"Elves of the Northern Vale" A Tundrawolf Story

Elves Hardly Ever Cry

The Dark Lord rode out from the shadows astride a powerful black stallion. Close behind him on their own strong mounts came three of his four Dread Lords who were followed by one of his Dark Stars and twelve incredibly huge barbarian slave warriors. The Dark Lord led them up a narrow path to the top of a rocky outcropping jutting from the mountain wall. As far as he could see it was the highest point around and gave him the best view of the High King’s stronghold and the spacious field laying to the front of it. He wished to watch as the final parts of his plan to destroy the Elven Vale played out.

It was the darkest part of the night with sunrise only a few short hours away when the Dark Lord rode up onto the top of the rocks. The darkness was growing even deeper as the winter storm picked up in intensity once again and dense black storm clouds moved in. The wind blowing through the Vale ignited a firestorm in the forests and villages on the hills around the stronghold. The fires were too far away to provide any light and it could not penetrate the darkness of the thick flurries of smoke, ash and snow blowing about the hills. Heavy gusts of wind also blew the thick flurries through the Elves standing below cutting down their vision to just a few paces. The only usable light on this side of the Vale came from the Elven stronghold which seemed to have every lamp and torch burning along its fortifications and battlements.

The Dark Lord awaited the last of his Dread Lords who was pushing his black steed hard across the floor of the Vale. He was returning from a failed mission to take the large tunnel the Elves constructed in the side of the valley wall. He thought the Elves extremely foolish as he spied on their efforts over the turns to try and harness the power of the great white wyrms of the north. The Dark Lord planned for a different use of the tunnel to the Top of the World. He wished to channel swirls from the Kingdom of the Fell Ice through it and into the southern lands. With this awesome power at his side there would be no enemies able to stand against him.

To his great anger the black sorcerers in charge of the attack on the Elven Mages and soldiers protecting the tunnel made their move too soon. They were not powerful enough to strike down those with the Good Magick. Only his Dread Lord stood a chance against the defenders of the tunnel and he arrived too late. The Elves were able to implement their powerful wards of Good Magick protecting the breach. They pulled down the support timbers running throughout it’s entire length, collapsing it totally, before they were overwhelmed. By the time his Dread Lord arrived the opening was sealed and no longer a link to the Fell Ice.

The attack on the western end of the Vale was saved for last. With the destruction of the dome and the House of Mage Lore the Dark Lord could feel the strength of the Good Magick in the Vale reduced dramatically. The palace of the High King was the last bastion left for the Elven magick to reside in. The palace was the stronghold the Elves named ‘Morfgroth Dorthore’. It was a mighty, gleaming fortress with thick walls of stone and powerful wards of the Good Magick protecting it. It lay nestled against the mountain walls of the Vale with a great field of grass before it. The Dark Lord sat upon his black steed and watched as the black horde of his army chased the last of the refugees from throughout the Vale into the safety of the stronghold.

The Master of the black horde took a closer look at those who stood upon the large expanse of grass-covered field before the Elven stronghold. He looked upon the Elven army, aligned row after row, standing before his approaching horde. There were thousands upon thousands of Elven soldiers almost filling the huge field. The bulk of the Elven army were heavily armored infantry carrying tall sturdy shields and holding long, wickedly pointed spears.

Interspersed among the front lines of the Elven infantry were the large wolves from the snowy plain. They moved in unison with the soldiers as they fought alongside pulling down his attacking slave warriors for the Elves to dispatch with a sword or spear strike. The Dark Lord could see they only left the sides of the Elves to attack his black wolves when they came in close. The big wolves could not abide their mortal enemies on the field. Behind the Elven infantry and in front of the stronghold walls stood several thousands of archers carrying tall longbows. They fired volley after volley of arrows far over the heads of the infantry into his black horde with devastating effect. On each side of the army waiting in the wings the Dark Lord could see thousands of Elven cavalry next to the tall mountain walls the stronghold was built against. These mounted soldiers were also heavily armored as were the horses they sat upon. Their formations rode in circles on the field churning up the ground as they anxiously waited for the call to battle. Lastly the Dark Lord watched as Mages moved to the forefront of the Elven lines and joined with others who were already there. They each carried their dangerous staffs of power in which they collected strands of the Good Magick. The Mages were deadly with the staffs as they used them to wield streams of white fire.

