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An Excerpt from the Histories of Elanthia.

Second Age,

The Elven Empire

(50,000 - 20,000 years ago)

 

The lot of the humans was a treacherous one in this age. The elves ruled the land, and they would permit no others to settle its more fertile areas. The Vaalor, in particular, have always gone out of their way to make life difficult for humans. Most humans lived a nomadic life, barely sustaining themselves in the barren lands they were permitted. Others served as slaves, beggars or thieves within the shadows of the great Elven cities.

Not all humans accepted their lot as thralls. Some rebelled. Many so-called rebels were little more than outlaws, more brigands than freedom fighters. Some few, however, actually achieved minor victories. The Black Wolves were one such group. Led by the wizard Aramur Forean, once a student of the Illistim himself, they actually drove the elves out of the area around what is now called Wehnimer's Landing. After one of their raids killed a young Vaalor prince, however, the elves hunted the Black Wolves down. The humans vanished into a series of caverns near the sea, and they were never heard from again.

 

We now know that the Black Wolves inhabited what has come to be known as the Wolves Den. This ancient stronghold is located on the northern shore of the bay within the sea caves that the goblins call home. It is now a place of death and decay and many wraiths and specters haunt its dusty halls.

 

The Black Wolves are no more, History accurately reflects their demise and wretched end, as is shown in the abandoned and decaying halls of the Wolves Den.

 

What history has missed, and until recently has been kept hidden is that a small band of the Black Wolves escaped from the Vaalar and fled instead Northwards. Towards the icy mountains near what is modern day Ice Mule. This ragged and disheveled band of Human freedom fighters was nearing it's bitter and icy end. Food running low, clothing inadequate for the coldest of climates, trailed by relentless Elven pursuit, and continually harassed by savage attacks of beasts, whose home these frozen crags were.

 

The last of the band, now nearing the end, turned into a canyon, the cold, hard granite walls of the canyon high on either side. A band of frost giants screamed in outrage, having found their trail of these last few, pitiful humans. Picking up their pace to a slow trot, the weary humans moved around an outcropping of stone, only to find their way blocked by an impassable cliff face. It was a box canyon.

 

A score of fighters, some sore wounded, formed a half circle around those to weak, wounded, or young to fight. Using the cliff face to protect their backs they prepared to sell their lives at a steep cost to the giants. Suddenly, from nooks and crannies and cracks in the stone, places no human older than a child could have fit, leaped small furry shapes swinging ax and sword. The occasional blast of magic showed the tired folk that there was little to fear from Elven power here.

 

Eventually the fight ended with the giants fleeing back towards the canyon mouth, leaving their dead and injured to the small shapes. Two score and more moved in to where the Humans stood, they again prepared to sell their lives dear.

 

The furry folk stopped short of the reach of the Humans weapons. One started to speak in a language not know to Men. It stopped, seeing the puzzlement on the Humans faces, then broke into a roughly accented trade tongue. 'Ye coomin inside fer dinner den?' it asked. Then swiftly bright laughter rang out from the furry folk as they threw back their hoods on their heavy robes, to reveal, smiling bearded dwarven faces.

 

The dwarves, having also known persecution, took in the ragged band of human folk, and established them in the warren of caves they called home. Once the humans had rested and regained their strength, they began to assist the dwarves in their never-ending battle to keep the trail and paths near their home free from beasts.

 

Eventually mutual respect grew to love, as the Humans became integrated with the Dwarven community. The humanfolk were taught to appreciate the beauty in all things made by hand: from the simplest tool to the finest carving; from the common pebble to a well cut gem; from the simple club to the sharpest blade; from the raw ores to the fineshed alloys.

 

After the humans grew to recognize the beauty in a well crafted item, regardless of the simplicity of form, the Dwarven Elders began to teach them of their Patron God, Eonake. Eonake's struggles to bring the knowledge of simple, functional beauty to mortals, and the pride of a piece well made and a job well done was taught to their young wards. The humans began to accepte and understand the meaning of the Elders and incorporated these beliefs in with their own values.

