|Azari’cerr (Wood Elves)|
|Languages||Azari Linguae, Common|
|Average Height||1.70m - 1.93m (5’7" - 6’3")|
|Average Weight||52kg to 88kg (115lbs - 194lbs)|
They are the watchers of the wood, the gale that howls through the canopies. They are the fury of the wild. As changeable as weather, as merciless as nature itself. They are the Azari’cerr, vengeful untamed Azari of terrifying power, and to any who enter their lands unbidden, they are dead.
“Even the bravest of warriors have learned to fear the vast tracts of woodland that can be found throughout the realms of the Elves. Surrounded by trees, it is all too easy to get disoriented and lost, but there is a more primal dread at work. In the forest, no one can ever be sure what is lurking just out of sight. Sounds are muffled, yet noises seem to come from everywhere – the snapping of twigs, a sinister rustling of leaves, and the creaking of the wind-stirred canopy above. Nowhere to hide, nowhere to run. Nothing to hear you besides the elemental wrath of the Amber Woods. Many who enter Myln Arbor never come out again, and thus do the wise learn to shun the deep woods of The Glade of Dragons.” - Klaus Gerbrandt, Imperial Emissary.
The Azari live significantly longer than the other races on Eden. Understanding the aging of the Azari can be complicated because they work with two calendars. The official one in most Azari nations is known as the Stargazer Calendar and is based on the position of Eseron in the great void towards the sun. An Azari year counts four seasons and ends when Eseron has come full circle around the sun. Besides this elven calendar, the Azari use something known as the Imperial, or common calendar. This calendar developed in the ancient Attian Empire is these days used around the continent and is built to better reflect the lifespan of most other intelligent races and creatures. This calendar runs significantly quicker at four years per single Elven year. The Imperial calendar uses the changing of the seasons as the start of a new year. Making it so that seasons in the Imperial calendar system last for the entire year.
While the Azari’cerr do count in common years, it is not unheard of to hear a particularly conservative Azari’cerr still using Elven years and refusing to recognize the imperial system as a valid alternative. Most Elves prefer to use common years for more mundane things like counting their age or to refer to calendar years. Elves reach adulthood at 72 common years and can live up to 300-400 common years. The Azari'cerr keep their youthful appearance for most of their lives, only starting to show visible aging when they reach the age of 250.
After one of the Azari’cerr dies, their body dissolves into what is known as a soul seed. This is seen as the start of the process of rebirth and becoming one with the Father, Kharash, and the Amber Tree. When these soul seeds start growing once more. The Azari’cerr will have transformed into what is known as a Sylvani and the cycle of rebirth continues once more.
Elves generally speak the common tongue. Through its extreme popularity, this language has been adopted and normalized in Elven culture. Like their cousins in Aerial, the Azari’cerr use a combination of the common tongue and the ancient elven language.
Although a mostly forgotten one, with scholars rediscovering snippets of the ancient elven language, elven communities have begun to incorporate the vocabulary of the language into daily occasions.
Below is a list of frequently used ancient elven words that found their way into common speech:
|Azari’cill||High Elf/Pure Elf|
|Azari’cerr||Wood Elf/Wild Elf|
|Azari’lunn||Dark Elf/Moon Elf|
|Azari’soll||Fire Elf/Sun Elf|
|Khari’cerr||The wild Father/Chieftain|
|Therri’cerr||Sentinel of the Wilderness|
Structure of Elven Society
Azari’cerr society revolves around what is known as the seasons of rebirth. The life of the Azari’cerr is seen as simply being the first step on their journey to become one with the Amber Forest and appeasing what is known as The Father. Many Wood Elf celebrations and festivals are tailored toward the cycle of rebirth and the worship of the Father and the Amber Tree. When the Azari’cerr celebrate, they all gather in the sanctuary of the Amber Tree and the direct surroundings. Plenty of drinks and smokeable items are available across festival grounds.
