Salvation for the Teir’Dal race came in the person of Xanit K’Ven, a Secondborn Teir’Dal warrior who emerged from the chaos of the bickering Teir’Dal nobles to unite his people under one purpose. Much to the chagrin of the great and ancient Firstborn dark elves, this young warrior would one day become the finest diplomat and tactician the Teir’Dal had ever known. Xanit K’Ven, tired of the bickering and infighting and wishing only to pursue his own mastery of the warrior’s art, had left Neriak and served as a mercenary under the banner of the Rallosian Empire during the conquest of Tunaria. As the giantish races assaulted the planes of the gods, K’Ven learned valuable strategies and tactics from them, even though he was nearly beneath their notice. Deeply moved by the strength of a unified warrior race, K’Ven adopted Rallos Zek as his own patron deity.
As such, K’Ven worked his way up through to the rank of Captain, and he witnessed firsthand the initial assault of the Rallosian Empire against the mighty walls of Takish-Hiz. As the siege of Takish-Hiz would take many months due to her mighty defenses, young Captain K’Ven secured leave from his superiors, who had come to value the dark elf’s skill and intelligence, to return to Neriak to recruit more Teir’Dal to fight alongside the giantish races. Still having some loyalty to Neriak and fearing that the Rallosian Empire’s next move after taking Takish-Hiz would be an invasion of Neriak, Xanit had an ulterior motive for leaving the siege, for he wished to bind his own people to Rallos Zek, leaving behind the useless hatred and infighting espoused by Innoruuk’s worshippers, and thus put off what he foresaw as the inevitable slaughter of his people. King Naythox Thex I and Queen Cristianos Thex listened carefully to K’Ven, for he was a skilled and passionate orator. He spoke lyrically and purposefully of the might of the Rallosian Empire, and suggested that the Teir’Dal needed to ally with them or face destruction; being both wise and intelligent, he did not yet make any mention to his monarchs of his own conversion to Rallos Zek’s church. As a diplomatic move to preserve the Teir’Dal from danger, the dark elf king and queen declared K’Ven “Overlord of the Teir’Dal Empire.” This was a token title at best, since the Teir’Dal had to date fought only between themselves in their dark homeland and cared little for events which transpired up in the surface world. The newly appointed Overlord was also given a token force of seven scorewarriors, all younger sons and daughters, lesser cousins, and the like, recruited from various feuding noble houses, to rejoin the Rallosian Empire’s army.
Even as K’Ven and his new army were still underground, however, just beginning their return to Takish-Hiz, the curse of the Rathe was levied upon the armies of the Rallosian Empire for daring to assault the Planes of Power. This curse killed most of the giants and goblinkind, and reduced the remainder to relatively simple-minded brutes. Overnight, the Rallosian Empire was destroyed. And so, although the act was not of his own hand, Innoruuk’s vengeance against the races created by Tunare, Brell, Prexus, and Rallos Zek was nearly complete. Overlord Xanit K’Ven did not return home immediately after the fall of the Rallosian Empire, however, for he saw now an opportunity to harry elven villages within the Elddar Forest and forge his recruits into a unified force — for already he had been forced to step in and end their petty arguments and bickering on several occasions, twice with lethal force, and they had learned to fear and respect him. After sacking several elven settlements, Xanit unexpectedly brought his legion against other races, including various groups of goblins, orcs, kobolds, and frogloks of eastern Tunaria.
Over the course of the next few months, with just the 140 Teir’Dal over whom he’d been given command, Overlord K’Ven regularly sent couriers home to Neriak with reports of victories against the hated light elves and other races. He also sent home large supply trains loaded with plunder. In time, the Teir’Dal began to listen to these reports from the surface world with renewed anticipation until, at last, they began to forget their petty feuds and instead began sending more fresh troops to represent their noble houses for the glory of the Teir’Dal Empire.
Xanit K’Ven united the Teir’Dal by giving them a multitude of new enemies upon whom to focus their hatred. Plunder taken from the weaker races stimulated the prosperity of the Teir’Dal Empire, creating more and more interest, especially among the disaffected Second- and Third-born, in joining the Overlord’s army to campaign in the surface world. Innoruuk was pleased by this new young Overlord’s actions, for the Teir’Dal began to turn their hatred outward against the light elves and the other peoples of his hated foes —and as their enemies began to fear and hate the Teir’Dal, so too did Innoruuk’s power grow. Of course, Innoruuk became furious upon learning that Xanit K’Ven followed Rallos Zek, but nevertheless, the Overlord still served Hate, and the seers now foresaw the Teir’Dal rising to their destiny.
The rise of the Teir’Dal, led by Overlord Xanit K’Ven, soon brought Innoruuk the power of a major god in the world of Norrath and on the outer planes. K’Ven’s great service over the decades, even though the Overlord himself ever professed service only to Rallos Zek, truthfully did more for Innoruuk than for the God of War, who was too much diminished at that time to reap any real benefit. Innoruuk was so greatly pleased, in fact, that he held his wrath against K’Ven in check, for a time, even though the Overlord’s refusal to worship Innoruuk angered the Prince of Hate as few other things ever had.
