|Azari’cerr (Wood Elves)|
"Watchers of the Forest"
|Spoken Languages||Azari Linguae
The common tongue
|Average Height||174cm-200cm (5’9’’ - 6’7’’ ft)|
|Average Weight||70 - 75 kg (154 - 165 lbs)|
|Stat bonuses||+3 Agility|
They are the watchers of the wood, the gale that howls through the canopies. Under the appearing green solace of the forest, they swiftly sneak under leaves and branches, bringing the deadliest strikes to prey and enemies alike;
They are the fury of the wild. With green blood running through their veins, they have senses as keen as that of a snake, speed as swift as leopards and strength as robust as bears;
As changeable as weather, as merciless as nature itself. They are the Azari’cerr, vengeful and untamed Azari of terrifying power. To any who enter their lands unbidden, a miserable fate awaits them the moment they set foot in the forest.
The frails and the cowards, be careful; for that the Azari’cerr will greet them with neither respect nor mercy. Guided by the law of the jungle, and fueled by belligerence, the ‘cerrs believe only the fittest of all shall survive.
Are you one of them? Either find out or die trying.
The Azari’cerr people, known as wood elves to most around Eden. The Azari folk are known to be the tallest race. The wood elves are the smallest of the Azari, ranging from 174 cm to 200 cm for biological males. Females are typically a bit shorter than the men on average being from 166 cm to 190cm. This makes the race stand out more from its counterparts being the dark elves and high elves.
Most wood elves live inside the forest, Myln Abor, a harsh environment. Therefore the clothing that the ‘cerr could usually be seen in is very light with colors being mostly those seen everywhere in the forest, like green, brown and occasionally yellow. This is to keep them camouflage from predators or even other peoples that wish harm against their kin. The material that would be seen the most would be leather and natural fibers found around the forest. Females would usually wear loose fitted skirts, wrap around sarongs and large fitted shirts, though as always the clothing is diverse among people of this culture.
Wood elves are extremely distinguishable from the other races of Eden due to their copper colored skin with their brown, green, amber or rarely seen amethyst purple eyes. These are what set the Azari’cerr apart from all others. Their hair colors would range from black to brown being most common, though lighter colors such as silver have been seen, but it is believed that being born with these rare traits means Kharash has decided to test you. These unnatural colors cause the individual to stand out to predators and surviving in the forest becomes even harder. Thus seeing an adult with these traits usually means they are skilled at surviving the forest, despite even the immense biological disadvantage they’re at, and therefore others have a natural respect for them.
Another part of the wood elves is their war paint, it is a natural thing for the wood elves to have paint on their bodies and face. Being all different colors from paint made from the flowers and plants around their home. These markings could have meanings, most elves when put paint on their bodies give it a meaning like some examples would be, symbols for families, show love to their God and for significant lovers. However it's mostly used to show that one is willing to go to war, for their nation.
Elves generally speak the common tongue. This language, through its extreme popularity, has been adopted and normalized in Elven culture. Like their cousins in Aerial, the Azari’cerr use a combination of common tongue and the ancient elven language.
Although being a mostly forgotten one, with scholars rediscovering snippets of the ancient elven language, elven communities have begun to incorporate vocabularies of the language into daily occasions..
Below is a list of frequently used ancient elven words that found their way into common speech:
Vale - Hello/Greetings
Vale’tar - Farewell
Fílo(s) - Friend(s)
Azari - Elf
Azari’cill - High elf/pure elf
Azari’cerr - Wood elf/wild elf
Azari’lunn - Dark elf/Moon elf
Azari’soll - Fire Elf/Sun Elf
Dur’arum(s) - Denur
Vari(s) - Human(s)
Ghesiri(s) - Faulskins(s)
De’nevir - Tiefling
Bessi’inn - Blessed one
Scin - (Young) Student
Scini - (Older) Student
Scinar - Priest
Scinari - Priestess
Scinar(i)’cilus - High Priest(ess)
Ar’mágoi - Mage/Magic user/Spellcaster
Ar’mágoi’cilus - Arch-Mage/Magic user/Spellcaster
Visera - Minister
Nobicilus - Noble
Khari’cerr - The wild Father/Chieftain
Therri’cerr - Sentinel of the Wilderness
Tricilus - Chief
Bessi’inn - Blessed one
Kal'cellenni - Spiritwalker
“Cilus” is a word without a specified meaning. When someone bears a title with the word “Cilus” in it, it is generally seen as a high ranking person.
