Lord Cerridwyn Cadarn was an elder of Clan Cadarn in the Fourth Age, and an active participant on the rebel elves' side in the Elven Civil War. Cerridwyn authored The Great Divide as well as its sequel, which later became included as the Cadarn chapter of The Voice of the Elders, which chronicles the equally named period of elven history, from the time just after the fall of Prifddinas to Clan Iorwerth, to the reversion of the city to crystal seed form and the end of King Baxtorian's reign. Cerridwyn's concluding prayer in these writings was for the reunion of the elven people of all clans and the regrowth of Prifddinas, which he did not live to see; his prayer was answered, centuries later, with the leadership of his successor, Arianwyn, in collaboration with an adventurer and many others, who together successfully defeated Clan Iorwerth, reunited all eight elven clans, and restored the elven city to its former glory, by the early Sixth Age.
Clan Iorwerth's betrayal
At the start of the Fourth Age, following the establishment of the Edicts of Guthix that prohibited the active presence of the gods on Gielinor, the elven goddess Seren chose to shatter herself into pieces, rather than remain separated from her beloved elves. Elven society was forced to rebuild, without the aid and guidance of Seren which they had come to depend on for so many years. Lord Baxtorian, who was at that time Lord of Clan Cadarn, was chosen among the eight Clan Elders to lead the eight elven clans as their King; his beloved wife, Glarial, also became their Queen. Following the successful rebuilding of elven society, built on the crystal provided by Seren, King Baxtorian decided to head westward with his clan to expand his kingdom, successfully claiming Kandarin and even parts of Misthalin in a relatively bloodless conquest. King Baxtorian built alliances with local humans and gnomes.
With Clan Cadarn largely absent from Prifddinas, and thus unable to protect the Elf City from within, Clan Iorwerth found an opportunity to take advantage. Taking the aid of the Dark Lord, refusing to heed the prior warnings of Seren to stay away from him, Lord Iorwerth became very powerful. Under Lord Iorwerth's leadership, in year 1930 of the Fourth Age, Clan Iorwerth betrayed the other clans and, in a battle that resulted in much bloodshed, took full control over the city. Members of Clan Iorwerth took possession of the Tower of Voices, and denied access to all elves who were not part of their clan and did not share their bloodline. Lord Iorwerth then imprisoned the elders of the six other clans who remained within the city. The junior elves of other clans were left unable to defend themselves.
The Great Divide
The Cadarn elves in Kandarin, meanwhile, discovered that they had suddenly lost contact with their elven brethren in Tirannwn. A passageway over the Arandar mountain pass that normally served as a travel route between Kandarin and Isafdar suddenly became impassable. A wall of static also surrounded the elven lands by this time, and the elves of Clan Cadarn somehow found themselves unable to penetrate through it with their incantations. King Baxtorian then formed an emergency council of elves, to investigate further as well as to decide what actions to take; Cerridwyn was among the members of this council.
As the council members discussed possible routes to travel into Tirannwn, Cerridwyn reminded the council of the Well of Voyage, an ancient transportation device that gave access to a network of caves underneath the Arandar mountain pass known as Underground Pass. The council decided to send five elven scouts of Clan Cadarn through the Underground Pass to find out what happened in Tirannwn, and report back to the council upon their return. Of the five elven scouts, only one - by name of Adwr - survived and returned. Adwr explained all that had happened in Prifddinas, following Clan Iorwerth's betrayal.
Adwr's discovery sparked a debate over the elves' next action plan that continued for many days, with many proposals - ranging from Lord Iorwerth's assassination to simply allowing the elves in the western lands fight to the death - discussed. That latter suggestion King Baxtorian to sternly warn the others, quoting the elven sacred text known as the Cerddi, that "Only together as the eight clans can we hope to survive in this hostile new world". The elves in the eastern lands, he decided, simply cannot rest idly as their western lands brethren killed each other or were murdered, and therefore, they must act to rescue the other elves and protect Prifddinas.
