Faendryl" and "The Theory of Governance and Social Order". They might also have argued that throwing Despana and her high minions offworld in some unpredictable way leaves open the hazard of them returning later, where we cannot be certain they were actually destroyed.
[670] This is made up. It's partly playing off the "undemanding liege lord" characterization. It's plausible in light of the Ur-Daemon risk argument, and the "great chain of being" worldview framed by this document. This kind of thinking may have made more sense in the Second Age to the Elves. (e.g. the Leya legend is at least quasi-historical, with Kai coming down to watch Elven Empire tournaments and so forth). The Arkati may be more aloof these days. In the I.C.E. setting they would go through phases of being more and less in contact with the world. It also has concrete precedent in the game itself. Charl destroyed / flooded Solhaven in reaction to the elemental plane accident there while messing with plinite in 5109.
[671.1] This is the general premise in multiple documents. In "History of Elanthia" it is: "The Faendryl argued that it was necessary, that Despana would have won without these magics. The other houses did not agree. They expressed their outrage by expelling the Faendryl from the empire." Patriarch Unsenis was arguing it in "History of the Faendryl". But then he died and his successor Patriarch Cestimir lacked clout in the other courts. 
[671.2] There is no framing on what the imagined alternatives were, but the Illistim plausibly might have argued something like that with a high risk lightning strike being committed to, Despana's hierarchical control could have been magically interfered with in some more direct way (e.g. anti-magic), and elementals could have been used instead of demons for raw force, and then Maelshyve incinerated with a major flooding into the elemental planes (instead of the interplanar void with implosion.) The Faendryl would argue that is not as effective, not nearly as likely to work as a permanent solution due to the liches, not knowing for certain the phylacteries or analogous anchors are even in Maelshyve, etc. Ironically, this extreme elemental action should instead be used by the Faendryl at Ta'Ashrim, who were burnt up. (Lyredaen confirmed the word roots for Ashrim were ash + grim.) Consistent with the non-canon Sea Elf War ship journal, where it was incinerated. The forehead gems loresong also showed smoldering ruins of buildings, which implies heat was used. It would also make more sense for something other than implosion and demon summoning to have been used for destroying the whole of Ta'Ashrim all at once off a relatively small number of Faendryl spellcasters taking extreme methods into their own hands. (There is a mechanics implied limit to how close casters can make implosions to each other, and even what was done at Maelshyve was destroying one fortress building. They could conceivably have done widespread immolation, for example, along with big implosions to create scouring currents of flame throughout the city.)

There was a revolutionary furor in the Elven Empire in the years between the Battle of Maelshyve and the exile of House Faendryl in -15,180.[672] House Illistim had deposed their Argent Mirror, Lanenreat, following the sack of Ta'Illistim.[673] They ended the hereditary rule of the monarchy, shifting to much shorter reigns, and gave much more power to the Council of Thrones. The same trend would happen in the other Houses.[674] The Faendryl monarchy instead became more absolutist.[675] There are now fundamentally contradictory views of this period. Faendryl historians call it a time of fall and regress. Their cousins call it a time of advancement, and discarding outmoded cultural norms.[676] It is fashionable among Illistim scholars to blame the caprice and instability of hereditary rule for ancestral folly.[677] The Faendryl in turn regard this as totally backwards. Patriarchal succession is less incestuous and more meritocratic, they say, precisely due to its undiluted authority.[678] They argue their royal line was always the most stable after the founding era.[679] These cultural factions regard themselves as paragons of progress and enlightenment, and each other as regressions, blind to their own symptoms of decadence and decay.[680] The roots of this are the deep disagreements on whether the forbidden magic at Maelshyve was justified. Monarchs were the core of failure in one view, while it was sedition and chaos in the other.[681] The population was humiliated, enraged, and had a sense of betrayal or "back stabbing."[682]

[672] This is an embellishment extrapolating from Lanenreat resigning during the height of the Undead War in the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document, which was the councilors and people basically ending dynastic rule in House Illistim. It is giving some more political dimension to how the Faendryl exile happened by having some French Revolution vibes. It's also setting up divergent views, where the "Illistim Society" document talks of this as progress, while the Faendryl commit to their absolutist monarchy.
[673] This is an embellishment. Lanenreat resigned. But it is framed as her having lost faith and support of her councilors and people, so her abdication is apparently more of a "resign or we'll fire you" thing. This document interprets some tacit things in the player-accessible version of Ta'Illistim Monarchs as implying Ta'Illistim got sieged/sacked at some point during the Undead War.
[674] This is talked about in the "Illistim Society" document and illustrated in the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document. The extent to which child of monarch is favored to be made successor may vary by House, as King Eamon was the son of the previous Ardenai king (e.g. "Timeline of Elanthian History")
[675] This is a slight embellishment, with the Faendryl being an absolute monarchy in any case.
[676.1] The advancement premise with councils taking more power from monarchs is given in the "Illistim Society" document, which contrasts it with the bloody family politics of the Faendryl, which it says still does hereditary rule. "History of the Faendryl" says the Patriarchy is by blood. "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" vests all power in the Patriarch for designating successors, but also says the Patriarch "is raised and trained from birth in the mastership of governance and the duties that fall under its mantle." It says "patriarchal succession is not necessarily hereditary" and the Patriarch could "choose someone not of blood relation", but has that implication of tendency toward blood relation successors. If the "History of the Faendryl" document is to be believed, then cross-referencing it with Ta'Illistim Monarchs and "Timeline of Elanthian History", the Faendryl only had one coup incident in the Second Age and the Illistim had worse in the same time period. But "History of the Faendryl" probably has to be treated as whitewashing or omitting things. So these sentences are about reconciling this issue with having contrary views of what is backwards.
[676.2] The Faendryl counterpart view is already established to some extent in "The Theory of Governance and Social Order": "Never again will history speak of the elven empire, because when our house stood resolute in its defense, the lesser houses succumbed to the decay of their ideals and visions. They chose destruction, while we chose preservation. For that choice, they sundered what we had saved and betrayed ten thousand years of brotherhood."
[677] This is in "Illistim Society" document.
[678] It has undiluted authority of naming successors in "The Theory of Governance and Social Order". The way to reconcile these documents is for the Patriarch to often choose a blood relative, family politics stuff, but it does not automatically go the eldest child or first born son or whatever as it might in the Turamzzyrian Empire.
[679] This is the comparative on "History of the Faendryl" with Ta'Illistim Monarchs, which are the only defined Second Age monarch lists. It should probably be the case that "History of the Faendryl" is omitting stuff that weakens this argument. It also includes within it that there are occasional coups, even though this is the highest unthinkable crime.
[680] This is an embellishment. It's just giving two sides to something "Illistim Society" set up.
[681] This is pulling in the explicit premise of popular unrest given in this document, and giving some more motivation for the Faendryl arguments that the other monarchs were scapegoating them out of political opportunism.
[682] This is likewise inspired by Germany after World War 1, with the front line having been away from the population center, and then one day the leaders surrendered and the Kaiser abdicated. This is setting up wounded pride and jealousies in other Houses, and backstab myth stuff from ordinary population in House Faendryl who would not have known what their elites knew, feeling vilified for something they had nothing to do with. Elves were also getting huge doses of humility relying on the lesser races, and the Faendryl justification in this document's logic would have included resource arguments that would have involved economic dependence on labor from other resources and so forth, which would have been salt in the wound.

When the Patriarch Unsenis Ignaas Faendryl unexpectedly died, his replacement Cestimir Xisuthros Faendryl had little clout in the other courts, which were scapegoating House Faendryl partly to protect their own thrones.[683] The Faendryl more cynically believed it was an opportunistic power grab, especially by the more imperial Houses Vaalor and Nalfein.[684] The other monarchs ruled that the Faendryl had caused a massive unhealing tear in the veil at the ruins of Maelshyve, and that it was their responsibility to guard against whatever came or even returned from it.[685]

[683] The Patriarch switch and Cestimir lacking influence in the other courts is in "History of the Faendryl". The scapegoating partly to protect their own thrones is based on the embellishment made earlier in this document, about Lanenreat having to abdicate because of public backlash. This is a new variation on the Faendryl view that it was political opportunism.
[684] This is from "History of Elanthia". Houses Vaalor and Nalfein would have taken the most direct brunt of the Undead in terms of their lands, because of geography, and likely the greatest dose of forced humility being bailed out with "lesser races" allies, exacerbating the historical chaffing under Faendryl leadership.
[685.1] This is an embellishment. The premise of the unhealing tear is in "History of the Faendryl" and "The Theory of Governance and Social Order", and it is cross-referencing that with the Illistim mages complaint about the Ur-Daemon hazard in "History of Elanthia". There is also the Elven crests document where Cestimir has a quote about voluntarily cooperating with the exile: "Heraldric records of the era, however, list a quote from Cestimir Xisuthros Faendryl, Patriarch XXXV, as the disgraced Faendryl statement: "Respect our obedience and our power, if neither our leadership nor our intentions, and we will go in peace.""
[685.2] "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" document characterizes the Faendryl spin on cooperating with the exile this way: "It is only through madness that one can become an exile in their own lands. However, once confronted with the backs of our sisters and brothers, we deigned to depart from this place called home."
[685.3] So this premise is extrapolating off that point in 685.1 and reconciled with 685.2, with the other monarchs telling the Faendryl rulers "you broke it you bought it" about Maelshyve, saying it was the Faendryl responsibility to reside there to guard against the hazard they created. This provides a prideful / high road leadership kind of rationale for why the Faendryl rulers did not tell them to go to hell and try to do autarky until everyone chilled out and let it go. ("History of the Faendryl" characterized it as a flare up of taking control of the Elven Empire just long enough to pull off the exile, so the long-term commitment needs motivation: "The other Elven Houses used the Patriarch's death to take control of the Elven Empire for long enough to exile the Faendryl to Rhoska Tor.") Not 100% pure submission and surrender and humiliation and so forth, but a duty and rehabilitating penance, combined with internal popular unrest. 
[685.4] It also explains why the exile had to be to this exact place and nowhere else in spite of all practical hardships and probably lack of coercive enforcement by the other Elves on that. Though people may have cut loose and left for less hardship, and the Faendryl whitewash over there having been deserters. (Pun? Desert?) With perhaps special contempt for those who took up that "right of return" premise this document makes up. This also relates to how the Armata still guards against the tear at Maelshyve, but for the past few hundred years has let demons wander toward the Turamzzyrian Empire as punishment for the Third Elven War.
[685.5] This is obliquely referring to the return of the demon demi-goddess "Maelshyve" from the interplanar void in DragonRealms.

In this way House Faendryl was exiled to Rhoska-Tor under threat of civil war.[686] Much of the Faendryl population was upset as well, having felt betrayed by their own rulers.[687] It is important to remember Houses were not truly bloodlines, and most Elves were not related to their royals. Elves settle under the banner of ruling Houses, and marry into families of other Houses. It is only a nationalistic short-hand to identify the members of a Great House with its ruling family. These rulers in the present day are not in general the original royal lines.[688] It was decided that those who refused to renounce House Faendryl would be banished with their rulers to the wastelands.[689] Families both immediate and extended were torn apart.[690] Those who were involved in the two crimes against nature had no such leniency.[691] House Faendryl became disgraced, its crest and emblems no longer recognized.[692] The descendants of the exiled could only return by renouncing their heritage.[693] This right of return no longer exists. It was suspended as a result of the annihilation of the Ashrim Isle, and has not been in effect for the past five thousand years.[694]

[686] The "civil war" part is about the postulated popular unrest and resentment and anger, with the Faendryl rulers having prevented the Elves from winning legitimately, after having already relied on all those non-elves. The Elves would have regarded Despana's forces as racially inferior.
[687] This is an embellished premise, but we have generally treated these Houses as too monolithic. Joe six pack Faendryl would not have known anything about these demonic summoning plans, and suddenly is being treated like a Marluvian. This is inspired by the post-war reaction in Germany after World War I, the backstab myth that they were betrayed by their own rulers. There might even be some breakaway expatriates at this point for the opposite reason, being mad at the rulers for letting the other Houses exile them. The Faendryl exile is supposed to have torn families apart, and that should include within House Faendryl. They would just be loath to admit it now.
[688] These lines about the relationship of Elves to the House royalty is what is true in general. For example, "Illistim Society" talks about how they all ended up ditching pure dynastic rule, though they still have high noble families that the monarchs are going to come from through councils.
[689] This is 100% made up. It's a nuance being invented to break up Elven collective guilt ideology into something more reasonable, and to accommodate the internal disagreements that ought to have existed. This also acts as ideological sorting and self-selection bias, helping push House Faendryl into a contrary direction on various matters.
[690] Extended family tearing up was always intentional with the Faendryl exile, but this brings in some U.S. Civil War immediate family splitting over politics. Likewise, migrations and marriages between Houses would give a lot of webbing between Houses, and it makes it more politically tractable with the angry public situation if the angry public is not also angry about the involuntary banishment of their own family members. This is also meant to get at why House Faendryl was not in a position to refuse. If you use the historical rule of thumb about thirds --- a third of the population supports, a third opposed, a third is neutral and wants to be left alone --- the exile conditions make House Faendryl lose over half of its population to varying forms of dissent.
[691] This is like a war crimes kind of clause. The people actually involved in the war planning and doing the demon summoning or implosion (the two crimes) cannot "just following orders, my bad" out of it.
[692] This is from the Elven crests documentation. "Recognized" in this sense means international political recognition. It amounts to denying the sovereignty of House Faendryl over its ancestral lands and denies its political standing.
[693] This is another 100% made up premise for making the exile more nuanced and reasonable, and is partly meant to help de-racialize the Dark Elf concept. Descendants are not bound by sin to their ancestors for Maelshyve, but they do need to renounce House Faendryl and its actions to be allowed citizenship and all that in the Elven Nations. This is a deep ideological dispute and mandatory exile, not something individuals can freely wander back from on a whim without conceding anything.
[694] This explains why it has not been happening in game, and provides a lore hook for softening Dark Elven citizenship in the East, with the five thousand year mark coming up soon by Elven standards. This is framing how relations were worse after the Ashrim War than they were before it, where we have Ta'Illistim Monarchs framing Chesylcha and Caladsal regarding each other as royal cousins and other House members in Chesylcha's wedding party, which was thousands of people large in "History of Elanthia". So this ban on a right of return for renouncing is in effect for roughly several generations as punishment for recent-ish history.

It was in this period that the Dhe'nar were condemned as Dark Elves, as the Houses decided Despana could only have been Elven in descent.[695] The term "dark elves" comes from the archaic Elven word "Draekeche," which means "Darkness," but the word carries connotations of kinslaying.[696] This was the essence of Yshryth's speech.[697] It was deemed one of the great vices of the Drakes.[698] It was a term used for Elves of dark religions and black arts in the southern wastelands.[699] But it had never been used against a whole lineage.[700] Though "Dark Elves" are now thought of as a race in some sense, that is something that has only emerged in the past few thousand years. [701] The Faendryl were not declared to be "dark elves" until after the Ashrim War, while they had resided in Rhoska-Tor for the past 15,000 years, and had long since acquired what is now called the Dark Elven language.[702] The root of the term is in cultural condemnation rather than bloodlines.[703] The Faendryl have since openly embraced the dark arts, merging them with sorcery, and now "sorcery" is so committed to this paradigm that its foundations are necromancy and demonology.[704]

[695] This is an embellishment inspired by how Selantha Anodheles was rumored to have only been able to accomplish what she did through elven help. Second Age racial attitudes by the Elves should have them biased toward believing lesser races could not have done what Despana did, along with some wounded pride, especially having been bailed out by them as allies (and quite likely already indications of losing control of those outlying provinces.) So this plugs into the contemporary belief that Despana was from the jungles beyond the Southron Wastes, which is where the Dhe'nar reside. This premise is meant to define why Dhe'nar became known as Dark Elves, as something other than physically resembling Faendryl. Because the Faendryl were declared Dark Elves for political reasons 15,000 years after the exile, it was not a racial designator. It just became racialized.
[696] The word "Draekeche" and its meaning Darkness comes from the original Illistim House motto, its translation illustrated on the shimmering glaesine orb objects. The "kinslaying" is threading a few different factors. One is Drake stories of dragons fighting and killing each other, such as in "History of Luukos" and "Origins of Ronan and Sheru". One is the Faendryl annihilation of the Ashrim. One is the Dhe'nar Obsidian Council successions working through duels to the death, though this practice might not be canonized in documentation. And the implication here is the Dhe'nar being responsible for Despana would be kinslaying because of the Undead War. The premise that "dark elves" comes from this elven word for darkness is partly tautology, but it's an embellishment for recontextualizing the meaning of "dark elves" to emphasize it as a cultural condemnation signifier that was used to describe people like demon worshippers in the southern wastelands.
[697] This isn't the original intent of Yshryth's speech in an OOC sense, but the retconned context of it in "History of the Faendryl" is definitely meant as political rhetoric on things like betrayal and infighting and so forth. This just goes a step further in imputing the "Draekeche" connotations into the translated "darkness" in Yshryth's speech. This line is building in some historical irony, that Yshryth Faendryl was basically accusing seditionists and traitors of being dark elves. It could also add some context to House Nalfein and the other monarchs using that term post-Ashrim War.
[698] This is based on the Arkati origin legend stories that depict Drakes killing each other. A reasonable extrapolation into Elven attitudes, given the barbaric way Linsandrych describes dragons.
[699] This is an embellishment for establishing a Second Age usage in its etymology that fits the cultural condemnation usage later in the Ashrim War than its present treatment as a race category. Though there might be a racialized dimension to it, because those with ancestry in that region would have the visible effects of it. Even if they themselves are not part of whatever bad things hung out down there in their ancestral past.
[700] This is an embellishment meant to give precedent to it having an increasingly racialized use applied to a whole ethnicity or culture of people, and for explaining why Dhe'nar are considered "dark elves" by Elves who know what that phrase is supposed to mean.
[701.1] Even if this is a slight exaggeration, we need an explanation for why the term "Dark Elves" was used on the Faendryl only starting 5,000 years ago, when they had been in Rhoska-Tor for 15,000 years at that point. If the concept of Dark Elves referred to the physical effects of those southern wastelands and was an existing concept, there would have been no significance to the House Elves declaring the Faendryl to be Dark Elves. So then after that, with the Faendryl and Dhe'nar both "Dark Elves", you get it turning into more of a race concept centered on a shared unnatural language, which in previous millennia was associated with Daemons per our embellished history of language. Likewise, the Dhe'nar cultural behavior after the Great Fire is sufficiently barbaric to justify "dark elves" condemnation from House Elves.
[701.2] This general argument would also apply to the Sylvans. "sylvisterai" from "History of the Sylvan Elves" is a (lighter) cultural condemnation loosely having the figurative meaning of 'backwoods rube', and the Sylvan dialect is far enough removed to be considered its own language, so this lingual and political division of elves is quasi-racial. "Dark Elves" should usually reject that term as a political pejorative and refer to themselves as elves. One subtle quirk is that the Sylvans of Yuriqen are the main lineage, but strictly speaking, there are Wyrdeep elves who are not of that lineage who may plausibly be considered "sylvisterai" by imperial elves. The cultural condemnation of "dark elves" ought to apply to elves who are not mechanically Dark Elves as well, it might just be that its meaning has twisted to focus on the Rhoska-Tor ancestry ones.
[702] This is emphasizing that calling it "Dark Elven language" is relatively recent historically, and likewise "Rhoska-Tor" itself is a more modern term that was implied to have been used later than Despana by "History of Elanthia", so "voice of Rhoska-Tor" from the "Dark Elven languages" document is also a later description for that language.
[703] This is the actual usage of it in documentation, as opposed to game mechanics. But here we are explicitly stating it.
[704.1] This is a convergence of Faendryl behavior toward the things that the term "dark elves" is supposed to actually refer to rather than the racialized component of it. This line is partly based on the "Path to Palestra" fact that the Palestra academies were founded after the Ashrim War and implicitly ramped up the scale of demon summoning, and more were built under the current Patriarch to keep up with demand. The shift to a paradigm of necromancy and demonology, the great big bad evils from the Undead War period, but in the modern meaning of those words used in this document, is bringing ancient Faendryl sorcery up into the present day game mechanics form of necromancy and demonology lores as the defining paradigm.
[704.2] This is also tempering the "we haven't changed this is what we always were and did" rhetoric in "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" with something more historically nuanced. That document says of the Second Age: "It was an age that allowed for the unhindered pursuit of knowledge and the exploration of worlds within worlds. It was magnificent and worth preserving by any means, even ones the weak-willed found abhorrent and horrifying."" The phrase "worlds within worlds" in the cosmology model used in this necromancy document would refer to the "infernal realms", what could be called "pales" within this existence of more chaotic essences, as opposed to the outer valences. Which would have been more of an exile period thing with the dark essences of Rhoska-Tor and some merging with the black arts. This should generally reflect present day Faendryl over-stating the precedent of their present practices with what their ancestors did. This document is trying to show an evolution from comparatively innocuous practices to increasingly more rejected by others practices. So there needs to be an IC propaganda element when Faendryl NPC authors are talking about this stuff for everything to make sense.

