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Author Topic: The Council Tree of the Llaoihrr Brownies  (Read 10647 times)
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« Reply #15 on: 17 September 2008, 22:27:31 »

Thankyou Arti hug

I'll have the altered version up asap - just checking for other capital letters which shouldn't be there.

Edit: Comments so far have been incorporated I think.  The only big changes were to the overview, which should now be easier to understand.  I've added in bits further on to explain the different terms as they come up too, so hopefully it will be a smoother read to even those who know nothing about Brownies :).
« Last Edit: 18 September 2008, 00:15:48 by Rookie Brownbark » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: 18 September 2008, 05:23:35 »

Yep, Overview reads much better now, as it's straight to the point as it should be :) - Now on to some more checking:

Skydiver Roost

A pair of huge, ancient oaks on the edge of the clearing around the cinnabark provides housing for most of the flying mounts.  Not only are the upper trunks and branches riddled with holes to allow the birds to get into the structures, but more shelters are hung between the two trees as well.  The white stains on their trunks and on the ground below leave no one in any doubt of their use.  During a large part of the night the tree is fairly peaceful, as most of the mounts are owls, and their riders take them out to hunt for food in the darkness.  Although most have been successfully trained to work in daytime too, they are still much better hunters once the sun has set. 

The general rule is that the smaller and lighter the bird, the higher up the tree it roosts.  The famous oioiLLoiao – the arrowhead geese which carry the Llaoihrr’s trading goods across Santharia – have a large walk-in shelter at the bottom of the trunk.  These birds are far too large to be threatened by the predators housed above them, although there is a separate, more secluded area for the very young goslings.  There have been a few incidences of attacks by particularly brave or stupid falcons, but these are thankfully very rare as they usually result in injuries to both sides.  Goose beaks may not be sharp, but they can snap the bones of the smaller birds.

New Stables

The mounts of the Ferretmaster clan long (?) became too numerous to be housed within the tree itself.  The separate lodging was founded around 670 b.S., and has been added to ever since.  It now encompasses 19 trees in total, and sits a little way into the forest, downstream from the Council Tree.  The space between the trees functions as a training and exercise area, with sections fenced off from each other to provide a selection of useful spaces.  The mounts are housed within the trunks of the surrounding trees and also underneath around the root system.  Being trained to fight and be aggressive, each separate creature needs its own stall, and there are normally around 15,000 animals here (mounts and food animals) at any one time, so it is a huge effort of organisation.

One just has to imagine the scope of all that - 15.000 animals, around 250,000 Brownies in one single tree... I'd love to take a stroll in that region and see all that live, and perhaps witness a daybreak at the Council Tree where some Brownie music develops naturally (see that piece Gean provided). Must be a fascinating experience... :D

That number of creatures naturally produces a large amount of manure, and naturally this is not wasted.  The lodging was intentionally built in a stand of urban trees, the favourite habitat of the Brownie’s stable food – greenbark moss.  The animal waste is smeared onto the lower portion of the trunk and around the already-growing moss, which considerably speeds up its growth rate.  It does make the area smell a little strongly, but not that much more than it would anyway with so many animals living so closely, and the Brownies get used to it very quickly.

Defences

As the most important Llaoihrr settlement, and arguably the centre of Browniedom, the protection of the potentially vulnerable Council Tree is a priority for the Llaoihrr.  The natural surroundings are a great help in this: the whole Vale only has one possible entrance, and that is a long, winding track through a deeply cut gorge.  The path is fairly flat, but traitorously slippery in places and seldom wide enough to admit two humans comfortably walking side by side.  At certain points it appears to have been widened, cut into the solid rock face, forming a low-ceilinged tunnel for a few peds before the river gorge recedes again.  Strangely enough these short, covered parts of the path are never much higher than a ped and a half – perfect dwarf height.  Humans are often forced to stoop, which naturally slows them down and affects how fast they can walk along it.   Donkeys and smaller pack animals can navigate the way with few problems, but any beast bigger than a Centoraurian horse is simply too tall to fit through, with or without its rider.   The constant rush of water below draws the eye of man and beast to a dangerously frightening extent, helped by the lack of any sort of barrier between path and the vertical drop into the swirling, foaming Snake River.

Ha! Not only is the tree brilliantly described, also the surrounding environment is fascinating and invites to pay a visit!  thumbup

Even once inside the Vale, the dense foliage prevents big people from advancing quickly through it.  Anywhere there is water available for the thirsty underbrush, the floor is forested with a fine mesh of plants struggling towards sunlight.   The most direct way to the Council Tree is to simply follow the river, but this route is very overgrown, with paths only of Brownie height.  A longer but easier route winds away from this water source, and through the middle of the forest.  Here it is best to either have a very good sense of direction or a Brownie guide to prevent getting lost in the confusing woodland.

In order to further defend the approach, the Brownies have used their ingenuity to design several interesting trap mechanisms which could severely impair the progress of an attacker.  You'll find pits which open at the pull of a rope, piles of strategically placed rocks which can be tumbled onto heads and even large crushing implements which can be swung from the trees above. These were put in place when the path was built around 843 a.S., a building project to make entry easier for small groups of traders, but harder for large numbers of attackers at the same time. Thankfully, they have seldom - if ever - been used.

Location.

