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History of Clan Alhambra

by Jennifer Guerra

c2300 BC. Elves, breakaways from Ilsundal's Sylvan settlement, arrive in and settle the eastern and central Savage Coast. They live alongside, thought not among, Oltecs. (Source: Savage Baronies boxed set)

c1300 BC. Goblinoid hordes decimate elven (and Oltec) civilisation. Those humans and elves who remain fall to a savage, semi-nomadic existence. (Source: Savage Baronies boxed set)

c1100 BC. A small clan of elven artisans and powerful magic-users, sole survivors of a war that has completely destroyed their native civilisation, desperately search the Prime for an elven civilisation to live among. Their magics find Mystara, and the Savage Coast elves are the first elven culture they light upon. These alien elves (later referred to as "Los Viajeros"/"the Travellers") create a gate powerful enough to transport them to the elven lands of this strange, new world. The elves are physically different then Mystaran elves; they are slightly more muscular, and more adept at magic and metallurgy. They are darker-skinned, and have dark hair and (the males have) fine facial hair. They are also accustomed to living at peace with humans, and are not particularly "attuned to nature," as are Mystaran elves.

c750 BC. With the help of the alien magic-users, the elves are able to turn back the worst of the goblinoid raiders, and re-establish their civilisation. They are strongly influenced by the alien culture, which they see as strong and beautiful. The aliens have mostly intermarried with the native elves, and have adopted the faith of Valerias, Immortal of Emotion, Beauty, and Passion, the closest to their own native religion. This new, intermingled, clan names itself Clan Destreza, a word in the alien language that reflects those elves' skill at craftsmanship and the art of magic.

c700 BC. The elves of Clan Destreza establish settlements in and around what will eventually become Torreón and Narvaez. (Source: Adapted from Savage Baronies boxed set)

c300 BC. Adventurers from Clan Feasiann and Sylvaria (from what would become modern Eusdria) set out to explore the sea coast to the east, cataloguing mysterious "Late Oltec" (actually Nithian) ruins. They also hope to make contact with any other elven clans in the region.

c290 BC. The explorers from Clans Feasiann and Sylvaria make contact with the Destreza elves.

280 BC. The elven explorers return home with startling tales of "hairy," dark-skinned elves who not only live with humans, but "who have taken the local human culture, customs, and religion as their own." (In actuality, the humans in the area had taken the unique Destrezan culture as their own.) Clan elders, recalling the tales of an ancient elven civilisation "abandoned by the Immortals" because of their human ways, send elven clerics back to Destreza lands.

c250 BC. The clerics have made no progress in converting the Destreza elves to their religion, the Forest Way. In fact, some young hidalgos make a point of harassing the clerics, and local priests denounce the "outsiders" from the pulpit.

243 BC. Tydwal, a fanatical cleric of the Forest Way, is subverted by the forces of Entropy. Seeking to dominate the Destrezan civilisation in order to create a power base for himself, he secretly curses the Destrezan crops. By mid-summer, it is apparent that there will be next to no harvest. Tydwal and allied clerics (still pretending to be faithful elven clerics) begin preaching that the famine is the Immortals' punishment for Clan Destreza abandoning the Forest Way. This time, a few elves listen.

242 BC. Many elves have dies of the mysterious famine; only the mild winter, and the help of their human neighbours, have kept the entire population from starving. Tydwal knows he must somehow cut the elves off from their human support in order for his plan to work. First, he and his followers make a show of "blessing" the fields this spring. Then, behind the scenes, he again curses the newly-sown fields. Then, back in town, he announces that he has had a "vision," which revealed to him the cause of the elves' woes: the humans. At first, the elves refuse to believe the foreign cleric. But as another summer passes without the crops growing, young elven hotheads confront innocent human travellers in the area. Tempers flare, and a human and his twelve year old son are killed. From this point, tension (at best) and violence characterise the elven-human relationship in the area.

