(The following text is of a prologue that I wrote for The Crown and the Mage that got scrapped early on in the process. Enjoy!)
Once upon a time, in a land racked by war, there were four races of people fighting to carve out futures for the land they called home. The first race was of the Elves.
The Elves were immortal, the wisest and fairest of all beings. Their magic was unparalleled, but they rarely used it, preferring instead to grant the gift of song to the trees or the wind, valuing above all else the beauty of music and laughter. The Elves’ magic permeated the forest, for the Elves and the forest developed together over time.
The centaurs arrived from a distant land a century later, and the two races were fast friends. Half horse, half man, they, too, had the gift of magic, and loved the forest for all its natural wonders. The centaurs settled to the east of the Elves’ settlements, in land not yet charted by any living being. The two, Elves and centaurs, lived in harmony for many, many generations, until the Humans came.
The Humans had come to this land from over the sea, fleeing a horrible civil war in their home land. The Humans, called Gennen by the Elves, were similar in stature to their southern brethren, but aside from that, there were few other similarities. The Humans had rounded ears where the Elves had pointed ones. The Elves’ pointed ears allowed for acute hearing, but with rounded ears, the Humans’ sense of hearing was considerably weaker. The Humans were also mortal, and therefore more concerned with prolonging their existence, no matter the cost to the natural resources of this world.
This disregard for natural things eventually led to a war between the Elves and the Humans. The Humans wanted to extend their land into Elven territory, but the Elves, already angry with the Humans for destroying the trees and digging deep into the earth for precious metals, fought against them in a war that later became known as the Twelve Moons War, as it continued for an entire year. The centaurs fought with the Elves, creating an alliance that would last forever. At the end of the twelfth moon, a strip of land between the Humans’ prairies and the Elves’ forest was completely dry, hot and smoky from all of the bodies that had fallen there, both Humans and Elves. The Humans agreed to stay to the west of this Mriné, dead land, in exchange for privacy in the matters of their own business. The Elves reluctantly agreed to leave the Humans to their mining and their burning. It pained them to look beyond the forest, across the Mriné, where no new plants ever grew, and see the smoke from the Humans’ mines and fires, and yet not be able to help the trees and plants that were being sacrificed.
Soon after the War of Twelve Moons, Trolls were reported as being sighted beyond the mountains. The Pass of Huindor, the only pass through the mountains, remained unguarded, yet no Trolls attempted to come through and invade. They stayed to the north of this mountain range, not willing to risk their lives on a month-long trek through an unforgiving mountain path.
For nearly a thousand more years, all four races lived in imperfect harmony, none willing to sever the precious strings that had been so carefully crafted, until a day came when the unthinkable happened, when the Twelve Moons War became merely a legend, and all four peoples forgot the sacrifices made by their ancestors for the sake of a peaceful world, and war once again loomed on the horizon…