There is scant record of the day to day of S'iolaen. We have the Sepher S'iolaen, and while that recorded the important strokes of the elegant brush that is the Elven spirit, you'll find little mention of my grandmother's Traberry Tart recipe within those age-yellowed pages. The Second Dawn was not to be the final rising of the Elves. By the Sepher Siolaen, we know that the Tohr'mentirii – the Elves of the north joined with the demons – managed to locate the valley of our race's birth within a few quick decades.
Lumos burned. Many were slain. My great-grandmother, Lilianne Thinnas, among them.
It is a shock.
Not that she is dead. I knew she was dead, even reading the opening lines of this record. No, I feel like I've gotten closer to her through her journals. This loss pains me.
The record does not end with her death, though. It continues, in another volume, and explains itself far better than I could it.
“We are foiled, we are slain. The emerald N'yleen's flow is muddied by the red of Elven blood. To be decimated would be a blessing. My face is muddied with Lumos's flesh, and we carry her child with us, that we might once again bear witness to the beauty that my childhood was filled with. My childhood, which ended yesterday, when I became the elder remaining Thinnas, must be forgotten. We are the Ashen, and we have a journey to endure.
I am not a writer, but I'd like my mother's spirit to look down on me kindly, so I will keep writing this journal. Besides, it helps to have a second record we can check things against. I'm not questioning the historians, just many voices are safer than only having one voice controlling what is remembered.
I am worried that I don't have my mother's way with words. She was able to put heart into her writing of the boring, day-to day, and that's something I have real trouble with. I will try to make her proud, and offer an apology to anyone reading this in the future.
I guess if you are reading this, you are probably wondering who I am.
My name is Hollister Q. Thinnas. I did not know my father, and my mother never wed, so that is my name. It is a good name, though a little fancier than I would like. I sometimes got the impression that my mother wanted me to be a great intellectual, like she was. She was always trying to pry me away from the flowers or the trees or whatever smaller forms of life I had managed to make friends with, with her books and scrolls, but to spite her best efforts I ended up spending the bulk of my time in the deep forest.
Fortunately for me, on the day, I was able to avoid the Tohr'mentirii scouts due to my constant presence in the forest, and made it back in time to watch the hordes of demons and fallen elves raze my Lumos, and walk off, leaving the wounded wailing and the dead silent.
I found Mother's body by a smoldering pile of ashes. Shifting the coals with my foot, I found that the older journals had somehow escaped total destruction. Her words and her life were too much to lose at once, so I scalded my flesh on the heated bindings of a journal and saved it, for the future of my family.
It is now a week later and we are wandering. I do not know when we will find safety. May our Gods watch over us until we do.”
Scalded flesh, a people forged anew in the crucible of pain and loss, a seed kept for a future and a present of wandering pestilent wastes. One wonders how our elders survived in times like those. I suspect that a societal desire for peace and tranquility lead them to want to believe they were safe even as it all came crashing down, bloodied waters and scorched earth.
A dark time for the Elven people, to be sure. To recall this time is to remember what it is to be Ashen.
There is more of my namesake's journal here for the transcribing, yet I find myself in great need of rest. Would that I had more time in my day to pore over these documents; my studies demand a great deal of my time and energy, and I somehow have the inkling that my great-grandmother is looking down on me with a sense of great excitement. I hope I will make her proud.
I remember you, Great-grandmother.