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LINDALE    ISTORY


SCROLL OF CONTENTS on ELINDALE

:: Tenets of Elindale ::
:: A telling of the Great Magick Change ::
:: The Battle of the Storm ::
:: A Remembrance ::
:: The Sapling ::
:: The Creation of the Elves ::
:: The Lore of the Ancient Elindalian Holy Symbol ::
:: Contemplations ::
:: Faenor and Bycheris ::
:: On the Creation :: (4.1.05)

Tenets of Elindale ...

Nature is a delicate web. Treat each strand with care, or the whole web may be damaged.

We are all interconnected with one another, with the trees, the rivers, the plants, the animals. Every creature, every rock, every drop of water, every leaf is bonded together in an intricate, beautiful web. And every creature, every rock, every drop of water has purpose. To carelessly pluck a strand, be it by burning down a forest, or chopping down a single tree, by polluting a stream or hunting too many of the native fauna in the woods, may have effects that are not be readily evident at first, but which may be dire nonetheless. Followers of Elindale strive to defend this delicate web against those who might destroy it, knowingly or otherwise.

Every living creature has purpose and must be treated with respect. But there are times that the life of one creature must be taken to save others.

Every creature in nature has purpose, from the industrious ant to the mighty lion, from the proud eagle to the lone wolf. Creatures of nature neither evil nor good. Every creature has both the need and the right to do what it must to survive, so long as doing so does not disrupt nature's balance. Creatures in nature kill not for the sake of killing, but so that they and their kin might live. We do not judge the lion for feeding on the hare. We do not bear grudge against the bear for defending its home or its young. And so the follower of Elindale does not seek out to kill any innocent creature in its natural habitat for the sheer thrill of the kill, nor solely for the sake of personal gain.

But there are times that one creature must die so that others might live. One may find oneself cornered by a lioness on the prowl and may be forced to defend oneself. One might slay a rabid dog or diseased rat, both for the sake of the creature and for those who may have suffered from the creatures' illness. There are times that an overpopulation of creatures, or the introduction of a foreign creature, might threaten the natural balance of a habitat. A follower of Elindale must do all that is possible to defend and restore that balance.

Elindale abhors that which is unnatural. Such attrocities must be destroyed.

Every living creature is born, and every living creature must some day die. But through dark and unnatural practices, some have found means of violating this integral law of nature. Among such abominations are the undead, sometimes known as the unlife, the animated bodies and/or souls of once living creatures that have died. These unnatural beings are a mockery of life and an affront to Elindale. They must be destroyed at all costs. Some golems and other animated creations may be an affront to Elindale and should be dealt with accordingly.

Our natural resources are precious and must be treated as such.

Elindale provides adequate sustenance for every living creature. She does not tolerate for these to be wasted needlessly. When one needlessly chops down trees, pollutes water and the like, other living creatures may suffer needlessly.

~ Developed with the help of Tula, Ambertiger, and Yulin

A Telling of the Great Magick Change ...

Thinking back onto my childhood days in Spur many old memories came back to me. So many things have changed since I walked those streets and called that city my home. Some things for good, and others for ill. While Spur is no longer my home I shall never forget what happened there. Here is a piece from my old journal, a piece of history that none should forget. May we learn from it and use it to grow.

~Altyerre

****************

Written in Spur, many years ago..

A great change has befallen our land, and I, a humble cleric of the Lady Elindale was blessed to see the event as it happened. Here I give you the story, as I saw it unfold, of the battle that forever changed our world....

The day started as it had for a while now; quiet, empty and barren, a land stripped of the vary thing that once made it so special, the magick of the golden dragon Sa. I had ventured into the old crypt to release some of the undead for my lady, when I noticed a brilliant explosion of red and golden lights up in the heavens. Immediately concerned for the safety of those within our Town's Square, I made haste to the grand fountain. I was shaken when yet again a violent explosion crashed high above.

Upon entering the center of the square I saw a large crowd gathered around the old fountain. All eyes were up to the heavens and upon the old grey sword that stood so tall. I pushed my way close to the fountains edge, where I saw the human Kralen standing, his eyes fixed upon the sword and his fingers caressing a magnificent ring of Sa.

Curious as to what the bustle was about, I reached up to touch the sword but was pulled quickly away by my mother. Confused and frustrated I turned to ask her what was going on, but was startled by a loud and hideous cackling coming from the skies. I quickly glanced over at Kralen and heard him whisper, "the prophecy is complete, what was taken he now gives back..." I could not hear more, as yet another violent explosion rocked the heavens.

Frightened as to what he might have meant and by the terrible explosions, I was surprised when I saw Kralen pull the sword from the fountain and yell to the dark witch herself, that he was here to restore what was taken and her time had come. I shrieked as Aiena appeared and said, "You fool! Feel what it is like to die at the hands of a God!"

 

Afraid for his life I started towards him but stopped as he did something no one would have ever thought him to do. I blinked in shock as Kralen bent his knee and broke the grey sword upon it! I faintly remember hearing the dark witch scream a pleading No! before she aged and withered to dust right before my eyes.

It was not long afterwards a triumphant and loud roar of a great dragon rang across the land, and shook the very ground beneath me. As I struggled to make sense of all that had happened I noticed Kralen's lifeless form and his ghostly presence near the broken sword. Gently he spoke and told all how the great dragon prevailed and returns his great gift to the people of this land.

As his body rose into the heavens, finally free of his torture, golden light poured down upon us and out of the broken sword itself. Where the grey had been torn, golden light seeped slowly out and into each of us as the dragon roared yet again. I blinked and noticed a large blue orb had appeared where the grey had once stood so mournfully. And a giant statue, with each of our god's and goddess upon it, stood high and proudly for all to see. The eighth side of the statue was blank, and all were elated to see it as such.

