It's a well-kept myth that Elves have long and deep memories.
Long? Yes. Deep? No.
They forget things as often as humans do. Frequently, even more often. A long life with a brain no more robust than the average human virtually guarantees the eventual onset of dementia and amnesia. It was considered a tragic, but inevitable reality of elven society - that every person would eventually move on and forget the life they once knew, submitting to reincarnation to renew the spirit but abandon the memory. Even so an elf, over several hundred years, might reinvent themselves a half-dozen times as earlier memories faded and new ones came and patted them down like eon-layers of soil and rock.
So it was, until the elven sages crafted a god - birthed it from their collective metaphysical genius, like Athena bloodily bursting from Zeus's crown - in a meteorological conjunction. A god that would hold all memories of their people, forever. It was named The Cloud.
|Simon Alexandre-Clément Denis, 1786-1801|
Clouds are, as the legends say, elven memories. Once a memory crosses the threshold of remembrance, it will coalesce in the sky. It will travel in dreamlike form, far into the sky where it would join the Cloud God and all their lost knowledge.
But the Cloud God is now dead, and the clouds have nowhere to go. So when time comes, they drizzle down from the sky and seek shelter in the ground. They pool in lakes, bubble in springs, and drizzle down the mountains in lyrical notes of nostalgia and regret.
What Does This Mean?
|Robert Ducanson-Mountain Pool 1870|
Where Clouds form, there will be elves. How are most elves? Buried. Where? Underground, under ocean, under mountain. Even in death their corpses dream. Or, perhaps, there still lie mighty nations under earth and ocean where elves give thought. Like chasing the end of a rainbow - find where the clouds emerge, and you will find an ancient tomb.
All water holds memory, but it is fragile, like slick jellyfish flesh running through your fingers. This is why hydromancy is such a delicate art - the slightest of disturbances will warp the mirrors of memories into irreconcilable falsehood. Only in untouched places are accurate readings possible: mountain streams, magic springs, forgotten lakes, clear ponds, and still lagoons.