It was an age of change and upheaval for many races in Caelereth. The Injerín elves record that long ago, a group of powerful and influential elves abandoned the main tribe soon after the War of the Chosen in 9500 b.S. The group was largely composed of magi, clerics, warriors and commoners. They have since become known to the Injerín as the “The Lost Ones” (Styrásh "Sáh Maedanhé"). The Injerín call them "lost" because at the time, these individuals were considered to be visionary, charismatic and influential leaders of their respective clans. It has been theorized that they had become disenchanted, possibly some say, even driven mad from grief, as a result of their losses during the war. According to the stories, the Lost Ones announced their split from the tribe during a council meeting and then together left in the direction of northwest Sarvonia. The surviving records tell that between 30 and 40 elves left together. The names of twelve of the leaders are only known to the present day. What exactly happened after they left or where they went is lost to history, but certain ruins and artifacts found within the Themed’lon Forests of the Caael’heroth peninsula reveal that the forest had at one time been settled by elven people. Some scholars say the Lost Ones made their home there and developed a druidic way of life. Recent evidence suggests that their new life clearly has had an influence on the present day tribe of half-orcs known as the Kaaer’dár’shín of the Themed’lon Forests in Northern Sarvonia.
Loss of War.
Despite the ancient records kept by the
Injerín, most of the
identities of the Lost Ones are not known. It is thought that most of the group
were commoners and families who felt keenly the message to abandon the ways of
warfare and to lose themselves in their grief, away from the main tribe. The
charismatic magi known as Drayla Ferlwesin convinced the group that a simpler
way of life was best and that service to Avá
only led to death and loss. Her views were held as heretical and blasphemous at
the time, unheard of in many ways.
The losses incurred during the War of the Chosen could not be denied. The war was recently over and the land was devastated. Although Drayla had fought many battles in the war and was herself considered a hero, the losses she suffered were considerable. Her husband and son were both murdered while she was away in the field. Her home was burned to the ground and all she had was lost, save her daughter. After a period of years, she came to embrace the philosophy of non-aggression and neutrality. Her new message was one of isolationism and to embrace nature, shunning the life of warfare. Her method of grief was to embrace a simpler life away from the stress and effort of trying to rebuild. Many of her peers disagreed, saying that the elves must rebuild and build a stronger army for future wars. Drayla’s message was largely ignored, but a few heard and followed her. Among those who embraced her message were several other notable leaders and warriors who had fought in the war. Ironically, only twelve of the Lost Ones are known to this day. It is said that record keepers and authors in the centuries after the War of the Chosen came to only record twelve in a strange parallel to the Avarian Twelve deities as Drayla herself was a devout follower of Avá.
The Twelve Leaders. The Twelve Leaders of the Lost Ones are documented to have been the following ones:
White magi and leader of the group. She lost her son and husband during the war and took her remaining child with her, a daughter.
A proud warrior and chief bodyguard to Drayla. He suffered extensive injuries during the final battle of the war and was rumoured to be close to death. Yet, he still managed to make the journey to the Themed’lon.
Maynari the Golden
A beautiful elven magi and student to Drayla. She was charged with keeping Drayla’s children safe during the war and was profoundly grief stricken at the loss of Drayla’s son.
A warrior and beast caretaker. He tended the many beasts used as mounts during the war. It was rumoured that he even had a dragon mount that was killed during an aerial battle with mystrans.
A young squire of Sondar who lost his family when a mighty enemy mage burned an entire village down with his spells. Burma fled the conflagration on a young griffon riding beast that he kept for many years afterwards.
A cousin of Maynari the Golden and a skilled archer. He was responsible for leading his own battalion and was a hero in many battles. It was said that during a botched defense mission, led by his own general, Torndal lost his home and family.
An old elf and experienced leader of men. His wise counsel was trusted by Drayla and she looked to him as a father figure. Grodinal was to become the first to encounter the pendrowe in the Themed’lon.
A young priestess of Avá who was betrothed to Bursma Eindolin. She was a skilled healer and promoted the ways of Ava with all her being. She held a dark secret, however, and was rumored to be mentally unstable and sick. She was eventually driven mad in her later years and leapt to her death over the waterfalls of the Themed’lon.
A warrior and soldier under Torndal’s command. She was a veteran of many battles and faced a mystran alone and rumored to have even destroyed it. She later saved the life of Drayla during a particularly intense battle with dark mages.
