The Curse of the Doroz or as well known as The Plague was one of the most devastating pandemics in elven history, and while there are still discussions of the extent of it, some authors claim that about 1/5 to 1/3 of all the elven population of Aels, Zary, Hieyoks and Kazrrad died of it during the Age of Invasions, but this is difficult to attest due to numerous other causes of death such as wars and famines.
There were succesive plagues, that normally presented in elven populations just before the arrival of humans, which further weakened the elven grip of eastern Aiers during the Age of Invasions between the 120 to the 700 a.a.H
There were some apparitions of the Curse in Ushaenor, brought by refugees, but was limited to some coastal cities.
Although there were several competing theories as to the etiology of the Curse of the Doroz, analysis of DNA from victims in northern and southern Aels published in 3321 and 3322 a.a.H. indicates that the pathogen responsible was the Dorozinia pestis virus, probably causing several forms of plague.
The Curse of the Doroz is thought to have originated in the deserts of Northern Zarhuy, as a mutation of a bacteria from the contact between humans and elves, where it then travelled along the Vanilion Road to Aels to the north and southern Zarhuy. From there, it was likely carried by merchant ships across the Tok Sea, to Hieyoks.
Spreading throughout the Caritz and Tok, the Curse of Doroz is estimated to have killed 20–50% of Aels total elven population, being worst affected the Tok sea shores of Hieyoks. The elven population as a whole did not recover to pre-curse levels until the Middle Human Age. The Curse of the Doroz recurred occasionally in Hieyoks and Aels until the Modern Age.
The Curse of the Doroz created a series of religious, social, and economic upheavals, which had profound effects on the course of Elven history.
The Curse Edit
For the elves, sickness was almost unknown: While other species suffered from plagues and diseases that killed hundreds and thousands of them, the few elves who even get a minor disease was only an annoyance, rather than a danger.
For the High elves, this was clearly a way of the gods to tell them that the Elf-kind was of a divine nature, chosen by the gods themselves...
At least, this was like this until the violent end of the Late Elfic Age.
While the origins of the Curse of the Doroz was really unknown, it originated in Zarhuy, after the first contacts between the elves and the Kanovs and the humans.
While the High elves noticed that as other "animals" -like the orcs and beastmen- the kanovs and humans as well get diseases... another sign, that the elves -and especially the High Elves- were the chosen children of the gods to rule Aiers.
And when the Age of Invasions begun, with the human migrations that triggered the migratory movements of many displaced peoples, and into the high elf kingdoms, and then, they were hit by the plague.
Never having to face a plague before, this new enemy -along with the invasions and fall of their kingdoms in Zarhuy, Hieyoks and Aels, the Age of Invasions became an apocalyptic era for the elves, with their records, alarmed, telling about the end of the times.
It is difficult to be sure, but some high elf accounts say that almost half or two thirds of all the elves that get the Curse of the Doroz died: Some say, about one third of the elves of Aels, Zarhuy and Hieyoks died during the Age of Invasions, by the plague or the wars of that dark age for the Elfkind...
But for the survivors, it was not over, as the elves who survived the plague didn't appear to have any consequences, but when they had sons and daughters, something weird was noted.
Most of the children of the cursed had golden eyes and white hair... and no magic, and as years passed, it was seen that they lived only one third as long as a normal elf, getting sick like humans, kanov, dwarves and orcs do...
They were the Doroz, the "lesser elves".
At first, they were feared by their parents and the other elves... and as a Doroz could have as children only doroz, being a hereditary disease, in Zarhuy and Aels they became pariahs, exiled from their societies who feared them. As well, elves, fearing their children to be Doroz -or noticing that they were so- began to do some practices never used by elves before -as abortion and infanticide of Doroz children-, aside from exile or exclusion of the Doroz from their communities.
The plague (or curse) of the Doroz entered into recession, but never again disappeared, and each few generations it will hit elf-kind again.
In Zarhuy and Aels, the Doroz were in general few in numbers, and exiled, the options for them was to settle down along communities of other species (such as Dwarfs, Humans, Kanovs, Draak Harg, among others) or found their own settlements or Doroz Quarters, if they had enough numbers, but being in general a marginal group.
Meanwhile in Hieyoks, where the Plague hit with more virulence, the Doroz constituted an important part of the elven population, and being a hereditary condition, they created their own Doroz nations and tribes -such as the later Dorozia-
Much of the culture of these Doroz tribes and nations depended of their ancestors' cultures, and later, of interaction with Kanov and humans, existing sedentary, agricultural and urban Doroz nations in the west of Hieyoks, while others were dedicated to livestock and were nomadic -mostly in eastern Hieyoks.
There are no exact figures for the death toll; the rate varied widely by locality, and often immediately after -or during- the Curse, many elven nations suffered invasions. In crowded elven cities, it was not uncommon for as much as 50% of the population to die. The disease bypassed some areas, and the most isolated areas were less vulnerable to contagion. Wizards, witches and healers were especially hard hit since they cared for the Curse of the Doroz victims.
Because the healers and wizards of the elves were at a loss to explain the causes of the plague, as they had never faced a pandemic -unlike the "lower species" of non-elves-, elves turned to astrological, divine or arcane forces to explain the emergence.