Elves Part II

Dark Elves

The lands from which Elves drove the orcish bands during the War for the Artifact were to hide a mighty object of power that would prevent the creation of a secret deity. The Greenskins were driven from the forest to the forest, their villages and strongholds were on fire, and the banners of the elven families marked the captured areas. The most powerful army in the world relentlessly wandered west, destroying any resistance encountered and anyone who did not give way. In the west, near the mountains, the encountered human settlements had the choice of escaping or begging for mercy. These were the times of war that the proud elven race considered necessary and no resistance was able to stop the bloodshed. Under the pretext of fighting against evil, the Elves of Valladorum so fiercely sought to destroy evil, that with time evil was anyone who thought differently than them. However, something changed…

As the invasions and battles with the hordes of Orcs and Goblins continued, faith in the sense of the battle broke down. The Artifact that was to be the source of evil was just a legend that some elven families had used to destroy the hated Orcs for centuries. The losses suffered by the army, however, were so great that there was no point in continuing the fights, and the war machine stalled. The troops stopped to regenerate and survive the coming cold season. A part of the army was withdrawn and began a long way back to Valladolia, the rest was waiting for changes in weather and further orders…

The companionless army was in the unknown areas, more and more often attacked by small groups of Greenskins and wild tribes of Humans. Messengers sent with a request for help never came back, and deprived of supplies and support, the army was exposed to constant attacks. Some of them detached themselves and travelled south to Vonlorn to find shelter there. Those who remained felt betrayed by the rest of the army, and their frustration was heightened by helplessness. Nobody knows how it happened that they survived the winter and invasions of Orcs and Goblins.

The Lone Army, as they were later called, never returned to Valladolia. Under Aharrion, they circled the sea and reached the warm and desert regions of Sarhea. The legend about the Artifact, which may contribute to the destruction of Valladolia, was not, as it turned out, just a simple story, but it was too late to reflect and understand how perverse the old elven prophecy was.

For centuries, Sarhea areas were inhabited by native tribes of Wild Elves and Black Humans. They led a nomadic life, living in primitive settlements and fighting with each other using simple weapons. When the Lone Army entered the Sarhea sands, the Wild Elves and Humans were so impressed that they thought it was the army commanded by the god himself that came to help in their indigenous brabbles. But it was a determined army, which for many years poured much blood, and only the submission of tribes saved them from the slaughter, which could be prepared by the newly arrived warriors.

However, the greatest impression on the natives was made by the general of mysterious troops and the evil-looking amulet adorning his forehead. Something emanated from it, something no strength could resist – something that neither a human nor an elven hand created for sure.

Those who knew how the commander of the army came into possession of the Artifact, lost their lives quickly, but there are those who claim that Aharrion made a pact with the ancient forces that gave the leader and his people a dark blessing. And so, the old elven prophecy was to be fulfilled, and the real evil was yet to come…

Some people think that the cognomen “Dark Elves” was given to them because of their dark souls, which changed during many years of brutal wars. Others say their hearts were blackened so quickly in Sarhea as if the desert wanted to burn them to dust…

The truth, however, is hidden in a completely different place than souls or hearts. The dark blessing or, as others say, the fate caused the people of Aharrion to become aggressive and brutal, far exceeding the ruthlessness of the inhabitants of Valladorum. The power of the amulet affects the entire territory of Sarhea, transforming it into the land of death, and every creature living there transforms itself over time into a living corpse.

For the Dark Elves, transformation doesn’t mean death, but a chance to join the group of blessed undead, whose power and cruelty is unlimited. Only a few will be able to transform, because to become a servant of Seth, you must not only be nobly born, but also prove that you are worth blessing.

With time, Dark Elves split. Some settled in the mountains, and some in the deserts. For centuries they have been developing their dark culture, focusing on the art of war and alchemy. The mysterious power, which is the source of an amulet, emanates into the whole developing kingdom, in which, apart from the evil towers, underground temples and tombs are created. The great lord, with his forehead garnished in this stone, even for the Elves, became a divine being, whose transformations he still does not understand.

The largest fortress, the big part of which is hidden under the sands of Sarhea, is surrounded by a bustling city whose narrow streets stretch and bend, sometimes many meters underground. Illuminated with torches and surrounded by the fragrance of olibanum, they often lead to mysterious stalls or temples of bloody worship and debauchery.

Although the Dark Elves are an evil and vicious race, they can, if necessary, establish contacts with other races. Slavery goods or other goods market is especially popular in the decadent capital called Ahaggar. Precious stones and metals are commodities for which you can perish or possess wealth. The development of dark art and culture has been brought here to such a high level that the dark elven liveries or jewellery are excellent commodities in other regions of the world. Even the army of Dark Elves, whose artistry of struggle is incomparable, has such intricately ornamented weapons that, in other kingdoms, only generals of the armies would have it. Each weapon is treated here with a high respect and often passes from father to son, as well as the status and the right to the tomb.

The Dark Elves’ life is very hierarchical, and the division into castes or functions in their society is very clear. This is particularly true of the upper classes, but this is also noticeable in the average city population. Slavery plays a major role here, thanks to which the worst activities are performed by Humans, which allows the Dark Elves to do more sophisticated activities. No one treats slaves well here, they are scourged, humiliated, and often killed at every opportunity.

Murders in the elven state are often ritualised, which is why mainly women run temples, in which, apart from fun and games, their blood is shed. In the Dark Elves’ state, only men have the right to take their lives. The dark priests conduct a ceremony to the rhythm of drums and singing, the purpose of which is to gain the favour of a divine king who can bless the temple, or bring it to annihilation. Beautiful elven women are often a bargaining chip, and their charms and blood win the acclaim of many.

In Ahaggar, in the innermost chamber of the mighty castle, among the guards, upon the stone throne rests the lord, whom Humans have not seen for centuries, covered with mystery and glory. His power determines the life and fate of the Dark Elves, which becomes richer and stronger every day to make a cruel revenge one day.

He is called Farhon, and his divinity is indisputable and inherited with the amulet he receives as heir to the throne. The memory of betrayal and leaving Aharrion’s army stranded fuels vendetta fire, and only the closest army commanders and priests know what fate the High Elves are to face. To this day, when it comes to Dark Elves, other races feel delight and fear at the same time. Their culture, unusual devotion to their lord, and adoration for Sarhea sands can arouse admiration, but their souls are so dark that nobody may trust them…