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Ee'aar and their originsby Marco Dalmonte
So, since we're talking about elves and their background, I thought it would be good to mention also the ee'aar, the winged elves of the Immortals' Arm. Here's what you find about their history in the Orc's Head Peninsula sourcebook:
" The history of the ee'aar is shrouded in mystery. It is known that they are not native to the Savage Coast and that centuries ago they migrated from a far land called Davania in order to reach the Arm of the Immortals. What prompted the ee'aar to abandon their old home and undertake this dangerous exodus is unknown, but they believe it was to enable them to found a homeland where no one could find them.
Most of the ee'aar died on the way; the survivors claimed the high, desolated mountain lands where no foe could easily reach them. Ee'aar myth tells of a lone hunter named Aeryl who trod upon the clouds to reach a magical spire and thereby entered the Realm of Faerie. She lived so long among them that wings grew on her back and she learned much from her faerie friends. Being homesick, she returned and was welcomed back by her kin, who marvelled at her wings. She married and passed the wings on to her descendants, until today, centuries after her death, all the ee'aar bear wings and they named their kingdom in her honour." (OH, p.41)
Ok, there is obviously more fantasy than truth in this tale, but since Mystara is a world where magic and miracles are common, then why not to take it as the truth? Besides, that's the only canonical information we've got, so.. Anyway, it seems the Ee'aar came to Brun with Ilsundal's migration, and they probably split from the main group following Aeryl northwards to dwell in the mountains of the Arm. Then Aeryl contacted the Faerie and was gifted with the wings, which she passed to her sons and daughters as the legend tells (or maybe special ceremonies were performed to give the wings to other ee'aars who accepted the guidance of Aeryl and of the Faerie). This way, the ee'aar's lack of a relic could be easily explained: no immortal to follow, they abandoned the old worship of Ordana because now they shared a bond with the faerie and they lived no more in the forest. Instead of worshipping the Immortals they probably revered the faerie as their protectors and friends, a cult similar to the Ancestors' cult in ancient Rome probably.
No problem so far. But then, if you read further we discover a strange thing: the ee'aars have a pantheon of Immortals they worship:
"The Guide (Ilsundal): Ilsundal is the chief Immortal patron of the ee'aar. He represents peace and serenity as well as wisdom, law, and trust. The ee'aar believe it was his will that led them to the high mountains and that he requires the ee'aar to live there in quiet seclusion from the rest of the world.
The Guardian (Mealiden Starwatcher): Mealiden is the one who protects Ilsundal- for the ee'aar that makes him the patron of war and the defender of Aeryl. He likes bold, mocking, light-spirited adventurers. His priests are the ones who provide the ee'aar with their special controllable light spells.
The Adventurer (Eiryndul): He represents jokes, amusement, relaxation, and freedom. Eiryndul is an inquisitive maverick who breaks the rules to unveil secrets. Those with a particular interest in new magic, who are curious about the world beyond the mountains (like ee'aar Scouts), who are impulsive and curious, and those who do not fit the traditional ee'aar culture revere him. Most of his followers become wanderers or adventurers." (OH, p.42)
Now, that's really strange. Why should the ee'aars worship Immortals they've never known? Ilsundal became Immortal after they settled in the Arm (around BC 2300?) and probably after they acquired their wings. Mealiden was unknown to them as much as Eiryndul, but yet they worship them. My idea is that the authors of the sourcebook believed that all the elves of Mystara worship the Elven Immortals, a consequence of the fact they didn't know Mystara that well. But as usual they wrote it this way and we are now faced with a fact we must explain. So that's my explanation: Ilsundal was always remembered as the guide who led them to their new home together with Aeryl. And even though it was Aeryl that gave the ee'aars the wings, it might have happened that Ilsundal was already an immortal when this happened and he interceded with the faeries for Aeryl in order to give his brethren, the ee'aars, an opportunity to live and defend themselves in that inhospitable region where they had settled. For this reason he was remembered by his people and also worshipped as an Immortal, even though knowing Ilsundal I would doubt he has not given them a proper relic to help them. As for Mealiden, he probably let himself know as the Guardian of Ilsundal (and of Aeryl) after he attained immortality, sending omens to the ee'aars and guiding their leaders in battles in order to obtain more followers. This way the ee'aars accepted him in their pantheon. The real mystery is Eiryndul. I cannot think about an explanation for this one, really, so you're free to give me your ideas and to comment this letter as much as you want.