241 BC. Many elves die of hunger this winter, without human aid. More and more, the desperate elves of Clan Destreza are listening to the foreign clerics, who are now united under Tydwal.

240 BC. Nearly a third of Clan Destreza have converted to the Forest Way of Tydwal (now also known as the "Naturalista" faith). They take it as a sign of divine approval when, this fall, they reap a bumper-crop of grains and fruits. Clan leader Isauro Ximenez gives Tydwal a public commendation for his role in the "salvation of the people."

235 BC. Following a private council with Tydwal, Isauro Ximenez publicly converts to the Forest Way faith.

233 BC. Ximenez declares the Forest Way, under the control of Tydwal, to be an official religion of Clan Destreza equal to the state Church. Riots follow his announcement, as hot-headed young elves set fire to the Naturalista chapel.

201 BC. Isauro Ximenez is assassinated as he exits the Temple of the Holy Oak, a Naturalista church. The culprit, a dark-cloaked elf, escapes. Seizing his opportunity, Tydwal places blame for the assassination perhaps rightly) on the leaders of the Destrezan church and declares himself the de facto ruler of the clan. His supporters, which include many wealthy farmers "saved" from the famine (and human competition), strong-arm the elves into accepting the foreigner as clan leader, provided he accepts only native advisers.

c195 BC. Believing his power base to have been consolidated over the past few years, Tydwal appoints more and more foreign elves (allies in his Entropic cause) to his advisory council. Large tracts of traditional Destreza hunting grounds are turned over to Feasiann/Sylvarian gentry, as "preserves."

c195-190 BC. A small but growing number of Destrezans call for new, native, leadership, citing Tydwal's many abuses of power.

c190-180 BC. Those who oppose Tydwal's rule are increasingly persecuted. Traditionalist churches are vandalised and burned, and opposition leaders are known to vanish from their homes. A new movement, the Separatistas, arises; they advocate not Tydwal's overthrow, but an exodus from their much-changed homeland.

180 BC. The Separatistas, under the leadership of Don Fernando Vicente Olivar de Guerra, leave Destreza lands forever, in search of religious freedom. They travel first east along the sea coast, then north, hoping to find the legendary "lost clan," a group of Destreza elves who had gone in search of the old northern trade colony and never returned.

176 BC. The sea journey, in crude coast-hugging boats, is long and hard on the elves. Brutal weather batters the Dread coast this year, and twice they are scuttled; only three-quarters of the elves who left arrive safely upon the shore of the forested hin homeland. The hin welcome the strange elves, and tell them of the Gentle Folk (Clan Truedyl), who had come from "the north." The elven refugees head north, overland.

174 BC. A particularly harsh blizzard forces the elves to winter in what is modern Darokin. Many die of famine, disease, and exposure in this cold new climate.

173 BC. Spring finds the elves weak and their numbers severely depleted. The small human clans of the area are reticent to help such a large number of refugees, but they tell them of an elven land to the east. Reluctantly, the elves journey to Alfheim, where they are at first welcomed.

162 BC. Over the past decade, the elves have recovered from their ordeal and adapted to the climate and customs of Canolbarth. Now they are ready to make a permanent settlement in Alfheim. They petition the king for a small grant of land in southern Alfheim. King Alevar says that he will consider the matter.

160 BC. The king of Alfheim agrees to allow the elves a small tract of forest in the south. In return, they agree to keep their lands safe from human incursion and humanoid raids.

157 BC. Responding to complaints that "humans" have settled in southern Canolbarth, King Alevar dispatches a unit of troops to the area. The soldiers return with unsettling news: the new elven settlers are building a human-style town, Alvar del Bosque, on their granted lands.

