Endolin Divider

We started as nine disparate tribes, then combined into three provincial states. I only await the day we can all be fully united as one land.
~ Arbelladon ~

Endolin Divider

Land of the Undying Leafs

Scarred, cracked, and devastated, the world was left to sift through the remnants of the once great duergar kingdom when the Cosmic War finally came to a close. Glorious monuments were toppled. Families were killed. Those who remained were survivors in these new lands. But, one group had gone completely untouched by this war. The elves who would soon come to form Endolin had known of the coming destruction years before it commenced.   In these final years of the Precursor Era, the duergar kingdom of Pallus still reigned true and its glorious artifacts known as Prolithian Gates filled the land. A small tribe of elves clung to one of their own; a gate capable of interplanar travel between Kustaanos and the Feywild. And when elven insight painted a clear picture of the death that was imminent for the world, they knew it was foolish to stay, and even more hopeless to try and stop it.   In a mass exodus, the elves left for the Feywild, finding refuge with the Court Lord who welcomed his kin to the four Eladrin courts. Here, they remained for many decades as the gods waged cosmic warfare across Kustaanos. For the time, they found stability, safety, and security under the Eladrin courts.   But, when the Cosmic War finally came to a close, the population was eager to return to Kustaanos, pitying it like a bullied child. They bid the Feywild farewell, and returned to the scarred and broken landscape of their old world. The only thing that looked intact was the Prolithian Gate they walked through, and a small spread of autumn leaves resting on the ground around it.   The land was quiet. The land was open. And more surprising, the land was fresh. It was like a blank canvas ready to be painted or a block of stone prepared to be sculpted. It was as if all the warfare had transformed the world into something totally new. The elves gazed upon the vibrant wildlife that walked, flew, and swam all around them; gawked at the magnificent magical minerals that decorated the earth like flowers.   Everyone had an undeniable chance to build a new home with themselves. Unfortunately, a very common lust for power began to divide the elven people, as no one could find a unanimously acclaimed figurehead to lead them. So instead, they decided to separate.  

The Nine Provinces

There were dozens of different ideological groups among the elves, but only nine of them had superiorly greater popularity than the others. They were the Ludong, Cyrar, Aila, Wirenth, Hevetor, Zentha, Nyana, Lathriel, and Zantot. Through tense interactions, each of them came to an agreement to split the land nine ways between each other. To determine who held claim to what land, they cast lots in the name of the Court Lord.   And so, the nine provinces of the new land of Endolin was formed. Under these nine provinces, a Lord under the Court Lord was enacted in each. Amnobeel of Ludong. Ithmanshu of Cyrar. Midyah of Zantot. Leena of Lathriel. Keishara of Zentha. Amaji of Aila. Horith of Hevetor. Khuumel of Nyana. And Wirenth of Wirenth.   All nine tribes functioned independently of the others. The only interaction the nine ever had with one another was in open advisory gatherings to discuss foreign affairs with each other. Otherwise, the tribes left the others alone and grew content with the land they could call their own. At least, all tribes except one.   In casting the lots, Zantot had been left with harsh and dry canyons that yielded itself to very little easily harvested resources and even less abundance in crops. When none of the eight other tribes intended to do anything about it, claiming the Court Lord had spoken with the lots, tension rose over time as Zantot lived in discontented strife and anger.   A quarter way through the third century of the new world, this tension exploded in all-out revolution as Zantot followed the charismatic revolutionist, Teneleas.

Teneleas' Revolution

Teneleas' Revolution was a result of Zantot's discontent with its harsh environment and lack of help from the other tribes. In his life, Teneleas made the public shaming of the eight tribes a common occurrence, something that inspired his home tribe. His patriotic words and passionate speeches soon replaced Midyah as the Lord of Zantot. From there, he exerted an absolute rule over the tribe.  
The Court Lord was denounced from Zantot culture as the culprit for the tribe's destitute lives. In his place, Zanreer, the Cosmic Warrior became the new god over Zantot. Teneleas deemed Zantot held a rightful claim to the Prolithian Gate. And finally, he issued a harsh demand to each tribe to give over half of their land; a demand, of course, no one agreed to.   The revolution fully began after a Zantot trade convoy on its way to Ithanshu of Cyrar came under attack as it entered the village of Nen. The convoy was completely destroyed and everyone killed; since then, this event has been known as the Nen Incident.
  Believing the eight tribes were only seeking to get the drop on him, Teneleas mobilized his severely militarized troops on a bloody conquest. The eight tribes, even in their coalition, were broken as Teneleas' forces marched through Hevetor and Cyrar, conquering them in days. Before long, he even had the Ludong capital of Amla Lenora surrounded; the location of the Prolithian Gate.   However, the Eladrin intervened in this revolution, coming from the Feywild to reinforce the coalition as requested by the Lord of Ludong, Amnobeel. Together, Teneleas' troops met their match, and Teneleas was killed. In the aftermath, Zantot was exiled out to the east, and its former land was divided between the eight other tribes. However, this resolution only served to spark another revolution that followed two centuries later.  