I smiled and took my mother in my arms and danced with her around the fountain, as golden lights began to shine in the skies. We laughed and gave thanks to our lords and lady's. We hugged and embraced, all the while the golden light shone brighter and brighter. At last the light shone so bright I could not see, and I remember not what happened next, but I do remember waking to a new land. The runes once embedded upon my arms, no longer there; a new set of arcane runes in their place.

Thus is how our world was reborn. A new gift given to us. A new age begun. The age of the great dragon Sa and his defeat of the dark witch Aiena.

The Battle of the Storm ...

When the world was still young, and our people still new to the world, things of great evil and power walked the lands. Constant danger surrounded our ancestors, threatening to destroy the budding society. Our forbearers were not apart of the strife and war that flowed throughout the realms due to these dark powers, but rather lived quiet lives in peace within the forest.

One of these great evils was a giant of a beast named Zhvykis. Zhvykis could take many shapes as he roamed the lands as he brought havoc and destruction wherever he went. Torture was his favorite tool, and therefore he usually took the shape of those he wished to destroy.

As Zhyvkis traveled, he came across a tribe of beings, doglike in nature, standing roughly taller than a man. Zhyvkis was impressed with their strength and power as a race. He decided that it would be much better to use this tribe as tools of destruction. So Zhyvkis took the shape of the beasts, and entered their domain. Within days, Zhyvkis had taken control of the entire tribe, who worshiped him as a god.

As Zhyvkis spend time with the tribe, he quickly learned of the surrounding lands and which would be ripe for pillage and death. Gathering his forces, Zhyvkis then set out from the village with a small army at his back, and begin wrecking whatever he could. He quickly gathered more villages of warriors, forming a dark army with him at its head. As they moved about the young lands, they reeked havoc wherever they went.

************

Far away from the growing storm, stood a cluster of small villages of our kindred. The temple of Elindale in the region was new, having just been established by a century before by a young priestess come to lead the people of the land in the ways of the Goddess. A number of shacks beside the concentrated grove served as the temple ground, with now half a dozen young clerics tending the Firs about.

At the head of the temple clergy was a lad by the name of Isyndaer of no house in particular. Isyndaer was a youthful thirty years of age, and newly come to the area under direction of his home temple. He had found the place pleasant and quaint, although it was not anything like the bustling temple he had come from or was used to. He spent his days in meditation, his nights in vigilance of the forest surrounding the area, as a cleric of his station was expected to do.

One of the nights he was traversing about, watching the woods for unwanted predators and other dangers, Isyndaer came across the soft sound of laughter of a young girl. Now, in these days, as I said before, danger persisted everywhere. He found it most peculiar that someone, especially a lady, would be out at this time of night. More peculiar was the splashing that accompanied the young woman's voice. The young priest, puzzled and curious, decided to investigate.

As Isyndaer came closer, his pace slowed. As he quietly approached the source of the laughter, his heart began to fill with hesitancy and a small twinge of fear. What was he doing, he asked himself. Why the apprehension? Shaking his head, he decided the best course of action was to sneak up and watch, and see what exactly was going on.

Isyndaer crept slowly and quietly, till he could peek about the edge of a large oak. He froze. Before him, through the undergrowth of the forest, Isyndaer beheld the most beautiful of ladies he had ever laid eyes upon, bathing in a shimmering pool. How long he stood there, he couldn't tell, for he was completely entranced by the vision that now bathed slowly in the water as song rolled from her lips. He stood perfectly still as he watched her, enchanted by the voice as well as her outer beauty. When she was done, she stood, her back to him, and slowly walked away and out of the pool. She walked behind a tree and disappeared from sight, with only her voice left echoing in the forest.

Shaken from his trance by the sudden silence, Isyndaer berated himself and slowly crept back to his route for his nightly travels. He muttered and cursed himself and his lack of courage to approach the lady and ask whatever would she be doing away from the safety of her village at such a dangerous time at night. He resigned himself to the rest of his vigil, trying to put the image of the beautiful lady behind him. Although try as he might, the hauntingly beautiful voice filled his thought and mind throughout the night, and into the following days.

Three nights later, it was again Isyndaer's watch for the night. Again, he patrolled the surrounding forest, watchful of all about. Without realizing it, Isyndaer had stumbled once again near the part of the woods he had encountered the evening prior. Soon he was greeted with the sound of laughter and gentle song from somewhere nearby. Remembrance flooded the young cleric's mind, so again after a moment's pause, he slowly and quietly crept to the place from where the voice came. And again, as he peeked about the trunk of a large tree, he beheld the same stunning vision. He stood transfixed as he watched the young lass bath and sing, heedless of the danger around her. Once again he did nothing but watch, until again she left her bath and disappeared into the night's darkness.

Amazingly, this went on for a several evenings. The priest of Elindale would begin his trek through the woods, come across the sounds of singing, approach slowly till he could view, and then watch as the maiden disappeared into the evening. Isyndaer found this behavior puzzling, for whom would let their daughter out at such hours? He decided one evening, after watching this spectacle, to follow the lady and find out who she was and why she was behaving in this manner. As soon as she finished, Isyndaer took off from his hiding spot and called after her, only to find an empty forest, still except for his cries for the woman to stop and talk. Isyndaer looked about closely for tracks of her passing, but she had completely vanished. More attempts on other evenings proved just a futile. If he gathered his courage and did not wait for her to finish, she would leave as soon as he stood, as if on cue, to disappear into the night before he could reach her.

Many more days passed, and Isyndaer gave up his attempts to confront the woman. How does one talk to one that is not there, he reasoned. I must be dealing with images of a tired mind, he thought. The next time he passed the pool, he again heard her singing, and this time tried his best to ignore it and pass on by. But he soon found himself crouched again behind the tree, watching the lady.

Suddenly, as he watched, from the darkness a massive shape crashed into the clearing and headed straight for the young lady. Instincts and training took over for Isyndaer, and he was on his feet, bow in hand, loosing arrows as fast as he could draw them back. Before he knew what had happened, he was out of arrows, and the dark shape lay unmoving at the edge of the pool. Every single one of his missiles protruded from its body.

