From Dragon Eye Atlas
Revision as of 12:18, 23 December 2020 by Tom
The elves of southern Auseka are enjoying a primitive existence as hunter-gatherers, often nomadic and close to nature, especially the forest. Once all over the south, the culture is today dominant in Guera and among the minority groups of elves living in Sila and Palan.
A central element of Wild Elf culture is the body of knowledge called "The Mysteries". They are an oral tradition of all that is known and not known in the world, the collective knowledge of the Wild Elves.
The Mysteries are taught to all Wild Elf children from the early age. Whenever a child asks "how?" or "why?", a nearby adult will teach it one of the mysteries. The Mystery of the Clouds explains how clouds form and that rain can fall from them and which clouds are indicators of what weather. Every animal has its mystery, and every type of tree or plant. The Mysteries always contain the unknown as much as the known, and Wild Elf culture may be the only culture that is proud of what is not known.
At the age of 20 about, children are taught The Mystery of Adulthood, which in addition to basic sex education (elves mature more slowly than humans and enter puberty at 20-25) also contains the fact that adults can be wrong and even the Mysteries can be false and an adult elf should think for him- or herself at all times. This revelation often shatters the world of the young elf, who so far has been taught everything about the world by adults who seem to know everything and openly admit when they don't know. For Wild Elves, understanding the even the most trusted person could be wrong is an important part of becoming an adult - and an important thing to realize in order to survive in the forest.
Education of children among Wild Elves is unusually strict, by elven standards and even by human standards, and in many parts surpasses even the dwarves. Discipline is strong among the tribes, and children are drilled like military recruits to follow orders of their parents and the tribe elders, never question anything and behave themselves perfectly around adults. They are also given ample play time in which to be kids, with clear delimeters between play and non-play time.
All this comes to an end with a ceremonial transition into adulthood at around 20 - see above.
The Wild Elves dress in fairly simple, functional clothing made from leather and woven plant fabrics. They do not use wool or linen, though some pieces of such traded from humans can be found occasionally. There is almost never any metal in Wild Elf clothing, as they trade little with outsiders, never with dwarves, and have no mines or metalurgy of their own. In place of metal, they often use magically hardened bones using a process largely unknown outside their circles where a magic ritual condenses the bones of a few selected animals (whose bones compress under pressure instead of cracking). Weapons made from such bones are comparable to steel weapons, except that they get damaged faster in battle.
Wild Elves grow houses and bridges like most other elves, by shaping growing trees into desired forms over many years. The nomadic tribes have multiple settlements around the area they frequent which they visit, and often one or two additional ones in various stages of construction.
Wild Elves also cut trees and build huts in more human manners, from trunks and branches and leaves, often with mud walls, and sometimes even partway into the trunks of Faordna trees, the giant trees of the south.
The architecture by itself is unimpressive, though a carved and decorated entrance portal (only rarely are doors used) is an important element of every home.
Wild Elves live together in enlarged families, with up to 20 individuals sharing one house, from five or more generations. Due to the longevity of the elves, it is not uncommon to share a house with your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather (the "6th grandfather" in elven).
The Wild Elves pray to the Elven Gods and unlike most elves, they actually do pray in a way not too unlike human savages. They will ask for their blessings with small sacrifices and offerings and even set up small shrines in their villages. The permanent cities in Wild Elven territory have temples to the elven gods.