The younger brother of Grodinal and his own second in command. Merisorn was said to have had a love affair with Drayla and followed her lead when the group left. The two later married once they settled in the Themed’lon.
The baby daughter of Drayla. She was perhaps five seasons old when she lost her father and brother. She was raised by her mother and surrogate father, Merisorn.
Not much is known of this child when he left with the group, save that he was blind from at attack in the same battle that killed Drayla’s family. Once the group settled, the child was one of the first to learn how to speak to the pendrowe and the drasil tree.
The Split from the Tribe. The
Lost Ones broke away from the main tribe in approximately 8700 b.S. soon after
the War of the Chosen. It is
recorded that a grand council meeting was convened whereas the group stood by as
Drayla announced their intention to split away. The other tribal leaders,
stricken with utter disbelief, tried to dissuade her from her decision. But
there was no going back. The group had already made a pact together. Most of
them had already served together and had similar ties and shared grievous
losses. Drayla made it known that the group would find their own way in life and
never again be disturbed by war and violent death. They turned their back on
Avá and were
determined to forge their own way. Many feared that the Lost Ones were to become
as the dark elves, cursed to live in the shadow.
Scholars and researchers have since proposed many theories of what the group did next. It is thought that the Lost Ones were more than capable of handling themselves in the wilds and their skilled trackers must have been able to allow them to avoid orcen and dark elven war parties. Wild beasts would not have been a problem for them as the group had skilled animal keepers and hunters. Where did they go? What sort of life were they looking to find?
The Themed'lon Connection. Only recently has evidence been discovered that may tell what lead to the fate of the Lost Ones. The Kaaer'dár'shín half-orcs of the Themed’lon Forests have long been thought to lead a druidic lifestyle. The stories surrounding this reclusive tribe links them to various powers and abilities of druidic origin, and even to that of the fylja fur-folk. When the Injerín ranger and explorer Saryas Kelweather first began to explore the southern reaches of the Caael'heroth peninsula in 1300 a.S., he discovered what he called "elven nature holy symbols" marked upon stones and within caves. The symbols of trees, beasts and fire could be seen. And, even more interesting, words and phrases of a very ancient dialect of Injerin was written upon clay and stone tablets. Kelweather's theory is that the Lost Ones must have surely journeyed to the north and west into Caael'heroth.
By following the trail of stone tablets and carvings, Kelweather came upon the Themed’lon Forests. He knew from stories that a tribe of half-orcs inhabited the area and were a mysterious tribe of hunters and, if rumours were to be believed, shape-shifters. The next few days proved to be a frightening experience for him. The tribe's hunters, he later discovered, had been tracking him all along and as he reached the forest's border, he was attacked by three hunters clad in thick lizard hide and wielding spears and daggers. A fourth attacker was not a man at all, but a powerful looking beast resembling an uncil cat. Kelweather later thought it strange that the animal was so well trained so as to seemingly coordinate attacks with the others.
A short battle was fought whereas Kelweather survived a dangerous chase through the forest's southern borders. He found shelter in a ruined stone tower, several peds tall, and took it upon himself to maybe talk his way out of the situation. He used his skills in speaking orcen and Injerin to little effect at first. However, one of the hunters seemed to recognize his language and ordered their weapons lowered. Kelweather offered some of the stone tablets he found and spoke a rough translation from one of them. The phrases he spoke, part of a story of the pendrowe and the sun so he thought, struck a familiar tone with the hunters. The thought struck the elf that the words on the tablet were somehow recognized by these half-orcs. It was later that he determined that the stone held an old Kaaer'dár'shín folk-tale that had been supposedly written by the Lost Ones!
The Lost find their Way. "The elves decided to settle in the woods, first casting their wagons and supplies under large canopies of tall tulmine trees. The elves lived in harmony, never knowing the existence of the pendrowe that surely would have been watching them. During one brilliant summer day, the blind child called Orofelia vanished while wandering near a glade that the elves came to know as the “Singing Glade” (Styrásh "Alé'Jahás"). The child was found days later, safe and well, but as if his eyes were opened, he claimed to be able to “see” and sense the essence of the forest.
The wise Drayla, leader of the group, finally had some evidence that she always suspected. The Themed’lon was truly alive in ways the elves had not thought possible. She convinced the other elves to join her in a ritual in the Singing Glade to try to communicate with the forest. They were instructed by the blind child how to open one’s mind and sense the essence all around them.
