The Sindar Elves, or as they are more commonly known as the "Wood Elves", are a mysterious race of Elves who live in the forests of the world. There two most well known homes are High Forest and Athel Loren, but alongside these forests exist many other havens of the Sindar Elves including their ancient homeland in Ulthuan.
The Sindar Elves have recently begun to split into two kinds of sub groups, with one being the regular Sindar Elves of Quel'Thalas, High Forest, and to a lesser extent Laurëlorn forest. This first group hold true to the ancient teachings of the Sindar Elf Malfurion Stormrage and make their connection with the forest the most important part of their lives. While the new group is the Lothlorian Sindar Elves, who are obsessive users of Magi, while still somewhat keeping their connection to the forest which allows them to continue as Sindar Elves, but in the end they are worshippers of Laera Sunstrider.
The earliest Elves first appeared on Ulthuan. As Ulthuan civilization turned into the High Elves, there became a distinct split in the society of Ulthuan. Half of the society lived in the forest and the other half became city dwellers, and more civilized as they liked to believe. This changed little through the centuries except that the Sindar Elves grew in number much slower then the High Elves, which caused them to lose more and more share of the total population. As the situation in Ulthuan deterioted due to rampant Magi use, and the lowering of the Sindar population it was Malfrion Stormrage that led the Sindar Elves into an exodus of Ulthuan and led them into France. Once in France the Sindar Elves basically split into the vast majority that followed Malfurion into High Forest where they fought and gained control of the forest, and those that followed the Magi using Sunstrider family. As time went on the Sunstrider family in the Kingdom of Lothlorian slowly fell into the same decay as Ulthuan and this sparked a civil war which High Forest assisted in the saving of the Quel'Thalasian Sindar Elves and allowed them to found a new land in Quel'Thalas, while Lothlorian became more and more like High Elves and less about the Sindar Elven way of life.
The Creation of the Elves
Main Article : Elves
Slanaash was one of the first Titans created, and among his earliest works was the creation of the Elves of whom would come to dominate the continent of Ulthuan which he birthed from the ocean with the help of his fellow Titans. In order to bring these Elves to Ulthuan he fashioned seventeen pairs of males and females forming the seventeen Elder Houses of whom would begin to populate the island of Ulthuan. Wanting to expand them quicker Slanaash would create hundreds of more pairs of whom came to Ulthuan and became known as the Great Houses of Ulthuan, and thus allowed the population to expand even quicker. During this time Slanaash walked Ulthuan constantly as he was obsessively in love with the Elves alongside his beloved Artemis of whom became the almost mother of the Elves, and during this early time Slanaash and Artemis would form the early foundations of the Elven Pantheon based around Slanaash's persona as Asuryan.
Splitting of the Elves
The earliest Elves first appeared on Ulthuan. As Ulthuan civilization turned into the High Elves, there became a distinct split in the society of Ulthuan. Half of the society lived in the forest and the other half became city dwellers, and more civilized as they liked to believe. This changed little through the centuries except that the Sindar Elves grew in number much slower then the High Elves, which caused them to lose more and more share of the total population.
Despite this change the Sindar Elven leadership continued to demand more and more rights in the High Elven Kingdom of Ulthuan. For all the times the High Elves overreacted and treated a weaker opponent with disgust this was not one such occasion, and Pheonix King after Pheonix King placated the diminishing Sindar Elves. Not diminishing in number but share. The Sindar Elves were growing just not even close to as quick. Eventually the expansion of the High Elves had pushed the Sindar Elves out of every part of Ulthuan except for Avelorn.
War with the Dwarves
Main Article : The War of Vengeance
The War of Vengeance was where High Elves truly lost themselves, and from this the hope of the Sindar Elves for staying on Ulthuan were dashed.
Exodus of Ulthuan
"There comes a point when all things end. A time in the lifeline of a people when the glory, and honor of the past are replaced by the greed and corruption of the future. I shall not sit by and watch as the island of Ulthuan burns around me. I shall not watch as the people I have loved and cared for since my birth are destroyed by the madness of our failings."
Eventually the corruption of the High Elves reached a point where no longer could Malfurion or the vast majority of the Sindar Elves in Ulthuan accept the madness of Ulthuan and in this way Malfurion began the exodus of the Sindar Elves of Ulthuan to the shores of France.
Living in France
Among night elves, amber-colored eyes, as opposed to the traditional silver, are a sign of inherent druidic potential and/or a night elf destined for greatness. Among the class-obsessed night elves who lived prior to the War of the Ancients, amber eyes were rare, and thus viewed as a sign of underlying greatness. Queen Azshara and Illidan Stormrage, both extremely powerful sorcerers, had amber eyes. The night elves became vastly more egalitarian since the War's end, abandoning their former obsession with bloodlines, and thus, amber eyes are now far more common. In addition, druidism spread throughout night elven society, and many night elves develop amber eyes after birth if they practice the art.
