Abridged History of the 10th Age
The Complete History of Ages
A note on dwarven (Ordir) pronunciation: Æ – pronounced “ay”. ∂ – pronounced like a soft th.
As written and researched by the scholar and wizard Hamish Letterfriend of Ferling.
The First Age
When the world was yet young, legend says that there were the gods and goddesses of Valingas. They were called Aeliö by the first men, and Æsur by the dwarves. They created the division between Valingas and Anurë, between Æ∂eim and the world of mortals, Mi∂ar. Our world is one which lies below theirs in glory and in importance. Their actions have shaped the Ages since the dawn of time.
Norn was the mightiest of these Æsur (she who is called Noronë by elves and Avauna by men) and it was she who convened with the other Ælings and spoke of turning the empty lands of Mi∂ar into flowering fields and inhabited brooks like the realm of Æ∂eim. She instructed each of the others in what their position would be in the new order, how they were to comport themselves and what their duties where. They agreed to follow her; all but Logr (called Lumiä by men and elves), who loved her.
To display his love, he instead created a magnificent stone, green and shining. This was the first emerald, imbued with all manner of powerful magic. When he tried to give it to Norn to display what he had done, she grew angry and cast him aside. Now, this was before the Tapestry of Time had been woven as they say. Au∂r (Sarnos to men, and Häste to elves) had yet to begin on his loom. Norn could not, then, foresee the outcome of her cruelty.
Logr continued to work, with sourness in his heart. He planned a plan in which he would overthrow his co-creator Norn and claim Æ∂eim in his own name. But, Au∂r was already building his loom with which to weave the Tapestry that Norn had told him to make – a Tapestry in which each thread wove the tale of Time. When Logr discovered the work Au∂r was doing, he could not allow him to complete it, for if he did then his own plans would be discovered.
This is how Au∂r was maimed – Logr struck him from behind to stop his work. Then, he fled into Mi∂ar and hid, knowing the other Æsur would soon learn of his treachery. The stone he set up in the sky as an eye to watch over the whole of the Mi∂ar and to know when the other Æsur were coming so that he could flee them. For two ages he hid in the far North of Mi∂ar and drew spirits from the lower world, from the Hæls where the dead dwell, to be his servants. He drew, too, creatures from the Bál where the purest of all elemental powers reside.
Meanwhile, we know through legend and myth many of the other gods and goddesses began to work on the grand creation of the world. Dwarves were brought forth out of the mountains by Eiri Earthfather. The Elves were made by Lo∂t or Anunë as a gift to woo a goddess who’s name is lost to us.
Our people and their kindred, know nothing of these legends. The dwarves, for example, speak not of Norn or the Weaver. Instead, dwarven legends deal with Eiri Earthfather and their struggle against the Giants of the northlands who were created or worshiped some of the other Æsur. It is legends such as this which lead me to believe that elven/human myth cycles do not contain the entire story.
The halflings earliest legends speak of the Greensward and fighting the dens of kobolds and goblins that were ever their bane. We gnomes talk of the great Heartwood Forest and our conflict with the Dryads there.
A Discussion of the First Age in all it’s forms
We know for a fact that the Æsur were not the only creatures around at the time of the First Age. Nor was the world made wholesale by these gods. No, indeed, before the Æsur ever turned their eyes to the face of the world and began making the created races, there were peoples there. The Eldest they are called, and amongst their number were the Trolls (who worshiped Mother Night and were her spawn), the Giants who worshiped the earth, and the Wyrms who worshiped nothing but their own greed.
After the casting-out of Logr during the earliest portions of the First Age the great stone (the Etoile) that he had made was shattered, and the fragments became the very stars. For many hundreds of years the Giants, the Trolls, and the Wyrms lived in the green starlight, under the all-seeing eyes of Lumiä the Fallen.
Many Giants were drawn northwards and eastwards into the valleys of the Enemy where he plotted his revenge against the other Æsur and hid from them. It was during the First Age, then, that many Giants were corrupted by his anger and hate and turned into his tools.
The Wyrms, however, could not be bought for any price. Logr, twisted as he was, could not provide the things those ancient dragons desired. However, the Trolls were swayed to his side by his promises of allowing them to worship the dark Night, even as the other Æsur prepared to drive it away with the creation of the Lamp of the Sun and the Disc of the Moon.
The Second Age
The Æsur brought about the Second Age when they created the races of Elves and the Dwarf-kindred. This raises the question of the created vs. the uncreated peoples. Men, we have often found, are misguided or easily turned astray from their morals. Those of us who know our creators can focus and dedicate our time because the created peoples, as a whole, understand themselves.