It was then that the elves took their first steps to become druids. They embraced the wilds and came to befriend the pendrowe living there. Over the centuries, the old ways of the Injerín culture and even Avanian worship fell away. The Lost Ones built wondrous natural temples using stone from a natural quarry located in the western reaches of the forest. One such relic, the Mask of the Tree Cousin, is rumoured to give the wielder the ability to communicate with the drasil memory tree located deep within the forest. It is thought that the Lost Ones created this mask from the bark of the drasil. The half-orcs, like the Lost Ones before them, also found the forest’s mystical nature appealing and they too walk the path of the druid.
The elves lived their lives for approximately 5000 years before the coming of the orc. The Osther-Oc of central Caael’heroth were simple nomadic bands of raiders with very little in the way of central government and leadership. Over time, they organized into larger tribes and descended south in search of new hunting grounds. The Lost Ones record that once the orcs discovered the Themed’lon, another war had come.
The orcs discovered the dangers of angering the pendrowe within. They called them the “Forest Maw”, for the pendrowe who drove them away during their attacks. However, once the orcs introduced fire and began to burn sections of the forest, the elven druids retaliated.
The druids, using their divine powers of nature, managed to keep the orcs from burning the entire forest down. The pendrowe were able to heal themselves from the flame’s damage, but that it took many decades for it to do so. The final stand took place one dark rainy night as the elves fortified their woods and the orcen band came upon them. The elves focused and opened the very earth to swallow up the invaders. Mighty pendrowe swung their massive branch arms, flattening orcs by the dozens. Even the beasts of the wilds came to the forest's aid as eagles swooped down upon the enemy and great cats and bears cut a deadly swath of bloody destruction through the orcen ranks. The battle lasted all night and in the morning, the orcen invaders were few and the forest was saved."
Nevertheless, despite the orcen losses, the druids eventually abandoned the Themed’lon not long after that battle. Evidence tells very little of the reasons why. Some scholars say the elves were disappointed to have been involved in another war. Others say they foresaw more of the coming of the orcs, as if knowing they would eventually overcome the land during the Third Sarvonian War. Some say the orcs gathered more in number in later years and drove the elves out. A few scholars and Kaaer’dár’shín shamuts claim that the druids moved north to the Cartashian Woods to fight the evils of the Mists of Osthemangar. Kelweather believed that the druids finally overcame their neutral stance and were inspired to defend other forests in other areas. The half-orc shamuts know well the dangers of the Mists as they first learned of the Netherworld presence from the drasil long ago.
Ruins and the Memory Tree. The strongest evidence of a druidic presence is what the Kaaer'dár'shín call the Singing Glade. Over the next 100 years, in the year 1400 a.S., Saryas had been slowly earning the trust of the half-orcs. The elf helped the tribe through their civil war when a mad chieftain was discovered to have been an agent for their enemy, the Osther-Oc. Saryas lived and worked with the tribe and was soon allowed access to some of the hidden areas of the tribe's home. During the reign of the chieftain Klaan Kor, Saryas was taken to the Singing Glade where he set eyes upon Injerín ruins thousands of years old.
The chieftain showed the elf many scrolls and tablets, all in good order with the writing upon them still legible. The explorer knew he was staring at some of the oldest relics of his people. And, he realized the half-orcs now viewed the ruins and artefacts as holy and sacred. Some of the tablets were made of stone and some made of wood bark. The center of the glade held a tall immense tree tower. Saryas knew the tree to be very old, just by its appearance. He felt a benevolent presence from it and knew it to be very wise. It was a drasil memory tree.
With the chieftain's permission, Saryas was allowed to wear the Mask of the Tree Cousin for a brief time and to touch the drasil tree and receive a gift of memories from times long past. Much of what he saw Saryas swore never to reveal, for the tribe is a secretive tribe and would not allow too much to be revealed to the outside world. Saryas only wished to know what happened to his ancestors, the Lost Ones.
Much of what Saryas saw was vague and he describes it as "dream-like". But afterwards, he was able to piece together the story of the Lost Ones as was revealed to him by the drasil tree. The following is what he wrote in his journal.
Importance. The importance of the Lost Ones cannot be overstated. It was them that tamed the Themed’lon and, by a twist of fate, left behind many artifacts and ruins that were to be discovered by the half-orc tribe. Additionally, the Lost Ones are recorded to have been the first druids in existence in Northern Sarvonia. How they came to learn their divine magic is a mystery, but it is suspected that the ancient drasil tree taught them many things about nature long unknown to mortal races.