Though amber eyes are a sign that the individual has a natural ability for druidic magic, it does not mean that all amber-eyed night elves become druids, or that silver-eyed night elves are unable. Malfurion Stormrage himself was born with silver eyes, and developed amber eyes only after studying druid magic. His own brother, though born with amber eyes, lacked the patience to succeed in the art.
Wood elves consider themselves the heirs of the ancient eladrin empires established prior to the Crown Wars, but they share few of the cultural characteristics that marked such early realms as Aryvandaar and Ilythiir. Although a proud people, wood elves feel that compassion is a greater virtue than strength and wood elven realms are less concerned with expansion than they are with maintaining amiable relations with their neighbors.
Wood elves are not nomadic, however, as is common amongst the wild elves and instead are organized into scattered, carefully concealed villages united under a gerontocratic hierarchy composed of village councils consisting of the most distinguished families' eldest members. These councils are often advised by local druids, whose influence plays no small part in wood elven politics and who frequently serve as the webbing that bind any number of villages together as one realm. Compared with other Tel-quessir, wood elves have a notable disinterest in the arcane arts. To a wood elf, the wizard's spells are little different from the mason's castle walls or the tiller's plow - a means of controlling the natural world, which is contrary to the common ethic of living in harmony with nature rather than trying to dominate it that so many wood elves espouse. As such, wood elven adventurers are more likely to take on careers that do not require the use of arcane magic. In particular, many are drawn to the path of the fighter, the
ranger, or the rogue, relying on their natural-born skill to overcome obstacles. Compared with other Tel-quessir very few wood elves go on to become spellsingers or bladesingers. The one major exception to the wood elven taboo on arcane magic are the arcane archers, who count among their number several wood elves. Other wood elves from more remote areas are drawn to the ways of the barbarian while many religious wood elves become druids with clerics often seen in much the same light as wizards. Those wood elves who do become clerics might eventually become hierophants. Many wood elven adventurers also became Harpers prior to the organization's decline in the Era of Upheaval.
Wood elves commonly feel that they are in harmony with their natural surroundings and an examination of their art helps to justify this belief. While wood elves do not wander like wild animals as the wild elves do, wood elves do their best to make a minimal impact on their natural surroundings, a fact reflected in their architecture. Frequently, wood elven homes are made of natural fieldstone or carefully furnished wood but on occasion wood elves have been known to do without even these creature comforts, living in the limbs of mighty trees or sheltered caves, rejecting furniture or any possessions they cannot carry with them. So close do wood elven villages resemble their surroundings that humans have been known to wander through one without even noticing. Increased contact with other races since the end of the Retreat has caused some of these cultural practices to come into question but for the large part the wood elves of today live much the same as their ancestors did.
In keeping with their naturalistic inclination, wood elves are not particularly fine metalworkers and have no interest in developing any such skills. However, wood elves are among some of the world's finest carpenters and stoneworkers, masters in the crafting of bows and arrows as well as in leather tanning. Wood elves have even developed a number of specialized arrows, including those that fly further than usual as well as some that are used as signal devices. So carefully guarded are wood elven crafting secrets that even experienced fletchers from other races have difficulty emulating wood elven designs. Wood elven leather armor also often doubles as camouflage, disguising a wood elven hunter from potential enemies. Compared with wild elven designs, wood elven crafting often looks surprisingly elegant, although they are often made of the same materials and use similar methods, reflecting some of the difference between the two elven subraces. While wood elves feel that is best to make a minimal impact on their surroundings, the race has no particular aversion to meat-eating and are passionate hunters. Many hours of the typical wood elf's life is spent on the hunt,
which is both a practical activity and a pleasurable one. Most of the time that wood elves are not hunting they are enjoying themselves at ease within the highest branches of their forest homes. Wood elves do not, however, commonly keep pets, but instead form bonds with local wildlife in a manner similar to that of a ranger. Wood elves are particularly fond of mountain lions, pumas, and leopards.
Wood Elves are often perceived to be fickle and unpredictable creatures, as likely to save a human trespasser as to kill them. In truth, the Wood Elves’ spiritual attachment to the forest makes them highly sensitive to the balance of nature. Each woodland realm is its own unique environment with complex food chains and delicate synergies between flora and fauna. In their roles as defenders of the forests, the Sindar Elves must evaluate every situation in the context of the larger picture.
Wood Elves of Athel Loren have an almost symbiotic relationship with their forest. If not for their constant vigilance, Athel Loren’s oldest glades would be overrun with Chaos and the surrounding lands would be ravaged by the unleashed power of the corrupted forest. For this reason, these reclusive Elves are the most hostile towards those who would defile the natural world. Wood Elves from the Laurëlorn Forest retain many traditions of their civilised High Elf kin and do not react as violently toward trespassers as the Elves of Athel Loren. They are still generally perceived as being highly secretive and aloof however.
