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Wood elves are the second oldest race on the planet after the fae. They can trace their ancestory back to the High Elven rulers of the planet long before their race emerged. This is why their top goal is to preserve all that they may find of those days in order to pass their knowledge on to the newer races. The wood elves live within the Great Forest dark and deep where the horde their knowledge away as if they still lived back in the days of the High Elves. The people are tall and strong making excellent archers and wizards. Due to the Great War with the humans, if you vist their lovely city and many towns and outposts you will find them unusually lacking in people. Mind your manners while in their domain, respect the forest and never, ever lie to them. They know, they see and they will not tolerate it.
Climate and Weather
The weather of the wood elven territory varies greatly as it covers such a large area of the world. The Great forest covers all the northern areas west of the city of Lumina in Empirias to the Silent seas but, the Wood Elves mainly stick to it's deepest parts and cluster around the rivers. Mist seems to eternally cling to the woodland no matter where you travel making finding your way even more confusing than ever. In more northern areas there is regular snow that can pile upto several feet like it does in lovely Empirias. Rain fall is more common in the west where the woodland thins and ( )eaks towards the Fae's territory. The over all temperature barely drops below 0 unless in the winter months and in the north and is never really hot. The magic in the woods, though dwindling, keeps the temperature pleasent for living.
Trees cover near all available space. From little saplings to towering titans, all manner of trees can be found. Plants strive for the far away sunlight where ever they can and there are ( )anches as thick as most regular tree trunks. Every so often there is a clearing in the trees where you may find pleasent wild flowers of every colour imaginable. There are rivers cutting through the green and lakes dotted around. The elves like to build their homes in hollowed out trees or cluster them around the lakes and rivers at irregular intervals. The forest is not flat as one may imagine. You will find deep dips in the land and rises like mountains. The wood is confusing with no roads to travel and no signs to follow. In the north you can see jagged peaks which beyond lies the empty forgotten first home of all peoples.
Wood Elves Appearance and Fashion
Wood elves are very very tall compared to the other peoples of Edge. They all clock in over 6ft tall and are rarely under that height, even the women. While wood elves have been known to have pale skin tones, the vast majority have darker skin. Their hair colours can be: black, ginger, ( )own, blond, white or grey. Their eyes usually only come in: ( )own, green, hazel and blue. It is very rare to see any other colours though golden eyed wood elves have been known to exist.
Wood elves who don't work in the military tend to keep their hair rather long. The oft decorate it with flowers and leaves and may wear garlands on their heads. Elves who are engaged and soon to be wed will ( )aid a lock of their lover's hair and wear the ( )aid hanging down over the shoulder of their dominant hand. Those who can use both hands are lucky as they get to wear two ( )aids. Elves who have been wed will decorate their hair in intricate ( )idal ( )aids often ( )aiding in beads and other little items (usually gifts from their beloved). The lock of hair from their lover always remains. In the military, elves like to keep their hair shorter. They tend to be less intricate with their hair styles and usually don't make much of a fuss unless they are wed.
Wood elves are massive fans of intricate patterns and flowy garments. The women will often wear long gowns or some form of dress or tunic while the men may go for a long coat or robes. They wear sashes and belts often and like to layer their clothing. They keep their clothes very modest and never show much skin unless nessecary. Depending on their profession, a wood elf may wear leather armour and furs. The patterns they use are usually related to their woodland home and they tend to stick to more earthy tones. More wealthy wood elves can afford a much higher variety in dyes and will wear colours much more befitting a moon elf or patterns so intricate it wouldn't look out of place in Hollandiris.
The money of the wood elves is known as Favours and have three different values.
Oak Favour- a round wooden token with a leaf carved into it the same size as 2p coin. Worth around £10
Willow Favour- a square wooden token made from the wood of a weeping willow tree. Has a spiral carved into it. Worth £50
Ebony Favour- Made from ebony in the shape of a triangle. Has an intricate tree carved on it. Worth £100.
