The Elves of the Raethuhshayt were a long lived folk, their lifespans stretching for upwards of 700 years before the notion of extending ones life through magic became established. A race of great magical dexterity and with centuries with which to learn they developed at an impressive rate to out class those of Lore they deem lesser races. It was this that led to the great colonisation of the facing coasts of the great continents by the Raethushshayt, all the barbarian peoples of the coastlines were forced to flee or live as slaves to their exploitative Elven masters. It was not hard for the Elves to achieve such a thing, for they were sophisticated and advanced, and when the barbarians were too brutal to be overawed by magic and technology they were significantly slower than the agile and lithe hollow boned elves making single combat no challenge for the well equipped elves whose magically keen blades met no resistance with the leather armours of the lesser races.
Thus began the golden age of the Raethuhshayt as they built and expanded upon the fruits of their slave labours. Great ports were constructed and trade flowed from and to the subsequent continents each rich with new and different resources than those found on the Raethuhshan isles. Ki and other elements were much more prevalent and mines were constructed for the slaves to labour in. Soon it became the common view that no elf should have to work a trade after they were 200 as all tradecraft and work was outsourced to the slave labours. Trades were passed on through families, be it ironmongery, carpentry or magic as a point of pride but it was expected that one should be able to save and borrow enough to invest in a shipping route, or mine or slave based industry and live off that and the expansion of credit between the Elven households.
The Stonemasons will hire slaves to continue their works, the mighty marble cities of old Raethuhshayt being expanded and remodled by less skilled hands, and the sons of the stonemasons would aspire to own a ship and make money off trade rather than the pitiful commissions of the city councils wishing to have new roads and houses.
This trend of deferring the traditional livelihoods of the Raethuhshayt people for the more profitable exploiting of a slaves for ones personal gain came to a head when King Preobtruies introduced the Preobtrusion, abdacating from the throne and dissolving all Raethuhshayt government in favour of self determination and responsibility of individual elves. Without taxes or legislation to hinder them the Raethuhshayt prospered, wealth flowed ever more freely and credit flowed ever more easier between Elven households for how could the prosperity ever end. The Elves were not prepared for when the slave/barbarian bubble burst and it burst violently.
Armies were an expense that few Elves felt necessary to keep paying once the Preobtrusion came into force. There were smatterings of slave and mercenary armies, often headed by a core of Raethuhshayt officers, youngsters eager to play soldier, spar and fight whilst earning enough to start a business venture as a proper adult. Thus when the slaves started rebelling and the barbarian kings of surrounding lands decided to reclaim the Raethuhshayt colonial lands the Elves struggled to put up a fight. They had outsourced their military and much of their magical abilities, teaching the barbarians much spellcraft as it was cheaper than hiring an elf to perform magic. Their armour and weapons were not finely crafted masterful pieces of fatal art as they were in days of old but poor approximations of Raethushshayt craft mass produced and little better than what the upstart nations could bring to bare.
The true problem facing the Elves at this time was the lack of loyalty. Even the Raethuhshayt generals leading the mercenary armies were willing to be paid off by the bounties of the Barbarian kings and turn on their employers even though they were off the same race, it became a struggle to maintain their holdings on the coasts, Ki mines were lost, ports and ships burned. Soon it became hard for Elves to service their loans to one another as their assets and holdings were lost to the lesser races and the Elves turned on themselves, ritual combats to the death to establish payment of debt became common place in the Raethuhshan isles especially as houses demanded immediate repayment on loans that had centuries left to mature. Ultimately this became the end of the Raethuhshayt civilisation, the wealth stopped coming in, many Elves fled the colonies penniless and in debt, whilst a few managed to buy their way to freedom in the new barbarian lands, the knowledge and skill of an elf being a useful resource even if work is a distasteful notion for an elf. Mostly though the elves of the colonies died and the Elves of the isles became bitter and miserly as their economic growth floundered.
The great port city of Kuhyruhpshuaen, owned exclusively by house Kuhyhrupt, was alone in weathering this storm. The head of the house Brahyeburae had the foresight to preempt the credit crunch and took out massive loans just before it hit. With these loans he brought life servitude of tribes of Angusuktok before ceasing all repayments and fortifying his city for the coming troubles. As well as granting all slaves freedom and offering them a wage for their services. No Raethuhshayt house has since dealt with the house Kuhyhrupt in the 3000 years since the fall of the Raethuhshayt nation and talk within the city states that the children of the grand spire display madness born of generations of inbreeding. Yet still the city has prospered as the premier port on the Northern coast of the South continent, never having been burned to the ground and rebuilt as all the other former Raethuhshayt settlements were and with the house Kuhyhrupt offering competitive charges compared to the tithes and taxes of the other ports and lands.
Outside of Kuhyruhpshuaen and it’s relative prosperity (if a land of cutthroat traders and impoverished workers kept in line by the thuggish existence of Angusuktok soldiery patrolling the streets can be described as prosperous) the rest of Raethuhshayt is clearly a fallen civilisation. On the Raethuhshan isles the cities are little more than ruins, for the Elves care not for the upkeep of the magnificent marble streets and civic structures, their efforts bent towards making as much money as they can from the ships that flow between the north and south and hording the money away. All those with a trade who fled the violence when their colonies burned so as to form the foundations of new cities lived desperate lives and their children and grand children ended up going back to the continents, where several generations of man had passed and little bad will remained and their skill and ability offered more profit.
The Elves are now a mercenary race, the nation of Raethuhshayt a memory that few honour or identify with. Rather the tall gaunt figures with their ever youthful appearance and black hollow eyes have spread across the continents and beyond, living up to their reputation as corrupt and untrustworthy for heroism and justice are alien concepts to Elves.