The Changing Seasons

The tyrannical campaign of Teneleas quelled, the Eladrin bid their farewells and returned back to the Feywild. But, not before very important diplomacy was discussed. Having turned out to be the sole defenders against the revolution, the Eladrin were confident in expecting something in return. However, no material or currency in the world held any value to the culture the Eladrin lived by in the Feywild.   Instead, the Eladrin agreed to leaving with a favor to be called in later in the future. But, this left a divided taste in the tribes' mouths. Some tribes, like Aila, lost trust in the Eladrin fearing the favor would be used as a means to usurp power from them and that the Prolithian Gate should be destroyed. Tribes like Ludong continued to look at the courts like heroes that deserved the good relations. And others, like Wirenth, were in a middle ground; they thought the Eladrin were heroes to Endolin, but didn't think they should have any authority over the tribes.   This subtle strain on politics festered for two centuries before Endolin came to blows yet again, because in 441 AC, the Feywild faced a large incursion by its rival forces of the Shadowfell, and the Eladrin took the chance to call in the favor. Expected to mobilize into the Feywild and assist, the most difficult challenge Endolin faced in this period turned out to be the uproar that responded to the order.   The tribes were split on whether to abide by the Eladrin to garrison all the tribes. Ludong was the spearhead of the tribes supporting them, while Aila was the head at the other end of the spectrum. Diplomatic pressure from every tribal border and the Feywild exerted itself through the land whole land. And in an attempt to sway the land away from their involvement, a group of radicals from Zentha stole into Amla Lenora and, through a series of misdemeanors, assassinated Lord Amnobeel.   But this attempt only added wood to a flame that had now turned into a raging bonfire. Detested by Aila's and their allies' heinous act, the tribes spiraled down into a second revolution. On one side, Ludong, Cyrar, and Hevetor fought to aid the Eladrin. On the other side, Aila, Zentha, Lathriel, and Nyana fought to destroy the Prolithian Gate and cut their ties with the Feywild.   Wirenth, far in the north, was the only province that remained neutral in this period.   The fighting was as bloody in Endolin as the war was in the Feywild, and this new revolution lasted for years. When one side gained ground, a miracle came through for the other side to regain it. The forces of the revolution spent most of the time on either side of the major Endolish river, the Dexocahn, taunting and skirmishing each other. It was very intense, but it was a stalemate from the beginning.   The fighting came to a close when both sides negotiated for a white peace. The pro-Eladrin lords, including the new lord of Ludong, Gormar met at the river town of Ginrahash with the anti-Eladrin lords. In concluding the bloodshed, the tribes were relocated and assimilated into others. No longer was Endolin the land of nine tribes, but now as the three provinces of Ludong, Aila, and Wirenth. Also decided, Ludong would keep its full authority with the Prolithian Gate, but all other provinces would have the ability to act independently from it.   The conflict finally ended, Ludong's combined lands finally sent the courts their long-awaited assistance while the other provinces lived on like nothing more than neighbors. With Ludong's aid, the attack on the Feywild was more easily quelled. In doing so, Ludong gained the services of a winter eladrin wayfarer who would skyrocket Endolin's cultural richness in the time to come.  

