A Brief History of the United Elven Nation
The birth of the united elven nation began in 362 AC when Porthios Kanan, Speaker of the Sun of the Qualinesti elves married Alhana Starbreeze, queen of the Silvanesti elves. Porthios then led the armies of the Silvanesti elves into the forest of Silvanesti to cleanse it from the destruction wrought by Lorac Caladon’s nightmare. Queen Alhana ruled the rest of the elves in Qualinesti in his absence.
In 382 AC, Porthios and his forces succeeded in cleansing Silvanesti of its unnatural curse. Instead of a hero’s accolade, Porthios fell victim to forces hostile to a united elven kingdom. General Reyl Konnal, Senator Rashas and other prominent nobles of both Qualinesti and Silvanesti unleashed a coup and succeed in imprisoning Porthios Kanan and Alhana Starbreeze.
Porthios and Alhana were both forced under duress to abdicate their claims to the thrones of the Qualinesti and Silvanesti kingdoms. Senator Rashas placed Gilthas Pathfinder, son of Tanis Half-Elven and Lauralanthalasa Kanan on the Qualinesti throne. General Reyl Konnal was declared Military Governor and acting regent of Silvanesti. After the coup, Porthios and Alhana managed to escape imprisonment and were declared dark elves by the new elven authorities.
In 383 AC, the Dark Knights conquered Qualinesti and began its occupation. The Silvanesti managed to repel the Dark Knights. After the primal god Chaos was released from the Graygem, the elves of both nations joined with the rest of Ansalon in the defense of Krynn. Porthios went missing after his Griffin died fighting a fire dragon and was assumed dead. Alhana Starbreeze gave birth to her first child, Silvanoshei Caladon. The young princeling was born in exile in Solace. The Age of Mortals began in 384 AC (1 SC) after the defeat of Chaos.
Still under the thumb of the Dark Knights, Qualinesti was assaulted in 388 AC (5 SC) by the Green Dragon Overlord Beryllinthranox. Speaker of the Sun Gilthas Pathfinder, known as the “puppet king,” secretly led the elven resistance against the Dark Knights. In response to the ongoing dragon purge and other outside forces, the Silvanesti elves sought to isolate themselves from the rest of Ansalon by raising a magical shield over their lands in 394 AC (11 SC).
The Qualinesti elves discovered that many of their countrymen were being taken by Beryllinthranox. The Dragon overlord demonstrated to the Qualinesti how she could steal the souls of elves. In response, the elves of Qualinesti submitted to Beryllinthranox in 405 AC (22 SC). In 411 AC (28 SC), Palin Majere and some of his allies used primal sorcery to rescue those Qualinesti elves held captive by Beryllinthranox.
Silvanesti experienced troubles of its own. In 417 AC (34 SC), scouts from the elite Kirath discovered that the magical shield that protected the elves within was actually killing living things in its vicinity. A mysterious wasting sickness also erupted among some of the elves protected by the shield, leading many elves to question whether the safety provided by the shield was worth the consequences of living under it. Outside of the shield, the elves in the outlying settlements experienced a series of attacks by the Ogres of Blöde starting in 418 AC (35 SC). It was later revealed that the ogres had discovered a foul ritual that could turn an ordinary ogre into a creature that resembled the High Ogres of old. This ritual required elven blood and needed to be performed periodically on these “Ogre Titans” for them to retain their form. As such, the Ogres brazenly attacked elven settlements in search of captives. The Legion of Steel stepped in to help the elves in the region and managed to fend off a few of the ogre forays.
A great storm swept across Ansalon, heralding the arrival of the “One God” in 421 AC (38 SC). The forces of Alhana Starbreeze stationed near the Silvanesti Shield were attacked by a force of ogres. Silvanoshei left the camp to seek assistance from the Legion of Steel. During his journey, he was knocked unconscious. Silvanoshei awoke to find himself on the inside of the shield and headed toward Silvanost. Shortly after the arrival of Silvanoshei in Silvanost, he was crowned Speaker of the Stars. Mina and her army of Dark Knights also managed to pierce the Silvanesti Shield and marched on Silvanost to greet the new Speaker of the Stars. The shield was brought down and Cyan Bloodbane was revealed in his true form before he was destroyed. The elves later learned that Cyan Bloodbane had manipulated them into creating the shield in the first place in the hope that it would protect him from the Dragon Overlords while feeding off the elves. Mina then left for Sanction. Silvanoshei left Silvanesti to follow Mina after falling hopelessly in love with her. The remaining Dark Knights took over Silvanost.
