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Mirandus VOX — Mini-Quest 2 — Everflow Elf Stories

November 26, 2021
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Submissions are now closed, and we have received over 400 community submissions of lore for the Everflow Elf VOX pictured below.

Character count was limited to 500, and it takes true skill to tell an interesting story in a mere 500 characters. We have sifted carefully through the entries, and three finalists have been chosen. These finalists have been extended into longer stories by our writing team, and it’s now time to vote for your favorite.

Your popular vote will determine the official character background and name of this VOX. Please keep in mind that while these stories and the VOX are Mirandus themed, they are not necessarily official lore or an official character of the Mirandus game. On to the stories!

Queen Valstina

Many centuries ago, long before Mirandus was discovered by adventurers from across the seas, feuds and wars were common among the tribes of elves who lived there. It was during these times that clear lines were drawn between the various groups that have become known today as the elf ancestries. These are also known as the elf Exemplars, the protectors of each of the ancient magical disciplines. Elves were not always as few in number as they are today. When magic retreated into the mystical substance known as Materium and became a finite resource, the many ancestries of elves fought with one another.

Elf kingdoms were plentiful in those days. Some were bent on destruction of their opposition, while others wished to grow in knowledge and wisdom. Some were kind and benevolent rulers, while others were frightful and power-hungry tyrants. One of these rulers was an Everflow Elf by the name of Queen Valstina. Under a wise and virtuous rule, she united elves throughout Mirandus in a period of peace that lasted longer than that of any other monarch in the age.

Valstina’s rule was one of curiosity and intellect. She fostered the growth of science, creating abundance for her people. Instead of an army that wielded swords and shields, she raised an army that wielded words and tools. With the loving support of her kingdom and advisors, Valstina became the first elf ruler to harness and refine the power of Materium. Her court of mage smiths created magical hammers that could break rocks in a fraction of the time, elixirs that could heal nearly any ailment, and enchanted cloaks that could hide the wearer from the most perceptive predators.

In her great ivory castle Valstina always stayed, studying Materium day and night. Leaps and bounds of discovery were made within the castle walls by she and her closest advisors, but before long, as the darker side of Materium began to show itself, she began neglecting the welfare of the wider kingdom. What was once a peaceful empire became gradually smaller, as the outlying villages one by one fell to some invader or another. Valstina received reports from the distant reaches of her kingdom, but in her indecision she ignored them, focusing instead on her Materium and assuming it could solve all problems of the world. Her curiosity became obsession, and her obsession turned into neglect, which gave way to paranoia.

Some 200 years after her reign of peace began, Valstina’s kingdom was imploding around her, but safe within her ivory castle’s walls, she continued her work with Materium alone. Even her closest advisors left her side somewhere along the way. The Materium had such a hold upon her that she let her kingdom slip through her fingers. In her neglect, countless elves perished.

The stories say that one day Valstina looked out the window of the tallest tower in her castle to find that she was surrounded by the forces of darkness. Using the most powerful Materium enchantment she could muster, she placed a spell of protection around the castle that would never allow a living soul to enter its grounds.

As the legend goes, Valstina waits there to this day, in a castle overtaken by jungle growth after years of abandonment. What has the Everflow Queen learned in her years of seclusion, alone with her Materium? Perhaps time will tell, when one day she breaks the spell and finally emerges from the ivory gates.

Ayla, Halo of Light

The most ancient historical texts of Mirandus lie in some dark place, buried and forgotten for countless generations. Now with the call of adventure, voyagers are finding and reclaiming Mirandus land from far across the seas. Perhaps one day the bravest among them will uncover the secrets of Mirandus’ past, the tales of magic and conquest whose memories enchant the very stones, streams and hills of the mystical land. Until that day, the only stories of the ancient days are those handed down by the elves to whomever is fortunate enough to earn their audience.

One such rarely spoken story is shared by the Everflow Elves. It tells of the matriarch of their kind, whose birth in ancient times was recognized not only as the beginning of their Exemplar ancestry, but a mark of the turning of the Mirandus tide. Her name was Ayla. She was born into and named for a great celestial event called the Halo of Light. One night, the halo around the moon became bright like the sun, expanding outward and enveloping all things in the world. For a few minutes, the darkness was made daytime by the radiant otherworldly light. During this brief time, Ayla was born, surrounded and cradled by the same halo of light that illuminated the world.

Ayla’s parents brought her to the village square, where they proclaimed, “Look at Ayla, the chosen one who bears the light!” Astounded, the elf villagers gathered around and watched as gradually the halo of light retreated back inside the elf child, leaving the world once again in darkness.