 

The Humans, to indicate their changed beliefs, took the name 'Gray Wolf'. This showed not only their beginnings, but a change in color to reflect their changed beliefs. It was decided that the clan would be henceforth be known by that name.

 

Eventually, as the years went past, trade was established with a tribe of Giantfolk, and as bonds grew between the two groups, some Giantkind became part of Clan Gray Wolf.

 

Bands of deposed Elven fighters, losers on the wrong side of a terrible war, also fled North, as once did the Humans. On sight of their ages old enemy, in such sorry state, the family took them in as well. Although it took generations for the distrust to end, the elves also became part of this large, muti-cultural clan.

 

As the Millennia passed, a new town was founded to the south by Rone Wehnimer, then simply known as 'The Landing'. The Gray Wolves extended their patrols to include the trails leading to this new City, and in so doing, encountered the Sylvankind and Halflings. Although oppression was slight at this time, some folk from both races joined the Gray Wolves, both to flee personal problems, as well as out of a desire to keep the lands safe.

 

As the years passed, and the weather warmed, the caves of the Gray Wolves began to fill with thawing water from the glaciers of their frigid homeland. Many attempts, magical and mechanical were made to keep the caves dry, but none could keep the waters from rising, eventually, having no other choice, the Clan fled southwards, taking kith, kin, and hearth with them.

 

Again refugees, after many Millennia, the Gray Wolves came to an area of forested land, known to one of their Sylvankind members as belonging to one of the Sylvan tribes, but currently uninhabited. Here the began to build a keep, a fortified home for their folk.

 

Dwarven craftsmen of the Clan went forth and quarried local granite for the outer walls. Slowly the walls began to rise, large granite blocks, streaked throughout with veins of quartz and amethyst. As the walls neared completion, the local Sylvan Lord made a visit to the Keep.

 

He explained that he understood the need for a home, and he honored the Gray Wolves for their selfless mission in the lands, but he did not see as how he could allow for a fortified position to be built on his lands. Eventually, after much discourse, an agreement was reached.

 

The Gray Wolves would be allowed to maintain their Keep so long as the Main doors to the courtyard would only be closed to the public during time of war, and the promise that the Clan would fight against whatever threatened the folk of the lands. With the understanding that the keep proper was for members of the Clan only, but the courtyard would be open to all, the bargain was sealed.

 

As a symbol of the faith between the groups, a acorn was jointly planted by the Sylvan Lords young daughter, and the Son of the Clan Elder. That acorn, now a vast and spreading, majestic oak tree, still graces the courtyard to this day, shading weary travelers from the bright rays of the sun.

 

The Sylvan princess became a frequent guest of the son of the Elder. Eventually, as happens with young folk of all ages, love blossomed between them. The two were wed.

 

The young Sylvan Princess noted the honor given Eonake and the regard members of the clan held for the perfection of function and craftmanship of inanimate objects. However, having been raised in the forest, she realized that the circle of perfection was incomplete. She began to explain to the Clan Elders that as different folk were joined to form a family, so was Eonake joined to Imaera to complete a circle.

 

Intrigued at how, perhaps, their beliefs were in some way incomplete, and recalling Eonake's love of properly functioning forms, the elders decided to listen. The princess explained that while Eonake was a crafter of material objects, Imaera was a crafter of all living things, balancing the cycles and seasons by providing the spark of life. Eonake and Imaera combined, thus emcompassed all objects both animate and inanimate in the world. The Clan beginning to accept and understand the meaning of the circle, and the balance it provides, incorporated these beliefs in with their own values. Imaera and Eonake, thus, both share the honor as Patron Dieties to the Clan.

 

The Clan Gray Wolf still survives to this day, with senior members of the clan making there home in Wehnimer's Landing. The clan still keeps watch on the many trails and areas in and around the landing, attempting in their way to keep the population of feral beasts down to a safe level for all.

As with any society, the Clan Gray Wolf continues and that history continues as they. . . . . . . .

Here there appears to be a tear in the scroll as you wonder what might have been added .

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