:: Cloudcroft :: updated 6/2007
:: The Winds of Prosperity ::
:: The Flight of the Anthians ::
:: Rebirth ::
:: To Be ::
Cloudcroft ... LORE
Even the greatest of behemoths must fall; from the most magnificent of mountains, to the greatest machinations of mortals, the only bastion of eternity is the bastion of change. And so it was that the greatest Empire of Empires came to fall, beneath its own magickal weight. Yet so it is that in these times of upheaval, and great change, equally great deeds are done, and as bonds are broken others are sealed, blood washes the land as it fertilizes it. And so it was that the People of the Sky and the People of the Earth would find themselves bound, in blood and honor, as the waves of change washed over the land.
The reach of Frontacia had found its zenith, and as they held the world beneath them, their failed invasion of Leuia set the motion of their demise. And as the Leuians reclaimed the seas, soon the rumblings of the stout hearts at the roots of the mountains could be heard, and the Hithuals were also in revolt. But the Magick Tide would not be repelled so quickly this time, and long, dark, and deadly were the great battles fought between the Hammer and the Rune, as the Frontacians battled to hold on, and the Hithuals battled for what was theirs. Until the Hithuals, driven to the distant roofs of their furthest halls, found themselves in the desolate peaks of the far eastern Great Divide, pursued by the desperate Frontacians, and pushed to the brink themselves. And so it was that this final battle of such a great war found its way to Avan, the ancient village of the Anthians, of the proud Vogel, one of the few places upon the known world where the Anthians lived together, and previously unknown to all the world. As the Frontacians descended upon Avan, making demands of capitulation and slavery, the free hearts of the Anthians were set ablaze, and as the Hithuals wheeled round for their final strike, the Grand Army of Frontacia and the Empire was caught, and the Gem was crushed between Heaven and Earth.
And so it was that the Anthians and the Hithuals stared at one another over the ruins of the magickal regime, and had sealed an improbable bond of blood as comrades in valor, having defeated a much greater foe, and set the path of freedom before them. Yet, Avan lay in complete ruin. This quiet corner of solitude had lain outside the eye of the world for generations beyond count, and had been destroyed utterly the moment it was revealed. Thus it came that as the Hithual and Anthian vows of debts of honor were sworn, the Hithual promised their incomparable skill in finding a new home for the Vogel.
An ancient Anthian named Galvan Alavento, the elder of Avan and of the oldest line of the Vogel, came forward and saw that the time was ripe to speak of a place so sacred that it was forbidden to do so. Upon the very eastern reach of the Great Divide lays its final sentinel, the unassailable White Mountain. Beneath it there lies a valley completely encircled by the jagged thrusts of the eastern Divide, a near perfect circle, which plummets within to then suddenly rise again where a dramatically steep, smaller sub-peak thrusts upward like a dagger in the very center of the extraordinary valley. The peak was of pure white rock, somewhat flat at its summit, and wholly encompassed by the jagged valley, whose downward arching floor was strewn with sharp white rocks like the broken teeth of giants. The Anthians called it the Valley of the Winds, and only their eyes had beheld it save for the Great Dragons which would occasionally perch upon the White Mountain that stood sentinel above it.
Thus by Wing and Hammer the Anthians and the Hithual came to the silent valley, and through skill possessed only by themselves the Hithual hewed their way to the peak of the valley, and so the People of the Earth began in their creation of the City of the Clouds for the People of the Sky, and the City of Cloudcroft was thus born. The city has no streets, but wide ways of air, where the Anthians could pass through upon the wing. The Hithual hewed the houses and buildings out of the living white rock in smooth edges and sharp angles, with the gently rounded roofs being at differing heights, shapes and angles, so that the city looked like a miniature reflection of the mountain range surrounding it. Anthian and Hithual artisans touched every surface, until it shown with snowy artistic beauty. The Hithual had a fervent love for the song of the Anthians and their ethereal voices, which it was found carried unusually well through the solid white rock, and acoustic thought was given to every inch of the city. Especially to the center, where a great amphitheater was constructed which would allow all the Anthians to gather and raise their voices in symphony, and one of the only places in the city where there was a flat surface. And here it was in the center of the round amphitheater, in the very bottom, as the final hammer blow was struck, that a tiny trickle was seen, and a spring of milky white water came forth. And then it was known that the city was blessed by the gods and allowed by the mountains. A beautiful silver fountain was built round the spring, and the milky water was sweet, clean, and had a special proficiency for lending clarity to the drinker’s voice. A stream poured from the fountain, and was allowed to meander its way through the city, pooling and gurgling throughout, before tumbling over the precipice of the city’s edge, and fading to a white mist long before reaching the valley floor. Small plants and even trees of silver, white, yellow, and gray hues began to sprout around the edges of the stream.