King Baxtorian decided to pledge Clan Cadarn to the task of protecting the other elves and reclaiming Prifddinas. Leaving Queen Glarial to rule the eastern kingdom in his absence, King Baxtorian prepared to head westward into the elven lands with his elves. King Baxtorian brought an entire army of elves, through the Undergound Pass and the Well of Voyage, into Isafdar, then proceeded through Tirannwn to attack Clan Iorwerth's forces; Cerridwyn joined the army in their travels, to record what would transpire. Regrettably, Clan Cadarn's forces had arrived too late; by then, after much bloodshed on the streets of Prifddinas, Clan Iorwerth successfully defeated the elves of the non-military clans, and Lord Iorwerth had taken total control of the city, as its new self-proclaimed leader. As Lord Iorwerth refused to back down upon King Baxtorian's arrival, the Cadarn elves decided to fight back.
King Baxtorian's army initially fought Clan Iorwerth's forces head-on. But Lord Iorwerth, wielding the power of the Dark Lord, assailed Lord Baxtorian's army with shadows, and blinded Cadarn rangers with darkness. The Cadarn elves were unprepared for this, yet refused to let their spirits be broken, and elected to continue fighting the Iorwerth forces. King Baxtorian withdrew his troops, and then ordered a siege of the city. Unfortunately, the siege failed. As Prifddinas was well-built to withstand the attacks of the God Wars, a frontal assault would not have succeeded. And as Prifddinas was designed to be self-sufficient, the city could not simply be starved out. King Baxtorian's army was also gradually worn away by Iorwerth fighters. It became clear that King Baxtorian's campaign could not succeed in its present state, and five years after the campaign began, King Baxtorian decided to end it.
With limited time left to act, King Baxtorian hatched a daring plot to save the city. He decided to secretly enter into the city, with a small squad of elves, to find and rescue the imprisoned clan elders. Within weeks, the rebel elves successfully located and freed the clan elders from their imprisonment. King Baxtorian gathered the elders in the Grand Library, and together they sang the Song of Reversion, which reverted the entire city of Prifddinas to crystal seed form. The elves within the city were trapped were trapped inside, and fell into an unconscious sleep-like state, yet were kept safe from Clan Iorwerth by the city's reversion.
Lord Iorwerth, along with a number of Iorwerth elves, was outside of the city at the time. Lord Iorwerth decided to set up a temporary elf camp over the land upon which Prifddinas once stood, stationing elves outside of the city's gates to guard its entrances, along with a military elf camp in northern Isafdar. As the city's crystal seed form required the elders of all eight clans to sing the reverted crystal seed into shape for the city to return, Lord Iorwerth could not restore and reclaim the city on his own. Lord Iorwerth hoped to find a means of restoring the city independently, perhaps harnessing the Dark Lord's power in order to do so, but did not find a way to do this for many centuries. As a result, what was meant to be a temporary elf camp lasted far longer than Lord Iorwerth had originally intended.
On the very day that King Baxtorian's daring rescue mission was to begin, King Baxtorian received word that his eastern kingdom had fallen, and that his wife, Queen Glarial, was missing. Due to the very limited time King Baxtorian had to rescue the imprisoned clan elders whilst the secret entrance that he and his elves planned to use remained undiscovered, King Baxtorian was forced to press on with his plans without dwelling on what might have happened and whether his beloved queen was safe. After his rescue mission succeeded, King Baxtorian sent the newly rescued clan elders into hiding, and decided to return to the eastern kingdoms to investigate.
Upon arrival, unfortunately, King Baxtorian found his kingdom in ruins. Lord Iorwerth's elves had bribed weak-willed human armies to turn against the Cadarn elves, and these humans successfully defeated them. By the time Lord Baxtorian had arrived, the human kingdoms established by these armies were far too well established for King Baxtorian's army to successfully defeat them. King Baxtorian sent his elves to search far and wide, hoping to find his beloved queen, but to no avail. King Baxtorian was eventually forced to admit that Queen Glarial would not likely be found alive. Although he was unaware of it, Queen Glarial had indeed been murdered.
Having by then lost the will to fight - and indeed, the very will to live - King Baxtorian decided to head into a cave in Baxtorian Falls. He sealed himself away, in such a way that - he expected - only Queen Glarial would find him. King Baxtorian retained hope that Queen Glarial was still alive, and if she was, he hoped that she would figure out the way to enter the cave and retrieve him. After he sealed himself away, King Baxtorian turned himself into stone, and waited there.
