Elves of the Golden Scale
Of the Elves of the Golden Scale, Glorandier, and the War of the Dragons
Long before the coming of the orcish hordes, the land of Golaria was home to a mighty nation of elves known as the Kingdom of the Golden Scale. This nation was founded by a band of elves from across the sea. Driven from their homes by a long forgotten conflict, they sought to find a land to call their own. Like all elves from ancient times, arcane magics ran strong in their blood. Lost in the wilds of Golaria, they were drawn to an ancient being whose arcane powers resonated with their own: Glorandier, the Radiant One.
Glorandier was the regions first and oldest dragon. His golden scales were said to blaze like the sun itself, and those who looked upon him wept at his magnificence. Glorandier had long kept the region safe from the corruption of the chromatic dragons. Upon seeing the forlorn elves, it was said that Glorandier’s heart swelled with grief for their lost heritage. He determined to take them under his wing and shape them into a nation that would be a shining example for all of Golaria.
And so it was that a great elven nation was forged, under the vigilant watch of The Radiant One, and they became known as the ‘elves of the golden scale’. Glorandier’s tutoring allowed the elves to tap into their arcane heritage as never before. They shaped magnificent structures out of the land’s natural materials. Stone fused seamlessly with trees and vines to form great halls and cathedrals. Streams and waterfalls formed a delicate lattice that kept their cities green and lush. Along with their magical awakening, Glorandier instilled in the elves a strict moral code, charging them with defending the weaker races and resisting the corruption of the land. Although they worshiped no deity in particular, except perhaps Glorandier himself, they were taught to respect the deities who upheld justice and preservation of the land, while worship of the evil deities was forbidden.
As the nation grew and prospered, many races coveted the prosperity of the elves. While Glorandier’s presence dissuaded any would be invaders, he knew in his heart that one day the elves would need to be able to fend for themselves. As such, he also taught the elves how to hone their arcane powers into mighty weapons, in preparation for the day when he would no longer be with them.
For centuries, the elves thrived under Glorandier’s protection, and he reveled in their achievements as a father would take pride in a son. However, the invasion of the orcish army would see an end to the kingdom’s splendor. The army of green skinned barbarians came out of nowhere. Many of the smaller communities were taken completely by surprise and orcs slaughtered the elves mercilessly. Never before had any army so blatantly drawn the wrath of The Radiant One, and Glorandier’s retaliation was swift and terrible. Rallying the elven sorcerers, the great dragon himself lead the counter attack. Entire legions of orcs were consumed in flame, and it was not long before the first wave of the invaders was broken. Thinking the orcs defeated the elves tended to their wounds and offered aid to the other races savaged by the invasion.
The orc’s blood lust, however, was not so easily quenched, and having witnessed the might of the elves’ dragon lord, they too sought to harness the might of the dragon. Glorandier had all but driven the ferocious red dragons from the land long before the elves had arrived. However, far to the south their still remained one great enemy: Scora, Bringer of Searing Death. Mother to a vast brood, Scora was the one creature in the land whose powers came close to matching the might of Glorandier. Her hatred of the Radiant one ran deep and her grudge was an ancient one. She needed little convincing to ally her brood with the Horde.
With the red dragons doing their biding, the Horde burned their way right through to the capital of the elves. The elves fought valiantly, but they could not hold back the combined ferocity of the orcs and the red dragons. Glorandier cried with fury and anguish as he witnessed the burning of the nation he had held so dear. Taking flight into battle one last time, Glorandier knew that only the death of Scora could rout the red dragon brood. The mighty ancient flew straight into the heart of the horde’s army, consuming vast scores of orcs and lesser dragons as he went. There he met with Scora face to face, and the earth shook with the fury of their struggle. Vastly outnumbered by the red brood, Glorandier was assaulted from all sides. Finally, Glorandier grappled Scora in a deadly dive, and the titans plummeted into the earth, forming a vast crater. When the dust settled, Scora lay dead, and panic took the red brood, scattering them to the four winds.
Glorandier, gravely wounded, made his way back to the capital, and rallied the remaining elven sorcerers. The retreat of the red dragons left the orc army weekend but not defeated, and the elven defenses were failing. Lying before his beloved elves, the Radiant one blessed them one last time and released his dying breath over them. In that moment, the elven sorcerers were changed forever. Stunned by the death of their guardian, they none-the less felt the change taking place inside of them. They knew that somehow, Glorandier had become a part of them. Opening the main city gate, the sorcerers strode out to meet their invaders. Presuming the elves were sending out delegates to offer their surrender, the orcs began to howl in victory. But, their howls soon turned to terror. For before them, where the elven sorcerers had been now stood an army of golden dragons, as radiant as the great one they had once served. It took only moments for the orcs to rout, but the dragons pursued them right to the edges of their once great nation. Never again during the first orc wars did they attempt to invade the region that once belonged to the elves of the golden scale.
Although they had succeeded in preserving the last of their people, the elven nation was no more. Without their draconic deity, the elves were again lost. Rather than attempting to re-establish their kingdom, the few survivors decided to attempt to preserve their race and culture by retreating into seclusion. Over time, this attitude distanced them from the other races, and the Kingdom of the Golden Scale faded first into history and then legend.
The ancestors of these elves still continue to worship the spirit of their great dragon patron. They hold to the belief that his spirit continues to guide and watch over them, and that one day, he will return and their kingdom will be restored. Holding their heritage as sacred and wishing to avoid the watering down of their patron’s gift, the elves of the golden scale forbid unions with any other race and usually even other elves. A few dissenting voices in the community claim that this practice and their reclusive nature is contrary to the ancient teachings of their patron, but to date their warnings have fallen on deaf ears.