Mainly fruit, vegetables, grains and nuts. Meat is rarely eaten except for important events as they respect the creatures around them greatly. Fish is common due to the abundance of rivers in the Great Forest and is found in most local dishes. Bread is often made with grain farmed/traded for or traded for odd trinkets and wood working or even bought from the city of Lumina in Empirias.
Wood Elven Jobs
Hunters do exactly what their name suggests, they hunt. These are the people who hunt the animals and beasts that the peoples eat. Beyond that, they are also fishermen and gathers. Some may collect useful items that can be used back in their towns and some may look for fruits in the tree tops. Hunters must be excellent fighters, climbers and farmers with plenty of strength to carry their findings back and speed to keep them from trouble. Some hunters make bets on how much wood they can collect or who will get the most berries.
Tenders also gather useful items from the forest as well as food that dosen't need to be hunted and killed. They are also responsible for going into settlements and selling/trading things the Hunters has found for coin/items the people need. Tenders do not need to fight but will probably carry some form of dagger with them to keep them safe if they do get into trouble.
Tenders who live in the Garden of Serenity are more like farmers and fishermen.
Earth-Knights are the guards of the city and towns. Their job dosen't differ from with where they live. They protect and they fight. If the people cannot escape trouble in time they stand and kill whatever is in their path. If a beast threatens the Garden they will kill it before it takes any of their own people. These soldiers favor sword and sheild but have been know to use other weapons.
Lore-keepers are by another name, historians and li( )arians. Their job is to keep the ancient lore the people of their settlement safe and in order. They also often function as healers in smaller towns and villages. They are usually the most respected members of society. Lore-keepers are so useful that the Moon Elves have also picked up their art.
Speakers are those who work with the Lore-Keepers. Their task is to meet with other Lore-Keepers and share what they know. Often they also act as couriers. These are the people who go into ancient ruins and into the dangerous wilds in search of the lost lore. If the Lore-Keeper of the elven settlement dies, the Speaker will take their place. They must know how to both fight and heal. More often than not, the Speaker will be the Lore-Keeper's child or lover.
These are the people who create weapons, armour and all manner of things for soldiers. They can also be simple tailors making gowns for ladies of their town. They could even be writers or poets or artists. These people are less valued than those who make clothing or weaponry but, they are still needed in order to ( )ing joy to their people.
About Wood E;ves in Human Lands
Wood elves and humans have long been enemies. The last war they had was over that fact that the humans were pressing further into the forest and had chopped down trees for lumber. The wood elves retaliated by attacking the humans who also fought back. This led to an all our war which the humans won just by inches and at the loss of one of their cities. Many wood elves were taken to the city of Gadralore, at city of the west coast of the human's country of Hearth-stone, where they are experimented upon. Humans don't usually have magic so they wanted to learn and instead of simply asking the elves, they tourtured them.
Many of the wood elves who live in human lands are the grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the orignal elves taken there during the war. They have very little magic, hardly any bond to the planet and live much shorter lives. They are typically slaves and must beg for their food on the streets. Many are beginning to return to the woods, little by little and pray at the alter of their beloved Serenity in hopes they may be returned to what they once were. Most of these elves have never seen the Great Forest and some never will.
List of Gods/Goddesses in the Wood Elven Panethon
All-Father- He who ( )ought them the light of the sun and gave the people sight.
Planet-Mother- She who tended their forest and lead them to their home.
Serenity- He who ( )eathed life into them and taught them how to act with a guiding hand.
God of the Hunt- He who taught the people how to fight and treat their prey.
Goddess of Motherhood- She who taught the people healing, care and how to harvest the bounties of nature.
Goddess of Craft- She who taught the people how to make clothes and tools.
God of Fire- He who taught the people how to use fire to cook, but also of the perils of an open flame
Goddess of Death- She who leads the people to the afterlife and taught them of the Great Cycle.
God of Magic- He who gifted the people with magic and taught them how to use it
God of Secrets- He who showed the people the secrets of their ancestors and gave the people purpose.
