Transcript – The War of the Dawn
[Quest of Ruin theme plays, before fading to the theme of the Fae]
The friendship between the fae and the elves is one that really has stood the test of time. In few other places on Toor will you find two peoples as close knit in friendship. This is quite surprising when you consider the first time these two groups encountered each other which was not, what some might call, under ideal circumstances.
It happened in the Dawn Age, long before the raising of the four lighthouses of Irdaliin. In those times the Aenaeti, the First People, the creators of Toor, still dwelt within their creation, alongside the peoples they had made to populate it. Back then, there were only the two. The Halka, the people of the earth, who would go on to be known as the dwarves, those who more resembled the Aenaeti themselves and shared their love of building and creation. And the Liina, the people of the light, who would, of course, end up being called the elves. They were taller, and slender where the halka were stout. They did not have the halka’s skill with building or smithcraft. Their skill lay in the composition of songs and poems, and in the making and sailing of boats.
But they had another talent as well. We don’t know if its what the aenaeti intended, but the elves possessed the ability to draw energy from some shadowy realm outside of the material world and use that to work magic.
This realm was, of course, the Fae but back then no one knew of the Fae’s existence. That would soon change though.
So, how was this done?
Well, magic has always come from the Fae. No matter the world, no matter what method people find to use magic, the Fae is always its source. It is a realm of boundless potential and energy. In its swirling chaos is a never-ending source, assuming you have the ability to tap into it.
And this world, this Toor, for whatever reason, was very close to the Fae Realm. There are many places where, in a very real sense, you can almost see the world of the Fae through the smoky lens of the mortal world. Quiet forest glens, hidden pools, places where the light shines rarely and people speak softly for no reason other than it feels like they should.
The number of places like this you can find across Toor are proof enough that it is a world that touches very close to the Fae Realm.
This doesn’t always happen. Whole worlds are created and then dimmed which never know of the Fae or of magic. Sometimes it is close enough to touch but only by a certain few who are able, through training or natural skill, to reach through the veil to tap into the energy of the Fae. But Toor is very close to the Fae and the veil was thin which meant that all elves, no matter how little ability they might have, could reach out to the Fae and use it to work magic in the material world.
Now, even this might not have been a big deal. The power of the Fae is infinite. While there are people in the mortal realm feeding it with their thought, emotions and so on, there will always be power in the Fae.
The problem came when the veil began to tear. There is no definite reason for why this happened on the record but I and a fair few others are of the opinion that so many drawing power from the Fae at once caused it to happen. And when it happened, the thin barrier that kept the two worlds apart began to blur.
Now it was not just energy flowing out from the Fae but now pieces of the material world were falling back into the Fae Realm, a place where they should and could not be. The Fae, who had never experienced anything like this in all their long history, were understandably alarmed by what was going on. They believed that their domain was under attack by those who now dwelt on the mortal plain.
So, the Sealed Court, the High Council that governs the Fae people, ordered an expedition force to the mortal plain to find and stop what was happening.
And that was how the War of the Dawn began.
Its not too surprising. I think anyone would have been surprised when the fabric of reality itself appeared to tear open letting in an army of otherworldly looking beings looking none to pleased and ready for a fight.
It is not known for how long the war went on for. It was not a long one, we don’t think. Certainly, no longer than a decade which, to elves and fae is not long at all. Finally the mistake was realised and the cause of the problem was understood. And, thanks to the wisdom and power of the Aenaeti, a resolution was found.
Rather than pulling power from every place that the Fae touched the mortal realm, four portals were created. Four windows that led directly from the Fae to the Mortal Realm. The Aenaeti then raised these portals at the top of great, towering structures so that the portals would be kept out of reach of mortal hands.
These structures came to be called the Minnagalad, the four lighthouses. And so began the first age of peace between the Mortal and Fae Realms, a peace that has continued to this day.
The two kindreds had always known that there were secret and strange places in the world where magic seemed stronger than it was elsewhere. But now the reason for that was known. And groups began to travel to those places. The dwarves went in search of wisdom, to learn secrets of ancient pasts and discover what keys the past might hold for the future. The elves, on the other hand, yearned after the beauty of the Fae and sought to capture it in song or in art. At first, they went only to meet with the Fae, to ask for advice and favour. And then, in time, people began to settle in those shady places. And, after a little more time, the two peoples began to mingle.
These half-fae were not common. At least, not in most places. In the High Mountains of Gorlikham, the orodari elves and the dwarves who called the range home coexisted alongside fae who wished to see more of the mortal art of mining. In the black sand desert, beyond the Southmost Sea, the Fae joined in the great hunts taken up by the dromeri elves who roam those sun scorched lands. But the best example of this union of fae and mortal is found in the forest of Daeryn.
This quiet and shadowy wood had been considered a sacred place by the elves for a long time. Elven seers would travel there and be granted visions of what they believed to be the future. It was now understood that these visions were nothing but glimpses of the Fae Realm. Elves now went there not to see the future but to meet with the Fae and, in time, the Fae that dwelt beyond the Veil in that place began coming more frequently to the Mortal Realm.
As more time passed, the two peoples became one. They became the Calfaeri, the spirit elves, and in Daeryn they built a new city. They called it Athradhel, the city of the border, because it lies on the border between the mortal and fae realms. The calfaeri made a new court there, called the Unsealed Court because it lay outside the Fae Realm. Some stories say that they also had a queen, one of their own or one of the Fae depending on which account you’re listening to, who they crowned as ruler of the Unsealed Court. But that seems to be nothing but idle stories. To this day, the calfaeri of Daeryn have no single ruler and seem content to instead live their own lives, freely running through the glades and beneath the shadow of the canopy.
And so, the world went on, enjoying the comradery of their otherworldly neighbours that dwelt beyond the veil, living their lives while the Lighthouses of Irdaliin shone their light across those middle lands.
But of course, it could not last.
Eventually, an elven king named Orcanor tried to claim the power of the eastern lighthouse, to grant himself greater magical strength. He failed, and that failure and its results forced the Aenaeti to use all their worldly power to fix what Orcanor had done, which in turn led to their departure from Toor forever.
In time, the void they left in the hearts and minds of their peoples would be filled, as it usually is, by the idols of divinity.
But of these things, we shall talk next time.
[Theme music fades up, credits.]