IV. The Age of Chaos (-15,000 until Modern Era) [705]

"Another deserted village, much in the same state of decay. Any one of these could host the sum of all we have encountered. Skulls, ribs, and limbs litter the ground, discarded human vestiges grown over with weeds. There is no sign of violence, only sudden depopulation. The settlements are graveyards for the whole countryside. The few we have met are deeply pitted, scarred, blinded in one eye. They will not speak of what became of those blinded in both."

- Surveyor journal for northwestern Elanith [706] Library Aies, Circa -15,180

[705] Some of the history documents conflate, or at least include, the Undead War with the Age of Chaos. The convention we are using here is for the "Age of Chaos" to be the period of political collapse and disorder after the Undead War. However, it acknowledges that the "Modern" or "Fourth" age could reasonably be extended back as far as 10,000 years ago in at least some places, per "History of Elanthia" about it being ambiguous. But it uses the Modern Era calendar convention of the past 5,000 years.
[706] This is a totally made up quote. It is based in the premise established in this document that the crops in the fields were rotting, and so forth, with the outlying provinces of the Elven Empire having been largely wrecked by Despana's hordes. It is leaning into the blight and plague aspect of her methods. This quote is directly based on actual records from Vancouver's expedition into the American northwest in the late 1700s, repeatedly coming across native settlements that had been totally wiped out by smallpox. The description of the scars and blindness is also based on smallpox.

With the exile of House Faendryl to Rhoska-Tor, the other Great Houses fell into a struggle for power, seeking to assume leadership over the Empire to stabilize their own thrones.[707] This was futile and the Houses tended to withdraw from each other.[708] The Elven armies were mostly destroyed in the Undead War.[709] With the slow replenishing of the elven race, this power vacuum lasted for millennia.[710] It was no longer feasible for the Elves to exert control over the outlying provinces.[711] These declared themselves independent, or turned to outright rebellion.[712] The Houses all but ceded their claims to the lands of the West, which were now at the mercy of warlords and barbaric hordes, and there were many wars in these dark ages that are poorly recorded.[713]

[707] The "stabilize their own thrones" part is about the popular unrest premise in this document. The other parts refer to "History of Elanthia": "Without the Faendryl to lead, the Elven empire began to decay. The houses began an internal struggle for power, as each thought themselves the natural heir to the Faendryl's position."
[708] This is from "Timeline of Elanthian History": "The Empire begins to crumble, each house withdrawing and managing their own affairs. The Elven Houses are no longer an organized community."
[709] This is explicitly stated in "History of Elanthia": "The Elves had won the war, but at great cost. Much of their empire had been sacked by the Undead. Their armies were nearly destroyed."
[710] This time scaling leans on the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document. Segeir Illistim worked on rebuilding the Illistim military almost a thousand years after the Undead War, up to near -14,000 Modern Era. However, the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document apparently uses the wrong dates for the Kiramon War, being off by about 2,000 years. Kiramon War should start roughly -11,000 and end a little after -10,000. Per "Timeline of Elanthian History" (-9,800 end date) and an old statue in Ta'Illistim that is a memorial of Istmaeon Illistim, who presided over the end of it. And consistency with the "A Brief History of the Aelotoi" documentation timing of about 15,000 years ago.
[711] Based on "Timeline of Elanthian History": "Greater Elanith: Anarchy reigns, as the elves are no longer performing the role of protector to the lesser races. Little is known of this dark period."
[712] Per "History of Elanthia": "As they bickered, their empire slowly disappeared. The outlying territories declared themselves independent, or rebelled outright. To this day, the Elves have not resolved their internal politics." However, there is no definition for the structure of provincial governments, what it actually means for those territories to "declare themselves independent." These could conceivably be (largely) ruled by western Elves to start with, but then without eastern support these rump states end up crumbling relatively quickly, and some elves of the West in the present day may have ancestry in the West back to this period.
[713] Based on "Timeline of Elanthian History", and "History of Elanthia" saying: "Without the Elven armies to keep order, the land fell into anarchy. The next 20,000 years were known as the Age of Chaos. Orcs, trolls and worse raided at will. Travel to many areas was dangerous, if not impossible. Of the various wars, plagues and other disasters of the era, little is known. The fragments of song and story which survive tell of a very dark time, full of hunger, fear and little else." (Note: The wording in History of Elanthia inadvertently defined the Age of Chaos as reaching all the way up to the present day.)

The Elves suffered other setbacks in seeking to restore their power. When enough time had passed that they could once again field full armies, they were forced to fight the kiramon for a thousand years.[714] This precluded regaining lordship over the outlands.[715] In the end the Elves decided there was only one option, and with some irony, most of the kiramon were banished off this world.[716] Fifteen thousand years later, it was discovered beyond any plausible doubt this had doomed the Aelotoi to mutation and slavery, as that was when the kiramon arrived on Bre'Naere.[717]

[714] The Kiramon war would have started about 3,000 years after Segeir Illistim founding the Sapphire Guard and working to rebuild the Illistim military. Again, the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document dates for Istmaeon Illistim appear to be off by 2,000 years. That document has NPCs living several thousand years and even giving birth past age 3,000. Player character ages for elves are broken in general, the range for setting it used to go up to 3,000 and later the whole thing was cut in half. But there are still 3,000 year old player characters.
[715] In any case, the kiramon war sets them back again up through -9,800, and human fortresses start getting built in the west in -3,000. This document has framed that the Elven Empire only exerted limited direct control over the outlying provinces at its height (e.g. the Vaalor struggling with the Black Wolves in the northwest) so that helps with the impracticality of reasserting control in a war torn West with faster regenerating populations than the Elves. So you combine this with the divisions and isolationism/insularness of Elven politics after the Undead War, you get inability to regain control of the outlying provinces. It is super vague what this part of the continent was like in those time periods.
[716] This is in "Timeline of Elanthian History" and "A Brief History of the Aelotoi". The irony refers to the Faendryl having been exiled for their dangerous banishment-off-world strategy at Maelshyve, with House Illistim complaining about the unknown risks in it (including the risk of the enemy unexpectedly returning some day.)
[717] This is in "A Brief History of the Aelotoi". It makes clear that the Aelotoi leaders (e.g. Braedn) were told and are aware that the kiramon of Bre'Naere had been banished there by the Elven Nations. It was historically well known enough that the courtiers at the Illistim Keep were able to surmise the coinciding timing of the kiramon banishment and when the Aelotoi said the kiramon arrived. There's been some expressions over the years of that being some sort of secret hidden from the Aelotoi, but that isn't the case, the Elven monarchs / elites may just have some more knowledge / better insight into their role in it.

IV.A New Ta'Faendryl

One of the darkest legacies of Despana was the famine she unleashed with her necromancy.[718] It was not only the sorcerous plagues such as the Red Rot, also known as the Doom of Kalaza, it was the blights poisoning the fields and forests.[719] They were struggled against for centuries as recurring illnesses.[720] It was the cause of insurrections and expansionist wars.[721] There was even one infamous case around -14,800 of the Ardenai king, now descending into madness, ordering his sorcerers to release their own disease curse to wipe out the ponies of the Brughan halflings. The warding against it failed, and the Ardenai saw their own horses die and rot as well.[722]

[718] This premise is an embellishment, based on extrapolating details from the Sylvan and Halfling histories. 
[719.1] The "plagues" premise is partly based on "History of Elanthia" explicitly referring to the plagues in this period. This line is just generalizing it to plantlife (perhaps including wildlife or livestock who eat those plants, as suggested in the Faendryl documentation) with the notion of "blight."
[719.2] "Doom of Kalaza" is a totally made up term for the Red Rot destroying Kalaza. The part about the blights is extrapolating from approximate time period references. This is partly based on "History of the Sylvan Elves" talking about crops rotting in the fields, where the sylvans from Nevishrim were geographically closer to the outlying provinces of the Elven Empire. It also draws from the Horse War section of "History of the Truefolk". The Horse War was a few centuries after the Undead War, so this is recontextualizing the blight problem into the Undead War context. Long-term leftover problems from Despana's desecration necromancy, which is a concept elaborated somewhat in Volume 2.
[720] This is an embellishment. But can help exacerbate the conditions that cause the Elven Houses to lose control over their outlying provinces, and turn autarky oriented with respect to each other, due to economic duress from agricultural conditions. This document also set up a framework of the West's outlying provinces as having been a breadbasket for the Elven Empire, so the structure of their economies would be totally shaken up and then restructuring to local production for everything with all Elven labor. Whereas they may have had manual labor from "lesser races" during the Elven Empire. This partly relates to how much magic is to be allowed to act in the world setting. It gets fairly ill-defined on the *practicality* of large scale magic.
[721] This is an embellishment. But it provides internal logic reasons for the separatism and rebellions that are supposed to have happened in this decolonization period. Technically, this premise is also present with the Ardenai in the Horse War case, this is just generalizing that dynamic.
[722] This is the Horse War from "History of the Truefolk". This paragraph is turning that into a "for example" of the general time period, which is intended to take out the distortion of having the Horse War being one of the only things defined in depth for the Ardenai for decades while being highly out of character for them.

Still worse was the plight of the Faendryl.[723] The Houses had banished their cousins to a barren wasteland, where for reasons both natural and unnatural, it was very difficult to grow food.[724] Though there were forests near Maelshyve, these were dark and twisted, too dangerous from proximity.[725]

[723] This could be taken in the literal sense of how hard it would be to grow edible food in the vicinity of Maelshyve, which might as well be the magical equivalent of a nuclear test site. But some of this sentence is Faendryl IC author bias.
[724] It is a desert and possibly badlands, and if you allow remnants of Despana's forces to be hostile hazards on the surface, the Faendryl would need to grow food in underground caverns for the food security. But people often forget that this location canonically has forms of magical radiation poisoning, and that it twists and makes "hostile" the plants you grow in it. So this sentence is reaffirming that there are also "unnatural" reasons for the problems of food in this location. It's not just "oh gross who wants to eat bugs", it's you should not want to be eating anything from this polluted place.
[725.1] This is creating a premise to reconcile the closeness of Maelshyve to green parts of the Elanith map and the notion the Faendryl could not grow anything, along with "History of the Sylvan Elves" saying "on wooded slopes surrounding the valley on which Maelshyve Keep stood." The solution here has to be leaning into the kind of thing mentioned in "History of the Faendryl", which is that if you make something grow there, it is twisted and hostile and dangerous. 
[725.2] The previously framed premise of being charged with guarding Maelshyve on the one hand, and this task being the penance for future political rehabilitation, which are made up for this document, also provides motivation for why they *had* to be in this specific location and why they were going to all the trouble of agriculture in this near impossible spot instead of some distance away and transporting the food in, which is probably what the Agrestis does modernly. The other framed premise of leftover forces of Despana making the region too hostile and uncontrolled also gives a logic for it being infeasible to do food security at a distance from their caverns. And the premise of the Maelshyve strategy as more of a silver bullet solution that a sheer raw power solution would explain why the Faendryl couldn't just chase out all such hostiles and make a nice surface nation state from the very beginning.

With a whole population of refugees in need of immediate support, and without existing resources to fall back upon, the Faendryl came to regard the exile as attempted genocide.[726] In departing their ancestral city of Ta'Faendryl, they salted the earth, leaving behind various of their powerful magical creations to freely roam.[727] They also summoned Ithzir world conquerors, one of the extraplanar threats they had guarded against, to symbolically lord over what would become the ruins of their shining city.[728] It was to spite Laibanniel Illistim for ordering an energy barrier so only the powerful could return or study what the Faendryl had left behind.[729] These included works of necromancy, such as aberrant mutants, and an undead of legend known as lich qyn'arj.[730]

[726] This is an embellishment in its specific assertion, but it is sensible extrapolation, and consistent with (for example) the spiteful twisting of Elven words in the formation of the Faendryl dialect as described in the "Dark Elven languages" document. This also sets up the rhetorical basis for this document describing the Faendryl as characterizing the annihilation of the Ashrim Isle as an "exile" rather than a genocide, which is a made up premise of some Faendryl drawing moral equivalency for making Ta'Ashrim unlivable and the Faendryl exile. It is not defined, but a lot of people probably died just from the evacuation and Trail of Tears like moving of the population, though this also runs up into the question of how much NPC magic is allowed to distort the world setting. (e.g. "Well why didn't they just open portals and everyone just walks through?" or "Why didn't they just make permanent portals to some other place they could grow food?")
[727] The salted earth language comes from "The Theory of Governance and Social Order". The premise that they left their creations to roam the city is framed on the Old Ta'Faendryl section of the Play.net website.
[728] It is unclear what the original lore intention of the Ithzir was meant to be, it is plausible they were supposed to be experimental mutants like the twisted beings and festering taints. But they have canonically since been treated as extraplanar. The premise that they are world conquerors comes from Kenstrom's storylines (e.g. Return to Sunder) and his document "Ithzir Genesis". The premise that the Faendryl summoned them to salt the earth comes from "The Theory of Governance and Social Order". The premise that it was symbolic over the ingratitude for the Faendryl's role in guarding against extraplanar threats, which is framed as the roots of their demonic summoning and veil piercing magic they were exiled for, is an embellishment of this document attempting to recontextualize "History of the Faendryl" regarding the Enchiridion Valentia and Palestra. The premise of having the Ithzir world conquerors symbolically lording over the capital of the Elven Empire is an embellishment that is just synthesizing these other premises. "History of the Faendryl" uses the term "shining city" for Old Ta'Faendryl. That term has since become used for Ta'Illistim in the "Illistim Society" document, but the Faendryl document use of it is almost a decade older than the Illistim document use of it.
[729.1] This is an embellishment. The design of Old Ta'Faendryl has the entrance characterized as telling the Faendryl they are not welcome here, and the Old Ta'Faendryl background description on the Play.net website makes it clear that the sentinels and energy barrier were created by the other Elves. So that most Faendryl would not be able to return, only the most powerful would be able to get in, and that this would allow the Elves to study the things the Faendryl left behind: "At the entrance to the grounds surrounding Ta'Faendryl, the Elves erected two stone sentinels whose magic would keep all but the most powerful of Elves away. In this manner the bulk of the Faendryl people would never be able to return, however, the most powerful of the other Elven races would be able to enter and investigate the powerful magics developed by the Faendryl sorcerers." 
[729.2] Then it is cross-referencing Ta'Illistim Monarchs on who the Argent Mirror was at that time, since this energy barrier construction would most plausibly have been made by Illistim mages. Then this document is characterizing summoning the Ithzir as spite over that. "Ithzir Genesis" has the Glethad NPC saying the Faendryl made the barrier, but that has to be treated as a mistake, because it is not consistent with what exists in-game and the Old Ta'Faendryl background material on the Play.net website. It would also mean the Faendryl putting up a barrier to keep the other Elves out of something they "salted the earth" over anyway.
[730] Volume 3 especially talks about aberrations and how they are necromancy in the broad sense of the definition used in this document, though teratology might not fall entirely inside the scope of necromancy, for instance elementally corrupted creatures. (This would be consistent with DragonRealms where non-necromancer Arcane users might be teratologists, using the DragonRealms definition of necromancy of sorcerous crossing/mixing with life mana.) Lich qyn'arj are just straight up undead. Volume 3 totally makes up some background about them, which makes their presence symbolic for Koar and fallen rulership reasons.

In the wasteland there were hostile forces on the surface, with uninhabitable heat and drought, and no shelter from the harsh desert sun.[731] There were wild demons and leaderless undead left over from the Battle of Maelshyve, as well as other more sinister survivors of the dark alliance of Despana.[732] Among these latter factions, the Faendryl were the subject of hatred.[733] However, the Faendryl soon discovered entrances to the underground caverns, and were able to erect wards to keep out the banshees and other infernal spirits that are endemic to those lands.[734]

[731] The harsh climactic conditions of Rhoska-Tor near Maelshyve have been seen first hand during the Maelshyve archaeological dig expedition event. The hostile forces refer to the arguments made in this document for leftover Despana alliance/horde constituencies, as well as the "natural" undead and demonic hazards of the region framed earlier in this document.
[732.1] This embellishment is an extrapolation of what should be true in context. It is also leaning on there being indigenous "sinister" types to the region with backgrounds pre-dating Despana.
[732.2] While we are having the demons causing the mindless undead to chase the retreating living into the keep, more powerful undead further away like the banshees might not have done that, and the demons running wild ought to have pulled some of the undead away with them. Then there is whatever outlying undead forces Despana had away from Maelshyve itself, which had their command hierarchy decapitated. Which the Elves would have pushed out of the East, so they'd either head toward Rhoska-Tor and the wastes or into the West. The point is that Despana's forces can be destroyed at Maelshyve without it being a just-so story where *everything* ended up inside the building, and everything in the collapsing building got pulled through the tear in reality, without anything about it being messier than that in the fine details. It isn't a problem for the region to be a chaotic mess afterwards, even though the demons + implosion strategy was fundamentally successful.
[732.3] "History of the Sylvan Elves" does say "As the demons flew on across the hills, incinerating stands of trees as well as animals and fleeing horses, Oriahn could do naught but witness his men scream and die. The fact that there were no surviving enemies to rout was an empty consolation." But this is excessive since they should not all have even been at the Battle of Maelshyve when it was a lightning strike in a stalemate frontlines situation.
[733] This is a reasonable extrapolation from the prior premise.
[734] This is tying back into the premise of the Dhe'nar section of this document. The "History of Elanthia" document says: "Life in that place was never easy, for little grew there. Below the surface, however, the Faendryl found extensive networks of caverns. Not only did these provide shelter, but they also contained an unusually large number of mana foci." (Other places like the Old Ta'Faendryl page on the Play.net website and "History of the Faendryl" instead say "nothing" grew in Rhoska-Tor, while "History of the Sylvan Elves has wooded slopes right next to it.)

