The most diverse of the elven sub-races, the Wood Elves, are a people closely tied to nature. They live in the south-eastern part of the Isle of Tahn in Axios, in the city of Linandria, capital of the Dominion of Malin. The wood elves are also known as the mali'ame, which means "elves of the forest" in the ancient tongue. This is obvious enough, as wood elves are happiest within the wilds, and it was in the deepest forests of the ancient world in which the race was born. Their name in the common tongue- wood elves, likely comes from an old mistranslation from interaction with humans, but it is a name many wood elves have embraced with pride, as it conveys the humble, earthy nature of their people.
Wood elves are known for being mysterious, expressive creatures, unlike their High Elven cousins who act reserved and proper. Mali'ame excel in naturalistic practices such as hunting, tree-farming, and druidry. The best archers and bowmakers in the world are wood elves.
Wood elves are more easily distinguished from their other elven cousins by their dark skin, this can range anywhere from a olive to cinnamon to a dark brown. Commonly, Wood Elves have either brown, black, or red hair with green, black, or brown eyes. Blonde hair and blue eyes are possible but rare.
Generally, Wood Elves prefer to wear clothing containing shades of brown, green, or other natural forest colors. Though they are by no means limited to those: as with bodily appearance, the Wood Elven individuality is omnipresent in what they choose to wear. Though functionality of clothing is considered, what is more important to Wood Elves is its feeling and form. It is not uncommon to see Wood Elves adorn very elaborate clothing for special occasions such as marriages, dinners, or gatherings with friends. To a Wood Elf, what you wear is indicative of your state of mind.
Wood elven clothing can be of any colour, but almost always reflects an aspect of nature. Yellows and oranges would match the subtle hues of a sunset, for example. Red clothes would match the bloom of a rose, and blue clothing would be deep and dark like the sea.
Many wood elves are painted with elaborate, colourful tattoos all over their body. These are called ilmyumier and they are the tribal tattoos which indicate which Seed that wood elf belongs to.
A full guide on how to make your wood elf look lore appropriate can be found here.
In stature, Wood elves are generally the shortest among the elves, often shorter than the average human. Though, wood elves with high elven ancestry are known to be slightly taller. Often they are slim, yet not to the degree of High Elves and generally more physically fit. Wood Elves commonly have a natural gift for speed and agility.
Furthermore, as one would expect from a race of excellent fletchers, the best archers in the world are most often Wood Elves. The bow is the preferred weapon of the race as the distance between their target allows the elves to make use of their speed and agility. In combat, a group of wood elves with bows can be deadly, as the nimble nature of the race grants them speed and long years of practice grants them deadly accuracy.
Elves develop very similarly to Humans for the first two decades, with both races reaching adulthood near the end of this time frame. Once this point is reached, physical advancement for an Elf slows down so much that it seems as if they aren't aging at all. Elves are also not burdened with the curse of mortality that is present in all Humans. Elves can live to be over a millennia old.
See: Curse of the Elves.
Wood elven culture is built around two pillars, faith and family. Faith is represented with Aspectism- the religion of the wood elves. Family is represented by the Seeds, tribal clans of wood elves who trace their bloodlines back to their ancient nomadic ancestors, whose culture they emulate.
Faith - Aspectism
Aspectism is the largest religion in the Dominion of Malin, and among all elves as a whole. It centers around the worship of two gods of nature, Cerridwen and Cernunnos. Cerridwen being the gentle mother of life, and Cernunnos the fierce hunter and bringer of death. Together they form a balance, and are seen almost as deific parents by the wood elves, who often call them “the mother and the father”.
Aspectism at its core is the belief that no creature or living being is greater than the wild. That it is the duty of all beings to live in harmony with nature and not seek to be better than it or conquer it. Being a race that has always been tied to nature and the wild, its not hard to understand why this religion, and the Aspects who are the gods of nature, are so important to the wood elves.
Family - The Seeds
A Seed is essentially a mix between a tribe, a clan, and a family. The wood elven state of Laureh’lin is driven by its Seeds, whose members constantly are in friendly competition with one another in displays of hunting prowess, wealth, and glory.
