History of the Circle of Rangers
150 - Wood Elves migrate from Lethica to the forests
At the height of Lethican civilisation, many of the inhabitants felt constricted by the stricts laws and living conditions imposed by the Elven Kings. These elves declined to follow the elven kings to their castes, but instead explored the depths of the forest, and built their hidden towns and cities in the depths of the woodland, where the sylvan magics flowed strongest. Thus began a kinship felt by the sylvan elves, and the great forests which still exists today.
200-350 - The coming of the Wyrm.
While the city of Lethica and the beings of the plains were besieged by the Wyrm and fought amongst themselves, the elves of the forest remained largely untouched by these events, and instead continued to live their lives in harmony with the woodland around them. Their sylvan magics worked to block off the innermost sections of the forest, while leaving only a small area of less dense forest which was penetrable by the inhabitants of the plains. The outer forest was brought into the turmoil of the wars that raged in Lethica and the plains, and the way of life there was destroyed forever - but the large majority of the elven villages survived.
380-600 - The rise and fall of Ytalica
When the Wyrm was finally banished from the plains, the Elven Kings who had since retreated to the depths of the forests re-emerged, and under their guidance, the city of Ytalica was formed. However, the original band of elves who had fled Lethica, and their kin decided to stay in the depths of the forests - in their now idyllic home. These were what would become known as the High Elves, a secretive race, and masters of magic.
The High Elves of the forest swayed from the worship of Gods, instead concentrating on perfecting their skills of magic and further cementing their bonds with the creatures of the forest. It is said that the High Elves were able to speak the languages of many of the creatures of the forest, and they managed to live in peace throughout the time of Darkness and the fall of Ytalica.
650 - The fall of Athel Camaraya
At around this time, certain members of elven society had begun experiementing with the darker, more sinister side of magic, at the same time, religion was beginning to slowly creep back into the society of the High Elves. It is said that the Lords of the elven city of Athel Camaraya had begun to worship the god Lysith - simply another manifestation of the Lord of Tyranny and Strife, Kalak. The council of Elders - the ruling body of elves, housed in the capital city of the Sylvan races - Tor Ethyriel, saw what was happening, and sent journeymen to the Lord of Athel Camaraya, demanding that they give up their experimentation with the Dark Arts.
The journeymen, upon arrival at Athel Camaraya and stating the purpose of their visit, were immediately sacrificed to Lysith, and their heads sent back to the Elders at Tor Ethyriel. It was at this time that there was only one option. To attack Athel Camarays. A large elven army, led by the legendary hero Yethel Anemhel marched on the rebel city. However, their foes divination skills had allowed them to forsee the attack, and prepare accordingly. A few of the elven army fell to carefully placed magical traps along the forest trails, but the loyal forces own mages were able to detect and neutralise most of these. Upon reaching the outskirts of Athel Camaraya, they were met by more or less the whole population of the city - nearly everyone within had been corrupted by the Dark God.
While the elven army of Yethel outnumbered the defenders greatly, the combined powers of dark magic and the priestly spells and curses granted by Lysith made a deadly combination indeed, as the first wave of attackers found out to their cost. It was then that Anemhel realised that he had to take a new approach. Calling his mages together, they pondered for days in their tent over a solution, while the battle raged outside.
Having arrived at their decision, the mages strode out of the tent to view a charnelhouse scene of carnage. Both sides had been decimated, by both blade and spell. Their solution was a great risk. Should they fail, the dark arts of Athel Camaraya would surely win the day.
Calling to the leading mages of Athel Camaraya, the loyal mages, led by the arch wizard known today as Ashel Firebrow challenged their opposing numbers in the dark army to a magical duel - a challenge, which according to the ancient rites of the elven mages, could not be refused.
What followed was a spectacular magical duel, which pitted dark against light, corrupt against pure. After a long and arduous battle, the loyal mages emerged exhausted, but victorious. Seeing their chance at victory dashed, the defenders fled the forests, pursued hard by the revenge hunting victors.
Since that day, the descendents of the elves of Athel Camaraya live deep in the Underdark as the Drow. Their dark magic has grown strong, and their hatred of the surface dwelling elves grows ever bigger with each passing day.