The Council Tree is situated well into the Vale of the Brownies, about 200 strals from the beginning of the gorge entrance.  It lies at the point where the two smaller rivers meet and become the Snake river, the fast-flowing flush of water which cut out the gorge.  The Vale of Brownies itself is in mid-Santharia and lies just north of the Quallian Forest (combined proper name) - west of New-Santhala and the Rimmerins Ring.   The nearest settlements are Kor Donian, home of the Tenthrum dwarven clan and Kytta’erng, an Eyelian trading village.

-------------

Checking continues tomorrow, but it's just getting better and better anyway, so basically it's just an enjoyment to read through this, Rookie :)
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« Reply #17 on: 18 September 2008, 11:22:07 »

I keep reading and rereading this - it's such an amazing entry and rewards the eye!

Little thoughts from different sections will be posted as I think of them.

Here's one:  all that ferret musk and manure must certainly give the area its own unique smell - but also serve to protect from Brownie predators.   Things that would eat Brownies, that is....   Any big cat, for example, smelling that much musk upwind, would imagine a twenty-ped ferret and run the other way.  :)


Did I tell you I'm working on your picture now?  :D
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« Reply #18 on: 18 September 2008, 20:15:31 »

You're working on a picture?  Irid said ages ago she was going to ask you, but I never heard your answer.  Oooo!  Thankyou Judy, that'd be thoroughly amazing *does small dance*

I've popped in a few sentences about the ferret smell (it's in teal), I think I might put a paragraph in the clearing description about the general smell too....still trying to write it.....

The other changes are in too.

And thankyou so much for the compliments guys, I'm amazingly glad you're enjoying reading it a bit!  I was trying to aim for making it interesting as well as cramming as much info in as I could. grin
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« Reply #19 on: 19 September 2008, 02:29:22 »

People.

The Llaoihrr of the Council Tree tend to be more forward than those who live elsewhere.  They are less cautious, and often lack the almost silent movement of their other cousins, as they don’t rely on hunting as much.  Of course, those of the Prowler Clan, which specialises in hunting, form an exception to this rule, but the huge collection of Brownies living in one spot means they can generally afford what the humans might call a more “civilised” outlook.  They are not quite the ever-cautious, stealth-hunters they once were, but have actually come out of hiding and gained enough confidence to trade with other races.  Whilst a Brownie from the outer settlements might sooner attack a full-grown shir than approach a human, most Council Tree Llaoihrr are at least open to the idea that a good proportion do not want to cage and eat them.

The Council Tree folk also have a broader education than the other Llaoihrr, and a wider choice of career too.  The outer groups are typically better hunters, and experts in finding something edible in any weather, whilst the Council Tree children are taught a range of everything, from Tharian to carving to preserving fruit.  They are in general fair hunters, but not exceptional, surviving on farming and trade as well as the gifts of the woodland around them.  Council Tree Brownies often swap specialised goods with the other Llaoihrr in return for food or raw materials.  Nowhere else in the Vale is it possible to devote your whole life to something other than hunting and gathering things to eat.

In fact, nowhere else in the Vale is the settlement so rigidly split into clans.  At the Council Tree, a clan is where a Brownie spends at least half of their time, working and learning those specific skills.  However, elsewhere, the focus has to be on getting what they can from the environment around them, and the Clans are somewhere to group together and work on a particular talent when you have the time to spare.  The things that the Brownies specialise in outside the Council Tree are luxuries to them, rather than the basis of their whole career.  The Council Tree Brownies have far more chance to develop their talents, and so it is the natural centre for beautiful carvings, strange devices, inventions, experimentation and recording.  The people here encourage new ideas and inspiration more than anywhere else in the Vale. If other Llaoihrr wish to practice these things, they often move to the Council Tree to do it, making it a veritable melting pot of talent.

Contrary to popular belief, the Brownies are not the only sentient life in the Vale.  The secluded nature of the rivers within the Vale makes them a great habitat for the freshwater varieties of merfolk.  Rivermaids are found all along the length of the fast-flowing Snake River - the turbulent length of water which flows past the Council Tree.  Some of them can be persuaded to help the Browniefolk for the payment of certain flowers and edible greens.  They have been known to pull small boats or rafts across to ferry travellers to the other side, or to fetch a particularly prized water plant which the Brownies cannot get to.  Watersproggs also live at the Diamond Falls, and can sometimes be glimpsed from Clan Maj’s settlement, flitting up the rocks in search of the plants they eat.

Coat of Arms.

Not being a tribe which regularly goes to war, or that needs to distinguish itself from other troops when it does, the Council Tree does not have the traditional coat of arms like other cities.  The style of clothes and the manner of speaking is usually enough to tell other Llaoihrr where they come from.  However, when it is needed, anything which represents a cinnabark pine can be used for identification.  A stick of the spice made from the bark, or a crude, simplified drawing of a pine tree stitched onto clothes will suffice.  The Llaoihrr even have a habit of dipping wooden beads into the sticky sap of the Council Tree, and you can be sure that any Llaoihrr wearing one will be from the Brownie City. 

Government Structure.

Brownie life is very much dependent on the support and co-operation of those around them.   The world is a very dangerous place for a lone Brownie, and even getting all the necessary ingredients for living would be challenging without help.  Hence, the Council Tree Brownies have a very clear, solid structure of people to look to in times of need.  This has become engrained in these Brownies’ lore, and it is now used as a system for legal disagreements and retribution as well. 

