This article contains mild spoilers for the Lost Ones and should be read with care by the members of that campaign.
We were born unto a paradise crafted wholly for our peace - and oh, what a paradise it was! To watch the triad moons dance in their endless sea of stars once more... House Ae'tharis must suffer much grief, burdened as they are with only fleeting glimpses of our eternal utopia.Countless milennia ago, long before Istralar was home to mortal life, a far-flung planet was born by a goddess's will. Seren, primordial goddess of light and life, wished for her children to have a home all their own - a place for her to bring them into existence as the elves, and a place for them to learn and grow. This planet, she would christen Aetharis, for it was so resplendent in aether that it shone as a beacon of magic in the starry void of space. In the current day, the elves have long since abandoned their original home... for the most part. Aetharis no longer seems to rest in the sky where it should. Teleportation magics that would whisk one to the distant planet fail without obvious cause, would-be mages left confused rather than stranded in space. Only high-ranking family members of House Ae'tharis or of Galasthin royalty are intended to be aware of where, exactly, their people's first home is now - for though the magics and decisions involved are lost to time, the Sceptre of Aetharis remains in possession of House Ae'tharis, and functions as a portal to the First Light. This portal has become of use for the Lost Ones in their struggle against the Shards: Lady Aetharis, as the realm's avatar is known, has been a consistent font of knowledge for them since Talindë Ae'tharis joined their cause, and Talindë is happy to wield Lady Aetharis's power on their behalf. It is through the combination of Aetharis's power and Champion might that the Shards can be tracked: something no other has yet been able to achieve.
Words cannot describe what it feels like to look upon Aetharis... to look upon the remnants of our first selves, to walk among their homes. They had so much love for Her and Her creations, and for those that would follow in their footsteps... even today, their love brings tears to the most grown of us when we see the full scope of it. If it is wrong to weep over those I can never meet, then I shall be wrong this day. Their care shines through time itself.Describing Aetharis's geography has proven to be a challenge throughout history. There exist few records of what the planet's surface is like, and House Ae'tharis have remained remarkably quiet on the subject; it is only through relatively rare and exceedingly ancient historical knowledge that anything can be determined at all.
What can be found speaks of untold wonders. Cities, chief among them the crown jewel of Tir Gwreiddyn, nestled into valleys and atop vast hills. Mountains towering up to pierce the sky, and floating islands held aloft by magic alone dancing around their glittering peaks. Brilliant azure seas teeming with colour and life, and underwater civilisations set in the countless corals, water held at bay by glistening shields. Immense forests growing at the foot of trees taller than hills, home to thousands of strange and utterly unique species never again found elsewhere. Once, it would seem, these geographical wonders were wholly natural - crafted by Seren, and allowed to bloom. Some few records exist, along with a limited number of samples, in the ancient vaults of House Ae'tharis - as found on Aetharis. Galasthin is the latest civilisation to maintain these vaults, but Aetharis is home to records across much of elvenkind's existence.
Tir Gwreiddyn: land of beginnings, if translated.. roughly. We began here worlds ago, long before our people found Istralar - it was our gift from Seren. Our legend tells that our people found it too lonely to stay, that Seren encouraged us to spread wings and take flight to construct what we could on our own.Though Aetharis was indeed the first home to elvenkind, it was not one they would stay on forever. Though the records of their departure have long been lost, modern scholars assume that the departure was in some way connected to the planet's crystallisation. Aetharis herself - the avatar, who remains present and visible unlike many others - has been recorded denying this in the past, but has been notably vague on the true reason. She has also been noted to avoid discussion on the creation of the Sceptre and her link to House Ae'tharis, particularly if the current master or mistress of said Sceptre is present. If the departure of Aetharis was connected to her crystalline nature, it would mark another planet fallen to this trend - Verti Xi'corie aided his kin with their escape from another planet consumed by crystal, for instance, and marks of similar crystalline plagues can be found across countless histories in countless worlds. Current magical theory has yet to divine whether there is a connection between these instances. Aetharis is currently inaccessible to most members of the House due to the early theft of her Sceptre by Scion Talindë Ae'tharis, current champion of Seren and rightful heir to the Sceptre regardless. However, her lands are now being explored by new, fresh eyes - including the first non-elven sapient being welcomed into precious elven cities, the dwarven Burdyr Donderiall. The few aware of this are optimistic that fresh eyes and explorations of the land by newcomers may reveal more about their lost home than the careful studies produced according to the House's strict rules, though the current Lord Ae'tharis remains displeased.
If our own means fail, though... through the bloodlines of Seren's cherished first creations, we will always find Aetharis ready to lead us home.
Aetharis by Hanhula via Wombo
the First Light, the Elvenheart, Nyeremar, Tir Hiraeth
Scholars occasionally compare Jäätta on Istralar to the crystalline nature of Aetharis and their other observances of similar disasters across other planets. In this case, however, the difference between Aetharis's iridescent crystals and the frozen necropolis marking the Elsrei's fate is too significant. Sturdy crystals blessed by nature and influenced by Seren herself are no closer to Jäätta's soulstained ice than the waters of a deep lake, as one particularly annoyed scholar pointed out. Some few years after the disaster, a member of House Ae'tharis logged an interview with the avatar of Aetharis into historical record. To ascertain whether a connection was present, a small party had set out from Melaeden to fly within eyeshot of Jäätta's eerie glow; the Sceptre's wielder amongst their number. Aetharis's avatar reacted unpredictably; first teleporting the party straight back to Melaeden via the Sceptre's power, then when confronted, vehemently denied any connection and left the conversation. Incidents such as this have made it increasingly unlikely for the Sceptre to leave its containment for more than the most brief sojourn.
Avatar: Denies plausible theories but refuses to elaborate Me: Doubt
Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young