Lament of the Riftdweller
The Soul of Alfdrisil (The Elf Tree)
The Soul of Alfdrisil is a feminine extradimensional being who exists trapped between worlds. Her essence is willingly provided to the Elf Tree, which actively protects against the Blight, which would otherwise affect the elves, who pass the disease through their bloodline from generation to generation.
The mysterious dimensional rift which provides the Elf Tree access to the Soul of Alfdrisil is unstable, and must be replenished every few decades with energies gathered from various other dimensional rifts that appear throughout the Hidden Isle.
Only the elders of the Sanctuary (and those they appoint to the duty of collecting) have the magical tools needed to draw out and store the energy of these rifts and return them to the Elf tree.
The dimension beyond the rift is a timeless place, and so the being who is the Soul of Alfdrisil never ages, and has persisted as the Elf Tree’s life force for over a thousand years, when the Elven Sanctuary was first established by a clan of elven refugees migrating from the mainland of northern Feradomar were stranded on the isle by shipwreck.
The mysterious and little understood rifts of the Isle date back to before any recorded history and beyond any recollection, and most postulate that they are either the cause of (or the direct result of) the Islands unending interdimensional shifting.
When the elders discovered the rift where the city of Elderleaf now resides, they gathered there, deifying the strange green light. Within a few generations, a mysterious woman appeared within the light, and was thought to be a goddess. The elves planted the last of their sacred seeds — a remnant from their homeland in the light to pay homage to her. As the seed took root, and grew, the spirit of the entity became infused within it, and the Alfdrisil (Elf Tree) was born.
Soon, the effects of the Blight began to fade from the elves of the settlement, and they quickly realized that the Elf Tree permeated a mysterious invisible aura that quelled the effects of the Blight — essentially curing the elves.
Over time, knowledge of the Soul of Alfdrisil, as well as the history behind the great tree were relegated to the only the elders of the sanctuary — information that for the sake of securing their cure, the elders keep as a closely guarded secret. Once centuries had passed, recollection of the “goddess” faded from the memory of the common populace, and the tree itself was deified.
Exposure to the Elf Tree’s aura provides the Elves of Elderleaf complete reprieve from the effects of the blight, and they may freely travel the world around them. However, every being with lineage bearing from the Elves of Elderleaf must return to the Elf Tree every few decades to be exposed to the Aura or else begin suffering the effects of the Blight. For this reason, even distant elven settlers on the Hidden Isle make vast pilgrimages to the Elf Tree — an even that typically occurs every 25 years with a per-established festival known as “the Returning.”