Long, long Ago…
The Elves had always had a way with Earth.
It was said, in the days following Daes’ banishment of Erae, when heavens were still new and restless, that Daes’ first act as Overseer was to bestow gifts upon all His Children. Some say it was to distract the Children of Eraedaes from the gift they had lost – eternal life; or that perhaps Daes Himself was curious what might transpire now that they possessed the Gift of Choice. Or perhaps it was simply to taunt them further. Whatever the reason, He gathered them all together and asked each which elemental kingdom they desired as their own.
As testament to Erae, each chose with heart and mind as one. The mercurial Athyree chose the sky, that they might live mostly in dreams and whimsy, their feet never touching the ground; the shy Morosaria chose the sea, so deep and wonderfully discrete, and so on and so forth the tribes chose until only the eldest and youngest Child of Eraedaes were left.
The Elves were the oldest; they had seen much and knew much and stood quietly astute as each brother and sister made their choice. Soon only two elements remained: Fire, and Earth. And of course Man chose fire, his eyes glint and burning, filled with want and wonder, for he had much to learn.
The Overseer turned last to His proud, eldest son and said, “All that is left is dirt; what say you now?”
Whether he meant to taunt the child that had been longest in Erae’s favour was unknown, but the Elven son took the last element graciously into his hands and he smiled. He alone had known what each brother and sister would take before the choice was made. Of course Man would choose fire, it was so bright and full of hope, so much like Man himself – yet fire was hot and could burn out all at once, destroying everything as fast as it had created: so too could be the fate of Man. But dirt – dirt was old, it was eternal. It had always been, and always would remain, no matter how the universe changed around them. And from this dust could be coaxed so many wondrous things – both formed from its bare particles, and things that took their shape from the strength the good earth provided them.
And so the Elves were given regency over the elemental earth: the power to yield from her great bounty, and, like Erae, to create, harmoniously, living as one with the land.