The Thanaril, or “Wood Elves” are the oldest sapient race on Garin. Originally a creation of Ashandra and given a home in the trees created by Ferrund and Katja, the Thanaril have long been devoted to the Goddess of Air. The Thanaril were the first. And when the world was still young, they walked it in wonder, for the air was fresh, the trees were young and the waters pure.

Time passed however, and not all the Elves stayed in love with their Goddess. For she was very particular about the way the Elves should behave. Certain elements within the societies began to chafe at the restrictions, longing to explore the regions of the world outside the forest and the magics forbidden to them.

Eventually it came to pass that a rift arose. A argument about what it really meant to be free. A large splinter group formed and renounced their allegiance to the goddess. They walked out of the great forests and into the mountains. Some even walked into the sea. These elves called themselves the Ilah Rinanshi. The “truly free”.

And while Ashandra mourned the dividing of her people, a great many of the Thanaril stayed and continued to worship her and the woods as they had done for many centuries. Over time her heart was healed and continued to love and bless the forests and the Elves remaining in them so they they thrived and grew.

Outside the forest more trouble brewed. The Ilah Rinanshi at first wandered wide across the world, tasting its many wonders and delights. Some of them desired to remain in one place and began to build great cities of wonder. Some of them delved in the deep places and discovered the riches of the earth. Some of them started to work the magics that had been forbidden from them by Ashandra. They became close with the other gods such as Rhagai and Harkurr and learned the secrets of chaos and death.

When these elves brought these arts back to the great cities of the Ilah Rinanshi, they brought both chaos and opportunity. Some of the Ilah Rinanshi demanded the chaos and death magic be stopped. They beseeched Thondis and Vael to bring order to the society and shunned the mages of chaos and death.

And so, a new divide was born. The Elves that desired order closed their gates to their chaos loving cousins and shut themselves behind their tall white walls. They worshipped the twin gods of order and renamed themselves the Ilah Ri. The “High Elves or pure ones”. The other Elves, chaos and opportunity loving, created their own abodes and continued to explore the power and opportunity of all the forms of magic. These called themselves the Cirgoth. The “Dark Elves” or “cunning ones”

More will be written about the Ilah Ri and Cirgoth in future blog posts.

The Thanaril remain the devoted subjects to Ashandra right up until the present day. They protect her forest home and the creatures that dwell within it and she in turn bestows upon them the boon of long life, good health and skills in many things.

The wood elves are in deep harmony with the forest and protect it fiercely with cunning and skill beyond the younger races. While not as numerous as they once were, they still provide a formidable opposition to those that would use the forests or the creatures dwelling within for their own purposes. They also have the loyalty and support of the creatures that also live in the forests and will often use them in battle where they give an edge to the Thanaril forces.