The firian lady had stopped her song as soon as the shape had trespassed into the clearing. After silence resettled into the woods, she turned and stared directly at Isyndaer. The weight of that stare held him transfixed for but a moment before he felt himself blush and step forward and towards the fallen beast, to retrieve his arrows. The lady made no move as he approached, but rather just watched him intently. Isyndaer spoke the word of blessing that loosed the runes upon his skin, creating a small globe of light over the corpse on the ground. He remained silent otherwise as he tried his best to recover his arrows as fast as he could manage.

"Do you make a habit of defending those that do not know you, young cleric?"

The power and commanding tone of the question spun Isyndaer on his heels. He held the stare of the woman for a moment before he dropped his gaze, for reasons he could not understand.

"You were in danger, m'lady. I reacted, is all."

Silence followed, as the weight of the woman's stare felt as a rock upon Isyndaer's shoulders. He inhaled deeply, then looked over the body at his feet. A dog-man thing of large size lay on the ground. Armor of a make the fir could not recognize covered the furry hide.

"They are the lupines. They are followers of the night, Isyndaer. They are dangerous, and they are coming," the maiden said slowly.

Isyndaer raised his gaze to the lady again, even more questions flowing through his mind. How did this lass know his name, and even more puzzling, how did she know of this creature? He stood slowly, turning these riddles around his mind as he tried to figure the best way to ask and inquire just what this woman knew.

"There is an army of them, my young priest," continued the woman. " They follow blackness itself in mortal form, come to rain death upon my children and land. If they are not stopped, they will level these woods and all others like it."

As the woman spoke she stepped out of the pool water clung to her body, covering it as she rose. It swirled and moved about her, till an opaque robe formed from the water about her body, moving as he she did. She approached Isyndaer, who was standing dumbfounded. She smiled as he laid a finger to his lips and held his gaze.

"Coming are the armies of darkness, and they are these, Isyndaer. They come in darkness and leave devastation behind them. None of the forest know of their presence, and when they do, it will be too late unless something is done."

"How…how can you know this? Whom are you?"

She smiled again and continued to hold his gaze. Isyndaer stood frozen, fear again on his face as the deep blue eyes bore into his soul.

"I have called you here many nights, you priest. You are brave and have shown strength in your worship and faith. I need those attributes more than any in this dark hour. I have come to charge you with two tasks to save your people, my children Isyndaer. Complete them and you shall be counted as one of my blessed. Fail and there will be none about this forest to remember that the elves once lived here."

The young cleric stood in awe, for the realization that he stood before no normal maiden hit him as a falling tree. Before him stood an avatar - a mortal form of the Lady Elindale herself. He dropped his gaze quickly as he fell to one knee. Words would not come to him, for nothing he had to say seems fitting to be heard by his Goddess at the moment.

The avatar smiled, leaned over to kiss his forehead gently. She then gave Isyndaer very detailed instruction as to what he was to do, and how. He nodded and questioned no further, but left the clearing that evening with the corpse of the lupine slung over his shoulder. He was never to see the spot, nor the avatar again in his life.

Days pasted, and Isyndaer took to his work. He talked and convinced those of his new temple to go and tell the villagers what was coming and what was to be done. Arms were quickly gathered, and elves were hurriedly assembled and prepared as best as they could. Word was spread far and wide, and any and all soldiers that could be mustered in time were brought together. Isyndaer and his fellow priests, in the mean time, begin their own preparations, according to the directions he had been given. None knew of their tasks, only that much chanting and secrecy filled the temple over the next several evenings.

Soon, all was ready. The avatar had told Isyndaer where the attack of the approaching army would come. The captains and the priests decided upon a ravine that the lupines would come through for the battle, since it provided the best defense and the best chance to catch the army by surprise. Archers and swordsmen where spread out across the valley on the appointed night, and all was ready.

Just as the avatar had foretold, it was but a single evening before the scouts of the firs reported that masses of fell beasts were approaching from the far end of the ravine. All was made ready, and soon all was quiet.

The beginning of the battle went as the elves had planned. Lupines in dark armor and moving with surprising speed swept quietly into the gully. Had they not been warned, the firs might not have ever known of the approach of the black army. But they were aware, and they caught the lupine army in a trap. As soon as the signal was given, dozens of priests light the forest with balls of light, catching the soldiers by complete surprise. Arrows whizzed into the formations, dropping huge numbers of beasts. The magical light of the spells above danced off the arrowheads and the blades of the swords of the approaching elven warriors, sprung from their hiding places. Screams and curses rose as the battle was fully joined.

Isyndaer watched as elves and lupines fought and died on the field before him. The damage of the initial attack was devastating, but the opposing forces were vast. Spells continued to flow from his fellow priests as he watched while the battle continued. Time passed, and slowly the lupines were being pushed back, when a loud crash sounded at the back of the dark ranks. A howl of challenge roared from behind, and the enemy moved back to allow a gigantic figure approach from the rear. The firian warriors fell back, fear on their faces as the titan of a beast moved to the front lines. Soon the elven warriors had abandoned the battle, retreating to their places of hiding where they had begun the evening.

Standing more than 12 feet tall, clad all in dark armor, stood the largest lupine that any had seen this night. In his hand he held a sword of enormous proportions and his shield glistened with the light of the spells overhead. Behind this monster remained the lupine hordes, as if waiting for a sign. This must be the evil that I am to stop, thought the young priest.

Steeling his nerves, Isyndaer took the queue, as he had been instructed, and strode forward. In his hand he held the staff that was the work of he and his fellow priests for the days before. Runes sparked and glowed as the neared he beast, who watched his every move.

Isyndaer stopped his walk when he was but twenty paces from the leader of this army, the one that the avatar had told Isyndaer of. Had he not been prepared, he would have been scared out of his mind at the sight of the creature before him. However, his instructions were clear, and his strength resolved.

