History of the TermEdit
Although the definition of the term "Koada'Dal" remained the same throughout elven history, its meaning and acceptance in common usage changed considerably.
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, the best of elven society, composed of war heroes, kings and dukes, became 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. Through various maneuverings and negotiations (some of which would leave lingering hard feelings among those passed over), it was decided that the Thex had the strongest claim to the throne. The seat of House Thex, a keep called 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. Initially, there was no shame in an elf being called a Feir'Dal. 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. There were many things to fear:
- The Ogres who had traveled to Akashidak brought an aggressive new religion back to Norrath and were causing trouble.
- Orcs marched on Dal holdings on Faydwer.
- Trolls from Kunark led a raiding party that captured the Dal Arch Mage and attempted to steal the knowledge of High Magic for themselves.
These and other events, caused 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 decisions which were seen as weakening the kingdom, angered the Koada'Dal nobles, and caused their support for the Thex 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 willingly bowed before the new Takish Empire. Other kingdoms soon 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 over the empire, and believed that the new-found freedoms of the other races were merely a temporary condition. 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. This secret society carried a ruby ring as a symbol of their rightful destiny.