Estea: The Shadows Lengthen
This book was found in the hidden library of Queen Illestra in the Tilting Tower before it collapsed into Mere Illestra. It is challenging to read because it is written in a dense and scholarly ancient Elven Tongue – and on frail and crumbling paper.
This book is an Ancient text describing an alliance between elf and dwarf and a network of magic portals that connected their realms.
Angrildrin means Silver Road in Dwarvish.
From an initial scan Coryn can see that the book was written by an Elven historian in Andilhar perhaps 3 or 4 thousand years ago. The paper is very brittle and some pages are cracked, broken, or missing.
Coryn is preparing a rough translation from the original Elvish the book is written in, to Dwarvish.
The first chapter tells how a human ruler rose in the nation of Sardia, Venimar Al’manzor. He was the youngest of two sons. His elder brother died in a hunting accident and his father choked on a grape. He rose to become king and slowly expanded the empire into neighbouring areas – mostly through mercantile strength and economic pressure – but also with strength of arms and the strongest fleet in Estasia.
In time King Venimar introduced new laws, banning elf, dwarf, and halfling from the empire – seizing their property and casting them out. This new wealth further strengthened Sardia’s power – allowing them to expand their army, and their trade routes began to rival that of the Imperial Dwarves in Karakas.
The chapter ends with a description of the elf king of Andilhar mustering their army and navy to challenge the might of Sardia.
The elven navy of Andilhar was unrivaled in Estasia. Much flowery prose goes into praise for the ships and their heroic captains.
It is true that Sardia’s fleet was the larger of the two, but the bulk of it was trading vessels – ill-suited for war and hopelessly inadequate against the elven warships of Andilhar – enchanted for speed and durability. They were also accompanied by a flight of wood elf griffon riders that scouted for the fleet.
The ships of Sardia were easily routed into the Bay of Stars and beyond that into the mouth of the Azure River. The elves’ enchanted ballistae, mages, and griffin riders gave them a distinct advantage over the Sardians. The breakwater was breached and the elven fleet seemed destined to vanquish their foe.
The only challenge that lay before them was the Tower of High Sorcery on the cliffside of Estarcul. Above it dark clouds were brewing and the occasional bolt of lightning danced down its ancient stones. Even so, the elves were confident that their elder magic would be more than a match for anything the Sardian sorcerers could throw at them.
It was when it seemed like victory was in their grasp that the tide turned. A great rolling clap of thunder tore at their sails and a massive bolt of lightning struck the great Colossus which stood over the breakwall in the Bay of Stars.
The Colossus suddenly animated, its stony eyes now a blaze of white light – swatting down a number of griffons in moments. It towered over the elven fleet and swamped ships as its long strides took it to waters thick with elven vessels. Flames rolled off of it without effect as it struck down ballistae towers, crippled masts, and swept elven soldiers and mages into the sea.
From the Tower of High Sorcery more bolts of lightning were directed at the crippled elven fleet and at the griffon riders who were desperately searching for a weakness in the Colossus.
It was then that a number of Sardian ships revealed themselves in the open water beyond the breakwall. They had been masked by magic. The ships that were trapped at the mouth of the river were not the full force of the Sardian navy.
The remnants of the elven navy were now trapped in the harbour and were getting picked off one by one. The remaining ships set course for ramming speed and drove into the thick of the Sardian ships that were bottled into the neck of the river.
With a final incantation on the elven Archmage’s lips the elf fleet exploded in white flame amongst their enemy – taking many with them – but ultimately perishing.
The chapter ends with the few surviving griffon riders reporting to the elf king of the destruction of his fleet.
The third chapter of Angrildrin is a collection of loosely edited correspondences between the Elves of Andilhar and the Imperial Dwarves of Karakas. It was not clear as to the methods – whether poison or pacts with devils and demons – but the royalty and leaders of both nations began to die mysteriously.