HomeTrees, there is nothing more Elven. These enchanted trees are one of the three Keystones of Elventi Society; allowing Elves to live in harmony their beloved forests. Without them, there would be no Elventi Society.
The Eleventi mindset has the Elves as an intricate part of natural order rather than being separate from it. They work with nature, natural elements, and natural forces (such as magic), rather than with seperated materials. They shape rather than build, embed rather than design, harmonize rather than create. That is the Elven way. The Elventi way is best manifested by HomeTrees.
Healers work with animals and their spirits, Casters work with inanimate and their spirits, while Shapers work with plants and their spirits. Shapers make most of the 'Eleventi Artifacts': all the exquisite wooden products grown to need as well as develop HomeTrees for each Eleventi City.
These trees are based upon the trees found in the local forest. They are enhanced in size (increased height and trunk width), shape (wider and longer branches), and vitality (strength of wood, speed of growth, and enhanced longevity), to hold many Elventis. On average a Hometree is three to five levels, with 'rooms' and 'spaces' shaped inside the trunk or carved nitches on the trunks (some of these nitches seem to be shelf mushrooms). There will be huts and patios nestled inside the branches. Various branches will be woven together to make walkways between parts of the tree and between adjacent trees. Each Tree will hold approximately two extended families of Elventi if they are of average size.
The process to create HomeTrees normally takes one tree generation (so from 25 to 200 years). Once completed, Shapers can speed grow a number of trees (though it shortens their end lifespan) to serve as the basis for the city, while others are nurtured to replace them and serve as the city proper. Remember that the Elventi have an innate understanding of patterns found in nature. This gives them a perfect mindset for living moving patterns and long term planning. HomeTrees have a natural lifespan five to ten times longer than their base tree type. Since shapers know the health and lifeforce of each of the HomeTrees, they know when to plant new ones to replace the ones that will be dead or dying in a few decades. (Dying HomeTrees are then shaped and even carved to make general wooden items for the city).
Humans often miss Eleventi Cities. They are embedded into the natural world so that only a keen eye will catch the city (i.e. the HomeTrees and embedded agriculturel they get into the city proper. The population in an Eleventi City is more like a Human Town (and a small one at that). Their numbers are never great and each development carefully planned.
Each Eleventi City has a purpose. Some are for population growth. Some are located for resource reasons. Some are for strategic reasons. Others have more trivial purposes... like waiting for the perfect sunset or maintaining an overlook on old traditional lands. So Shapers will colonize an area first before more elventi migrate there.
Some Examples of HomeTrees are in the Scroll
The Classic HomeTree is based on an Oak. These HomeTrees are grown amongst their normal cousins. This mixing blends them into the landscape, as they are two times taller and five times wider than their unenhanced cousins. These trees will only have three levels normally, with each tree holding three rooms and a few patios.
The HomeTrees hold their leaves longer into the fall and find them again earlier in the winter. When bare, one can see the rooms build out from the trunk, supported by branches. However many Elventi find this unappealling asthetically, so they magic over the intrusion to the sense, making the tree look natural.
Normally oaks do not grown close enough together to touch, the HomeTrees will have branches woven to the HomeTree next to them or to the normal oak between them.
In Anshenestardaywadaden 1927
The HomeTrees are a cross between an Oak Tree and a Redwood. While it is not an evergreen and the leaves will change color in the winter, it will not loose every leaf. Rooms and stairwells are created inside burls inside trees. They look totally organic and grown and are since they are shaped into the tree. Every now and again, branches hold 'tree huts', small huts camoflauged by branches. The huts are used by the young who have not yet earned a more respectable place inside a tree. Trees and places are connected to each other by bridges made out of woven branches. The city is quite new as Elventi places go. It only has four levels of city, including the ground.