Now, the Second Age was one in which the First Men appeared from the Southlands, beyond the ken of the created peoples. Their migrations were slow and took many centuries. They spread out over the world, as did the created peoples at this time. The First Men then came to the place where they would site the city of Miles and constructed the Pillar there. It was during this Age that men mastered magic to make their lives simpler and more pleasurable. They taught this art to the elves, who taught it to the gnomes.
The created peoples had always had their own forms of magic, though; the dwarves constructed rune-etched halls long before they met the First Men. This new magic was of an order capable of bringing harm as well as health, weal and boon together. This was a new force in the land.
It was during this time that Noronë crafted the Sun to blind the treacherous Eye of Lumiä. This Lamp was set affixed in the heavens, but when Lumiä treacherously assaulted Valingas to pay retribution for his temporary blindness he was thrown back – this caused the Lamp to knock loose and fall from it’s position. The best the Gods could do was ensure that it remained in the sky. Then, Haeron crafted a large silver dish filled with water to reflect the light of the Sun-Lamp and provide blindness to Logr even when the Lamp wasn’t in the sky. He tilted it, so it empties and must be refilled, causing rain.
Valingas and the Four Rivers
This seems a prudent point to clarify the manner in which the domain of the Gods (Valingas to the elves and men) has been depicted throughout the ages. IT is divided into quadrants by the four rivers which spread from it’s heart, from which all water originates. These rivers are the Heiðera (clear-water), Æra (ever-water), Ora (arrow-water), and the Kalaa (frigid-water) and water from each of these streams is said to having amazing properties—none so much as the Brunnra (elvish: Kaiva) or the font from which these rivers originate. It is said that any who drink from the Kaiva will live as long as the Gods themselves, that is – forever.
The Lifespan of the Created Races
In the Second Age elves, dwarves, gnomes, and even the halflings did not grow old and die. Each race could attain an immeasurable age living on forever without death. It was not until the First Men came that any of these peoples even realized death from old age could occur. The halflings lost their immortality first (after being cursed by Logr in the Third Age for helping the Mileneans defeat the Giant-army) followed by my people the gnomes and dwarves when Eiri Earthfather filled the earth with potent banes to combat Logr and we sacrificed our own immortal natures. The elves lost their immortality last, during the Eighth Age when the dangers of Logr had passed.
Now, all creatures are all mortal and all must die. Our spirits descend to the otherworld, while elves alone are granted the benefit of going to Valingas.
The Gigantine Wars
Late in the Second Age came the advent of the Youngest races, the gnolls, orcs, kobolds, goblins, and multifarious other forms that crawled or ran out of the hills. Some, like the goblins and their kin, were spawn of the Giants forgework – those that had not gone over to Logr tested their hands at creation. Others, such as the gnolls, simply sprang up when the waters of Brunnra were splashed upon the face of the world by Logr’s attempt to wrest control of it from the Æsur.
The Gigantine Wars began after the Youngest races came into being. Logr’s anger was mighty, and his Gigantine allies marched forth from the secret valleys and vales of his hate. They captured and tortured many of the Youngest races to bring them under their control. Then, they set off to wipe the elves off the face of the world, for Logr could not stand knowing the children of one of his hated enemies still lived.
Anunë gave to his children the first sword, Naegling, and all other weapons have since been lesser. Naegling, it was said, could cut through metal, bone, stone, and flesh as though they were all made from soft cheese. The elves began to craft other swords in its pattern to defend themselves with. The First Men pledged to help the elves in their efforts, and so the secret was shared with them. Thus the Gigantine Wars were started.
Meanwhile, in the hidey holes of the eastern mountains, the dwarves had no need of such esoteric gifts from Eiri Earthfather. He had long ago given them their first weapon – the hammer. The Hammer is both creation and destruction, life and death wound together in one potent symbol. When Giants and giant-kin and Night-worshiping Trolls came into the mountains, the dwarves defended themselves with hammers from their smithies and their forges.
Standing with the elves were the men who came from the South, mysterious creatures that had not been made by the gods, like the Giants, the Trolls, and the Wyrms. They founded the city of Miles during this Age and when the Giants came from the hidden fortresses of Logr they fought alongside their allies.
The Third Age
After the conquests of the Gigantine Wars and the discovery of halflings amongst the Greensward and the dwarves in their mountains, the people of Miles began to spread out from their single city. Peoples came up from the South to join the men of Miles. The land of Miles became the Milean Empire