Excerpts from "The Fall of Elfhome" by Bill Rattlepike
annotations by Cornelius duVoort [4TE:131]
[TAEN, his MARSHAL, and LORD GODFREY at battle's eve]
Taen: Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends, bruis'd underneath the yoke of Fey tyranny, thus far into the bowels of Elfin land hay we march'd on without impediment; And here recieve we from our brother Adhan lines of fair comfort and encouragement. The wretched, bloody and o'erreaching boar*, that spoil'd your summer fields and fruitful vines, swills your warm blood like wash and makes his trough in your embowell'd bosoms. This foul swine lies now even in the centre of this plain! In Ondarin's name cheerly on, courageous friends, to reap the harvest of perpetual peace by this one bloody trial of sharp war!
Lord Godfrey: E'ry man's conscience is a thousand swords to fight against that blood-king.
Marshal: I doubt not but his Stahls** will fly to us.
Lord Godfrey: He hath no friends but who are friends for fear, which in his greatest need will shrink from him.
Taen: All for our vantage. Then, in Ondarin's name, march; true hope is swift and flies with snipe's wings: Men it makes Kings, and meaner creatures men.***
- Here we have an obscure - by today's standards - reference to the Elf-King as a pig. It stems from an old Taenish proverb common at Rattlepike's time "an oath to an elf is a butcher's to a pig". Rattlepike, here, inverts the disempowering ideom; the image of the pig (boar) here is a horrific one. These are not the Elves, Rattlepike reminds us, the relatively benign Elves of his own time.
- An anachronism. As aptly outlined in "A History of the Stahlmen", what we now consider the Stahlic line formed AFTER the fall of the Elvish Empire. Indeed, there could be no Stahls until the Elves forsook Godsrock and headed West.
- On the whole, The Fall of Elfhome stinks of political propoganda. As "No New Nobility: Taenish Peerage Examined" by Artorious Hathwillow makes clear, almost all of the Great Houses owe their peerage to helping Taen besiege the Elf-King. Rattlepike collects all their various roles into one and even relegates the Lord Jordayne of earlier versions to the bit-part 'Marshal'. It is no surprise given the heavy anti-Stahlmen sentiment of Rattlepike's day, nor surprising that he should elevate Lord Godfrey so much as a character. During his lifetime, Rattlepike was commissioned to write no less than five plays for High King Christof the Frowner between 3TE:77 and 3TE:84
"No New Nobility: Taenish Peerage Examined" by Artorious Hathwillow
"A History of Stahlmen"