The conflict later known as the malenvar war was, as the name suggests, a war with a race of creatures known as the malenvar.This name is retroactive, applying the gods’ name for the higher demons, malenvar, to the species that was invading Nova. Throughout the conflict itself, mostly they were known by the name yaljen, which was what Nova’s human population called them then they first appeared in the year they counted as NWC 203, which was twenty-two hundred and seven years before the advent of the Saint’s Calendar.
Some claim that the yaljen were present on Nova prior to the beginning of the malenvar war, which would be somewhat logical as it would explain why they chose to suddenly attack it. This logic is supported by the fact that, at first, the yaljen appeared only to be interested in destroying Nova’s new human population, which had only arrived on the planet two hundred and three years earlier. Given that the humans’ original world had been destroyed, which was what landed them on Nova to begin with, it is reasonable to presume that the yaljen destroyed their original world and then followed them to Nova to finish the destruction.
The malenvar war began with the corruption of the gate. The gate, previously the site at which humans had arrived on Nova from their homeworld, had been closed from shortly after the humans had finished coming through it, and nobody had been able to open it again. On the day the malenvar invasion started, the gate re-opened suddenly, but no longer led to the humans’ homeworld. It now led to the yaljen realm, and was a doorway through which they could freely enter Nova.
At this time, the Web did not yet exist, but humans had other means to fight the yaljen, weapons they’d brought with them from their other world. Over the course of the war, these were all destroyed and knowledge of them lost, but humans used to have the power to level cities in an instant, and the ability to forcibly send the yaljen back to their realm without rituals. They were therefore able to hold their own in the early stages of the war, but they were clearly outclassed. Seeing this power imbalance and the apocalyptic danger it posed, it was at this time that others chose to begin to side with humans.
At the time the malenvar war began, Nova was dominated by three major species. Elves ruled most of the land, dragons occupied the mountain ranges and ruled the sky, and merpeople ostensibly held control over the sea. They mostly ignored one another, though dragons and elves had experienced repeated moments of hostility and fought several wars in different parts of the world. Merpeople were in a constant cold war with their kraken neighbours, and mostly didn’t concern themselves with the world in their sky. Elves had the most in common with humans, mostly in that they occupied similar territory, and therefore the malenvar war touched elves first of all Nova’s pre-human species.
When they decided to intervene, the elves, one of Nova’s least numerous species even then, brought two of Nova’s more populous species, werewolves and centaurs, with them. In possession of a global network of magical communication through their aether, they were able to not only bring their allies into the fight across the world at the same time, but also communicate with their new human allies. Of course the elves took charge of the war effort, but though the humans bristled at this, it made the most sense considering the power, numbers and knowledge of the geography of their battlefields they brought to the table. They also, critically, brought Nova’s spirits to the effort, which prevented a considerable number of nonphysical yaljen attacks, which humans had limited capacity to deal with. The spirits’ willingness to become involved in the war is testament to the danger the yaljen posed to Nova; they have never involved themselves in a war before or since.
Most histories of the malenvar war are written by gods (hence why it is commonly known by their name) and therefore insist that the war was fought at a standstill until NWC 258, when they entered the conflict. In fact, the human-elf alliance had considerable success in the early years, pushing the yaljen almost entirely out of inhabited territory. The yaljen counterattack, however, caused a series of dangerous volcanic eruptions that proved dangerous for all life on the world, and their numbers started to increase as they rallied more friends from home, pushing the alliance back. At this point, humans, who were trying to replace their destroyed weapons, created gods. Combining the remnants of their imported technology, a fading ability to access ley lines and a study of aether, the humans were able to create for themselves the first gods, who weren’t called that at the time. Their involvement in the war started in NWC 258 not because that was when the gods decided to help, but because that was when they’d existed long enough for their power to be a significant factor in the war.
