Not many Elves like to talk about the Fades, as if the mere mention of them would bring them bad luck, it is a part of the Elven story they never wish to tell, but here I will tell it for it needs to be said.
There was a time when we had free passage from our world and the human’s, passing through the portals of the henge and the quoit, set along sacred dragon lines they were the secret ways of passage. However when the earth quaked and the seas rolled in tremendous waves, the land did shift and did not return true, but remained in a tilt, an angle. This set our portals at a skew making the passage dangerous and not without peril, those who passed through these sacred sites now ran the risk of ending up in the underworld of the Fades. Many were lost who tried to return to the home of the Shee, many of our brothers and sisters faded in time becoming only pale versions of themselves, living in a perpetual dying land. Over time and more movements of the earth the gates began to close, even those who used ancient magic to force the way, were barred. The barrier which had been set around the earth imprisoning and binding was also set as an obstacle in our path, we could no longer pass from the surface world of man to the hollowed hills of Fey, and we were trapped in-between worlds, captured by the Twix. The gates had surely closed!
To describe how this felt on this fated day when the very last of the great gateways were shut and the key turned in the lock , is impossible as words, like grief, anguish , pain and fear do not convey the feelings of an Elf. We died a thousand deaths that day and remember we do not die so easily, for our lives are long spent. Some hearts were turned to stone, a magic spell cast as relief for the pain, no longer able to feel was some relief for those that chose such a path. Others chose to turn their pain into fury and they vowed revenge for the sickness of man and his perverted gods. Many fell into melancholy and were not comforted even by the singing of the wren. Elves with mournful songs could be heard singing by the river, their pale faces looking into the reflections of the water hoping to find a way through the mirror to the world of Shee. It is said some took their own lives but I am not sure if this is true, it is said they faded away and clung to the mist that hung on the surface of the water of the bogs and marshes.
We wondered far and wide, searching for other gateways hoping they were not locked but as we entered each stone circle and stamped our feet upon the earth, speaking the secret codes to pass through the gate, we fell in silence stunned by the evidence that lay before us. The gates were now all closed not one stood open, we could not believe our fate, no one had seen this coming, and no one could imagine that we would end up trapped between worlds. We could still hear the singing of the Shee deep inside the earth if we lay our ears flat against the stone, but as time passed the singing became faint and we could hear them no more. Councils were formed by those who were trapped in the Twix, what were we to do? The most learned of Elves were brought forward those who had extensive knowledge on how to open the magical doors which led to the undying lands. For many moons they stood in chant and Elven song, even those incantations which had not been spoken since the sleep of the dragons were muttered in the night but the stone would not move, the openings were barred, our plight had been sealed in a crack of stone.
Many lost their tempers beating their hands upon the stones, cursing those inside thinking they were the closers of doors. Little did they know that it was Arda in shift which caused the great gates to close. Arguments abounded between one clan and another, everyone looking for someone to blame, accusations and condemnations were thrown from both sides. Many would not believe their fate and continued to roam , it is said they are now all mad, you can see them lost in the forests muttering under their breath , whispering about how they have to open the gates, even though many of the gates now no longer stand , taken down by farmers to repair their walls.
Elves do not eat food as humans do instead of taking of the physical fruit, they partake of the essence of the berry or the apple. In the undying lands everything is replenished, nothing dies, and all is in constant harvest, there is no lack or want. However those Elves who were trapped in the Twix, took the fruit from the bough only to find it turning to ash in their hands. The ash was everywhere, hanging from the boughs of trees, the light of the sun began to dim and our world became hostile and dark. Many creatures from ancient days hid in caves and holes in the earth, and now that the light of the sun could not give away their positions, they crept from their holes and began to prowl the earth looking for the light of the Elves to consume. The world we now found ourselves in, was pale in comparison to the light of the undying lands, and we now seemed to be in perpetual night. No light from the stars could penetrate the poisonous fumes which seemed to rise from the earth. The air was still, choking and stale, the waters seemed acidic and bitter to the taste. The only birds seen in flight were the carrion, raven, magpie and crow, their songs piercing the heart.
