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The History of the Sylvan Elves
Nevishrim (ca. -22,460 to -15,490)

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The sylvans built their new town, first utilizing the simple dwellings they had used during their journeys. However, more sophisticated dwellings made a rapid appearance, as did landscaped grottos dedicated to prayer and holy stone formations dedicated to the deities. For the sylvans differed from the other elves. They held fast to Arkati worship, honoring both the Light and Dark gods. In their philosophy the Light balanced the Dark and both were holy.

A ruling council was appointed and within Nevishrim, the system of hierophants ascended. Likewise, in that city the guilds came into being and in less than a generation, became established and successful. Nevishrim soon rivaled the memories of Ithnishmyn, and its moderate climate, far to the south from the original city, nourished bountiful shade-tolerant gardens. Generations passed and the sylvan population grew, finally reaching the glory it had been in earlier days, and then surpassing that. They were a peaceful people, one of grace and prosperity, a people that passed their lives in an effort to create beauty and order.

Always, sylvan scouts patrolled the perimeter of the city-forest, for lessons had been learned during the days of Ithnishmyn. These sylvans did not wish to have to leave another of their cities. And thus, it was the scouts who first brought word of Despana.

The high council considered the first reports of the threat. Having grown cautious from past tragedies, they pondered these initial reports with all due concern. They decided to form a skilled league of scouts to monitor the situation and report anything they learned back to the council. This elite band was named the Eranishal, and it numbered 170 sylvan scout/warriors. Similar to rangers, they were hardened individuals, adept at archery as well as skilled in the ways of tracking and passing invisibly through the forest. They were lead by a captain named Oriahn Delsechal, a sylvan whose ancestor had been lost on the Golden Anvil and whose mother was respected as a gifted soothsayer as well as a member of the high council.

Within a few weeks spent organizing, training and planning, the Eranishal set out to find out what they could about the rumored threat. Soon, they found what they sought. Oriahn observed Despana's minions and was filled with foreboding. He saw the true immensity of the coming threat and made a decision to contact elven contingents grouping to oppose the evil armies.

As the Eranishal was admitted into the camp, their elven hosts were amazed. No sylvan had been glimpsed in years, not since the deserted remnants of Ithnishmyn had been discovered years before. Here stood the stuff of legend, living sylvans and powerful ones at that judging by their arms and bearing. The elves, shocked by the loss of ShadowGuard, a site less than 100 miles to the east, welcomed the sylvans and fervently sought their allegiance against the forces of Despana.

Knowing how the high council would view such a pledge, Oriahn was dismayed. He fully suspected that the council would favor withdrawing into the forest to wait out the conflict. And yet, after seeing the threat first-hand, he knew such action was not a viable option. So he pledged the aid of the sylvans in the coming conflict, and the following morning, set out with his men to bear the news to the council.

On his return, the news he brought and the pledge he had made caused virulent dissent. Many were aghast at the very idea of opposing such evil with the possibility of its consequences on the sylvan population. At the same time, the stories of Despana's might, seen firsthand by members of the Eranishal and recounted in great detail to the council, was a sobering fact. The council trusted the Eranishal and eventually - with great trepidation - Oriahn's decision to ally with the elves was blessed by the high council as a necessary endeavor. Plans to raise an army were begun. Oriahn was placed in charge and the Eranishal was split into two parts. The first group became Oriahn's legion commanders, in charge of units of sylvan archers, trackers and foot soldiers. The other group was to remain in Nevishrim under the command of Ranishal, Oriahn's First Hand, their mission to protect the council and population of Nevishrim if worse came to worse, and Despana overran the combined elven army.




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