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Valenwood
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For the province in The Elder Scrolls Online, see Valenwood (Online).

Valenwood is a south-western region of the Empire of Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls, and home to the Wood Elves.

GeographyEdit

Valenwood is one of the smaller provinces of Tamriel, it has an area of roughly 61,300 sq. miles and is a largely uninhabited forest wilderness. The coasts of Valenwood are dominated by mangrove swamps and sub-tropical rain forests, while heavy rainfalls nurture the temperate inland rain forests. The Bosmer live in clanhouses at sites scattered along the coast and through the interior, connected only by undeveloped foot trails. The few Imperial roads traverse vast dense woodlands, studded with tiny, widely separated settlements, and carry little trade or traffic of any kind[1]. Furthermore, the nation is home to giant, migratory trees, such as Falinesti, that house their cities.

Much of the region is impenetrable mangrove and coastal rain forest, with few grasslands or glade areas until further north near the Strident Coast. It is "a sea of endless green, a maze of foliage with half-hidden cities growing like blooms from a flower", and "the home of the Bosmer is Tamriel's garden" [2] Domica Redwort is a herb grown by many residents of Valenwood for their beautiful and showy flowers. They attain a height of about three feet and have feathery leaves; the flowers are usually bright red. In addition to their beauty, they are said to have magical abilities to enhance the appearance of anyone who carries or wears one of the flowers. [3]

HistoryEdit

Valenwood was claimed as a wasteland province of the Second Empire[4], and its geography is partially described in several Imperial surveys. Valenwood is noteworthy in that it has no cities or townships built by the Wood Elves themselves. [4] The Wood Elves permitted a few roads to be built by the Second Empire[4], but neglect their maintenance, as the Bosmer do not need roads to move easily through the thickest forest. [4] These roads would be now overgrown were it not for the High Elves of the Thalmor, who have repaired and widened them for rapid passage of their arms to and from the coast. [4]

First EraEdit

The first Era was founded after King Eplear, a Bosmer, and founder of the Camoran Dynasty, began his rule. [2] Soon after this founding, the Bosmeri began to change, to suit the environments of the forest in which they lived. In return for the patronage of Y'ffre, the Forest God (either one of the old ancestor spirits or an aspect of the true pantheon), they swore never to kill, injure, or eat any of the vegetation of the new home, which became known as the Green Pact. [2] The Bosmeri unity should be considered an important military feat in itself, as Eplear managed to unify the disparate groups into a unified group. [2] In 1E 340, the Camoran Dynasty formed a trade pact with the human slave rebels of the Alessian Order.[2] This they then were forced to undo in 1E 369, with one of the Great Hunts killing king Borgas of Skyrim[2], who was planning on declaring war on the Bosmer[2]. Valenwood was able to maintain its independence for the majority of the First Era[2]. It was only in 1E 2714, after unrelenting warfare from the Cyrodiils and Colovia combined, coupled with the devastating effects of the Thrassian Plague, that finally brought the Camoran Dynasty into the Reman Empire. [2] Reman then ensured that Valenwood would not be a threat to the Second Empire by raising the cities of Falinesti, Silvenar, Haven, Archen, Eldenroot, and Woodhearth from local trading posts to full-fledged powers in their own right. [2] Falinesti is today considered the capital of the Bosmer, and it is not currently known what it was prior to this.

Second EraEdit

After the fall of the Second Empire in 2E 430, the Camorans tried to unify themselves once more under the one banner, however, they had drifted too far apart culturally. [2] They then began to war with one another, the Khajiit to the east, and the Colovians to the north. [2] As they were disunified, they offered no resistance to the encroachments made by the Maormer of Pyandonea[2].

