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Alphatia: The Lost Historiesby Andrew Theisen
From the Annals of Alphatia, vol. 5:
"... In the days following Landfall, the mighty sorcerers of the Alphatian Empire set about exploration of the vast new continent they called home. Their journeys ranged far and wide, across the breadth of the land, seeking to bring the forces of nature under their control. Ar, founder of the nation of the same name; Aasla, founder of Haven- names of just a few successful explorers of early Mystaran Alphatia.
Yet, for every benevolently minded wizard out there, there were just as many whose interests were more self-directed. Such were those who first ventured into the great northern woods of the continent.
Prior to the arrival of the Alphatians, the forests of Alphatia were a natural preserve. Virtually devoid of intelligent species or monstrous creatures (such as goblinoids, who had not progressed inland beyond the Kerothar mountains), flora and fauna lived an undisturbed existence. Such a haven life, untouched by the hand of man, was an incredible temptation for Alphatian sorcerers. Many came to the forest simply to observe, and study the natural world. Many more saw it as an untapped resource for the further advancement of their magical research. They set about plundering the woodlands, enslaving and destroying the plants and animals that resided within, all in the interest of self-gain.
Half a world away, the elves of the distant Sylvan Realm had come to a parting of ways. Many of the clans settled there had decided to follow the elf named Mealiden Starwatcher to the lands that would eventually become Alfheim. Still other clans of elves- the largest among them being the Shiye clan- decided to emigrate elsewhere. Under the advice of their patron, Eiryndul, they left their brothers in the Sylvan Realm and finally settled in the central forests of Alphatia.
By the time of the elves' arrival, the wholesale destruction of the northern woods had reached dramatic levels. The elves' first contact with the Alphatians, was a horrific experience. Alphatian wizards had found numerous uses for the woodland resources; in particular, a burgeoning trade in potions of Longevity, made from the hearts of Hamadryads. The woods were a twisted, blighted expanse for miles around, and growing larger all the time. Animals and plants were horribly mutated- victims of magical experiments gone wrong. Worse, the Alphatians showed no signs of stopping their practices.
Even had the elves' own lands to the south not been threatened by advancing explorations, they would have risen to avenge the horrors wrought by the Alphatians. Perhaps this was the reason behind Eiryndul's inspired migration; none can truly say, save the Immortals themselves. At any rate, the outcome of first contact resulted, inevitably, in war.
For centuries it would rage on- elf versus human, in a battle for control over the woodlands of Alphatia. The battle lines wavered back and forth, the tides of war favouring one side, and then the other; Meanwhile, more death and destruction resulted.*
At long last, the Emperor and Grand Council of Wizards were able to bring the situation under control. Long discussions between the elves and the Council resulted in a number of momentous decisions. The first, and perhaps most significant, was the recognition of intelligent species- affording them status within the bounds of the Empire according to ability. An important corollary to this was the ability of any spellcasting member of any species to be afforded the rights of Alphatian nobility. All elves thus effectively became nobles of the Alphatian Empire, and the wholesale slaughter and destruction of intelligent woodland creatures (such as Hamadryads) would henceforth be considered a criminal act.
The second thing the Council decided upon was the division of the woodlands between the elves and the wizards. The elves were given the central forests which they inhabit to this day, and which became known as Shiye-Lawr, after the major elvish clan. The non-elves were given the blighted northern woods, in a kingdom which was then called Shraek (named for the largest human settlement therein)**. A fragile peace was thus reached between the main two disparate groups living on the continent. With the end of the war, the Alphatians had at last tamed their new lands, and were able to set their sights on conquering surrounding nations, as they had done in the distant realms of their former homes..."
* During this period, several elven clans left Alphatia to settle other lands far from humankind. Among these are the Trueflower clan of the Isle of Dawn, and several of the groups found in distant Norwold.
** Long referred to by the elves as "land of the Black Hearts", the kingdom was officially renamed Blackheart some 300 years ago, under the reign of King Fredigar I.
Fredigar, also known as "Uncle Freddy", ruled during the era of beautification begun by Mylertendal. In response to the outbreak of artistic sentiment and resulting tourist activity, Fredigar started a campaign of his own. He appeared in numerous ads clad in a garish red, white, and black outfit and stovepipe hat, holding out a halting hand with the banner "We Don't Want You!" printed across the bottom. For these and other acts, Fredigar earned the epithet, "the Cynic."