The gods took charge of the human armies, organizing them into fighting companies that would define human warfare for centuries after. In terms of power, they were on even footing with the elves, which redistributed authority within the alliance. Despite how the gods tell their own history, however, the major impact this had immediately was that it slowed the yaljen advance and cut down on casualties, the variety of new powers the gods brought to the table proving effective in stymying the yaljen. At various points in the war including this one, the yaljen were observed fighting amongst themselves, possibly out of frustration at a lack of success. These observations led the Novan alliance to conclude that the yaljen were not a unified army with a singular goal outside of destroying the people of Nova.
For just over forty years, the alliance and the yaljen fought back and forth in a series of mostly indecisive battles. The fighting continued to spread to new parts of the planet, and in NWC 300, the alliance gained a new ally. The mountain-dwelling species of Nova, led by the powerful and violent dragons, concluded several years of deliberations and chose to enter the war. The skyfaring harpy armies increased the alliance’s ability to survey and carry nonmagical information, and the goblin, orc and other armies brought great numbers if not great magic to the battlefield, and ended up making powerful additions to the cause because of their ability to relieve the human, werewolf and centaur armies from having to do all the fighting constantly.
Eleven years later in NWC 311, the elves concluded a series of negotiations with various groups of merpeople, which convinced them to join the Novan alliance and bring their massive magical arsenal to bear against the yaljen. During these negotiations the merpeople revealed that they’d already been combatting the yaljen’s underwater incursions as it was, and though their ability to help in the sky was limited, they were able to provide access to considerable magical resources, including some magical sites that allowed for planetwide magical rituals that were useful to combat the yaljen.Though the merpeople couldn’t access the sky, they were able to convince the kraken of the importance of fighting the yaljen,marking the only time in Novan submarine history that the two species have formally worked together. Some kraken had shapeshifting abilities that allowed them to fight on land, and more than one battle had its tide changed by the sudden revelation that one fighter was a kraken in disguise, letting loose on the yaljen with devastating telepathic and seismic powers, or driving the yaljen into certain caves, after which they were never seen again.
With all the species of Nova united against the malenvar, the war became increasingly more violent and more entrenched. The destruction caused by the magic of the merpeople and elves and the brute force of the dragons, in addition to the world-rending powers of the yaljen, began to have a devastating impact on the world and the people who lived there. The war was rearranging continents and oceans, raising and levelling mountain ranges, altering the climate fundamentally. This yaljen were apparently limitless in number, which is what caused the alliance to seek a more permanent solution.
Realizing that the yaljen were coming from the gate, all the major magical powers in the alliance attempted to find ways to either close or destroy it. It was the gods who eventually came up with what may not have been the best possible solution, but was the only one that, at the time, was workable. The Web was a construct built atop the world’s ley lines, which the gods’ power precluded them from using. The elves, along with two kraken researchers and an extremely rare dragon with magical abilities, helped them construct the Web in NWC 437, which was a field of energy that extended across the planet and, once anchored, would seal the gate permanently. The Web could not, however, be anchored as long as Nova was full of yaljen. At that point, the final stage of the war began.
To those present, the final stage of the war no doubt occupied several stages, since it took seventy-eight years. For that period of time, the whole of Nova, from the tops of the atmosphere to the bottoms of the sea, was embroiled in war. The yaljen, even with their reduced numbers and reduced influence thanks to the Web, had one major advantage. They didn’t care about Nova or its people. They levelled landmasses and boiled parts of the sea, rent the sky and scorched the air. The world was nearly destroyed, and that was before the extent to which the populations of every species on Nova were depleted by the constant attacks. Several species are believed to have gone extinct in the war, their names no longer even remembered.
Ultimately, however, the Novan alliance succeeded in pushing the yaljen back and out of the world, locking the Web in place by erecting the tower to keep them out forever. Not all of the invaders were totally removed from Nova, but few enough remained that the war was won. The leaders of the alliance agreed to come together if such a threat arose again, and then broke apart to their own domains. The elves’ and dragons’ numbers were reduced substantially enough that the gods were able to claim supremacy over most of the world, and began to subjugate humans.
