"Elves of the Northern Vale" A Tundrawolf Story

Fall of the Northern Vale

The Druids Bane tunneled relentlessly under the mountains known as the Grimfangs. Caves already in existence were made larger and new tunnels were dug to get to where they had to go. Thousands of passageways were made leading under every part of the Elven Vale. The Dark Lord added more and more Dark Stars to his ranks, who in turn added more and more slaves. The Dark Lord added the spell of long life for his black sorcerers to use along with the spell of compulsion on the poor tormented souls that served them. Over the turns his workforce grew and so did his army of slave warriors mindlessly training for battle. After five hundred winters the Black Druids were finally ready to attack the Elves above.

The tunnels and caves were ready to be opened under the Mage Towers in the Vale and every key point from the East end to the West. The Dark Lord knew thousands of his slaves would die when the tunnels collapsed, it was a sacrifice he gave no thought to. Their dying would release thousands upon thousands of mindless savage warriors and ravaging black wolves on the lands above. They would be led by thousands of the black sorcerers of his Dark Stars. All would be intent on the slaughter and death of every Elf and Tundra Wolf in the Vale.

Above ground it was the time of the new moon and the deepest part of winter. It was the longest night of the turn and a storm raged above the dome of the Elves. In the labyrinth of caverns below, the Dark Lord sat quietly upon a fiery black steed. He was at the entrance to the largest of the caves with his four Dread Lords gathered about him. With a blast from his mind he sent out the order to attack. A thousand sinkholes opened up, bringing the underworld to the Elven Vale.


High Mage Orndacil stood looking out the large windows that made up the wall of his north facing chamber. His gaze was on the mountain tops to the north above the Vale wall. His view was unobstructed because he was just below the solarium high atop the Central Mage Tower in the city of Asegron-thare. The room the High Mage of the Towers stood in was part of his quarters where he conducted his meetings and did most of his work. Sturdy wooden shelves covered three of the walls and were filled top to bottom with books and scrolls Orndacil collected over thousands of turns. The forth wall was made from panes of quartz crystal so clear one could hardly tell it was there. A door was also in the crystal wall that let out to a balcony and a walkway going around the Tower. In the middle of the room sat a large rectangular table with many chairs around it. Tonight four of the chairs closest to the crystal wall were occupied by powerful Tower Mages, each strong in the Mage Sight. They too stared towards the line of mountains in the north. One looked northeast, another looked northwest and two looked to the portal in the Vale wall that opened to the top of the world. Orndacil overlooked all with his powerful Mage Sight to make sure nothing was missed.

It was a brutal night in the skies over the dome as a fierce winter storm raged. You would never know it under the dome as all was peaceful and quiet. Above tons of ice and snow fell combined with a continuous barrage of lightning strikes. To make matters worse a deadly Fell Wind had escaped the barrier of White Magic earlier in the day and was blowing through the Grimfangs mixing with the storm. Orndacil could not remember ever seeing a storm of such enormous energy and strength. He was in awe of its display.

The Mage who looked east and the Mage who looked west searched for any more breaches to the barrier of White Magic stretching across the northern mountain tops. The two Mages looking towards the portal watched for any failures of the powerful wards put in place there. They were ready to send warnings into the aether to the Mages and soldiers guarding the tunnel if they noticed anything amiss.

The High Mage went outside and paced on the walkway encircling the outer wall of the Tower. He made slow circles and stopped for a brief moment at each point of the compass. He observed as the Mage Towers around the perimeter of the Vale sent thick streams of White Magic skyward. The bursts from the Towers were short and sporadic, but with each walk Orndacil made around the Central Tower they were becoming longer and more frequent. It was quite a sight for those able to see the White Magic. The underside of the dome shimmered and sparkled as the beams mushroomed and fanned out like lightning bolts streaking erratically towards the center. It was a bit eerie seeing so much activity over the Vale in complete silence. The Tower Mages in the solarium above were staying very busy directing the White Magic to where it was needed. He could feel them becoming a bit more frantic with every passing minute the storm was overhead.