The feast of rebirth is often seen as the most important of these celebrations. This is a seasonal celebration that takes place towards the end of a season during which soul seeds that are ready to be harvested are collected and birthed into a new generation of Sylvani, the guardians of the forest. Those of the Sylvani class are the rulers of the Azari’cerr and act as emissaries of Kharash, the ruler of all of Myln Arbor. They communicate to the Gods through what is known as the world roots which is a network of roots and vines that flow from the Amber Tree. The Sylvani can tap into that network by merely standing on the roots and using them to communicate the will of the Father to his children.
The Greatest of all the Sylvani gets chosen to become the Khari’cerr, a ceremony is held once the previous Chieftain passes away. During this, the soul seed of the fallen Sylvani is put to rest under the Amber Tree in the inner sanctuary to become one with the tree. Then a great duel is held between the leaders of each Sylvani sanctuary to decide who the next Khari’cerr will be.
The Khari’cerr is the voice of Father Kharash himself and is closest to what a Demigod would be in the Azari’cerr society. The strength, durability, and uncompromising resolve of the Khari’cerr force the respect of even the most powerful leaders outside the woods. The rule of the next Azari’cerr is greatly influenced by the season the soul seed hatched in. Khari’cerrs who hail from the warm season of Eden’s Shine usually are welcoming and generous. In contrast, those who hail are born during Lilith’s Veil are usually bitter and mistrustful of even their closest allies. Yet the Azari’cerr is ultimately a force of order, yet their temper is as unpredictable as the force of nature itself. Where they fought along the side of their Azari’cill brothers in the past to beat back the Azari’lunn, who, according to the ‘color offset the balance of natural order within the Glade of Dragons, they would not hesitate to turn on their allies on a whim if they feel like they are disturbing the natural order of the woods.
Expression and Art
Pieces of art that are commonly found in the Kingdoms of the Azari'cerr and the Sylvani are large murals, masterfully decorated pots, and wooden sculptures. The murals often depict scenes of great importance from ages long gone, previous leaders, other important figures, and legendary beasts and creatures that, according to the ‘cerr reside in the deepest parts of the woods. Pots are made from colored clays and are often used in worship and ceremonies rather than as simple decoration. Small sculptures are made out of simple materials that most people have access to, such as wood and clay. Azari’cerr in particular likes to decorate their pots and sculptures with little pebble-sized Amber pieces.
Song and dance are common forms of self-expression that are often seen during festivals and more common celebrations. Songs about great achievements in previous conflicts and rebirth are often heard throughout festivals. Those songs are supported by preferably string or flute instruments.
Here in the thickest forest,
So dark, so deep,
We offer all blackest sleep.
It is always night, and never day,
Those who enter shall be our prey.
We will bury you where none can see,
A gift of life to feed a tree.
So dark, so deep.
- Translated excerpt of an Azari’cerr song heard
on the bounds of the Amber Woods.
Romance & Marriage
The idea of falling in love is a common Azari’cerr occurrence. Romance is highly encouraged and sought out to find a lifelong partner. Gifts such as flowers, platters of food, and Amber jewelry are all common signs of affection. They are big on having date spots and spending time with one another at the top of trees and mountain cliffs. When an Azari’cerr is ready for marriage they must bring them under the Amber tree with an offering and ask their significant other to be soulmates. When there is a rejection under the tree the Azar’cerr believe that it is a sign that the couple was never meant to be. Though when the proposal is successful there is no celebration until their wedding day. Relationships became so common that celebrating too early was seen as a waste of food and resources. Despite how common romance happens, divorce is an absolute vice for insulting their promise under the Amber Tree.