The first people a Llaoihrr will turn to is their family.  This includes any blood kin still living and still in contact, but not automatically those who have joined through a partnership with one of the family.  So they could go to any of their great-grand-father’s great-grand-children for help (as long as they see them once a month or so) but not necessarily their sister’s partner.  However, friends can become so close that a Brownie considers them like part of their family, and in this case they may be counted on for support as well.  One of the greatest compliments which a Llaoihrr can pay to a non-relation is to ask them for aid.

If a Brownie has no family left to them, or their family is not able to provide the support they need, their clan will step in.  Many an old Llaoihrr ends up turning to the clan they have worked for all their life for help during the harder winter months, when their family are struggling to find enough for the extra mouth.  As the clan has so many members, and each will give what they can to help out, this is rarely a problem, and a Council Tree Brownie is never allowed to starve unless the problem is very widespread.  Brownie youngsters who have not yet chosen a clan can go to either of their parents’ clans for help.  If the worst happens and a child is orphaned, then the Imparter Clan will usually take care of them until they are old enough to choose.

Lastly, any Llaoihrr whose settlement sticks to the rules of the Council Tree’s Council can come to that Council for help.  The most common thing asked for at this level is help to punish the few inevitable criminals who need to be dealt with at the highest level.  Banishment from the Vale, a punishment used for those who kill another Brownie or repeatedly commit other crimes, can only be given from the Council Tree, as only then will it be recognised by the other settlements too.  The Council Tree is also the centre for trade and contact with the outside world, and almost all trips outside the Vale are organised by the group as a whole.

The Council itself is made up of Llaoihrr from as far and wide as possible.  There is no set number; rather any well-respected Brownie who has completed an apprenticeship can apply to join at any time.  The Council members will then discuss and vote on whether they think the applicant should become one of them, and if two-thirds or more want them, they can.  Not only the merit of the individual is considered, but also whether someone of their background is needed on the team.  So, for example, if there are already a large number of Life Mages on the Council, it is unlikely another will be accepted unless they really are outstandingly worthy of the position. They usually stay a member until they leave of their own vocation unless they fail in their duties in any way.  One Llaoihrr was removed after flying a set of his child’s LLeeterrs into the middle of an Imparter meeting after too much Auhu’o Sweet Mead, and another for persistent non-turning-up. *hehe* The Council numbers around 100 Brownies at any one time.

The Council Tree and the settlements that live under its rule consider themselves a sort of unofficial kingdom of Llaoihrr.  There are only two villages which do not come under this heading, and Brownies of these two are generally looked on with some scorn by the rest.   They are sometimes nicknamed “Lloooihrr” by the Council-aligned Brownies, a word play using the expression “oooi”  (lit. "tracks/scents") (Just adjusting that to our standard writing.).  This doesn’t translate well into Tharian, but the idea is that if you were following their tracks you would think they were “real” Llaoihrr, but once you’re up close they cannot be mistaken for “Outsiders”.  In fact the Brownies in these two settlements live pretty much like any other Llaoihrr, they just do not trade with any others at all and prefer to keep completely to themselves.  They stick to traditions a little more rigidly than elsewhere and live in some of the more out-of-the-way areas of the Vale.

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Just splendid, Rookie! lol Need to watch a football match now, but wanted to make at least a bit further progress here.
« Last Edit: 20 September 2008, 15:40:49 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #20 on: 20 September 2008, 16:28:12 »

Trade.

The Council Tree Brownies are becoming more and more open to new trading links, even though they still try and conduct them in a as Brownie-like way as possible.  They tend to view a village or town as one entity which works together, like a Llaoihrr settlement does, and much prefer to do their business through one spokesman than deal with a range of merchants.  This way they feel they can build up a relationship with this one person, rather than having to trade with many unknown faces.  This is really worth knowing if you wish to trade with them, as they will give hugely better deals to someone they know and trust. (That of course also requires that this person first has to earn this trust, right? So the Brownie then are very selective, and need to get a great advantage for Brownie society first in order to accept such a person a trustworthy.)

As far as goods go, the Llaoihrr are known for their amazing craftsmanship of wood, as well as their mechanical prowess.  For almost a thousand years they have helped the dwarven people, particularly the Tenthurum Clan, to make the delicate, intricate machines that allow them to speak to their flittermice, and provided them with a wealth of other Brownie technology.  The mechanisms they make can be so tiny as to seem impossible or even magical. Sometimes they are in fact boosted with life magic.  (Also a great tie-in here - the way you write it and look for linking this entry to other stuff really adds to the site! - This reminds me by the way, that in our Dwarven Singspeakers entry we still don't have a code picture up. Somehow a final version of this one wasn't made. Guess I have to revive that thread and remind Judy.)

The quality of their carving is similarly amazing – with such small hands and delicate instruments their master Brightlers (the clan who specialises in decorating anything and everything) can work far finer than any Bigfolk craftsman.   This is usually used to decorate their own furniture and home walls, but they also trade carved pendants and other items to outsiders.  Beads are another speciality, and the Llaoihrr bead industry is known for its tiny, perfectly regular specimens.  Feathers of birds they kill and don’t want to use themselves are often traded too, or pretty pieces of wood and the much loved sweet mead whose recipe comes from the Auhu’o.  Groups of more intrepid Greengrowers (another clan) often farm the Bladeleaf which grow at the edges of the Vale for the healing goo inside which is usually traded with the Eyelians at Kytta’erng.