The High Mage was facing north when he felt the tower shudder and shake beneath his feet. Never had he felt the earth move this way in the Vale before. In surprise he looked down at the walkway to make sure it was secure against the tower. When the Mage looked back up he was confronted with a sight that filled him with a dread he had never experienced in his extremely long life. With the Mage Sight he could see the Towers to the east, the ones to the west and all that stood across the northern wall. Time slowed as he watched every one within his view begin to fall. In unison all around the perimeter the Towers tilted and began to slowly topple over, each falling towards the earth in a different direction. It seemed like it took minutes, even though it was only seconds, as the Towers released their final streams of White Magic to the sky as they fell. The beams were erratic, each traveling in a different direction from the other, all along the Vale wall. Some reached the dome above, but most missed the target. They either dispersed into glittering clouds of light in the air above the Vale or shattered in a brilliant blaze against the mountain walls. Even Elves weak in the White Magic could see the display which lasted only seconds around perimeter. It was the final act of the Mage Towers of the Northern Vale. They sent their bursts of White Magic and then went dark just before hitting the ground.

The High Mage Orndacil stood spellbound by what he just witnessed. He looked hard into the broken ruins of the fallen Towers around the perimeter. Of the many within his view none were holding a spark of the White Magic. Not one of the Tower Mages within survived the fall. Orndacil quickly looked to the dome above. Not only did the Mage Towers supply the White Magic which kept the dome strong, they were also the anchors keeping it in place. Without them the White Magic above was lost. Orndacil looked on as the dome broke apart and separated into thousands of pieces. The pieces turned into soft billowing clouds of every different size and shape. Against the backdrop of the night sky and the dark storm overhead the clouds appeared as white as the snow beginning to fall on the Vale. The High Mage never before imagined such devastation and felt a deep foreboding as he looked on. He watched as strong winds shredded the clouds of White Magic into wispy strips of mist. Whatever was left of the White Magic drifting above was devoured by the raging storm descending on the Vale. Snow and ice started coming down heavier and heavier with every passing heartbeat. Strong gusts of wind blew the snow about in flurries and the High Mage began to fear the Fell Wind would find the Vale.

Thousands of queries started coming through the aether sent by Elves from one end of the Vale to the other. Orndacil knew they were directed to him and to the Tower Mages above, but neither he nor the Mages knew how to respond to the events taking place. They were stunned and unable to react to the destruction they were seeing. The Mages in the Central Tower did not know this was just the beginning of the attacks on the Vale. What came next brought the High Mage of the Towers along with the Mages under him to the brink of despair. The Elves throughout the Vale floor would never receive an answer to their questions.

Along the mountain tops to the North the barrier of White Magic was down. When the mighty dome fell so too did a segment of the White Magic boundry. When Orndacil looked at the fallen segment he witnessed a sight few Elves have ever seen.

On the other side of the mountains the dreadful swirl of the Fell Ice in all its terrible glory and horrible wrath rose higher and higher above the mountains. Orndacil could only describe it as a black malformation of clouds violently moving against each other. Against the blackness of the storm these clouds stood much darker, an impossible inky blackness. Lightning bolts blazed around the billowing mass and erratically lit parts of it up. From up high in the depths of the blackness the High Mage could see two red slits floating that he could only describe as eyes. They were foreign and alien and looked down with an indescribable hate.

To Orndacil’s relief the barrier of the White Magic began to right itself along the mountain tops. At both ends of the breach he could see clouds of it quickly reforming the wall as it rushed for the center. The High Mage looked to the awful black swirl growing larger beyond the mountains as it moved closer. He could see a tiny piece even blacker than the main body separate itself. It looked to be floating still in the air. In moments Orndacil realized that was not the case as the tiny swirl grew larger and larger as it rushed incredibly fast straight at him. Against the vast backdrop of the Fell Ice the floating piece of swirl seemed very small, but Orndacil realized as it rushed for the breach it was easily half the size of the Vale. He watched as it moved faster than any of the gales blowing about within the storm, faster than any gust of wind he had ever witnessed from a Fell Wind. With a growing sickness in his stomach he knew the wall of the White Magic would not form itself fast enough. He watched as the black swirl from the Fell Ice shot through the narrow opening at the top of the mountains seconds before the White Magic filled the breach.

