Lessons of the old generations
Usually it was not difficult for Lienne to get up in the morning. Her mother usually jokes that she suspects Lienne never to sleep, since she always seems to be up, no matter when she looks. Lienne sighed. Today, she'd rather spend the whole day in bed instead of wasting the day with what is to come. But she had no choice now, did she?
On her way to the meeting hall her friend Tomanel joined her. Lienne shot a jealous look at his ears, jotting out between his long dark hair. Tomanel was a full blooded elf whereas her rounded ears showed way to clearly that she was member of the ever growing population of half elves. Her mother Manja is a human and she still remembered the disapproving looks everybody gave her and her father. It got better now, since half elves were much more common in Laraethien then before, but it hadn't gone away completely.
Taking and joking on the way, more friends joined them, and together the group of young elves and half elves reached the meeting hall, where they all were to listen to the mandatory history lessen, they had to endure every five years. Their mood sank significantly with each step they got closer.
They were a large group, Lienne thought, even larger then last time. She thought abot how many young elves have been born in the last few years. She was already 20 and still counted as a ver yyoung adult among the elves, but even she recognized the changes, the last decades had brought to Laraethien. And she liked, how things seem to change. The older generation however seemed to prefer that everything stays as it is. Just like this unnecessary and boring history lesson, she was about to face. Again.
The old teacher, Gomanen
did not pay any attention to the unmotivated faces of his unwilling audience as he started to recount the history of Laraethien. Lienne tried not very hard to listen to him. To her side, Tomanel constantly hissed aditions and corrections about this version of the past into her ear, and those she found way more interesting.
"The first generation, our leaders of today were the pious followers of Vitukua, on his glorious search for the inhabitants of this world before the Gods led us to these lands: The Dragons. And after a long journey, during which many of our brethren gave up and left us, we arrived in El-Ethien, with the undeniable truth of Dragons before us."
"Sure," Tomanel whispered, "he tells this as if he was there. He is from the third generation, almost three thousand years later, but hey, it is always good to hear the accounts of an almost eye wittness"
".... and Vitukua saw that he reached his goals and blessed his followers with this land, to be the worthy heirs of the culture of the dragons. Then he left, to met the godlike dragons himself."
"Or to put this differently, Vitukua searched his whole life for the dragons, finally founds their traces here and with this manages to ascend into godhood. Good for him, who cares that by doing that he left his blind followers alone in a ruined and frozen land to fend for thmeselves?" Lienne froze as she heard that. She silently agreed with Tomanel's version but this... this was blasphemy and could get them into a lot of trouble. She glanced to Gomanon, who seemed to not have heard these dangerous sentences.
"The days of the second and third generation were full of hardship and trials. But our ancestors leaned to live with the nature, to master magic and to make themselves a home in the remnants of the dragon's land."
"... decimating the population to only a handful families. The leaders of which are now ruling this country for almost five millenia already..."
".. But then the dragons themselves appeared to us, leading us and showed us the way upon perfection. Thus together with the coming of the fourth generation began the golden days of our nation, the glorious days of innovation, art and faith..."
"... only to end up standing completely still, in the name of so called perfection, while the other nations of the world discover technology and magic those old geezers could never dream of... "
"With the dragons on our side, the great nation of Laraethien was a mighty foe for every race in the dreadful war of the races, the hardship under which the fifth generation came to be. Nobody was able to come even close to our might..."
"And how did that turn out? The gods themselves punished us in the great ruling of coexistence, took away so much of our magic and our freedom, basically banishing us to the north - and the dragons left us alone as well. What glorious achievement."
However the First generation mourned heir losses and yearned to be close to each other again. To be close to the dragons as well, so they traveled to the Dragon's Step, leaving behind their old homes, where the sixth generation entered this world.
"... giving the council the opportunity to control us better then ever..."
"And here we flourished, watching other races arrive. The humans in the forests, the dwarves in the mountains, each of them worshipping the gods in their on way. And we welcomed them with open arms, as we did you, our seventh generation."
"... and let them fool us with their offer to buy the forest of Ethien from us, before our glorious first generation even understand what trade means. We did not even have a concept of currency at that time... "
"And so the great nation of Laraethien became what it is today. Unique. Wonderful. And dedicated to perfection as it was and as it will always be."
During Gomanon's closing words, Lienne eagerly watched Tomanel. Surely, he will have an intrestng opinion to that as well? Maybe some comment about how their most revered God, Vitukua, was standing or balance as well as change and the circle of life and death? How should that fit into such a rigid idea of perfection?
But he only got a sad look on his face and shook his head. Then, after a long while he said: "I fear, the first generation no longer understands that perfection is nothing more then unending stagnation. And stagnation is even worse then death."
The elven nation of Laraethien
Deep within the Ethien Forest
lies the Nation of the Larani
- Laraethien. lead by the Council of First
, the loyal elves that followed Vitukua on his long trail to meet the Dragons, they found the magic imbued lands of El-Ethien as the perfect spot for them to settle.
Originally, they settled the whole of El-Ethien together with a few curious members of the dragons, a fact of which several ruins across the Larania Forest
still stand witness to. Since their population did not grow significantly over time however, they migrated more and more to the east, to be closer to each other and to their revered dragons.
Most of their traditions and their social structure is founded on the believe that the original generation, those that were present on Vitukua's travels, are most wise and experienced. Each generation may have representants in the ruling Council of First, but while the first generation has all its surviving eleven members in this council, each generation further removed from the first is represented by only one member, as long as a surviving member of this generation is left. In recent years however the population is growing faster, due to current changes in technology (as well as an influx of human workers leading to a shockingly high rate of born Half-Elves). The youngest generation is strongly opposed to the old generations and is questioning the validity of a council so grossly misrepresenting the actual proportions of the generations in Laraethien.