Anger was the only way to stave off a dreadful feeling which seemed to creep into our bones like mist on a chilly morn. Something else lived in this world of the Twix, something dark and hideous, and something calling, in poisonous whispers to those Elves who were slowly losing their minds. Gone were the dragon tracks which lay in silver light, gone were the marks which glowed in the night, gone were the guardian trees standing like a beacon on the hill, lost and forgotten we wandered far and near. As the fruit in our hands turned to ash, we realised we could not feed from any fruit within this darkened world, we would starve to death in every moment and be aroused in the next. For an Elf cannot die unless murdered or through grief. Captured in a constant decaying cycle many Elves lost their minds and wandered into swamps and marshes, forever lost under the freezing mud. Even though an Elf cannot die from sickness or disease, those Elves who now found themselves barred from the undying lands, wandered in grief, with every step they took, more of their light dimmed until they began to fade. Death would have been a relief but death never came. Now the Elves stood as a shadow of their former selves, fading into the damp mist which lay its tendrils across the land. They were Elves no more, now they were known as the Fades. No longer did they look fine and fair like in former days, now the Fades looked tormented and twisted, it was hard to see if they had ever been an Elf at all. Their faces were twisted in pain that never ended causing their form to change now they resembled phantoms and ghouls.
Not all Elves went this way of the Fade, for some they had magic on their side. Many of the learned Elves of royal family and clan held the knowledge of magic and it had not faded from memory. These learned Elves banded together and created strongholds in the wild places where man had not trod. The casting of spells and the incantations of magical poetry created bubbles of reality in special places on the planet. Within these bubbles the Elves created magic which was impenetrable from both Fade and Man, for the Elves saw an enemy in both. Within the protection of the magical bubble the Elves tried to recreate their mighty empire before the fall, though with so many lost to the faded world it was a struggle and many were sent into the old forests to commune with the wisdom of the trees. Scouts were sent on missions to awaken the Eldars of the trees to bring them to their cause but so many slept now and many had forgotten the songs of the Elves. For many eons did pass and after not hearing an Elf for so many passing years the Dyad of the tree moved deeper inside its wooden form and would not come out even when an Elf did plead.
Even though the mighty empire of the Elves was no more, there were places on the planet where the Elves cast magic around themselves, if someone who was not of Elven blood entered these places, they would not see the wood for the trees. Magic of illusion and disguise was cast along the land so that human eyes would only see a forest or a glen but to those with Elven eyes they could clearly see settlement of the Elves. Elves gathered in families and became insular and divided. No longer was it safe to travel across the land as many cities of man barred their path, so they chose to remain confined to their illusionary worlds of magic which they had created.
Hundreds of years did pass and the Elves within these illusionary worlds had no awareness of the time which was passing upon the human world of Arda. Safe within their illusions they had no awareness of what was going on outside of their protected realm. Still thinking they lived in mighty forests they refused those who wished to tell them otherwise, preferring to remain in their illusion, preferring to continue to think that forests still spread across the land. Little did they know that outside of their protective bubble the trees stood no more and in their place now stood the concrete cities of man.
Not all Elves are light you know for some are very dark, we have a trait which causes hate and harm, we are prone to revenge and this we cannot deny. Of course there were Elves who still relied on the goodness of man but their numbers were few, many Elves did succumb to the clutches of darkened intent. At first all Elves were the same but as time passed and man did overcome and subdue nature, those Elves with revenge on their minds did gather in groups, plotting and scheming the demise of men. Dark Elves they became, poisoned by revenge they moved deep into the earth and changed their form to demonic faces and used black magic incantations to cause disease, and sickness to befall any who dared to make their home among the Elven trees. The Elves began to form sides, light Elf against dark and once more conflict and war between Elves began again. It is sad to think of how many did fall to defend those men who chopped down our sacred groves, light Elves with pious minds and will did form legions of fighting Elf. Dark Elf against Light or at first that is how it appeared but if you listened to the council of both, both sides were well meant.
Teach the humans better ways was the way of the light Elves, destroy and rid the planet of man was the will of the dark. Arguments and quarrel was all that was known at that time. After many did fall in battle it was decided that a divide, a split needed to be formed to save those Elves that remained. So the light Elves retreated to the highlands and the mountains, some retreating in the deepest part of the remaining forests. The dark Elves chose caves, bogs and places of danger for their abode. The darkened ones became addicted to the poison of the black magic they did wield, making them sicker of mind, they spent their days forging spells for the demise of man. They wanted man gone, as if it was a scourge upon the land, the light Elves had more compassion and patience, preferring to wait it out, praying for man to realise the richness of the trees.