Human settlementsEdit

The majority of human outposts built during the time of the Second Empire have been abandoned during the Interregnum[4], and have been reclaimed instead by "beastfolk" such as Centaurs, Orcs, and Imga - that share the forests with the Bosmer tribes[4]. Humans, in general, have learned not to intrude in the forests of Valenwood. [4] While they once depended entirely on the annual Stridmeet caravans of the Colovian West[4], the Wood Elves now rely entirely on the sea power of the Aldmeri Dominion for whatever they require from the outside world (As of 864, Second Era) [4]

For a brief period of time, the Colovian armies used Bosmer Archers, such as in the War of Rihad in 2E 862[4], however they were highly undisciplined and prone to desertion to be of significant use. [4] They are quite adept at sneaking, and one of their most famous poems, the Meh Ayledion literally means The One Thousand Benefits of Hiding. [4] They are recorded as having been involved in the War of the Red Diamond [5], along with the provinces of Hammerfell, Summerset Isle, Elsweyr, Black Marsh, and Skyrim [5] and although it is not explicitly mentioned which side they fought on, it is likely that they went to the aid of Emperor Cephorus Septim I. However, the war itself left Valenwood unscathed. [2]

Aldmeri DominionEdit

Valenwood also became part of the Aldmeri Dominion, a coalition of the Altmer and Bosmer that was considered to be the most stable empire in Tamriel [2], and they ruled until the armies of Tiber Septim wiped them out. [2]

Third EraEdit

After conquering Valenwood, Tiber Septim wisely decided to let the Bosmeri retain some symbols of its independence, so as to limit dissension.[2] Thus, they allowed the creation of local chiefs and the Camoran Kings to remain[2]

Camoran UsurperEdit

Also known as Haymon Camoran, Hart-King, and Camoran Hart-King [6], the Camoran Usurper began his deadly attacks on Valenwood in 3E 249 [2][7] [8]. Two years later, in 3E 251, the Camoran Usurper had conquered all of Valenwood [6], and began his fateful march northwards before eventually getting defeated at the Battle of Firewaves by Baron Othrok of Dwynnen in 3E 267. [2][9][10]

Five Year WarEdit

Main article: Five Year War

The Five Year War, lasting, as it did, from 3E 395 until its conclusion in 3E 399, was a serious conflict between Elsweyr and Valenwood.[2] More details are available on the main article of this War.

War of the Blue DivideEdit

Main article: War of the Blue Divide
  • The War of the Blue Divide was a war between the Altmer of Summerset Isles and those of the Bosmer of Valenwood.[2] More details are available on the main page.

Other changesEdit

At the close of the Third Era (as at 3E 432, anyway), significant changes were occurring in Valenwood. The Wild Hunt had been sighted again for the first time in "over 500 years". [2] The "Walking City" of Falinesti has taken root for the first time in recorded history, [2] and there is a new Bosmer prophet, the Precursor[2], preaching that the old Forest God Y'ffre is returning with new gifts for his favored people. Whether these are isolated events, or signs of some great change coming to Valenwood, remains to be seen.[2]

Fourth EraEdit

Seeking to recreate the First Aldmeri Dominion, the Thalmor expanded their power into the provinces of Valenwood, Elsweyr, and briefly into Cyrodiil and Hammerfell. Following the consolidation of Valenwood and the Summerset Isles into the Third Aldmeri Dominion, the Dominion began a policy of expanding Aldmeri influence and power across Tamriel at the expense of the Mede Empire of Cyrodiil. The Aldmeri Dominion first expanded into Elsweyr, adding the Khajiiti kingdoms of Anequina and Pelletine as its client states. However, this expansion caught the attention of the Mede Empire, which began a rivalry between the Dominion and the Empire that would ultimately lead up to the Great War, a devastating war fought between the Dominion and Empire. Following the Great War, the Aldmeri Dominion experienced increased prestige and power that the Mer had not possessed since the Second Aldmeri Dominion, which had been defeated by Tiber Septim in the final years of the Second Era. Confident of its ability to defeat the Empire, the Dominion further expanded its influence into the other provinces of Tamriel. It also reestablished diplomatic relations with the Empire, even though they were still engaged in a cold war. Rumors now hold that the Aldmeri Dominion are 'cleansing' Valenwood, this has lead to Bosmer such as Malborn, a Wood-Elf in Skyrim who's family were murdered in such an event, to begin to work against them.