In Bayaallatalstonescha 1934
The HomeTrees of the city are enhanced Redwoods and Sequoias. To say they are tall and large does not do them justice. No HomeTrees are larger and thicker in all the Elventi world. While they do not spread out like other home trees, they are quite tall... ten to fifteen levels are quite common, rather than the standard three to six. (That is to say they have ten to fifteen 'floors' where buildings are nestled in their large branches, huts are snugged to the outside bark, and rooms are nestled into the trunk itself, and other tree shaping spaces, including branches that serve as paths, rope pathways, and the occasional stairs).
In Chedru, the Elventi have taken an odd environment and made it their own 1928
Chedru is a city of giant mushrooms and bamboo catwalks over a wide and slow flowing river. The Mushrooms take the place of HomeTrees, mystically shaped trees that serve as Elventi homes. These mushrooms are the size of redwoods and three times their diameter. The Elventi live in and along the stalks of these giant mushrooms. There are rooms carved into stalks and under the caps of these mushrooms. Along the stalks they have made shelves of bamboo. These shelves stick out like a shelf fungus on a tree. Some of these sheves are open air patios, others have grass huts built into them. While there are HearthStones here, they are rare and only used for cooking. It simply is warm enough here to not need home heating. Each extended family has one HomeShroom, and others are used exclusively for storage, craft work, and future considerations. There are 80 HomeShrooms in Chedru.
TwineTrees - Birch
In the newly retaken lands, the Elventi have moved to stake a more formal claim. Though forests were still there, the woods regrew with Birch rather than old Pines and Oaks.
Since Birch are pioneer trees, those that preceed heartier Pines and Oaks, the Shapers took the on the symbology and the available trees. Try as they might, they were unable to garner a single tree that could support anything more than a mere hutchtent. The crew of shapers was stymied. No one approach was giving any results.
Until, someone remembered the old story (myth) of the great twines.
The circle began to work, each planting and growing an enhanced birch. The birches were then shaped in a twist together, creating a twine of birch, thick and strong enough to support a few spaces for a small family (2-4 adults and a child). The twining and twirling motiff was extended into the upper branches, and the greater secondary branches. It was so impressive that all other casters, shapers, and crafters, utilized the twined motiff in everything they did.
After some work, they discovered the appropriate spacing and timing for them. The Twine Birch required constant shaping and monitoring to be support, but they symbolized the new colony well.
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? Responses (7)
Nice.The homes of the Eleves.
Moon- I can read these all day, despite the fact that an elf has not made an appearence in one of my campaigns in ten years. The point is these are 'magical' places (lit. and fig.) and beautiful to imagine, with the help of your words. My fave so far would be musroom/bamboo! where's my favorite tree from childhood? The strong, proud, and resilient white birch :)
do you take requests? :) transport me to an elventri forests based on ferns. Not trees I know, but maybe an outcast society, who have (gasp!) turned their back on wood! oh wait I know, just like giant ferns preceeded actual trees, maybe a travel back in time to an early elventri society!
anyhoo, Im beginning to ramble. These are wonderful!
I will see what I can do about that.
Maybe a pixie fey version of hometrees amongst the ferns.
As for Birch... I just have not been hit by the mood to do another city image with an Elventi city. Once I do that, you will see one.
great! not to stare a gift horse in the mouth, but....How about the Elm? the classic Elm!!. Also Willow trees, in a swampy environment maybe (everything in this village kinda leans over as per willow).
Okay I'll stop, but not before I mention one last tree I'd love to see...drumroll...the Baobab!!
I'm only half-kidding by the way. I WOULD love to see all these entries someday. And I only say this because I know you would do a beautiful rendering of each. You once mentioned that like me your a bit obsess/comp. I just know you'll do these now! just kidding :)
I think I told you I did the Birch, if not... here it is.
Beautiful and useful for detailing Elvenholme. I particularly liked Anshenestardaywadaden and Bayaallatalstonescha. Perhaps some info on what the houses/huts are like?
A great treatment of the elf homes. Some rather long city names:).