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This text is a part of a larger plot. So it is better to read first «The Kiss of the Worlds», in order not to spoil it.
By Yichard Muni, elf bard
This text was writen especially for au unique event into Inworldz, in collaboration with the harp player Ilianor Illios, who composed marvellous harp pieces and songs illustrating this story. There are several videos of her, that you can hear while reading this story...
MakTar and Shelenaë are considered as the very first Elves, who started the elven magic about ten thousands years ago, in an epoch that we could call the Neolithic. It was millennia before writing was invented, and this makes that the story itself is fuzzy, blurred into legends and many apocryphal texts. However, the fact remains, that Elves have magical powers, and these powers are faithfully transmitted since, among a constant lineage of kind and beautiful beings. So here is the account of the very early times, the most moving event of the Nyidiath History, when this marvel happened in the first time, into a pristine world...
In these times, MakTar and Shelenaë were youngsters, in what we may call a prehistoric tribe. They were ordinary Humans, just like everybody. Today the exegetes of ancient texts agree that it was not their true names, these names come from an elven language which appeared much later, during the Bronze Age. But mystics who are still in contact with them all agree to say that they like to be called this way. It is said that Shelenaë means «hairs flowing down to the hips and dancing around», while MakTar means «skilful warrior».
So, MakTar was a hunter, as no other way of living was known in these forgotten times. He was also skilful at building tools from stone, bone or wood. Shelenaë was learning plants, healing and weaving. They had no religious system, but they believed into spirits of nature, that they felt through dream, trance or contemplation. They guessed and propitiated them with drumming, dancing or singing repetitive patterns.
The tribe was moving through a vast plain of forests strewn with swamps. They did not liked this place, because it was dark, infested with biting insects and inhabited with cruel people jealous of their lands. They lost several of their members to marsh fevers, or to skirmishes with swamps tribes.
Fortunately they reached the Blue Mountains. This name is because they look blue in the distance. It is an isolated granite massif, with large outcrops of other minerals. This was a much more pleasant place, safe from insects, and providing many plants and resources.
They were not the first occupiers, thought. For this reason they had to settle in the higher places, with cold winters and less animals to hunt. The other tribes attacked them several times, without warning. So that they had to be permanently ready for fight. MakTar soon proved to be a very smart and strong warrior, who saved them several times.
Shelenaë and MakTar married, and were happy together. But, for some reason, they could never have children. In their culture, this made them consider as shamans, or messengers of the spirits of nature.
The message Shelenaë had to share was however somewhat disconcerting: she did not liked hunting, and wanted this to stop. She explained that animals are conscious beings too, wanting to live and be happy, and suffering when killed, just like Humans. We guess that she had some trouble to convince her tribe, who was still heavily relying on hunting forays and traps for basic survival. No other way of living was known, and edible berries were rare... MakTar himself was puzzled, and wondering what the spirits were expecting exactly. However the tribe dis not shunned them: they considered this was a mystery. Just like there were many other mysteries in these times...
So life continued as usual, save that Shelenaë was, at times, doing shamanic retirement in a lonely hut. After, she went alone in the wild. But when she returned, she had bags full of edible plants that they did not knew. So they followed her and picked the plants, after tasting them cautiously, to check if they were not poisonous. This allowed the tribe for a better food, especially in the winter.
This made that she was considered more seriously. But her first master stroke was to find out that the soapy chestnuts which abounded in the forest were edible, once they were cooked. This allowed them to gather food reserves for the long cold winters, and, for the first time, they needed less hunting. This was a good deal, as it was going into the direction indicated by Shelenaë. But hunting was also a cause of war with the other tribes, to share limited resources for an increasing population. Well, later they had to defend their chestnuts...
From this, Shelenaë became a kind of spiritual leader, while MakTar became the chief of the tribe. They were respected and influential, so that Shelenaë could more freely share her love of all living beings. She could also share moving chants, which were very different from the war drumming or hypnotic threnodies they used to perform. People much loved these chants!
From her wandering in the deep forest, she also brought flowers, and planted them, first around her house, and after in the village. It was very unusual and unexpected to see a prehistoric village ornate with flower beds... But she also brought several kinds of edible roots, sort of Jerusalem artichokes. They all wanted to eat them at once, but she instead put them into the earth... three months later, the quantity was doubled! So the whole tribe was truly amazed!