About the Gardens of Serenity
The Gardens of Serenity is a city deep within the Great Forest or Tfiuh Lafibh. It was not built with stone or anything else but grown from the very trees them selves. Vines of all sorts grow on every tree and flowers bloom at the feet of great oaks like verdant children. Small streams flow neath the many ( )idges there and the crystal windows of the houses built into the trees glitter in the pale sunlight. The city is large yet areas of it lie empty due to the amount of people who died during the war and the amounts that leave the Gardens every year. Such is that the gardens are slowly dying with their ruler sick and it's people scattered. The Garden's are made up of several sectors.
Plains District- The lowest district where the poor lived. The houses here are built from sticks and intertwining roots of the great trees. Moss covers the rooves of the houses. Jobs people may have here include: Tenders, fishermen, hunters, healers, mushroom farmers and mount-keepers.
Clearing District- Slightly higher up than the plains. This area is commercial mostly. This is where most general stores are. These include: several crafts-masters, tailors, a couple of healers, traders and a market for the tenders, hunters and other such people. The buildings here are similar to the ones in the plains district with a little more decoration.
Woodland District- Where all the middle class live. The houses are built into the trees and feature pretty carvings and small garden-like areas that the elves all look after. There is a couple of meeting areas and monuments to famous wood elven queens.
Canopy District- Where the rich folk live. This as it's suggests is high up above the rest of the districts. Each family has their own tree and own little area. There are many cascading waterfalls here that adds to it's charm and beauty. In this district there is the Font, where the flow of water through the Garden's is managed and the Castle which is built into the largest tree in the world known as the Eldergreen.
Death, Funerals and the Afterlife
Most wood elves believe in the "Great Cycle" which is an infinate well of souls. They believe that once you die your soul goes back to this Cycle to await rebirth. They say that the Cycle is an infinate paradise and so the soul will rest easier there than it can in mortality. However, this only happens for souls who are deemed "Good". Souls that are "Evil" or belong to people who did evil things (murder, rape, the usuall crimes). Those souls are said to be collected by the God of Time, Serenity and carried into the void to be purified until after many many years they may return to the Cycle.
In short, Wood Elves believe in a rebirth system where souls are recycled. Often wood elves may curse at people when they are angry "May you never find the cycle!" or "May the abyss take you." Things like that.
Wood elf funerals are usually happy or joyful events. This is because they believe that the soul will move on to a better place and that with luck theu may meet their beloved again someday. It is also a cele( )ation of their life. Stories are told around a fire, there is a big feast and music plays in the background. The day after the funeral, the body is buried under a tree which is marked with their family colour. This is done with paint ot with a strip of fa( )ic. This is because wood elves believe that as they took of the world in life, they should give back to it in death.
The person's items (well the ones that the family wish to let go) are them given out to those who have very little. In Clans this is a much more meaningful thing than with those who live in cities/towns and other places. When all is said and done, life goes on as normal however, the name of the dead should not be spoken for 3 years as wood elves believe that saying their name may call their soul back to them making that soul unable to return to the Cycle.
Weddings and Love
Love is a very serious thing for wood elves as they live for such a long time. Loss of a partner is devastating for a wood elf as they believe in tying one's soul to anothers. This is done by a series of magical rituals which are private to only the couple (or others as wood elves do not frown upon polyamorous relationships) a Lore-Keeper and a priest/ess.
One of these rituals is known as the Soul Feast. Those getting married will fast for a week before eating a hearty meal and giving thanks to the gods. This is said to gain favor from the Gods and make way for a happy future.
Another is the Blood Pact. This is a very old tradition dating back to the days of the High Elves. This is where those getting married join themselves through blood. This is very similar to the Giving Ceremony of the Moon Elves save it is done only in the presence of a very select few.
Upon the acceptance of a proposial, the wood elves involved in the marriage arrangements will cut of a lock of their hair and ( )aid it into their lover's. This lock us worn untill they are wed. Each morning after marriage, the lock is re( )aided into their hair by the most "dominant" person in the partnership. If there is no dominant lover, they will simply take turns every day.
There are big cele( )ations and big meals and parties in the streets in the Garden's of Serenity for all classes of people both poor and rich. As wood elves believe in sharing everyone gets invited no matter who you are.