"I have come to send you back to the hell that you have come from, dark beast!" yelled Isyndaer. The army behind stirred restlessly, obviously agitated at the fact that someone had dared to even challenge their leader. The beast, however, did nothing but laugh.

"You?" the voice of the titan boomed. Isyndaer could have sworn he felt the ground shake beneath his feet at the sound. "You, a mortal of no power is going to send me to where? You are lost, little child. Run home to your trees and hide before you are cleaved in two!" The roar of the lupines behind him spoke of their faith in their master.

Isyndaer breathed deeply, and then replied, "Yes, I will send you back, foul beast. By our Goddess's will, your destruction is hand!"

Zhyvkis roared at these words, anger spreading across his face. He raised his sword and strode forward, screaming as he went "Your goddess is nothing, and I will prove to you whom shall be sent to their hell!"

As Zhyvkis stepped towards the elf, Isyndaer raised the staff in his hands and quickly began to recite the words that would release the power of the staff. Sparks crackled as he continued to chant rapidly. He moved to the side as a swipe from the dark monster fell, missing him by scant inches. Another giant step, and Zhyvkis was right on top of the poor cleric.

As the weapon was raised once more for the killing blow, the young priest spat the final words and pointed the blackened staff upwards. Sparks crackled, and suddenly light flashed and streaked from the end of the staff and stuck the beast. Zhyvkis screamed at that moment, pain coursing through his veins, as he had never felt before. The echos of the light rolled about the ravine, making most of the lupine and elven host about cringe in terror. The wind began to swirl about the battlefield as the first few drops of rain begin to fall. Again Isyndaer spoke, and again the light leaped from the staff to strike the beast. Soon the rolling sounds of the deadly light crackled not only from the staff, but from overhead as well. One last time Isyndaer spoke the words and the crackling light stuck the beast, this time to be matched as a streak of the same sort of light came from the sky to hit Zhyvkis at the same instant.

Zhyvkis fell over, slamming to the ground as his screams died away. Above the killing light flashed and the claps of the releasing continued to roll while the rains began to fall in earnest. As Isyndaer strode before the body of the beast, the lupines broke and fled. The victorious cries of the elves filled the air, and the chase was on. Few of the lupine army survived that night, for they were chased by the Firian warriors till many were dead or lost.

Never again was the creature Zhyvkis seen in the lands. The rains that fell dissolved his body that night, so only a dark patch remained where he had fallen. Isyndaer returned to his temple and his teaching, but he was soon given the title of the first Druid, the victor of the Battle of the Storm. And to this day, when you see the storms roll in, watch and listen. For Elindale will remember her faithful servant with the flash of lightning and the boom of the body of evil falling before her power.

A Remembrance ...

The rain pelted down upon the soil. The bare, red earth bled, as if so many swords had sliced it. A slight figure stood silently, gazing at the land from the cowl of her dark green cape. A small tear rolled down her pale cheek, as she remembered.

The land here had once been lush and green, covered with trees and brush. Owls flew overhead, and great bears dwelt in the misty ravines. A stream weaved its way through the trees, a gift from Elindale. An assortment of creatures the sacred landscape was able to sustain drank from it. It was the vein that allowed everything to live. The forest, however, was special, for one special denizen.

A holy unicorn of Elindale grazed in the forest. So long as She was not in need of the mighty beast's services, the unicorn could do as she pleased. Pearly white, with a majestic horn that jutted out of its forehead, the unicorn was truly the Lady of the Great Tree's greatest creature.

Rumors flew in the cities like arrows. "Endless riches may be found in that forest!" was upon the tongue of every tavern maid. And the people of the cities, of the Spur, listened with interest.

It started as only a trickle. A few people looking for what many scoffed at as being a fool's errand. However, they wanted to settle down, in order to better protect their camps and themselves from the "evils of the untamed heart of nature." Severing root from trunk, they went on their way, building small outposts from which they could make their expeditions into the forest. Yet, they did not leave when they could not find the unicorn, or the riches.

They came and they came, from Saldaea, from the Northern Islands, from the shores of Aradath itself, they came. People cried out for the unicorn to come give them her riches, and it became almost a pilgrimage one made, to try and find the unicorn. The clergy of Elindale had tried for years to stop the people from coming, insisting it was not safe to place such a burden of people upon the forest. But they would not listen, and came all the more.

The forest, however, was not made to sustain this many people. Slowly but surely the trees began to die out, and then the brush was done away with. The rabbits soon disappeared, and the bears and the owls soon followed. The river ran dry.

Furious at what had been done to one of her forests, Elindale let loose her wrath. Thunder rolled across the cloudy sky, as lightning raced down from the heavens. Outposts, the towns that had been built, and people alike were splintered by the booming power of the Goddess. Only the unicorn remained safe.

Years later, after the survivors had fled and the stories had been spread throughout the world, Elindalians began to journey to the forest. They came in trickles, so as to not disturb any new life that might grow; yet nothing would grow.

The woman removed her cowl, as she swept her now wet hair back behind her pointed ears. She got down on her knees, bowed her head, and murmured a short phrase is Secti, "Our Lady, I remember."

Scribed by Ambertiger Honorclaw 

Heart of the Goddess

The Sapling ...

A tiny secian stands within an old oak tree.  She looks down at the little sapling with a warm smile but yet tears begin to form in her eyes. Fighting back the tears she look upward as far as she can see with hope in her heart that the sapling which has taken root here is the salvation of Elindale's followers.

Some weeks back before the sapling was even thought of a few members of the Elindale Temple in the city of Spur were experiencing strange occurrences.  They noticed the brook in the temple was drying up, the altar was cracking and the red and white ring of mushrooms withering and brown. The members were becoming very distressed over this alone.  It did not stop there, some of the clerics were experiencing illness and feeling asthough they were being drawn to something yet did not knowing what.  A couple of them even had visions. One vision consisted of a horrid battle where many were being burnt and dying horrid deaths. Plants and animals were being consumed in the flames. A young maiden appeared with deeply pained eyes and her robes saturated with blood.  Another saw a vision of a small seedling near the cracked altar, which took roots and began to grow and grow till it was a tree where the altar once stood. These visions alone keep all the members talking among themselves and friends with an attempt to interrupt the meaning of them. Some had even mentioned that Elindale was dying or was under attack by an evil God or Lord.

