Continued from Part IV… or Start from the beginning…
The years stretched on and the abundance and prosperity of the Tælon began to take their toll. The lords of the cities and keepers of the books began to find more use of tailors than fletchers. The chefs of the cities were not lacking, nor were the products of their kitchens. Swords were not allowed to become rusty, for the High King had warned against the slacking of the guard. The young men, however, became content with the pleasures of court and home, and the older men retired from soldiery and chose to study the arts of farming and the making of money. Merchanting became an occupation more desired than knighthood, and the values of nobility and honor slowly began to give way to the vices of fortune-seeking and pleasure. It was at this time that the fair-skins began to appear. Similar to our people in most ways, these men were thin, tall, and long-faced. They did not hold the values of our people, and they cared only for the money that could be made from their crafts, but oh! The crafts that they could make! They were glorious; they were beautiful; they were terrible.”
Tharen stopped. His voice was now cracking slightly, as he continued:
“The men brought with them great gems and wonderful stonework. They produced boxes that opened on command and swords that could not be removed from their sheathes except by their owners. The fair-skins brought these toys and the Tælon were enraptured. They allowed the foreigners to live in the city and settle amongst their own people. Faren was at first concerned, but he could find no apparent wrong with the men. Although they were greedy and dark, they broke no laws of the land. Their skill at metallurgy far surpassed that of Faren’s people. Their knowledge and control of the ancient skills was also great. No Tælon man ever entered the house of a fair-skin without his consent. The fair-skins delved into the rock to the South of Tælongaad and built their houses completely from the cold, dark stone of the earth. The fair-skins’ homes contrasted as widely with the white sea rock of Tælongaad as the fair-skins themselves did with the Tælon. The Tælon learned to live with the newcomers, but the peace and joviality that first filled the streets were becoming concepts of the past. Faren’s visits came to our woods and fields less frequently. My own kingdom knew little of the fair-skins, for they despised the open fields, and the keepers of the forests did not suffer them to enter. Messengers of our people would often venture into Tælongaad to learn of the news of the world and inquire as to the health of my brother.
It may seem to you that I have been negligent in my storytelling. I assure you, however, that I have not forgotten my father; soon after dividing his kingdom among his sons, he decided to journey down into the Southern lands. Deep in the South is a small kingdom of the Ellathe. The Ellathe are the oldest of this world, barring the One and his servants. Being like men in appearance and manner, they do not fear death at the hand of time. They are knowledgeable in the ancient arts and can foresee much that might come to be. Seldom do they interfere in the domains of other races. Content to dwell in their homes of nature, formed for them by the Celapth, they remain hidden except to those who are friends. My father fought in the Ellathian council that first purged this land of the fell creatures which had overtaken it. The high race of men we are called by the Ellathe. It is said that we have their blood in our own, but those stories are much farther back in time than our lore now reaches.
The peace in our land was temporary. The eldest of the Ellathe warned my father of a people who would come upon our land and receive welcome. Our rule dictates that we are to turn away none that come in peace. Peace is a blessing with two faces. Both are fair, but the fairest of faces can mask the darkest of hearts. It was concerning fair-skins that my father now sought council. My father took with him a consort of royal high-guard and a few of my huntsmen. Gifts were not required, for nothing crafted by men could match the marvels of the Ellathe. My father granted to me the power of the high throne, and I managed the affairs of the imperial city. Unsettling reports of strange happenings began to reach the city from the East and South. Settlements began to report missing livestock and entire fields of damaged crops. Creatures of the tales of old were even reported to have been seen, although these stories were dismissed as the delusions of worried villagers. Marauding men of the sea began to land and trade with the fair-skins, who had no loyalties but to the strongest and highest paying trader. Faren attempted to stop this practice, and he even banned the pirates from entering Tælon. He could not patrol the entire coast, however, and the settlements of the West began to grow evermore dangerous. After a time, I decided to venture into the West to discern how best I could aid my brother.
 Ellathian word for the servants of the One. The Celapth stayed loyal to the their maker, but others broke from his plan and created their own machinations.
To be continued…