As the winds of the valley blew and whispered through the ways, homes, coves, and theaters of Cloudcroft, the city itself began to sing in a perfect pitch that rose and fell with the winds, and set the harmony for the grand melody of the paradox that is the Anthian city.
After nearly two Anthian generations, ornamental wings of silver were placed upon the silver fountain in a ceremony cementing the bond of honor between the Hithuals and the Anthians. The Anthians gave a golden feather to the Hithuals, and all gathered within the amphitheater and lifted their voices as one in a song so beautiful, it is said a glowing mythical dove was seen upon the fountain, with a single tear in its eye, and a golden phantom-dragon soared over the valley . And as the Hithuals left Cloudcroft, they shattered the secret tunnels and ways, and no non-winged foot has since tread upon Cloudcroft.
Cloudcroft sits as a city of beauty, art, song, and solitude, a lonely crown in a distant valley.
penned 344, Sambora Blackwing
The Winds of Prosperity ...
My father was a priest like myself but also served the unique position of Emissary for and between the royal families of our people. He would often mediate over various issues between disputing Communities and Houses of the Highlands in the Southern Isles region; a wonderful place of magick where I was lucky enough to be raised. During my time with him, he taught me the benefits of studying the body movements of those with whom you're dealing with and how it could provide invaluable information as to the attitude and position of the person on the other side of the table.
These initial teachings given to me by the father sparked an interest in the general body movements of all creatures on this world but more specifically those of Anthian blood. This interest led me to discover something that I wish to share with all of you. This scroll is my intention to do so.
Anthians, as a people, believe ourselves to be created by hands of Elindale Herself and blessed with the gift of good fortune and prosperity. It's something we possess and are able to share as well as take away from others when we desire to do so. The first demonstration of this is an Anthian ritual known as the "Winds of Prosperity".
When an Anthian wishes to pass along good fortune and prosperity to another they will fan their wings at the one whom they wish to give luck to. By doing this, a portion of the good fortune within the winds is directed to the recipient. When more then one Anthian is together and this is done in unison to one of non-Anthian blood, it is believed to be great gift as well as a sign of peace on behalf of the Anthian race itself. Often, it is accompanied by a short song, which goes as follows:
To you we give the winds
Within it lays prosperity
May your days to come find fortune
And may your nights be blessed with soft and peaceful slumber.
The reverse of this, of course, is when an Anthian will furl his or her wings. Often, when an Anthian feels uncomfortable or perhaps even a bit invaded by the presence of so many others, they will furl their wings. This is done in an effort to contain the luck and prosperity within themselves and share it with no other. The extreme of this is when an Anthian stands before a foe in serious debate or battle and they will furl their wings so tightly that the wind is drawn away from their opponent. This act is actually an effort to remove any positive forces that are possessed by or surround the one they face.
Anthians have always survived but history shows that when we embrace the ways of our past and celebrate our rituals and rites that we thrive as a people. The Winds of Prosperity is just one example of this and my hope is that in telling it, we will begin to understand the path our ancestors traveled.
By my word,
Anthian Hand of Sa
The Flight of the Anthians
After the Psycian-Frontacian war, and the Leuian Independence from the empire, the final major kingdom the Frontacian Empire held any sway over was that of the Hithuals.
The Frontacians believing strongly the Hithual kingdom was the key to all of the world, simply refused to let go of it over the entire period of the collapse of the rest of their empire.
About the year 1200, the rebellion of the Hithuals began in Aerhauven with the assault of the golden hammers (an elite unit of Hithual warriors trained from birth to ride small stallions and make use of other such combat strategies not normally used by the Hithual race) led by the mighty Prince Halmen, descendant of the mighty King Dunuth.The rebellion began as a tiny skirmish, and led to a full-scale battle in the middle of the earth between the Frontacians and Hithuals.