In return the Brownies prefer things which they cannot easily get or make themselves.  Light, tight-woven fabrics are in high demand for making LLeeterrs and for decoration.  Useful parts of large animals are great too, such as big skins or pieces of a large herbivore’s intestines or stomach.  The seeds or young specimens of exotic plants which just may be able to grow in the Vale are prized by all members of the Greengrower Clan.  They do trade some food and drink too – mainly exotic things they would not normally have access to or food stuffs which will last a long time and can be stored against a problem in the future.

“Outsider” Relations.

The term “Outsider” officially includes any settlement which doesn’t abide by the Council Tree rules.  However, it is mostly used for anyone who is not a Llaoihrr Brownie – literally anyone who lives outside the Vale.  It describes someone who is expected to have some strange quirks and so should not be thought badly of if they do or say something which would normally be offensive.  It is often put before a name when the stranger is introduced, rather like a title. For example, a Milken Brownie might be called “Outsider Halen Gilmp”. In fact introducing a non-Llaoihrr without the prefix is a real compliment.  Only those who know the Llaoihrr way of life very well and can be guaranteed not to make any social mistakes have the “Outsider” label removed and are treated like any other Llaoihrr. (Also a nice idea here, it's all part of that special culture, and you really build this entry to reflect that. Bravo!)

Those who have been invited to visit the Council Tree by a Llaoihrr are welcomed.  Well, there may be a few Brownies who still stick to the old fashioned notion that outsiders cannot be trusted in any way, but they tend to argue with the other Llaoihrr rather than the visitors themselves.  Accommodation is provided for them within the tree or at the Bigfolk hut, and they are usually given some sort of tour by their host.  The best food available is prepared by the Hotfinger Clan, and every effort is made to impress them with the Brownie’s hospitality (We have a great skier in Austria whose name is "Niki Hosp", so maybe "hospility" refers to her and the word just hasn't been added to the official dictionaries yet? lol Otherwise I'd suggest "hospitality"...).

However, an uninvited guest is something else altogether.  Entering the Vale as a stranger is something which should only be done for a very good reason.  If the scouts have not been warned of your arrival, a large group of Skydivers and Ferretmasters will come and ask why you are there.  Curiosity in their home is not a sufficient reason, and it is likely that you will be asked to leave if you try and use this.  If you do have a good enough ground for visiting the Council Tree, such as a new offer of trade, expect to be escorted there by an increasingly growing crowd of well-armed little folk, and supervised for most of your stay. (*hehe* This reminds definitely of "Gulliver's Travels" somehow, doesn't it?)

Climate.

The Vale is a haven for a huge range of animals and plants.  It is well sheltered by the cliffs surrounding it, meaning that it very rarely sees strong, tree-breaking storms or heavy rain.  A lot of rainfall is drops on the high ground instead and then flows down into the basin in a number of unpredictable streams and run-offs.   This means that even though the Vale does not get rain very frequently, water is not in short supply for most of the year.   The thick, fertile soil - a product of literally thousands of years of leaf fall – retains the moisture, and only after a particularly hot or dry summer do you start to see wilting plants and thirsty animals.

The location also makes their home ideal for plants and Brownies alike.  Situated around the centre of southern Sarvonia, it rarely sees more than a few days snow each year if that.  This is essential for the Llaoihrr, as there could not be so many living in one place with so many animals if they had to rely on stored food for any length of time.   Bright sunny summers warm the Brownie colony, sometimes causing outbreaks of Sunblood, a disease caused by sitting too long in the rays.  The winters are generally mild, and only a danger to the delicate plants which the Greengrowers’ cultivate.

Flora.

Most of the plants within the Llaoihrr clearing belong to the Greengrower clan, who specialise in producing the biggest range of greenery possible.  Food flavourings like common basiloc, chives and rosemint are grown for festival meals, with enough to supply a good portion of the Brownies too. Poisonous plants from around Santharia are cultivated for the Bubbler clan’s experiments, another clan who specialises in concoctions and potions.  There are also a few different types of different coloured moss, and other things which can be used for paints and dyes.

One particular type of vegetation is grown by every Brownie who has enough space and water to do so: the glowcap mushroom.  The community lives in wooden homes, on a huge pine tree, soaked with resin, and the fungi provide light at night without needing a fire.  When grown in wooden tubs of dried grass and what can be most politely referred to as “Brownie manure”, the mushrooms seem to do quite well.  At night the Council Tree lets out a faint, eerie glow from each of its branches. (Another well integrated idea, Rookie! It all fits together beautifully! thumbup)

Caring for the Tree.

Whilst the Hamm’rer Clan is responsible for the structures built in and around the Council Tree, caring for the living plant is the duty of the Life Magi.  As the home of so many Brownies boring into its trunk or weighing down its branches with their houses, keeping it in good health is more and more of an issue.  The Magi check its levels of energy normally at least every week, and almost constantly if any major building work is being carried out.  Any scars or wounds are healed as quickly as possible, and all of their knowledge and abilities are used to keep it living.  It is over two thousand years old, so however they are doing it, they seem to be succeeding so far. 

