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Rift (Rift)
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House Aelfwar

By Paul Crilley on November 03, 2011 | Columns | Comments

House Aelfwar

Hello there! And welcome back to The Chronicles of One Telaran, my leveling guide through the rather large and quest-filled world of RIFT. Now, I know I said last week that I hoped to be in Sanctum by the time this article came around, but well… that didn't happen, I'm afraid. I'm still exploring Silverwood. Which is no bad thing. There's a lot to do, a whole ton of quests to keep me busy. And although I’d like to see something of the city, maybe take in a tavern or two, catch a show or something, the very fact that there are so many quests in each zone is quite encouraging. It means I’ll have be able to keep playing the game for a while to come. I did manage to level up, though. I’m now level 14. Pretty good, huh?

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Anyway, this week I’ve started on a few of the Overwatch Keep quests, and have run into the first of the House Aelfwar elves. So what better time to delve into a bit of the history of House Aelfwar and their scallywag of a leader, Prince Hylas?


Prince Hylas rocking the Elric look

Let’s go back to the beginning.  Prince Hylas used to be nice. He was the very epitome of a High Elf. He worshiped Tavril, the goddess of nature. He took the responsibility of the High Elves – to protect the forests and glades of Telara – seriously. Very seriously indeed. He was dashing, good looking, funny, good with a sword. He sparkled at conversation. He was the kind of guy who was always invited to dinner parties. Like a cross between George Clooney, Stephen Fry, and Johnny Depp.

I kinda hate him already.

Then he met Shyla Starhearth. And as with many other men who up until that point had only really lived for their responsibilities, when he fell in love, he fell hard. Shyla was a priestess of Tavril. She was all mysterious, living out in the forests, acting all cool and mysterious.

Hylas didn’t stand a chance.

But then the Mathosian Civil war broke out, and he sort of remembered where his duties lay. Unfortunately, these duties were slightly at odds with Shyla’s. Shyla wanted to pledge the Elven armies to Prince Zeraph, to aid him in his fight against Aedraxis. But Hylas thought the whole thing was none of their business. They protected the wilds of the world. What happened between the Mathosian people was nothing to do with them.

So they had a bit of a lover’s spat. Shyla took any Elves loyal to her and marched into battle.

Now, if there’s one lesson to take away from Hylas and Shyla, I reckon it’s to never leave a fight unresolved when you part ways with someone you love.

Because Shyla died. Quite painfully, I would imagine. (Obviously, I’m not saying that would happen if you don’t resolve a fight with a loved one before parting ways. That would be crazy. But, you know, it happened with these two, so it could happen. Not saying it would. Just that it could. Just… putting it out there.)

You can bet Prince Hylas felt pretty bad about the whole thing. He grieved over Shyla’s death, spending days drifting around his palace all dressed in black. He also spent a lot of time riding through the forests of Silverwood, and it was here that the Fae Lord Twyl planted an idea in his head, whispering and corrupting the prince while his mind was dealing with his loss. Twyl planted the idea that everyone else was to blame for Hylas’s problems. The Mathosians, the Dwarves, even Tavril Herself. The High Elves were too good for the Guardians, Twyl whispered. They should team up with someone who truly wanted nature to win. Someone who wanted to see all signs of civilization wiped from the face of the world, someone who represented life at its absolute fiercest and cruelest.


One of the Fae. Not very happy looking, but neither would you be if you had backward legs.

Someone like Greenscale of the Blood Storm.

This suggestion took root in Hylas’s mind. Tavril, he decided, wasn’t fanatical enough. She wouldn’t go far enough to defend the world from those who would harm her. Hylas made the decision.  He switched his House’s allegiance over to Greenscale. Hylas and his followers now considered the Mathosians and Dwarves their enemies, looking on them as  parasites infecting a host. He set about concocting plans to get rid of them all.

And then one day Shyla came back, raised from the dead by the Gods of the Vigil. But Hylas didn’t like that. He was all like, “Gross, man. You’re dead. And I’m all for Life. Now get out! Get out I say.”

And Shyla was all like, “Fine. I’ll go. Just don’t come crawling back to me when the Blood Storm sucks your soul out through your nose!”

And he was like, “I won’t!”

Anyway, that’s the deal. Prince Hylas took all his followers in House Aelfwar to Overlook Keep, and they use that as a base of operations to launch their attacks throughout Silverwood. Hylas became Twyl’s protégé, mastering Life magic and following the commandments of Greenscale.  But there was something that Twyl didn’t count on when coming up with his grand plans. Hylas’s ambition. Hylas rose above Twyl in Greenscale’s eyes and took over the leadership of the cult. House Aelfwar now is the Cult of Greenscale.


Hylas and his new best buds.

Nowadays, House Aelfwar has spread even beyond Silverwood, driving the devouring wilderness before them like an army of Seymours from The Little Shop of Horrors. Prince Hylas wants to see Greenscale freed, and then he will hunt through the wild forests of the world like the ancient Lords of the Hunt.

So yeah, I’m a bit busy at the moment. Not sure when I’ll get to Sanctum.

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