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The new gods immediately began to use the powers given to them by Legel. Markis brought natural and unnatural disasters to the world of Isya. Anis traveled the countryside, fighting all he could find in order to test his strength. Pagel and Apoline corrupted the hearts of mortals, while Nik did the same to Isya’s peaceful creatures.

But there was one among the new gods who did not possess the same desire to corrupt or destroy the world. Bijou, god of creation, decided to side with Teva. He grew to love the world that Legel created and Teva saved. Bijou became particularly fond of the Elves. Some say it was because he fell in love with an Elf woman.

But regardless of the reason, Bijou admired how the Elves lived in harmony with creation and made beautiful art and music. They crafted homes from living trees without harming them, and never took more than they needed from the land. This way of life appealed to Bijou’s very nature. Every time the other gods sought to destroy a part of Isya, Bijou would use his powers to help counter it. If Markis destroyed a tree, Bijou helped two grow in its place. If Anis turned a mountain into a crater, Bijou would make it rain to create a lake.

Bijou’s actions angered his fellow gods, and they conspired to take his power. One day, as Bijou wandered through the Elven woods, enjoying the beauty of the world, the gods struck. They attacked Bijou with all their might and their monstrous power began to destroy everything in the nearby forest. Bijou, caught in the middle of the maelstrom, shattered into pieces and scattered throughout Isya. With Teva’s only ally gone, the gods thought there was little to prevent them from destroying her and the races that helped defeat Legel.

But they were wrong.

The pieces of Bijou scattered throughout Isya began to transform the world. Wherever they landed, forests grew and animals were born. Known as Soul Stones, these pieces proved that even in death Bijou found a way to fight the destruction and chaos plaguing Isya. Angry at Bijou’s continued interference, the remaining gods decided to capture the Soul Stones scattered throughout the world. All mortals who opposed them would be destroyed.

Having recovered some of the Soul Stones that appeared when they destroyed Bijou, the gods began to create horrific monsters to ravage the land. But without all the Soul Stones they lacked Bijou’s complete power of creation. To compensate for this, the gods used their own blood to change what already existed. But it came at a cost. The gods turned everything they could find into monsters, from boars and horses to trees and even inanimate objects like mud and stones. While the transformation created strong, intelligent creatures, it caused them endless pain as well. The new army, savage and merciless, tore across the lands of the Elves. The beasts sowed carnage in an effort to claim the Soul Stones for their creators and destroy everything that got in their way.

Many Elves died in the early stages of this horrible conflict. Having enjoyed peace for centuries, the only combat skills they still possessed were in archery and sorcery—and even those had been used only for hunting and civic projects. The horde of terrible creatures quickly crushed the meager Elven resistance. The Elves who managed to survive chose to hide deeper in the woods rather than stay and fight.

Just as all seemed lost, an Elf named Elderine called out to her people. Known for her skill as an archer, Elderine was joined by her brother Epith, a talented mage. The two pleaded with the remaining Elves, asking them to protect those unable to defend themselves and fight the monsters threatening the Elven way of life. Only a few answered the call at first, but Elderine and Epith worked with them. Elderine showed other archers how their hunting skills could be used to slay dangerous monsters. Epith taught mages how to use spells as weapons. The two also showed their countrymen how to outmaneuver the enemy and lead them into ambushes using dexterity and speed.

The monsters were more than a match for the small Elven resistance created by Elderine and Epith, but this new band of warriors
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did manage to slow it down. By doing so they gave countless Elves enough time to flee further into the woods and to their capital city. As Elderine’s small victories began to mount, more Elves flocked to her banner. Together they managed to collect Soul Stones from the defeated monsters. By the time Elderine and Epith withdrew to the Elven capital, their forces numbered in the hundreds. The group had also collected a large amount of Soul Stones and the Elven people embraced Elderine as their leader. As she walked through the

streets and met with its people, she saw how the entire city had been busy preparing for the siege that lay ahead.

As the terrible army of the dark gods approached, the Elves prepared for what they feared would be their last stand.