Age of Legends
here is a legend that when the Elves of the north withdrew to the refuge of the forests after the fall of Iluriend, some took for themselves wives from among the Nymphs there. Indeed, the wood elves do bear a striking resemblance to the fairer children of the forest, both in appearance and in temperament. The elves of the woods are wilder, yet somehow even lovelier to behold than the high elves of Anguliad. These elves, who refer to themselves as the Tindori, weave their garments from the leaves of the forest. They are fond of song and dance, of fine wine and good cheer, and of all things beautiful.
Deep within the heart of the Tindor Forest lies Evlor’edwen, the most magical and mysterious city of the Northern reaches. Little is known for sure about this city to those outside of Tindori culture. Few non-elves have ever had the privilege of looking upon it. Yet it is rumored that the city is built high atop the massive Emberdreth trees that grow in the center of the forest. The city is said to consist of a myriad of arched terrace structures built upon the trees themselves and connected by a series of flowing bridges and stairways. Strangely, the entire city appears to be of one piece; a smooth seamless whole. It’s surface is white, and seems to glow softly with its own inner light. As mysterious as the city, are the people that dwell within it. Rarely do they venture outside their wooded home, and since there are few visitors, no one knows for sure just how many wood elves dwell in Evlor’edwen.
The native language of the wood elves is Tindorin. Trade with the men of Caldoranth has also familiarized the Tindori with Endilaran. The wood elves have had enough hostile contact with the orc clans of the Atrowan Heights to become familiar with Olcarsh and Titan. However, while they often understand these tongues, as a rule the Tindori do not speak these vile languages, as they deem the tongue of their enemy too unwholesome for Elvish utterance.
The Tindori culture is rigidly organized around a caste system which determines both the occupation and delimits the marital opportunities of those within a given caste. The Tindori govern themselves by a kind of oligarchic meritocracy. One representative from each Caste is selected to participate in a governing council that decides policy issues for Evlor’edwen. Each councilor also selects for themselves, up to three proteges (from their own caste) who act as aids to the councilor. When the councilor approaches the end of his, or her, life, they appoint one of the proteges to succeed them. The non-appointed proteges receive an honorable dismissal, and return to the ordinary duties of their caste. These are revered as “wise ones” for the remainder of their lives. The Woodland Council, or Nyn’Avul, is itself a caste, though as the ruling caste it represents every other caste. Hence, when a wood elf becomes a member of the Nyn’Avul, they cease to be a member of their former caste.
While the Tindori by nature are a peace-loving people. they have learned from experience that there are many who would seek to exploit that which they hold dear. Hence, like the Fey they are said to resemble, the wood elves are fearsome defenders of the forest. Over the course of a millennium they have developed two distinct classes devoted to the protection of the forest. The Nyn’Eloid (“Woodland Wardens”) is the warrior caste and is strictly reserved for males. The Nyn’Eloid are highly adept in the art of combat by stealth, and use their intimate knowledge of the woodlands to their advantage in battle. These warriors tend to train quite heavily in either ranged, or melee combat. Ranged combatants utilize composite longbows while melee combatants train in two handed combat with twin Laurel Blades. The Nyn’Driel (“Woodland Daughters”) is the spell-casting caste and is strictly reserved for females. The Nyn’Driel derive their arcane powers from intuition, rather than from study. While not as well versed in marital combat, the Nyn’Driel are trained in the use of the Laurel spear. The combination of stealthy arcane and gorilla style battle tactics have so far made these two castes an effective defensive force against the Orc clans of the Atrowan Heights who periodically ravage the forest. Yet now that Gorlosh has managed to unite the clans under his banner, it looks as if war is on the horizon.
Since the days of Iluriend the wood elves have had few dealings with men. That is until very recently. As such, the Tindori do not submit to the Magisterium, nor to the Councils of Iterad. Nevertheless the Tindori fear Andunai, and subscribe to a much older form of religion present during the days of Iluriend. Hence, while neither ecclesiastic jurisdiction nor the Tilindriad have penetrated into the Tindor Forest, a caste of druidic shaman called the Nyn’Lydas proclaim the name of Andunai within Tindor. Unlike the Clerical orders of the Magisterium, the Nyn’Lydas do not have patron Ilad. Yet they do seem to be fond of Tunasis, and they simply adore Cerim and Cielevan, Unduliod and Avidon.
Amongst themselves, the wood elves have no currency to speak of. They engage in a socialistic form of distribution of goods, that nevertheless takes into account both need, and merit. Those among the Tindori who have distinguished themselves in the vocations of their caste receive a larger share of communal goods than those that do not. However, trade with the western baronies of Caldoranth has necessitated that the Wooodland Council accept the currencies of Mierodran and Caldoranth. Yet, aside from luminiad coins which are utilized in Tindori metal working, the coinage is used merely for the purpose of trade with outside nations.
Regarding the natural resources of the forest, the Tindori are not opposed to hunting, or felling trees for use in the production of artifacts (in fact, they engage in both). However their philosophy is one of reverent service to the forest which they call home. The Tindori hold that as stewards of the forest, they have been given the charge of caring for it, and protecting the delicate balance of its life patterns. Therefore, only rarely do they allow outsiders the privilege of hunting or harvesting trees within their domain. Those foolish enough to do so without express permission have not often lived to learn from their mistake. This has often put the Tindori at odds with surrounding nations that would seek to make use of the abundant lumber supply of the forest. Currently, however, due to trade relations with Caldoranth’s western Baronies, the Tindori have allowed men limited logging privileges along some of the southern borders of the forest. The chief exports of the wood elves involve a variety of products made from the Tindori Laurel tree (e.g. liquor, tea and salves). In return the Tindori tend to import iron and luminiad.