Structure of Elven society
The Azari’cerr, the people inside the forest, are a deadly foe to anger. Their techniques with bows and daggers mixed with their great maneuverability makes them the most voracious predator among the trees which they are renowned for all throughout Eden. This is known by the foreign people, but inside the community they are vibrant folk who are often happy to share a number of stories and wisdom about their capital, Mitrona and the forest surrounding it. A peaceful race as long as you don’t disrespect them or their God. They would often be seen sitting around a campfire sharing stories and food among all other Azari’cerr. They are marvelous people with a gentle personality to go along with it, fine artwork and music as well. The instruments the wood elves usually have are lutes and harps playing breathtaking melodies. This is understood to help calm the forest and tame the beasts to lessen the attacks. Even if these myths were not correct, it would not stop them from enjoying the music being sent into a sense of peace free from life’s worries and problems.
In Wood elven culture, another significant aspect about their way of life is that when they become close to mental maturity, they would be brought into a trial of survival. This would be done to separate the weak from the strong - the strong referring to not only the physically strong, but more so the ones skilled in surviving the forest - and to ensure that no resources are wasted on weaklings. The exact execution of the trial differs from region to region, but in the capital Mitrona the younglings are left out in the forest far from the major city and told that they cannot return for a varying period of time. The young ‘cerr require a variety of skills to pass through the trial unharmed, such as hunting, gathering materials and recognizing and avoiding danger. At the end of the trial, the initiate needs to find their own way back to their home, where an excellent festival would be held to congratulate them on what they have achieved. They would also be granted the marking of the wood elf, which is a wolf's head that would be painted anywhere of their choosing.
Romance and Marriage
The wood elves are quite affectionate towards each other, because of their past and the location of their capital they are quite remote and to themselves so they are quite close to one another. Romance with the azari’cerr is something that is celebrated and is sought by the majority. They love being loving towards each other, showing love where they can. They want to expand as a race and do so they need to create heirs and to do so they need to find a companion to have children. Marriage is proclaimed by all inside the village and a glorious festival takes place where the two that are being brought together, pledging their future to each other, are anointed by the priest. Divorce is something that is extremely unusual and is looked down upon by anyone who even considers tearing the commitment performed by both that are wedded.
Life and Reproduction
The wood elves, like any other Azari, are gifted with long life. Elves, as they are a race blessed by Kharash, age in a very specific way. The first 21 Years of an elven life are spent growing up like any other race. However after that, Elves are long-lived creatures. They don't show any major signs of aging processes until they approach the age of 500. After the regular aging process has started, elves still live up to a hundred years, with most dying between 550 and 600 years of age. But this does not mean that they could not pass away from any other cause. Living inside the famous forest would bring many deaths for the azari’cerr. Which is a sorrowful time, of course, but the wood elves viewed death as the highest loss, being gifted with such a long life and to cut that time short, made the wood elves become more determined and stronger so that they would not succumb to this impending death and to live as long as they could. Reproduction for the wood elves is the same as high elves being. Female Elves are only fertile one week per year and only become fertile around their 20th birthday. This is ill luck for most since wood elves desire to grow larger in numbers. Giving birth to mighty warriors is what they wish for, to strive as a race inside Eden.
Death and 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
- Death by the wilderness (Beasts, Plants, Starvation etc.)
- Death of old age
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. A 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.