The golden hammers, making use of a number of mining access tunnels running all cross Aerhauven, quickly out maneuvered the Frontacians in the dark of the caves, and slew nearly all of them within the city.
Unlike in Leuia, the Frontacians were not willing to give up the Great Divide without a fight, as they saw it as the most important position of power in the world.
The Frontacians took all their troops together into one large army and launched a campaign against the Hithuals that would last almost thirty years.
Battle after battle came to no conclusion as both sides gained little ground, every time the Frontacians began to pull ahead, poor timing and leadership led to them faltering and loosing their advantage.
The growing boldness of raiders from the Great Wastes made things even harder on the Frontacians, as there supplies were often cut out from behind them and troops caught in small groups waylaid and murdered.
After twenty-five years of rebellion, the Frontacians finally proved to much for the Hithuals, driving their army out of the Hithual lands far up into the Great Divide.
The Frontacians, finally seeing victory in sight were merciless in their chase of the Hithual forces into the uncharted lands of the Great Divide.
The Hithuals, using the terrain as their one real advantage, marched almost non-stop through the trackless mountains of the Far Eastern lands of the Divide. During their march, the Hithuals came across a large civilization of Anthians, living high in the bluffs high above of what is known now as the Endless Chasm.
How long the Anthians had been living in seclusion in the high mountains none can say for sure, but there interest in the Hithuals was slight at best. A small unit of the flying warriors watched them from above to make sure they did not have harmful intentions, and then let them be.
Less than ten hours later the Frontacians arrived along the same bluffs the Hithuals had passed through hot on their trail, this time, the Anthians would not be so lucky. By choice, living far away from civilization, the Anthians of course had no idea of the situation of the world, nor were they aware the Frontacians had ruled almost the entire world save there own tiny little corner for over two thousand years.
The Frontacians, finding the small Anthian village (small to the Frontacians, though it was perhaps the largest Anthian settlement in all the world with a population of approx. four hundred and fifty or so) immediately demanded the Anthians swear loyalty to the Frontacian empire, and work as scouts for them to find the Hithuals.
The Anthians, being the most free-willed race in all the lands, refused completely to the Frontacians demands, and ordered them off of the Anthian lands. The Frontacians, rather than dealing with the Hithual forces lurking nearby, kidnapped the leaders of the Anthian settlement and offered them back to their families in return for control of the lands.
The enraged Anthians refused the Frontacians demands, saying any Anthian would rather die then be traded as a captive, and the Frontacians attacked the village. This final mistake by the Frontacians, marked in history as the Flight of the Anthians, would prove to be the end of the empire for good.
Approx. two hundred Anthians, barely a tenth of the Frontacians numbers, raised weapons against the Frontacians, and with help from the Hithuals who had snuck around behind the Frontacian forces, the Frontacian army was wiped out to the man. With the end of the battle, the Hithuals returned to their homeland and took back their cities within a matter of days, within a month the Frontacians rule over the continent of Aradath would be completely gone.
[This article was originally presented in the August 15, 1997 Issue of the Dragon Fire Chronicles, entitled "Rebirth" by Rahvin Telemon.]
I have been asked by many about the origins of the Anthian race, by both young Anthians and those of other races who were just curious. So I have decided to translate for all, the song of how the Anthians came to be, as it was sung to me by my father Domon Telemon. Please sit back, close your eyes and let the winds of my voice carry you back.
In the beginning, and as she always has been, Elindale was alive in the world. She was one with the flowers and grasses, just as she was part of the squirrels in the trees and birds in the air. Plants and animals were not the only things alive in this world, there were young races beings at work in the world. Beings who trod across the face of the world, encroaching on the temples and sanctuaries that Elindale had made of the forests and and surging rivers. Elindale knew that she would have to do something to make these beings understand their place in the world.
She began searching someone to be her emissary, one that would embody the beauty that she had brought to the world and still command the respect of all those they would encounter. Searching throughout the forests, mountains, and seas she did not find any species greater in beauty or stronger in self than the Anthiana. Anthiana were a race of great flying birds, that lived high in the mountains of the Southern Isle. These graceful beings showed an intelligence beyond that of normal animals and a deep bond of family unity unmatched by any other. She had found her emissaries.