She sits looking at the sapling with tears forming in her eyes as she remembers how it was found.  The temple floor begins to tremble and all stood up with eyes filled with fright and dismay, the altar crumbled and turned to dust before all of Elindale's followers. Some were ready to run, some took to flight that had wings and some were going to stand fast no matter what would take place. The floor began to crack and open up then a strong wind began to move around in circles, it kept getting stronger and stronger till many wereknocked to the ground.  A pulling sensation came over them as thought it was someone or something telling them to leave.  After some debate with individual minds a temple elder went to another part of the temple and called out for all to join.  There they found amagical portal which of course at first many were afraid to even dare enter.  Once minds cleared they all entered the portal and like wonders of magic found themselves in the city of Treehaven at Elindale's Temple. Trembling and still very afraid the Lady's flock kneeled and began chanting prayers for guidance.  There to theiramazement falling gently from above was a seedling. Tiny and delicate it wasyet with gentle hands the fir elf picked up the seedling tenderly.  There was a short discussion where should they take this tiny seedling and finally was decided to take it back to their temple in Spur in hopes that the seedling would sprout and replace the altar and praying that it would grow in the crack. As Elindale's followers began their trek back to Spur the animals of the forest seem to peer at them from behind the bushes. Some would look back andsmile at the furry forest creatures.

Eventually they arrived at the forest edge where a flock of blue birds seem to swoop down at them.  It was then they realized they were not to take the seedling from the forest, so back into the forest the flock went.  They wondered around as though they werelost at first trying to find a place for their delicate find. The animals would watch them nervously.  Tired, thirty andhungry they came upon and very ancient oak tree, again with some discussion they decided to see if they could get inside and inside they did go. The fir elf kneeled down, slowly glancing up to the ones that have been following him gently placed the seedling down on the ground which looked as though it had been prepared for the seedling. The flock stood and watched the seedling closely as it slowly began to grow into a sapling as big as the tiny secian.Pick it up now some said to the elf and we take it to Spur where it can grow into a tree in our Lady's temple.  But the elf did not pick it up for he was worried he might harm the sapling. As they were trying to convince him it would be all right the sapling slowly took roots into the ground.  They were all very happy to see that the sapling was happy there in this oak tree of life and feltthat the mighty oak would protect it from harm. As tired as they were they still wanted to go back to Spur to check on their temple.

The small group finally came to the gates close to the City of Spur and went immediately to their beloved temple where they found it completely destroyed.  They kneeled in sincere prayer asking Elindale for courage and guidance.  Yet in their hearts although they are a lost flock knew they have hope in the little sapling which is safe in the arms of the old oak tree.

Tiffany Mcloud, heart cleric of Elindale

The Creation of the Elves ...

Countless centuries past, in the time of the Great Awakening, it came to pass that the sister goddesses Elindale and Rinanni drew themselves further away from their material spheres, and more into the realms of the gods. As they lessened their direct influence, the sisters decided that they should have caretakers to overseer their respective domains. And thusly, the Elves were created.

Elindale sculpted Her creatures from the fertile soil of the deepest forests. The warm wind that blows over the grasslands She breathed into their bodies, and the vast expanse of Her clear blue skies was captured within their eyes. Eindale called upon the bear, to give Her creations fortitude; Elindale called upon the lynx, to give Her creations deftness; Elindale called upon the lion, to give Her creations fierceness of spirit; Elindale called upon the eagle, to give Her creations acute sight. Her forests were their home, and Her animals their kin. These creatures came to be known as the Fir Elves.

Rinanni took a somewhat different approach than Her sister, as She is wont to do in most things. Rinanni formed Her creations from an idea, bringing forth Her thoughts into reality. As Rinanni loves beauty, She made Her creations pleasing to look upon; as Rinanni loves knowledge, She instilled within Her creations a thirst to seek out knowledge and learn at every opportunity; as Rinanni loves peace, She gifted Her creations with even tempers; as Rinanni loves wisdom, She graced Her creations with discerning and analytical minds. Her creations were vessels, waiting to fill themselves with knowledge. These creatures came to be know as the Usil Elves.

The other gods were not blind to these events, though they had their own issues to attend. However, the Triumvirate known as The Chaos Lords saw opportunity. Moloch, the One of Death. Arioch, the One of Chaos. Evoloch, the One of Change. Through their minions, The Chaos Lords captured several Fir Elves and Usil Elves for their own experiments. Arioch rent their minds and tore their souls, torturing and twisting the Elves into a mockery of the Sisters' creation. Evoloch guided Arioch's hand, remaking the Elves' physical bodies even as his brother warped and perverted their souls. Moloch watched over the tormented Elves, preventing their souls from escaping into the Real of Death, where they would be free of their anguish. After many years, the Chaos Lords had formed the Elves into a dark and twisted shadow of their former selves. Children of Chaos, strong, cunning and ruthless. These creatures came to be known as the San Elves.

Cori

The Lore of the Ancient Elindalian Holy Symbol ...

Twas a glorious afternoon, and I was talking a walk in Cearsech forest. I could hear the noises of the forest creatures on the breeze as a walked towards the ancient oak with a barrel of water for the young tree. As I stepped inside I was comforted by the familiar surroundings and very optimistic as the young tree was healing very well. I closed my eyes and prayed to the Goddess to help the temple look after the tree and to help it to flourish.

As I kneeled down and watered the tree I began to speak to it as I often do. I told it how much we loved and cherished it, and how very important it was to us. I vowed to always care for it no matter what. As I was speaking to the tree, I felt a presence about me. The presence was not malevolent. It seemed a bit sad, yet also very comforting. I felt the presence grow stronger and then suddenly noticed a glint of gold on the lower limb of the tree.