Asrai eConoMiCs The Asrai do not utilise any traditional form of currency, as is the custom throughout the Old World. Money is regarded by the Wood Elves as one of the misguided old inventions of Ulthuan. Instead, the Asrai prefer a system of bartering items or services in exchange for things they require. Wardancers drift between communities performing spectacular dances in exchange for hospitality. Priests of Vaul craft metalwork of exquisite beauty in return for food and water, because they have no time to forage for themselves.
The Asrai’s bartering system differs from human commerce because it is not based on the objective values of items. Instead, Wood Elves assess the needs of the person with whom they are haggling and determine values inversely. For example, an elf who is starving can acquire food cheaply, whereas an elf with a well-stocked pantry should expect to pay a premium for food. Asrai economics prevent individuals from hoarding resources and ensure that everyone’s basic needs are met. This barter system is completely alien and incomprehensible to humans
Main Article : Asurian Pantheon
The belief in Yenlui, or balance, is central to the personality of all Elves. To the Sindar Elves though, the nature gods Isha and Kurnous represent the concept of Yenlui. The Wood Elves’ close connection to the forests makes them particularly sensitive to the natural order. They are prone to depression and anger when the forest is despoiled, and are mirthful in times of peace. Like all Elves, the Sindar Elves constantly strive for perfection. This, along with their longevity allows Wood Elves to master their emotions, which can make them seem uncaring or cold. Even the death of a Kin member will not provoke an instant reaction; instead a Wood Elf’s sorrow is expressed gradually, through poetry and song, at a time of their choosing. Wood Elves also share their Ulthuancounterparts’ willingness to listen and have a general “wait and see” attitude (unless of course the forest is threatened), which can lead others to perceive them as an impassive, ponderous race.
The Elves’ longevity also allows them to measure success differently from more short-lived races. Crushing one’s enemies and amassing riches are not considered worthwhile goals, because power and wealth are ephemeral. Instead, Wood Elves channel their efforts into art, craftsmanship, and personal enlightenment.
Goddess of the Harvest
Description: Isha is the goddess of the harvest and is worshipped by most farmers throughout Ulthuan, but is also seen as the goddess of fertility or Earth Mother. The farmers often give offerings to her temples in the hope of a good harvest. She is a merciful god who lends succour to those in need of it. Isha is commonly depicted as a gloriously beautiful young elf woman with immeasurably long, golden ponytails flowing about her. She is the daughter of Asuryan and Lileath.
Symbol: Commonly a stylised eye with a single tear below it. Mage-Priests of Isha are usually female and they wear robes of pure white.
Temples: There are no temples to Isha as such but some elves have small shrines dedicated to her in their houses. Her worship is most popular among Wood Elves not least because she is the wife of Kurnous the Hunter and is immersed in their theological histories.
Goddess of Rain and Rivers
Description: Torothal is the goddess of rain and rivers and is principally a Wood Elf deity and little known outside their woodland realms except by some Human woodsmen and trappers. Torothal is said to bring rain and control the currents courses of rivers. It is said that when the rivers rage and flow strong Torothal is angry. Torothal is often portrayed as a very young and beautiful Elven woman. Sometimes she is given fish scale patterns on her skin. It is said that Torothal can assume the form of any fish or river-dwelling creature and can also become a rain cloud at will.
Symbol: Torothal's symbols are stylised designs of rain clouds and wave emblems to symbolise her as patron of rivers. Mage-Priests of Torothal do not wear any special attire and are clad in the normal clothes of Wood Elf society.
Area of Worship: Torothal is almost entirely a Wood Elf deity and is worshipped in all the main woodland realms. However, there are some Human fishermen and boatmen that worship the river goddess believing that she will provide them with plentiful fish and calm riverboat journeys.
Temples: There are no temples to Torothal. However, there are certain holy places dear to her devout followers and these tend to be very special rivers and lakes or areas in the woodland realms that are especially wet due to incessant rainfall and showers.
God of the Hunt, Lord of the Beasts
Description: Said by some Human theologians to be an aspect of Taal, the Old Worlder god of nature and wild places, Kurnous is one of the major deities of the Wood Elf pantheon, being the master of the forest animals among which Wood Elves live. He is the patron of Beastfriends, and is worshipped by some Elven Scouts and Hunters. Kurnous is normally portrayed as a composite being, over ten feet tall, with an Elven body but the head and tail of a stag. It is said that he can also take the form of any forest creature at will.
Symbol: Like Taal, Kurnous is represented by a stag's head with branching antlers. Mage-Priests of Kurnous dress in the same way as other Elves.
