The first King of the Wood, Lordaer was a simple elven treeminder who's clan was almost entirely wiped out by minions of Chaos during the first large-scale Chaos war. Lordaer and his sons sought refuge with another elf clan, only to be turned away. Again and again, they were sent off, for their brethren were too consumed by their own fight with Chaos to aid others. Then he went to the nelfyns, only to discover that they too were beset on all sides by minions of evil, and the humans were busy fighting among themselves. In despair, he prayed to Malorel for a way to save not just his own people, but the nelfyns and humans as well.

No one knows why Malorel chose to answer him as he did. Many believe he was moved by Lordaer's compassion toward all races of Dalnaes. Others believe that Malorel struck one of his sons with a sickness, and took his life as payment for his aid. Regardless, as he sat vigil over his ailing son that night, Lordaer drifted into a deep sleep, and in his dreams he was approached by the Dreamer in the form of his deceased wife. Malorel instructed Lordaer to return to his home in C'Oros Diin, the Tree of Dreams, and descend to the very base of the heartroot, where he would find the answer he sought. When Lordaer woke, his son had passed, leaving him devastated and doubtful of the god's words. Nevertheless, he and his remaining son took his child's body to C'Oros Diin, to the very bottom of the heartroot. There he laid his son to rest and to give nourishment back to the World Tree. As his son's body was pulled into the tree's core, a new growth sprouted from where he had lain. The sprout grew to almost twice the height of Lordaer, with a curve at the top like a crescent moon. When Lordaer touched the new growth, it broke free from the World Tree and a strange glowing crystal appeared suspended in the staff's curve. That night, Malorel once again visited the elf in his dreams:

"Behold my staff," the Dreamer said. "Carry it wisely, Lordaer, for it bears the essence of dreams, the source of creation. Use it to drive Chaos from the land, but beware those who would abuse its power."

Amazed by such a powerful gift, Lordaer returned to the elven clans and asked them to join him in his quest to halt Chaos. Many laughed, but when he revealed the power of the staff and the Dreamer's command, they hailed him as blessed by Malorel, and committed themselves to his side. He journeyed to each clan in turn, and when he made clear the threat Chaos posed, they all agreed to join together to fight. Then he led the elves to assist the nelfyn, who had already lost nearly half their cities and were desperately trying not to lose more ground. When the elves came to their aid, the nelfyn rallied to Lordaerel's side and fought with renewed conviction. Once they pushed Chaos back out of nelfyn lands, Lordaerel and his followers turned to aiding the humans.

It took almost a hundred years to unite the humans and put an end to the war. Many human clans were highly mistrustful of the elves and nelfyns and refused their aid, or tried to fight them as well. After heavy losses on all sides, the servants of the gods stood triumphant, and the races of Dalnaes began to rebuild. The first human kingdoms took shape, and the elves united as one kingdom. The elven clan leaders insisted that Lordaer take up the mantle of king, despite his desire to simply live out the rest of his life in quiet solitude. But his son convinced him to accept, and from that day on, he was called Lordaerel, the 'dreaming king'.

Lordaerel ruled his people peacefully for almost four hundred years, living well into his eight-hundredth century. He used Malorel's staff, which had become known as the Staff of Dreams, only on the rarest and most desperate of occasions. At the end of his reign, he sought a worthy heir to give the staff too, but even his son had come to covet it, so instead he hid it away where "its power can never be used by Chaos". Though disappointed by its loss, his son, Caliendel, accepted his father's decision and swore never to seek the staff out. Since then, part of every new King's oath is to follow Lordaerel's wisdom, and to leave the Staff of Dreams to lie in wait for a worthy dreamer. Some say that Lordaerel did in fact tell his son its location, and that the secret has been pass from King to King since his reign. But if so, no King has ever revealed it, nor made an attempt to lay claim to the legendary artifact.

Submitted for Day 23 of Inktober 2019


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