THE FOUR, THE LAST OF THE AXHÁI
The Four are
the last of the Axhái, the elder elves, sent by
the High Avá'ránn to take knowledge to the races.
The myth is taught by many of the elves tribes
of Santharia and it exists in many forms.
Some tribes on the other hand (like the
Ylfferhim) reject it completly.
The myths also recount that it was the Four who created the High Elven Circle in provision for the Day of their leaving. There is some evidence to point to Daltelár's involvement, but one surviving document suggests that the creation of the High Elven Circle was far later, perhaps late in the Age of Awakening.
The Tale of the Four. After the creation of the High Avá'ránn and Melór, from the last drops of rain to fall through the sky came the creation of the last of the Axhái, who were wise and close in thought to Avá. There were twelve of them in total. Four, the last of those to be created were the ladies in waiting to the High Avá'ránn. They were Daltelár, Saol'lian, Ioawlen and Vai'linai. Their lives were simple and carefree, and their only task was to attend the High Avá'ránn in defending the tree of life, unlike the the other eight whose task was to create and translate the the Cárpa'dosía to the various tongues spoken on earth. They were very close to their Queen and she to them, and they learnt much of her and from her in those earliest of days.
But the High Avá'ránn had greater plans for the four last Axhai, for their grace set them apart from the other eight. She sent them out into the physical world below, granting them all physical form more beautiful than most of the mortal race had ever seen and sent them far from the Thaelon to teach the races of corporeal form the nature of their being. Of the four the eldest and the youngest Daltelár and Vai'linai were the fairest.
Very scared were the Four, but their love for Avá and her creation drove them out into the world. They agreed to meet back at the Thaelon every fifty leaf falls, and later brought with them the Wood Elves. So they created the High Elven Council. Daltelár traveled to the North and the East, where she witnessed the very dawnings of mankind. She heard much of the great oceans and longed always to be close to the waves. Saol'lian went West. Vai'linai travelled South with Ioawlen for strong was their bond. They were the first to meet the elves of the woods and much did they teach them, training bards to continue the traditions they had taught.
When their task was done and the knowledge of the elder days ensured, the Four were given the choice to return home or to remain in the mortal world forsaking their true natures. Saol'lian returned immediately to her home for great was her homesickness. Daltelár chose to stay, for she was facinated by what the world could teach and could not bear to leave the coast. She made her home with the Wood Elves of the Bolder Forest and long did she live there.
Ioawlen was torn in half, for her desire to return to her home was consuming. But she could not bring herself to abandon Vai'linai. Vai'linai had given her heart and soul to a leader of the Wood Elves in the great forests of the South, and would not listen to her adoring sisters pleading to return home. Vai'linai returned to the Zeiphyrian Forests and to the elf she loved so, her sister went with her giving up her right to return. In time Vai'linai was Lady of the Wood Elves, happy and settled, but Ioawlen was not. Ioawlen desired not the company of the hot southern forests and became isolated and unhappy.
When news reached Daltelár of Ioawlen's great unhappiness, she rode to the High Avá'ránn and pleaded Ioawlen's case. Thus the High Avá'ránn returned Ioawlen to pure light and brought her home. Vai'linai and Daltelár lived long, but they had chosen a mortal path, and at the end of their days left Aér'aí'chán for what lies beyond this world. Ioawlen greatly mourned their passing and it is said that the Thaelon still echos with Ioawlen's lament for the brightest lights of the elder days.
Afterthought. If the Tale of the Four is only a myth or reality, one cannot say. However, it seems at least that the existence of two of the fabulous Four, is confirmed from various sides:
Daltelár certainly did exist, the Long lived Lady of the Bolder Forest known for her wisdom and for initiaing the tribes' great thirst for knowledge. The Aellenhim were great keepers of written records and many later, reliable sources record Daltelár as mother of Aiá'merán, and long time leader of the Aellenhim. But as history has passed into myth, it is difficult to distiguish truth from fiction.
The second of the Four, Vai'linai, almost certainly existed as well, though details are from elven lore, which over the lifespans of many elves have been jumbled and varied. It is almost certain that Vai'linai did not live as long as her sister. Some say she died in child birth.
Information provided by Wren