700 - The aftermath of the Dark War.
The Dark War, as it came to be known, had far-reaching and massive influence on the elves of the forest. Not only did scores of brave soldiers not return to their families, and massive tracts of forest around Athel Camarays become tainted and uninhabitable, but for the first time, the elves had let an outside influence into their closed community, and been punished greatly for it. Once again, they shunned religion, and the mages worked ever harder to protect their villages from outsiders with spells of misdirection and confusion. To this day, they have harboured a deep suspicion of the other races of New Moon, including the city dwelling elves who survived the Chaos Wars.
800 - The Wood Elves emerge
However, not all elves relished this segregation. While some claimed it was a mistake to allow it, the Elders permitted those who wished to leave the hidden cities of the High Elves, and to live in the forests. However, the elves who chose to do so were banished, permitted never to return to the cities, lest they bring the corrupting influence of the outside world with them.
These elves became known as the Wood Elves, and set up small, rustic villlages deep in the forest, and in the giant redwood trees. Even these had spells of concealment woven into them by the Wood Elf mages, who were of course, still proficient spellcasters, despite venturing out into the forest and the outside world.
The Wood Elves were happy in this lifestyle, and became closely linked with the spirits of the forest, able to call upon the mythical creatures such as unicorns, dryads and treemen for aid or transportation. It is said that they even breeded gigantic birds of prey, which they were able to ride as steeds. Their mages became known as 'forestweavers', able to entice the very trees of the forest to grow in certain ways to enable the Wood Elves to build their homes in them.
1000 - Darkness Rising
For the last few decades, the Wood Elf mages had been getting the increasing feeling that the forest was at unrest. Otherwise healthy trees and plants would wilt and die without warning, crops refused to grow, and where there were previously vibrant, healthy plants, there were now thick, tangling thorn and briar bushes. Something, or someone was polluting the forest.
1013 - The Evil Awakens
The Wood Elves were frequent visitors to the cities and villages outside the forest at this time. They would trade herbal potions for the materials needed to maintain their homes and villages. On the way back from Heliopolis, through a particularly dense area, a group of traders were attacked and slain by foul, barbaric mutants. The sole survivor said that they looked like 'short, stunted humans' but with warts and lumps all over their bodies. These were the orcs, the first of the bestial spawn to enter the forest.
The orcs had no organisation to their attacks. They lived in tribes on the outskirts of the forest, but would often attack and kill any Wood Elves that they could. They had also taken to hacking down young sapling trees, and slaughtering the forest creatures. The Wood Elves fought back with what they could, but the spawn were just too numerous.
1030 - The First Rangers
After nearly two decades, the Wood Elves came to the conclusion that they could simply defend no longer. They had to go on the offensive. To this end, the Wood Elf King, Oron Lareth decreed that each Wood Elf village would train a band of warriors for his armies. Yet these armies were not of the conventional type. Composed of small units of perhaps five warriors, they would slip into orcish territories and villages to cause as much destruction and death to the spawn as they possibly could.
1105 - The Battle of Highpike Pass
In 1105, despite the best efforts of the new ranger armies of Oron Lareth, the orcs launched an attack toward two villages in the northern reaches of the forest. To reach the villages, they had to pass through
Highpike Pass, a narrow cleft in the mountainous forests. The rangers from the nearby Wood Elf village - Tyr Elythe sped to defend the pass. Numbering 22 in all, they were faced with a seemingly endless tide of orcs. Fighting doggedly, first with the bow, then with their slim elven swords, they never faltered in their task, despite knowing that they could not possibly overcome such odds. But they were fighting for time, and the lives of the villagers. While the orcs were stalled at the pass, messengers sped to the villages, and organised their swift evacuation. Only when the villages were evacuated did the 5 surviving rangers fall back before the orcish horde.
1200 - The Goblin Horde
Circa 1200, the first goblins begun appearing in the forest. Smaller than the orcs, but more viscious and numerous, they were also blessed with a low animal cunning - and knew something of magic. This put the village forces under a lot of pressure. Up until now, the elven villages had been safe because of the enchantments placed on them. Now, with the goblin shamans emerging, the elves were no longer sure that this would protect them.
