Legend of Arduril

Also known as ‘The Legend of the Great Mage’ or ’Arduril’s Folly’, with alternative names for the protagonist in different regions such as ‘Elduril’ or ‘Durthdeep’.

The legend of an Elven mage who committed his life to the study of magical theory and stored his knowledge in a number of books called the Lexicon of Arduril.

He developed a range of new spells and magical techniques, however his increased knowledge only fuelled his thirst for power until he began to imbue his very form with dangerous magical powers at the sacrifice of his well-being, health and eventually his sanity. Ultimately he was driven mad by the dangerous concoction of mixed magics until he was eventually destroyed.

There is some inconsistency in varying versions as to where the story takes place and how Arduril’s destruction came about; the commonest telling is that his power eventually overwhelmed and destroyed him, while another popular version states that he was defeated by a united assembly of other mages from across the realms. Amongst some travelling folk, an alternative ending is that the assembled mages instead offered a merciful end to Arduril, who was in great suffering and incapable of ending his own torment, which had in fact become his final and only goal.

The legend of Arduril is widely-known folklore and little faith is placed in its accuracy or reflection of any historical truth, especially when various kingdoms and realms habitually designate his nationality as that of their enemy (thereby enforcing the folklore villain as relating to the common-day foe, with the assembled magicians often representing the established power).

The tale is often used as a cautionary story about what happens to those who strive for power beyond what they can control, or attempting to control dangerous magics. The overriding theme of unity against a greater evil is also a popular educational tool for encouraging cooperation and allegiance in the overthrow of evil.

Legend of Arduril

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