There were attempts to spontaneously grow plants with spiritual magic.[735] But they would emerge twisted and cursed, and were most often poisonous or rotting, or even hostile with a malign will and dark powers.[736] Wide range scavenging and hunting was done in the more distant eastern forests, and the Faendryl mages struggled, attempting to keep imported top soil purified to grow plants in artificial lighting in underground caves.[737] The instabilities in the flows that were caused by the implosion of Maelshyve made it difficult to keep even crude constructs or golems.[738] The Faendryl were forced to resort to summoning minor demons, which would perform the manual labor, lacing the crops and livestock with their corruptive energies.[739] They tried to use the reanimated corpses of their beasts of burden, which was impractical and had milder but similar issues.[740] In the present age they summon minor demons of the outer planes that manifest lowly in corruption, but in the early exile the flows were unstable and more prone to storming near Maelshyve.[741] In time they were able to make working artificial constructs from exotic metals.[742] It would not be possible to even begin considering this on the surface until the situation stabilized.[743]

[735] This is partly based on spirit circle spells that make things grow, such as herbs, though also plants in general in Rolemaster spell lists. This is a scaling issue problem of what should be feasible with spell casting. This is hanging a lantern on the issue and mitigating it by setting up reasons for why the problem could not just be magic wanded away.
[736] The cursed and "rotting" is inspired by Rift herbs. But generally this premise is already canon in "History of the Faendryl": "Life was difficult, as nothing would grow, and what few things did sprung from the ground twisted, warped, and often hostile." The wording "hostile" should probably imply some malicious behavior by the plants rather than just being toxic.
[737] This is addressing the geographical context problem of "well there's green stuff right next to there so why can't they grow stuff right near Maelshyve instead of the wasteland itself". If those green areas are themselves "bad places" due to proximity to Rhoska-Tor, it takes it off the table to do agriculture there (not that having a minor amount of growing plants is necessarily consistent with land able to support agriculture in the near term), plus the framed premises of hostile surface forces this document introduces and emphasizes. The imported top soil and artificial lighting is addressing how to grow stuff in underground caverns, and Faendryl do not have Drow dark vision. Trying to keep that soil purified would be difficult near Maelshyve, and "History of the Faendryl" talks about the crops getting corrupted with sorcerous radiations.
[738] This is an embellishment that extrapolates off there being mana storming during the Maelshyve archaeology expedition event. It is trying to reconcile the weirdness of summoning demons to do agriculture labor when the Faendryl would have been aware of the corrupting influence of the demonic on life, when they left behind all these powerful construct automatons in Old Ta'Faendryl. So synthesizing these premises lets you say it wasn't feasible to just use golems/constructs at that time, which are totally obedient passively unlike demons which require active management and binding.
[739] This changes the characterization in "History of the Faendryl", making using the demons for this as a desperate measure making the best of a bad situation. This can help nudge along the casual open embrace of demonic summoning with the whole population, especially if the objectors had already left House Faendryl from the more nuanced exile logic this document introduces. But the Faendryl should not just casually be all-in on routine rote demon use yet at the start of the exile, that should be treated as "History of the Faendryl" being present biased and doing some revisionist apologetics.
[740] There is a premise here for reanimating the livestock that die for whatever reason, though it is dubious that the Faendryl had something as resource intensive as "cows" on such a tenuous plant growing basis in that time period. But they would have *some* livestock for fertilizer purposes. So, there is a premise of using reanimated bodies, because it's walking long-term fertilizer. But reanimation is still sorcerous magic, and it's also very temporary and micromanaged. You need something more properly undead to act as labor that is more obedient than demons, and that is going to run into the same corruptive dark energies problems. Corruption of the livestock may well have resulted in some properly undead "beasts of burden."
[741.1] This is again extrapolating off the mana storming that has been observed around Maelshyve in the present day. It is setting up a premise that the Faendryl summon low corruption entities for mundane use in the present day, recognizing the toxic pollutive problems of "fiends" and the black arts. This is also setting a difficulty-of-retaining-control over the things premise because of the essence instabilities. 
[741.2] It is also addressing and mitigating the fact that "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" states that valence creatures are still used for manual labor in these ways, even though that corruption property would be a known issue: "They bear much of the burden of lesser tasks relegated to them so that Faendryl may use their time to focus on more important matters. They assist in the crop planting and mining for the Agresti and help haul the goods of the Emporion from workshop to store." This is talking about "minor demons" (in some broad Faendryl definition of demon) that are not problems for retaining control over them and basically just extraplanar creatures who will obey as servants: "an abundance of minor demons abiding their masters' orders and roaming freely within the walls." The concern here is not letting Faendryl mastery of minor demons, or extraplanar creatures, gut the menace and danger and darkness of the demonic as a category. They might have specialized use as assistants in the Agrestis for tasks that are too fine-grained for construct/golem automatons which would do the heavier labor.
[742] This is (again) bringing in a retcon to make sense of why they did not use constructs/golems given the obvious problems of using demons, given that they left behind powerful magically resistant constructs in Old Ta'Faendryl. (It might be that higher corruption "fiend" demons were easier to control with the Rhoska-Tor dark essence in the unstable mana flows period close in time to the Maelshyve implosion, but this was pulled back later, and present day "demon" assistants are low pollution outer valence creatures.) They needed time to figure out how to make ones that would work under those conditions, and get enough of the exotic metals to make them. ("Elanthian Gems" specifically talks about krodera and mithril veins in particular shielding some of the alabaster deposits in Rhoska-Tor from sorcerous radiation.) And then with the immediacy of their problems, and the surface conditions, they could not even begin thinking about trying to do this stuff on the surface at a remote distance. 
[743] They needed to establish a power base and gain effective control over the surroundings before things would be secure enough to allow for remote/distant food dependency. Eventually there will be population spread out. But in the early times we can have this penance premise where there was not an intent of the exile being a permanent situation, so early on staying near Maelshyve would be a good behavior thing into the political situation improved. But then it goes on long enough that you have generations viewing this region as home, and you can have spreading out and making a port and so on, eventually reaching the state where Chesylcha is engaged to an Ashrim prince and best friends with the Illistim Mirror.

Those who dwelled in the deeper caverns, those closer to the collapsed ruins of Maelshyve, were affected by the scorch over the span of decades. For others it was centuries and there was not much affect on skin tone for those farther away.[744] While they had to fight off the dark cults and other surviving wasteland allies of Despana in those early years, the demon worshippers began losing their hostility toward the Faendryl as they gained the ability to speak the voice of Rhoska-Tor.[745] Despana transformed more into a myth of she who will one day return.[746]

[744] The time scale of the Dark Elf magical conversion is somewhat ill-defined. The time scale described here would be consistent with how it is described in "History of the Faendryl", but that section of "History of the Faendryl" is deeply inconsistent with the chronology of the other history documents. This within-lifespan speed of it is important, because if it takes thousands of years and multiple generations, that greatly restricts the range of possible Dark Elves who are not of Faendryl or Dhe'nar ancestry. But the premise that only those in the deepest caverns closest to Maelshyve had the skin darkening is explicitly established in "History of the Faendryl". There was a "did you know" section on the Play.net website of dark elven mothers doing experiments with making light skinned children, but that is cringe and also unnecessary because it was never the case that Dark Elves were supposed to all be darker skinned in the lore premises. That page itself only says "usually" brown or black skin. Those rumor sections also have stuff in them that is not true in general.
[745] This is following from the embellished premises earlier in this document. "the voice of Rhoska-Tor" is the Dark Elven language in the "Dark Elven languages" document, and probably what it should have been called before Dark Elves were historically a racial category (i.e. modernly) but after the region started being called Rhoska-Tor post-Despana. This line is playing off the earlier premise that the demonic cultist types regard it as a "divine language", so being the deranged types that they are with their weird religions, this softening of hostility to the Faendryl can make sense. Especially as Despana and the war recedes further in the past.
[746] This is playing off the Grot'karesh Hammer Clan's reincarnation myth beliefs about Despana returning eventually in "Giantkin History". In the other Volumes this document has them being influenced by regional beliefs along those lines, with there being bad guys in Rhoska-Tor who want Despana to return and would help make it happen if they knew how to do it. But that is a made up premise.

Over thousands of years the Faendryl expanded their sphere of power over much of Rhoska-Tor, pushing many of the practitioners of the black arts literally underground.[747] The cultists would sometimes infiltrate Faendryl society. This would later foster all sorts of conspiracy theories regarding the Senary.[748] The Faendryl found it useful for many reasons to learn to wield the darker or otherworldly essences in Rhoska-Tor.[749] For those following the monistic traditions, there were philosophies of a cosmic primal power, where the truest form of magic transcended the planes. The separatists instead fashioned many other kinds of "sorcery," where the energies subjected to fusion would define their own categories of sorcery.[750] In this way the Faendryl form of sorcery was expanded, so that the word no longer was limited to the elemental-spiritual dichotomy, but instead those terms were generalized to the material and immaterial as "demonology" and "necromancy."[751] Sorcery was broadened in such a way that it absorbed some of the more ancient black arts.[752] The dark arts were then studied through the paradigm of Faendryl rationalism.[753]

[747] This is having the Faendryl become the hegemonic power in that region, but the black arts practitioners still being present, especially in illegal kinds of ways. This is related to the earlier framing about the Faendryl only eventually exerting control over the surface lands as their position strengthened and their population size recovered from everything that had happened. Recall earlier we had the other Elven Houses with a big demographic hit, leaving them unable to keep control over the outlying provinces. The Faendryl would have the same problem, even moreso if they lost part of their population to exile politics, whether renouncing the House or splitting off as expatriates for various reasons. That is also recontextualizing "not a single elf complained" in the Exile section of "History of the Faendryl", because the complainers would be the people who already noped out and left House Faendryl. Hardship conditions over this might also have had people leaving at this point to try to live elsewhere further south or to the north in the West, given that the Elven Houses no longer had any effective control over there and there's no one in a position to stop them from going off on their own. This is part of the general dynamics of present day Faendryl being descendants of people that staunchly loyal House Faendryl and its political positions on all these issues. And the ideological divergence and Overton window shifting that comes from that.
[748] The Senary comes from "The Theory of Governance and Social Order", treated as a mythical boogey-man of those secretly defying the Patriarchal authority. This premise of cultists infiltrating Faendryl society would make sense if such cultists are taken as existing in the region. There was also an established premise in 5123 of a Faendryl named Enomna impersonating Patriarch Korvath's recently dead mother to try to kidnap the Patriarch's son out into the wastes as part of her attempt to find life extension solutions for her human husband. This has not been explained yet, but this would be thematically consistent.
[749] This is following the same logic as the Dhe'nar section earlier, and the various premises of "dark essences" and demonic energies and undead corruption in the region from the several documents. It is the premise for Faendryl sorcery moving further along to its more modern forms that we are calling "dark sorcery."
[750] This is following the logic of the Arcane power section earlier in this document, about how those metaphysical traditions each influenced the development of Faendryl sorcery in the exile period. This is giving more concrete language to how those doctrines were twisted in the new situation of having these energies from other valences or infernal realms.
[751] This premise is explaining why sorcerer spells are organized on a "necromancy" and "demonology" duality now mechanically, while other documentation has them as a hybrid of elemental and spiritual spheres of magic, with a class description that matches what this document is calling "classical sorcery." This is all generally about making sense of the issues of defining sorcery and hybrid magic in the world setting.
[752] Since the Faendryl are using these "dark essence" energies around Rhoska-Tor, and demonic stuff, and there is whatever contact or spillover with the black arts practitioners more indigenous to the region, you have at least some of the "black arts" falling under this broadened definition of "dark sorcery." But Faendryl sorcery should not include stuff that is highly toxic to the surroundings, debasing to the self, and so forth, it should be "dark grey" magic rather than "black magic." With a significant amount of focus in how to counteract and prevent the black arts and black magic.
[753] This is making intellectual tradition continuity with the Second Age Faendryl, and how this form of "dark sorcery" is distinct from the black magic practiced elsewhere in other culture traditions. It is broadening and breaking up the monolithic "sorcery" concept, even if this Faendryl paradigm is what we deal with through Sorcerer Guilds. The Faendryl ties with the Sorcerer Guild institution, only awkwardly IC and distorting as that concept is, finds representation in places such as "Overview of Elanthian Magic" and the loresong on the forehead gems.

Occultism provided the back door for these wasteland traditions to become incorporated into the dark arts of sorcery.[754] The Faendryl became more comfortable with the casual and personal use of dark forces, such as wearing demons of shadow, or housing necromantic powers of pestilence in oneself as defense in retribution.[755] It was fashionable to embed the demonic or spirits into weapons or other items.[756] There were those who took to a more esoteric or immanent view of the cosmos, harrowing the more dangerous or alien realms through immaterial projections.[757] What the study of dark energies, and the black arts of old, had most to offer was defense against dark forces.[758] The futility of challenging the Faendryl is well known in the Southron Wastes.[759]

[754] This is using the previous established "back door" property of occultism, now for bringing in stuff from the southern wastelands, whereas the Second Age occultists were moreso pulling in stuff from people then living in the West.
[755] These would be spells similar in nature to Cloak of Shadows (712) and Pestilence (716) (though it might be inconsistent for it to be those exact spells), which Second Age Faendryl probably would not have wanted anything to do with, though they might have used magic like the old Disease (716) which would be more "classical sorcery" compared to Pestilence's "dark sorcery." They were bending this way already with having made the festering taints in the Undead War period. Similarly, Torment (718) is probably out of this wasteland tradition. It isn't the kind of spell that should have been done by Second Age Faendryl, and most present day Faendryl would probably find it barbarically reckless and dangerous to the caster.
[756] Stuff like this has been done in game, like the Black Hel slayer demon scimitar from the I.C.E. Age (last possessed by Kree), or the soul eater staffs from Ebon's Gate. But Ensorcell (735) is more vanilla than this, just layering necrotic energy on objects. That'd be an example of a "dark arts" spell that is not a "black arts" spell but also not "classical sorcery."
[757] This is leveraging off the "dread seer" stuff from the earlier section on warlocks. The Extrachthonic Cartographer's Guild from "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" represents a very "demonology" and materialist approach to valences and summoning demons. But there should also be necromantic methods (i.e. immaterial or possessing or scrying) for this stuff, especially for the outer realms that are unable to support life or even material existence as we know it. Xorus lectured about this once, using the term "occult philology", generalizing off the Planar Shift spell having runes embedded in flow patterns. Talking about this in more cosmic analogs. This is following a kind of Lovecraftian theme, like what Randolph Carter is doing in "Through the Gates of the Silver Key".
[758] With all this bad stuff in the southern wastes (e.g. Horned Cabal), and precedents like the Palestra Blade Aralyte going after Althedeus, and the earlier warding premises for the banshees/etc. for living there, it is sensible that the Faendryl would be majorly invested in controlling dark magic as protection from dark magic. In line with what they did with Despana. This would be a deep ideological dispute with the other Elven Houses, rooting back in disagreement over the Maelshyve strategy.
[759] "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" makes it sound like people down there generally know better than to try to directly take on the Faendryl, but it says: "Despite the occasional large-scale external conflicts since the Faendryl defeat of Despana". There are only two in current canon, the Ashrim War and the Third Elven War. 

They would come to grow food in their outlying lands, along with relatively minor surface settlements.[760] There was even the eastern port of Gellig after some ten thousand years, as relations between the Faendryl and other Houses had improved.[761] While the Age of Chaos is ill-defined in when it ended, as the situation was not even in all places, by five thousand years ago the Elves were firmly in the Modern Age.[762] Princess Chesylcha Sukari Faendryl was best friends with the Illistim Mirror, Caladsal Nellereune, who regarded each other as royal cousins.[763] Chesylcha was to marry a prince of the Ashrim royal family, and her wedding party included the famous Loenthran poet Maeli Gerydd.[764] It was a politically controversial royal marriage, which would have shifted the balances of power.[765] (For reasons beyond the scope of this work, ranging from sea trade, to the nascent airship industry.)[766] When Chesylcha vanished her sisters divined her assassination, which led to the fog of war, spiraling out of control until the obliteration of the Ashrim Isle.[767] The Faendryl losses were horrendous.[768] The Houses declared it a genocide, the Faendryl called it an exile.[769] The war had sought to compel a trial and formal restoration of ancestral land claims.[770] But in the end it turned their allies against them and entrenched the opposition.[771]