The High Mage was not alone when these events were taking place. The Tower Mages came out on the balcony when the Towers fell and lined up along side him. They too watched as the swirl of the Fell Ice came rushing into the Vale. They stood spellbound as it came right towards them. Only Orndacil was quick enough to say a spell of protection before the swirl charged through them. Every Mage on the walkway and those in the tower itself were killed in the blink of an eye, frozen in less than heartbeat. Orndacil watched as the swirl of the Fell Ice rampaged through the Vale leaving everything dead in its wake.

The High Mage of the Towers was not able to watch it for long. A rumble began at the base of the tall tower he stood upon. The rumble turned into a vibration that soon became heavy shuddering and shaking and finally strong jolts. Cracks raced up the Tower walls from the base to the top quicker than an arrow shot. The Tower tilted as it began to break apart and fall. The High Mage grasped the handrail of the walkway and looked for any way to escape and realized there was none. He looked upon his fallen Tower Mages and then out over the Vale. Sadness and sorrow hung heavy on him. He leaned against the Tower wall and put his staff to his chest . He closed his eyes as he searched for the White Magic. He had just enough time to send his death knell out into the aether and give himself to the Magic as the huge Mage Tower broke apart. As Orndacil died the Tower broke into huge blocks of black glass and collapsed from a deep hole opening at its base. It fell causing death and destruction as the huge blocks tumbled through the city of Asegron-Thare.


First to collapse were the Mage Towers. They fell with such violence the Tower Mages within were killed instantly. As they fell so too did the protective dome overhead. As an unexpected boon to the Dark Lord the barrier of White Magic along the mountain tops was also disrupted. A swirl of the Fell Ice came rushing in from the North and attacked the Vale with a fury. With a terrible wrath it struck down any creatures of the White Magic it came across, freezing them to death in seconds. Thousands died instantly as the terrible gust of its swirl rushed through the Vale. In minutes over half of the Elves were slain or too badly maimed to fight.

All along the mountain tops north of the Vale the White Magic quickly regained its balance and reformed itself. Across the peaks the breach was sealed and the Fell Ice was barred from the southern lands. But nothing could be done for the dome. The storm that raged on the Grimfangs now raged through the Vale, matching the storm of death coming from below. For many the Fell Ice was cut off too late. It had killed swiftly and without mercy. It killed so quickly the Elves sent no death nell into the aether for the living Elves outside the Vale to hear. The first Elves to die were the lucky ones, their deaths had been painless, not like the death that was seething from the earth below. The Dark Lord was pleased, the Fell Ice had paved the way for his invasion.

The barracks of the Norvale Guard was among the first to collapse after the Mage Towers fell. The thick block walls of the buildings came down crushing all but a handful of soldiers standing guard upon the wall. Black sorcerers led a thousand slave warriors from the large hole that suddenly formed and charged the massive gates. The remnant of the Guard were soon overwhelmed and the gates were closed and barred. Any aid that could have come from Elves guarding the road or Tundra Wolves outside the Vale was cut off.


For the last week the High Mage Ilphas was bothered and he was unable to put his finger on the problem. He felt subtle warnings coming through the White Magic with no idea what he was being warned about. For all his thousands of turns as a Mage strong in the White he suddenly felt he did not know the Magic anymore. He ordered his most powerful acolytes to scan every part of the Vale with their Mage Sight from atop the House of Mage Lore. He told them to scour the walls and the dome above looking for anything out of the ordinary. He also enlisted the aid of the High General of the Mage Guard. At the direction of Ilphas the General sent his soldiers who were strong in the White riding all throughout the Vale on fast golden steeds. They went to take a closer look at anything the acolytes found that seemed out of order or in need of closer investigation. Any projects the High Mage and his acolytes were involved in were put on hold as they studied the Vale and took reports from other Mages and soldiers. Only the work at the portal to the top of the world remained uninterrupted.

After a week of investigating nothing was found and all seemed to be well within the Vale. Ilphas forgot about the feelings and warnings he experienced as he focused his attention on the strong winter storm over the Grimfangs. During the last week it grew stronger by the day until it became a furious tempest pounding on the dome overhead. This was the strongest storm he could remember experiencing in quite some time, if ever. Adding to the storm’s violence was a Fell Wind which escaped the barrier of White Magic earlier in the day. The strong evil Wind charged through the Grimfangs mixing with the winter storm and making it truly a monster.