As I reached for the object, I felt the presence vanish immediately and in my paw I had an Ancient Elindalian Holy Symbol. I had never seen anything like this before! I was not quite sure to make of it, but I knew that it must be very special. I decided then and there, that I would have to go through some ancient tomes to find out the story behind this mysterious symbol.

As studied many tombs and scrolls I came across a story that told of the symbol. It was written, that our ancestors who followed the ancient ways of Elindale carried these symbols. Some of them had magick in them and were highly prized. As our ancestors left this mortal world, they still carried the symbol with them, even beyond death. When the time came for them to die their final death, they chose a follower of the Goddess and presented the symbol to them, so that it would always be protected. As they slipped away into eternity they passed the symbol on. Those who receive the symbol are truly blessed to receive such a gift. It is given to them so that they may protect the symbol, keeping it from harm. Tis a reminder of the old ways.

Although it is a time of great happiness to be chosen to receive such a gift, it is also a time of great sadness as our ancestors pass and are gone for all eternity. Receiving the symbol is cause for mourning as well as a great celebration. As i read this story in the dusty old scroll what had happened to me that afternoon at the ancient oak all made sense. I went deep into the forest and planted some flowers in remembrance of the ancestor that had passed the symbol on to me. I sat quietly taking in all of the information I had learned. I felt very lucky and rejoiced in the fact that I was chosen for such an honor, perhaps one day I too will pass this symbol on when it is my time.

Penned on the 1st day of the year 313

Ariane Sylvan
Sword Cleric of Elindale

Contemplations ...

As I sit out here in the forest watching the brilliant reds, gold's, and dark blues of the sunset, I feel compelled to reflect on just what exactly does The Mother Lady Elindale expect of her children? What exactly does she teach us, or wish us to know? What should I, as one of her clerics, be teaching her younger children? In essence, who exactly is Elindale? And what are her followers like?

These questions, and many others, have often been presented to me. Perhaps now is the time to let all be known. With my Lady Mother's guidance I shall attempt here and now to finally put to rest these thoughts. From now until the end of all time, may all who seek these answers know the truth.

Altyerre

***************

Quite simply, Elindale is the Goddess of Nature. Though this is the most simple answer, there is actually quite a lot more to Her than just Nature. The depth of who She is exactly cannot fully be comprehended by any mortal. The Lady Elindale is in all things Natural. And it is this that she expects her children to understand.

As a child of Elindale, one must understand fully what exactly is and is not Natural. To accomplish this, two things must be asked. How was this brought into the world? And what purpose does it serve? Almost always, it can be determined from these questions if something is Naturally in these lands or not.

With that in mind, it must be told that Elindale abhors anything unnatural. We, as her children, are expected to seek out these things and destroy them. The most common of these unnatural things is the living dead. The spirits, ghosts, ghouls, and assorted other undead creatures must be actively sought out and released from this plane.

Understanding the balance of Nature is also a highly essential thing her children must learn. It is important to remember that both the good an the evil are both needed to maintain the balance. One thing to remember is the balance is much like the seasons on the lands. There is the spring, which symbolizes regrowth and rebirth. There is the summer, the time of youth and growth. There is the fall, a time of change, and age. And finally there is the winter, the time for death and dormancy. It is also important to remember that Elindale is in all things Natural. This includes the earth, the plants, and the creatures that walk upon this land, both dark and light.

A child of Elindale must also understand when and when not to hunt her creatures. The Lady Elindale approves of hunting for what is needed, but she abhors those who simply hunt for the sport of it. It is also highly important for a child of Elindale to recognize what exactly is needed and what to hunt for or gather for that purpose, as Elindale abhors the waste of anything natural.

For the most part, children of Elindale are a very quiet and peaceful people. They do not actively seek aggression. In this light, it is also very important to remember that the children of Elindale possess a strength and fury enough to place fear into those who would seek to harm Her or Her children.

All in all a child of Elindale must always keep these things in their heart: Recognize that which is unnatural and remove it from these lands, Understand the balance of all things and accept them as they are, be aware of needs and do not be wasteful in what you would hunt for or gather, do not hunt for sport, and the final and most important thing a child of Elindale must know; Know your Mother Elindale and worship her. One must never forget that the Lady is only as strong as her Children's love and faith.

My final plea to all who follow the Lady Elindale. Give praise and love to the Lady as often as possible. Elindale is your mother, and through Her all is possible. Praise can come in the form of many things, be it a quiet prayer said alone, a song written to honor Her, or a number of many other things, none of which must be elaborate for her to love and know. And the last and most important thing, know that she is always there. If you should ever feel that you are alone, you only need go outside into her forests and be comforted in the fact that your Mother Elindale is there with you.

Faenor and Bycheris ...

In the time before the ancient wars, when the world was still fresh and new, there lived a very old, very poor firian couple, who went by the names Faenor and Bycheris. Faenor and Bycheris had been married at a very young age, and lived on the edge of a small village whose name is now lost in the passage of time. Faenor and Bycheris were loved and pitied by all those about the village, for although they were old, Elindale had never blessed them with young to take care of them in their old age.

Being poor, Faenor and Bycheris had very little indeed. Their small shack was barely in the first branches of the trees that held the village, and the tiny garden that they sustained at the foot of the tree was just as tiny. Being proud fir, however, these two always refused the help of their fellow kinfolk, never desiring to subsist upon the labor of others.

One day, just before the touch of the first rays of the dawn, Faenor was out hunting rabbit as was usual for him. As he was going about the forest floor, looking for the tale-tale signs of his prey, he came upon some peculiar tracks - those of a giant bear. What struck the old elf as strange was the unsteadiness of the creature, and its size. Guessing the bear would be at least twice the typical size for one of its kind, Faenor became frightened at the though of such a beast roaming the forest near his home and endangering his precious Bycheris. Steeling his nerves, Faenor begin tracking the creature.