Brownies are no longer allowed to cut into the pine’s flesh, or hollow it out for homes without the specific permission of the Council.  In fact any action which releases tree sap can be fined, even if it was an accident.  They try to ensure that no more than half the width of the trunk is carved out at any point along the structure, and even the huge entrance hall only takes up a portion of the trunk. This is by far one of the strictest laws of the Council Tree, who usually try to place as few restrictions on Brownie life as possible, but the safety of the cinnabark is of the utmost importance.  They realise that it cannot live for ever, but are determined to stretch its life as far as they can into the future.

Fauna.

The Council Tree must be unique, in that it is a city which actually contains a larger variety and density of life than the forest around it.  The huge range of Llaoihrr mounts is one reason for this, for where else would such a huge number of predators be living together?  The Skydiver clan, the Llaoihrr’s flying army, breed and care for literally hundreds of owls, falcons and other rideable birds including a dozen or so arrowhead geese.  The Ferretmasters are their version of infantry, and are in charge of the ground troops and working beasts. They add leaf ferrets, common rerrets, shir, a range of rats and mice, plus even the occasional wolf.  Giant rats are kept for their meat, milk and also to pull the Brownie-wains and power the oldest of the lifts. 

Dalór grubs or glowworms are kept for the steady, flameless glow they produce, which is so much safer than a fire.  If stored in a dark box during the day, and only brought out after dark, they show no ill effects from being kept above ground. As soon as they grow to full size, the insects are eaten, as the Brownies dislike the green flashes they excrete when searching for a mate.  Unfortunately the strange gooey stuff which comes from the place they make the flashes has a really horrible bitter flavour, so they have to be specially prepared with this liquid drained off before they are cooked.  Some are even allowed to get to the cocoon stage, as the soft threads they wrap around themselves make excellent padding inside gloves and boots.

In addition to the Ferretmaster clan’s small herd, fairy mice can be seen tied up outside the doors of larger houses.  Their milk is prized for its flavour, their fur for its softness and length, and their meat isn’t bad either. Luck bugs are bred by the Greengrowers and used to keep pests off their precious gardens, although there are always a few vermin who still manage to damage the plants.

Another persistent pest is the styruine round worm.  This horrible little grub is known to attack the precious winter stores which are kept in the storage rooms under the Council Tree.  Fortunately the Brownies have discovered a simple way of getting rid of it – they attract it to certain parts of the cellars with generous handfuls of rrihoorr moss, a crop which can often be found growing alongside greenbark moss and has a strange spicy flavour. The Brownies then collect up all the worms and eat them.  The bug seems to have a preference for this spicy plant, and can be easily rounded up for the pot.  It goes nicely with any dark green leaves, and adds a good, slightly spicy flavour when mashed into a sauce.

The Council Tree Brownies are also at risk from several large predators who roam the area.  Wild foxes, birds of prey and mimsy will easily take a lone Llaoihrr, and will occasionally try and attack the settlement too.  The Ferretmaster Clan is always on stand by to defend against these rare threats, and has been known to search out and kill any predators that make their homes too close to the tree.   For one thing, the pelt of a fox will make beds for up to a dozen Brownies, depending on the size and quality.

--------------------

Ok, I've still a bunch of sections to read through, but there's little doubt that this is a pretty perfect masterwork and you'll be an official member in no time, Rookie! :D SO it appears that we get two developers become official members these days, as Garret's masterwork, the Kyranians, is also pretty much finished. There I need to prepare/adjust some final sections as well, or specifiy which sections need some additional work in a sub-entry etc. Anyway, despite there might still be some work to do in that Kyranian entry, I guess this doesn't prevent us from inaugurating you both - and so I've already suggested to Garret that we could make a double-inauguration of you two, say, Sunday next week?

Until then I should have some further Kyranian stuff up, and I'll be through soon hopefully as well with the checking of the Council Tree, so that I can prepare it for next week. Sounds fine? At any rate I'd need the info for your membership page then, Rookie, so if you could mail that to me that would be great. If you want to share a photo as well, I'd be happy to integrate that one as well. - Maybe as a special occasion we could hold the party at the Council Tree? Well, as a very very special exception, as usually you won't get that many "Outsiders" into that area, eh? :)
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« Reply #21 on: 22 September 2008, 20:14:25 »

Ooo!  I'd love to have a party at the Council Tree, I'm sure the Brownies would make an exception for such distinguished guests....as long as Tharoc doesn't bring that Warg along at least.

Thankyou very much for the corrections too - I'll get on them asap, I'm just having trouble with the internet in my flat at the moment which means I have to come into uni to use it.  It's not so much of a problem that I won't be able to have it ready though, when will you need it comepleted so you'll have time to update it?
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« Reply #22 on: 23 September 2008, 03:59:04 »

Well, if we start the combined inauguration on Sunday, ideally I should have the entry on Saturday, so that I can prepare it for the site :) If you have the team information until then, that would of course also be great. If for some reason you can't make it until then, don't worry, it will be added later then.

So onto finishing it now...


Resources.

Despite their farming, the Council Tree Llaoihrr still rely on the surrounding forest for a large part of their diet.  Nuts, berries, fruits, insects, small mammals and reptiles, greens, mosses and lichens are all plentiful enough to support them, and the Browniefolk will take pretty much anything that is available, eat the edible bits and find some other use for most of the rest.  No feather, bone or skin is wasted, partly due to a practical and inventive nature, but also because of their religious beliefs.  They hold that the spirit of the animal essentially allows them to make the kill, so it is common politeness to use that gift to its best advantage.  Even the occasional predator which has to be destroyed for roaming too close to the village is used to feed hungry mounts.