[760.1] This is getting around the issue of "how do you grow food in a desert wasteland" when Faendryl territory by now extends some distance beyond the desert wasteland. "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" has the Agrestis being a triune of ranchers, farmers, and miners. The ranchers and farmers should in the present day be working on the surface away from the desert. This land is defined as all belonging to the Patriarch by default, unless given to someone else, and the Agrestis is in charge of regulating it. It is unclear how old the Pentact divisions are and how far back terms like "Agrestis" should really reach in Faendryl history. "Origins of Amasalen" attributes Agrestis back to the Second Age, but the document is a translation and not nearly that old. (Though of dubious provenance, it is supposedly over 150 years old, but interestingly describes much more recent events in Kelsha's paintings.)
[760.2] The presence of outlying surface settlements in the present age is defined in the Third Elven War period in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire".
[761] Gellig being an eastern port is 100% made up. Gellig is a location that the Turamzzyrian Empire sacked on its march into Faendryl lands, and whatever Gellig was, that was what set off and totally enraged the Faendryl. So this is defining Gellig as a Faendryl sea port, perhaps the location the Faendryl armada launched from in the Ashrim War, to explain why the Faendryl reacted so much worse to Gellig being invaded. The timing of 10,000 years is made up. It's using that number because "History of Elanthia" talks about roughly 10,000 years ago being when modern historians often talk about the Age of Chaos starting to end, and "Timeline of Elanthian History" has human fortresses being built 8,000 years ago. There needs to be some lead up time and interaction with the eastern Elves to reach the point of the Chesylcha-Ashrim marriage so that it is not out of no where, and it is reasonably long after the Undead War for Elven time scales.
[762] This is the hedge on the 10,000 years ago number, with the Modern Era calendar being defined with a year 0 that was only a bit more than 5,000 years ago.
[763] This detail comes from the Ta'Illistim Monarchs document about the Mirror at the time, Caladsal. The wording "best" friends is an embellishment, but the friends and royal cousins parts are in documentation.
[764] The Loenthran poet detail comes from a display in Museum Alerreth in Ta'Illistim. The wedding party is also described originally in "History of Elanthia" as quite large. Maeli Gerydd went missing. "History of Elanthia" and "History of the Faendryl" imply it is known Chesylcha died (though in incompatible ways), but the Maeli Gerydd lore and the forehead gems ending up in the ocean make it sound more like a disappearance. "Timeline of Elanthian History" outright says Chesylcha disappeared and was only presumed dead.
[765] There is another display (of a jade seahorse with ribbon for pinning to the left sleeve) in Museum Alerreth, for example, that talks about the marriage as politically controversial. The "History of the Faendryl" document blames it on a Nalfein assassin.
[766.1] This is partly canon in the sense that the news release for Museum Alerreth had it as the first construction project of the Argent Mirror Caladsal as an airship depot within the city, and the release said: "the outbreak of the Faendryl/Ashrim war and the attendant precautions against collateral attack led to travel being rerouted to docks outside of the main population center." The news blurb said the depot was first built in 47545 Illistim (-1,562 Modern Era), which is actually two thousand years prior to the beginning of the reign of Caladsal in Ta'Illistim Monarchs, while Caladsal's reign in that document is three centuries later than the Sea Elf War in "Timeline of Elanthian History". In the case of the news release, at least, it could be handwaved as having been Alerreth's building, and then Caladsal's "construction project" was trying to turn it into an airship hub for the whole city. For what it is worth, the non-canon sea captain's journal of the Ashrim War from the Elanthian Times (2000 through 2002) had the Faendryl ships floating above the water, which recontextualized with the later airship lore would have been because of the Illistim in some fashion.
[766.2] There should be a lot of socioeconomic and great power politics reasons for the Ashrim War that have never been carefully fleshed out. But it isn't within the scope of this document. The straight forward logic of the situation is that the Ashrim were the dominant naval power and the Illistim were developing air power, and Chesylcha was the glue on what would have been a forming alliance between them with a restored House Faendryl. Which would be very contrary to the maritime and court interests of House Nalfein (especially if there was Loenthran support), and been disliked by House Vaalor for military pre-eminence reasons. And who knows about the Ardenai.
[767] The story of the divination of the assassination by Chesylcha's sisters comes from "History of the Faendryl". The spiraled out of control notion is an embellishment, this document is trying to give more rational motivations and war objectives, because the original story is a Helen of Troy kind of thing. It does not make sense to conquest regain the ancestral homeland, especially by invading the Ashrim Isle which is not even in the same direction, and especially when it is far beyond living memory to have actually lived in those ancestral lands. It has to be more abstract, about restoration of ancestral land claims, and political standing in the council of monarchs and so forth. The fog of war line is about the situation turning chaotic and escalating in a way that was not planned. (i.e. we are not having the Faendryl sending ships at the Ashrim to then do some genocide on land.)
[768] This is framed originally in "History of Elanthia"
[769] The Faendryl calling the obliteration of the Ashrim Isle "an exile" is totally made up for this document. It ties back into this document earlier saying the Faendryl came to regard their exile to a land without food as attempted genocide. The gist is that the Faendryl attitude is there were Ashrim who were not on the Ashrim Isle, and the Ashrim Isle becoming uninhabitable is just an exile, and if House Ashrim no longer exists as a culture and royal line and political entity that speaks only to the failure of the Ashrim people. Likewise, the other Houses did not intervene in the war for the Ashrim, and did not cede their coastal lands to any Ashrim survivors. "Of Krolvin and Reivers" talks about sea elves who will not acknowledge the Elves of this continent, which Scribes intended as a backdoor hook for Ashrim survivor descendants (though he was not Elf guru), and it might be that whatever Ashrim survivors there were had big grievances with other Houses after that war rather than just the Faendryl. In spite of the maudlin memorial stuff the Elven Houses do today about the Ashrim.
[770] This is inspired by the non-canon Faendryl captain's journal of the Ashrim War that Mnar had in the Elanthian Times back in 2000 in multiple parts into 2002. The general notion here is the Faendryl put together a naval fleet to meet the Ashrim on their own culture-tradition terms as a matter of honor, rather than a serious expectation of having a full scale naval war with the Sea Elves, as a matter of compelling a trial of traitors in the Ashrim royalty to get justice for Chesylcha and her wedding party. But then the Ashrim are guarding their royals, and ship violence happens, and things start spiraling out of control. Then in that fog of war context with horrendous Faendryl losses, you get a few ships making it to Ta'Ashrim. Like in the non-canon journal, they're trying to arrest some royals, and end up in a position of blowing everything up.
[771] Though the Faendryl in some sense won the battle at Ta'Ashrim, they very much lost the war in terms of achieving the war's political objectives. It catastrophically damaged their political standing with the other Houses for thousands of years. But they also suffered their own horrendous losses, and they completely doubled down on everything after the Ashrim War. The "History of the Faendryl" document might be interpreted as omitting most of the exile period where New Ta'Faendryl was an underground city, and it could be treated as state policy to refer to this as some "period of appeasement" that state sanctioned history ignores. New Ta'Faendryl is a surface city that is only a few thousand years old, but it should most likely be treated as the surface facade of something that runs much deeper into the ground, that is a lot older.

It was at this point that the Faendryl were declared "dark elves," and the Faendryl threw off the last of their Old World romanticism.[772] The Patriarch formally dismissed the penance of House Faendryl in guarding the ruins of Maelshyve for the Elven Empire.[773] It was ruled that the exile was illegitimate in its entirety, and that the Faendryl would no longer reside in the shadow of Maelshyve.[774] The Faendryl society was planned and structured from the top down, with a new permanent city to be built on the surface to the northeast of Maelshyve at the edge of Rhoska-Tor.[775] There was then a full embrace of the dark arts, which were regarded as morally neutral.[776] The Palestra academies were founded to support a vast expansion of demon summoning.[777] The "disgraced" House crest was denounced, while a new crest and motto were adopted that are not formally recognized by the other Houses, and the Faendryl dialect by law became the court language.[778]

[772] The aftermath of the Ashrim War being the moment the Faendryl was declared to be "dark elves" is defined both in "History of Elanthia" and in "History of the Faendryl", which cross-referenced with the chronology of other documents such as "Timeline of Elanthian History", means the Faendryl were *not* known as "dark elves" for 15,000 years of residing in Rhoska-Tor. It is given as a cultural condemnation with a racialized aspect. So we should treat Dark Elves as a race as being a relatively modern thing, and have the meaning of "dark elves" be different in earlier time periods.
[773] This is an embellishment to bring the premises of the exile in this document up into alignment with the more contemporary attitudes illustrated in "History of the Faendryl" and "The Theory of Governance and Social Order". Though the Armata still guards the ruins for its own internal security, but allows demons to wander toward the Demonwall.
[774] This is the state sanctioned revisionist history being framed, where what we might call the "period of appeasement" is treated as a wrong direction.
[775] This is explicitly stated in "History of the Faendryl". It is partly based on "Path to Palestra" saying the Palestra academies were founded after the Ashrim War, and "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" being clear that New Ta'Faendryl is only a few thousand years old, and "Introduction to the Enchiridion Valentia and Summoning" distinguishing New Ta'Faendryl from Rhoska-Tor. The city is described in a highly centrally planed way in that document, and so this is introducing a premise that the society structure was centrally planned in this way in the aftermath of the Ashrim War. Earlier time points would plausibly have some different governing structures. This surface city should probably be treated as the surface facade for connecting down into the older underground city.
[776] This is leveraging off the founding of the Palestra academies implying a big expansion and embrace in demonic summoning in the population, and doubling down in general on the magic that the Faendryl are being condemned for by everyone else.
[777] Same point as 776. "Path to Palestra" says: "With the rule of Patriarch Rythwier Sukari Faendryl, we see the building of New Ta'Faendryl. It was during this time that the three major academies of Palestra training were founded." The four lesser academies were founded under the current Patriarch, Korvath Dardanus, to make supply for Palestra meet up with demand. All of this suggests an escalation over past levels of Palestra and summoning.
[778.1] This is cross-referencing "The Layman's Guide to Elven Heraldry" with the "Dark Elven languages" document about the Faendryl dialect. The forehead gems loresong has consistency issues with documentation. It depicts Patriarch Rythwier in a palace prior to the Ashrim War, but other documentation would imply such a building should have only been after the Ashrim War. It depicts the Faendryl crest, but does not specify which one. It would have to be the ancient crest, because the Layman's Guide says the Faendryl did not recognize the disgraced crest, and they "chose a new crest" only when they "left Rhoska-Tor to found New Ta'Faendryl." The loresong also depicts the tapestries as "crimson" when they should be "scarlet." It is a reasonable embellishment to time the court language law to the aftermath of the Ashrim War when the new crest was chosen.
[778.2] "History of the Faendryl" says: "As time passed, the Faendryl began to turn their eyes northward, towards their ancestral home. They were disgusted with life below ground, and wanted their shining city." and then after the war "They turned their backs on the elves and the city they had built and moved north of Rhoska-Tor, although not far, to build their new city." "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" says: "She is a new city, New Ta'Faendryl. An eternal city, established only a few thousand years ago." At the same time there should be surface settlements in the surroundings by the time of the Ashrim War, and reasonably there should already have been a sea port. So it is possible this loresong "palace" / "castle" is underground, or it is possible it is somewhere else that is undefined.

IV.B The Diaspora

"What's wrong with baby? She looks so still.
The white one comes and eats its fill.
What's wrong with grandad? Screams and moans.
The white one comes and cracks his bones.
What's wrong with momma, what's wrong with son?
The black one comes, eats everyone." [779]

- Children's rhyme unconsciously chanted in fugue states, in the
year 5100, due to Banaltra harvesters for the Feithidmor. Last
hatching survived by sylvans of Yuriqen in the Age of Chaos.[780]

[779] This is an excerpt of the fugue state chanting from the feithidmor/banaltra storyline. It is an exact quote.
[780.1] There was a sylvan NPC named Draman who spoke of Yuriqen in this context. The timing was vague, but the premise was the feithidmor are akin to cicadas, except on the scale of thousands of years. The original intent of Yuriqen was to be founded about 8,000 years ago in the later Age of Chaos and then get cut off from the world around 2,400-ish years ago (per Banthis), though the date might not be defined anywhere in documentation. This usage of "Age of Chaos" is going with the 15,000 year definition of Age of Chaos rather than the 10,000 year one. It is an embellishment to put it in the first half of accessible Yuriqen rather than the second half. It vibes more thematic for Age of Chaos.
[780.2] More precisely, Draman was an aged Sylvan member of the Council of Elders in the Order of Lorekeepers in Ta'Illistim, and his sylvan ancestors had left "shortly before the closing of Yuriqen." The log of this NPC lecturing is therefore firmly establishing Yuriqen was closed off thousands of years ago. The premise was that they had survived the previous feithidmor event, and wanted to warn the world. The wording could be taken to imply the feithidmor event was not long before Yuriqen was closed. It is important to note that this was before the AGE (verb) mechanic and before the "History of the Sylvan Elves" document. Here we're bending a little bit on the timing, calling it Age of Chaos (in the up to 5,000 years ago definition of Age of Chaos), because of the word "ancestors" from an old sylvan elf.

In the collapse of the Elven Empire, the westerlands were opened not only to brigands and barbaric hordes out of the mountains, but to the malevolent factors in the South who had survived the Undead War.[781] There were many dark forces who were not inside Maelshyve at the time of its destruction.[782] With the power vacuum in the West, there was freedom for dark cults and cabals to spread north, as well as undead and other malefactors.[783] This was exacerbated as the Faendryl strengthened their hold on Rhoska-Tor.[784] There was a diaspora of necromancers and practitioners of the black arts out of the southern wastelands.[785] In this way witchcraft had returned to the West, where it originated, but it was now a much darker and more dangerous form of magic.[786]

[781.1] The first part is directly based on "History of Elanthia" describing mountain race hordes: "Without the Elven armies to keep order, the land fell into anarchy. The next 20,000 years were known as the Age of Chaos. Orcs, trolls and worse raided at will. Travel to many areas was dangerous, if not impossible. Of the various wars, plagues and other disasters of the era, little is known. The fragments of song and story which survive tell of a very dark time, full of hunger, fear and little else."
[781.2] The malevolent forces in the South surviving the war is an extrapolation from what would be reasonable, since it does not sound realistic that all of Despana's forces were at Maelshyve at the moment the Elves do a lightning strike on Maelshyve. And it is leaning on the embellished premises about the sorts of factions found in that region made in this document.
[782] This should be true just by virtue of having been in other places pursuing the war, since the war was happening all over the continent.
[783] Part of this point is that with the logic of the Western outlying provinces being impractical to defend, and rapid gains by Despana in the outlying provinces where "History of Elanthia" said there was little resistance, that would suggest these purported dark factions were already up in the West. And this familiarity with moving up that way can help contextualize the minotaurs migrating up to Wehntoph after the Battle of Maelshyve, which is already canon in "History of the Minotaurs". (They had their labyrinth area wrecked by some unknown war at some point in the Age of Chaos as well.) 
[784.1] The loss of control by the Elves of the West in the Age of Chaos, and the Faendryl needing time to base themselves, and then the Faendryl presumably pushing out some of these dark forces with the expansion of Faendryl territory, you have clear pressures for population migration of these "black arts" practitioners northward into the West.
[784.2] The Faendryl have their own "diaspora" in existing documentation, a term that was introduced by Silvean. In canon documentation the word is used in "A Ceremony for the Marriage of Faendryl in the Diaspora" by Silvean and Lylia through the Wordsmiths program. This paragraph is just generalizing the whole thing.
[785] This is an extrapolation on the previous premises. These can include whatever races lived down in that southern region, but those of elven descent should largely be Dark Elves. This diaspora could arguably include Morvule, the Luukosian high priest, who was old enough to witness the Great Fire of Sharath (something he told to a player character) and after the Undead War united Luukosian cults into the Luukosian Order, which would have mostly been in the West in the Age of Chaos.
[786] This document is using very broad generalities of large scale movement tendencies, rather than narrow specificity. There is no reason ordinary witchcraft practitioners could not have been in the wild woods of the West, or what have you, after all that time without having gone into the southern wastelands. It would still be a form of "black magic", but not what we mean by the "black arts" most likely. It's the witches influenced by those southern wasteland traditions that give rise to the Raznel kind of stuff, rather than the wind witches kind of stuff or possibly even the Sisters of Blight kind of stuff. (This is not what happened with Raznel in the literal sense, she grew up as a noble in Chastonia. But she was taught Southron Wastes demonic blood magic by Xorus, canonically in storylines, who is supposed to be an Ur-Daemon cultist who studies the black arts.)

There was also a tendency of Dark Elves in general, regardless of their heritage, to treat the western lands as a backyard for engaging in abuses of power.[787] This was especially true of the parts of Faendryl society that chaffed under its severe laws and rules governing magic.[788] The Age of Chaos was in some ways the high point for those who wished a certain kind of freedom on the world. One of tyranny, despair, and suffering.[789] It was a profoundly violent time and humans only began building fortified settlements to fight back against the evil 8,000 years ago.[790]

[787] There is no reason you could not have (dark) elves of distant ancestry to that Rhoska-Tor region who are not themselves malign in any way. And you could have expatriates of the Faendryl or Dhe'nar for all sorts of reasons. But people wanting to be free of the rule of law, especially law on magic, is the Second Age driving force for migrating into the southern wastelands. So the Faendryl and Dhe'nar building up regional strength during the Age of Chaos is sensibly going to drive similar sorts to go north into West (or possibly just the more lawless regions of the Southron Wastes) because in the Age of Chaos that was the widespread chaos / anarchy / lawless haven for dark forces. So here we go with that, partly to set up traditions to exist behind hooks in the Turamzzyrian History documentation.
[788] The Palestra being a prideful thing for summoners to have and collect is a little bit of good government propaganda, like teaching children the virtues of paying all your taxes and so forth. Because the natural inclination for a lot of Faendryl sorcerers is going to be not wanting to be regulated or restricted in what they do. Up into the anarchic west is an obvious place for a diaspora of power abuses to wander. This also helps set up some of the animosity in the West to Dark Elves for reasons that are less abstract or foreign to humans than Maelshyve and the Ashrim.
[789] This is an IC author statement, just characterizing what is established about it in a different way.
[790] The violence of the period is framed by "History of Elanthia". The timeline of human fortifications being built comes from "Timeline of Elanthian History". It is generally undefined what the governing structures and natures of the outlying provinces were, and how fast they fell apart after breaking off into independence, and what sorts of power structures existed in the interregnum. Volume 2 talks about trials by ordeal in the West, for example, as lay authority in the name of the gods, precisely due to the lack of central authority and hierarchy. Witch hunt panics and so forth. Humans obviously needed to live and survive for thousands of years in the Age of Chaos, so it can be bad but only so bad.

After the destruction of Maelshyve, the Sylvankind dismantled their city of Nevishrim in the southeast of the DragonSpine Mountains, and migrated to the West. They trended northward up the forests along the western side of the mountains over a period of 12,000 years.[791] Much of this time was in the Wyrdeep forest. It was in this period that the sylvans encountered the primordial demon of Shadows, Althedeus, in one of its attempts to pass through into this world in an earthly vessel.[792] The sylvans used powerful Nanrithowan wards and preservation magic to seal in and imprison this dark power in what is now called the Heart of the Wyrdeep.[793] The Wyrdeep forest is uninhabited by mortals in its depths. It is a dangerous realm of fey and direbeasts.[794] The Sylvans would eventually find their way north to the Silver Veil, their "Final Forest," and so established their final city of Yuriqen in -2,985 around eight thousand years ago.[795]

[791] This is from "History of the Sylvan Elves"
[792] This is cross-referencing with the Disciples of the Shadows section of "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire".
[793] This is cross-referencing "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire" with the Nanrithowan wards defined in "History of the Sylvan Elves" and the Wyrdeep symptoms described in the "Elves of Wyrdeep" document.
[794] This is pulling on the "Elves of Wyrdeep" document.
[795] This is from "History of the Sylvan Elves". It is coincidentally around the same time humans "begin to form small organized settlements on the western side of the Dragonspine, building fortresses to protect themselves" according to "Timeline of Elanthian History".

