For those of you who don’t know, Arcane Fallout is the original setting that Jacob and I are working on. It’s a mashup of post apocalypse, fantasy, and a smidgen of cyberpunk. Now let’s look at the history of the elves of Arcane Fallout.
Interview with Miron Silvertongue, bard of the Deep Wood
“Where did I learn of our people’s history? I was there. I know it’s hard to believe, but yes I’m that old, and I remember what it used to be like. Now listen, mortal. If you want to know our history then I’ll tell you, but not if you keep prattling on.
“Ours was a peaceful and serene life. We lived within the great forests and with the great forests. Unlike the other races we became one with the world and didn’t seek to rule it. We protected our home, our mother, and in turn she took care of us. We traded with outsiders for things that were hard to come by in the forests. Ore from the mountains and fish from the sea. Life was an endless dance. Sometimes the dance was slow and smooth and graceful. Other times it was fast and hard and, yes, sometimes violent. The dance was there as were we. Then something cut in. The crash.
“Every elf who lived through the ordeal can tell you exactly where they were when the sky ship came to the world. I was painting by the moonlight. A beautiful flower that only bloomed at night caught my attention, its petals were silver in the moonlight. Suddenly the sky began to brighten in the west. A falling star, or maybe a new celestial phenomenon. Then it made its way to the ground and a thunderclap the likes of which no one had ever heard echoed through the world. After the crash, all elves knew that something was wrong. We could feel it. Deep down we all knew that our way of life had ended that night.
“We felt a slight nausea at first. Then soon we all became ill. It wasn’t like a fever or cold that your people are used to. It was a sense of hopelessness. Like our will to live was slipping away. The elders began to discuss what needed to happen. The first thing they did was secure our borders. We needed to make sure none of our enemies or allies knew that we were weak. We secluded ourselves into the forests and soon shut our borders. We stopped trading and threatened or killed any who came too far in. Soon our people began to feel death.
“Our people could live for thousands of years before the crash. At the worst of it, most elves would only last for a handful of years after the crash. Soon I saw many of our people just lay down and stop living. Our great shaman, Daeron, started using his primal magic to keep us alive, but he wasn’t able to save everyone. Our magic was a subtle one and was used for little pushes here and there and not to be used to save the lives of an entire race of people. Over half of our people died before Daeron finally came up with a solution.
“The humans had come to us for help with some menace in the west, but we turned them away. Then we heard that the dwarves had come to the aid of the humans and in turn took the humans’ land. Daeron was trying to keep us alive but he knew that if the dwarves found out our weakness their greed would drive them to our woods. I don’t know what we would have done. Daeron then chose the night of the anniversary of the crash to save our people. He infused himself with more power than I thought possible. It changed him. He had become the first Ancient. He grew 50 feet tall and sprouted horns like a stag. His skin became bark and he looked down at us. He smiled, closed his eyes, and became still. We waited and waited but he never moved. Soon leaves began to sprout, and we knew that Daeron wasn’t coming back. He did too much and paid the price of his magic. We were doomed… until the first gift of life bloomed. It was a beautiful fruit, red as blood, about the size of your fist. We all wondered what it was. One of the stronger elves climbed up and brought it down. We didn’t know what would happen if we consumed it, but one of our sickest felt that it was their last hope. That elf grabbed the fruit, and with nothing left to live for, devoured it. That’s when I was reborn. Yes it was me. I ate the first fruit. My body convulsed as a new power came into it. Soon the change began to take me over. My eyes changed to that of a cats, my skin became like white marble, and my tongue became silver. I had changed into something new. Many were scared of what I had become, but when they saw that the poison that had afflicted me and our people was gone from me I became a beacon of hope. I felt amazing.
“Soon more fruit was born of the Tree of Daeron, the Giver of Life, and our people began to feed on it. Once we had consumed just one from the tree we changed to what we are now. We all experience the change differently. Once the last of the elves consumed a fruit, the tree stopped producing. Just as suddenly as the miracle happened, it stopped. Now elves are born true again and we experience life in a new way. Eventually the dwarves came, and we used our new forms to drive them back. The humans are wary of us as well. I don’t blame them. We became stories at best, but between you and me, we fear the humans. We eventually learned it was arcane magic that made us sick and humans now wield that power well. They are stick men playing with fire, and we were a dried up forest, but we have regrown to something more. More beautiful, more full of life, and much more deadly.”