After studying the storm a bit and marveling at the skill of the Tower Mages as they worked the dome the High Mage came into his rooms from his outside balcony. His quarters were at the very top of the House of Mage Lore and quite close to the dome, it was an excellent place to look upon a storm of such power. He had just sat down to a late evening meal when he felt the first disturbances like the deep gong of a bell tolling through the White Magic. His acolytes ran into the room just as the ground shook under the Mage House sending vibrations running up the walls and through the floors. Ilphas quickly stood and looked deep into the White Magic. Realization came to the High Mage of the Vale as he slowly sat back down and thought what a fool he was. Never once did he or any of his Mages think to look at what was right under their feet.

For all the looking and searching for a chink in the armor of the Vale they never searched below the Vale floor. The High Mage did not have to go outside to observe the falling of the Mage Towers, the White Magic showed it to him. It revealed the collapse of the dome and the swirl of the Fell Ice as it attacked. He heard loud and clear Orndacil’s death knell along with thousands of other Elves as destruction came from below and the storm descended from above. He felt the White Magic recoil from the thick taint of the Black Magic bubbling up from the ground and out into the sweet lands of the Vale he loved. He felt the evil swirl of the Fell Ice as it flowed through the city of Aerith-Ellel killing thousands in seconds. The wards of protection guarding the House of Mage Lore was the only reason the swirl did not attack them. But the wards could not protect the House from the vast hole opening up beneath it. He had no time to contemplate his folly and his failure as the walls of the Mage House cracked and closed in on him. Of all the Mages in the Vale he fell the furthest as he sent out his death knell and gave himself to the White Magic.


Hundreds of he Dark Lord’s slaves disappeared when the House of Mage Lore crumpled and fell from the largest hole yet. Over a thousand Elven Mages were crushed to death as the huge structure was ripped from the mountainside and came crashing down. Much of the city of Aerith-Ellel was destroyed as boulders from the mountain side rained down and rolled through. If the Elves who dwelled there were not killed by the Fell Ice or the falling rock they were finished when the slave warriors came among them.

Hundreds of holes were opened all throughout the Vale. Most collapsed under a dell or a town but some missed their mark giving the Elves time to form into armed bands. Elven Mages donned their robes and pulled down staffs of power from pegs above door frames. They ran to join the groups of Elves. Most of the long-lived Elves had served as soldiers at one time and were skilled in sword, spear and bow. They quickly strapped on armor and picked up weapons and went to follow the Mages. They took the fight straight to the taint of the foul Black Magic around them. With the Mages leading they did battle with the enemy army and charged into the mobs of mindless slaves.

The Elves moved with a fluid grace as they fought. They inflicted horrific wounds with every strike as they moved through the enemy ranks. When they turned to regroup they found to their dismay the enemy still stood and still fought on. Only by removing the heads of the slave warriors could they break the spell they were under and bring them down. Some found this out too late as they charged deep into the enemy ranks and were soon overwhelmed. Many of the bands of Elves were struck down quickly by blasts of black fire as they ran afoul of black sorcerers. Only those with several Mages in the lead stood a chance against them. When the Mages used their mighty staffs together they sent out powerful streams of the White Magic. They were able to burn down many black sorcerers and drop scores of slave warriors at the same time. All the victories the Elven bands achieved were not to be long lived as the Dread Lords came upon the land riding their black steeds. There were too few Mages left in the Northern Vale that could stand against the Black Druids and the strength of their spells.

It was not long before fires broke out through the whole of the Vale. Smoke and ash mixed with the snow and ice of the blowing winds of the storm. The flurries became thick and helped hide roving packs of the Dark Lord’s pets. Under the cover of the thick smoke the Grim Wolves began to move about more freely. The spell of the bloodlust was put upon the black wolves, as if they needed it. They brought down and savaged any Elf or animal they came across. When the Dark Lord finally appeared above ground he was pleased with the destruction and death his armies achieved.

Because of the long lives of the Elves, child-Elves were usually few and far apart. But even with that there were still many famalies living within the Vale. The Elflings were usually raised in quite dells around the countryside until they came of an age for training. When the attacks started the families still living came together where they could. They were joined here and there by the few roaming Elven warriors and Tundra Wolves who were ready to lay down their lives for the young. As the situation within the Vale became more hopeless these small bands made their way southward. They made for the postern gates dotted along the southern wall that opened to trails leading down through the rocky Grimfangs. The groups making it through the slaughter and escaping the Vale had to brave trails of deep snow as a blizzard raged around them. It was their only choice.