Cerridwyn Cadarn was appointed as the next elder of Clan Cadarn, in King Baxtorian's place. With King Baxtorian's kingdom lost, the rebel elves of all the other clans - led by Clan Cadarn - returned to Tirannwn through the Underground Pass. With Prifddinas lost, and the ground upon which Prifddinas once stood now inhabited and firmly guarded by Iorwerth elves, the rebel elves were forced to make their homes in Isafdar, naming their home Lletya. As Lord Iorwerth and his army ruthlessly pursued the rebel elves, these rebel elves were forced to constantly change their location, and rebuild new homes elsewhere in the forest of Isafdar.
Cerridwyn chronicled the period of elven history from King Baxtorian's eastward expansion and the fall of Prifddinas to King Baxtorian's unsuccessful campaign, his successful rescue of the imprisoned clan elders, and the fall of his kingdom in the eastern lands. Cerridwyn's writings conclude with a prayer to Seren expressing hope that one day the elven peoples on all sides of the Great Divide - Clan Iorwerth's elves within Prifddinas' walls, and the rebel elves in Lletya - would all be reunited with each other in peace, and that together they would re-grow Prifddinas and restore the city to its former glory.
Cerridwyn was not successful in reclaiming Prifddinas during his rule. It is presumed that Cerridwyn died of age.
Following the end of Cerridwyn's rule, a young elf named Arianwyn was chosen to lead Clan Cadarn. Together with Lady Ithell, near the end of the Fourth Age, Arianwyn founded the city of Lletya as a wooden lodge that became the primary residence for the rebel elves and the base of operations for the remainder of the Elven Civil War. Lady Ithell died of age shortly afterward, and with the other rescued clan elders all still in hiding, Arianwyn was left to take charge of the rebel elves of all clans alone. Taking very seriously the responsibility left to him, Arianwyn refused to use his title until he successfully returned the rebel elves to Prifddinas.
Arianwyn continued the fight against Lord Iorwerth and his men with an army of rebel elves through the next several years. Meanwhile in the human lands, the eastern kingdom that had formerly been Lord Baxtorian's to rule had fallen into Zamorakian Mahjarrat hands by the late Fourth Age, but had returned to human hands by the early Fifth Age. Following a rather bloody war in the mid Fifth Age, the kingdom of Kandarin was eventually established with a king of the Ardignas family bloodline as its new leader.
Descended from the Ardignas royal family were two brothers, Tyras and Lathas, who would eventually become the leaders of the Western and Eastern halves, respectively, of the capital city of Ardougne. The kingdom was split in two by their father, King Ulthas, who also, just before he died, had gifted the kingdom of Camelot to the visiting King Arthur and his men, known as the Knights of the Round Table, who had come to Gielinor from the plane of Britain. Resentful of this arrangement, the elder brother King Lathas plotted with Lord Iorwerth, agreeing to aid him in his quest to raise the Dark Lord and secure victory in the Elven Civil War, in exchange for Lord Iorwerth's help in defeating King Tyras and claiming the entirety of Kandarin as his own.
King Tyras, who was curious about what may be found to the west, decided to travel westward by sea to explore the elven lands. In his absence, King Lathas made his bold move - he declared West Ardougne to have supposedly been overrun by a dangerous and contagious disease known as the plague, built a wall around West Ardougne to quarantine the city, and appointed Iorwerth Death Guard soldiers - fully dressed in Mourner gear, as a disguise - as Mourners to keep the subjects of the city under his rule. The Mourners pretended to be human guards sent by King Lathas, hiding their true elven identity from the other humans.
Meanwhile to the west, Lord Iorwerth had discovered King Tyras' arrival in Isafdar, and viewed him as a threat. Lord Iorwerth's elven army and King Tyras' men began to fight with each other. Locked in a battle with his elven enemies, and afraid of the plague in his homeland, King Tyras was left afraid and unable to return to West Ardougne, enabling King Lathas to take complete control over it. King Tyras and his men, meanwhile, were apparently unaware of elven involvement in his brother's overtaking of his kingdom.