Life & Reproduction
Due to their Azari roots, the Azari’cerr are blessed with long lives and slow aging processes. Though out of the three elven races the Azari’cerr tends to live the longest to around 400. This is due to their exceptional physical shape and eating habits engraved in the culture. They are brave. They are not afraid of death but will survive as long as they can to prove their strength to Kharash. In Azari’cerr culture, the average couple is encouraged to have around 3-4 children. Unlike their Azari brethren, most Azari’cerrs do not go out of their way to celebrate newborns. To them, it is simply a normal function of life. However, it is traditional to have a priest bless the child with what the parents wish to come out of their kin. Typically parents ask the priest to bless their child with strength and perseverance to produce forest warriors. The elven reproduction system is the same as a high elf, it is complicated. Female elves are only fertile one season per common year, during The Emerald Dusk, and only become fertile around their 120th and remain fertile up until the age of around 400. Males tend to lose their fertility a little earlier, around 350. The pregnancy of an Azari’cerr is slightly shorter than a ‘cill and lasts around 7 months.
Azari’cerr are given their names at birth by both their parents. Most of these names are chosen based on the season the child is born in as a way to reflect on what they may one day ultimately become after their second birth. Parents tend to also mix in a bit of their own name to continue their lineage through their offspring. Bits of the Elven seasonal names are incorporated into the name. This, for example, results in ‘cerr born in the Amber Dawn to have their name start with “Myth or Mythin” which comes from the season's name, Mythin’thirr.
Death & Funerals
When a wood elf dies, the proceeding very much depends on how he died. There are three classifications for how wood elves can die and how to proceed:
- Death in Battle
- The first sort of death, Death in Battle, is generally seen as the most honorable cause of death. Elves who die like this receive the biggest funerals, often with high-ranking priests present. These funerals are often devoted to Urræm Tímih, the spirit of Honor. Death in Battle is seen as glorious, and warriors are often buried with beautiful body paint all over their corpses. When an elf dies due to poisoning, a ritual is performed to cleanse his body before his funeral.
- Death by Wildness
- The second sort of death, death by the wilderness (beasts, plants, starving, etc), is seen as the least honorable on this list. It's generally understood as a failure to live with the gifts of Kharash, and a waste of a good elven life. Such funerals are often only attended by an amateur preacher or low-ranking priest. Nevertheless, these funerals often see the biggest amounts of mourning elves, due to a belief based on a book from the Age of Enlightenment. This book describes a ritual, where a wood elf who died "too early" (Meaning from starvation or other health problems, not in Battle and not of old age), is placed on an altar and decorated with herbs and flowers from the forest. Then, a large crowd that has gathered to attend the funeral starts to loudly chant an ancient prayer to Gèneiv Adey'ta, the spirit of Generosity. The book then describes how a beautiful spirit then appears over the body and revives the wood elf, releasing him from his dishonorable death. This, of course, has never been documented and there is no proof that such a ritual actually worked. But the wood elves don't let that disturb them, it is commonly believed that one day, Gèneiv Adey'ta will appear and revive a wood elf. To give the spirit the opportunity to appear, a large crowd gathers at funerals of this sort and performs the ritual as described in the book. As hard as they may have tried, it never worked. The ritual's failure is most commonly blamed on Fineall and the dark elven influence in Eden, but during the past few decades, humans have been named the cause more often than ever before.
- Death of Old Age
- The third sort of death, death of old age, is taken as natural and highly respected. When a wood elf doesn’t die in battle, it’s not, as in other cultures, seen as a bad thing, but as almost equally honorable. Wood-elven society simply sees the death of old age as a beautiful conclusion to a long, fulfilled life. On one hand, such death is still incredibly sad, but since a death of old age, when looking at elves at least, is usually predictable weeks prior to the actual death, it’s not as sad as we are used to from other elven funerals. Most elves will visit the dying person in the weeks before his death and tell them their personal goodbye. So these sorts of funerals are significantly less sad than all others. Sometimes, the funeral is even followed by a small festivity to dignify and celebrate the elf’s life.
|Human Races||Attians · Khadans · Hinterlanders|
|Elvish Races||High Elves · Wood Elves · Dark Elves|
|Orcish Races||Orcs · Goblins|
|Other Races||Halflings · Tieflings|