Legends and Lore

Legend of the Younger Drow

So you've come to hear the tale of the drow, little hatchling? Aye, it is indeed a tale worth telling. Take your perch there, and note that wall's ancient design. Oh yes, no roc built it; but the pure elves, those infused with the Light before they fled to darkness, they once ruled this land.

Spread throughout great Alubria were once a race of beings who worshiped the light and sun, reveling in its purest rays, cultivating related magics as others did crops and livestock. Look there, as the sun sets - it is a beautiful thing indeed, as they knew. We do not harbor enough reverence for the orb that gives us light, I'm afraid. There are no Pure Ones left to teach us the old ways. None who remember what grandeur we all once held.

Ah, forgive an old bird, little hatchling. I do ramble. Where was I? Yes, the pure elves. They bore themselves with an air of pride; they wore white and silver, the blues of the sky, the golds of the earth. Always they held the Storm Goddess, the Sky Serpent, Scylla, in highest regard. Balion too, for his knowledge of the world.

With hair white as snow and eyes as bright as jewels, they were as pale-skinned as wraiths, each heart surrounded by untainted purity. A warless people. A peaceful folk. But nothing remains the same.

When we roc'a first found them, already they had spread the length and width of this land, great cities of white stone gleaming on the vast horizon. Our number grew alongside theirs; we respected them, as we respected our gryphon neighbors and those who share our wings in the sky. We would trade with them, and we prospered; so many liked to take the bones of our prey and work them into instruments and things of beauty, something we, with our great talons, cannot achieve.

War came at last. The Pure Ones disagreed with a roc leader, one who's heart was filled with darkness. The disagreement led to skirmishes, and then to killings in the dark of night; and those elves of the light were forced to defend themselves. Aye, I feel the regret many of us do looking back on those events... we roc'a acted impulsively, and destroyed something that can never be brought back. Anyway, the leader - our leader - led us against the pure elves in force, and many, many lives were lost. They fought fiercely to defend their families, and their magic was difficult to combat. But, armed with armor they themselves had created earned through trade that deflects magics, we slowly drove them from their homes.

Their valiance is written upon our history as a species, the great decline of years long past. The counterattack that followed destroyed many of our eyries, burned many wings. Vindictive and vengeful, our leader called upon the gryphons to aid our victory and save our kin; even though, behind our backs, he slaughtered the emissaries sent by the Pure Ones asking for peace. They likewise went to look for aid from the avians and the veldryn, both of whom rose to help those they saw in need.

The resulting war destroyed what little was left of the Pure Ones' cities. These ruins are all that are left. The magics wielded by both sides created a mage-storm that wiped life from the surface of the land, forcing those survivors to flee away or underground. Their avian allies fled to their homeland, an island called Nau'katu, we fled further south with our gryphon companions; the veldryn sheltered the pure elves deep, deep underground. As the storm continued, its magic shattered the great mountains to the north, and followed the hapless avians over the sea - the great floating continent we call Stroen'na was once Nau'katu, ripped from the ocean waters and flung violently into the sky.

However, the Pure Ones suffered most; locked away from their light and unable to return to their homes, a great bitterness rose in their hearts, tainting their purity with thoughts of malice and hatred. Their skin began to darken as the remnant mage-storm sucked their light away, leaving their hair white and eyes bright. No children born held any of that purity any longer - they became ravenous in their hunger for revenge, and began training young soldiers from the time they were barely able to walk. The trust in other species had been lost. Everyone was the enemy... they even drove the veldryn that had saved their lives away, calling them traitors and villains for wishing to make peace with those that lived above.

At last, the storms ceased raging in the skies above. Scouts sent from the Pure Ones - or rather, what had been the Pure Ones - were sighted aboveground once again; it wasn't long before they made their stance against us known. They rose from the ashes and attacked us where we were weakest; they came to kill our hatchlings and burn our nests, to poison our food and water, to drive away our allies and our prey. We were left with nothing at all; even the gryphons began to evade our calls for help. At last, allied with a clan of the wingless ne'le, we went after them in their caves and smoked them out like rats, using whatever means we could to protect ourselves and destroy our enemy. It was a sad, dark time.

The dark elves, as they had come to call themselves, fled then; forsaken by the veldryn, pursued by the ne'le and roc'a, they escaped in great ships across the sea. Of what happened next, I know little, save that they reached Vystriana, homeland of the dragons. What is that, little one? A city called D'issan? Ha, it seems you know more than I, hatchling.

I know not what their thoughts of us are, as late. All I know is that once we realized our mistake, realized the terrible price we - and all of Alubria - paid, we banished the roc leader responsible and attempted to salvage what little honor we had left. Since then, we've made peace with the veldryn and the avians, and fly once more in the skies as allies of one feather. Yet we never found the drow again - I've seen few myself, and none of the pure elves left. I hear that, once every few thousand births, a drow of unusual quality will be born... one with white skin and hair, and a purity of heart no other has.

I hope that, someday, we will be able to salvage the ties between the drow and the roc'a. Until that day, we live apart from one another... the scars of a war long lost and forgotten stretching in the void between us.