Taking these great birds, she remade them into the Anthians you know today. Strong, proud, wise, and beautiful winged beings. They were to rival anything ever created before or since. Elindale charged the Anthians with a duty, she said "You are my creations, but your destinies are your own. I give this great gift to you, but the gift comes at a price. You are to be my emissaries, you will be examples to all those on this world. You are to travel beyond, beyond the high passes, beyond the great sea and even beyond the dry deserts. For you I set this task. Protect all that is mine, defend all that is weak, and if necessary give up your own lives so that life itself may go on."
Accepting the duty with great pride, Anthians began spreading across the world. Many died in the days that came, and also many new friends made. We lost our innocence in those first years after the our Rebirth, but gained a knowledge of the world and the treasures it could offer up. We did our duty, we served Elindale not because of the Commandment, we did it because it was what was in our hearts.
Now you may ask as to how some of us today do not follow Elindale or her teachings. Well, after many years of traveling the world, living and dying in service to our goddess, Elindale did release us from our pledge. She asked only that we stand ready to heed her call.
As time slowly passed some of our race heard the calling of new challenges and devotions. We spread across the world seeking teachers in the new arts. Anthian men and women sought out the best teachers of sword, spell, healing, and commerce. Those pursuits led to new gods to worship and new challenges to meet. Diversifying and scattering our young race across the world.
I sing to you the story of our Rebirth, as it was sung to me by my father and his father to him. Sing on children of Elindale, sing until the hard walls around the heart crumble and fall, sing until the eyes of the blind open with new sight, and sing until what was forgotten is learned anew.
To BE Anthian is to be more than just being born with wings.
To LIVE as Anthian is to be living more than just an average existence.
To LEARN as Anthian is to be more than just willing to learn.
To FEEL as Anthian is more than just feeling empathy.
To LEAD as Anthian is more than just being the strongest or the one with the loudest voice.
To BE Anthian is knowing that ALL Anthians are one.
Anthians are taught as young people that we are all as of one body. We understand that our wings are different from our feet in the same way as one Anthian is to another Anthian. Both are equally important to the whole body, and to lash out at one or the other for the sake that it is different is to the detriment of the whole body. We as Anthians do not harm each other under any circumstance.
To LIVE Anthian is knowing that we are meant to lead greater lives than the masses of our world.
Anthians are taught as young people that we were created to be special. There is not one Anthian that is meant to be forgotten with time. We were put on this world for a purpose, and that cannot be taken away from us. We were put here by divine hands because they recognized our value. Anthians are like the stars in the night sky, we bring light to dark world, we guide those who become lost, we listen to those in need,...and we stand above the common brutality of man bestowing our gifts upon them while asking nothing in return.
To LEARN as Anthian is to do more than just watch or listen to things that happen.
Anthians are taught as young people that we need to do more than just comprehend the world. We must not stand aside while the lessons our world has to offer us happen to others. We need to live in the moment and realize that lessons are being taught to us by all things if we only open ourselves up to them. Not all learning can be obtained through song or book, so we seek in our world all that it means to actually live in our world. Anthians are more than just open books waiting passively to be written in, ....we are as the tallest of the great trees catching the slightest touches of the wind with equal vigor.
To FEEL as Anthian is more than just knowing when others hurt.
Anthians are taught as young people that we are made better and stronger when we know the pain of others. We recognize that our gifts are not be used casually or uncaringly. We have a power that need be respected and never abused. We as Anthians left behind the hold our base emotions had on us when were lifted up in this world. No longer does pure rage lead us to blind furies, nor does the loss of a loved one strike us so deeply with sadness that we lose our belief in ourselves or our higher powers. We feel the mature love that does not last just a week or month,.....we love for our lifetime. An Anthian's love means more than just caring for those that we know, but we love all Anthian as if they were closest kin or fiercest lover.
To LEAD as Anthian is not based in the physical but in the mental.
Anthians are taught as young people that the gifts of our physical existence are great, but not as great as the gifts of our minds. We are the worlds most responsible thinkers in that we speak only when we have knowledge and we listen to all those with a voice. We understand the value of the mind and that it is our greatest asset, for anyone may use a weapon but only those who think may master all weapons. To lead among us it is not neccessary to be the strongest....To lead among us it is not neccessary to sing the loudest. To lead among us is to be the worthiest and to be judged so based upon your decisions not your conquests.
Please reflect on this short translation of a core tenet for we Anthians. Those who have the asset of youth may yet take the largest steps forward for our people, and our world.
Ever friend of the Firs