153 BC. After years of debate, negotiations, and go-between messages, King Alevar of Alfheim issues an ultimatum to the elven settlers: cease construction of Alvar del Bosque and convert the already-built sections to "proper" elven dwellings, or face expulsion. Many of the settlers, tired of running away from their problems, want to quickly fortify the town for war with Alfheim forces, but Don Fernando realises that the refugees cannot stand against the powerful Alfheim militia. They will have to give up their way of life, or leave Alfheim. He puts the matter to a vote; the settlers refuse to abandon their culture. Alvar del Bosque will be abandoned. Don Fernando asks the King for time. They are granted the winter to prepare; they must depart Canolbarth at the first thaw.

152 BC. The Destrezan refugees are homeless once again, as they depart Alfheim in spring under guard. Don Fernando attempts to rally his people's spirits by reminding them that they had been travelling north originally, in search of the legendary lost clan. At the convocation of the Streel and Vesubia rivers, the small clan turns north, into the Broken Lands. They know nothing of the area, and expect to follow the river north through the barren land, to more livable climes.

150 BC. The refugees finally leave the Broken Lands. Forced off the river's path by orcs, the clan wandered lost for over a year; they have lost a fourth of their number to exposure and humanoid raids. The wooded valley along the Vesubia, north of the Broken Lands, seems a haven to the elves. They settle north of the river, and begin to build a new settlement, which they name Nuevo Alvar, after their lost city in Alfheim.

50 AC. To commemorate the settlers' first century of peace and prosperity in New Alvar, Don Fernando begins construction of a fortified palace, meant as much as a monument to the clan's fierce protection of their way of life as a last bastion of defence in case of humanoid raids from the south. The palace, built of reddish stone painstakingly quarried from the mountains to the north, is named "Alhambra."

91 AC. Construction of Alhambra is complete. A group of elven elders, swelled with pride for their new life in the north, suggest that the elves have been "refugees" too long. They move that they formally form a new clan, named for their new clan centre. The motion is overwhelmingly approved, and Clan Alhambra is born. The elves name Don Fernando as the first clan leader.

178 AC. Don Fernando Vicente Olivar de Guerra, saviour and first leader of Clan Alhambra, dies at the age of six hundred seventy. After a period of mourning, the power struggle for control of the clan begins. Four families dominate the proceedings, and there can be no clear agreement. Strife breaks out amongst the factions.

180 AC. Many elves fear that the factional strife will lead to all-out civil unrest, as it did in their far-off homeland. Cries for compromise begin to build. A elven cleric, Juan Antonio de Caixas, gains support as a compromise candidate for clan leader. Caixas, however, refuses the title of clan leader, saying that the clan needs stronger leadership than that limited position can provide. He wants to reinstate the ancient elven monarchy, unheard of among their clan since before the goblinoid invasions over a thousand years ago. Many elders are scandalised, but the idea is popular with many younger elves. Caixas continues to prove his leadership skills as the elders debate.

185 AC. Juan Antonio de Caixas is named King over all the families of Clan Alhambra. The position is conditional: Caixas' power is not absolute, he must confer with the elders on all matters before reaching a decision. The elders may remove a King from power under certain circumstances, such as abuse of power, provided it is also the will of the people. The crown is not hereditary, but rather shall pass to the most capable leader upon the death or removal of the King.

362 AC. Juan Antonio de Caixas, King of Clan Alhambra, dies in his sleep. Although his reign has been largely uneventful, some suspect poison. Nothing is proven. Baltasar Leonardo de Belcadiz, a powerful warrior and wizard, is chosen to be the next King.

c700 AC. The elves become aware of increasing human settlements around their lands. To the north are the Flaems, strange magic-using humans from another world. From the south come more and more settlers from Thyatis and Traladara. Soon thereafter, more otherworldly refugees (the d'Ambrevilles) arrive and settle west of the elves. The elves take a position of neutrality as far as dealing with these humans go; they believe that if they leave the humans alone, they will be left alone in return. (Source: Adapted from MoA boxed set)

c730 AC. Travellers from Alfheim arrive in Alhambra lands and ask permission to settle there. This causes an uproar among the elders: who are they to ask for shelter, when they threw out the Destrazan refugees? But younger elves, King Baltasar included, feel that the Alfheim should be given a second chance; after all, it is a new era. They giver permission for the Erewan elves (an offshoot of Clan Erendyl of Alfheim) to settle in southern Alhambra lands. (Source: Adapted from GKoM boxed set)

