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The Wood Elves typically live in the wilderness, often within the forests that they are named for. Their society, culture, and traditions are both physically and symbolically closer to nature than those of other races or of their elven kin. They also are the closest of all the elves to the traditions of their ancestors, which they keep alive in their culture and beliefs.
The area where Wood Elves are most concentrated in the known world is within the forests of northern Orelisle, in an area known as Arlaven. While some Wood Elves live elsewhere, the elves of Arlaven give a typical picture of Wood-Elven culture.

--Civilization--
Arlaven is made up of five tribes, the Urcinar, Lathidan, Culveri, Lugaru, and Kegari. These five form the core of Wood Elf society, though there are other, tiny groups of Wood Elves farther from Arlaven that are separate. However, even these separate groups tend to follow many ofthe same traditions as the main five, while remaining outside the Sixtrees Council.
Most Wood Elves live within one of the small forest towns that forms the center of each tribe's society. In keeping with their ways, these towns are intimately connected to nature, with the buildings often built around, between, or in the forest's trees. However, this is not to suggest that any of the tribal towns are simple or defenseless. Strong stone and wooden walls, along with towers made of stone built around mighty living trees, guard the villages, while still blending into nature well. This serves both to satisfy the elves' aesthetic tastes and to keep the villages' locations secret from unwanted visitors.

--Culture--
Given their proximity to nature, most Wood Elves tend to admire and respect the fierce beauty of the wilderness and all of the flora and fauna that make up the world. For many, this also expresses itself in differing degrees of distaste for crowded city life like that of High Elves. This intimate bond with the natural world is bound tightly into the daily life and upbringing of Wood Elves. Many Wood Elves are taught to be competent hunters at a young age, and are taught many other skills such as wilderness survival, tending of wild and garden plants, navigation, or craftsmanship in wood, stone, or bone. This is true of all Wood Elves, regardless of magical ability, but those young elves that show magical prowess are traditionally treated in a particular way by Wood Elven society. Wood Elves consider magic to be a powerful gift, no more or less distinguished than talent in swordsmanship or crafting, but also special in its own way. Young elven mages are traded between the five tribes of Arlaven, in order to maintain an open, fair balance of power and sharing of lore between tribes. Again, with the focus of their culture on the wilderness, Druidic Arts are quite common among mages, but there remain ample numbers of skilled Wizards, Bards, and Healers among Wood Elf mages, though all elven magic users have respect for the ways of nature magic.
Wood Elf governing structure is based around the Council of Sixtrees in Arlaven. The "Haranti Vhen", or Father/Mother of Our Forest, leads a central governing body including him/herself and five other Council representatives, one from each of the main tribes. Each tribe itself is led by a Keeper, of slightly-higher standing than that tribe's Council representative. Traditionally, each Keeper also quickly chooses an apprentice to be their Second, that is groomed to become Keeper after them, if the rest of the tribe agrees and the training is completed. A Keeper's Second may or may not study the same schools of magic or martial skill that the current Keeper does, but it is often at least partially the case. If a Second fails greviously in their duties, disgraces their tribe, is rendered unfit, or dies, another Second may be chosen. A Second that has been training for a decent period of time slowly begins to gain respect and responsibility in their tribe, until they are afforded a rank nearly as high as that of the Keeper or Councilor.

It is also common for each tribe to have a seperate person or small group of people that specialize in magical and mundane healing arts. Most often, this takes the form of one master healer and their apprentice, although in some cases, other healers or physicians may also share the job. The basic unit of one master and one apprentice healer is usually followed, however. Despite similarity to the concept of master and apprentice found between Keepers and their Seconds, neither an apprentice nor a master tribal Healer wields any great political power. They are greatly respected for their work, but have no more say in tribal affairs than any other elf.

Respect is also formally given to many honored Elders of Wood Elven tribes, since it is they who formally pass down knowledge to the younger generations. Beyond this, there is very little regard among Elves for any caste or social hierarchy; hunters, craftsmen, soldiers, and scholars are all considered necessary and equal. Servants may exist on rare occasions among Wood Elves, serving out a life debt or other agreement, but even in these cases, servants are typically treated well. Slavery is all but unheard of among Wood Elves, for one of the central qualities of their culture is that of freedom.

--Religion and Beliefs--
Wood Elves venerate a group of nature-based deities, but do not consider them to be absolutely omnipotent, nor the sole power in the universe. In essence, they worship Drumani, the god of earth, growth, and strength, but also respect the abstract power of nature itself; and they venerate Neriss, goddess of raw magic, fire, and wisdom while still acknowledging magic as a natural phenomenon all its own. Essentially, while many devout Wood Elves believe that the gods, or Creators, brought natural phenomena into being, those same powers are not necessarily synonomous with that deity.
Aside from Drumani and Neriss, there is also Dinalon, god of wind, hunting, and self-sufficiency; Mar'nek, goddess of death, trickery, and spirit; and Garshel, god of life, water, and humble unity.
Outside of the Creators, the elves also follow several basic tenets of life, passed down by oral and written tradition by Elders and Keepers of the Wood Elves. These tenets include:

  1.  All life is sacred in its own way, but all death is inevitable. One creature killing another to live is the way of the wild, but it must be done with dignity.
  2. Respect those who have gained knowledge, whether through age or experience, and do not scorn a lesson offered, no matter how it comes. 
  3. Gifts flow from one to all based on their unique talents; and fortune flows from all to one based on what they require to flourish. Admire the talents of others and cherish their company, but nurture your own unique gifts and do not be a burden.
  4. Live such that your body is strong as it may be, your mind as sound as it may be, your honor as untarnished as possible, and your regrets as few as possible.

((Below are the gods, listed in a neater format))

God/Goddess Name Element Patron Concept Social Quality Typical Patron Class
Drumani Earth Growth, Plants, and Animals Strength and Directness Druid, Barbarian
Neriss Fire Magic, Thought Wisdom and Contemplation Wizard, Monk
Dinalon Wind Hunting and Travel Cunning and Self-sufficiency Scout, Thief, Archer
Garshel Water Life Unity and Humility Healer, Guardian
Mar'nek Spirit/Death Death Trickery Bard, Gypsy, Assassin
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