Part 40: Regarding Dark ElvesRegarding Dark Elves
The dark elves are that portion of the kin of elvendom that split from their parents and kin, and in the far past travelled from Arcanus to our own world of Myrror- for where their kin held that elves might with profit befriend other peoples, the dark elves held that elven superiority over all the races of the worlds was obvious and apparent. Like unto their kin of Arcanus, the dark elves had great skill in the arts of magic, and under their own Wizard-Empress did they forge a mighty empire over much of Myrror that enslaved whatsoever other peoples they did dominate and sorely press the free kingdoms of the dwarves that yet resisted. These wars came to a sudden end when the Confederation of Wizards spilled forth from Arcanus and subjugated all the lands of Myrror, and at the command of the high elves of the Confederation were many of the towns of the dark elves laid waste and their people, aged, adult, and child, all put to the sword. Nonetheless under wizards of the Confederation who were not of the high elves did certain of the dark elves survive, and it has proven that even now some dark elves yet survive after the collapse of the Confederation. They may be recognised by their great height, matching that of men, their slender frames, and their dark skin.
The dark elves as we see them today are a diminished people, but nonetheless knowledge of the arts of magic seems nigh-universal amongst their people, though in matters of commerce and the trades they are hopelessly backwards compared to dwarves. The concepts of investment, moneylending, and proper bookkeeping seem utterly absent in Blademarsh, and few of them even trade in coin from what we have seen. They are ruled by a queen, Azanaia, who holds her rule and the rule of her line as ordained by the gods. Although her wizardry is no match for that of our own Queen Dagmaer, she nonetheless dabbles in powers of chaos and of darkness, and her soldiers are trained in basic magics of chaos. Unlike our own kings and queens, she was not chosen by Kingsmoot, but rather inherited her crown from her own mother, and the dark elves have other hereditary nobles who hold position by right of their laws over their many thralls and few free elves. They are lovers of beauty, and their nobles greedily hoard their works of fine artisanship, but as miners and as craftsmen their techniques are primitive and crude, save perhaps in ornamental woodcarving, at which they excel. Rather than building homes of timber and stone, they plant great trees in their town, and build in the branches wooden platforms with canopies of canvas as their dwellings, with buildings on the ground reserved for such workshops, smithies, and strong places as could not be constructed in a tree. Of old they achieved great learning, although in this modern era it would appear much of their learning has been lost or hoarded in secret by their nobles.
They revere many gods with a passion greater than that often seen in dwarves, but of the gods they revere only one would seem to be of the Bright Gods. The Great Lady of Beauty, according to their beliefs, is the sanctifier of weddings, the granter of fertility, and the healer of the sick, and seeks those whose discipline in seeking pleasure lets them achieve heights of pleasure without dissipation. Her depiction by the dark elves appears, traditionally, to be a dark elven maiden of surpassing beauty, either nude or dressed in filmy clothing. It seems clear that this is their own understanding of the Serene Mother. Amongst the names of their other gods are the Hoarder of Secrets, the Revenger of Slights, the Mistress of Thralls, and many others, none of whom bear describing in any detail as their attributes and tenets are foul and perverse.
They are ancient enemies of the dwarves, and were tramplers upon dwarven freedom when granted the chance. It is sure they will not tolerate dwarven rule easily.