The Dark Lord looked on as his horde of slave warriors and black wolves, being pushed by his Dark Stars, began their attacks on the Elven host. Wave after wave of the horde started falling on the Elven lines and each one broke like water against rock. He tolerated a quick thought of regret as he watched the battle below. It was a pity to destroy these Elven warriors and large wolves who were such an effective fighting force. He was annoyed the spells of compulsion through the Black Magick were not strong enough to enslave them. What an army he would have if they could be bound to his will. Every Elf of the Vale and wolf of the snowy plains were endowed with the spirit of the Good Magick. It resided very strong in some while in others it could be very weak. No matter the strength they all carried the magick and it denied his efforts to control them. The Dark Lord spent countless hours studying the thousands of spells on the ancient sheepskin scrolls of the Black Druids and could find no spell to counteract the Good Magick. Just as he could not take the life force of an Elf or Tundra Wolf through sacrifice on the altar table, he could not take their will for the bonds of enslavement. The only option left to the him was to destroy them utterly.

He quickly forgot his thoughts of enslavement and sacrifice and turned his attention back to the battle at hand. He was unconcerned as he watched his slave warriors and black wolves die by the thousands attacking the Elven army below. He was not bothered as hundreds of his black sorcerers were burned down by the Elven Mages with flames of white fire from their staffs of power. As the Dark Lord sat upon his horse he went into the minds of others on the Vale lands and under them ensuring all was ready. The last of his Dread Lords came riding up the rocky outcrop on his lathered black steed who was close to death. With all of them now at his side he prepared to send out the orders that would put the next part of his terrible plan in motion.


The High Mage to the King rushed from the throne room with five Battle Mages around him and thirty of the Mage Guard following. He was making his way through hallways crowded with soldiers to the walls of the stronghold. The High Mage had just spent the last several hours since the falling of the dome persuading High King Adorellan to stay in the palace proper with his family. He was still somewhat angry having to take so much time with the ‘child King’, as he thought of him. Nardual thought anyone under a thousand turns old a child. He wished the King’s father Adraillion was still in the Vale, he would have known how to take charge of this situation. The time the High Mage spent with the King could have been better used arranging the Elven army against the attacking forces of the Black Magic. Fortunately there were several High Generals staying at the palace when the attacks began. They too were young and close friends of the High King, he hoped they didn’t muck it up too much.

The Generals had quickly rushed to the  garrisons within the stronghold and wasted no time ordering soldiers to the field. They sent commands through the aether summoning those of the Elven army throughout the Vale to report to ‘Morfgroth Dorthore’ without delay. There was a chance Elves weak in the White might not hear the call. So the Generals also had the Horn of Filvandor blown which signaled Elves an immediate threat was upon the Vale. The horn was huge and made of brass running through the mountain wall above the stronghold. It was built into the rock and one slight puff on the mouthpiece sent a bellow reverberating throughout the Vale. It was at least an age since the blowing of the horn as far as Nardual could remember, but every Elf knew the warning it sounded. Warriors throughout the Vale would be rushing to get to the stronghold.

The Generals should have also sounded the Bell of Valindra hanging in the mountains above the horn. The Bell was also huge and made of brass. With one slight pull of a slender rope the Bell was set in motion sending deep gongs throughout the Vale. The Bell’s tolling meant beware, be cautious, enemies about. The High Mage worried as he ran to the walls of the stronghold. The High Generals sent no note of caution when summoning the soldiers, no warning of potential ambush from roving bands of the black horde. How many soldiers would he see on the field when he reached the walls he wondered, how many would be lost in their haste to get here. There was nothing for it, the High Generals were making the plans and giving the orders while he had been stuck arguing with the High King.

The High Mage Nardual ran to the tallest battlements over looking the wide expanse of the ‘Belanor Folas’ below. Not knowing what to expect he was awe struck when he looked down upon row after row of Elven soldiers arrayed on the field of Belanor before the stronghold of Morfgroth, and more were still coming out of the gates and moving through the lines into their commands. In all of his long turns never did Nardual see the field filled with so many warriors ready to do battle. It was only ever used as a parade field showing but a glimpse of the Elven might of the Northern Vale. Light from the stronghold and from flickering torch flames on the field reflected off of the gleaming armor and weapons of the thousands of Elven warriors. The strong winds and blowing snow of the winter storm had no affect on the soldiers as they stood arrow straight in their fighting formations.