While the Age of Chaos had largely spared the sylvans, as they hid in the woods by themselves, this was not to last forever.[796] Legend holds that a usurping Faendryl sorcerer, or at least one of the Dark Elves of the diaspora, resided with the sylvans with secret malign intent.[797] This Myrdanian was discovered to be harboring darkness within him. The Sylvans had attempted to cast him out. But he built a tower on the south of their forest, and laid siege on them by sending foul beasts and dark magic.[798] It was why Yuriqen was sealed off almost 2,400 years ago.[799]

[796] This seems fair from "History of the Sylvan Elves", but there is no telling how much omission of bad events there could be.
[797] "History of the Sylvan Elves" calls him Faendryl, but here we are leaving it more ambiguous, because Myrdanian was doing a kind of behavior that could be better suited to the malevolent wasteland types. 
[798] This is all straight from "History of the Sylvan Elves"
[799] This date is a made up assertion. However, Banthis has given roughly this amount time as the original intent. His own mid-2400s year old character was supposed to be young when the Yuriqen barrier went up. Using this number creates an opportunity to relate Myrdanian's presence there to the formation of the Kannalan Empire, notwithstanding the gnomes documentation (and things like the Timeline document pulling off the gnomes history) using some placenames in time periods that should most likely be anachronistic. (e.g. Tamzyrr in Selanthia, three thousand years before Selantha Anodheles)

It was the nature of the Age of Chaos to end in some regions and then survive more strongly outside those borders.[800] With the coronation of the Emperor of Veng in 2,745 there was the birth of the formal Kannalan Empire, whose center of power was concentrated in what later came to be known as Hendor.[801] While the Kannalan Empire was only ever a loose alliance of halflings with human and giantman kingdoms, it was a stabilizing force, which allowed the precursors of feudalism to be dominant in the West.[802] Looser forms of this alliance had existed for a few thousand years.[803] It is because of the solidification of the Kannalan Empire that the forces of dark sorcery had been pressed to the north.[804] It is perhaps for this reason that the Sylvans had troubles with Myrdanian.[805] The most northern reaches of the westerlands were always a haven of dark magic and rebels, dating all the way back to the Second Age with the undeath of the Black Wolves.[806]

[800] This is a reasonable dynamic of what would happen if you push out chaos agents, only to concentrate them outside the borders in more confined spaces. Partly plays off "History of Elanthia" having it difficult to say when the Age of Chaos ended.
[801.1] These are made up facts that are meant to reconcile things that do not make sense. The year 2,745 Modern Era is based on "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire" having 4,045 Modern Era being the year 1,300 Kannalan (which is likely vestigial from I.C.E. setting timeline messaging on the Path of Enlightenment but got retconned later.) The "Emperor of Veng" is a defined office in the "Incomplete History of River's Rest". It is unclear if the location of Veng has ever been defined for players. Judging by the distribution of the other known Kannalan settlements to the south, west, and north, and Veng falling to humanoids invading out of the mountains, it should most likely have been somewhere in what is now called Hendor.
[801.2] The term "formal Kannalan Empire" is meant as a retcon to handwave away the Gnome history and the "Timeline of Elanthian History" (referring to the gnome history) using the term "Kannalan Empire" for times over a few thousand years before year 0 of the Kannalan calendar. There can be earlier stuff that isn't really the Kannalan Empire but has constituent stuff. The gnome document does much the same with Tamzyrr and Selanthia.
[802] Feudalism in the Turamzzyrian Empire came from feudalism in Hendor. The definition of a loose alliance of humans, halflings, and giantmen comes from "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire".
[803] This is again the retcon mentioned in footnote 801.2
[804] This is creating a hook for why there were "dark sorcerous forces" up near what is now Vornavis, harassing refugees of the fallen Kannalan city of Ziristal, in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire" in the early 4000s Modern Era.
[805] This is a cross-reference and extrapolation. But if we accept the 2,400 year ago timing for the rise and forming of the Kannalan Empire, reaching up into what is not far off from the Sylvan forest, the Myrdanian types would naturally be tending toward being further north. So this is plausible geographical context for why Myrdanian would have been there bothering the Sylvans at just that point in history.
[806] This is cross-referencing various things. The undeath of the Wolves Den goes back to the Second Age, who were rebels in the Darkstone Bay region, being put down by the Vaalor. There are scattered threads like the darkness of the Kingdom of Anwyn and whoever destroyed the palace in "History of the Minotaurs". Melgorehn's Reach if it were translated into De-ICE'd timeline would have been something in the vicinity of 8,000 years ago. The Graveyard and Broken Land stories would be 6,300 years ago. The Shadow Valley story probably dated back to a bit earlier than the Graveyard story. Though none of these have canon dates at this time in the Elanthia world setting. The obelisk thing that turned Barnom Slim into a lich, Althedeus related, was seemingly very ancient and had a bunch of dead bodies leading up to it. There's the dark sorcerous forces of the Cairnfang in the early 4000s, and then modernly there's Foggy Valley with types like Bonespear and Vespertinae. All the various haunted castles in the northwest. The loresong on the forehead gem for Return to Black Swan Castle depicts sorcerers sieging the castle and turning it black, which a saved post describes as only a century ago (though this is a retcon as that castle dates back to the ICE Age and weirdly suggests it's from the same time period as Wehnimer's Landing). Whatever happened with Bir Mahallah and the Sea of Fire more generally. Modernly the Arcane Eyes summoners were out of Mestanir, Raznel was in Talador. The list could go on.

The Kannalan Empire abruptly collapsed in the year 3,961.[807] It was the result of internal strife and a surge of humanoid and barbarian assaults out of the mountains.[808] Historians have since speculated this was caused by the Sunfist Pact of 3,945 between the Highmen and Blackfang giantmen tribes with several dwarven clans, as the Kingdom of Dunemire in what is now Bourth was a kingdom of the Highmen.[809] There was perhaps some ill-recorded shift of the balances of power in the mountains that caused "humanoid" races like hobgoblins and orcs to surge into the lowlands.[810] Whatever the case may be, this saw a resurgence of "black elven wizardry" in the south, and a thousand year legacy of dark sorcerous forces in what are now the northern baronies.[811]

[807] This is in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire" and "Timeline of Elanthian History"
[808] This is in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire" and elaborated in "Incomplete History of River's Rest", and also described some in "History of Reim".
[809] This is an embellishment, that this is an exist premise from historians. This is cross-referencing several things. "Timeline of Elanthian History" dates the Sunfist Pact to 16 years before the Kannalan Empire collapsed. ("History of Elanthia" puts it earlier with a vague 2,000 years ago, but the Timeline gives an exact number.) "History of Reim" talks about the Kingdom of Dunemire in what is now Bourth having been a Highmen kingdom. This is cross-referenced with the tribes named for the Sunfist pact in "Giantkin History", which included the Highmen. 
[810] This is a very plausible historical argument, given the two dates and Highmen overlap in both aspects of it. Even if it were a coincidence, historians (especially those who do not live in the mountains) could easily be convinced of it. This usage of "humanoids" is throughout the human documentation, such as "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire".
[811] This is referring the Cairnfang region sorcerous forces in the Wildwood settlement incident, and more modernly with Foggy Valley. The southern part with the "black elven wizardry" is referring to the fall of Gor'nustre and the Kannalan Alliance cities in the late 4200s. Which is pushing closer to the southern wastelands. These both come from "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire". The geographical distribution of such references to the near edges of civilization is reasonably solid in existing premises.

IV.C Death Religions

It was in the late Age of Chaos that Lorminstra began softening her treatment of departed souls.[812] The reasons for shifts in the ways of the Arkati are most always opaque, having to do with their internal struggles, or vague considerations of cosmic cycles that make little sense to races of flesh and blood.[813] It is often thought to have been a rebuke or push back on the rise of Luukosian forces and the imbalance of Life and Death fostered by her rival God of Death.[814] In antiquity it was very rare for a true resurrection to happen, by which we mean the return of a departed soul to its body, which was then rebound and actually living.[815] Lorminstra is the only power known to be able to do this to mortals without ascension or cursing the soul.[816] Though the clerics of other gods can revive dying bodies, they cannot resurrect the truly dead.[817] Only a rare few of the high priests of Lorminstra are able to beseech the return of departed souls.[818]

[812] This is totally made up. There's a basic undefined issue with the death lore, where adventurers are somehow special with their treatment by Lorminstra, and we do not have explicit scaling on how common that is and how long it has been happening for. The death mechanics also change over time, which means the IC death rules are shifting with time. If it's more than just a small adventuring population, it disrupts the cohesion of the NPC world setting. So here we're postulating that one of these shifts happened in the late of Age of Chaos, when the West was emerging with the building of fortified human settlements, where the loophole formed with Lorminstra willing or able to return departed souls under some special conditions. And then this is used as a factor in pushing back the chaos, or as framed here, pushing back on the Life/Death imbalance caused by the malign influence of the Luukosians and so forth, which follows off the black arts diaspora framed in the prior section.
[813] This is a fair statement of what it is like when we try to interact with the Arkati or get explanations from them. When Death's sting was introduced with the shadow dragon, there was some vague language about the changing cycle of death.
[814] This is following off the logic in footnote 812 and a reasonable surmise for an IC worldsetting view by a mortal NPC who cannot directly know what the gods are doing on their end.
[815] This is an important embellishment. When GemStone implemented the Rolemaster mechanics in 1989 / early 1990, it tweaked the relation between resurrection spells and death. Rolemaster is like Dungeons & Dragons in having roughly 10 rounds of "dying" state where players can be revived with magical healing, and in the case of Rolemaster it is from hit point loss or from critical injury. This requires no "lifegiving"/rezz spell! The resurrection magic is for *after* soul departure, which is the state of actual *death* as opposed to dying. In the I.C.E./Shadow World setting the goddess we call Lorminstra is the only one with the power to let clerics call souls back into bodies like that. In the GemStone implementation this would leave corpses lying around and is a problem for the M.U.D. type setting, so it was replaced with rapid decay and reincarnation on soul departure. And then lifegiving/rezz spells applied to the "dying" phase, and players had no actual dead bodies to target with rezz spells. Move time forward and it's still not possible for player Clerics to resurrect unkept bodies that have been dead for more than a handful of minutes. But there are rare hooks like the old Purgatory messaging of what looks like the temple old man / Lord High Cleric pulling the soul out of Purgatory, and very rare story incidents of souls getting pulled out from beyond the Ebon Gate. So we are calling this "true resurrection" and it's much more rare than what ordinary Clerics do.
[816] This was explicitly true in the I.C.E. lore, which was the context when the death mechanics (the temple and deeds and all that) were created. The explicit language on this point did not carry through into later documentation, by GM Varevice said in a forum post in 2000 (for example) that only Lorminstra has the power to bring souls back to the living like that, whereas any ordinary god can power the kind of resurrection that player characters are doing. Cursing the soul refers to how undeath works in GemStone in light of the Order of Voln messaging, and ascension is referring to the ascension legends usually involving the lesser god having been dead in some way before being raised higher. The theory of how ascension works is talked about in Volume 2. It is not really addressed in Volume 1, but the IC author distinguishes "transcendence" into becoming Arkati servants with retained identity (like the disir in GemStone and spirit helpers to the Immortals in DragonRealms) from ascension to godhood, maintaining that to the extent "ascension" is possible it likely requires flattening out the personality and identity into limited thematics and essentially would be a form of death where there is some greater spirit imbued power.
[817] This is the original context of the death lore, and if the true resurrection concept is valid in Elanthia still, this is consistent with the game mechanics. The Naidem reincarnation messaging is vague, but that voice talking to you presumably isn't the silent Gosaena, so I will assume that is also just Lorminstra.
[818.1] This refers to for example the old man variant messaging on the old Purgatory death mechanics, and how there used to be different levels of power of resurrection spells. I'm told one time a player with special Gosaena "avatar" wings (from an auction) in a storyline pulled someone out from beyond the Gate, but we're talking about resurrection spells and this line seems solid. It keeps the NPC world setting coherent for this to be a rare power, and for it to rarely be granted by Lorminstra. Adventurers are freak abnormality special cases, which is actually explicitly stated in DragonRealms with its highly similar form of the death mechanics. 
[818.2] DragonRealms tweaks this slightly by having the soul being called back from the spirit plane (the "Starry Road") by the Cleric, provided there is at least one "favor" (deed) linking it to the body, but there is still the auto-depart timer and it is effectively the same situation. By "true resurrection" we are referring to a resurrection at a later time point, which does not apply to adventurers whose bodies disintegrate (unless presumably it is their final death.) GemStone more tightly ties the soul being brought back to Lorminstra intervening herself, which prior to permadeath being removed involved her identifying departed souls in Purgatory with deeds to whom she owed favors. Deeds no longer serve this function as of 5104 Modern Era, and the reason why adventurers without deeds are brought back is undefined.

It was the theology of Lorminstra that those who died were to depart through the Ebon Gate and only return on special occasions as a spirit.[819] High priests of Lorminstra could beseech her for resurrection in "lifegiving" rituals.[820] This was a rare power and Lorminstra most often refused.[821] It was only for those who had died prematurely or in insignificant ways. Those whose missions in the world were not yet complete, however conceived of by Lorminstra herself.[822] The very rarest form of resurrection was if Lorminstra took the departed soul and reincarnated its body. [823]

[819] When the De-I.C.E.'d lore for Gosaena was introduced in "Gods of Elanthia" in 1999, it introduced the following line: "Unlike Lorminstra, when a spirit comes to Gosaena, it will not be returning to the mortal realm." The problem is this is not true, or at the very least, requires some extra nuance of beyond the Ebon Gate to be consistent. One aspect of this is that Lorminstra lets spirits out from the Ebon Gate to visit near the Eve of the Reunion, it's been happening at Ebon's Gate festivals for decades and is talked about in "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire". The "Giantkin History" with the Grot'Karesh Hammer clan talks about an event where spirits of the dead return to visit the living called Festival of the Dead. So this sentence saying "on special occasions as a spirit" is more accurate that a simple plain reading of the Gosaena documentation. Another aspect of this is the Purgatory death mechanics messaging having implicitly been the other side of the Gates of Oblivion, before the term "Gates of Oblivion" was replaced with "Ebon Gate". Lorminstra has the framed power of going through the other side of the Gate and pulling out souls for resurrection or reincarnation. So Gosaena needs to be restricted to a special phase of being beyond the Gate. The Purgatory soul departure messaging pre-dates the Gosaena lore, so there was never any mention of her in it.
[820] This is reviving the original I.C.E. context on what lifegiving / resurrection spells mean and do, and it is arguably represented in the old man variant of the old Purgatory messaging. Where different messages happened based on conditions.
[821] This restricts its scope so that the lack of use we've seen with it in game makes sense, and revives the original context of Lorminstra refusing these requests unless certain conditions were met.
[822] This was explicitly stated in her lore at the time the death mechanics were designed. This line is just reviving the premise explicitly. Aspects of this were encoded in the old man variant of the Purgatory messaging, which talks about "special children" who have things left undone. The insignificant deaths aspect means, among other things, that Lorminstra is not going to agree to return an assassinated high noble or monarch to life.
[823] It should obviously be the case that Lorminstra reincarnating souls would be more rare on a whole population level than true resurrection requests being granted. The relative handful of minutes it takes for the soul departs reasonably means the ordinary player character raising spell on the dying would not be useful in most practical situations, because the intervention needs to happen in such a brief window of time. It should be the case that the longer a body is truly dead, the less likely the resurrection will be granted and the more damage to the body / recovery will be needed. This document is taking the explicit step DragonRealms does and has adventurers being a weird special exemption case involving heroics. While it is the rarest in a whole population demographic sense, for adventurers it is the most common outcome of death.

(1) Deeds

Seven thousand years ago, or so, a loophole had formed in her rules.[824] There was a tiny minority of the population, who her priests called the "special children," who had importance in their roles as heroic fighters against chaotic forces.[825] These adventurers were prone to highly risking their lives "making a difference."[826] They were much more rapidly healed with magical herbs than most people, for whom such remedies usually only increase the rate of healing.[827] Traumatic injuries from violence in particular might quickly vanish.[828] Somehow chosen with higher purpose, they had a mission in the world, whether or not they knew it.[829] Lorminstra allowed such heroes to fulfill their unfinished purposes.[830] There were kneeling rituals resembling feudal homage where they would have to sacrifice the spoils of their adventures, proving they valued their lives more than their baubles and treasures.[831] For this "deed" they would be owed a favor from Death.[832]

[824] The seven thousand years number is totally made up, meant to be consistent with the prior framing of the late Age of Chaos. This is meant to be some time into the process of Western fortification settlements by humans. It is meant to imply that this practice just wasn't even a thing in earlier millennia. The timing is also chosen to make it just a bit earlier than the Graveyard and Broken Land stories, which we're using the same number of years ago as they were in their original timeline.
[825] This is directly based on the death mechanics messaging that has existed in game. The "special children" who make a difference was in the old man variant of the Purgatory messaging, which was when characters without deeds below level 2 were reincarnated. The phrase "heroic fighters against chaotic forces" is very slightly an embellishment, but based on the Hall of Sacrifice encoded into the Landing temple, and the making-a-difference premise in the old man variant, and the original death lore context of missions in the world not being complete yet. Which is a Fate like concept.
[826] This is a direct quote from the old man variant of the Purgatory messaging, which player characters have seen and experienced themselves in the past.
[827] This is an embellishment, taking the opportunity to restrict the scope of something that doesn't make sense for the NPC setting. Much as with the computer game adaptation of the death mechanics so that deaths happen much more routinely and less permanently in a M.U.D. context with its vastly higher encounter rate than a tabletop setting, the herbs and healing system was vastly accelerated for GemStone's implementation. Rolemaster herbs generally increased healing rates, or would have serious side effects and addiction risks. The world setting does not make much sense if it's common as dirt for people to just be able to heal everything, undisease everything, having empaths and so on all over the place. So this embellishment is creating an explicit premise of basically: yes, this rapid healing happens on these abnormal adventurers, but it's directly related to their weird relationship with the Life-Death balance, and the vast majority of people (NPCs) heal much slower.
[828] This is another scope restriction. Our healing spells and herbs focus on undoing traumatic injuries from adventuring heroics kind of stuff. They are not focused on chronic illnesses, cancer, and so forth.
[829] This is reviving what used to be explicitly stated in the death lore, and creating a hook for why these people are brought back from soul departure now, even when they have no deeds (because deeds no longer serve this function in the Death cycle.) Likewise, this was so with the old man variant, but now it's true regardless of level. This is creating a hook for why people are brought back, and likewise that mortals do not know why it is them and not others, and they do not know how long this flexibility with death will last. Each time might be the last time for all anyone knows.
[830] This is again reviving what used to be explicitly stated, and historicizes it to this late Age of Chaos time period.
[831] This is quoting and directly based on the Landing temple deed rituals. Research:The Graveyard and Research:The Broken Lands construct a theory about the original context of the death mechanics, because deeds do not come from the I.C.E. mechanics or lore setting. It theorizes that the deed ceremony is intentionally based on medieval homage ceremonies, where the death goddess acts as a liege lord and the soul is the fief being granted to the vassal who is sacrificing to her. This line is further based on the Hall of Sacrifice and the original Shadow World context of her not allowing the return of meaningful / significant deaths. So what GemStone appears to have done is allowed heroic acts by adventurers to result in treasure, and sacrificing this treasure is substituting in heroic acts / meaningful deaths, so a credit of meaningful deaths is used instead. And that this is the essence of what "deeds" really are, and setting up a premise of just donating money isn't enough.
[832] This is meant to explicitly ground the meaning of the word "deeds", which at present have no definition in lore, other than the Lorminstra temple messaging.

