Part 69: Regarding the Great Schism of the Elves and the Rise of the Dark Elven EmpireRegarding the Great Schism of the Elves and the Rise of the Dark Elven Empire
About five hundred years before the formation of the Confederation of Wizards, the wizard-lords of the elves that then reigned succeeded in casting down Rjak the Defiler, the most powerful of the ancient wizard-lords and the progenitor of the orcish folk. Though wizardry in those days was yet little-developed, not having made the great strides that came about the time of the Confederation, the joined power of Elwen, the Horned King, Entaia, the Fair Queen, and Elaissea, who later became known as the Dark Empress, was sufficient to overcome the armies and might of Rjak and bring armed lords of the elves into Rjak's very fortress, stabbing this son of the Dark Gods with their spears until even his divine essence could not endure the injuries. And thus Rjak perished.
Following the death of Rjak, Elaissea, who herself had pacted with the Dark Gods, remonstrated with Entaia and Elwen, saying that their victory over Rjak proved the right of elves to enthrall all other peoples, but neither Entaia nor Elwen truly trusted Elaissea, nor did they approve of submission to gods Dark or Bright, and they threatened that they should lead their armies to cast down Elaissea. There was a time of great warfare, where the already-weakened elven kingdoms began to crumble, losing strength in comparison to the great empire of the Brown Men and younger realms of other Men. It seemed that Elaissea and her kingdom should be cast down entirely, but Elaissea developed the first magic that permitted an escape from Arcanus to Myrror, emerging on Heimveldisland with a few thousand of her loyal followers.
The war between the elves now exiled on Myrror and the beastkin native to Heimveldisland was bitter and brutal, but the slain were raised by the magic of Elaissea, who was very skilled in both Dark and Nature magic, and with soulless corpses she battered the armies of the beastkin. Many beastkin were slain and others enthralled, and the elves of Elaissea throve in a rich land, unchallenged by any who could match her might in magic, or by any empire with the strength and territory that served to challenge the wizard-lords on Arcanus. Elaissea, drawing upon the strong magic of Myrror, much richer than the magic of Arcanus, wove power into the very bodies of her folk. Elves, already naturally apt at magic, grew to command magic with an ease unmatched by any folk on either world, and, as a side-effect, their skins darkened to a marvelously pure black. With their new appearance and with their new habitation on a world darker than Arcanus, the folk under Elaissea named themselves the Dark Elves.
Over about five hundred years the Empire gathered strength and subjugated the whole of the Great Archipelago, for none of the foes of the Empire could match the magic of Elaissea. A great alliance of dwarven kingdoms sought to join their strength for a hope to resist the Empire, but by then Confederation of Wizards launched its own invasion of Myrror in the year 102. In 121 Elaissea was slain by forces under the command of the Horned King Elwen, and Elwen began a program to butcher every dark elf he could find. By his persuasion he convinced Entaia to cede all territories she had conquered of the dark elves to him in exchange for other lands Elwen had conquered, so that Elwen could purge every dark elf conquered by the high elves. Still, other wizards yet ruled some of the dark elves, and so their folk survived this great slaughter.