History of the Dhe'nar
History of the Dhe'nar is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
- 1 Author's Comments:
- 2 I. The Beginning (80,000 - 55,000 years ago)
- 3 III. Rhoska-Tor (50,000 to 45,000 years ago)
- 4 IV. Sharath (45,000 - 30,000 years ago)
- 5 V. The Fall of Sharath (30,000 - 25,000 years ago)
- 6 VI. The Great Fire (25,000 years ago)
- 7 VII. The Rebuilding (25,000 - 20,000 years ago)
- 8 VIII. The Dhe'nar Empire (20,000 years ago to present)
- 9 IX. The Dhe'nar in Recent Times (150 years ago to present)
- 10 Appendix A: The Dhe'nar Psyche
It is to be noted that the Faendryl and the Dhe'nar take quite the opposite view of the elf called Noi'sho'rah; in the view of the former, he was a madman, and the latter, a prophet. It is our duty as Chroniclers of all to present each view in turn and permit the student to form his own conclusions.
It is to be further noted that but for the turn of Tahlad Tsi'shalar's beliefs as influenced by Noi'sho'rah, and their subsequent departure from the elven lands, there may have been an eighth elven house. But for the actions of Noi'sho'rah and his influence over Tahlad, the elven race's history may yet have been different; mayhap there would have been eight noble Houses and our destinies quite changed. It is only in rare cases that a single individual so strongly affects the whole of history's pattern.
The student of history who wishes to consider the departure of the Dhe'nar faction from both perspectives should, in addition to this document, reference the History of the Faendryl Empire, a copy of which is stored in Library Aies.
Compiled by Aeranch Jaern - Chronicler, Library Aies
I. The Beginning (80,000 - 55,000 years ago)
In the time before the formation of the great Elven Houses, at the dawn of Dhe'nar tradition, stood the one who most exemplifies all that Dhe'nar strive to be. In this time, the elves were still faithful servants to the Arkati.
Born of the elven race, before the great divide, he grew at the knees of the Arkati, drinking in their lore and wisdom with open ears and a keen mind. He served as an acolyte to the Arkati, their voice to the elves when all stood in chaos and only that fine intervention kept the world stable.
He spent hours in weapons practice, honing his skill until even the most feared warriors thought twice about dueling him. Honored as a master of the whip blades, he was also honored for his closeness with the Arkati. Through him, they honored the elves with the way, the path and the discipline to achieve power.
This was Noi'sho'rah.
As the elven race began to ascend from their servitude to the Arkati and form into its seven separate houses, Noi'sho'rah objected to the rising political structure that would become the Great Houses. He found one among the elves who still listened to the words of the Arkati and still honored their ancient wisdom and insight. This young priest, Tahlad, was one of the few who showed understanding when the elven race became fractured by the power hungry. In Tahlad's opinion, many of the elves had begun to walk a different path, seeking only quick results and fast power, forgetting the true way of the Arkati and their own virtual immortality.
One of these power seekers, nephew to Tahlad, brought the decision that the elves would now seek a new path, vastly different from the true way: the formation of the House system. Tahlad, disciple of Noi'sho'rah, delivered the news to the temple where Noi'sho'rah, now growing older but no less honored, listened with quiet displeasure.
Noi'sho'rah, wise enough to see the inevitable fracture of power within the forming elven houses, counseled Tahlad, showing him secrets of the Arkati that would strengthen him as he endeavored to hold together what could not be held. Noi'sho'rah took the news himself to the Arkati, informing them of the future failure of the elven nations and the impending disaster that lay before them.
Little is known of that meeting, except the results. Noi'sho'rah appeared one more time before his people, warning them of the doom that lay before them if they continued to fight among themselves for petty positions of power. Korthyr, nephew of Tahlad, laughed in the face of Noi'sho'rah, taunting him for being obsolete and refusing to grow in power as Korthyr did. Noi'sho'rah, disgusted with his own people, raised his hands to the heavens and darkness filled the room. All eyes were blinded and only the voice of Noi'sho'rah could be heard as he prophesied for his people.
"Know you that if the elven nation falls, if you fail to follow the true way, the dead themselves shall rise up against you. There shall come one with more power than has ever been wielded and she shall lay your Houses to waste. You shall stand helpless before her, your own petty bickering paving the way for her to take even the mightiest of your cities. Her touch shall be felt for generations and you shall never again rise to the power you had before her arrival. For those that follow the way, there shall be a steady rise in power. The way shall lead them to safety, even in the midst of the greatest danger to face Elanthia. Those who remain firm in the faith will never need fear retribution. Lose your way and you will feel fire from the heavens. Always though, the way stands open, even for those who have lost it. Return again to your beliefs and you shall regain your favor with the Arkati. I go now to stand with the Arkati, and my eyes shall be on my people always."
