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The Tale of Treehaven ...


Long ago, the Fir Elves of the east left the forests and founded a city to the north of what is now Caersech Forest.  Dubbed Pinesbreak, the city grew to be a bustling community.  For many generations the Fir lived there happily and peacefully.  Eventually, through lack of use, the Elves became night blind and lost much of their knowledge of combat skills.  The arrows and bows that had been the Elves’ trademark had long before been used as firewood for a cold winter night, and the knowledge of the crafting of such objects was all but lost.  Only the few remaining Elves that followed their Forester heritage kept these skills, though the rest thought them strange and wild folk.


The peace was shattered, however, when a tribe of nomadic Sanene raiders moved into the area.  Pushed out of their original mountain homeland by the Frontacian Empire, the San had become hungry and dangerous in their wandering.  When scouting groups discovered the city of Pinesbreak, a raiding party immediately set out to investigate more closely.  The Fir were barely able to repulse this first attack by a small group, and when news of the great tribe sweeping down upon them came, they panicked.  The great mass of the Firian villagers took up what few possessions they had, and fled to the forest where they thought themselves safe.  Soon the city of Pinesbreak, and the few residents who stayed was decimated and burned to the ground.  The San, after celebrating for many days of their victory, then began to hunt down the Fir who had fled.


Meanwhile, the Firian refugees wandered about lost in the forest.  They had lost all their natural abilities of foraging in nature, and were on the verge of starving to death.  Luckily for the villagers, the Foresters, who retreated to the forests long before the others who had not left until the last minute, came upon them and helped to gather enough food to keep them alive.  While the Firian refugees lamented their ill luck, the seven Foresters had gathered by themselves to ponder what to do and where to go.  While they sat and discussed, a great silver-feathered owl landed amongst them.  One of the Foresters, the elf-maiden Ildryn Meadowstar recognized the owl as a sending from Elindale.  The owl flew off, and Ildryn bade the Foresters to follow it.  They chased the owl for hours until it landed at the base of a steelwood tree so massive, not one of the Foresters had ever seen its like.  The owl launched itself into the air, and flew to the highest branches of the tree.  The Foresters climbed after it, and after climbing for hours, reached the apex of the trunk, which was wide and flat like a room with a roof of boughs.  The owl’s nest was in the branches directly above, and in the center grew what looked like an altar, with one thin branch arching over it.  The branch was tipped with a large steelwood fruit that glowed green in the dim light of the inner tree.  Ildryn plucked the fruit and ate of it, and then shared it with the other Foresters.  The green light suffused them, and they gained a great knowledge from the Goddess Elindale.  She spoke to them in thoughts, and taught them the ancient ways of the Forest.  Using their knowledge, the Seven spoke with the birds and animals, and learned of the approaching Sanene army.  They sped back to the body of the Firian group and told them what they knew of the San and what had happened.  They bid them come to the Great Tree at the center of the forest to find shelter, and dumbfounded, the rest of the Fir followed.


When they reached the tree, the Fir climbed (tree climbing is a skill which no Fir will ever forget) to the top branches.  The Seven taught them how to build ledges onto the side of the tree, and how to forage for fruit among the boughs of the trees all around.  The days passed, and the Fir relearned how to live with the forest, how to hunt, and how to move through the limbs like the forest creatures did.  The ledges around the Great Tree merged to become one, and soon spread to other large trees around.  Using animal helpers as scouts, the Seven tracked the San to the edge of the forest.  With the help of Elindale, the Fir had become knowledgeable in their lost arts, and when the San entered the forest, they were slaughtered mercilessly from above with poisoned arrows.  No San who entered ever left alive.  The remaining Sanene raiders fled east to the sea, and forever declared that ghosts in the forest had killed both the Fir, and the San raiding party.


With the help of the Seven Foresters, the Fir rebuilt their community in the treetops.  A rebuilt guild of Foresters began patrolling the borders of the forest so that no enemy could ever assail the Fir again unbeknownst.  The city was renamed Treehaven and was consecrated to Elindale, in honor of the help She gave against the San.  The Seven Foresters became the first council of Elders of the city.  Ildryn became High Priestess of Elindale, and ever since, the High Priestess of Elindale has served on the council with six other Elders of the town.  The Fir vowed never again to forget their skills in the forest, and soon the Forester’s guild was the largest in the city.

As time wore on, other Fir, and other races found Treehaven and were welcomed.  Other temples to other gods were allowed, though Elindale’s was always to be the largest and most worshipped of them all.  Only Taath and Set were banned from practicing in Treehaven.  Set, because thieves were not welcome in Treehaven, and Taath because of the connection between Him and the San raiders.  The Great Tree was named the Mother Tree after Elindale the Mother of All.  The other large trees around soon became colonized and were named for different pieces of Firian myth, such as the Tree of Spirits and the Tree of Life.


The Council of Elders

The Council of Elders has forever since been the governing body of Treehaven.The High Priestess is always one, though the other six are no longer only Foresters. Members are appointed whenever an Elder steps down or dies, usually from the most knowledgeable of the citizens. The Council had traditionally been composed of Fir Elves, but recently an Anthian was named High Priestess of Elindale, and an aged Drag-al who had been head of the Merchants was appointed to a seat.


The Fruit of the Mother Tree

Once in a great while, the fruit of the Mother Tree matures, almost always during a time of need. The Council of Elders eats from the fruit, and gains knowledge from Elindale of what to do. The most recent was almost a century ago, when a foul disease began to decimate the trees of the forest.  The fruit allowed the Elders to eradicate the disease, and most notably, to use the dead wood to create golems that could be inhabited by the fallen trees’ spirits.  In gratitude, the spirits promised to protect the city of Treehaven in golem form for a thousand years.