The Vale is also a great source of many different types of wood.  The Brownies never actually chop down a whole tree, as the process would simply require too much effort for something they can pick off the ground in far more manageable sizes.  They may however cut off a particularly desirable branch if they need it, or chop pieces off a fallen tree.   Hardwood and softwood, plain or beautifully grained are all readily available to the Brownies who want them.  However, they rarely trade any of this wood as a raw material to outsiders, because of the limited amount an arrowhead goose can carry.  Instead they use it to make a variety of machinery and decorations such as beads, some of which they then trade.

The only resource which the Brownies actually mine is mica – a strange, translucent rock which is used for windows in the largest and most elegant homes.  It is extremely hard to break across the grain, but very easy along it.  This makes it easy (repetition here) to split into fine, strong panes, and ideal for use in Brownie buildings.  Large deposits are found near the Diamond Falls – in fact the tiny glittering shards of it which can be found washed up at the side of the pool are what gave the place its name.  Pieces of a useful size can be found in the river mud, or buried in the ground above the falls.

History.

Here it is important, as I already pointed out elsewhere, I guess in a thread by Azhira, that you ideally should mark for me which events you'd copied from existing history tables, and which you added or modified. Because in case you just add an existing event, I simply mark the event to be integrated in my program, et voilà it gets added automatically. Otherwise I have to read in detail what you've posted here and need to determine first if it's identical or not. Saves me a lot of work to mark that in advance.

3981 b.S. Keekoo's second Group heads out (copied)

Keekoo the Deliverer sends out the second group of Brownie colonists from the Auturian Woods in order to investigate living possibilities for his race. The group sent out this year should eventually become the LLaoihrr tribe, the "Vale Brownies".

3981 b.S. to 3638 b.S. The Wandering Years of Keekoo's second Brownie Expedition (copied)

The Brownie band, Keekoo's second group, migrates westward, soon reaching the Zeiphyrian Forest. They discover the Quaelhoirhim elves already living there, and so keep on gradually moving west, looking for a place to call their own.

Following the coastline westward and then following the Thevelin river northward, they eventually reach the Quallian Forest. For reasons unknown, they pass it by, continuing upriver. By this time the tribe has been journeying for more than 300 years.

3638 b.S. – The Genesis of the LLaoihrr: The Vale Brownies (copied)

One of the Brownie scouts on Keekoo's mission follows a tributary of the Thevelin up to what appears to be its source, pouring out from under a natural stone arch. He keeps exploring upstream and finds himself in a deep gorge. When he finally comes out of the other side of the gorge, he finds he was in a large but sheltered valley, supporting a thriving wildlife population yet uninhabited, heavily wooded and well-watered. Tall, healthy trees spread their branches as far as the eye can see. In short, a paradise - exactly the kind of place his tribe is looking for. A few days later they have made it their home, naming their tribe after it.

3638 b.S. to c. 1025 b. S. – Taming the Vale

This is an exciting if dangerous time to be a Llaoihrr.  The Llaoihrr Brownies seek out ways to live off the forest once again, learning to build homes in the trees to avoid predators and discovering new ways to hunt.  Their prowess with machinery begins to stir itself with the invention of numerous traps, as well as an enthusiasm for any useful foliage they can find.  The group settles into their new life, growing steadily, and eventually (we think around 3200 b.S.) small sections begin to split off, creating tiny village settlements further and further into the Vale.

It is an era of exploration, of discovering the extent of their new home.  The boundaries of Llaoihrr land are pushed back with each new generation, and eventually there are Llaoihrr groups scattered all over the Vale, living in a variety of small villages or larger more organised settlements.  Many of these have a particular speciality – hunting a specific animal, collecting a much-loved berry, or knowing exactly how to prepare a normally poisonous plant for the table. 

One settlement even devotes itself to resurrecting what it can of life magic.  This is surprisingly unpopular as most of the Brownies regard it as a symbol of what was wrong with the old society so long ago, and blame it for the breakdown of the now-legendary Birni era.  However, there is enough interest in the ever-growing Brownie community to make it feasible, and they build a home for themselves near the beautiful and serenely eerie Diamond Falls.

1025 b.S. – Year of the Wolves

This year is the year when a pack of wolves finds its way into the Vale, presumably fleeing from persecution outside.  The intelligent creatures soon make the connection between Brownie trees and caches of stored meat, and they begin to terrorise the settlements, seeking them out for the “free” meat hidden there.  The Brownies, used to dealing with nothing larger than a single mimsy, are completely unprepared for a full pack of these large predators.  Their simple weapons do some damage when the Brownie is close enough, but getting this close leaves the defender within the wolf’s reach.  Many smaller settlements are almost wiped out, leaving only the Brownies who managed to flee to the larger ones and group together in large enough numbers to drive the animals off. 

It are the Life Mages who finally save them, attacking the wolves’ very spirit and draining the life from them one by one.  The huge predators lie dead on the floor, and the Brownies gather to celebrate their relief at the spot they were killed, a clearing near the joining of the two major rivers.  Wolf-meat is roasted and eaten by all, and members of every group of Llaoihrr in the Vale come together to thank the mages they’d avoided and rejected before.