The Dark Lord was unaware of these gates when the attacks began. Upon learning of them he became enraged, especially when told Elves were escaping through them. He sent large packs of his Grim Wolves to patrol the southern wall and track down any escaping Elves. It was a sad thing that very few of the small groups made it safely away. They either died being unprepared for the cold winter storm or they were hunted down by the raving black wolves the Dark Lord set upon them.


One fortunate group that did manage to get away was led by Merlara, a Captain now, of the Norvale Guard. She was on leave and at home in the Misty Glen when the attacks began. She  heard the dreadful swirl of the Fell Ice as it blew over her dell on its way throughout the Vale. Next came the terrible rumble reverberating from one end of the Vale to the other as tons of earth gave way. She felt the ground shaking beneath her feet and sensed the awful taint of the Black Magic being let loose upon the land. The battle mistress was eating a late night meal when these things took place. Before she moved into action she sat in quiet thought, trying to remember a time five hundred turns ago when her friends Katyr and Glynfiel came and stayed with her for awhile. There was something about the Black Magic which sparked a memory of a warning that was given, and then forgotten. No matter how hard she tried she could not think of what it was, and she did not have time to ponder it.

Merlara’s dell escaped notice at first because it was small and somewhat hidden in the narrow tree filled valley. While the Mage of the Elora Dell sounded the alarm she donned her armor, grabbed her weapons and ran to her golden steed. She urged her mount as fast as it would go to the Norvale Gates and the soldiers she commanded there. Upon arriving she could see the destruction and realized the uselessness of one against so many. The Elora Dell was home to many families and young ones. When she spied the army of slave warriors and black wolves driven by black sorcerers she worried for them and raced back to her dell. On her way she saw more of the roving swarms of evil black spawn. She knew she had to gather as many Elves as she could and make for a postern gate in the southern wall.

Returning to the dell she brought together over two hundred Elves, thirty of them Elflings, and a small pack of Solid Tundras. Everyone knew Merlara and knew of her prowess as a warrior maid. All agreed, even the two Mages of the dell, that she should lead them. The Elves gathered weapons and what supplies they could for their march from the dell. Merlara led them out riding on the back of her golden stallion. She made for a postern far to the east of the Norvale Gate, away from the roving packs of wolves and the mobs of slave warriors. With only a few confrontations of the black wolves that the warriors and Tundras with her quickly put down they made it to the small gate.

The postern gate opened on a narrow path filled deep with snow. The path wound its way down through the Grimfangs and into the foothills of the Tallspines Mountains. The large band of Elves followed Merlara’s courageous mount as it trudged through the deep snow creating a pathway they could hike upon amidst the blowing wind and falling snow. They were not on the path long when the wind brought them the unmistakable sounds of black wolves baying behind them. By the noise being carried through the wind they knew they were discovered.  A huge pack was on heir trail and not very far behind.

The Captain of the Norvale Guard quickly went into action as her training as a leader and a warrior took over. She gave the reins of her mount to a warrior maid and told her to continue on down the path. She gathered one of the Mages, another dozen warrior maids and ordered them to keep following on the trail with the mothers and their Elflings. When she came back to the front of her Elves she ordered torches to be lit and stuck in the rocks alongside the path in front of them. She then ordered twenty of her warriors armed with spears to stand on the narrow path. They stood shoulder to shoulder in ten rows of two. She placed archers wherever they could get a foothold in the rocks along the sides of those on the path. The rest of the Elves she ordered to take up places on the trail and in the rocks behind as reserves to the Elves in front. Last to take their places were the Tundra Wolves. Their were ten of them and they came up along the path and crouched down at the feet of the Elves. The wolves gave low continuous growls while showing their fangs as they looked back up the trail and waited for the black wolves to show themselves. Merlara took her place in front of the rows of Elves with the other Mage beside her. She took one more look to make sure she had done all she could and then looked back up the trail. The Mage beside her was softly whispering a spell to the White Magic and slowly drawing wisps of it into the bright ball building on the end of his staff. As the baying and howling of the black wolves grew louder Merlara lowered the visor of her helm and hefted the long-spear she was carrying. She said a silent prayer to the White Magic, not for herself, but for the Elves and Tundras with her as she stood ready for the attack.

