D A R H A K E Cinere elvii
Other names: Dirt Elf, Stained Elf, Dirty Elf, mixed elf, mudblood, mudker, bastard Elf, Spotted Elf, children of treason, Shame elves.
The Ash Elfs are a race of elves with mixed dark and light elf heritage.
The Origin of the Ash Elves its in the Elven wars between light and dark elves that plagued the Elfic Period of Hegemony, before the apparition of humanity.
In origin, the term was used for any elf individual of light and Dark Elf parents, being derogatory, as normally it was implicit for the elves that they where the product of rape, from the invading armies to the local populations, or product of slavery. This term however wasn't applied for elves of mixed parentage, but product of marriages of nobles, for political alliances or such, who were considered (depending of the matriarchal or patriarchal tradition of the different elven nations), of the same race of the mother or the father. But in general, such unions where seen as an exception, and not the rule (and any "ash elf" was then suspiciously looked upon, as a bastard).
In the continent of Ushaenor, where would be scenario for one of the longer lasting and major elven conflict, between the Hake Empire and the High Elves kingdoms who later will conform the Empire of Whide Axis.
There, during the Hake dark elf phase of the war, the Hake armies occupied large high elf territories: and as the product of the rape, raids, occupation and enslavement, many Ash elves where born.
Due the low birthrate among elves, abortive methods were infrequent-thought not unseen-, but many times after birth, these children born under the unlucky star of violence would be sold as slaves, or to be raised as a shameful reminder for their parents.
As the war prolonged-and as did the Hake occupation of some High Elf lands-, more and more Ash elves where born (and not only anymore only from violence, but from more normal relations as a mixed society, still divided between invaders and invaded, was being conformed).
For the Hake Empire, these "ash elves" weren't considered a problem-they weren't considered at all-. There were cases of some Hake generals who proposed even to give birth to more "ash kids", as a way in the long run to change substantially the composition of a hostile local population, but such opinions were often secondary.
But when the tide of the war changed, and the High Elves marched to the south, liberating some lands tha thave been for long under dark elf occupation, and they found with horror these "children of treason".
At first, as they liberated the occupied lands, the warriors and locals publically humiliated the high elf women who laid with the hated dark elf enemy, and there were cases of burning and killing of pregnant elven women carrying the "sons of the enemies".
Other elves, concerned for the racial purity of the race chosen by the gods themselves, at first tried politics of extermination, exile or enslavement for the "shame of elf-kind".
And as the High elves invaded the Hake lands, they were eager to pay with the same coin, and when the elf wars that had raged across the continent of Ushaenor finally meet an end, one of the results, aside of all the spilled blood and a demographic catastrophe for the formerly two larger elven populations (Hakes and High Elves), resulted as well in the origin of the "Darhake", the Children of the Hake, official name given to the Ash elves.
Because after the initial politics for racial purity, that ended in many witch hunts and violence acts in former high elf land, the newly created empire of the Empire of Whide Axis wasn't as concerned for what their own did to the Hakes during the occupation.
But as the dominion of the Whide Axis consolidated in many of the former lands of the Hake Empire, and more normalized relations began between the invaders and invaded began, they enacted a series of laws.
Therefore, the Darhakes in Light Elf society, became serfs, slaves or a marginal and poor proletariat. A Darhake couldn't inherit from their family, and the interracial unions where banned: As well, the Darhakes where banned from having lands, weapons, to learn magic and several professions were denied for them.
Due to this situation, many darhakes escaped to the remnants of the Hake Empire, where they -while still seen under doubt and as second class citizens, they weren't actively persecuted.
Because of these laws, in southern and central Ushaenor the Darhakes had to marry with other darhakes, becoming in that moment, from a class of outcasts, slowly into an ethnic group, and while the High elf authors denied the Ash elves their own culture, saying they simply mimicked the light or dark elf cultures, they did develop their own, as well their own dialects and interpretation of the elven religions. (some, rather than a culture, classify the cultural Darhake expressions as a counter-culture in front of the dominant one).
As the memory of the Elven wars began to fade with the centuries, slowly the strict racial segregation faded as well, and while the Darhakes were seen by the High Elves as barbarians and a lower kind of elf, they understood they could be useful servants.
-and so, in the First War of the Power for example, the elves recruited thousands of Darhake to serve as expendable levies).
All of this, however, helps to understand why in the later advance of the human nations (and religions) in High Elf Ushaenor dominated lands, they always could gather support from local elves-the Darhakes-.
The role of Darhake in High elven armiesEdit
Normally, the High elf armies of the Whide Axis didn't travel light, as did armies of other elves: because while it was key for their strategies (as for most elves), ambushes and the surprise element, they liked to advance with many comforts from their homes, marching with the diversion, of musical instruments, jewels, treasures and more. And of course, the high elves of the late Whide Axis didn't want to do the menial tasks needed to raise a camp: instead using the numerous Darhake camp followers.
Camp-follower is a term used to identify civilians and their children who follow armies. There are two common types of camp followers; first, the wives and children of soldiers, who follow their spouse or parent's army from place to place; the second type of camp followers have historically been informal army service providers, servicing soldiers' needs whilst encamped, in particular selling goods or servicesthat the military does not supply, these have included cooking, laundering, liquor, nursing, sexual services and scullery.
As well, sometimes the Darhakes camp followers would be conscripted to fight by their High elven masters