The High Mage to the King looked down to see how well the Generals laid out the forces of the Elven army. On the front lines were Mages of all orders standing shoulder to shoulder with the Mage Guard. The Mages stood still and held their staffs forward while silently chanting. With his Mage Sight Nardual could see wisps of White Magic being drawn into bright balls of white fire growing on ends of their staffs. The warriors of the Mage Guard in their bright winged helms and flowing black cloaks stood in rings around the Mages. If an enemy came near these warriors would become blurs on the field as they moved swiftly and fluidly striking them down. These soldiers were strong in the White Magic and it gave them great speed, stamina and strength. With shield and sword the Mage Guard would fight to the death defending the Mages who needed time to draw the White Magic into their staffs.

As Nardual watched the first blows of battle were starting as brilliant flashes lit up the night along the front lines of the Elven host. Mages were beginning to unleash streams of white fire into the black horde as it drew near. He could see their prime targets were the black sorcerers who were driving the slave warriors to attack. With the power of the Sight he saw the bodies of the sorcerers burning and giving off the foul residue of the Black Magic as a thick oily black smoke blowing about in the wind.

On the left side of the field the High Mage could see warriors of the Norvale Guard in their blue tinted armor. They held long spears pointed to the sky with flags flying on the ends of sky-blue trimmed in gold. Over two hundred of the gate warriors had escaped the terrible fate of their brethren. They had been garrisoned at the stronghold for training and parade duty when the attacks came. The Norvale Guard stood at the front lines behind the Mage Guard. They no doubt wanted payback for their fallen comrades the High Mage thought.

On the right side of the field opposite the Norvale Guard were five hundred of the House Guard to the High King. They stood in two lines across the field in their burnished heavy armor reflecting the gold tint. Their flags of gold trimmed in silver shown brightly in the torch light as they fluttered wildly from the wind of the storm. The House Guard was the army of the High King and the ones standing below were one of the ways Nardual persuaded the High King to stay with his family. He commanded the Generals to put a token force of the Golden Warriors on the field to fight in place of the High King. Normally all of the House Guard would be in the stronghold with the King and his family. Five hundred of the House Guard’s strongest soldiers stood ready to fight behind the Mage Guard. The other two thousand manned the walls of the stronghold.

Lastly the High Mage looked upon the warriors making up the bulk of the Elven host below. In their plain steel armor and flying flags of many colors stood the Royal Army of the Northern Vale. Nardual did not know their numbers but he could see thousands of them holding shield, spear and bow stretching across the field of Belanor. Most of the cavalry waiting in the wings as well as a good portion of the soldiers guarding the walls of the stronghold were also of the Royal Army. These were some of the finest warriors of the Vale and the Elves of all of the Guards below had started as a soldier in the Royal Army.

Nardual was amazed that such an army of Elven warriors could be fielded in so little time. Most of the House Guard were garrisoned at the stronghold, as were the remaining Norvale Guard plus two thousand of the Royal Army. That accounted for about five thousand of the soldiers below. The High Mage estimated the other fifteen to twenty-thousand warriors had to make their way to the stronghold after the attacks began. Most had their homes in the city of Horith-Ellan that lay not too far to the north. The rest came from surrounding dells close to the stronghold. Nardual was puzzled as to how so many made it through the roving bands of enemy warriors virtually unscathed. Every where he looked on the eastern side of the Vale floor Elven bands were being attacked and destroyed by overwhelming forces of slave warriors driven by black sorcerers coming from holes opened up in the ground. Nardual could see the Elven warriors standing in front of the stronghold were now the only effective fighting force left within the entire Vale, and the army was now all in one place. The High Mage was troubled by that thought as he looked beyond the Elven lines to the black horde that approached.

He scanned the land beyond the Elven lines wanting to get a good look at the enemy before going down to join the Host below.  The High Mage cowered a bit when he saw the vast horde of slave warriors, black sorcerers and Grim Wolves. They were moving to form a solid front against the Elven lines fanning out in front of the stronghold. He grew a bit nauseous when he felt the thick taint of the foul Black Magic emanating from the approaching horde. He could see evil black sorcerers driving gangs of slave warriors into the Elven lines as they chased after refugees who still ran for safety from the Vale floor. The lines opened up to let the fleeing Elves through and then quickly closed once they passed and braced themselves for the charge of slave warriors and black wolves. The enemy warriors ran into a wall made of the armored Elven soldiers carrying tall shields and weapons of spear and sword. They were quickly dispatched as the soldiers impaled them with their spears and hacked off their heads with their long swords. Black wolves ran out from between the legs of the enemy warriors and jumped at the Elves with snarling black fangs. Tundra Wolves met the black wolves wherever they could find them. Terrible wolf fights broke out and the battle they fought was to the death. The Elven soldiers helped where they could as they locked shields to block the black wolves and killed them as they stabbed down with their long spears. Nardual was proud as he watched the Elven army work and most proud of his Mages as they sent their streams of white fire into the enemy horde.