"Good deeds" had long held special value in the power of Life, and could even transubstantiate into golden liquid in the legendary chalice of Faelyna.[833] But these were deeds of Death.[834] Their sacrifices would substitute other heroic acts for the significant deaths that would leave Lorminstra unable or unwilling to resurrect.[835] The greater the heroic feats to be spared, the greater the sacrifices to be worthy.[836] There is no deceiving Death. Tithing by the merely wealthy to temples of Lorminstra were not worthy deeds.[837] Without accruing deeds, the soul was doomed.[838]

[833] This is what happened and was done in the Vishmiir event around 2002. This document is using this to explain death mechanics good deeds, per the Hall of Sacrifice, as instead deeds of Death. (The temple figures refer to Death with a capital D.) This allows us to explain why deeds presently serve an unrelated function as of 2004 with Death's Sting introduced. This tacitly interfaces with the liquid in chrisms and their Death's sting prevention.
[834] This is made up but reconciles the difference in what deeds did before 2004 with what they do afterwards.
[835] This is explicitly stating the prior premises, and is directly based on the death mechanics messaging, from the temple deeds messaging to the warnings in the Purgatory messaging about the limits of power to intercede.
[836] This is contextualizing why deeds are more expensive for higher level characters.
[837] This is putting down any seriousness to the old jokes about Lorminstra rolling in gems and cash for the money. The messaging requires it to be sacrifices of treasure, so it isn't good enough for rich people to just donate some money.
[838] This is what deeds used to do. Deeds have not done this for 20 years now, and this is explicitly recognizing it.

Lorminstra was as a liege lord owing protection and intercession to her vassals, where the fief was the immortal soul of the vassal, which by all rights truly belonged to her in the end.[839] If sufficient fealty were shown in this homage, Lorminstra would aid in the resurrection of departed souls.[840] Their bodies would disintegrate upon the departure of their spirit.[841] There are many religious beliefs in this world for what comes after death, from the Krefkra of the krolvin to the Koargard of humans.[842] For those chosen by the Lady of Winter there is no question.[843] Those who have passed beyond the Ebon Gate describe it as Oblivion, a timeless void of darkness with endless streams of light, where all memory and sense of identity wash away in hopelessness.[844]

[839] This is just taking the medieval feudal meaning in the language used in the deeds ceremony and the Purgatory messaging literally. It is explaining the why Lorminstra and why only Lorminstra of it all.
[840] This is explaining why people (adventurers) with this homage relationship with Lorminstra, if they had accrued deeds of substitute deaths, were given special exemption and brought back from true death under some conditions.
[841] This is explicitly acknowledging the weirdness of player character instant decay and reincarnation, when the NPC background all leave corpses. Though it doesn't get around / explain all the monsters decaying, which is mechanically necessary for the game in practice.
[842] This refers to the "Half-Krolvin Society and Faith" document. Koargard is discussed in "Worship in the Turamzzyrian Empire" and various Church of Koar contexts. It has its own doctrine of what the afterlife is, but the death mechanics adventurers experience is empirical.
[843] "Lady of Winter" is an epithet that is used in "History of the Order of Voln". This line is about framing that adventurers have empirical experience with the other side of the Gate, with the depart / Purgatory messaging, which in every instance illustrated an oblivion stated of near unconsciousness.
[844] This is directly based on the Purgatory / Abyss of Naidem messaging, and the description of the Pale in the second Griffin Sword War. It is how GemStone interpreted the meaning of "Oblivion", which at that time was undefined in the I.C.E. setting.

In time the goddess Lorminstra will find the soul in this purgatory between the light and darkness, and bring it back to the world of the living at the moment of its death, reincarnating its body with scorching pain as its memories rush back to it.[845] She even has a minor capacity for repairing torn apart or "destroyed" souls.[846] Reincarnation works around some of the conditions that ordinarily prevent resurrection.[847] In the end Lorminstra would discern whether the life is too full, or its mission too completed, or the death too natural to warrant returning the soul even if it was owed favor.[848] It was only certain kinds of deaths that could be substituted for deaths of like kind.[849] Otherwise the rules of Death held without exemption.[850] It is not clear to what extent these matters are choices of Lorminstra, and to what extent she is only the Guardian enacting them. Some claim Lorminstra is "powerless" to aid most souls without deeds.[851]

[845] This is directly describing the Purgatory death messaging. It is slightly condensed now in GemStone IV, but this is using the original full version of the wording in the decay/depart messaging, which was live up through 2003.
[846] This is referring to the spirit death variant of the Purgatory messaging. The currently used form of the decay/depart messaging uses this particular version in all cases. Spirit death is soul destruction in Rolemaster, but in GemStone, Lorminstra was able to fix it if people had the deeds. Otherwise this special case of permadeath set off the "lost to the demonic" messaging.
[847] If a body is poisoned in such a way that it cannot host the soul, that would sensibly prevent ordinary raising as well as "true resurrections". But with Lorminstra able to repair at least some souls, and reincarnate the body out of spirit, that makes it harder to fully prevent Lorminstra from bringing someone back. It isn't obvious that Luukosian deathwort would actually permadeath one of our player characters.
[848] This is referring to the original stuff where Lorminstra would not agree to do the resurrection. This is framing how you could have get-out-of-death deeds for heroic action stuff, but this is not allowing people to get out of dying out of old age just because they have deeds. Or whatever their "mission" is, Fate role, whatever, that being fulfilled is going to overrule any owed favor exemption. Adventurer "favors" explicitly do not get them out of final death from their lifespans being up in DragonRealms.
[849] This is an embellishment. But it is consistent with what is implied by the temple and deed ceremony, and explains it in a way that is very adventurer specific and not something relevant to the general NPC population. It wouldn't even apply to ordinary soldiers in a military. Related to this, empaths and clerics that focus on healing or raising such fortune hunting adventurers, even if they do not go out and slay themselves, would get transferred conferred deeds under this logic. Clerics at one point actually mechanically got a deed for raising those under level 2 before the departure of their soul, where they would otherwise be saved from permadeath by the "old man" Purgatory messaging variant. This point is mentioned about deeds of Death in Volume 2.
[850] This is setting up Death deeds as having been a very particular loophole, and that Death deeds are not necessary at the present time, but the people for whom they are applicable are the only ones being exempted in this special loophole way.
[851] This is largely based on the Purgatory messaging variants that talk about the limits of power in bringing people back. It described deeds (at that time) as very necessary, except for those barely started yet "special children", where bringing them back without deeds was difficult. And it helps frame that Lorminstra isn't necessarily really making free choices in this stuff, the exemptions have to be paid for in some kind of Balance logic in weird cosmic stuff. There is limited insight mortals should have into it.

The precise rules of resurrection have fluctuated over the centuries.[852] There has always been some severity of "Death's sting" in the departed.[853] Those who return from death are never entirely restored.[854] They lose something of themselves, whether temporarily or permanently.[855] Some of this is damage from the decay of the body.[856] While "preservation" and "lifekeep" are often done at the same time, they are actually distinct. Lifekeep binds the soul in the dying. Preservation halts decay of the dead.[857] The extent to which Lorminstra has extended her power in mitigating death has fluctuated.[858] Since the waking of the shadow dragon Kor'Thriss in 5104, "deeds" have had no role in whether Lorminstra brings back a departed soul, they are instead the power of Life that goes into softening Death's sting.[859] The reason for this change in the cycles of Death remains unclear. It may have something to do with the Balance.[860] But the "special children" no longer must perform homage to Lorminstra, and how or why they were chosen remains a mystery.[861] They are often contrary to her own interests, but have some role to play in the unfolding of Fate. [862]

[852] The death mechanics have changed repeatedly in the past few decades, including with IC recognition of changes. This wording is partly leaning on the embellished premise of Death deeds starting 7,000 years ago.
[853] This is damages to the body and to some extent spirit from dying or being dead. In the ICE Age there was permanent stat penalty damages, then in the late 90s and early 00s there was negative experience point loss, then in 2004 onward our current form of Death's Sting.
[854] This is true from Rolemaster up through our present Death's Sting mechanics.
[855] There was permanent stat damage risk from too many deaths per level in the I.C.E. Age. This notion of permanent damage from it would likely refer even moreso to cases of what we're calling "true resurrection" where the body was dead for a while and the soul brought back to it.
[856] Oxygen deprivation to the brain, for example, was framed in Rolemaster "Character Law". Volume 2 gets into this more and talks about how there is also spiritual damage from the animus deteriorating in the "dying" state, which explains Death's sting for dying characters who get raised.
[857] They were different spells with different functions in Rolemaster "Spell Law". Preservation halts body decay. Lifekeep stops the soul from departing. GemStone rolls them up together, partly because it doesn't keep bodies around after soul departure, but you would want / need preservation magic if a "true resurrection" were to be done, where Lifekeep would be pointless. Chrisms likewise could be interpreted as related to preservation magic but not lifekeep magic.
[858] This is referring to the shifting around in the death mechanics that have happened. There was no stat loss at all from 1996 through 2003, roughly, but there was experience loss from decays / spirit deaths and so forth. These are empirical IC differences in death recovery. The shadow dragon premise when Death's sting was introduced talked about Lorminstra extending her power in terms of undoing the physical damages when bringing people back. (She takes wounds but leaves scars.)
[859] This is an empirical fact that deeds no longer have any role in whether Lorminstra brings people back, since 2004 with the shadow dragon stuff and Death's sting change, which was framed as some cosmic cycle change. This concept of deeds of Life is based on the "good deeds" as liquid substance in the Vishmiir event for banishing the Vishmiir, and it is an embellishment to contrast these with the Death deeds, and this power of Life as what is going into ameliorating Death's sting. Because what deeds presently do is mitigate Death's Sting, so this is directly addressing why they work that way and what changed.
[860] The Balance is talked about, for example, in "History of the Order of Voln". The concept exists in Rolemaster books, but was not really much in the Shadow World setting, though there was a little such as about the barriers between planes getting weakened by portal magic and so forth. Morvule in the Luukosian Order has their own twisted version of Balance concept in Death, Undeath and Lies. And logs show the Luukosians in rituals talking about correcting Fate's flaws. In any case, the vagueness of the cosmic cycle changes was stated in the Death's sting release, and the balance of Life and Death was framed earlier in this document when talking about Luukos and his relation to the undead.
[861] It is an empirical fact that deeds no longer serve the role they did before the in game year 5104. There is no explanation for why the "special children" are special or chosen, and there does not really need to be on the mortal end of things. They just got brought back for reasons they do not know for certain, but they're generally adventurers, and it's those kinds of deaths they get out of (at least up until some point.) Arkati generally do not give straight answers about this kind of stuff. There should just be IC theological interpretations of it.
[862] As mentioned, the Luukosians speak of correcting Fate's flaws, and there are fate notions such as Koar contemplating the fate of all things (the Rift is implicitly inside the Great Drake and the Rift rooms are mostly Tarot cards and the Vvrael quest was all about prophecy and Book of Revelation kind of stuff), and Gosaena's prophetic powers of knowing when things will die. This document uses Fate as a cosmic force that is tied up in the Life/Death balance (as an embellished premise based on various factors) and directly related to this concept of unfinished business / purpose / special missions. Volume 3 uses this concept for talking about restless spirit types of undead. Also, this embellishment about it being a Fate and cosmic balances mystery thing that isn't really about Lorminstra choosing, that gives flex on why she's bringing back all these people contrary to her own interests.

Regardless, the role of these special children in the late Age of Chaos was to be a countervailing force on the darkness, and they may well have been a crucial factor in restoring order.[863] It was also in the Age of Chaos that we see the earliest records of a figure resembling Voln.[864] There was a proliferation of undeath in the westerlands.[865] Often this was at the hands of Luukosian cultists, or those wishing to establish theocracies.[866] It was many years before the founding of the k'Tafali sect.[867] The witch hunters of that age had no use for mercy, or for regarding the undead with compassion.[868] Voln was interpreted as having an undying hatred of the undead, and was the immortal enemy of Luukos, who increasingly came to personify the forces of Undeath.[869]

[863] This is an embellished premise. Since we're picking a time for this fortune hunter / adventurer special dispensation to begin in the world timeline, having it happen then as civilization is restarting can have some historical significance for the "adventurer" class of people. Because there's very little in the way of hooks for them impacting historical events farther back than 30 years ago, or the sort of storyline external threats that often dominate over normal nations/politics forces; maybe the only clear example of it is the lore around the Ice Witch Issyldra. In any case, the general notion would be that the aggregate effect of having these tiny minority of heroic fortune hunters surviving longer than they would have is that it cuts down on the monstrous / dark / chaotic populations. And that would have helped push back and tame the Age of Chaos around population centers, especially if those new centers had money economies to incentivize fortune hunting. This does not have to be the purpose / reason for "Death deeds" in itself. But it could be the practical consequence of them. Especially if the Luukosians and necromantic dark forces were causing the Life-Death imbalance that caused the Fate aberration for it.
[864] There are context reasons to think Voln was not a known entity until after the Undead War. The "History of Luukos" puts the ascension of Voln at a later time than the Undead War, and says: "On the other side, Lorminstra worked with others who believed in the purity of life to put a stop to the flood of corruption that undeath brought. This would eventually lead to the ascendance of the immortal spirit Voln, and the establishment of his Order." It is also a framed in storyline events (e.g. Ride of the Red Dreamer) that Morvule was the one who united the Luukosian cults into the Luukosian Order, and the "Griffin Sword War" document says: "Let us begin with Morvule himself – according to Nershuul, Morvule was originally of elven origin, though he does not know of his originating House. During the days after the Undead War, he underwent a transformation initiated by Luukos and appeared forever changed." And the "History of Luukos" commits to Luukos not doing his necromancy thing around mortals until after the Undead War. So then you have "Gods of Elanthia" saying of Voln: "Tales suggest that Voln's very existence is a result of Lorminstra's constant entreaties to Koar for some direct action to counter the spreading curse of Luukos' undead. Most tales attribute Voln's paternal lineage to Koar and a mortal woman. His upbringing, in a land where he witnessed loved ones lost to Luukos' curse, shaped him with an undying hatred of the undead and provided a lifelong mission." Likewise, one of the loresongs on the Stones of Virtue on Mount Aenatumgana shows the ascension of Voln, in front of what is clearly a Luukosian cultist. Similarly, the ascension legend under such conditions would fall apart instantly if Elves had records of Voln dating all the way to prehistory, like the Arkati. So Voln has to begin appearing in historical records at some point. But in the Age of Chaos things are badly recorded. So we go with starting to see something along these lines and be vague on the timing.
[865] This is an embellishment to the extent that what is firm canon only speaks of orcs, trolls, minotaurs, that kind of thing. In this document we've framed some population migrations and leftover Despana forces on some plausible extrapolations, so that there is significantly more undeath in the West after the Undead War than there was before it, which is the essence of what the "History of Luukos" is saying even if we have to reject some of the stuff about Despana as mythical and distorted.
[866] This is extrapolating off the conditions that would have existed for the story of Voln's origins.
[867] This is the Order of Voln. The volumes of this document treat the "Order of Voln" as a theological tradition stemming from Fasthr k'Tafali, and though it is what is dominant now, the IC author regards a lot of its doctrines as theological constructions of mortals and not Voln himself. The mercy and release of poor cursed souls, for example, is not the mandate. The mandate is to put down the undead. This is reconciling the tension in the lore that exists because the Order of Voln was designed in the context of the I.C.E. lore for Voln (Vult), mercy and release of the suffering and cleansing souls of taint, but then his De-ICE'd version makes him the "Destroyer of the Undead" and having "an undying hatred of the undead." Later developments such as "History of the Order of Voln" are influenced by the in-game messaging, which is actually the ICE lore, so what we're doing here is setting up a frame for explaining this "undying hatred" and "destroyer" version of Voln. Basically, though the k'Tafali sect is now dominant, especially the past couple of centuries due to the Horned Cabal, this is suggesting their views of Voln were not the norm further in the past, beyond a thousand years ago. 
[868] The very generic term that this document uses for people who hunt down forces of darkness and their minions / monsters is "witch hunter", which is not meant to be specific to hunting witches. It is used here, but more often in Volume 2.
[869.1] This is explicitly framing and quoting the "Gods of Elanthia" entry for Voln, and highlight the inconsistency with the mercy/release rhetoric elsewhere. It's giving a hook for where that "Gods of Elanthia" description is coming from within the setting. The premise of Luukos becoming the Undeath god, in his practical religious focus with mortals, only after the Undead War is following off the "History of Luukos" document and various context details, like how it was assumed the Book of Tormtor was in some way Ur-Daemon in origin, rather than assuming this mass undeath artifact was related to Luukos. Near the beginning of this document, it explicitly asserts (as an embellishment) the Luukos was regarded as the Soul Eater god in the Second Age, and that this undeath stuff from him happened later. So here we're giving some context to the Age of Chaos in the West having Luukos expanding his sphere of influence with the spread of all this necromancy. And it can give some more context to all the weight on Luukos with undeath when most of the undead we actually see in the game have nothing directly to do with Luukos.
[869.2] When the Vaalor monastery for the Order of Voln was added in summer 2004, a high priest NPC named Vitharyl claimed ""The Patron's Order was established among the Houses since after the Undead Wars.  There was public outcry resulting in elves seeing their family members walking as a part of the vile undead." Which is vastly earlier and entirely independent from the Fasthr k'Tafali branch, which is the only part described by the "History of the Order of Voln" document. This references Voln being a current patron of House Vaalor in "Elven Dogma and Theology", and is a fairly blatant contradiction. Mechanically the society and NPCs seem to be essentially cloned, from what I can tell, though I have not run a character up through the Vaalor branch. But this establishes non-k'Tafali origin Voln orders back into the Age of Chaos. For the implication of Undead War survivors being relevant, that would give very little time for the Voln ascension as a real historical event. While if Voln pre-dates the Undead War it runs into issues with the "History of Luukos" and so forth, and the Elves would be able to contradict this stuff with Second Age accounts of Voln.