The second sort of death, death by nature, 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 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.
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.
The origins of the Azari are mostly unknown. It is mostly believed that the Elven race was gifted with life by the gods of the Elven Pantheon. The elven race has its roots in the Valley of Dragon, which is also known as Arda.
This era when the elven race first flourished is known as the Age of Enlightenment. It was during this time that the Gods of the Pantheon walked among their children. It is believed that the four elven gods each decided to create their own children, leading to the different elven races in Eden today. The Father, Kharash, created the Azari’cerr; he gifted his children strength, courage and skills of shouldering the responsibilities of a family. The Mother, Aerièlle, gifted her children – the Azari’cerr – wisdom along with the ways of being the most enlightened and pure being on Eden and the knowledge on how to wield the sacred blessings of Eden in the form of magical powers. The daughter, Aestaena, created the Azari’soll. She gifted her children fertility, love and the need to procreate. And at last there was the Son, Fineall, who created the Azari’lunn and gave his children many challenges in life.
During this age, the Azari’cerr roamed the continent with Kharash. Creating and observing nature as it should be, untouched by civilization. Kharash trained the Azari’cerr to protect the untouched nature from filth and to live in harmony with nature.
The Age of Fallen Spires:
The four elven races lived in concord during the Age of Enlightenment. This peace, however, was soon proven to be a false front. The Azari’cill, believing that they are the purest and wisest of all races, soon turned radical towards their dark-skinned kin. The cills were certain that the Azari’lunn were impure creatures who know nothing but anger, jealousy, perversion and lust.
Carrying such biases, the Azari’cill declared war on the Azari’lunn, whereas the two other elven races – the Azari’cerr and the ‘sol – both decided to distance themselves from the war. Yet the war had been equally cruel on all elves alike. Although the Azari’cerr never wanted to or did actively pick sides at first, many cerrs were taken by the Azari’lunn forces who were in need of labor forces in supporting the on-going warfare. The kidnapping of those who went astray from the bigger group were frequent given that the Azari’cerr were generally considered the most physically able among all elven races.
Such exploitation had angered many cerrs. With the resentment growing within them and the need to protect themselves still persisting, a decision was made: the Azari’cerr would combine forces with the cills in defeating the Azari’lunn.
This decision was soon proven to be the table turner of the elven civil war. With the Azari’cerr joining the side of the cills, the Azari’lunn were overwhelmed. The war soon ended with determining victory of the Azari’cill and Azari’cerr, with the defeated lunns forced to leave the Valley of Dragon in escaping the fate of being hunted down.
Yet Although the war was won, it didn’t come without cost. In addition to the Azari’lunn’s defeat, their god Fineall also took the conflict to the heavens to fight the other gods by himself. As such, as the direct result of Fineall’s announcing of war, the other Gods of the Pantheon left Eden, leaving their children a war-ravaged kingdom and grievances of many years’ standing.
Fortunately, the Azari’cerr were left with a legacy from their beloved creator. The elven civil war deeply troubled Kharash who, being considered as the fatherly figure among the Gods of the Pantheon, could not bear standing aside while his children shed blood fighting with their own. In protecting his children, Kharash used his divine powers and cultivated a magical forest that formed what grew into today’s Myln Arbor over the course of the following centuries.
In addition to the vibrant sanctuary, Kharash also tutored his children and bestowed them with knowledge of herbs and animals along with the arts of dominating nature. Admittedly, Kharash was generous with his wisdom; but he is also a strict mentor who values inherited gifts of strength or intelligence.
Because of this, Kharash decided to take a group of pupils for every generation of cerrs. Only about five elves would be selected, each having varying skills and gifts but are equally promising and eager to learn. This group was taught the secrets that nature hides for the others. Among them were usually the best alchemists, druids, herbalists and survivalists. It was their task to guard the sacred forest and the purity of nature from trespassing outsiders.
