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My fellow scholar would have you believe the Elves of the Ashlands are unstoppable. They point to Red Mountain and other triumphant, if hard-fought, battles against the Dwemer as proof. But once long ago, our people were as far as a mountainside in Skyrim. In that distant time, we were drive to the edge of defeat.
Then came the Nedes. Though the Nords of today are allies, the Nedes were adversaries of the darkest nature. They sought only land, conquest and spoils. We extended open hands of diplomacy, which they lopped off. Any Elf in the horde's path was fair game ---- man, woman or child.
The greatest generals of the age were brothers. Balreth and Sadal led armies of willing warriors against the horde. At first, this was an attempt to drive them from the ash. As the war went on, their actions turned purely to defense and redirection. If a force of Chimer could spend their blood allowing a village to evacuate, then that was blood well spent.
The Nedes, after a few short years, controlled most of what we call now Stonefalls. The Chimer armies were cut off from the Inner Sea and reinforcements from Vvardenfell. The brothers retreated again and again until finally, they were left with a small elite force of sorcerers and troops. This force then took shelter in an ancient Daedric ruin.
What happened at that ruin has been lost to time, but the massive statues that now mark endure as mute testament. The death of the Chimer generals ended the war. But at what cost?
At this ruin, the so-called Brothers of Strife were born. My research shows that Chimer mages from Vvardenfell eventually bound the beasts, but not before the Brothers ended the lives of hundreds of men and mer. One of the darkest chapters in our people's history followed. The unstoppable beasts made ash run red with blood, Chimer and Nede alike.
When the two beats were finally bound into the twin spires of Stonefalls, they went to their rest with the blood of history staining their claws. We must hope and pray to the Three that their like will never be seen in the Ashlands again.