By year 169 of the Fifth Age, a young adventurer who had initially come to Kandarin to rescue a young woman from East Ardougne who had been caught behind the West Ardougne wall, then returned to seek out the source of the plague with this young woman in the hopes to cure it - discovered that in fact the plague had been a hoax all along. When confronting King Lathas about this hoax, the adventurer was misled to believe that in fact the plague hoax and subsequent walls built around West Ardougne were actually meant to protect the city against King Tyras, whom King Lathas claimed to have been corrupted by the Dark Lord. King Lathas sends the adventurer westward, through the Underground Pass, first to cleanse the Well of Voyage - which by then had been corrupted by a resurrected Zamorakian mage by name of Iban, who was a threat to all elves and humans alike - and then to actually enter the elven lands, with the goal of assassinating King Tyras. The adventurer succeeded, with the help of Lord Iorwerth. Only afterward did the adventurer discover - by Arianwyn's direct intervention - that it was actually King Lathas on the side of the Dark Lord, in collaboration with Lord Iorwerth. Arianwyn recruited the adventurer to join the rebel elves' cause, and the adventurer agreed, to stop the Dark Lord.
Now aligned with the rebel elves, at Arianwyn's request, the adventurer successfully infiltrated the Mourner Headquarters in West Ardougne, gaining their trust and then discovering their plans to raise the Dark Lord. The adventurer learns that the Iorwerth elves, with with plague as an excuse, have kidnapped many humans to be used as slaves, to dig tunnels under the Mourner Headquarters. At the end of these Mourner Tunnels lay the Temple of Light, which they hoped to corrupt in order to harness its power to raise the Dark Lord. With Arianwyn's guidance, the adventurer successfully thwarted the Iorwerth elves' plans, restoring the defences of the Temple of Light to prevent its corruption and the raising of the Dark Lord through it. A disturbance arose as a result, leading to the restoration of an ancient passageway connecting the Temple of Light to the Prifddinas Undercity, where Clan Iorwerth was based.
Arianwyn and the adventurer, entering through this passageway, together successfully entered this Corridor of Light, where they discovered Lord Iorwerth's latest plan - to orchestrate a mass murder of all the humans in West Ardougne in order to generate sufficient necromantic power to raise the Dark Lord, with whose power he then hoped to independently regrow a corrupt version of the city of Prifddinas without the other elven clans. Armed with this nefarious plan, Arianwyn successfully recruited a high-ranking Iorwerth elf, Iestin Edern, to join their cause to stop this mass murder plot, to prevent the rise of the Dark Lord, and to help regrow the city.
Arianwyn sent the adventurer lead a revolution in West Ardougne, to successfully overthrow the Mourners to the east, as well as to bring King Tyras' army to attack the Iorwerth army from the west. Now attacked from both sides, Lord Iorwerth and his men were forced to temporarily abandon Prifddinas. While Lord Iorwerth was away, the adventurer sought out and successfully found all five living elders in hiding, as well as a new successor - a young elf named Kelyn, of Lletya - to replace the sixth, Lady Ithell, who did not survive. Together with the elders, the adventurer returned to the Grand Library. The adventurer directed light beams between each clan seal and the seal of Seren, and the clan elders - with Iestin Edern taking Lord Iorwerth's place - each sang the city into shape, in turns. At each turn, shadows sent by the Dark Lord, and later the Dark Lord himself - empowered by his murder of King Lathas, if the adventurer chose to save him, as well as Lord Iorwerth - attacked, and the adventurer was forced to fight him. Upon the Dark Lord's final defeat, the city regrew - and very soon afterward, with all elven clans reunited, Prifddinas was finally restored to its former glory, as Cerridwyn wished.
Cerridwyn's writings were carefully preserved over the years, as important chronicles of key periods of elven history. The first part of these writings was included in a book titled The Great Divide, which was kept on a bookshelf in Lletya, with the last several pages of his story missing from the book. The second part of these writings was eventually included as the Cadarn chapter of The Voice of the Elders, which was prepared for distribution as a reward to adventurers completing the Hefin Agility Course upon the re-opening of Prifddinas. Cerridwyn's is the only chapter written by a leader who is not currently a living elder of an elven clan in Prifddinas.
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
|King Baxtorian||Leader of the Cadarn Clan||Lord Arianwyn Cadarn|