Nardual thought on the death knells of Orndacil and Ilphas he heard earlier in the night. Theirs were just two amongst the thousands of other Elves meeting their end this night. His sorrow was deep but there was no time to dwell on it. He was now the most powerful High Mage of the Northern Vale, a title he had never desired and one he did not think he would hold for long. The attack on the Vale was too well planned and too well coordinated. He felt a trap as he looked down at the mass of Elven forces below. There was no way the black horde could overcome these soldiers of the Vale as he watched every charge they made break upon the lines. He felt deep into his bones something else was coming and he worried he would not be up to the fight when it did. But there was nothing else for it Nardual thought as he looked on. This was the battle before him, he would do his best alongside the brave Elven warriors below.

The High Mage wondered where such a horde tainted so heavily in the Black Magic came from. How such a huge army of evil was not detected outside the bounds of the Vale was unimaginable. There must be some magic at work here able to hide such a horde, but such a magic was inconceivable to him. For one brief moment he recalled a memory, one from so very long ago, when a young Elf of the Western Vale bravely confronted Ilphas, Orndacil and himself to give dire warning of this very threat building deep in the Grimfangs. Sadly, he thought, if only they had not been so quick to dismiss this young Elf and his tidings of ominous peril. He took one last look at the field below and then left the high battlements. With five Battle Mages around him and thirty of the Mage Guard following they ran from the walls of the stronghold for the main gate below. It was time to join the Elven army and aid in the battle against the attacking horde.

The High Mage and those following him arrived at the center of the front lines to stand with the Mages already there. Battle was immediately upon them as the black horde began their advance on the Elven forces. It was brutal and deadly with no mercy given by either side. For Nardual there was no feeling of time passing as he fought alongside his Battle Mages. His whole world became a routine with no beginning and no end: channel the White Magic into his staff, shape it into a sphere of white fire, unleash it into the attacking black horde, and repeat. Only the wall of burning bodies in front of him gave a hint time did indeed pass as it grew higher with each stream of white fire he sent into the horde.

Finally a lull in the fighting allowed the High Mage to take a step back and assess the battle. When Nardual first joined the front line contact with the horde was spotty and only at the center of the line was the fighting constant. Now as he looked up and down the front he could see the whole of it was fully engaged against the black horde. To his relief the line held and looked as strong as it did when he joined, and more importantly no breaches were achieved by the enemy. As Elven soldiers fell along the line there were many behind to step in and take their place. The only cause for concern that Nardual could see were the Mages. They were precious to the fighting Elves and when one fell none were in reserve to step in and take their place. The bands of five black sorcerers joined with others along the line to bring the Mages down with their black fire. Although they succeeded in killing some most of the bands failed and were destroyed. Battle Mages with the Mage Guard at their side hunted down these bands of evil all across the front line. Under shields of the White Magic the Battle Mages waded in and burned them to the ground while the Mage Guard hacked them to pieces.

The High Mage could see staggering losses piling up on the side of the black horde as their forces broke on the Elven lines time and again. The slave warriors making up most of the dark horde fought with little skill and fell by the thousands to Elven blades. The black fire came less and less as the black sorcerers wielding it were hunted down and destroyed. Only the cowardly Grim Wolves seemed to be the greatest threat to the Elven soldiers. Nardual could see the spell of bloodlust as it lay thick on the vile beasts. It made them savagely fierce with a mindless courage as they brutally attacked the Elven line. Nardual said a prayer of thanks to the White Magic for the Tundra Wolves standing with them. Packs of the great wolves moved up and down the line tearing in to the black wolves wherever they found them. With the strength of the Wild Wolf Magic running through the Tundras the evil beasts could not stand against them. The High Mage was beginning to have hope the Elves could win this fight and defeat this evil, even though they were still greatly outnumbered. As Nardual took a moment to catch his breath he looked to the east and could see rays of the sun trying to pierce the heavy gloom of the storm. There was still hope, the High Mage thought, that the Northern Vale of the Elves would see another day.