(2) The Dark Path

But a little over six thousand years ago, following the shift in the cycles of Death, a dark mirror of the Death religion arose in the far north.[870] The Dark Path was a theocracy in homage of Gosaena.[871] It was a heterodox theology, in some ways similar to her Left Hand Path sect, but otherwise highly unusual.[872] It was a syncretic doctrine blending Gosaena and Eorgina, and perhaps to some extent with the savior myths of Despana, as she who ushered forth the darkness that ended the First Age.[873] Imagining this Empress as a dead goddess who had been decapitated, her body was said to have fallen through the black gateway.[874] The dead goddess waited on the other side, outside of time and defying Death, guarding the way to the darkness as a goddess of transformation.[875] Gosaena so imagined was the Guardian of the Forbidden, the "dark path" in purgatory beyond the Gate, promising everlasting existence of undeath or eternity in the infernal demonic realms.[876]

[870] This is an embellishment but an attempt to keep consistency with pre-existing lore. The Graveyard and Broken Land stories were set approximately 6,300 years ago on the I.C.E. Age timeline, where on the scale of years 1 year is equivalent to 1 year, because in the I.C.E. Age setting (Shadow World) there were 350 days in a year, but Master Atlas 2nd Edition in 1992 established there were 25 hours in a day, which is equivalent to a 365 Earth day calendar for a solar year. There is seemingly no reason to not just keep the 6,300 year ago number and have those stories happening in the late Age of Chaos. The original context was the Wars of Dominion, but nothing directly analogous to the Wars of Dominion happened in the Elanthia setting.
[871] This is just a straight De-ICE of the "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" document, which was the first GemStone unique lore document and a 100% original GemStone story. It does not come from I.C.E., just some of its details were set in it. It is worth noting that Bandur Etrevion himself is post-ICE canon, like one of his books is chained down in Moonsedge Manor.
[872] The Left Hand Path sect is a Gosaena cult from the second Griffin Sword War. The gist of it is that its leadership alternates between good leaning and dark leaning, the Right Hand and Left Hand paths. The shrine in Naidem also seemed to represent Gosaena in some bifurcated angel/demon form, like one of the Tarot card Major Arcana rooms in the Rift. So, this is an embellishment, it's meant to provide a context hook for the Dark Path somehow being consistent with Gosaena, since Gosaena is extremely different from Kadaena, but at the same time what GemStone did with Kadaena was off canon for Shadow World.
[873.1] This is a made up embellishment to try to square the difference between the off-canon treatment of Empress Kadaena in the Graveyard (and more subtly also in the Broken Land) with the later Gosaena and Eorgina lore, as those two were more changed in the De-ICE than most gods. It's also mentioning Despana savior myths in this context to tie back into the dark magic diaspora out of the southern wasteland set up earlier in this document, to connect Age of Chaos dark magic to Undead War aftermath.
[873.2] The motivation behind this is obscure. In the original lore context, Empress Kadaena was not really a goddess, she was a powerful sorceress of demi-god scale power who was decapitated by her cousin. There's also a version where her headless body fell through the "Gates of the Void" into the demonic realms. Kadaena was also the creator of the gogor (vruul), which were collected by Morgu (Marlu) for some unknown reason, though his original form looked exactly like a vruul. And the Broken Land seems to be insinuating the Kadaena's race was responsible for the origins of the Dark Gods in their magic experiments.
[873.3] So this is synthesizing the notion that Despana may have merely been exiled off world by the Maelshyve implosion, the Graveyard's off-canon representation of Kadaena as a dead goddess who resides beyond the Gates of Oblivion (i.e. a cult belief about Gosaena being like a dead goddess exiled beyond the Ebon Gate), and the Eorgina-Marlu relationship encoded in "Origins of Tonis" and "History of Fash'lo'nae" and to a lesser extent the introduction section to "Gods of Elanthia". This is also deliberately playing into the DragonRealms issue of Maelshyve versus Urrem'tier, as pointed out in footnote 876.3.
[873.4] There is also a very esoteric argument for the Graveyard and the Broken Land being influenced by the "Demons of the Burning Night" book, where Empress Kadaena's daughter was the ruler of Orgiana's (I.C.E. Eorgina) theocracy, and the Broken Land's own GemStone unique lore might be conflating Kadaena and Orgiana, who were a little conflated in that theocracy.
[874] This is blending the details described in the footnotes to 873. This document refer to the doctrine as "syncretic".
[875] This is leveraging off the "defying Death itself" frieze in the Graveyard crypt and the grotesque statue of "Empress Gosaena" embedded in the Graveyard gate, along with the timeless void of light and darkness in the Purgatory messaging, which had exits (paths) of light and darkness. The Graveyard itself underground is arguably a symbolic representation of Purgatory where is only the "dark path" into the darkness and the demonic.
[876.1] This is involving several things. "Guardian of the Forbidden" is the actual translation of the original invoking phrase in the Graveyard crypt, which was an offering formula of "Kadaena Throk Farok" in the I.C.E. language of Iruaric. This is off canon for Kadaena, it's representing her as some kind of Lovecraftian forbidden knowledge goddess, and a dead goddess along the lines of Hel or Osiris. This sentence is also explicitly recognizing the symbolic parallels between the Graveyard and the Purgatory and deeds death mechanics, and is pulling on theocracy details in the "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion".
[876.2] The "infernal demonic realms" is a literalization of the phrase "lost to the demonic", which never involved any first hand demon imagery. It is leaning on the original I.C.E. Lorminstra lore where the Key to the Void was never to be used, and that arguably being the meaning of "Guardian of the Forbidden", where the Void generally refers to the Unlife / demonic realms. In this document the word "infernal" has a specific cosmological meaning, referring to the "pales" of lower existences of more chaotic essences ("sorcerous elements") that are part of existence's chaos-order or dark-light spectrum, not outer valences. Then it is interpreting the light and darkness witnessed in Purgatory in this kind of cosmology of higher and lower planes.
[876.3] The notion that the light and dark are different aspects of the same Oblivion, perhaps experienced differently but the same place, is implied by the old permadeath messaging in Purgatory. This is the way the Afterlife is also described in DragonRealms, and Volume 2 of this document tries to stay consistent with the soul description in DragonRealms which has a tri-partite structure to it. Here we are going further and associating the Void aspect of it to the demonic, and we are very subtly relating Despana/Gosaena with the DragonRealms version where Maelshyve claimed the Void (the permadeath part of the "Starry Road" spiritual plane) was her realm before she was displaced by the Gosaena-like immortal Urrem'tier.

In the cosmology of higher and lower planes of existence, the light was interpreted as a higher spirit realm, and the dark was damnation in the realm of demons and terrible powers of Void.[877] To the extent this bears any resemblance to orthodox theologies of Gosaena, it is one of visions of the death of all things, and the inevitable doom in being lost to the demonic.[878] Gosaena was understood to reign over the end of Lorminstra's powers. Where Lorminstra was powerless to intercede, there would be only Gosaena. This stage of Oblivion was known as the Pale.[879]

[877] The light as associated with the higher spirit planes is based on the release event information of Searing Light (135). The wording of this sentence uses "interpreted", so it is a theological interpretation of Purgatory and not necessarily correct. It may more or less reflect the original intent of that messaging, which was off canon for the I.C.E. setting.
[878] Bandur would have "omens" and nightmares, implicitly Lovecraftian nightmare visions, in "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion". Kadaena did not have any established prophetic ability, though that kind of magic existed in the setting, such as her cousin Andraax having a vignette of foreseeing the Unlife coming and blotting out the sun. (The Graveyard is symbolically anti-Sun in various ways.) This sentence is trying to thread the needle of an interpretation that can make sense of both the I.C.E. Age version of Kadaena as represented in the Graveyard with the late 1990s Gosaena lore which is plainly inspired by her presence on the Graveyard gate. This document is framing it as a heterodox theology, in line with the earlier assertion about heterodox and apocryphal theologies in the West and southern wastelands. 
[879] These few lines are attempting to reconcile the earlier issue about Gosaena being the final last stop, in seeming contradiction with Lorminstra letting souls out to visit sometimes and Purgatory probably representing the other side of the Gates in its original intent. The Pale is the Gosaena realm in the Griffin Sword War, and its messaging was clearly very heavily based on the Purgatory messaging. The permadeath messaging made it clear that soul eventually ends up in the light or the dark, but it's all the same place and all Oblivion (i.e. oblivion state of unconsciousness) regardless of anything. So the reconciliation here is that Gosaena's realm is where and when Lorminstra does not have power, which explains the antagonistic way the Dark Path / Graveyard represents them, and recontextualizes the Purgatory messaging about the limits of her power.

This theocracy was founded by a human scholar named Bandur Etrevion, who at one time was a resident of the Library of Biblia.[880] He was caught attempting to steal a rare speaking crystal with words from the Age of Darkness.[881] Bandur was an occultist. He was obsessed with esoteric and forbidden knowledge, which he often acquired in nightmare visions, suffering fits of possession.[882] He was a formidable necromancer, having built a bizarre necropolis for himself, with extensive spatial warps.[883] It was designed with mortuary symbolism from diverse "underworld" religions.[884] He was a master of the black arts. But the corruption of this power was driving him mad.[885] He usurped the throne of his brother Kestrel and slaughtered many of the dark cults in the power vacuum of the north.[886] Among these was a cult of Luukos, possibly led by one of his own nephews, which had an underground stronghold on the coastal cliffs of what is now called Darkstone Bay.[887]

[880] This is from "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion". Biblia is the De-ICE'd replacement for the Library of Nomikos.
[881] This is keeping the detail of his being apprehended for stealing a speaking crystal, but recontextualizes it from being a Lord of Essaence artifact (i.e. Empress Kadaena's people in the First Era) to it being from the analogous Age of Darkness in the Elanthia setting (i.e. back to the time of Drakes / Arkati / Ur-Daemon / whatever.)
[882] This is directly from "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion". The word "occultist" is tied into the occultism described in this document, and with Bandur meaning a specifically Lovecraftian form of occultism, with "esoteric knowledge" in that way. In other words, "esoteric knowledge" not just meaning obscure or highly technical, but actual esotericism in the occult sense. This nightmare visions premise is also consistent with Gosaena related NPCs (e.g. Volierre) in "Griffin Sword War".
[883] The Graveyard has a bunch of explicit spatial warps, but it also has some much more subtle ones in the room painting.
[884] This is making an explicit statement of some subtext in the Graveyard's design. Its several original sections are clearly based on a few different real-world mortuary religious architectures, which are related to Underworld mythology with dead gods of the Underworld (especially Hel and Osiris). Along with possibly Orgiana (I.C.E. Eorgina) who was based on Hel. And there is a pretty clearly defensible case for the Graveyard paralleling Dante's Inferno, where Satan is frozen in the underworld. Volume 3 tries to establish mummies as underworld mythology related out of the Southron Wastes as an embellishment.
[885] This comes from "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion". The term "Dark Path" in capitals in the Shadow World lore was actually referencing the corruption into madness and service to the Unlife that inevitably results from casting off the Evil spell lists, which in that setting derive their magical power from the Unlife either directly or indirectly (e.g. Dark Gods). The term "black arts" as used in this document is based on the use of the term "black arts" in the Graveyard story.
[886] This is from "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion". By keeping the 6,300 years ago chronology, we're using this to help justify interpreting the West in this period as having a bunch of dark cults, which in the Second Age the document asserts were concentrated in the southern subcontinent. So this is a case of trying to keep things consistent. This is also a thread for a previous assertion in this document that the northwest was always a haven for dark magic because of its geographic remoteness.
[887] This is an embellishment. The Luukos shrine in the underground stronghold dates back to 1991, and reflects his I.C.E. version. It was expanded about a decade later, I believe Morvule unveiled the expansion as an old place. There is a reasonable case for several reasons to think the Coastal Cliffs area released in 1991, which is related to that stronghold in general, was intended to be related to the Bandur Etrevion story of purging the dark cults in the region when he consolidated his theocracy. So this is just explicitly stating something that was probably the original intent. There is now also an Onar shrine in it.

This was only to consolidate power under his own sinister theocracy. The Dark Path engaged in ostentatious rituals under a genteel facade of prayer, making a mockery of the parallel rites in the rival religion of Lorminstra.[888] Where the high priest of a temple of Lorminstra would be titled the Lord High Cleric, the ruler of the Dark Path was fashioned the Lord High Sorceror. Instead of promising resurrection to the pious for their deeds, those who devoutly swore themselves to Gosaena were promised undeath. Instead of sacrificing worldly treasures for continued life, human sacrifices were made in offering to Bandur. Instead of homage freely given, there was thralldom.[889] Utterly mad from having slain his beloved brother, and haunted with prophetic visions, Bandur was unable to drown his suffering.[890] He engulfed himself in darkness below his necropolis, under false tombs, incorporating his future grave robbers in its grand design.[891] This commune with intense darkness caused Bandur to be frozen within solid ice.[892] This was seen later with the Vvrael in 5098 when the halfling Ardo Olbin was frozen in the Chamber of the Dead.[893]

[888] Most of this is explicitly stated in "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion". The last part about the mocking parallel of the Lorminstra religion is an interpretation. The Graveyard has numerous parallels to the temple in the Landing and the deeds / Purgatory death mechanics. These were all made at approximately the same time at the beginning of GemStone III.
[889.1] This is a list of example justifying the last part of the sentence that is footnoted 888. It is based on a direct comparison between the Graveyard rooms and the Temple rooms. The Graveyard also leans on some obscure, archaic vestigial lore within the Shadow World setting, about "servants of the Shadow" who artificially created demons. The phrase "power through thralldom" was appended to that for Bandur's most famous book. Here we are leaning into our medieval interpretation of deeds.
[889.2] The Sorceror spelling is an odd spillover from I.C.E. books, where it is sometimes spells Sorcerer and other times Sorceror, at least in Shadow World setting books. It may be based on Necromancers being "Sorcerors" in conversion charts between Rolemaster systems, as a contrast to Lord High Cleric, or could be randomly based on some case of it being spelled that way in one of the books. It is probably the only place in GemStone it is spelled this way, and there used to be a message board topic in the Sorcerer forum solely about "Sorcerer vs. Sorceror". This spelling has also cropped up in the DragonRealms wiki.
[890] This is from "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" and wording his "omens" to a little more clearly Gosaena in nature, similar to what was seen with NPCs in "Griffin Sword War".
[891] This is cross-referencing "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" with interpreting the original parts of the Graveyard, which are on real room ID segment 18. This partly referring to the I.C.E. ghoul lore, and partly to the deep underground part of the Graveyard with the huge pile of bodies. Originally there was no way out from down there, the tunnel up to near the entrance to the burial mound was dug up from below ground, of people trapped down there trying to dig their way out. That is the significance of the body pile, who arguably symbolize the spirits of those who could not choose in the Purgatory messaging. What happened implicitly is that the Graveyard had traps, and grave robbers would get magically transported down there. It is most likely from trying to take stuff from the crypt's (unplundered) scroll room, as that would fit the Dark Path meaning.
[892] This is based on the Graveyard. The sarcophagus in the crypt is a fake, Bandur is actually hidden below ground, frozen in a block of ice. There's a reasonably good chance Kestrel's tomb is also fake, he might be the melted skeleton throne.
[893.1] The Chamber of the Dead is most likely an homage to the Graveyard. There were several things in Vvrael quest related areas that could plausibly have been Graveyard parallels, but Ardo's "sarcophagus" ice block is one of the most overt. The Vvrael were roughly an Unlife analog for the Elanthia setting, the Unlife in the Shadow World setting is "anti-Essaence", which is what we would call "anti-mana" in Elanthia. It is the furthest extreme of the chaos-order essence spectrum cosmology. Volume 2 of this document restores that model, and treats "anti-mana" as the purest most corrupt form of "elemental darkness." The use of the term "elemental darkness" is partly based on the dark vysans, originally called dark wisplings, which were apparently based on the Rolemaster "Elemental Companion" and would have been very weak examples of darkness elementals, which would be associated with cold criticals. There is likewise a case for interpreting the dark vorteces as more powerful darkness elementals. Elanthia does not include light and dark as "elements", but has substantive light associated with the spirit realm (e.g. Searing Light spell), and here we treat darkness as one of the "sorcerous elements", related to demons and undead.
[893.2] The Bandur and Uthex treatments break with the style of the rest of the document. Most of the document is talking about intellectual traditions and cultural propensities, or historiographic reinterpretation of historical events. But here we deal with specific historical people (concretely) instead, where the surrounding context in that time period is very ill-defined. But they tie into the occultist tradition and the Death religions. The very last section on the Modern period in contrast is very sweeping compared to the rest of the document. These are maneuvers being made relative to the gaps in the lore and things too close to the present day.

(3) The Broken Land

However, there was an elven scholar in the region who was a contemporary of Bandur, whom he had known from his earlier days.[894] When his work had been recognized by the Order of Lorekeepers.[895] Sage Uthex Kathiasas was one of the greatest researchers of his time, and was seeking ways to aid the forces of civilization in the terrible wars of that period.[896] While Uthex was not aware of the nature of the Dark Path theocracy, which outwardly resembled the worship of Lorminstra, they had discovered a portal underground in what is now called the Lysierian Hills.[897]

[894] The original copy of "The Broken Land" from the GEnie file library had an exact date for the demise of Uthex: 6521 Second Era. This was in the first century of the Wars of Dominion, which lasted almost four hundred years. The De-ICEd copies that floated around on player websites cut this out completely. But it was very important, because it explicitly puts Bandur and Uthex in the same place at the same time, on top of more subtle relationships between the stories. The hooded figures in the Broken Land were probably meant to be Dark Path cultists who are effectively immortalized by Uthex's experiments.
[895] Uthex was a Loremaster of Karilon in the original story, where Bandur had been recognized by the College of Karilon. Uthex was retconned to be a Sage of the Order of Lorekeepers for the Miracle (350) spell release. "Sage" was originally the De-ICE'd replacement term for "Loremaster", as Sage had often been used in Loremaster contexts in the Shadow World setting.
[896] This is straight from the Broken Land document. It just removes the term "Wars of Dominion".
[897] This is an interpretation meant to explain how Uthex was tricked and seduced by servants of the Unlife, and based on the parallel between the Dark Path and the death religion as encoded in GemStone. The story refers to it as a "natural" gateway to another plane of existence, so we are taking its naturalness and having been discovered on face value. The spinning stone ring around it was implicitly made by the Loremasters later. It is most likely based on a powerful spell from the Warding list.

Uthex used his great influence to secure access to this portal from Bandur.[898] It was a natural gateway to a parallel dimension of this world, a nightmarish analog or dark mirror of the same places, which causes the body to dematerialize and vanish from this reality.[899] The portal was likely formed by a rare eclipse of Lornon by Liabo that happens over that region.[900] This is known as the "Broken Land" or the "Home of Broken Lore."[901] It is rumored to be on the surface of the moon Lornon. Or perhaps below it.[902] There may be a grain of truth in this as it is apparently an esoteric dimension.[903] There are very ancient Marluvian ruins in the Broken Land, where the Dark Path cultists woke up long sleeping vruul, using foul rituals of desecration.[904] It is in the same vein as the heterodox theology of the Dark Path.[905] The shrine there includes apocrypha depicting Eorgina as a dead goddess, the mother of Marlu, who is called a "spirit born of death."[906]

[898] This was explicitly stated in the Broken Land story, except that did not mention Bandur by name. It was implied context.
[899] The first part is from the Broken Land story, and the last part is based on the Misty Chamber messaging. The dark mirror and nightmarish analog "parallel dimension" aspect of it is an interpretation. It's very subtle. But there is actually a clear correspondence between the stuff in the Broken Land with analogous stuff in the Lysierian Hills. There is a strong argument for the Broken Land being based on Lovecraft stories involving dream walking / astral projecting into parallel existences, especially the Dreamland, which has nightmarish analogs of the places that exist in the waking world.
[900] This is extrapolating off the tapestries in Imaera's shrine and its release event, along with the Shadow World portals lore where natural gateways can be caused by celestial alignments.
[901] "Broken Land" was originally singular, it gained an "s" in the De-ICE. "Home of Broken Lore" was the literal meaning of its name out of Iruaric. Iruaric was used in numerous parts of the Broken Land originally. (Empress Kadaena's language.)
[902] This is just nodding to the wrong belief that it is the surface of Lornon. The Broken Land is actually deeply inconsistent with the I.C.E. version of Lornon. "Perhaps below it" is playing off the I.C.E. version being a gateworld with underground demons, and then "History of Fash'lo'nae" being planar experiments below ground in Lornon. You could make a subtext argument for the Broken Land being underground in Charon under highly artificial conditions. But that is probably not the intent. The Dark Gods came from other planes of existence in the I.C.E. lore, and were largely terrorizing the planet rather than residing on the moon when the Broken Land story was set during the Wars of Dominion. The moon case is really weak. Plus the Broken Land story itself explicitly called it another plane of existence, so that'd have to be an outright lie.
[903] This is interpretation based on the parallel between it and the Lysierian Hills, as well as the Lovecraftian Dreamland subtext. Shadow Valley is more blatantly and obviously a parallel dimension in this fashion.
[904] This is based on the original gogor (vruul) lore, which is encoded into the Dark Shrine. There is actually a decent case that our "lesser vruul" were not woken up, but instead made out of the dead cultists. In the canon material the gogor were made by Empress Kadaena, but there was no detail into the methods. The Dark Shrine might be encoding the creation process, and these lesser vruul ("minor gogor") could be meant to be weak ones made with ancient dark knowledge in a much later Age.
[905] This is reviving and making explicit the relationship between the Graveyard and Broken Land. Which was Empress Kadaena.
[906] This is explaining the prior sentence and cross-referencing the now archaic "Temple of Darkness Poem", which is used for the Dark Shrine puzzle and had some weird off-canon representation of the Dark Gods, with the Eorgina-Marlu relationship such as in "Origins of Tonis" in the Elanthia setting. Keeping in mind we defined the Dark Path as a Gosaena/Eorgina syncretism. The "spirit born of death" part is the translated meaning of the phrase used in the puzzle to gain access to the Dark Shrine.