As the old elf followed his prey, some things became very apparent to him. The beast must be wounded. Blood stained nearby leaves and the ground, always on the right side of the tracks. The marks of blood were not large, but consistent enough for the elf to believe the beast was either shot or speared by someone. The irregularity of the tracks also confirmed the beast was not in its normal state of being. The trail left by the creature confirmed the thoughts of Faenor on the extraordinary size of the beast as well.

Another few minutes of following the trail led Faenor to a ridge that marked the small stream beyond. Crouching and listening, Faenor could hear the sounds of something splashing the water of the stream. The elf considered leaving the beast for a moment, but thought better of it. It would be best to put the creature down if it was wounded, as it could cause damage and death to the nearby villagers if left alone. So, steeling his courage, Faenor crawled as quietly as his old bones would allow to the top of the ridge to get a look at the beast.

And indeed it was huge! Not two times, but four times the size of a normal bear. It was laying half in, half out of the stream, licking a bleeding wound on its hindquarter. A hewed off shaft of a spear protruded from the wound which the creature was now licking. Blood still ran freely through its jet-black fur.

Faenor marveled. Never had he seen such a creature in the woods near his village. Bears were not unheard of, but one of this size was quite rare indeed. The black fur was also uncommon, and the size! Oh my, but Faenor could not but stare in wonder at the sheer bulk of the bear. Never had he seen one this powerful, this huge. The teeth gleaming in the morning sun were the size of small daggers - the claws and legs of the beast looked powerful enough to tear a sapling down with little effort.

Faenor sat there, thoughts wheeling through his mind. His body told him to flee, for if the village guard had already met the creature and not succeeded it bringing it down, what hope could he, an old fir, do with his feeble bow? Instinct told him to run and pray the bear left the area, but he was frozen and could not tear his eyes from the animal.

But as Faenor watched, the bear stopped nursing its wound and looked up to catch the gaze of the elf. Fear struck Faenor again as he found himself staring into the dark, black eyes of this gigantic beast. What hope had he now? The creature, hurt and torn, would still be quite able to tear him from limb to limb.

However, as the old elf stared at the bear, and as it stared back at him, Faenor had another thought fill his mind. He slowly stood, then approached. The bear watched him the entire time, strangely attentive while doing nothing. As he neared the creature, he reached into his pouch and pulled forth the herbs and roots he used to tend wounds with. He chanted softly his prayers to Elindale as he crushed the healing leaves over the wound, and applied the salve of another root he had previously prepared. Then, as his chanting continued, he reached up and quickly tugged the broken haft of the spear out of the beast. It suddenly roared and thrashed, sending the old elf sprawling. The bear returned to licking its wound, making no aggressive move toward the prone elf.

Faenor watched in fear, expecting the beast to attack him at any moment. After several breaths had passed, he slowly stood, not daring to take his eyes away from the bear as he did. Again the bear did not attack, but rather returned his gaze while continuing to lick its wounds. Faenor sigh softly and smiled as the realization hit that his treatments would allow the beast to live. He timidly waved at the creature, and then backed away and over the ridge to head home. What a day, he thought as he departed the scene.

As Faenor begin the trek home, hear heard the sounds of something following him. Turning, he saw the gigantic creature on his path. However when Faenor stopped and looked back, the bear stopped as well and just gazed at him. Lost as what his next course of action should be, Faenor decided to take the chance of just returning home. Giving the bear another smile, he continued his walk back to his home. The bear immediately turned and followed him.

This continued all the way back to Faenor's and Bycheris's home. When he arrived, Faenor climbed the tree and entered the house. He quickly found Bycheris and told her the entire encounter. Both then looked out the windows of the humble abode, and were greeted with the view of the bear sitting patiently at the base of the tree, returning their curious looks. They were completely stunned at such a turn of events. What does one do with a huge bear at the base of one's house?

Deciding that they had nothing to lose, Bycheris took down the fish that Faenor had caught the prior day while Faenor prepared a large bowl full of water. They slowly climbed to the foot of the tree and offered the gifts, their entire day's meal, to the beast sitting at their tree. The bear quickly grabbed up the fish and ate, while Bycheris bravely examined the wound of the animal. Being one trained by the temple in the most mundane of the healing magics, she chanted to Elindale and prayed over the beast. The wound glowed slightly and closed, and the bear soon fell asleep, contented.

Faenor and Bycheris spent the rest of the day and evening within their tree, strangely at peace with the large bear sleeping at the foot of their home.

Before the sun arose the next morning, both Faenor and Bycheris awoke to the sounds of musical laughter coming from outside upon the forest floor. Dressing quickly, they looked out to see a most amazing sight - a young lady, clad all in gold with hair to match was playing and rolling about the ground with the huge bear! Shocked and filled with wonder at the sight, the couple were even more amazed when the young girl turned and looked up at them, smiling brightly.

"Faenor! Bycheris! Oh, do come down, I have but little time left!"

Stunned, the two old firs made their way down to the forest floor as fast as they were able. When they got there and approached the firian maiden before them, they suddenly recognized her as Shvyristra, handmaiden of Elindale and Ward of the Sun herself. They quickly fell to their faces in reverence, fearful of what they had done to receive a visit from the demi-goddess. The golden lady then laughed again.

"Rise, oh rise ancient kindred! Fear me not, for I am here in thanks and joy at the healing of my precious Gre-garytan! You have taken care of him when others did little but wound and injure him out of fear and ignorance! Do stand and accept my thanks for returning to him health and happiness due to your selfless generosity!"

Stricken again with shock and bewilderment, the two old firs stood and stared at the lady and the bear, realizing at last this was the legendary Gre-garytan, companion of Shvyristra and watcher of all things within the woods. Dumbfounded, Faenor bowed to the lady and tried to speak his thoughts.

"Oh, Your thanks are accepted with pleasure and pride, dear handmaiden. We will forever be thankful that we had such a visit and the pleasure of meeting you, as well as caring for your revered companion!"