Some Elves were called the wanderers because they could not find their camp to settle, not convinced revenge was the right way they could not align themselves with the dark Elves. However they could not align with the light Elves either because they did not agree with their procrastination and denial. Seeing both sides of the argument made them not seen by either party, not welcome at either camp, they resorted to wandering the land, though their feet did become weary and their hearts heavy. They became the messengers taking news from either side, tracking great expanses of land to carry the news from one to another. Gathering information, remembering it in song and poem they tried to keep the ancient magic alive but it was fading from memory. How to teach man the ways of the silver branch was formed in the minds of light Elf, runes cast among the leaves, were seen by wise man and woman and used to communicate with Arda herself. For many a year man did hear the whispering of the Elves and simple magic was revealed , druid , shaman and wise hedge witch did walk the Elven path , but those days are long since gone and now all that remains are those who dress in pagan garb and act out rituals long since forgotten .
The dark Elves lived in their dark caves and the light Elves lived in secret glade, and the wanderers moved between the two. The wanderers walked the dragon paths which were being worn away with time, lost in their missions of bringing the Elven family back together to bring harmony where there was none. They carried a heavy burden as they walked in between the world of man and the dimming world of the Elves both light and dark. Even some of the wanderers succumb to the thoughts and desires of the darkened Elves, their words convincing and full of charm. Many wanderers themselves became darkened in time.
Magic still had power in those days but this was all too soon change, men found the spark of electricity to light its darkened streets. Little did they know the effect and damage this would place upon the heart of Arda, little did they know how this would affect the Elves. As the pylons were placed upon the nodes of dragon lines a heavy poison did creep through the air waves, causing the minds of the darkened Elves to turn inwards causing them to retreat to the depths of the earth, conjuring and conniving no longer worked as weapons against men. They too cast illusions around themselves refusing to realise their defeat. They lived inside hellish realms and became known as demons shut off from the light of Ilúvatar. The light Elves fell into delusion and plain untruth too, preferring to turn their backs on the story of man, thinking this was the best way, however they also turned their backs upon Arda, refusing to hear her screams, as man cut down yet another of her trees.
It was only the wanderers who stayed true to the path seeking harmony where only discord reigned. Futile was their mission, bringing the Elves back into one, teaching respect of nature to the hardened hearts of man. Many thought of giving up and allowing the grief to carry away their hearts, however they were made of stronger resolve. They gathered in secret places away from the eyes of both Elf and man searching through the ancient books of spells and magic to find a way to steer the course. Who would save Arda if they could not achieve this task? It seemed like centuries did pass before the answer made itself known, though heinous was its presentation. It was decided that the only way was to find a way to enter the family of man to teach him from within his own kingdom. The wanderers wanted to find a way to enter the birth cycle of man so they could walk the human world in human body as a disguise. They needed to find the magic which would allow them to enter the human incarnation cycle and become Elves in human form. There was a way, a way which had been hidden in an old book, hidden in the roots of the Gorse.
A sacrifice was needed but no lamb or boar would do, a sacrifice of much standing was needed to make the magic true. A white stag was needed for such a feat, but who would dare sacrifice the steed of Oromë. It cannot be done it would be the worst sin cried many of the wanderers as they held council in secret groves. Many moons passed and still the council forged on, passing debates in tune with the rising of the moon and the setting of the sun. As each expressed their opinion it became apparent that it was the only way and so on that fateful day, the wanderers wrote in blood their vow to perform such a rite and take the consequence firmly upon their shoulders. There were not many compared to the original numbers of the Elves but there were enough to perform the rite. They heard Oromë’s horn and knew it was soon to come to pass. The white stag made his appearance on the brow of a hill, free of rider he pounded the earth with his hooven feet. The wanderers cast their magic about him and caught him in their trap, it seemed as they laid his body on the stone slab that he was willing to accept his fate. As the obsidian dagger was raised on high and then stabbed into his chest, a cold wind iced the land. A chalice of silver was raised in honour to the moon and then captured the falling blood. Each wanderer did take his place and drank from the warm liquid, feeling it seeping into their very souls. For a brief moment nothing happened and they thought the magic had failed but then a sleepiness befell them and they cast themselves down to sleep. Upon rising the next day they no longer walked in Elven form but were now in a body of flesh and man blood, birthed through the womb of their human mothers they now found themselves as human children in a very strange land.
Overcome by the sleepiness of human minds they forgot who they were, thinking they were in fact humans appearing on the earth yet another time. The souls of man had been long since corrupted by the perversion of the electricity which now covered the earth in a permanent fog. Their minds were no longer intelligent and their memory was dim. The wanderers now found they began to believe the words of men, only remembering their origins whilst listening to fairy stories told by their mothers as they soothed them to sleep. Many incarnations did they pass through, held captive by the illusion of time, mostly they did not remember but occasionally they lived a life of nature inspired, walking the path of healer, herbalist and scribe. In those early incarnations they had inclinations that they were somehow different and many became leaders of the Celtic tribes, wise in the ways of nature and the goddess. But as time rolled on and death and birth came to pass many of the wanderers forgot their Elven roots and began to fall deeper and deeper into human ways.