The Fall of Takish-Hiz
In time, fate dealt the Teir’Dal a good hand, for Solusek Ro raised the Serpent Mountains near the elven homeland of the Elddar Forest. The magical city of Takish-Hiz, which many believed impregnable, was half ruined by tremendous earthquakes resulting from massive shifts in the landscape. The moisture cut off by the Serpent Mountains quickly (at least quickly in the eyes of elves and gods) turned the Elddar into a desert. Having learned much from his years as a mercenary of the Rallosian Empire, Xanit would not allow this opportunity pass.
In the years that followed, Xanit’s continued success on the battlefield impressed even mercenary squads of trolls and ogres enough to swell the dark elf commander’s ranks. Duels between Xanit K’Ven and some of the most powerful ogres and trolls secured the Overlord’s reputation as one of the greatest swordsman in all Tunaria, and perhaps all of Norrath (muddled stories suggest that K’Ven engaged the mighty General Seru of the Combine Empire in a personal duel, but that seems unlikely, as the Combine Empire was yet an age removed). The ogres and trolls eventually proved fiercely loyal to their new commander, who always treated his troops fairly, and served as superb shock troops for his Teir’Dal army. Overlord K’Ven then contacted the Unkempt Druids, convincing them to aid his army in a singular assault against the elven capital of Takish-Hiz. When questioned by angry Teir’Dal nobles about allying with the Unkempt Druids, Xanit explained that the Unkempt Druids had long disdained the unnaturally constructed city of Takish-Hiz.
(They were opposed to all things not constructed by nature. To the Unkempt Druids, the highly advanced, magically created city of Takish-Hiz represented an extreme “unnature” they vehemently opposed.) Nevertheless, in this alliance, Overlord K’Ven earned the disapprobation of many powerful Teir’Dal — even among those who did not already have cause to fear and hate him.
On the appointed evening, during the blackness of a new moon, spies from the Unkempt Druids who had infiltrated the Takish-Hiz city guard slew the gate guards and opened the gates of the city. Outside, the Overlord’s army waited in the darkness. The Unkempt Druids gave the Overlord’s army the keys to Takish-Hiz, which until then few believed could ever fall. Surging forward, the Overlord’s beefy ogres, grisly trolls, and light-stepping Teir’Dal raised their weapons as one. Overlord K’Ven’s army appeared and entered the already half-abandoned, sand-worn city, putting the few remaining elves to the sword. An old escape passage allowed King Tearis Thex and his closest elves to escape and take refuge in one of the remaining outposts of the Elddar Forest. The light elven race was now poised on the brink of extinction, with few options should the Teir’Dal Overlord’s army march on them. Innoruuk looked smugly on as his creations exacted his vengeance upon the last of the elder races. Finally, the Dark Prince’s vengeance was complete.
Return to Neriak
With fires burning throughout Takish-Hiz as his army pillaged and sacked what remained, the Overlord began planning a return to Neriak. However, Innoruuk’s agents now spoke to the king and queen, feeding their already great hatred and telling them that Xanit plotted to overthrow them and assume the throne. Agents also spoke with the Firstborn rulers of the noble houses, most of whom were already were angry with the Overlord for some perceived slight or another. Knowing full well that the majority of the lesser Teir’Dal would probably support seeing Xanit K’Ven wear the crown, the king and queen immediately summoned the Overlord to their court.
In Neriak, K’Ven appeared before the king, queen, and nobles in their High Court, basking in his victory. However, with the elder nobles backing him fully, King Naythox charged Overlord K’Ven with high treason for consorting with the Unkempt Druids, and sentenced him to death on the morrow. Powerful extraplanar agents and clerics sent by Innoruuk himself then emerged from the shadows to shackle Xanit — but not before the warrior lunged forward with lightning-quick speed and beheaded the king with a single scissoring stroke of his twin blades. Agents of Innoruuk then took Overlord K’Ven into their custody and a Teir’Dal wizard magically transported them to the Plane of Hate.
Some Teir’Dal legends say that Xanit K’Ven waits in perpetual slumber to be awakened by the all father should the Teir’Dal ever find themselves facing their doom. The Teir’Dal Empire diminished somewhat in the years following Overlord Xanit K’Ven’s disappearance and the death of King Naythox Thex I, although Innoruuk’s power continued to grow. The Teir’Dal spread his doctrine of vengeance, spite, and loathing across the land by more subtle means than putting all others to the sword, as had been K’Ven’s method. Over the ensuing decades, the Teir’Dal became so strong that Innoruuk pulled all of the First back to his home plane to serve as guardians and planners for further conquests.
(Fanfiction regarding guild Leader of EQ1 Vallon Zek guild named the same)