Qualinost meanwhile, was attacked by Beryllinthranox. Marshal Medan and the Queen Mother Lauralanthalasa rallied the citizens of Qualinost to defend the city. Laurana managed to strike the Dragon Overlord with a Dragonlance while the rest of Qualinost pelted the dragon with spells and missile weapons (mysteriously, those citizens who attempted to use the old magic succeeded in doing so). While the battle raged, the Speaker of the Sun escorted the elven civilians out of the city through secret tunnels that were constructed by the dwarves of Thorbardin. Beryl was finally struck down by a mysterious force and crashed to the ground, collapsing the tunnels underneath the city and creating a huge crater that flooded when the shock of the impact forced the waters of the White Rage River to spill into the city. Qualinost was destroyed, but Gilthas Pathfinder’s evacuation plan managed to save much of the city’s population. The Qualinesti elves and their Kagonesti servants traveled across the Plains of Dust to reach Silvanesti in hopes of finding refuge.
After the Qualinesti elves reached Silvanesti, Alhana Starbreeze arrived and took the armies of the Qualinesti and Silvanesti elves on a rescue mission to save Silvanoshei. Silvanesti was left nearly undefended by elf or Dark Knight, and the Minotaurs took advantage of the situation. The Minotaurs launched a full scale invasion and quickly subdued the elves and the Dark Knights.
The elven forces journeyed to Sanction to save Silvanoshei. In the ensuing conflict, Silvanoshei was slain, the “One God” was revealed as Takhesis and the rest of the gods returned. Alhana Starbreeze renounced her claim to the Silvanesti throne and gave Gilthas Pathfinder her blessing before departing with some of her trusted advisers in search of Porthios. Gilthas Pathfinder was crowned Speaker of the Stars and took the title Speaker of the Sun and Stars.
The newly united elven kingdom briefly set up a nation in exile outside of the walls of Khuri Khan in 426 AC (43 SC). The tent city was dubbed Khurinost and it faced the resistance of some of the human extremists in the region. King Gilthas Pathfinder realized that the elves could not live in the human lands forever and sent his wife and trusted general Kerian on a mission to scout the mysterious Inath Wakenti. Kerian and some of her trusted soldiers trekked to this hidden land and discovered a temperate valley, well protected by the surrounding mountains. Unfortunately, the whole valley seamed devoid of any animals and Kerian’s solders were hunted by strange will-o-wisps. Between the lack of food, the will-o-wisps and the strange nature of the valley, Kerian was convinced that the Inath Wakenti was a cursed land and no proper home for the elves.
Kerian reported her findings to Gilthas, hoping that he would seek to retake Qualinesti or Silvanesti. Undeterred, Gilthas Pathfinder ordered the relocation of all of the elves of Khurinost to the Inath Wakenti, convinced that the elves could bring new life into the valley.
After many hardships, the elves reached the Inath Wakenti. The valley was dead and full of dangerous magic. The elves managed to defeat the evil force at work in the Inath Wakenti and used its innate magic to rejuvenate the land. Gilthas established a city in the center of the valley, and the elves rebuilt their combined nation.
With a new land safely nestled behind a set of mountains and three gigantic elven walls, the elves finally had a land of their own. The elves experienced a baby boom and began building a new homeland for themselves. The elven nation began formal diplomatic relationships with Solamnia, Ergoth, Sanction, Schallsea, Khur and other cities across Ansalon.
In 427 AC (44SC), Gilthas Pathfinder and his wife General Kerian welcomed their first child, Balifaris. The elves had largely completed work on the outer walls to the valley and had begun to construct buildings for homes. Speaker Gilthas decreed that only after the elves had suitable housing would he permit the new Palace for the Speaker to be constructed.
Speaker Gilthas encouraged trade between his nation and the other nations of Ansalon. Gilthas tacitly supported Sahim-Khan in his war with the upstart Shobbat, though he negotiated with the Khurish Khan from a new position of strength. He managed to negotiate favorable trades with the Khurs to help refill the elven coffers and provide elven craftsmen, laborers and farmers with new income while keeping the tyrant Shobbat in check.
General Kerian and Porthios Kanan led an experienced group of soldiers into the Qualinesti forests to liberate those elves that were slaves under the human invaders and attempt to retake the land. The fighting ravaged many of the invading human settlements, but drew into a protracted stalemate. Neither the humans nor the elves managed to hold the towns and cities they captured without terrible loss in lives and resources. The lands of southern Qualinesti remained firmly held by the goblin forces.