As the High Mage to the King prepared himself to return to the fight the ground began to move beneath his feet. It started as a tremor that quickly became a shake turning so severe the High Mage was knocked off of his feet. Nardual covered himself as he lay on ground violently rising and falling. The noise of the earth and rocks grinding together was deafening. The High Mage began a prayer to the White Magic feeling this surely was the end of him.

As quickly as the earthquake began it ended with a sudden stop, only the noise of sporadic rock falls and landslides could be heard from near and far away. Nardual arose into a darkness greater than what he experienced at the height of the storm. He realized he was in a great cloud of heavy dust as he drew in ragged breaths and coughed on the thick grit. He could see near to him the Battle Mages and Mage Guard he fought with rising up from the ground. Beyond that everything was a blur in the swirling darkness as the wind from the storm began to attack the dust. He looked to the east and could no longer see the brightening sky from the rising sun. He looked to the west and could see a large dim glow from the lamps and torches burning on the walls of the stronghold. He was surprised and relieved that the stronghold of Morfgroth still stood. Lastly he looked to the field and searched for the glow of the torches Elven warriors held throughout. Even as the dust began to clear from the gusting wind he saw none across the field of Belanor. As the dust cleared even more the High Mage began to realize why no torches burned on the field before him. The realization horrified him as he looked upon the ‘Belanor Folas’.

Nardual could see many great craters in the earth where minutes ago a field of lush grass lay, the field of Belanor was no more. The only part still standing was the road leading to the main gate of the stronghold. The Elven army standing on the field was gone, save for a few hundred on the road and handfuls here and there desperately trying to balance themselves on crumbling paths around the holes. The High Mage looked in amazement at the destruction. The voids were huge, maybe fifty paces across, and went deep into the earth. He could not imagine the amount of labor it must have taken to dig them from below. He looked at the sides and could see a thick layer of hard volcanic rock running through each. The High Mage suspected this to be the reason the taint of Black Magic was not felt strongly throughout the Vale. The hard rock must have blocked the evil taint and allowed the black horde to move about freely under the Vale.

With his Mage Sight Nardual looked to the bottom of the holes close to him. He could see thousands of Elven warriors lying throughout. Most lay dead, crushed and buried from the fall, but in many scattered throughout the floor of the pits the spark of White Magic still glowed. ‘Elves yet live below!’ he thought excitedly. A horrible realization came to the High Mage when he could see it would not be for long. From caves deep underground slave warriors with black sorcerers following entered into the bottoms of the deep pits. With tears forming in his eyes Nardual watched helplessly as the sparks winked out wherever the enemy bands went.

The High Mage got over his shock and looked about. The soldiers on the road were forming up and marching towards him. A handful of Tundras on the crumbling paths around the holes had joined them with more running towards the road. Elves on the paths were also making their way to the road, some were walking his way while others closer to the stronghold were heading there. Sliding earth and rocks could be heard from the holes throughout the field. The screams of Elves dying below could also be heard but fortunately the gusting wind covered most of their pain. The dust over the field was blown into the open sky above mixing with the clouds. Darkness still reigned over all save the stronghold that seemed to have added more torches to its walls. The darkness over the High Mage and his Elves was only broken by flashes of lightning across the early morning sky. Nardual could no longer see the light of the early morning sun in the east as thick dark storm clouds moved in once again over the Vale.

Amidst the booms of thunder the black horde stood still and eerily silent. Even the Grim Wolves were still as they sat on their haunches amongst the warriors and heavily panted. The horde was massed in a half circle around the collapsed field and faced towards the stronghold. The High Mage could not believe their numbers, thousands upon thousands stood facing the stronghold. Nardual briefly wondered how so many would attack the stronghold now that the main road was the only firm ground for them to march on.

The High Mage’s wondering was cut short as ten bands of black sorcerers took up places in a half circle facing the Elves on the road. Each band of sorcerers were under their domes of protection made from the Black Magic. Nardual could see the evil magic pulse in waves of dark inky smoke as it slithered over the domes like the film moves over a soap bubble. Five sorcerers were in each bubble standing as if they were on the points of a star. Their crooked black staffs were leveled at the Elves and Nardual could see they were calling black fire into them. The Battle Mages around him began to softly chant and call White Magic into their staffs. The soldiers of the Mage Guard moved slowly taking up positions around the Mages while calling down the White Magic as a shield around them. Surely the black sorcerers could see this, Nardual thought, but they did nothing to stop it The High Mage wondered why they were not attacking.

