The Monument Cascades was the name of a region to the Northeast of Lake Del Rey. The name of the region comes after the waterfall and elven ruins -specially after the Great Waterfall and the ruins of an ancient high elven city. Aside of the great Waterfall, there were numerous other waterfalls, rivers and streams with Elf made monuments built between or alongside these bodies of moving water.
The rivers and streams originate in the Dargoina Mountains, and Angards to the north and north east of Lake Del Rey. There are various sorts of sculptures and shrines located in the highlands between the mountains and the highland great lake. Dominating a mountain pass to Huncle and Oster Gate Valley, it was a trade route between Degoland and Huncle, and before that it had been one of the last refugees of the elven civilization of northwest Aels before the conquest by humans.
The region was a forested, rocky region known for its natural beauty, having numerous small mountain valleys, springs, rivers and waterfalls. Many of the rivers and streams form waterfalls at various points along the way. With beautiful little mountain lakes and ponds interspersed and rocks seemingly artfully placed within the moving water, or emerging from the mountain lakes. There are many places of great natural beauty to be found.
The monuments fit several different categories as they have been built by different elven people over different times. Sometimes newer structures built upon atop, or on the foundations, of older ones. There were far more structures built than those that can be freely seen, or have been found. Many have been destroyed or covered by the ravages of time, or have collapsed into water as moving water has shifted directions, and have inundated or worn away the elf made monuments.
There are four main categories:
These are the most ancient of the structures, standing stone slabs, some singular and unworked, some arranged in circles. Sometimes the stones are worked to be more regular, or have taken on a crude anthropomorphic shape.
Later versions consisted of arranged drum columns set in circles, semi-circles or lines.
Later structures are of temples or shrines to gods or spirits. There were many small temples constructed, and many more shrines looking like little houses, shaped like stone versions of wooden homes lived in by the cultures of the builders, or as miniature temples.
There are many examples of statuary of elves. Some are representatives of gods, others are monuments to ancient rulers.
Towers and Ruins Edit
Ancient high elven towers and palaces in diverse states of ruins, remnants of what once was the High Elven kingdom of Aiea, were found along the river.
Culture and HistoryEdit
There was a series of ancient cultures based on stone raising in the Northwest of Aels, particularly in the Osorio Valley, and centered on the great freshwater lake, Lake Del Rey, and the waters that sustained it. It is known that the Lake and its highlands around it were reserved for the High elves' royalty in the valley. Before the coming of the high elves, the native Rossnes elves saw the lake as holy, and the downward flowing waters as blessings from heaven. That structures and offerings built by the streams or on the highland plains would please deities looking down from heaven over the peaks of the mountains. What the earliest builders believed can only be speculated upon.
Many of the most ancient works have collapsed and might look like natural piles of stones. Understandable, in some cases, as the early stones were often minimally moved and worked. Others have been destroyed in renovations by later cultures, or covered by soil over the passage of scores of centuries.
It is believed that Zuleis, blue skinned elves built these ancient structures. Some believe that the ancient Drow from the time of the Empire of Drow might have provided the first examples. One theory holds that the early stone working of essentially setting stones on end was an outgrowth of Animism centered around the elemental spirits of water and stone amidst a beautiful backdrop.
Rossnes elves built most of the shrines and oldest formal temples to their own conceptions of the elemental spirits and their gods. Their stones were dressed, and structures were well engineered. Some bas reliefs hint at belief systems and history of centuries before the coming of the High elves who would invade from the west.
The most recent monuments were constructed by the High elves who originated from the continent of Ushaenor, and were inspired to place their own, later mark on the region with some grand temples on the plains to the east of the holy streams, or near Lake Del Rey. These conquerors and colonists would erect their own fine shrines near the older ones, as if in an attempt to show their superiority. Many of their structures were designed for secular artistic reasons, such as monuments to ancient figures from Ushaenor--lest they forget them in the new country--or amphitheaters designed to amplify the roar of running water during certain periods of the year.