747 AC. In Braejr, the Flaemish capital, the Council of Lords outlaws clerics and clerical magic in Flaem-controlled lands. The elves are shocked, but remain neutral. Soon, the burning of priests begins in Braejr, and Thyatian and Traladaran settlers revolt, and the elves watch in horror as the Flaems crush the revolt in a sea of blood. (Source: Adapted from MoA boxed set)

784 AC. War again rages in Braejr, as the elves attempt to remain neutral. Their neutrality does not last long; horrified by Flaemish atrocities, the elves enter the war on the side of the rebels. (Source: Adapted from MoA boxed set)

788 AC. An adventurer named Halzunthram takes leadership of the rebellion coalition (including the elvish armies). He shatters the Flaemish forces. A truce is negotiated, whereby the Flaems, elves, Thyatians, and Traladarans will retain independent kingdoms. but Halzunthram betrays the coalition, and conquers the region with fresh forces from his native Alphatia. The Forty Years' War begins. (Source: Adapted from MoA boxed set)

790 AC. King Baltasar is killed in battle. Desperate to quickly name a leader, the elven elders name his son, Alfonso, as King.

811 AC. The elven forces are hard-pressed. King Alfonso secretly considers surrendering to Alphatian forces in exchange for his people's freedom, but decides against it when a Traladaran leader does the same and is summarily executed.

c820 AC. A new leader, Alexander Glantri, arises from among the Thyatian forces and unites the factions anew. Under his leadership, the rebels begin driving the Alphatians back toward Braejr. (Source: Adapted from MoA boxed set)

829 AC. Halzunthram is captured by Lord Glantri's forces, and the war finally comes to an end. He forms a council; King Alfonso agrees to represent elven interests there. (Source: Adapted from MoA boxed set)

858 AC. The Light of Rad. Glantrian wizard-nobles declare that only mages can be nobles in Glantri. They establish the first Principalities, with their rulers given the title of Prince. King Alfonso, infuriated, resigns from the council and threatens to pull the elven lands out of Glantri. He quickly comes to realise that they will not let him go; Glantrian armies far outnumber his own. What's more, the elves want to be part of Glantri, with few exceptions (mostly clerics). Offered the title of Prince, King Alfonso refuses, and altogether abdicates. His son, Ralondo, assumes the title of clan leader, but not of King. He tries to decide what to do, as pressure from Glantri builds.(Source: Adapted from MoA boxed set)

859 AC. Accepting the will of his people, Ralondo takes the title of Prince; the Elven Principality is established in Glantri. Clerics go "underground," although religion is still just as strong among the elves as ever. (Source: Adapted from MoA boxed set)

860-884 AC. The Erewan elves agitate for independence from Clan Alhambra rulership. After all, now that Clan Alhambra is no longer an independent monarchy, the Erewan feel that they should have equal standing. The Belcadiz are stunned; the Erewan are living on their lands! A tradition of inter-clan violence begins. The Council of Princes is at a loss as to what to do.

883 AC. A delayed-blast fireball set by Erewan terrorists explodes at Alhambra, injuring members of Prince Ralondo's family. The Prince, in the interests of peace, offers to give up Alhambra's southern lands to the Erewan, in exchange for reparations from the Erewan and concessions from the council.

884 AC. The Council of Princes agrees to split the Elven Principality; the Principalities of Erewan and Belcadiz (named for the ruling family) are created. Prince Ralondo is made Supreme Judge of the Council of Princes. (Source: Adapted from GKoM boxed set and Gaz 3)

990 AC. Prince Ralondo is killed in a magical duel. His daughter, Carnelia, takes rulership of the clan. (Source: Adapted from Gaz 3)