The Green - Forest Elves - Dryads

Trees, Yo

In many ways, the elven farmers were the first casualties of the Sundering War. In the very beginning of the war, when the outnumbered and outgunned humans were still mustering their forces, the first strike was proposed against the farmlands of Tash'gliney, in what is now known as Savortia. Occupied almost exclusively by farmers, Tash'gliney was easily taken from the elves who worked the fertile land, cutting the greater Elf forces off from much of their supply early in the war.

Forced off their lands without the option to move deeper into elven territory or pass into the lines of the invading human armies, the farmers of Tash'gliney were faced with two options: Move into the plains and potentially be picked off by the Razorbeaks, or take shelter in the forest of the Greens.

While some indeed move to the grasslands, becoming some of the first Razorbeaks, most opted for the safety of the forest. While not secluded, the Green is full of huge trees, tall and thick enough around to be nearly impossible to cut down. With as deep as the Green was, and the thick tree cover, it served absolutely no strategic value, being too dense to move an army through and too overgrown to develop, it served a perfect spot for the elves.

Some of the elves took to the trees, using fallen branches to construct wooden housing. Others dug into the ground, making underground huts under the massive roots. They sustained themselves on forest game and flora, though overtime they found themselves consuming less and less of it. More time was spent in the clearings of the greens, taking in the warmth and light of the sun, with only occasional hunting parties collecting a bare minimum of game and gathering just a little bit of edible flora.

Like the other Elves, the Forest Elves found themselves changing over time. Their skin became shades of green, their hair took colors matching the flowers of the forest, and their bodies slowed down, taking the pace of the forest around them. They began to only eat once every few weeks, instead taking in the rays of the sun as sustenance, as well as moisture from the air and soil. Many of their hunting tools-- Knives, bows and arrows, and traps, became tools of the trade to defend themselves from invaders of the forest.

Unlike most of the other elf species, a small number of the elves continued to change even beyond the scope of the others. Their bodies became wooden, but not stiff and hard. They drank in the sun and water more efficiently, and began communcating directly with the trees and wildlife. They became halfway between trees and elf, Dryads, walking between the world of Elf and nature itself.

Dryads serve as leaders within the community, being able to communicate with The Green itself. Though as part of that, they also face a greater calling; the great cycle. Dryads, along with their personal assistants and guards (known as Arbitors) travel the world, speaking with the land and sharing their wisdom and experience. As part of the cycle, the dryad must actually become one with the land itself- A dryad on the Great Cycle will fully embrace their natural side for a bit, becoming a tree in order to become one with the land. When this process is over, the tree flowers, producing a seed, from which the dryad is, quite literally, reborn. Due to the rejuvenation provided in the cycle, it's known that the first and oldest Dryad, Redbark, is old enough to remember the initial exodus from Tash'gliney, and it's not uncommon for a dryad's features to change repeatedly during the cycle, not only going from old to young, but also changing other features, such as their hair, eyes, and even things as deep as what sort of tree they emulate, and occasionally, gender. Despite the changes and rejuvenation, the dryad is absolutely the same entity they were previously, with the tree they becoming being just an average, if not magically significant, tree.

Due to their immortality, Dryads are very few in number, twelve in total. At any given time, six stay within the Green to watch over the Elves, with the other six engaging in the Great Cycle. When one returns from a complete cycle, the next moves on to begin theirs.