When the darkness cleared, Noi'sho'rah had vanished. Among the Dhe'nar, tradition says that he has been seen since, in visions and prayers, but never again has he walked among his people. To the Dhe'nar, Noi'sho'rah stands as their representative to the Arkati, their voice in the heavens. A common Dhe'nar admonition is "Stand firm in your beliefs, as our history shows us the terrible wrath Noi'sho'rah can inflict upon our people." II. The Departure (50,000 years ago)
After Noi'sho'rah prophesied for the elves and ascended to be with the Arkati, Tahlad gathered his followers, who became known as the Dhe'nar, meaning "first born" in reference to being the children of the Arkati. Tahlad led them away from the forming elven nation, never again to return. As Noi'sho'rah had instructed him, Tahlad led his followers first to Rhoska-Tor, where their strength would be tested and their power forged by the dark power of the barren wasteland. Then, when the time was right, they would move south through the Southron Wastes and into the jungles to find their promised land.
III. Rhoska-Tor (50,000 to 45,000 years ago)
The Dhe'nar spent 5,000 years living in the barren plains and caverns of Rhoska-Tor. It was during this time that the Dhe'nar learned not only the art of survival, but also honed their arcane skills. 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.
Among the Dhe'nar, it is said that a Dhe'nar warrior has the soul of a dragon and the hunger of an Ur-Daemon, and there is little doubt this is partially true. The Dhe'nar magi learned to use the dark magic of the region, adding it to their already potent library of spells taught by the Arkati themselves. The control of the undead and the summoning of the elements into a physical manifestation were but a few of the skills the Dhe'nar learned while in Rhoska-Tor.
The Dhe'nar knew the power of what they learned and the importance of guarding its secrets. They kept few written records, passing on their knowledge orally. What few records they did keep were not only written in the spidery runes only a true Dhe'nar warlock could read, but also closely guarded by the magi and priests. It is rumored, however, that one tome, The Book of Tormtor, was lost somewhere deep within the caverns of Rhoska-Tor.
After 5,000 years (as Noi'sho'rah prophesied) the Dhe'nar left Rhoska-Tor in search of their promised land. They headed south, through the Southron Wastes and into the jungles, where they founded Sharath, which remains home to the Dhe'nar to this day.
IV. Sharath (45,000 - 30,000 years ago)
Deep in the jungles far to the south of Rhoska-Tor, the Dhe'nar founded their home city. Tahlad, long the leader of the Dhe'nar, never lived to see the dream become a reality. Although he died shortly after leaving Rhoska-Tor, his remains were carried throughout the journey.
They placed Tahlad's body in a crypt in the center of the jungle and began construction of a great city around it. They named this land Sharath, which means "promised land". Here, in Sharath's jungles, the Dhe'nar government developed to what it is today.
The people were divided into four castes: the worker caste, the warrior caste, the temple caste, and the warlock caste. Each caste served an important role in their society and worked with each other in their goals.
The city of Sharath grew into a sprawling mecca. The Great Temple was built, along with the Tower of Arcane Arts. Shialos du S'karli, The Library of the Way, was built, in it was placed tomes documenting the teachings of Noi'sho'rah and the Arkati.
V. The Fall of Sharath (30,000 - 25,000 years ago)
Over time, the Dhe'nar fell victim to the same circumstances that drove them away from the elves so many years ago. The Temple, the Magi, and the Warrior castes began to vie for power internally and the political treachery that ensued was devastating. In a bold political move, the Priests of the temple proclaimed that they themselves were "gods" and that their wishes were to be followed over all others. Though there were many opposed to this, any who disagreed with the temple were brutally sacrificed to set an example for the others, and thus over time most of the temple's opponents were either slain or went into hiding. The Temple's priests sealed the library, Shialos du S'karli, and the entrance was hidden. To go anywhere near the library would mean certain death at a priest's hands.
VI. The Great Fire (25,000 years ago)
On one fateful day, the High Priest announced that the Dhe'nar were to be blessed by the heavens. Almost all of the Dhe'nar gathered around the base of the Temple to await the celebration. The resulting horror that ensued had been predicted 30,000 years earlier by Noi'sho'rah; divided by petty bickering, the Dhe'nar would fall.
