Life before Alindariel
For decades following the fall of the Hazon Empire, Wood Elves lived in the Wild Plains. They fought neighboring houses, other races, and themselves for the meager resources the Plains provided, yet they did not think of the Plains as home. Wood Elves are at home in forests, and the Plains had few to offer. Determined the make the best of their freedom from Hazon, the elves formed three loose confederacies made up of the tribes closest to them. The Eastern Wood Elves were closest to the human kingdom of Garresh and alternated trading and fighting for land. The central Wood Elves traded with House Kran and became skilled horse breeders. The Western Wood Elves traded and fought with the orcs of the Grey Mountains and became the most aggressive of all Wood Elves on the Plains.
Relationship with Garresh
When the human King Thorn offered to marry Syrdaesol Si of the Grovedaughter Tribe, both races benefited. The Thorns gained the possibility of a long-lived heir to rule the newly formed Kingdom of Garresh, and the Wood Elves gained the major forests of Garresh. There they created the Kingdom of Alindariel.
Alindariel is joined with Garresh by the personal union between King Thorn and Queen Si. Si rules Alindariel by the right of being the female with the most direct line to Ferania, the ancestor of all Wood Elves. As long as the two monarchs are married, the kingdoms are united. Alindariel will pass to Si’s first born, a daughter she had from a previous marriage, and Garresh will pass to the first child between King Thorn and Queen Si, a boy born in the spring of Year 1 in the Age of Balance. When the Kingdom of Garresh passes from King Thorn to his heir, Alindariel will be a separate, but allied, kingdom that exists inside the borders of Garresh.
Because Alindariel exists inside Garresh, a need arose to mark the specific boundaries between the two kingdoms. Nestle and mint have been planted around the borders of the Wood Elf kingdom to mark where Thorn’s forests end and theirs begin. The Wood Elves do not see a strict need to heavily patrol their boundaries as they see plenty available for all, but when pressed they will assert their right to their land, with violence if necessary, especially if they encounter mischief makers and malevolent forces.
During the Great Plague of Valzenn, Wood Elf archers were recruited by King Thorn to shoot any who tried to enter his kingdom from Valzenn. It was a traumatic event for the Wood Elves, but they reluctantly agreed on its necessity as the plague resisted all magical and mundane methods of treatment. However, they also made efforts to discourage people from attempting the crossing, and they placed barrels of supplies and instructions for any who sought to instead find a quiet hiding place to ride the plague out. King Thorn showed gratitude for the military assistance and a precedent has been set on Wood Elf assistance should the Kingdom of Garresh ever need aid.
Politics in Alindariel
The Kingdom is ruled by Queen Si; she works with the elders of each tribe to care for her people. Si has a view that all elves are welcome and wishes to one day see a kingdom of elves, not just wood elves. In pursuit of this dream, she traveled to the Mountain of Sorrow to rescue her Moon Elf cousins; upon arrival in her lands they were transformed into Wood Elves.
Alindariel is divided into two parts. The larger forest, north of the Balastair River, holds the capital, Ibelin and is where the Central and Western Wood Elves made their homes. The tribes of this area are:
- Divine Shield
- Bright Bow
- Hidden Viper
- Dying Phantom
- Hopping Rabbit
- Thrice-Struck Owl
- Sleeping Mare
The smaller forest south of the river is home to the Eastern Wood Elves and the Aenash Tree: a gift from Dania to the elves, the Aenash Tree is a weaving of many trees that stands above all in the forest. Aenash bark, when burned, can send one on a vision quest. The tribes of this area are:
- Little Leaf
- Thunder Sparrow
- Falling Yew
- Drooping Pine
Status in Alindariel is based on where one lives in the major trees that make up their dwellings. Visitors and those who have no standing live on houses on the ground, whereas the elders of each tribe live in the highest reaches of the tree so they can keep an eye on every member of their tribe.
Justice in Alindariel
Lawbreaking is rare between Wood Elves. More common, historically, was violence towards non elves in the competition for resources in the Wild Plains.
Those who break the law are generally mentored by tribal elders. Those found unteachable, after many attempts, are pushed with exile.
Branchwraiths versus Handmaidens/Stewards
Being a new kingdom, Alindariel was quick to find splits among the previously disunited tribes. The Branchwraiths who previously served Dania as aggressive protectors of her natural places switched their loyalty to Odara. The Handmaidens and Stewards, those who serve Dania through more peaceful means, rejected this change in faith. The two groups could not be reconciled and the Branchwraiths, despite being Wood Elves and loyal to Alindariel and Queen Si, departed from the kingdom.
Ethos of Alindariel
Unlike many other races, Wood Elves have no great design on the direction and goals of their race. They do not seek control, mastery, or high achievements that could lead to divine power like some of their cousins. Rather, they seek to do well with whatever they are doing and encourage harmony among all races. Or, at the very least, they would prefer other races leave them alone. They regularly engage in the arts and the crafting of potions.
Magic and Religion
Most nature-based magic (bardic, elemental, nature, spirit, light) is practiced in Alindariel. The “human” magics (arcane, dark, divine, runic) are more rare and discouraged, as interest in human culture is what separates a Wood Elf from a High Elf. The elves of Alindariel would like to see a united elven kingdom, but not if it means it would be dominated by High Elven culture.
The Lords of Light and some Lords of Order are worshiped. Aravel, Tidron, Dania, Kannath, and Nenteth have the largest followings. Many respect Reghasting but show token disdain for him due to his running feud with Dania.
The worship of any Lord of Darkness is banned and worship of Lords of Chaos are allowed but discouraged.