MakTar, on his side, was inventing new wood tools for this primitive farming. He was still a good warrior, but instead of boasting about his victories, he was more and more sorry of killing...
MakTar and Shelenaë went older than usual for hunters, from eating mostly vegetable food. But inevitably they became old and started to grow white hairs, while MakTar's arm became weaker. So, younger tribesmen claimed their turn for power... The two elders stepped down of their position, to avoid an useless fight among their own tribe. Once relieved from leading the tribe, they consecrated more and more time to shamanistic trances, often remaining weeks in the forest for this purpose.
However, one day, Shelenaë started to warn of an incoming very hard winter... The weather was nice, the plants growing, there was no apparent need to worry... However Shelenaë and MakTar spent the summer gathering plants, and chestnuts as soon as they started falling.
It was wise, as this year was the Dark Winter, the Long Night, the dreadful Tankaor, a strange and terrifying event, which nature and cause long remained a total mystery.
It started in the middle of autumn, with the weather still warm: for several nights, the sky showed strange auroras.
Then, one nice sunny afternoon, rumblings shook the blue sky, echoing other tremors from deep within the Earth.
The next night, the Dauriath, the Other World in the Sky, was dull red, instead of black as usual. In these times, they did not knew what it was, but this colour looked very wrong.
Then things apparently returned to normal, with nice weather and all. But Shelenaë was still hastily pushing everybody to gather the last chestnuts... Her worried look impressed everybody, so that they helped her.
Some days later, a strange cloud appeared in the merry warm blue sky. In the distance, it looked dark blue, instead of white. But while spreading above them, it took a frightening total black colour. Appalled, they saw it eating the sky, until it engulfed the sun... two hours later, only the clear horizon was visible, and it was as dark as if they were in a cave! Some were wailing with terror, while others just looked, immobile, appalled...
For three days, it was so dark that they could hardly guess the day from the night. The fourth day, some light was visible again, but it was a sinister greenish gloom, which lasted for three months, decreasing slowly. And snow started to fall... much too soon! To their horror, this snow was black, smelling the soot. And everything it touched was sullied with black soot... all the landscape took an utterly sinister look, as some phantom tale... Worse, the temperature dropped to deep freezing cold, and, by lack of proper clothing and shoes, they had to remain all this time snuggled into their huts, their whole bodies sullied with soot. Even fetching firewood was challenging, and they had to bring icicles instead of water.
Many of them bitterly though that it was the end of the world. But Shelenaë kept fast on saying that it was only temporary...
Things returned to normal only little by little, all along the winter and the following spring. The black clouds dissipated slowly, rain washed the soot, a pale red sun warmed the land again, unfreezing the waters. There was no summer, the trees bore little fruits, and harvests were poor. The sky was still white, and it took three years to recover its pure blue. They had to extensively search all the mountains for food... before facing a second winter, normal, but with not enough food reserves. They were all skinny, and the children did not grew this year.
They found that nobody survived in the other tribes, in the mountains or in the plains. Only the warnings and preparation of Shelenaë had saved them! Even animals had paid an heavy toll to the Dark Winter, and many years were needed before deers ran again in the undergrowth.
So they moved lower into the mountains, for easier cultivations, more water, and warmer climate.
But MakTar and Shelenaë refused to leave their lonely hut in the mountain. They explained that silence made their meditation easier, and they wanted to explore this new domain until where it would lead. And they needed to be away from the hustle, into unspoiled nature.
The tribe continued to lovingly bring them food and check for their well being. They would do until their death... But many years passed, and they were not dying! Quite on the contrary, they were looking younger and younger! They were still gardening happily. MakTar's hair became jet black again, while Shelenaë's became beige, instead of the common jet black of the tribe. It went so far that, some day, when they went to visit the tribe, new born children asked who were these «young persons»!!!
Ancient friends had now wrinkled faces, and the others were unknown, even the new chiefs and shamans! However MakTar and Shelenaë's influence was still here: the new village was well decorated, and surrounded with small fields merging among trees. But above all, the children were looking happy, smiling confidently to the unknown visitors... This was much more a reward for them than all the nice welcoming festivities!
But, much more extraordinary than the Dark Winter, was that MakTar and Shelenaë had developed enough magic to constantly regenerate their body! MakTar had not yet recovered his former strength, but he was clearly again a strong man enjoying all his faculties. At the age of 100...
