Long before the rising of the sun, when only the two trees of Valinor and stars in the sky bestowed their light upon the world, the elder children of the creator Iluvatar awoke in the lands of Cuivienen, next to the sea of Helcar in the east Middle-earth. New to the world, the immortal Quendi, later called Blood Elf names, were curious about their surroundings but also naïve to its dangers and soon fell victim to the Dark Lord Melkor who held a deep hatred for all of Eru’s creations.
Ruling from the Northern fortress of Utumno,Melkor built an army off the back of his enemies by capturing wayward individuals so he might twist their minds and bodies with dark sorcery to create the violent and savage Orc race,in mockery of the elves. The primary soldiers of both the first and second dark lords, the Orcs were short and sallow skinned, often weak and craven as individuals,but fearsome and aggressive in a group, eventually bred into soldier-orcs who populated areas like Mordor and the Misty Mountains.
Those great beings like Melkor, Sauron, theWitch King and Saruman who commanded and bred the Orcs, also created sub-races like thesmaller Snaga used as labourers, Snufflers who excelled as trackers, the larger hobgoblins,half-orcs and goblin-men sent into combat, and the elite Uruk-hai who were faster, smarter,stronger and more resilient then all others. Learning of the terrible fate that awaited captured Elves, the Valar of Aman, beings of great power who shaped and over saw the world just like khajiit names, travelled to Middle-earth and fought the war for sake of the elves, capturing Melkorand eliminating the immediate threat.
The Vala Orome was then sent to contact the Elves and offer them a place in Valinor upon the continent of Aman, also known as the undying lands because it was an enchanted realm of splendour and peace for the immortal races of the world. Yet after their experience Melkor, the Elves feared outsiders and would not agree without proof of Orome’s claims. Therefore 3 Elven males were chosen to represent the Minyar, Tatyar and Nelyar clans of Cuivienen on a great journey west, where they could witness paradise for themselves before returning to report their findings.
Using the island Eressea as a ferry, the ElvesIngwe, Finwe and Elwe followed Orome to complete their mission, describing all they saw to their people, which convinced many to make the long journey west, while others still believed it too dangerous or simply did not want to leave the land they knew and loved. Thus the Elves of Cuivienen, were sundered into the Eldar or People of the Stars, who journeyed West, and the Avari, or the Unwilling,who remained in the east under leaders like Morwe and Nurwe. Departing their homeland, the original three elven clans now had new names and rulers, with the Melyar becoming the Vanyar underIng we, the Tatyar becoming the Noldor under Finwe, and the Nelyar becoming the Teleriunder Elwe.
Though they all started with the goal of crossing the continent and sea to Valinor, the long, perilous undertaking made some reconsider and ultimately abandon the journey. Thus the Eldar were further sundered when the Teleri Clan broke apart in the middle of the continent, with some coming to fear the great Misty Mountains, believing it represented a border they should not cross. As the other Elves continued onward, those who remained under their leader Len we, became known as the Nandor, meaning those who go back, and lived as relatively primitive tribal forest dwellers until re-establishing contact with their kin in later ages.
Having already fractured once, the Teleriagain faced crisis when their leader Elwe fell into a trance upon his encounter with Melian, a beautiful Maia from the Valinor whose magic affected them both. Frozen in place for many years, the Teleriabandoned their westward travels to search for their lost leader, leaving the Vanyarand Noldor to complete the great journey on their own. Yet after searching in vain for so many years,Orome returned to give the remaining Teleri one last chance to reach the Undying Lands. Thus the Teleri were further sundered, with Elwe’s brother Olwe leading the Falmari, or Wave Folk, to continue travelling westward,while the Sindar, meaning Grey Elves, refused to leave Middle-earth.
Some of the Sindar still held hope to find their lost leader, but others simply came to love Beleriand, specifically the coastal areas. With the great Journey at last complete, the many elven factions of the Eldar were now divided into two broader groups, the Amanyar,those he reached the continent of Aman, and the Umanyar, those who did not. Among the Amanyar, there were the Vanyar,known as the most faithful servants of the Valar, led by King Ingwe from Taniquetil,The Noldor under King Finwe of Tirion, who followed the Vala Aule to learn smithing andcraft work, and the remaining Teleri, called the Falmari, who lived under King Olwe alongthe coastline, in both the City of Alqualonde and Island Eressea so they could pursue theirlove of ship building and sea travel.
Yet while the Amanyar Elves seemed to be living in Paradise, an old enemy was soon let loose and the peace of Valinor was broken. After his defeat in the War for Sake of the Elves, Melkor was imprisoned in the Undying Lands, but after a few thousand years feigned repentance and was set free. Allying with the Ungoliant, mother to the race of great spiders, Melkor orchestrated an attack against Valinor, first by destroying the Two Trees of light, and then by charging into Formenos, slaying Finwe, and stealing the precious Silmaril jewels crafted by Feanor, the noldor king’s eldest son and heir.
By the time Finwe’s children realized what occurred, Melkor fled to middle-earth, and so Feanor took up the leadership of their people and organized a journey across the sea so they might take vengeance upon the dark lord and reclaim the silmarils. Yet Feanor, his sons, and closest followers grew so radical in their devotion to this mission they committed the First Kinslaying by slaughtering the Falmari elves of the coast when they refused to surrender their ships for the journey.