1240 - The first elven village is destroyed
As had been feared, the shamans were able to divine the locations of the elven villages, and the goblin hordes set about destroying them systematically. Although individually, the elves were more skilled than the goblins, there was nothing that they could do against the huge numerical advantage that the goblins held. Even the ranger armies were powerless to stop them, and all they could do was harry the goblins, buying precious time for the villages to be evacuated.
1271 - Construction of the Goblin Village and the Palisade
This was the first proper foothold that the goblins had got in the forest, yet it was probably the single most pivotal moment in the battle between the goblins and the elves. With the elves dwindling numbers, they just couldn't bring together a large enough force to attack the village decisively.
1320 - The Circle is formed
Up until now, the armies had been fairly loose, operating in groups of no more than 30, and never coming into organised contact with each other. However, the leaders of the armies realised that they could no longer afford to keep separate. The army was disbanded, and reformed into the Circle of Rangers. They hoped that the new group would be strong enough to resist the goblin forces, which had been gaining strength considerably in the last few years. The forces of the elves were bolstered considerably by many men and women from the forest villages also threatened by the orcs and goblins, and the elves began to teach their ancient skills to other races for the first time.
1321 - Ranger Warnings ignored.
The Circle had been noticing a rather alarming increase in the size of the orc and goblin armies, and so realising that an attack against the civilised cities was imminent, sent messengers to the leaders of the cities, warning them of the impending attack. However, the leaders continually ignored these warnings.
1325 - King's Oak destroyed
King's Oak was a large and prosperous town, occupied by many races, which the Wood Elves would frequently trade with before the goblin attacks made this impossible. It was therefore a double tragedy when the town was caught in a surprise attack by the goblins and totally razed to the ground. Ranger patrols succeeded in saving most of the townsfolk, but they were unable to stop the destruction of the buildings. Most of the able bodied survivors joined the Circle, but a few felt that the Wood Elves and the Circle had not done enough to help them, and left the forest for the cities of Heliopolis and Leviatha.
1327 - The Wood Elves flee the forest
Finally, after two centuries of battling the spawn that had infested the forest, the last of the Wood Elves left the Silver Oak. Many of them moved to other sylvan areas on New Moon, but a few moved into the cities, and led new lives as wilderness guides and trackers. Before leaving, they imparted a few of their deepest secrets to a select few members of the Circle.
1329-1333- The Great Goblin War
During this period, the orcs and goblins declared war on the cities of Heliopolis and Leviatha. Since the forest is an impenetrable barrier between the two, the Circle would play a vital role in the war. Appearing from the deep forest, they would ambush the goblins and slay many, before vanishing back into the brush once more. Using this technique, they caused great disruption to the goblin hordes, breaking supply lines, and stopping reinforcements from reaching the siege at Leviatha, and later at Heliopolis. Eventually, with the aid of Sertu, the siege of Heliopolis was broken, and the war was won. Many rangers had given their lives to save the two cities, yet had their warnings ignored, and were not acknowledged for their efforts. To some, this ingratitude has yet to be forgiven.
1333 onward - The rebuilding
Since the Goblin Wars, the Circle has been on somewhat of a recruitment drive. To this end, they send agents into the cities to look for potential members for the Guild.
1363 - Banishment of Tanglefoot Darkhaven
One of the greatest warrior the Circle has known in recent times, Darkhaven was banished from the guild by Yarrow. The reasons for his banishment are not spoken of by himself or Yarrow, save to say that it was brought about by his own folly. He is reputed to be living a life of exile overseas.
1385 - Giant Insects Attack Heliopolis
Suddenly and without warning, an insect horde arose from the Underdark and attacked the streets of Heliopolis. The citizens bravely moved to defend their city, and after much bloodshed and death, the horde was beaten back. Many rangers flocked to Heliopolis to aid the defence, but others, remembering the ingratitude and ignorance shown by the city during the Goblin War, kept their distance.
1385 - The Current Date
Close this Tome
NOTE: New Moon's Circle of Rangers don't have any background available in any library, so I decided to create my own. This history is unofficial and not authorised by the Guilds domain of New Moon.