Age of Corellon

The start of the Age of Corellon is said to be marked by his arrival in Ludong from the Feywild after they helped fend off the demons of the Shadowfell. Corellon is credited as one of the strongest winter eladrin to ever live, and the son of the winter archfey. Offering his services to Ludong, his work transformed it into a jewel of the Endolish land full of natural innovation, cultural tradition, and prestige.  
First, his journey into Endolin brought with him the common Feywild death tradition known as Omakti. It didn't take with Aila or Wirenth, but the tradition solidified itself securely into Ludong's foundations before long.   Corellon deemed a large vacant island full of luscious fauna just off the west coast the ample place for Omakti to take root in Endolin. Slowly, he trained priestesses to look over Omakti, uphold its rites, and train new priestesses to come.   It was an addition to Ludong that had foreign and sweet taste.
  He popularized the Lodestone Valley with the natural enhancement of the invaluable mineral there, lodestone. It was a gem carrying the residue of magic left behind from the Cosmic War, and its innate property to defy gravity brought many great improvements to Ludong architecture when Corellon aided in harnessing and purifying them. And he taught the Ludong garrisons the art of wielding the seasonal powers the Eladrin did. This gave rise to Ludong's most recognized rank, Earth Shakers.   But Corellon's most famous period in Endolin came when a harsh evil appeared on Ludong's doorstep in 670 AC. The Shadowfell had held a bitter grudge against Endolin since its interference long ago, and now a small force led by a necromantic drow woman named Salzovahn. Her forces poured into Ludong with the intention of making it pay by plunging the land into a bitter, shadowy darkness.   But, Corellon's rallying courage gave Ludong the spirit it needed to quickly fight back against this sudden threat. Several times, Salzovahn was killed by Corellon's power over winter, but each time she came back from her home realm. As long as she kept coming, her armies did too. So, Corellon made the ultimate sacrifice for the province he'd come to call home. He stole his way into the Shadowfell, confronting Salzovahn.   Unable to fully kill her, he instead froze the both of them in an unbreakable block of ice that consumed her entire citadel. A block of ice so tough only the Court Lord could shatter it. Their leader gone, the Shadowfell trickled out of Endolin. In this act of bravery, Corellon was named a saint all throughout Ludong, and even in some parts of Aila and Wirenth.  

The War of Turmoil

Endolin, at least Ludong, had hoped its war with the Shadowfell was to be the last conflict it would face. But, history only continued to repeat itself.   Far in the east, neighboring both Aila and Wirenth province, the former exiles from Zantot long ago had grown into a large, militaristic empire called the Tenelean Empire. It had not been a private affair, Endolin had just never thought anything could come from them without their glorious leader, Teneleas.   But that all changed the day the empire struck out against the rest of the continent in 1520 AC. The original canyons once occupied by them were seized and pillaged in a day. The numerous forces from Ludong, Aila, and Wirenth that were stationed at its main city, Lucodonus, were slaughtered in the lightning-fast and meteor-strong attacks their sudden enemy made.   Quickly, the Endolish troops were forced back to the forests around the Moroko Range to form a defensive line. Their forces consisted of moose cavalry, ents, and druidic weavers all from Aila.   Several times, they were almost forced to flee. But, with reinforcements and expeditionary forces sent from their new powerful ally, Ravenna, the line was able to be held out until the end of the war. Feeling this exhaustion, the Teneleans pulled out and instead began construction on a structure that was as much a monument as it was a military fortress. The Imperium was to be a structure that stretched from the sea in the south to the lake in the north. It is recorded the Teneleans also didn't attack the Endolish troops who sat in the distance and watched the wall be built.   But seeing the massive bulk of the imperial war machine caused the three provinces to grow weary of their chances if war like that every broke out again. Sure, they could begin focusing on military industry and prepare for war, but how well would that match up against a beast like the empire's?   Only time would tell. And Endolin's leaders could only hope that if it came down to the wire again, the Eladrin would be able to pull through like they had the first time.
Endolin Divider

I have guided and counseled Aila with diligence and patience for centuries. And yet, I feel one day we will become treated like the next Zantot...
~ Ithronel ~

