Old Elven Kingdoms
While the common man knows elves only as neighbours, travellers, troubledors, trouble-makers and stories, learned men know that long before the Great Southern Empire raised it’s banners, before even The Old Kingdoms strove against one another, that the Elves had their own kingdoms.
Most of their names have been lost to history; and even the elves hold only a few sacred in stories they tell and songs they sing. Though Elves hold high their history, they do not relate it to many outsiders, and thus only fragments have been gathered by recent scholars.
What is known is that the kingdoms were great, and that there were several. They have left many ruins behind, for the craftsmanship of the Old Elven kingdoms seems beyond even what present day Elves and Dwarves could accomplish.
Some modern cities are built on the ruins of ancient Elven Citadels, and deep within catacombs ancient Elven Burial grounds or dungeons may be left, and some say it is from these that some of the worlds strangest horrors emerge.
Other ruins are set deep within the Melnais Forest, far away on beaten paths, or just outside small villages. Some seek old elven treasures within, but most such places are rightfully seen as cursed; old places of a fallen race.
It is that fall, the end of the Elven kingdoms, that is the most troubling thing for scholars of other races. Many Elven songs speak of the twilight of their race, of ancient curses and the defilement of old laws. They speak of the end of the Elven kingdoms as a thing of nature, unavoidable.
It is clear that while the end of some of the Elven kingdoms is reasonably obvious; The Last, for example, was conquered by the Great Southern Empire during it’s expansion into the North… Unclear however is why the others fell, or why Kingdoms so powerful in magic, lore and culture seemed to fall one after another to people that elves still regard, generally, as ‘Barbarians’. Some old Curse, some great secret shame? Elven lore seem to hint at some Transgression so monstrous it doomed the whole race, but whether this is more than just fairytale, none can say.