There is a prehistorical crystal dome in the Broken Land, a shining trapezohedron, which is a siphon stone that concentrates power.[907] It is thought the occult researchers were attempting to fashion physical entities from raw energy, or "power given physical form," and Uthex ultimately went mad with the corruption of dark power.[908] The cultists were trying to make their own form of soul reincarnation, darkly mirroring the reincarnation of souls by Lorminstra.[909] The Sheruvian Order under Draezir seized control of Uthex's old workshop in 5097, and struggled with Shar the following year.[910] Self-resurrection magic for the undeparted spirit was discovered there by Sages of the Order of Lorekeepers in 5107.[911] But the later work of Uthex was high necromancy.[912]

[907] The crystal dome was implicitly a Lord of Essaence artifact in its original context. It's probably inspired by Lovecraft's quasi-sphere from "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" and possibly the almost sphere Shining Trapezohedron from "Haunter of the Dark" which gave visions of "hooded figures" and eldritch vistas and so forth. The dome in the Broken Land is vaguely hemispherical, being surrounded by boulders and rubble, but actually faceted with panels. So this is describing it as actually a shining "trapezohedron" as an homage to the Lovecraftian subtext of the Broken Land.
[908] This is more or less explicitly stated by the Broken Land backstory document. The line about "occult researchers" is tying it back to describing Bandur as an "occultist" and the way occultism was described earlier in this document, which included astral projection notions and ascension concepts. The Broken Land was probably implying the artificial origins of the Dark Gods in experiments by the Lords of Essaence, being servants of Empress Kadaena and possibly even Kadaena as a dead goddess, consistent with the subtext representation of Kadaena in the Graveyard. The "Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" leans on a weird typo in the source books that implies Kadaena was one of the moon goddesses. This was before Shadow World created the pantheon we call Lornon, which was first defined in 1990, so the Broken Land uses them but the Graveyard doesn't.
[909] This is an interpretation based on the parallels of the Graveyard and Broken Land with GemStone's death mechanics, and also by cross-referencing the Broken Land story with messaging, such as how the hooded figures spawn.
[910] This actually happened in game. Draezir temporarily turned off the runes for accessing the Broken Land. The storyline of Shar struggling with them was in 1998.
[911] This was the release event for Miracle (350). This is an ordinary Cleric spell that applies to all alignments and convert statuses. In terms of the twisting of Uthex's work, he was presumably trying to make something like the "Spiteful Rebirth" necromancer spell in DragonRealms, which is an imitation of lich resuscitation and also has a 24 hour cooldown. This would in turn be related to the monastic liches as a retcon interpretation. 
[912] High necromancy is defined more in Volume 2 of this document. It was arguably immortality / everlasting existence focused because of the Dark Path tie-in, but Uthex was attempting to fashion entities from energy, possibly even recycling them from departed souls. This may also have tied into the notion of Kadaena's followers having created demons, which is vestigial from older I.C.E. books. This is the likely meaning of them trying to twist Uthex's work into more perilous forms. The Miracle (350) release premise can conveniently tie into this necromantic reincarnation concept.

There was potential to transmogrify the soul into extraplanar entities, especially demons, or even "ascend" the souls into godhood.[913] In this way the Dark Path sought to ensure the reality of their depraved Death theology.[914] They had twisted and perverted the work of Uthex into more dangerous forms.[915] But his fellow Sages discovered that Uthex had gone quite mad, and slew him in -1,264 with a devastating meteor swarm, destroying as many of his experiments and records as they could.[916] There was a hidden monastery established to guard the portal, where monks of Kai struggled for centuries with the immortalized cultists.[917] These were astral fights as the portal had been sealed with powerful Runes of Warding.[918] It was a cenobitic monastic order that would come to suffer from isolation and loneliness.[919] The monastery was lost to history, not rediscovered until 5092.[920] The monks had fallen to the very darkness they had struggled against.[921]

[913] The last part of this is rooted in the implications of the artificial origins of the Dark Gods as servants of Kadaena. The first parts of the sentence are based on that "servants of the Shadow" text, as well as the Lovecraftian subtext of the plotline of "Through the Gates of the Silver Key". The Graveyard and death mechanics arguably lean on the same Lovecraft stories as the Broken Land.
[914] This is just synthesizing the prior premises.
[915] This is from the Broken Land story.
[916.1] This is the equivalent calendar year to 6521 Second Era in the Shadow World timeline, in the sense of being the same number of years ago from the present. This document is keeping the number of years ago the same, because there is seemingly no reason not to just keep that consistent, putting the events in the late Age of Chaos.
[916.2] This is from the Broken Land story. It isn't obvious that the rubble in the Broken Land is all from the meteor swarm, or even the continually falling rocks. While these are "meteors", it isn't obvious they're actually space rocks. The Broken Land might be a collapsed cenote, or ice fracturing on the surrounding mountains may be rolling boulders off the cliff.
[917] This is cross-referencing the Broken Land story with the imagery depicted in the Monastery. There was an interview with the creator, GM Kygar, in 1994 where he said they struggled in that mountain for centuries before succumbing to darkness.
[918] The Runes of Warding come from the Broken Land story, and were probably based on a specific spell from the Warding spell list from Shadow World, where there is a stone circle that blocks at half the level of the caster who made it. The reference to "astral fights" is playing off the astral projection subtexts in the Broken Land, including the chakra in the Monastery meditation room and the theosophical subtext of the Lovecraft parallel. The sewer in the Monastery is seemingly connected to a weird cryptic tower with non-Euclidean architecture, and the Broken Land dome maybe used to be connected to the tower as well.
[919] The isolation and loneliness is talked about in the Kygar interview.
[920] This is from the Broken Land story. 5092 is referring to the fact that it was discovered in 1992. The portal to the Broken Land was originally dormant. A year later it opened when hooded figures showed up attacking. If there was more detail to the release of it, that is not recorded now.
[921] This is quoting the Kygar interview.

IV.D The Modern Age (Last 5,000 Years)

The world was slow to recover from the Age of Chaos.[922] Even in far off lands it was a time of darkness. The continent of Finnia had been devastated by a cataclysm known as the Dark Flood.[923] The Elven Nations were set back with the destruction of House Ashrim and mostly kept to themselves in the East for several thousand years.[924] In time the Kannalan Empire would form in the West and pushed back the foul legacy of necromancers, until it collapsed under the forces of chaos itself, eventually to be replaced by the Turamzzyrian Empire.[925] This more human empire pushed the darkness back into the borderlands of the north and south.[926] But there has been a resurgence of dark forces of necromancy in the past few centuries, and especially the past few decades.[927]

[922] 10,000 or 15,000 years, depending on definition.
[923] This is from the Xazkruvrixis lore, "The Mystique of Xazkruvrixis". The Dark Flood of Finnia happened several thousand years before the Great Fire of Sharath.
[924.1] The timing of the Ashrim War has contradictory dates. "Timeline of Elanthian History" puts it at 157 Modern Era. The Ta'Illistim Monarchs document has the reign of Caladsal starting a few centuries later than that. The "mostly kept to themselves" is acknowledging that gnomes were allowed in, but there is no indication of involvement with the Kannalan Empire or earlier. It leans on the opening of the trade route in 5101 Modern Era, and slightly earlier with the Ilyan Cloud airship in the late 90s, as having been the beginning of increased cross-cultural trade and contact after the earlier Elven Wars. Banthis has said the original intent of the racial trading penalties was to have them decrease over time with increased contact and mixing of peoples. But this is playing in a very vaguely defined zone, in terms of how recent the opening up of the East has been in general. It was explicitly closed off from other races residing there during the Age of Chaos, up until Ardtin allowed the burghal gnomes to reside in Ta'Illistim about 4,000 years ago. 
[924.2] I'm inclined to say the most consistent thing would be for the past couple of decades to be a recent aberration and very sudden change from the perspective of Elven time scales, rather than there being some long history of mixing of peoples with it being normal to have relatives in farflung parts of the continent. "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire" for example frames the year 4845 as there having been smuggling networks that late between the Elven Nations and Turamzzyr, which suggests embargo conditions between the two powers rather than smuggling of goods that are illegal in themselves. The West was essentially always racially mixed going back into the Kannalan Empire and probably further, though Chaston's Edict made the southern Empire predominantly human, softening in recent centuries such as with the Horned Cabal and Order of Voln in Aldora. The Aelotoi being allowed in was a shock, as framed in "A Brief History of the Aelotoi" document, but justified in how the Elves were historically responsible for what happened to them. The 2014 assassination attempt on Myasara was related to racially opening up the city, and Hycinthia had popular supporters on that point. The Vaalor papers system was a reactionary crackdown after bad events in 2009.
[925] This is from this document's characterization of the impact the Kannalan Empire had on the geographical distribution of dark magic practitioners. It is an embellishment. This document also never mentions the necromancer Syssanis with his swamp stronghold near River's Rest on the west coast, but River's Rest having fallen into post-Kannalan relative lawlessness is generally consistent with the premise we're using about necromancers versus lawful civilization.
[926] This refers to the "black elven wizardry" down in Gor'nustre (now Immuron) and the dark sorcerous forces on the Wildwood settlement up in Vornavis (and Foggy Valley and so forth) in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire".
[927] This refers partly to the Horned Cabal and the Scourge / Demonwall, and various storylines in the past few decades.

Empress Selantha Anodheles II ordered an ill-conceived invasion of the Faendryl Empire, seeking to cleanse the lands of their darkness in the year 4841.[928] The Faendryl assumed it was a minor border expansion at first, with fortifications built along the northern marches, from Tedronne near the Wizardwaste to Harald's Keep in the east.[929] When Sentinel Jerram Happersett then sacked Gellig, they were infuriated, and eight score demonmasters routed the imperial armies in The Breaking.[930] Sentinel Happersett went missing and suffered a horrifying fate worse than death.[931]

[928] This is from "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire".
[929] This is an interpretation meant to make some sense of the non-reaction of the Faendryl followed by the severe reaction after the invasion of Gellig. The geographical distribution of these places is not defined in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire". So here we are defining it as fortifications largely west to east on what would be the northern borderlands, rather than oriented north to south. It may have been intended as north to south, with the sequence of retreat, but that would be more aggressive. What we're doing here is setting up a pincer movement on the Faendryl that did not get the chance to fully form, rather than a straight line of fortifications with supply lines back to Trauntor. (It is 100% made up that Tedronne is near western Trauntor and the Wizardwaste and that Harald's Keep is in the east with Creyth in between them.) The idea here is that the Turamzzyrian Empire has bad information on the state of the Faendryl in general, and moving east for setting up to block any possible material assistance from House Nalfein or the Elven Nations. Then we've defined Gellig as an eastern port belonging to the Faendryl, which would follow this same cutting-off-from-assistance from the East logic, not really understanding the state of things between the Faendryl and Elven Nations. Because elves are just elves, from the imperial human point of view and understanding, in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire". Fortification out west to near the Wizardwaste can be used for an eventual pincer on New Ta'Faendryl, but also to force the Faendryl to go through the Southron Wastes and around the Wizardwaste if it wants to retaliate on Tamzyrr. Then we have Sentinel Happersett stationed in the east moving south to hit Gellig, which we have framed with the assumption it is a port on the eastern coast. The Faendryl then retaliate and send the humans fleeing northwest toward Tedronne and Brantur in Trauntor. Some of the retreat goes to Barrett's Gorge, and the retreat is largely happening in a westward direction toward Brantur from our assumed position for Gellig. "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire" says: "another quarter have fled past Creyth, heading for Tedronne or Barrett's Gorge." Which suggests Tedronne and Barret's Gorge are in different directions, or at least slightly different westward directions if Gellig is on the eastern coast, and these fortifications are assumed to be the three "strongholds" built for supply line purposes. The idea would be that Tedronne would be a supply line from Trauntor and Creyth would be a supply line from Barrett's Gorge, and Harald's Keep would be a more forward position for cutting off any intervention from the Elves in the East. Though the Faendryl are framed as politically and militarily inactive from the Turamzzyr point of view, this would still be sensible given the relatively recent history of wars with House Nalfein in that Barrett's Gorge region. So this is so much to say the road to Ta'Faendryl is not being interpreted as a north-south route. It's instead moving around the Rhoska-Tor wasteland, which is to New Ta'Faendryl's west, with the road to New Ta'Faendryl really being from the east with Gellig intepreted as being on the east coast.
[930] This is from "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire", though Sentinel Happersett was defined as having the name Jerram during the Witchful Thinking storyline. He appeared as an NPC in a sort of unliving state who had to be released. He was obsessed with trying to purify Dark Elves of darkness, which took the form of trying to smash them with a hammer. It might be the original intent for Sentinel Happersett to have been Harald, to give meaning to Harald's Keep, because it is implied that those three strongholds were built on the spot to be the supply lines, and they split the army up between them over winter.
[931] Sentinel Happersett was one of Raznel's "paragons". They were in cocoons attached to walls of flesh and filled with a form of demon blood from the Southron Wastes, which she was using as a form of horcrux with these paragons being frozen in time in little pocket dimensions throughout the timeline, having selected historical victims who went missing in known years. Xorus was actually the one who found the cocoon, and the one who did the kill shot on the cocoon, and Xorus was the one who taught Raznel how to do this stuff with the ebon-swirled primal demon's venom blood when she was his student in her youth.

The unnatural hybrid offspring of "the fiends" with the indigenous wildlife became the Scourge.[932] The Faendryl Armata stopped cutting down the demonic emerging from Maelshyve, allowing them to instead wander west and north into the Empire.[933] The Turamzzyrians were forced to build a huge Demonwall intended to cut off Rhoska-Tor, and eventually all of the Southron Wastes.[934] Meddling by the Order of Voln in the Southron Wastes incited the Horned Cabal to begin invading the southern Empire.[935] There has been a surge of greater dark powers since the failure of the Eye of the Drake.[936] The Vvrael and Vishmiir wielded undead horrors.[937] Several of the Lornon Gods supported the Griffin Sword Wars, resulting in the mass slaughter of Elven armies, whose corpses were used to grow a tremendous undead construct known as the Miscere'Golab.[938] There have been conflicts with liches such as Vindicto, Tseleth, and the Council of Ten with their forces of undeath.[939]

[932] This premise comes from "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire". The lore hook of demonic hybrids in this sense has never really been fleshed out. We've seen some Demonwall invasion creatures that implicitly are these kinds of things. They are listed in Volume 3 of this document.
[933] This is explicitly stated in "The Theory of Governance and Social Order" in the Armata section. The Faendryl do it as punishment to bleed treasure from the Turamzzyrian Empire. The "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire" document also talks about the Order of the Crimson Fist venturing out from the Demonwall to take the fight to the Faendryl and their fiends. This is remarkable because it frames ongoing, if low level, hostility between them. The Scourge distribution also has implications for the distribution of land use by the Faendryl Agrestis that would have to be carefully considered. The Scourge came from hybridizing with wildlife, but could possibly have been livestock as well. Farmstead in presumably Trauntor were getting massacred by these hybrids.
[934] This is principally from "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire", but is talked about in various places.
[935] This pre-history of the Order of Voln fighting with the Horned Cabal, prior to the invasion of the Turamzzyrian Empire, comes from the Volnath Dai history document "Story of the Volnath Dai". Grandmaster Fineval killed one of the Horned Cabal liches, and that set off the Horned Cabal invasions northward.
[936] This is extrapolating off the Eye of the Drake function and premise, which was framed near the beginning of this document. The IC author blames what is presumably a great increase in major extraplanar threats in recent decades to the failure of the Eye. Which is reviving the ICE analog concept.
[937] These were in 1997/1998 and 2002 storylines.
[938] This was in 1996 and then again in 2003 onward for a couple of years. The Miscere'Golab is mentioned in the "Griffin Sword War" document and the "Timeline of Elanthian History". Volume 3 of this document talks about it.
[939] These liches are from various storylines. Vindicto was from Ties That Bind and was responsible for previous bad things happening to House Vaalor, such as the assassination of King Tyrnian as shown in forehead gem loresongs. Tseleth was mainly in Ride of the Red Dreamer, and was involved in the Sanctum of Scales release. The Council of Ten was in the Thurfel storyline and then a couple of the liches more recently in the Icemule storylines with Zeban and the Hinterwilds and Moonsedge and so forth.

The primordial demon of Shadows, Althedeus, had acted through various blood mages, causing the devastating War of Shadows.[940] The Barony of Talador was then obliterated and transformed into a cursed wasteland, similar to the Wizardwaste, in what was perhaps the greatest and most terrible act of necromancy since the Undead War.[941] The roots of this dark magic in the necromancy of demon blood from the Southron Wastes continues to bear fruit in blights and genocidal plagues.[942] There is more yet to come as the Star of Khar'ta is now an artifact of blood and shadow.[943]

[940] Althedeus was the big bad behind Kenstrom's storylines from Beyond the Arkati in 2010 through Cross into Shadows in 2014. The blood mages were generally members of the Arcane Eyes, a Mestanir group described in "Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire". The War of Shadows was in the Cross into Shadows storyline.
[941] This was the climax of the Eyes of the Dawn storyline, and this wasteland (the Bleaklands) has been used in other storylines since, including Keeping up with the Kestrels and Witchful Thinking. Xorus actually has a fairly high share of the responsibility and blame for the Bleaklands, because it was done by Raznel largely using the stuff she learned from him.
[942] This is referring to the epochxin, first established in the Eyes of the Dawn storyline. Raznel learned about it in her youth because of a time loop paradox due to Melgorehn's Reach. She largely learned about its uses from Xorus, during the Keeping up with the Kestrels storyline, and Xorus later cured Larsya of the poison during the Praxopius storyline. It was weaponized into a genocidal disease curse against the krolvin, which led to krolvin invasions later, and is likely involved in the Blight that is presently suppressed around Wehnimer's Landing.
[943] This refers to the fact that Grishom Stone has the Star of Khar'ta artifact and converted it to be oriented to blood and shadows energy. Stone is residing in the Deadfall forest near Wehnimer's Landing and is going to pull major stuff in a future storyline using that artifact. That forest has a bunch of blood eating demonic trees in it and is magically sealed off.