He did not have to wonder for long as he watched the horde part for five riders on black steeds coming towards him.


The very dim light of morning was starting to break as the sun rising in the east tried to send its rays through the heavy clouds of the storm above. The Dark Lord with his Dread Lords arrayed around him looked across the valley of the Elves and down at the battle below. The Elven Vale was all but destroyed, swept clean by his forces. All that stood before him was this Elven army and their stronghold. Behind the fortifications of the citadel he could see the Royal Palace of the High King against the tall strong mountainside of stone. The polished pink stone of the palace was a bright contrast to the black rock of the Grimfang Mountains. The home of the High King was his ultimate goal and soon he would be standing within.  He looked upon the forces that opposed him and implemented the last of his plan. He called upon the Black Magick and sent out his orders through the aether.

On the fields outside of the Elven fortress, where the mighty Elven host stood, over two dozen great holes suddenly opened in the earth. In a great rumble shaking the ground all throughout the western end of the Vale massive amounts of rock and earth fell. Along with it fell almost all of the Elven host. Paths were left between the holes where some Elven warriors and the wolves with them still stood. They were quickly slain as swarms of mindless warriors came up through the open maws in the ground and those in the Vale charged down the crumbling paths. Only a small band of Elven Mages, a few hundred warriors and a handful of wolves were left standing. They were not to be harmed by the Dark Lords orders. These he would put in his deepest dungeons. From them he would learn how to feed on an Elven life force. The small band of Elves stood on the road leading to the main gate of the stronghold which was spared from collapse. The Dark Lord ordered his Dark Stars to disarm them, bind them and take them below.

There were still thousands of Elven warriors and Mages standing between the Dark Lord and his prey, the High King of the Vale. They stood along the mighty walls of the stronghold, somber from the loss of so many of their brethren, but ready to do battle. Already siege machines from atop the walls were launching stones and ceramic jugs of burning oil alongside archers sending volleys of arrows in dark clouds down on the horde. The Dark Lord rode down from the rocky outcropping and towards the stronghold. As he rode he gave the final order to the slaves awaiting below ground. Holes opened beneath the mighty stone structures that had stood for thousands upon thousands of turns. The walls crumbled and fell crushing the siege machines and the defenders that were upon them. The cry of so many Elves passing on to the White Magic at once made a dreadful noise in the aether. The death knell alarmed all of Elven-kind up to half the world away, all heard the fall of the Northern Vale.

The Dark Lord rode virtually unopposed to the steps of the High King’s palace. With him came his Dread Lords, many of his black sorcerers and hundreds of huge, mindless barbarian warriors. Any opposition they came across were quickly put down on their way into the palace. Only the immediate family of the High King, those who carried the royal blood, were spared. They were beaten and bound and then chained to the walls in the royal hall.

The High King Adorellan Nuala stood alongside six of his mightiest House Guards and battled from the dais of his throne room. Filled with the strength of the White Magic and swinging mighty swords the King and his Elves killed many of the Dark Lord’s slaves and black sorcerers. The battle was intense but not long lived as his guards fell one by one at his side. The spell of a Dread Lord brutally disarmed the Elf King and barbarian warriors bludgeoned him to the floor. Adorellan lay bloody and beaten on the ground as they tied him in chains. The battle for the Northern Vale was over.

The Dark Lord entered the palace to finally finish the dreadful buzzing in his head. Behind him six huge barbarian slaves carried the ancient altar table on which countless sacrifices had been performed. Scores of Dark Stars lined up at attention as he entered, his Dread Lords awaited with the High King and his family. The Dark Lords eyes burned with a thousand fires from a face of black, molten stone.

The High King Adorellan was on his knees, bleeding from several wounds. His Queen, Talila, wore a brave face, but softly wept for their children. Their  two daughters cowered next to her tied in bonds of rope. To the High King’s pride his three sons sat defiant, bound in chains like him and still fighting back every chance they got, even with their terrible wounds. As the Dark Lord entered the room and looked upon the captive royal family he grumbled his approval. He approached the High King as the altar table is set on its four stumps behind him.

In a voice that is like two boulders rubbing together the Dark Lord said, “Your Highness, thou seems to hast failed to protect thy people and thy family.”

