The Feir'Dal was the name used in reference to the Common Elf, those citizens of lesser houses and common folk who were neither a member of the class of elite military called the Teir'Dal, nor a member of one of the great houses, who were known as Koada'Dal.
History of the termEdit
During the Lost Era, the Elves, faced with dangers upon and below the surface, began to form alliances and work together towards a common cause. The heroes of this age would be the founders of some of the ancient and noble houses, like Thex, D'Vinn, Oprest, Tah'Re, Ondel and others. Those of Lesser houses pledged their fealty to the greater houses, and through this the Elvish nation gained a sense of unity and organization.
The Elves decided that a ruler would be chosen from among the great houses. After much negotiations and maneuverings, it was decided that the Thex had the strongest claim to the throne, and Neriak became the capital of the unified Elven kingdom of Amaril. Despite choosing a ruler, the great houses still maintained a great deal of power. Those who could trace their bloodlines back were called Koada'Dal, while those citizens of lesser houses were known as Feir'Dal. There was no shame in this term, it was simply used as a distinction of class.
The balance in dal society remained mostly stable into the Age of Allies, even as elven influence spread beyond their kingdom of Amaril and touched the other lands of Norrath. When the elves discovered how to wield High Magic, they were in the midst of a golden age. Some among the Koada'Dal feared this prosperity was threatened by outside influences, causing the members of the Koada'Dal to become more insular. The Feir'Dal, who tended to live alongside the other races and had more direct dealings with them, did not share these fears, and the division between classes became more pronounced. The Thex, who relied on the support of the people, attempted to walk the line between these two points of view. This attempt at balance, along with certain choices, angered the Koada'Dal nobles, and caused their support for the monarchy to weaken.
The infiltration by the Shissar brought validation to the Koada'Dal belief that other races posed a threat. General Valinor Tah'Re, who had exposed the Shissar menace, was embraced by the nobility as the epitome of what an elf should represent. Playing on the fears that ran rampant among the many kingdoms, the Koada'Dal put forward the notion that a single empire, under the governance of Norrath's finest protector would keep the world safe. This idea was not universally accepted, but gave birth to the Takish Empire. To pacify the elven traditionalists, the new empire did not supplant the Thex reign. Seeking to act on behalf of his people, the King accepted the sovereignty of the Takish Empire. Other kingdoms followed suit.
Now in absolute power, the Koada'Dal elite looked down not only on the other races, but upon the lower castes of elves as well. The term Feir’Dal began to carry a connotation of collusion with enemy races, and common dal grew fearful of using it.
The Ashfall shifted the balance of power. Though the Takish empire continued in name, it did so only through a compromise that involved returning much of the sovereignty to the kingdoms under its control. The Koada'Dal, who lost many of their number in the destruction of the Takish'Hiz, hoped that they could eventually regain their influence of the empire. It is unknown how long this version of the Takish Empire would have persisted, since the Dragon War put an end to it, ultimately giving birth to the Combine Empire through the Combine Accord.
Suddenly, to be Koada'Dal was to associate oneself with the crimes carried out by the Tah'Re of the Takish Empire. Even those born to the great houses stopped calling themselves Koada'Dal...in public. In secret, the Koada'Dal plotted to one day restore the glory of the Takish Empire and become the rulers of the world again.