Temples: The whole of the forest is Kurnous' temple: wherever his beasts wander, he is present. However, there are places which are more special to his worship than others: certain natural clearings, rocks, trees and so on. A Wood Elf automatically recognises these places: members of other races cannot. Elves will almost always try to keep other races away from holy ground.
Although Elves are more resistant to corruption than other races, they are still susceptible to the insidious effects of Chaos. Amongst Sindar Elves, this corruption often manifests as subtle changes in behaviour. Chaos taint causes most Wood Elves to become hateful of all those who trespass upon their sacred forests including Wood Elves of other kindreds. Others practise dark rites in the name of forbidden gods, turning their backs completely upon the traditions of the Sindar Elves.
Within the confines of their woodland homes, Wood Elves are relatively isolated from most corrupting influences. The greatest Chaos threat to Wood Elves is Cyanathair the Corruptor and his Beastmen hordes, who frequently threaten their borders (see pg. 89-92). Occasionally, long-forgotten Chaos entities are encountered in the forests, or Wood Elves discover a Chaos relic on their travels.
Regardless of the source, tainted Wood Elves become more reclusive, or even exile themselves from the forest when signs of corruption are discovered. In extreme cases such as physical mutation, ritual suicide is viewed as an appropriate solution. Elves of Athel Loren who develop mutations are sometimes banished to the Wildwood.
The Sindar Elves pride themselves on two main things, There skill at stealthy killing intruders, and their relationship with the forest. These two mains things have been altered quite substancially by the Sindar Elves of Athel Loren .
The Sindar Elves were born out of their desire to be at peace, and the only place they seemed to find this peace was while they roamed the wilds of the French Forests.
More recently the Sindar Elves have seen the rise of the Lothlorian Sindar Elves and with this rise has seen the growth of Magi use
Elves are more acutely aware of the Winds of Magic than most other races. Their enhanced magical sense enables them to perceive the convergence between arcane and divine magic. In the forests of the Old World, the magic of the Asrai is closely tied to the flora and fauna, which are suffused with aethyric energy commonly known as Earthbound Magic.
Among Wood Elves the goddess Isha, who governs growth and birth, is also revered as a goddess of magic. As an omnipresent goddess, Isha is part of all natural things, but often manifests to Wood Elves as Ariel, the Queen of Loren. While human priests and wizards are unable to distinguish Ariel’s blessings from Ghyran (green) and Ghur (brown) magic, Asrai magic defies normal human convention and classification. Green and brown are merely regarded by the Wood Elves as colours that become visible when Isha’s magic is channelled.
According to Wood Elf mythology, departed souls are consumed by the forest and eternally sheltered from the clutches of Chaos. The Asrai also understand that the forests are connected to the Warp via ancient, hidden pathways created by the Old Ones. Forests are therefore perceived by Wood Elves as existing on the boundary with the Aethyr. The forest’s most sacred places are believed to exist simultaneously in both the Material and Aethyric realms.
Although every forest contains an abundance of latent magical energy, Athel Loren is the most magical forest of all. Wood Elf mages from any Kithband may learn the Lore of the Forests, but they can only master their art by learning the Lore of Athel Loren under guidance from the Spellsinger Kindred of Ariel.
Armory and Equipment of the Sindar Elves
The precious metal Ithilmar, also known as “truesteel” and “sky silver”, is a bright, silver metal said to be as light as the sky. Although some people claim that Ithilmar can only be mined in Ulthuan, the metal is an alloy created by Priests of Vaul using a secret process requiring volcanic conditions. As the iron is still forming within volcanoes, Priests of Vaul add secret rare ingredients to alter its chemical composition. The resultant alloy is stronger and lighter than normal steel.
The most important ingredient used in the creation of Ithilmar
can only be found upon the slopes of the Dragonspine Mountains on Ulthuan. However, Priests of Vaul who work the forges at the caldera of Athel Loren are able to process iron into a lesser form of Ithilmar called “quicksteel”.
Wood Elves usually wear practical clothes made of linen spun from wild plants, combined with leather armour. Hides and pelts are worn chiefly by members of the Alter Kindred unless it is the coldest of winters. Full suits of metal armour are rare except among Highborns who inherited them as family heirlooms. Most Wood Elves own no more than a single piece of metal armour, such as a helmet, bracer or breastplate. Metal armour is generally not conducive to swift and stealthy movement. Wood Elves favour elegant weapons such as blades and bows over the clumsy axes and warhammers used by Humans and Dwarfs. Elven arrowheads are often styled after leaves; curvaceous, slender and razor sharp. Even the most ordinary Asrai blades are crafted to a high standard, with an emphasis on strength, keenness and flexibility over weight. Blades are usually engraved with spirals or Elven runic script.
Forests of the Sindar Elves
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