Merlara could not tell you how long she stood there waiting for the wolves to come. It was too dark to see anything and the gusts of wind kept making them sound close and then far away. But she knew they were coming, of that there was no doubt. Finally in the fluttering torchlight on the path ahead she could see dark shapes coming into view. There were so many of them moving fast down the trail the white snow disappeared as it was covered by their black bodies. The Battle Maid held tight to her spear and braced herself for the onslaught of open maws filled with misshapen black fangs. But just as she thought she had seconds before the wolves were upon them the unexpected happened. Both sides of the narrow trail in front of them erupted in an avalanche of white furry snowballs.

Merlara never learned how many Grim Wolves there were that night. She didn’t even get the chance to kill one before the avalanche hit. On both sides of the narrow path over a hundred wolves of the White Tundra Tribe fell on the unsuspecting pack of evil black wolves. In a match of wolf against wolf the Whites were generally much smaller than the black wolves running down the trail. That was because most of the attacking Whites were female with only a few of the larger males bringing up the rear. But what they gave up in size they made up for in craftiness. The White Tundras were fierce, shrewd and extremely lethal killers. They made not a single sound as they charged down the side of the path and took the Grim Wolves by surprise. They jumped down on the backs of the black wolves and with strong jaws and sharp teeth they ripped out their spines. On quick paws they silently ran up behind the Grim Wolves and hobbled them while others moved in and tore at their throats. The Elves stood and listened to the terrible noises of wolves fighting to the death, unable to help in the dim light of the torches. The horrible din of the battle was short lived and Merlara braced herself again for whatever might come.

On silent paws the White Wolves came out of darkness and joined with the Elven band. The wolves were covered in black blood and gore and some bore wounds, but they stood ready for the next battle. Merlara got down on her knees as one of the smallest of the Whites came up to her. As Merlara gave the wolf greeting she learned the wolf’s name was Whiteraven. She was the Duchess and leader over the several packs of Whites that attacked the Grim Wolves. The small White Wolf was fierce, as brave as any wolf the battle mistress had ever met and strong in the Wild Wolf Magic. Once the greeting had been made and the Elves gave their thanks plans were made. Whiteraven sent a dozen of her pack-mates to escort the group of Elves with the Elflings to the Eastern Vale. The fathers of the Elflings and another dozen of the Elven warriors went with them. With over a hundred Elven warriors, one Mage and ten Solid Tundras Merlara followed Whiteraven and her packs back into the Grimfangs. They took secret trails into the mountains that only the White Wolves knew as they went to aid any they could find trying to escape the Northern Vale.


The Tundra Wolves within the Vale fought with a ferocity that was unmatched by any of the enemy forces. They gathered together where they could and formed large packs. The closeness to each other and the battle frenzy building within them unleashed the Wild Wolf Magic giving them a greater strength and stamina. The packs searched out the black spawn and attacked without hesitation. The Tundras were hard to kill and only with overwhelming forces could they be brought down. The wolves fought bravely and savagely but there were just not enough of them. The great Tundras took down as many as they could before they died.

The wolves out upon the Tundra could feel the attack of the Fell Ice the minute the dome of the White Magic collapsed. Wolves as far south as the Snow Forest could sense the evil that was sweeping in from the north. They could also feel the deaths of their brothers and sisters within the Northern Vale through the Wild Wolf Magic. All throughout the Wolfswood and across the Tundra plains wolves howled in sorrow to the black stormy sky above.

The Tundra Wolves did not dwell on their sadness for long. Packs of Saddlebacks, Solids and Whites from all over the frozen plain raced in desperation to come to the aid of the Northern Vale. They ran as fast as they could through the deep winter snow as the blizzard raged around them. Only a few of the packs were close enough to be of aid to those escaping through the postern gates. The Tundra Wolves could sense the foul Grim Wolves, tainted with the bloodlust of the Black Magic, as they chased after the escaping Elves. They waited in ambush and killed any of the evil creatures that came their way.

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