Despite various near-apocalyptic events that have happened since, no threat to Nova has come as close to destroying it and everyone on it as the yaljen did. The malenvar war was so long in the past that very few people know any of the details about it, which, considering that many of the powers that helped the people of Nova win it have been lost, may become a serious problem if the yaljen ever come back. It is unknown if the yaljen still harbour the same desire to destroy Nova and its people that they once did, but if they do and a second malenvar war breaks out, it is likely to be equally if not more destructive than the first.
From “What the Fuck Is up with This World?” a journal by Tegan Spark, SC 3777.
6 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: The Malenvar War”
“The malenvar war began with the corruption of the gate. The gate, previously the site at which humans had arrived on Nova from their homeworld, had been closed from shortly after the humans had finished coming through it, and nobody had been able to open it again. On the day the malenvar invasion started, the gate re-opened suddenly, but no longer led to the humans’ homeworld. It now led to the yaljen realm, and was a doorway through which they could freely enter Nova.”
“At this point, humans, who were trying to replace their destroyed weapons, created gods. Combining the remnants of their imported technology, a fading ability to access ley lines and a study of aether, the humans were able to create for themselves the first gods, who weren’t called that at the time. Their involvement in the war started in NWC 258 not because that was when the gods decided to help, but because that was when they’d existed long enough for their power to be a significant factor in the war.”
“more than one battle had its tide changed by the sudden revelation that one fighter was a kraken in disguise, letting loose on the yaljen with devastating telepathic and seismic powers, or driving the yaljen into certain caves, after which they were never seen again.”
This may explain a) the subterranean thing the Green Clan detected, and 2) the Caves of Whuvan et al.
“Several species are believed to have gone extinct in the war, their names no longer even remembered.”
Is this why there don’t seem to be any dwarves* in-setting, despite being a fantasy staple? Or gnomes or halflings/hobbits?
*in the sense of a mountain- and/or underground-dwelling species of beardy alcoholic miners and craftsmen, not vertically-challenged humans
Yes, I think this (finally) confirms a few things you’d figured out quite a while back. 😀
I do think it’s pretty likely that the mysterious caves that made the yaljen disappear probably have something to do both with the mysterious caves that currently make people disappear and also that possibly hold some sort of subterranean threat, yes. More on that later!
In fact, that is why we’ve never seen some of the staple fantasy races! Some of them to be fair do exist and are just super secretive so we haven’t encountered them yet, but fantasy!dwarves went extinct during the malenvar war, as did other species (like nagas, as a random example).
Thank you, I’m glad you found this trove of information interesting!
Sudden realization: those giant snakes associated with deep caves and tunnels and telepathic phenomena…are they really snakes, or are they tentacles?
Oh boy that sure is a good series of things to put in sequence! Of course I can’t reveal any secrets but I can certainly say something like “this is a great theory that you should definitely keep in mind next time we see the caves and their denizens.”
So, to recap, Scott, Ariel, Steve, and the two entities that Grey Rain dispatched, are all Malenvar (Yaljen), which are all incorrectly classified (by humans) into two groups: higher angels and higher demons. Similarly, Cameron, Raphael, Bartholomew, Belle, et al, all share, via Klaus, a power which originated with Mr. Spider Malenvar, and are also all incorrectly classified (by humans) into two groups: angels and demons. What is the collective noun for the second group – what do they call themselves?
All of this is correct! A few small notes: The categorization by humans of the malenvar/yaljen into higher demons and angels is indeed incorrect and represents them attempting to filter the unknown through their own systems, but it does (not always accurately) get at a small but important distinction between different types of malenvar, just not a distinction that humans (or us) know about or understand (yet).
The categorization of Klaus, Cameron, Raphael, et al into angels and demons is also incorrect and describes which side they were on the Catechism War rather than anything inherent about them or their powers, though those in Raphael’s faction do also have a secondary power source aside from Mr. Spider Malenvar. They just call themselves spiders, as that’s what they were called back in the olden days. In order to differentiate them both from various species of nonsapient arachnid and also from the general old-time definition of spider to mean “magic-user”, we might also call them members of the Spider Corps, which is what they still call themselves collectively.
But yes, this hits all the major points! Thanks so much! 😀