The War of the Exiled is the name of the conflict between the forces of the rogue elven wizard Ranerian Starshatter and the collective might of the Eastgrove and Lordaeron. It was eventually brought to an end with Starshatter's demise at the Battle of the Shrine.
The elves of the Dense Wood in Everbright had always remained hidden from the humans that lived in the lands nearby by virtue of a magical barrier. During the Third War, while the country collapsed before the unrelenting march of the Scourge, the Exiled managed to not only contain the undead advance, but repel them entirely.
Unfortunately, the victory came at a heavy price: their once beloved leader and supreme commander, Ranerian Starshatter, was corrupted by a Lich in the final stages of the war.
Driven mad by the foul curse, the elder began plans of conquest and subjugation. Plotting to absorb the power contained in the Ancient Pact, Ranerian wished to take over the entirety of the continent. In fact, he declared himself Emperor of the North, a title that appealed significantly to him, as not even Anasterian Sunstrider held that position. He had been, after all, a mere king.
In response to the threat, his subjects shackled him, putting him in an ethereal state. Alas, that was not to last, as his magical might would eventually overpower his bonds. In addition, although he was not able to manifest himself in the physical world, the elf had enough influence to persuade others to join him in secret and raise abominations in the form of dead wildlife and specters of the past.
The reign of terror begins Edit
With his minions free to act in spite of his condition and the clans of Eastgrove politically divided by bickerings and old animosities, Ranerian launched a campaign of intimidation. Most of the lands within the forest reverted to his direct control and the elves could merely defend their settlements from invasion. Moreover, the villain managed to convince many to support his cause, which increased the sense that no one could be trusted.
It seemed to be only a matter of time before the grove was taken. Giving the Exiled no room to act against him, Ranerian worked tirelessly to release himself from his ethereal prison and subjugate his former subjects.
A new hope Edit
Eventually, the effects of Ranerian's reign of terror are felt in Everbright proper. Williert Stokeswood called upon the champions of the Crown to investigate the true nature of the Dense Wood and its denizens. He informed the Queen's Men of the spell that permeated the forest, preventing his own forces to enter the grove with impunity, but the mage beseeched his allies to advance.
In time, the expedition learned about the Exiled and their civilization. Veritas Longstride became their guide in their journey to unite the clans against Starshatter and provide military support in such endeavor.
Although the mission suffered some setbacks, such as the fall of Lady Aurora Leafsong, matriarch of the Leafsong Clan, in a treasonous plot, the champions were very successful in this task. In fact, Annette Volles not only soothed the spirits of Aurora's heir, Talor, but convinced him to bring an end to the deceit employed by his clan against the ancient trees' of the grove and initiated a reconciliation between the two parties. That decision caused a significant reduction in Ranerian's army, as the ancients had previously flocked to his side when he unveiled the truth about their service to the Leafsong.
Finally, they are successful in releasing the last and most powerful clan of the Eastgrove from stupor. By exposing an imposter, the Queen's champions convince the Sky's Radiance to fight against Ranerian. In return, Aderian Springmist, their leader, terminated the spell that surrounded the forest, allowing outsiders to enter the grove at will.
Battle of the Shrine Edit
Mere hours after the Sky's Radiance's effective entrance into the war, the elves learned that Ranerian Starshatter broke his bronds and already marched towards the Shrine of the Ancient Pact, where he planned to consume the powers therein.
The opposing forces of the Exiled, together with Lordaeron's expedition, already gathered around the structure in a defensive position. It would not take long for Ranerian to arrive with his army: ghosts, twisted dead animals and all his traitorous supporters.
Initially, both sides were evenly matched in terms of numbers, but the sheer brilliance of Starshatter tipped the scales in his favor. Whether it came from his meteors or magical prisons, the wizard was able to remove many foes from battle at a whim.
After almost two hours of bloodshed, the ground trembled. Moments later, hundreds of cavalrymen surged through the woods in a thundering charge to cut down many of Ranerian's minions. At the same time, archers and infantry soldiers materialized from thin air, all flying the House of Stokeswood's colors. Finally, Lord Williert Stokeswood entered the battle, lending his magical expertise and rallying the defenders to prevail in the name of Everbright, Queen and country.
The struggle would continue for another hour, but slowly and inexorably, the Exiled and their allies achieved victory. Aderian Springmist landed the death blow on Ranerian Starshatter, while Talor Leafsong avenged his mother and killed her treasonous consort, master assassin and enemy's second-in-command, Iktar Twinblade.
For more information, see Eastgrove - Relations with Everbright
With the end of the war, the elves of Eastgrove and the humans of Everbright began a new era in their relations. Where before there were mistrust and elitism, now there was ample ground for integration.
Aderian Springmist was chosen to be the First Elder, the de jure and de facto ruler of Eastgrove.