Endolin Divider
Geopolitical, Theocracy
Government System
Neighboring Nations

Walled Emotions

"It's oddly therapeutic, don't you think Ascath?"   Ascath's head was propped in his hands, elbows settled on his legs as he watched out in the distance from a forested hilltop. He was so enraptured by his sleeping blood and the silent wind that he almost didn't comprehend what his feysister, Feyolup asked.   And though he didn't answer, he certainly agreed with her.   They both wore the cloaks of autumn earth shakers, colored a deep orange and framed with leaves plucked from trees found only in the autumn court. The two of them were on patrol, or rather, a sit and watch duty.   For a couple weeks now, they had come and gone to see the progress those Teneleans had made on that wall of theirs separating their land from Ascath's. No matter how hard he looked, he couldn't see either end of it the wall was so long. He had to estimate at least ten divisions were stationed here working on it.   It all felt so surreal. To think these were the people from so long ago his province had taught him to fear and hate.   "Ascath," Feyolup chirped, voice serious, "heads up." Ironically enough, her sudden hand pressed on the back of his hand as she forced the both of them near to the ground. Ascath listened carefully for a second, and sure enough, he could hear the rustling sounds of bushes just down the hill from them. They were not alone at the moment.   Ascath shared a glance with his feysister, who nodded at him, and together, they slowly began collecting their autumn magic at their hands and lungs. Any wrong moves, and Ascath was ready to bring down some trees.   A man emerged from the bushes they were eyeing, and Ascath prepared even harder for the worst.   The man had shaggy dark hair. He wore dark plated armor on his hands and wrists all crawling with imperial designs. He carried a legionnaire's helmet under his left arm and a blade and a bag wrapped at his opposite hip.   Perhaps Ascath and Feyolup hadn't done the best job at hiding, because as soon as he made eye contact with the two of them, he froze just like they were.   A legionnaire, out this far. Ascath could only wonder how many might be behind him. He got to his feet, never once aiming his hands away from the man, magic now literally at his fingertips.   In response, the Tenelean slowly clipped his helmet to his belt, and what came next surprised Ascath. His hands cautiously rose into the air, and he gave a half-hearted smile.   "Is he..?" Feyolup tried to ask.   "No." Ascath answered with a straight face. "Teneleans don't surrender. They just fight in a different way."   Ascath was shocked he hadn't already sent the nearby trees toppling down on this man yet, and when the legionnaire started taking minor steps in their direction, Ascath felt even more tempted to do so.   But he didn't.   Two steps from the man turned into four. And then eight. And then even more as he moved toward them, hands above his head at all times.   "Stop right there." Feyolup ordered in elvish; Ascath couldn't tell if her eyes were filled with bloodlust or fear. Either way, if provoked, it wouldn't end pretty.   Like she was his officer, the man stopped. They were now ten paces from each other. Ascath just couldn't understand. He didn't see anyone else with him, so what was this man doing?   "May I grab my bag off my belt, Endolins?" The man asked in the same language. Ascath looked at his feysister. Glancing back at him, she gave a confused shrug.   "Slowly." Ascath decided.   And the legionnaire did so. His arms moved calmly down to his side where the bag and the sword was. Seeing that, Ascath braced himself. But, the man's hands never once touched the sword; they undid the straps and he held out the bag to him. A bag Ascath now saw was a waterskin.   "I'm sure you've been here all day," The legionnaire said, "sit and have a drink?"  
  Glug. Glug. Glug. Fresh water never felt so refreshing as Ascath took a deep drink from the waterskin. Finished with it, he offered more to his feysister. When she declined, he handed it back to the legionnaire.   They all sat on the ground now, side to side. Ascath still couldn't tell how they'd gotten in this position or what angle this man was playing at. He was still waiting for that ulterior motive to show itself.   "Looks great, doesn't it?" The man asked looking out in the distance. "That wall's supposed to be one our crown achievements."   For a moment, Ascath didn't respond.   "What's your name, soldier?" Feyolup asked.   "Gius. Hadreco Gius. Just another bloodthirsty soldier for a bloodthirsty empire."   Ascath was familiar with that tone. "Name is Ascath. This is my feysister, Feyolup."   He regarded the two with another smile which made his aging elven wrinkles show. "A pleasure to meet you both."   For a while after, the three just sat in an awkward silence. No one said anything, just continued to watch that wall build itself.   "How did things get to this point?" Gius asked. Ascath couldn't tell if it was to them or to himself. But the question made him think about the power-hungry elves that flooded Endolish history.   "I don't know..." Ascath admitted. "I guess... some people just get lucky. And unfortunately, people who get lucky only end up wanting more luck."   Gius grunted. "You a philosopher, Ascath?"   "No." Ascath waved that off. "Just... someone trying to understand the life he's in."   "Does your company know where you are?" Feyolup questioned.   "Probably not." And like a show of rebellion, Gius folded his hands behind his head and laid on his back looking up to the sky. "Besides, ain't much strength left in these bones to carry some stone anyway."   Ascath was surprised to hear his feysister chuckle at his answer.   "So you'd rather conspire with the enemy?" Ascath asked.   Gius laughed a single laugh. "What enemy?"   What... enemy? What did Gius even mean by that? He couldn't possibly see him or Feyolup as a friend. They were in the middle of a war. Plus, they had just met.   "Look," He continued. "things are just too noisy down there. You two get a lot of quiet up here. If it's all the same to you... I'd like to have some of it too."   Ascath didn't know why, but that gave a warm smile to his heart. He started to appreciate Gius, and wondered what would happen after he left. Would they meet on a future battlefield? Would they need to fight each other?   Ascath didn't know. But for now, he'd accepted Gius in this moment, and so he'd enjoy it while it lasted.   Just some Endolins and a Tenelean having a conversation.
After that day, I never saw Gius again.
~ Ascath

Cover image: Dawn of Hope by Sung Choi


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