Anyone can tell whether or not a wood elf belongs to a seed by whether or not their skin is tattooed. A tattoo on a wood-elf is called an ilmyumier and each Seed has its own unique design.
It is a common belief among wood elves that the ancient Era of the Seeds was the golden age of the wood elven people. In this time, it is said all wood elves were pure, living perfectly with nature and unchallenged in their piety to the Aspects. They lived nomadic lives in the deep forests and were said to be able to perform miracles, lost druidic arts, and cultivate trees soft as silk or hard as steel.
The nobility of Linandria today are all individuals who can trace their bloodlines back to the ancient Seeds. Seeds today are no longer nomadic but practice many of the old traditions, including close familial bonds with non-blood/adopted relatives, devout Aspectism, and the painting of ilmyumier (tribal tattoos). Each Seed has its own unique tribal tattoo with its own colour and design.
Any wood elf (or elf in general) living in Linandria worth his or her salt, seeks to join one of the Seeds living in Laureh’lin today.
The best woodworkers in the world are typically wood elves. Even weapons like swords and bows, while serving a utility purpose, are made intricately as works of art in Linandria.
Wood elven painting and sculptures are more naturalistic and often embody the core values of the people. For example, the massive wooden statues of the Aspects presiding over the main gate of Linandria are an example of the patience and prowess of wood elven sculptors.
The druids of Linandria (the Naelurir) are also great artists, weaving nature into wonderful shapes and colours. The very tree canopy of Linandria can be considered a work of art, shaped and grown by the druids.
Religion is extremely important to the wood elves. As stated above, Aspectism is one of the two main pillars on which wood elven culture functions. Almost all wood elves, especially those who grew up in Laureh’lin, follow the Aspectist faith.
The two key deities of Aspectism are the aenguls- Cerridwen and Cernunnos. They are considered gods by the wood elves and the ultimate caretakers of the sea, the sky, and all that lives. However, the Aspects are not attributed to the creation of the elves themselves.
As Aspectism doctrine reads: The elves were thrown into this world by another deity (often believed to be the Creator in human canonist faith). They had no knowledge on how to survive and had no place in the natural ecosystem. The Aspects took pity upon this alien race and approached Malin, forefather of all elves. They gave Malin the gift of intelligence to spread among all his kin, on the promise that all his people worship the Aspects and live with utmost respect of the wilderness.
It is believed by many wood elves that Malin was the first druid.
To this day, the wood elves still worship the Aspects, considering themselves the last true followers of Malin’s teachings. Primary places of worship are found in the form of quiet groves, with shrines to the Aspects and burning braziers in which sacrifices to them are thrown into.
The wood elves began as a series of nomadic seeds, tribal groups who roamed around, practicing druidry, worshiping the aspects and painting themselves with tattoos, it is from these Seeds that modern wood elf culture is derived from.
The first true nation of the wood elves was of Malinor, upon its dissolution, the wood elves lived under the yoke of the high elves until they rebelled and formed the nation of Laureh’lin.
For full wood elven history, see: Laureh'lin.
In chronological order...
- Lin’ame (Fringe)
- Lin’ame (Thales)
- The capital city of Vailor was named after the first city of the Elves, Laurelin.
- The wood elves are tolerable of other races unlike their High Elven cousins and have a close relationship with the Dark Elves.
- Many wood elves died in the Malinorian Crusades by the Order of the White Rose. You can read more about the order here.
- A wood elf named Phaedrus founded the current Principality of Laureh'lin by overthrowing the high elven government of Haelun'or under Sohaer Kalenz, he would later go on to become the first non-Orc to become rex of the orcish race.
|Human||Heartlander · Highlander · Farfolk · Adunian|
|Elf||Woof Elf · High Elf · Dark Elf · Snow Elf|
|Dwarf||Cave Dwarf · Mountain Dwarf · Forest Dwarf · Dark Dwarf|
|Orc||Olog · Goblin|
|Other||Special||Construct Races · Spectral Races · Undead Races|
|Kharajyr||Kha'Leparda · Kha'Cheetrah · Kha'Pantera · Kha'Tigrasi|
|Hou-Zi||Laobai-Zhu · Fei-Zhu · Hei-Zhu|