It is known that Fyrr, Meredith, Umphraid, and two others whose names remain unknown to this day were the group of pupils during the Age of the Fallen Spires. Kharash, having witnessed the many quarrels that ravaged the elven kingdom, had changed his attitude and shifted to a much more offensive style of his tutoring in preparing his children amidst the war. It is also during this time when he taught this specific group of young elves how to lead and rule in case of his absence. Unfortunately, such knowledge eventually came into use.
Due to the departure of Kharash, their training had not been completed at the moment. But responsibilities awaited and they had no choice but to step up. As Kharash departed, he blessed this last group of pupils and their bloodline with the ability to connect to the magical forest, making them able to perform rituals in communicating with nature and growing the forest.
With the departure of Kharash at the end of the elven civil war, the Azari’cerr were left alone. They’re short in numbers, tormented by fear and traumatized by violence. The legacy left by Kharash was proven to be useful as the majority of Azari’cerr ventured into the magical forest with the guidance of Kharash’s last group of pupils, yet life within the forest was only more challenging.
The forest is a dangerous place. With rampant beasts preying on the weak and the young, and deadly herbs poisoning those who were lucky enough to survive the animals, the cerrs were once again desperate. In the middle of their hopelessness, the blessed pupils made a collaborative decision which was soon proven to be life-changing in the history of the Azari’cerr. Their God Kharash made it this way because he cared for his children and did not want them to become lazy and weak. These constant challenges and obstacles would keep the Azari’cerr alert and have their fighting well polished so they can always be ready for war.
The blessed pupils ventured into the woods in search of a sign. They traveled in the forest for weeks, surviving, surveying, battling against and making friends with the forest they live in. Most importantly, they were actively searching for an answer or guidance that would aid them and their race in their despair.
Eventually, with wounds and bug bites on their exhausted limbs, the group reached a lake in the forest. They spent the night resting near this secret pond, but the pupils soon found out that their real challenge was yet to come.
Fyrr was the first to be dared. He was approached by a flying monkey. The curious little creature stared at the exhausted young elf before suddenly vanishing in the thick darkness of the night and leaving him nothing but a trail of smoke. Fyrr inhaled the smoke and was almost immediately overwhelmed by a terrifying sense of chaos. Screamings, mutilated bodies, bloodstained soil – all these ghastly images flashed through Fyrr’s visions, attacking the young elf with a sense of fear so strong that it almost stopped his heart.
Yet in his terror, Fyrr recalled Kharash’s guidance and began trying to dominate his emotions. But as he gradually calmed down and the chaos turned into peacefulness, a new feeling of strength suddenly rushed through his body, empowering him with courage and fueling his exhausted limbs with vigor.
Meredith was the second to face her challenge. She was the oldest of them all and therefore the more calm and matured. But just as she was about to bathe her blister-covering feet in the pond, her attention was caught by a leaf swaying in the wind. Meredith watched as the fragile leaf battled with the breeze but still couldn’t evade the destiny of flailing into the pond. When the leaf finally touched the water, Meredith was struck by an engulfing sense of melancholy and desperation. She was reminded of the grim and uncertain future of her people, how they were abandoned by their creator and left in this treacherous forest to struggle.
Meredith’s melancholy was so prevailing that it deprived the once-calm and confident elf of her self-control. Without even realizing that tears were running down her cheeks, Meredith stood up and pressed her dagger against her own throat. The edge of the weapon bit into her skin, but the sharp sting of pain snapped the female elf out of her mental breakdown. Shaking her head in disbelief of her own actions, Meredith bowed down and picked up the leaf she was staring at. The elf was awestruck to discover that a colorful butterfly was clinging to the leaf stalk, and that the flailing leaf, although having met its inevitable death before landing in the pond, actually served as the hope of life.
This was taken as a sign from the forest that there is much to be learned about this place and life itself. After the pupils had encountered these creatures they began to create the nation of Mitrona to give them the time they needed to learn all that is around them.