Black Spire III: A Twisted King
The Age of Stars
Unlike the races of Dwarves and Men, whose golden ages were relatively recent (it can be argued the Dwarves still enjoy theirs), the golden age of Elves is so distant that it’s become a myth even to the most ancient members of this long-lived race.
Thousands upon thousands of years ago, in the Age of Stars, the Elves occupied all the known world – from the icy north to the eastern shores, to the most far-flung western reaches of the Greenwood and beyond. It was an age when the stars shone brighter, but the Sun was just another star among its brethren – an age of eternal twilight, knowing neither the bright of day nor the black of moonless night. There were no gods then – only Elves, gray Elves, Elves of neither night nor day.
Legend says that the Age of Stars ended when the elven Queen gave birth to twins. One was bright-eyed and golden-haired; the other, black-eyed and silver-haired. When the Queen died, she bestowed rulership to both of these girls. But there was enmity between them, and one betrayed the other.
The elves of the surface claim it was the black-eyed twin who poisoned her sister, and that it was her agony that caused the first true sunrise and the coming of the gods, who took pity on the dying princess and saved her life. The drow, on the other hand, claim it was the vain gold-eyed twin who summoned the gods and the Sun into the world, binding the elves into slavery and betraying their divine birthright to the world.
Whatever the case, the elves were divided. The followers of the black-eyed twin shied away from the judging light of the Sun; the followers of the gold-eyed twin worshiped the merciful gods who had saved their Queen. The war between the two races was the First War, and legend has it it nearly became the end of both races.
When the drow were finally driven beneath the earth, legend says nineteen out of twenty elves on either side were dead. And so ended the golden age of Elves.
When the race of Men arrived many centuries later, the Elves still hadn’t recovered. The High Elves, whose numbers had dwindled so much, refused to intervene when the Men cut down The Greenwood – preferring to defend their “true” homeland in the capitol, and not the crumbling ruins of the verdant woods, home to half-savages in their eyes. Thus the race was split again, with the wood elves declaring themselves independent from the capitol. Today, only a single city-state represents the High Elves – Cloudspire.