“Make sure thine King be bound tight,” he said to his black sorcerers. “Fetch yon children for thee sacrifice, one by one.”

The King let out a sorrowful yell and put up a mighty struggle to break free from his chains. A Dread Lord ordered several large barbarian warriors to club him down until he fell to the floor knocked unconscious from the beating. A barbarian warrior then poured a bucket of cold water to wake him out of his senseless state. He reached down and grabbed a handful of the  Elf King’s long blonde hair and forced him to gaze upon the bloody altar table before him.

The High King of the Northern Vale was forced to watch the five masters of the Black Magic take their places at each point of the star that was carved into the table. His oldest son was the first to be dragged to the slab and tied on top with strong ropes of hemp. The Black Druids began to chant in a language that he could not understand. The runes carved all along the table’s edge began to glow with a green fire that does not burn. As they chanted the Dark Lord pulled out an old flint knife from within the folds of his robes. The King could see the knife had finely carved runes along the blade that also glowed with the same green fire as the table. He watched in terror as the knife is raised high in the air over the heart of his son. He cried out in anger and struggled with all of his might against the bonds that held him. He then calmed a bit when he heard his son start to sing a song to summon the White Magic. The High Prince was singing his Elfsong, a song calling to the White Magic to take him. It was a song that only the Elves can hear. Even with the chanting of the five black sorcerers growing ever louder all of the Elves in the hall could hear the song. The vile Black Magic could not overcome the pure, sweet sound when the White Magic was being summoned.

Even though the King knows what was about to happen it was still a shock when the knife plunged into the chest of his oldest son. He knew his son gave himself to the White Magic just before the knife came down but he still feels the deep sorrow of loss. In horror he watched as the knife continued to go up and down, cutting all around his son’s heart. The Royal Family mourns the loss, but the White Magic is strong within them. It gave them peace of mind and an inner strength as they curse the Dark Lord to hell.

No spark of the life force came to the five Black Druids when the knife was plunged into the chest of the Elven Prince. The transfer of power from the rich Royal blood that they so desperately craved and hungered for had been denied them. Once again the White Magick had proven too strong against their evil spells of the Black. The Dark Lord was furious and became enraged at not being able to grasp the power right in front of him. He ordered sacrifice after sacrifice until all that remained of the Royal Family was a pile of bodies on one side of the table and the High King still upon his knees on the other. Each of the Elves had given themselves to the White Magick before he and his Dread Lords could rip their life force away.

“Thy complacency is thy undoing ‘O’ High King!” the Dark Lord roared in a voice of ash and fire as he turned upon the King. “And thy wilt have much time to think upon it!”

To his sorcerers he hissed, “Remove thine Highness to mine deepest dungeons. Make mine Dungeon Master aware.”

With a Dark Star leading, the High King was taken away by a handful of barbarian warriors that shoved and beat him with every step. The King was not aware that he was not the only one to be taken into the deep, dark cells that lay below the deepest caves of the Dark Lord’s realm. Over a thousand Elves who had lived through the invasion were being taken there also. Elves could live forever down in the dark, even with very little food and water. They would become weaker and weaker turning into a wraith of their former selves. The White Magic within them would also weaken, being cut off from the magical heavens above by tons of earth and stone.

The Dark Lord strode out of the palace without a glance back. He could hear the cries of the High King behind him as he was being led away to the dungeons, “No! No! Give me the same fate as my family! I cannot live on like this!” The cries grew fainter as the Dark Lord walked away, soon he could not hear them at all. And the annoying White Magick that resided within the King also dissipated as he was taken deep beneath the earth.

The Dark Lord mounted his horse and looked out upon the Elven Vale. The land was still in flames and choked with smoke and death. The bodies of the Elves were being dragged deep under ground. He had hoped the death and removal of the Elves would have erased the Good Magick from the Vale, but he could feel it would not be so. He could feel the magick was engrained in everything within the valley. He destroyed the aura that so annoyed him over the last several hundred turns with the death of the Elves, but he could not remove the residue of the Good Magick from the earth and the rocks. This Valley of the Elves would never be a place in which he could build a stronghold for himself.

