March 8, 2010

Sage Trees

Tales of the sage trees are shared with the young as they first learn to walk; trees that stretch to the clouds, hundreds of feet tall with boles larger than a house and branches thicker than elf is tall. Sage trees are sacred to the elves. It is believed that elves possessed of great magic or spiritual enlightenment can merge consciousness with a sage tree and learn the secrets of the forest in which it grows. With proper magical guidance, a sage tree can shroud the nearby land in protective wards or stimulate growth in its flora.

Tribe elders speak of antiquity when the elves, then a single tribe named Ilduri, emigrated to the Bitter Sea region. The Ilduri carried with them seedlings of the sage trees, which they planted upon arrival. However, after a generation of tending, only a small handful of the sprouts had grown into healthy saplings; the combined magic of the Ilduri could not foster their growth.

The Ilduri splintered into smaller settlements dedicated to the tending of those groves that survived transplantation, commonly believed to be the source of the many small tribes that now speckle the Bitter Sea region. Only eleven of the imported sage trees are known to have reached maturity, of those two were destroyed. The remaining giants serve as the spiritual and physical centers of tribal life for the fractured Ilduri. The ancient plants can only be killed, they do not die of natural causes.

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