Weeks later, another strange celestial event fell upon the world in the daytime, eclipsing the sun with a shadowy star and casting a darkness over the world like nothing the elves had ever seen. It is said that in these moments of complete darkness, another child was born. No one proclaimed his name, but his powers would parallel Ayla’s, bringing division among the elves and darkness to the light.

In those days, magic was everywhere in Mirandus. As Ayla (the “Halo of Light”) grew in power and wisdom, so did her counterpart, the nameless “Halo of Shadow,” who hid from the light. In the years that followed, the inherent magic of Mirandus retreated and began hiding itself in a strange and versatile substance called Materium.

Today, Ayla is remembered as the Mother of Everflows. Her story is a reminder that magic exists within everything and everyone, even when it is obscured and overshadowed. She is said to still live today, but she does not make herself known to travelers of Mirandus. She is the only elf able to wield the celestial power of moonlight, harnessing the force within her by using her legendary magic wand. The Halo of Shadow seeks her wand to this day, and if he ever finds it, Mirandus could be absorbed into darkness forever.

Winter Greene

Sometimes great things come from small beginnings. In a less visited corner of Mirandus, there was a modest halfling village called Thornberry where the same families lived peacefully for many generations.

Thornberry was always beholden to the seasons and cycles of nature. In summer and spring, the land surrounding the little village was incredibly plentiful, naturally producing all sorts of rare herbs. Artisans could use the natural resources provided by this abundant growth to craft tools and goods, and Proudhearths could harvest the most exquisite berries, spices and melons from the woods around them. There were no dangerous predators prowling in the woods by night or day, so foragers could search for woodland riches in safety and comfort. During these warm and plentiful months, the people of Thornberry were merry and productive. They spent their time either working hard or feasting heartily, and they were extremely good at both.

When the fall came and eventually turned to winter, this beautifully plentiful village transformed into one of the harshest places to live anywhere in the world. Temperatures dropped so low that everything was coated with a thick and impenetrable layer of ice and snow. Abundant growth stopped entirely, and long distance travel was nearly impossible. When the frost came, it brought with it horrifying creatures from the higher lands, monsters of ice that thrived in the extreme cold. The woods were no longer safe, and the halflings of Thornberry remained in their homes in a sort of hibernation for months.

Proudhearths have incredibly high standards for their cuisine, and they would never settle for a winter of dried meat and stored grains. One Proudhearth halfling named Thruck was especially proud of his creations, even those crafted from winter ingredients. While everyone else in the village was safe in their homes gathered round their fireplaces, Thruck would venture out to a secret foraging spot in the woods where he could collect ingredients. Frostnibs were tiny bright blue berries that grew only in ice and withered as soon as they unfroze. Frigus pods contained delicious peas. They could be found growing just below the surface of the ground ice, and reached by just a few chisel chips. His favorite winter delicacy was the glaci shroom. They were hard to find, but a single one of these wintergrown mushrooms could create a cauldron of the most flavorful soup.

One frigid afternoon, Thruck bundled into his heaviest cloaks and headed for the woods. This time of the day, he was not as worried about ice monsters, but still he moved quietly with a keen awareness of his surroundings. As he approached his secret foraging spot in the woods, he noticed something rather peculiar: The frost was melting. First there was slushy snow, then he beheld a few puddles, although the temperature was far below freezing. As he drew closer to his spot, Thruck was astounded to see some blades of living grass, green grass in the dead of winter.

As he approached the final clearing where he usually found his winter ingredients, Thruck heard a strange living noise, a quiet and helpless mewwing sound. He moved in cautiously, noting strange and exotic items scattered on the ground. A broken bone necklace indicated that orcs had been near, and the shining and jeweled dagger lying by was clearly of elven make. Thruck took up the dagger, worriedly wondering what possibly could have brought a skirmish between elf and orc here, to the deserted and frozen woods outside Thornberry in the dead of winter. He was also curious of what powerful sorcery allowed a temperate springtime within this clearing while everything around was frozen.

At the center of the green, on a tuft of soft healthy grass and cradled by loving vines, was a basket. Inside the basket was the source of the mewwing noise Thruck had heard. As he looked down, peering back at him through a snugly wrapped green blanket was the bluest pair of little eyes he had ever seen. Thruck quickly took the basket and headed for home. The elf baby within cooed with delight, and the frost thawed all around him as he made his way through the winter woods.

Thruck named the child Winter Greene and raised her as his own. He showed her the ways of the Proudhearths and taught her how to love the simple things in life. She was bright and cheerful, warming the hearts of the villagers as easily as her mysterious powers could warm the winter frost. One day when Winter was old enough, she bade farewell to Thruck and the village of Thornberry, setting off to seek answers to the questions surrounding her mysterious life.

Vote for your favorite in Discord now! — voting ends November 27th

Mirandus VOX drop on December 6th!