It is told that this event was prophesied by the last standing druid oaks, Gog and Magog, who stood in Avalon, now one dies rotting in time. These two oaks are the last remaining remnants of a bygone age. Many have sort their council but now in these modern times of man their language is unknown.
There will come a time when all the world is in darkness, when the sun shines through a poison laden sky, when the fish die at the gill, when man has found more ways to poison the earth and even the children have forgotten the Mother Arda. When it seems all is lost and cannot be retrieved there will come a group of Elves who have sacrificed much to bring this prophecy to bare. One will stand before the others as a reminder a navigator to the way home. This lonesome Elf will bide with time until the day is set and from this time, she will do all she can to wake her tribe, to set them straight as to the ways of man. To remind them of the origins and their true intent, to remind them of Elven days and times well spent. For they need to waken and take their positions in this story oh so clear, courage and determination is needed, to release the fear. To stand and proudly proclaim to all Elves and men that the day of Arda’s rebirth is drawing near, when the dragon rises once more with much Elven cheer. For when the dragon rises from its deep dark cave , it will fly once more in order to save , Arda from her imprisonment from the will of man and the dragon will do all it can . To bring about a harmony between one and all, and only then can the wanderers proudly stand tall. For all will see the evidence of their great sacrifice and all will be born anew.
We are only Elven in soul and not in face.
Can you imagine how painful that is for me to say, it feels like a mistake, was it right to become human and walk this path alone, always craving for our home and our kin. Being human seems like a deadly sin. And for this we feel punished and maybe not unjustly, but what choice did we have, we could not walk along Elven paths or concrete paths of man. We were in-between paradise and hell, in the abyss we now did dwell. Our only way out of there was to drink of stag’s blood, a take down our Elven hood. To now wear jeans and shirts, remembering my Elven gowns still hurts. That is what keeps most Elves who made that sacrifice that night from remembering themselves as Elf and Fey, for the pain of longing is too much. They would rather stay in touch with human reality of TV and shops, dreaming away their life as a human or so they believe. Sleeping walking as an Elf who does not know of his roots, no wonder they feel lost and confused.
When the gates closed and we were caught in the Twix, there were light Elf and dark, and some in-between, not decided on sides. We gathered in forest clearing, for the first time in a thousand years we were able to debate and decree that we would do this together and make ourselves free from the realm of the Twix. So when the blade was struck into the heart of the stag, even though only one hand held it, it represented us all, we all took on the consequences of this and hoped we would not need to repent.
The Great Lament
Lost in the mists of time
Only remembered in story and rhyme.
Cast from a branch of a tree
Cast adrift on a lonesome sea.
Elves mighty and tall
We towered above them all.
Bodies strong and true
Elven through and through.
Lost in the Great Forest, listening to the moss as it grows
We heard a distance call, summoning one and all.
To feel the great gate close, trapping those that chose
To stay in middle earth, becoming part of the rock and turf.
Many were slain in the Great War between Elves and men
A shadow cast across them all, no longer were we radiant as we were before the fall
Many used dark magic when the light was spent
Many fell into darkness, even though it was well meant
Kings and queens did meet in secret glen and many a song was written
Sung by those who had the light of the great Tree
Sindar, Lindar and Telerie
And more sailed to the blessed shore, to the undying lands
Where the warrior is healed, and the lovers reunited, and the blind re-sighted.
We lived the way of the silver branch
Our vows written in the stone of the Henge
For some of us all we wanted was revenge
Dark Elves with evil eyes
Cast abroad their cunning spies to gather knowledge that could be used to destroy man.
Darkness fell upon that day, some did scream or so they say
When the key was turned in the lock
And those accused had left the dock
To cast in darkness for ever more until their brethren unlocked the door.
To hear our cries of lament, thousands of years in this we have spent
Locked away in the bowels of hell, never to find forgiveness in the place we dwell
Please release us from our imprisonment and our trial
For our case we wish to place a file
Our plea, our bargain, whatever you perceive
Is our only reprieve
So please look into your Elven heart
And let us have a brand new start
Where Elven kin of either side
Put away their jealous pride
And embrace their kin with open arms
And speak of only Elven psalms
NB * This is an ongoing project , these are the first chapters more to come
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