The Dark Lord watched as the palace of the High King crumbled and fell, its stone filling the holes in the field. Under the commands of his Dread Lords the last of the Elven villages and forests were being destroyed as they were put to the torch. His Dark Stars moved about the Vale using spells of Black Magick to fill the openings with rubble and collapse the holes in the earth. He looked to the falling snow and could see it was already covering much throughout the valley. With no protection overhead this land would soon be buried under a deep blanket of it, the lakes and rivers would freeze over and every living thing needing warmth would die. The eternal winter of the Grimfangs was moving in and it would not take long to recover the valley. In the coming days all trace of his attack on the Elves would be erased. All that would be left on the dark and dreary landscape was the taint of the Black Magic and the corruption of the Fell Ice.


When the death nell of thousands from the Northern Vale traveled through the aether of the White Magic it made Elves all throughout the south lands frantic to travel north and aid their brethren who might yet live. Unfortunately they were in the middle of the most brutal of winters and going there would not be easy. Even with the greatest sense urgency to assemble their armies and be on their way it was two full turns of the moon before they arrived at the Norvale Gates.

Packs of Tundras ran with the great Elven army and flooded into the Northern Vale once the mighty gates were opened. They braved the dark swirl of evil magic as they searched through a desolate land covered in ice and snow. Without the protective dome of the White Magic everything in the Vale had died and the land was quickly becoming the same as the slopes of the Grimfangs around them. The wolves looked high and low for any left alive, but not even a body was found. Throughout the destruction of the Vale they found great holes in the ground choked closed with the rubble. All assumed it was the leavings of the great Ice Wryms as they tore through the earth when they attacked. The Elven army entered the desolate Vale but soon grew sick from the evil taint of the Fell Ice. Even with powerful cleansing spells performed by the mightiest of the High Mages from the three southern Vales the corruption could not be cleared. The Northern Vale was lost.

The High Lords of the Elves ordered the great gates closed and all of the postern gates around the Vale sealed. It was deemed that the High Mages and High King of the Northern Vale had reached too far in their efforts to harness the power of the Ice Wryms. Their goal to destroy the Fell Ice had been noble, but in trying so they had destroyed themselves.

The greater threat to the land lay at their feet, but they could not see it, yet.


The Dark Lord sat immobile upon his throne of black glass, blood and death and looked through the eyes of others as they traveled in the far away lands of man. Much of his force of slaves were destroyed in the attack on the Valley of the Elves so his Dark Stars were on quests to harvest more people for his pens. It had taken many turns to build his first army and he knew it would take many turns again. He could wait, even if it took another thousand turns, he would wait. Through more sacrifices he would grow even stronger and live even longer. With patience the Dark Lord would eventually have the empire he desired.


The two had been far out at sea when they felt the death knell of thousands of Elves. From half a world away they ordered the crew of their ship to turn into the wind and sail swiftly for home. A keen sense of dread filled the two and both ran to each others arms, wondering what they would find when they returned to their Vale. One was a mighty Sea Mage and he was Captain of the vessel, the other was a great Battle Mage, trained in the ways of the sea, and she journeyed with him always.

Once they reached the fjords of the Western Vale they quickly made their way to a small dell that was his childhood home. Two of their old friends were there, both home on leave from their duty with the Valen Guard. Ten happy Saddlebacks romped around the dell, a pack of the Raptorcliff Clan, descendants of the great Shadowback.

It is nighttime in the dell under the bright light of the Full Thunder Moon. Bugs chirped and buzzed outside in the garden, in the cool evening air of summer. The four friends pour their mugs and have a seat around the fire in a simple cottage constructed of log walls and a sod roof. The Tundras lay about on woven rugs, some sleeping, some gnawing on bones and some with their heads on their paws as they stare into the fire. All are ready to hear the tale of the fall of the Northern Vale.

Katyr and Glynfiel sit close to each other as their friend Halamar tells the story. Orist drinks from his mug and interjects a comment from time to time as his friend talks. The memories of the two go back five hundred turns when they hear the tale. They think back to a time they had journeyed there and try to remember why they went. They only know what their friends tell them. They had gone to the Vale to warn of an unknown danger, a great threat, that only Katyr could see. Neither of the two Mages have any recollection of what the danger was. They only remember the journey to get there, and their brief time at the Misty Glen.

The story bothers Katyr and Glynfiel as they hear it told, more than it should. They are saddened by the tale of loss and destruction, and a deep despair grips them. A despair that goes beyond missing the Elves they met there so long ago. Both cannot help but feel that somehow they could have stopped it, and they do not know why.

Each of the Elves feel so much sorrow a teardrop forms and slowly wanders down their cheek.  Elves have known so much death and destruction over their long lives, they hardly ever cry.

Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.