Talks start with the idea of forming some sort of common Council which would link all the Llaoihrr in times of need.  The Mage’s settlement is named the centre of this as it is the most permanent, well known location. (Here as well: Very nicely integrated, the historical development being based on key events, from which further consequences result for the Brownie community. That's how it should be!)

1022 b.S. to 1002 b.S. Creating the Council Tree

On the second anniversary of the wolves’ death, the Llaoihrr gather together in the clearing for a feast to remember the triumph over the wolves.  Right in the centre of the area is a small cinnabark pine sapling, already reaching the size of some of the smaller trees around it.  The tree’s spirit is unusually strong, making it shoot up so fast.  It is concluded that some of the wolves’ spirits must have been absorbed into the seed when they were driven from the animal’s bodies.

The Llaoihrr decide that this must be meant to be, and after heavy talking, agree to create a new capital city at the place where the need for co-operation was first realised – the clearing.  The Council Tree Cinnabark is both a new, stronger home, and a symbol of their salvation.  It is a work of all the community taking 20 years – the life mages enhance its growth even further, and the other groups bring every type of material and skill from all over the Vale to shape it into a living space.

c. 1020 b.S. – First Clans are Founded

The first four clans are founded at the Council Tree – four clans designed to provide the Llaoihrr with the things the Council was originally conceived for.  The Military Clan is quickly renamed the "Ferretmasters" as they utilise an idea of one of the outer groups – taming animals and training them to fight.  The Scribbler Clan is founded to help keep records of all the new discoveries and expertise which they have regained over the past 2000 years.  The Life Magi become a new Clan too – aptly named "Clan Maj".  The Hamm’rers are the group in charge of turning the Council Tree into a useable home, and the Llaoihrr’s spiritual welfare is tended by the new Praisers.

The Llaoihrr agree to send a certain amount of grain and materials to the Council Tree each year for as long as it is possible, to support the new Clans.  In return they are promised protection, access to the library and the combined knowledge and spiritual guidance.  Many Brownies move into the Council Tree to train with the new Clans, and it becomes the meeting point for all the scattered groups.   A number of Brownies dislike this new idea, and they group together for support, forming their own settlement on the other, more secluded side of the river.  They effectively split themselves off from the rest of the rrao-Llaoihrr and take the new name “rrao-Llaooouh” (lit.: "original Vale Brownies"). (Anotzer nice touch, having the groups seperated, making things a little bit more complex.)

1020 to 290 b.S. - From Hunters to Philosophers

The Llaoihrr thrive under the new setup.  Now they are protected from the natural and spiritual dangers of the Vale, those not assigned to this task can concentrate their efforts on improving their way of life.  The Council Tree becomes the centre for new inventions and ideas; anything from better ways of building houses to the birth of Barkstudy.  The Lleetters (artificial wings which were originally made from bat’s wings) have their origins in this period too, and are constantly developed and improved throughout.  Farming greenbark moss, the staple of the Council Tree Llaoihrr, is also perfected, along with improvements in Life Magic, mechanical woodcraft, leatherwork, and almost every aspect of life in the capital.

Several new clans are also formed.  The Drummers are an offshoot of the Praisers, and music becomes a recreational attraction as well as a religious one.  Several hunting experts become the Prowler Clan, which provides the skill to go after more challenging prey.  The Greengrowers and Bubblers are created mainly to discover and refine the poisons needed to kill larger beasts, although they quickly diversify into all manner of drinks and food preparations.  After the Imparter Clan is formed all Brownie children are given a basic education in the most important things, although what exactly these are changes from year to year. (These events can also be added to the Clan entry, I guess... :) )

290 b.S.- Return of Greybark Ferretmaster

Greybark Ferretmaster brings news of the darkfriend threat to the Vale with his mate Whisper, and begins training the first group of the Llaoihrr Flying Militia.  The wild population of most species of intelligent bird life within the Vale are somewhat reduced as the Brownies struggle to learn to look after them in a short space of time.

288 b.S. – Greybark Leads the Elite Flying Brownie Militia to Carmalad

The Flying Brownie Militia arrives in Carmalad and joins the alliance of free races and provides vital air support to the battles to beat back the orcish horde.  The experiences they gather here form the basis of their training for hundreds of years to come.  The fighting is also the first sight of Bigfolk for almost all the Brownies, which could explain some of the later myths of blood-thirstiness.

After the war is won, Greybark signs mutual protection treaties with the leaders of the other races - the first step towards a united Santharia.  However, this does not lead to immediate contact with other races as some hope.  The Llaoihrr have been isolated and in hiding for so long, and the fear of the Outside naturally does not go away overnight.

281 b.S. – The Skydiver Clan is formed

One very good thing which does come out of the war is the skill with birds of prey.  A new Clan, the Skydivers, is formed to build on this expertise and to look after the new mounts.  The Brownies’ eventual aim is to be able to breed the birds, rather than having to capture them from the wild, but this only proves successful with the docile wood owls.

281 b.S.  to  c. 200 a.S. A Look outside the Vale: The Brownie Friendship with the Tenthrum Dwarves (Note that event captions should contain as much information as possible, so that they can be used in other entries, as in this case: the Tenthrum entry, as well. Some other captions here could also be made a bit more generally useable.)