Shvyristra, however, was not finished. "The thanks that I can give you are great, but for your generosity and bravery he would have been lost to me. I would love to bestow upon you a gift of my eternal gratitude. You must indeed be given something so all may know you are forever to be counted as blessed children of Elindale! Whatever then shall you two receive for your hospitality?"

Bycheris was the first to respond this time. "Oh lady, we could ask nothing of one such as you. Surely just the pleasure of your visit will forever mark us as you so deem?"

Shvyristra, however insisted. She demanded that they come up with some gift that could be given. Faenor and Bycheris, seeing the handmaiden of Elindale would not be moved, asked for a moment to discuss it. After a short conversation between themselves, Faenor approached Shvyristra.

"Dear blessed one, my wife and I have lived for many years. And in all that time there has never been a word of anger between us. Now, at last, we are growing old and our long companionship is coming to an end. It is the only thing that has helped us in the bad times and the source of our joy in the good. Grant us, then, this one request, that when we come to die, we may perish in the same hour and neither of us be left without the other."

Shvyristra smiled broadly, very pleased indeed that the old couple would request such a humble and gentle wish. She then kissed both their foreheads, blessed them both, and turned to disappear within the forest, the great bear crashing through the woods just behind her. Never did Faenor and Bycheris see them again.

For many years after, Faenor and Bycheris lived in peace. The blessings of Shvyristra were truly upon them, and for the rest of their lives their hunts were fruitful and their meager crops laden with fruit and grain. Before each dawn after that meeting, Faenor and Bycheris would make the walk to the bank where Faenor had found the great bear, and would give praise and thanks to both Elindale and her handmaiden Shvyristra for their good fortune.

As time passed, and they grew from old to ancient, the trip became longer. One morning, they moved so slowly that they arrived at the bank of the stream right as the light of Shvyristra broke through the leaves of the forest to touch the bank. There as they stood, each one felt the other stiffen and change and only had time to turn and say once, "Farewell," before their old forms disappeared. In their place stood two tall silver oak trees growing closely side by side with the branches interlaced. Forever after the silver oak became holy to Elindale, and was (and still is) placed within her most holy of places for all to remember the patience and healing of Faenor and Bycheris.



On the Creation ...

By Nominus Santorini

Many cultures and races have developed their own myths and tales that seek to explain our origins, the creation of the world and all that is in it. Some believe that the sun and moon are the great gold and silver eyes of Elindale, who closes the silver one for day and the golden one to make night.

Others believe the world came to be when Elindale cracked open a giant egg, from which all of existence came pouring forth.

And there are tales that claim that the stars we see in the night sky are the souls of the departed, their light shining down as they keep watch over us for all eternity.

The following is the most enduring of the creation stories and often taught to the young, having been passed down through the generations, unchanged through all the eras.

Long ago, when time and world were young, Elindale created two great lamps, one of silver and one of gold, to bring light and warmth to the land. One lamp she set upon the highest mountain on the Eastern Edge of the World, and the other upon the highest mountain on the Western Edge. There they cast their light and warmth over all the lands, and the earth grew green and lush. Thus it was for time untold.

Then Chaos slipped away on the breath of the sleeping Elindale. Being aware, it wished to become more than it was, separate from Elindale—apart from, and no longer a part of, Her. But Elindale is All; there is nothing more. Frustrated and angered by this, it went off to bring what disorder it could to the world, and chaos of its own making.

Not content with working small changes, Chaos determined to bring down one of the lamps from the pillars of the earth, and establish darkness and disorder in the well-lit, well-ordered lands. After much effort, it reached the great silver lamp and, grabbing it up, turned to escape with it. But the lamp burned with a fierce coldness, and Chaos could not keep its hold upon it. The lamp was dropped, and it rolled down the mountain, where finally it sank beneath a small pond in a valley far below.

Elindale awoke and saw what had happened, and She was not pleased. She watched as Chaos waded into the pond, and by Her command the pond began to grow and grow, wider and deeper and deeper and wider, until all the lands disappeared beneath its waters. The lamp settled onto the floor of this great sea. Chaos swam deep to reach it, but Elindale turned it into a thousand tiny lamps and hid them inside shells of white. Chaos searched in vain for the original lamp before finally giving up and swimming away in frustration. Elindale retrieved the original lamp but left the others, where they remain today as the shimmering stars of the sea. She shook the water from the lamp and caught up the drops in Her hand. Then She threw them into the air, to twinkle and shine in the night sky, a constant reminder of Her many gifts.

Eventually the waters receded, forming new lands. Retrieving the other lamp from its high pillar on the mountain, Elindale determined to place them both forever out of reach from any who might attempt to capture them again. From among Her creatures She chose a great, strong-winged bird to carry the golden lamp upon its back. As the bird flew across the heavens, it absorbed the lamp’s great heat, which soon became too much for it to bear. When it reached the other side of the sky, it vividly burst into bright red, orange, and golden flames before finally burning itself out. Darkness enveloped the lands then, lit by the cool flame of the silver lamp, which was carried across the night sky by a great, silent owl. At the edge of the earth, the owl returns to rest as its companion bird, which had become a phoenix, is reborn and ascends into the sky once more with the sun upon its back. Sometimes the phoenix would fly higher, and other times closer to the earth, alternately cooling and warming the lands. Then from out of Herself, Elindale created the Shepherd of Time, and gave it its own form, in order to ensure that the phoenix and the owl flew neither too high nor too low, nor too fast nor too slow. She also gave form to the Shepherd of Death, to keep measure of life and of death, which had been unbalanced with the introduction of Chaos to the world (in those days the three still followed Her command and did not yet rebel against Her for control over their respective domains). Thus was born the night and the day, and the seasons, which echo the progression of the phoenix through it cycles of life, death, and rebirth, an ancient symbol of the balance of nature.

Submitted: 4.1.05


 



 
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