Members of House Protector meanwhile lobbied Gilthas for a full scale invasion of the forests of Silvanesti. Knowing that the elves did not have the resources to successfully undertake an invasion, but also realizing that many of the prominent members of the Silvanesti Houses would not sit by idly, Gilthas ordered the Kirath to begin scouting missions into Silvanesti. The Kirath were tasked with gathering intelligence on the extent of the Minotaur forces, where they were located and if they had any elven slaves. The Windriders and some Wildrunners began small scale rescue missions into Silvanesti to release as many captive elves as possible. They were ordered to avoid direct confrontation with the Minotaurs, but if necessary resorted to hit and run guerilla tactics to slow the Minotaur progression through the Silvanesti forests.
By 428 AC (45 SC) most of the new housing for the elves in the Inath Wakenti was completed. The new Tower of the Sun and Stars had a robust foundation and began to climb toward the sky, centered on the mighty Tympanum (a large stone disc approximately one mile in diameter). The elves had opened up the tunnels underneath the Tympanum and cleaned out most of the debris. Members of House Mystic, House Cleric and scholars from the Qualinesti began studying the tunnel murals in earnest and found some ancient scrolls that described the history of the valley in greater detail. Other buildings for the major houses, guilds and craftsman sprang up alongside the new Tower of the Sun and Stars.
The elves had lost nearly all of their magic users from their confrontations with the Minotaurs, Dark Knights and other enemies prior to the discovery of the Inath Wakenti. As such, Gilthas Pathfinder encouraged House Mystic and House Cleric to train more wizards and clerics to serve the elven people. The Speaker issued a proclamation to any elves with skills in magic or healing that lived outside of the walls of the Inath Wakenti to join them and help prepare the next generation of elves to master these valued arts.
In midsummer of 429 AC (46 SC), the war in Qualinesti remained at an impasse. The casualties from battle on both sides were high and neither side was able to hold territory indefinitely. Porthios changed to a scorched earth policy in the forests of Qualinesti, hoping to starve out the invaders and retake the land afterward. He ordered his soldiers to burn farm lands, larders and grain stores and capture livestock surrounding any of the occupied cities and towns. He also had his troops destroy any trade caravans traveling into Qualinesti. General Kerian was frustrated with the lack of progress and asked Speaker Gilthas to increase the size of the elven army.
In response to General Kerian’s request, Gilthas ordered additional Griffons added to the Windrunner ranks through breeding and capture. Gilthas also decreed that members of House Servitor could marry into House Protector. This change was applauded by many Qualinesti elves and grudgingly accepted by some of the older Silvanesti.
The rescue missions into the forests of Silvanesti also produced fewer successes. By the autumn of 431 AC (48 SC), the Kirath had found no new towns or settlements that could be easily liberated by the elven forces. Frustrated with the Speaker’s timidity in dealing with the Minotaurs, a young Silvanesti captain by the name Quelxenlos Broadleaf ordered his unit of Wildrunners into the Silvanesti forest without the permission of his commanders. He was joined by about three hundred die-hard soldiers on a mission to liberate the outlying cities in Silvanesti. Quelxenlos meet with initial success in his mission, liberating a few farming communities and small villages.
Success eventually got the better of Quelxenlos when he ordered his troops to attack Sithel-nost, which had recently been taken by a small force of Minotaurs. The elves were not prepared for the stiff resistance of the defenders, or for some nasty surprises the Minotaurs had prepared for them. Quelxenlos lost almost all of his soldiers in the attack and quickly retreated. His forces were left with about 30 battle ready soldiers. Quelxenlos knew this disaster meant he would not be welcomed back to the Inath Wakenti. As such, he named his band of soldiers the scarlet arrows and took to banditry in the forests. If Quelxenlos could not defeat the enemy, then he vowed they would not sleep comfortably in their new homes.
The elves continued to expand in the Inath Wakenti for a few years, gradually building up the size of their military, population and wealth. The elven army began to train more units for small scale skirmishes, hit and run tactics, and rescue missions. The Kirath grew and became a more respectable part of the Wildrunners. King Gilthas sent diplomatic envoys to the nations of Solamnia, Ergoth, Thorbardin and Khur to insure continued good will and trade, while also trying to enlist support in the elves’ struggle with the brigands in Qualinesti and the Minotaurs in Silvanesti. The Knights of Solamnia agreed to provide some supplies to the elves for the on-going conflict in Qualinesti, and the elves in turn shared what they knew about the Dark Knight’s activities.
In 434 AC (51 SC), the new Tower of the Sun and Stars was completed. The massive new tower sported a strong base of blue granite, quarried from the nearby mountains and was topped with white marble and quartz blocks. Other major buildings in the fledgling elven city also took shape, including a new temple to the gods, a memorial for E’li and a plaza of heroes containing marble statues of prominent elves lost in defense of the new kingdom.