The newly mobile Brownies start to tentatively explore the land around their precious Vale.  The techniques of survival from when they first populated the area are brought back into fashion and updated to work with their new feathered friends.  However, the Brownies who go out pay for it themselves: the Council itself does not prevent them, but neither does it encourage it.  The Praiser Clan, and many other traditionally minded individuals, are certain that the Vale was given to them by the spirits as a refuge, and going outside it will mean a lack of this sacred protection.  They fear a relapse into the legendary harsh years.

One intrepid explorer and Life Mage by the name of RrLL’ah Dwarffriend (a title taken after his achievements) goes down in history as the Brownie to begin the trading links with the Tenthrum Clan.  There are no specific records on how he achieved this, but he is undoubtedly one of the heroes of Llaoihrr wealth.  His granddaughter, Daystar, inherits the old Brownie’s powers of persuasion as well as his wealth and is the catalyst for a highly secret project which allows the two settlements to trade with relative ease.  The races’ strong bonds to both family and clan make it a natural, long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership. 

200 a.S. - Trouble with Kytta’erng

Ah yes, something still missing here...

c. 200 a.S. to c. 700 a.S. – Isolation

This unfortunate brush with humans, the first for many in about 3000 years, confirms all the still-lurking fears about humans.  Exploring outside the safe Vale all but stops, and the idea of trading with other settlements is squashed.  The Brownies turn back to their spirits to try and discover why this eagle spirit allies itself with the humans, but they are not successful.  The populations of both Brownies and their animals grow steadily.

c. 700 a.S. – Reconciliation

Missing as well here...

c. 706 a.S. - Beginning of the Vale Brownie Trade with Kytta’erng

Six years after the two settlements have realised their differences, and trust has grown enough to set up permanent trading.  This is not a popular move, as the scares and rumours from before are still very much a part of their oral culture.  However, the Council Tree is determined to make the new trading links official, rather than leaving them to one individual as with the dwarven trading.  The Eyelian’s farmed food supplies and access to beautiful cloth are two things in particular which tempt the Brownies.   Two new, small clans are formed, the Barterers, who learn Tharian in order to speak with the humans, and the Wheelers, an offshoot of the Hammr’ers who deal with transporting the goods.

843 a.S.  – A Path into the Vale

The Brownies enlist the help of the Tenthrum Clan to make a proper path through the treacherous gorge and into the Vale.  This is partly to encourage the new trade with Kytta’erng, but also to make the entrance easier to defend.  The path is just wide enough for one person or pack animal to pass fairly easily.  Perches carved into the rock make excellent positions from which to fire down on an attacker and shelters mean that the Brownies can keep watch through any weather.  The Brownies are still paying the Tenthrum for the work until 1065 a.S.

1028 a.S. – Cawrr Dragonrider returns to the Vale bringing news of other Brownies

A Brownie who was previously exiled from the Llaoihrr community returns many years later with extraordinary news.  His stories of another colony of Brownies who are managing to live outside the security of the Vale finally break down the arguments of those opposing going outside.  The Council Tree decides to begin using the information from the various adventuring Brownies who have returned from outside to start making contact with others with a view to trading.

1100 a.S. – present – New Trade and New Thinking

The news of other Brownie groups surviving like the Llaoihrr have managed is enough to begin a revolution in thinking.  It is obvious that Brownies can indeed exist and live without the protection of the Vale.  Explorers set out once more to look for friendly settlements and to map the land around their Vale.  The Brownies’ natural inventiveness takes on the challenge, experimenting with ways of travelling across the many furlongs of land.  From this, the Arrowhead Geese Squadron is formed, a group of Skydivers who train and look after a dozen or so of the birds.  These are large enough to carry goods for trade.

Another shock occurs when the Llaoihrr discover the Milken Brownies around 1400 a.S.  This tribe does not and has not worshiped the spirits for hundreds of years, another thing which was considered essential to Brownie survival.  It changes their worship in fairly subtle ways – no longer do the Llaoihrr believe that not paying tribute will lead to disaster and death, but they do still think that the spirits can and do help them with their daily life.  Someone who gives thanks for the gifts around them will receive more in the future.

-------------------------------

A round of applause for Rookie! clap clap clap It took quite a while until you managed to get this entry done, but it shows in every section and until the tiniest history event how thorougly you've elaborated this Place. Marvelous work here that explains a lot about Brownie culture, makes good use of existing stuff and ties things together where possible, establishing new links and generating new ideas to later build on it.

You get my official stamp of approval on this one of course -  and there's no doubt that you've earned your membership badge with honours, Rookie! Fantastic job! thumbup
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« Reply #23 on: 23 September 2008, 20:26:13 »

Woo!  Thankyou once more for the read-through.  I can certainly have it edited and adjusted before saturday even if I have to come into uni to use the internet here.  Can't wait to finally be a member!

Even the bits of history I've copied have been edited slightly in places to add more flavour (hope this is ok), so I'm simply going to mark the copied bits with a colour.  There are two bits from Nsiki's Kytt'erng entry to add in too (where those gaps are) - we worked them out together and they should go in both.  I'll pop them in asap.
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« Reply #24 on: 26 September 2008, 22:32:38 »

Finished!  I discovered some other relevant history about Greybark as I was trying to find where I'd got the other bits from, so I've added that in and adjusted it a little to make sense.
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« Reply #25 on: 26 September 2008, 22:52:49 »

Cool, Rookie :D Now we only need some things to put on your member page!  grin
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« Reply #26 on: 26 September 2008, 22:59:08 »

I'm on it now ;)

Edit: Sent!
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