Cuiviénen is the Quenya word for the Waters of the Awakening, located on the shore of a large gulf in the inland Sea of Helcar in the far east of Middle-Earth. The Awakening of the Elves took place on the shores of Cuiviénen, long ago during the Years of the Trees, when the work of the Vala Yavanna in those lands was still in slumber. The Elves dwelt there for a long time in bliss under the starlight. The stars were the first thing they saw when waking up, and thus they spoke their very first word “el” meaning “star”.
At Cuiviénen the Elves divided themselves into their three basic groups: the Minyar (Vanyar), Tatyar (Noldor), and Nelyar (Teleri), and learned and developed the basic skills of survival, culture, and language. This elf is one of the Tatyar, the second roup of elves who awoke under the stars. She spends most of her time contemplating the stars and dancing in the water of the lake, she wears a light, simple white dress which reflects the light of the stars in the water, a circlet of freshly picked flowers adorns her hair
The first Sundering of the Elves then took place when the Elves departed from Cuiviénen to Valinor answering the Call of Orome, leaving behind the Avari, elves who refused to leave, and those who turned back to Cuiviénen after a few hundred miles, before even completing the journey. It is not known how long the tribes of the Avari remained at Cuiviénen during the First Age, but they were still there when Men awoke at the first rising of the Sun in the nearby land of Hildórien, and its elven residents befriended the early Men and taught them the basic skills of survival.
Melkor discovered this land before the other Valar. The elves feared him and were forced to hide, those unfortunate enough to be left behind or overwhelmed by fear were taken captive or slain. Then, five hundred years later, Oromë discovered Cuiviénen on his travels throughout Middle-earth. The first Sundering of the Elves took place when they departed from Cuiviénen to Valinor, leaving behind the Avari, Elves who refused to leave, and those who turned back to Cuiviénen before even completing the journey. It is not known how long the tribes of the Avari remained at Cuiviénen during the First Age, but they were still there when Men awoke at the first rising of the Sun many years later, in the nearby land of Hildórien.
The Sea of Helcar and Cuiviénen were marred after the War of Wrath, and the fate of its inhabitants after the First Age remains unknown.
The Awakening is one of my favorite stories of Tolkien Legendarium, when Arda’s beauty was still intact and “primitive” in a way. I thought for a while of how I could represent the newly awakened Elves, i didn’t want to use any elaborate, heavily decorated garments as didn’t fit the time of the story. I chose the Elegant Elven Dress from the Mirkwood vendors, it is very simple, delicate and looks good with the flower circlet from the Farmer’s Faire 🙂 I like how the screenshots turned out, runekeeper skills are amazing to use for “special effects” 😄
head: Circlet of Fresh-picked Flowers, Farmer’s Faire reward
chest: Elegant elven dress, White dye, Mirkwood reputation barter