'Bronendell' Picture

At dawns first light the elves of Bronendell begin to stir and set to task the coming day. Here dwell the kindred of Saenir, of The House Of The Swan.

The most ancient elves of the House of the Swan built majestic houses in the tops of Bronendell, the hardest of ironwood trees. Later as villages grew, the branches held fewer and fewer homes as younger elves began to emulate the younger races who live on the ground.

Elves do not need sleep to rest, as do men and other races. Instead, for about four hours each night they enter a sort of trance that they call "the reverie," a waking dream during which they "walk in the halls of memory." Elves are not completely insensate during the reverie, but are less likely to notice danger. They rest for the remaining four hours of the night, but remain fully awake and alert. During this rest time, they may stand guard or study magic or something similar but may undertake no strenuous activity.

Once elves reach physical maturity, which they achieve at about the same age as humans, they cease to age, making them effectively immortal. The burdens and cares of the world, however, gather on the shoulders of the elves until they eventually find it unbearable and seek to set sail for The Undying Lands, the mystical land of Aman that is said to lie across the Western Seas. The final journey is a popular topic for poems, like "An Elven Song of Longing":

Gold are the Beeches in Ardaranel
The summers there bring joy to me
The leaves in autumn too glorious to tell
But ever my thoughts seek the sea.

Even now it calls with perpetual voice.
Farther I drift from grass and tree,
The Doom of elves, the age-old choice:
Stay or sail to be free.

The memory of stars upon the sea
The ancient folk cannot suppress.
It sings to me of High Faerie,
The Havens where my heart doth rest.

For sun and grass and forest glade
Long have been my heart's content,
But all these lands grow pale and fade
As elves sing their sad lament.

For the thought of stars within these trees
I am unable to suppress.
It speaks to me of The Western Sea.
The Havens where my heart doth rest.
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