Eal-Deliah, the proud…

Eal-Deliah, the mighty…

Eal-Deliah, the dream.

For-more than 3,000 years stood Eal Deliah and ruled proudly all lands between the mountains of Giat in the west and the ocean to the east, the artic desert in the north and the shores of the Southern Sea. There was nothing and noone who could dispute her claim to be the largest, mightiest and most beautiful town of Forostar, and all those who saw her beauty with their own eyes were blinded by its wealth and power.

The houses were created of rosy quartz, shining white marble, ornamented limestone and rainbow-colored gems. It was said when the sun set on the city, the light sparkled in colors which are nowadays lost to us. And as colorful as her buildings were her people. Proud, tall Elves, wearing armours in shining silver, sparkling blue and lush green, bright yellow, crimson and black. Their faces noble and grim, beautiful and fierce, they ruled the world.

When the horns of war called the heroes to arms, the mighty gates opened and a stream of deadly colours flowed out of Eal-Deliah, like avenging angels sitting on powerful destriers, and carried the terror of righteous wrath into the lands of Orcs and Goblins, throwing the barbarians back into the wilds.

But Eal-Deliah was also the city of knowledge and scholarship. Dedicated to Taniel, the God of Light, Order and Knowledge, her citizens carried the torch of civilization and progress into the remote parts of Forostar, teaching tolerance and order.

But despite her military prowess and academic elite, she was not without flaw. Her weakness was her greatest sin: Pride.

When the Humans landed near the Southern Sea, the Elves considered them barely more than animals. And like animals some wanted to enslave them, while others intended to befriend them. Never did it cross their mind that Humans are most versatile, cunning and dangerous if mortally offended. The appeasement faction among the Elves finally won and Human nobles were invited to the Elvish Court. The reasons why the negotiations failed are not known, for both sides blame the other, but it seems as if a young Human warrior of royal blood was the cause. Hurt in their pride the Humans left, just to return later with a raiding party led by the same young warrior who caused the quarrel.

The young noble showed despite his age an amazing tactical skill leading his small army past the Elvish outposts into the heart of the northern forests and attacked the sleeping city of Eal-Deliah from the east, a direction no Elf would have ever expected. Clad in grey iron, wielding longswords and battle-axes, the Human warriors stormed the gates and conquered nearly half the city before the first Elvish defenders closed their lines. Then fierce house to house fighting started, with the Elves slightly outnumbered, since most of the army was off to a campaign against marauding goblins. The Elves fought with desperation, the Humans with hate. Both sides battled long and hard, and great deeds were done, but are long forgotten and unsung – except for one.

It is said that the steward of Eal-Deliah challenged the young Human general in the midst of the raging battle, and both fought for nearly an hour, exchanging blows with sword and axe. Finally the Human landed a crippling strike to the Elf’s swordarm and smashed him down to the ground. Legend tells us, that as the Human towered over the hurt Elf, he spoke those words: “Animals you call us, so animals we shall be. Thou shallst experience how it feels to be without home, to be cast out. Thou shallst live to see your city burn, Elf.” Then they bound the steward to a tree and made him watch the Human invaders defeat and slay the last defenders, laying waste to the entire city.

But the valiant sacrifice of the Elvish garrison was not done in vain. They stalled the Human attack long enough for many of the civilians to flee the town, and to bring survival to the Elvish nation. Days later, when the first survivors returned to the smoldering ruins of their once proud capital, they swore an oath to never let it happen again and avenge their dead. So they retreated back to the north, deeper into the forest, and founded a new town, with high walls and strong towers. They named it Elvandar, in memory of the lost home of all Elves.

The ruined city herself was forgotten, for both Elves and Humans avoided going there, yes, even mentioning it. It is said that during the battle and shortly after, great evil possessed the town and twisted everything which once was beautiful and good into pure wickedness. The reasons for it are unknown – or too terrible to tell.

Newer rumours, though, speak of someone having rediscovered the ancient city of Eal-Deliah. May the gods protect the adventurers who dare to go there…