Screams of fear were quickly quieted as fire fell from the heavens and the earth opened up beneath the feet of the unfaithful. For 50 days and nights fire rained down upon the jungle of Sharath. A great mountain pierced the heart of the city, destroying everything the Dhe'nar had created. Almost ninety percent of the Dhe'nar died in the cataclysm. Those few who had not attended the gathering were the sole survivors. It is said that these few had remembered the prophecy of doom, and had hidden in the jungles to avoid questions about why they would not attend the ill-fated celebration.
When the fires finally ended, the survivors emerged from the jungle caverns to see that a great mountain stood where their city had once reigned. Oddly, the jungle around them was still there. Every tree, every shrub, was standing as if nothing happened. However, upon closer inspection, the survivors discovered that the jungle was composed entirely of gray-black ash. Ever since, Sharath has been known as the Forest of Ash.
VII. The Rebuilding (25,000 - 20,000 years ago)
Within the rubble of the fallen city, the Dhe'nar survivors found the entrance to Shialos du S'karli. They committed the information in the books to memory, reciting the verses over and over so that they could pass the information down through the generations, that it would never be lost again.
Realizing their true heritage, once again the Dhe'nar begin to rebuild. The Great Mountain and the maze of caverns underneath become their home. Because of their small numbers, they developed the stealth and merciless raiding parties that later became a hallmark of their society. They learned to take slaves to augment the worker caste. Slowly the government was restored to power, this time with a group, the Obsidian Council, to guide the way.
Under new rule and with renewed vigor and sense of purpose, the Dhe'nar rebuilt their homeland, and grew in power and purpose. To this day the Dhe'nar remain undefeated in battle, and they have never forgotten what Noi'sho'rah taught them, or the promises they make to themselves each day.
The Dhe'nar walk with power.
VIII. The Dhe'nar Empire (20,000 years ago to present)
The Dhe'nar continued to expand their empire, conquering nearby villages of humans and dwarves and taking prisoners to use as slaves. The Dhe'nar temple ensured that the bloodlines were kept pure by placing restrictions on breeding, making sure that each child was pure and powerful, lest it be sacrificed for the good of the Dhe'nar. Pride grew stronger than ever in the Dhe'nar people, and the belief that the other races were inferior took a stronger hold among the Dhe'nar. They believed that they were the true children of the Arkati, destined to the same power possessed by the ancient gods. Each caste developed more power and worked to further themselves to the same goals.
The selection process for finding priests and magi became the backbone of the Dhe'nar society. Each potential member underwent scrutinizing and occasionally deadly tests in a process to determine who was worthy of the two castes.
IX. The Dhe'nar in Recent Times (150 years ago to present)
About one-hundred-fifty years ago, the first Dhe'nar were seen in Wehnimer's Landing. Many thought them to be either Faendryl or simply renegades. In time, the people of Wehnimer's Landing found this to be far from the truth. While most Dhe'nar had learned the common tongue, and some the elven tongue, and made contact with the other races, it was easy to see that the Dhe'nar people stuck together. They were, and are, a tight-knit group that has an established structure very similar to the far-away government in Sharath, the Forest of Ash.
Appendix A: The Dhe'nar Psyche
The Dhe'nar view the split of the elves into the seven separate Houses to be the downfall of the elves from the very beginning. To them, unity and the practice of Arkati self-enlightenment are the goals to which everyone must stride to achieve. They believe the bickering and quarreling among the elven houses is petty, and refuse to take any part in it or the political games it creates. When the Dhe'nar left the elven nation, they left forever, believing the others to have betrayed the Arkatis' teachings. The Dhe'nar have no emotion or pity for the other elves, nor do they admit they have anything to do with the remaining six elven Houses.
The Dhe'nar believe that Noi'sho'rah was a true prophet, and that he now dwells with the Arkati. 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. 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.
Over 50,000 years of hardship have scarred the Dhe'nar, forging and twisting their ancient beliefs into what they are now. They are an elitist race. Time has convinced them that the other races are inferior; nothing more than pawns to be used to their own ends. The Dhe'nar have long been hunters, survivalists, and warriors. 50,000 years of fighting for survival has taken its toll on the Dhe'nar psyche, however. The Dhe'nar at battle are a gruesome sight. They seem to want to torture and punish their prey, savoring the pain they inflict which each kill.
The Dhe'nar do not believe in the concept of "good" and "evil". They believe in survival, they believe in power. They hold true to the philosophy, "to be strong is to survive, to be weak is to perish". It is to be noted that simple survival is not enough for the Dhe'nar, thus they constantly strive to better themselves in their quest for power. This belief is shared with the great Drakes of ancient times, and has long endured. While history is very important, a Dhe'nar scholar does not waste time brooding over such concepts like good and evil or spend their days asking "why", but rather they ask "how".