This puzzling new started paradoxical reactions. Some were admiring, but others were jealous, so that Shelenaë needed a lot of diplomacy to explain that they were here for sharing this marvel! Just that it was not easy. But with guidance it would take less time...
This is how MakTar and Shelenaë became the first Elves, from kindness in their heart and wisdom in their mind, until their thought mastered the physical world.
For several centuries, they remained in the Blue Mountains, teaching and guiding hundreds of people, who started teaching and guiding in their turn. Two, then ten, then hundreds of tribe people became immortal in their turn (or rather long lived, as the material world ends up becoming boring, so that Elves leave it voluntarily). The only prerequisites to receive the teaching were to have a sweet heart, and to love beauty. But once the training complete, the disciples enjoyed wonderful magical powers, and immortality. Starting from this moment, they were called Elves.
In the same time, the tribe grew to thousands, with many villages scattered in the mountains, all nice and flowery with small fields between trees patches. But MakTar asked for maintaining fight skills and constant training. This showed useful, as, when Humans repopulated the plain bellow, they immediately started to harass the Elves... So MakTar gave them a clear choice: to become Elves in their turn, or to remain in their lands. Choosing to attack would be paid at a high cost.
The last deed in the life of Maktar and Shelenae in this world, is called the Transubstantiation: one day, they simply disappeared of this world, and no corpses were found. They went directly to the spiritual realms, changing the nature of their bodies without passing through the process of death. This is how they became the god and goddess of the Elves. But they left thousands of living Elves in this world, all perfectly able of transmitting the magic in turn! Still today, transubstantiations occur, but it is easier to stop the life functions of the material bodies.
Seven thousand years ago, the Blue Mountains became very unsafe, as the Humans living in the plains under were constantly organizing stealth raids. This made very dangerous to wander alone in the forest as the Elves like to do. They could travel only by groups, and soon even villages were attacked, and had to be fenced and defended. Worse, these Humans had bronze weapons, while no metals were available in the Blue Mountains... So the Elves, tired of being constantly on their guards, abandoned the Blue Mountains to become wandering Elves living on boats, of founding large kingdoms on available islands.
Fourteen centuries ago, they went back to the Blue Mountains, their mother land. They found the place desert. The Human farmers living around told them that they were cursed with many abnormal births or unexplained diseases. But this was not a problem for the Elves! The Elves found hardly any traces of their prehistoric elven villages, but in some places, the vibrations were still very strong. So, they settled here again for some centuries, building the wonderful Anar Shantar Marjun and other temples.
After the treaties which fixed the deportation of the Elves in the Dauriath, seven centuries ago, the Blue Mountains became a reservation, to be left untouched. But they were again wild and lonely, longing for the Elves. Just a small community grew around the Marjun, of Humans wanting to become Elves. And they had to rely on human soldiers guarding the Marjun from robbers.
Today, modern human governments want to build power lines over the Blue Mountains, or mine the abundant uranium ore. But none of this will ever happen, as the Elves are watching, using subtle magical means to ward off the destroyers from their mother lands. As, during their exile, the Elves have grown in number and strength, well beyond the expectation of the human kings who planned their deportation, without envisioning what would happen of them in the far future. So the Elves will soon lead this world for seven centuries, until everybody discovers the infinite power of love and beauty.
Human archaeologists exploring the Blue Mountains found remnants of prehistoric villages, with the earliest known traces of farming. There were also abundant carvings on rocks, dating from the Marjun building period. But, until recently, scientists dismissed the story of the Dark Winter as a legend, even if similar stories were known all around the Nyidiath world. But a layer of sooty sediments was visible on every continent, telling the reality of the event, if not its nature. It was even visible on the Dauriath, as the atmospheres of the two worlds communicate. This allowed to know exactly the date of the life of MakTar and Shelenaë. Only recently, scientists found that the Death Winter was caused by a string of meteorite impacts, which set a whole forested continent ablaze. However it left no large crater, and this greatly confused the researchers. This kind of things is frequent, into a young solar system. But who could imagine this into the prehistoric times?
Copyright… yes this text is copyright 2012 Yichard Muni, my identity in Second Life and Inworldz, or copyright 2012 Richard Trigaux, my identity in the physical world Life.
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux.
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