Foreword: The War of the Four Kingdoms of Bankshire left the land in utter ruins and decimated three of the four races.
The Men were the strongest in numbers and tactics, yet political struggle from within caused their downfall. A joint alliance between the Elves and Dwarves brought them to a final end on the Great Bankshire Hills.
The Dwarves, not content with the Elves' claim over the hills, went underground in an effort to strengthen their forces and wait out their elven counterparts' siege of their lands. A horrible plague swept across their enormous subterranean web of cities and killed the majority of their kind. A distinct smell emanated from the victims, leading to the Dwarven proverb, "Walk not where death's smell is putrid." Many suspected that the Elves had something to do with the outbreak.
The last kingdom to fall was that of the superstitious Gnomes. They were easily exterminated by the highly advanced Elves and it was said that the Elven king himself actually drank the blood of those he killed from a golden chalice, a symbol of Elvish purity.
The Elves, the only remaining race, left the lands by sea, searching for new lives and a second chance. What they found was not at all what they had expected, and instead of a new thriving society, their race slowly came to an end.
An excerpt from The Book of Histories, a compendium written by Elvish poet Tan'quin Bromatis
Of times long past and men long dead, I speak my solemn vow.
A look of pride and hint of fear stood on ev'ry ruler's brow.
The yesteryear of men, and elves, and dwarves, and gnomes elapsed.
Warred until they could war no more and their kingdoms all collapsed.
The Men were mighty, fierce, and brave; a tribute to their skills.
They bled from wounds self-ingrained, and died on those Great Hills.
The Dwarves were next, those stout steel dogs, and underground they went.
They found but death lurking there, and death's cruel putrid scent.
Even the Gnomes, so small and paltry, we slaughtered without malice.
Their blood we drank, from deep within out pristine golden chalice.
And no more are the Four, those Kingdoms of Bankshire.
Only the Elves are left this day, and slowly they expire.
There long the golden leaves have grown upon the branching years
While here beyond the sundering seas now fall the elven tears.