PeopleEdit

The BosmerEdit

Main article: Bosmer
Bosmer (Skyrim)
The Bosmeri people.
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The Bosmer are the major species in Valenwood. Their strict "Green Pact" prohibits the use of wood or other vegetable derivatives as building materials. [4] This pact also has other such rules as that a fallen enemy must be completely consumed before three days pass [4]. They also cannot smoke anything of a vegetable nature. Bone pipes are common, however, and are filled with caterpillars or tree grubs. [4] They also have a deep-seated fear of Necromancy [11]

The ImgaEdit

Main article: Imga
Imga
The Imga.
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The Great Apes, or Imga, are native beastfolk of Valenwood. They see the High Elves as their lords and masters, and as a portrait of an ideal, civilized society. Great Apes go to desperate measures to emulate the High Elves: they wear capes, practice with the dueling sword, and attempt to speak with perfect enunciation and courtly manners despite their gravelly, baritone voices. Each Imga bears some kind of title, be it Baron, Duke, Earl, or the like, which they use when addressing the members of the Thalmor (needless to say, there are no landowning Great Apes). More extreme Great Apes shave their bodies and powder their skin white to seem more like the High Elves. They often cut themselves in the process, creating the truly pathetic picture of a naked white Ape, skin dotted pink with blood, strutting around the trading posts of Valenwood with mock nobility. The Imga feel that humans are beneath them as lesser beastfolk, and pretend to find their smell exceedingly offensive - a Great Ape holds a perfumed corner of his cape to his nose when Men are around. [12]

Oreyn BearclawEdit

Oreyn Bearclaw was one of Valenwood's most legendary heroes. [13]. He was the son of king Faume Toad-Eye, and was a respected clan hunter, as well as a future leader. [13] Legend claims that he single-handedly defeated the Glenhwyfaunva[13], the witch-serpent of Elderwood, forever bringing peace to his clan. He would accomplish numerous other deeds, before eventually losing his life to the Khnaheten Flu. [13]

ReligionEdit

The major deity that the Bosmer worship is Y'ffre [14] The Bosmer pantheon is listed by this same book as follows: Auri-El, Y'ffre, Arkay, Z'en, Xarxes, Baan Dar, Mara, Stendarr, Lorkhan, Herma-Mora, Jone, Jode. [14] The Bosmer also worship a god called Ius. [15]

Y'ffreEdit

Y'ffre (God of the Forest and Song, known as Jephre in the Aldmeri Pantheon): Most important deity of the Bosmeri pantheon. While Auri-El Time Dragon might be the king of the gods, the Bosmer revere Y'ffre as the spirit of 'the now'. According to the Wood Elves, after the creation of the mortal plane everything was in chaos. The first mortals were turning into plants and animals and back again. Then Y'ffre transformed himself into the first of the Ehlnofey, or 'Earth Bones'. After these laws of nature were established, mortals had a semblance of safety in the new world, because they could finally understand it. Y'ffre is sometimes called the Storyteller, for the lessons he taught the first Bosmer. Some Bosmer still possess the knowledge of the chaos times, which they can use to great effect (the Wild Hunt). [14]

Auri-ElEdit

Auri-El (King of the Aldmer): The Elven Akatosh is Auri-El. Auri-El is the soul of Anui-El, who, in turn, is the soul of Anu the Everything. He is the chief of most Aldmeri pantheons. Most Altmeri and Bosmeri claim direct descent from Auri-El. In his only known moment of weakness, he agreed to take his part in the creation of the mortal plane, that act which forever sundered the Elves from the spirit worlds of eternity. To make up for it, Auri-El led the original Aldmer against the armies of Lorkhan in mythic times, vanquishing that tyrant and establishing the first kingdoms of the Altmer, Atmora Old Ehlnofey. He then ascended to heaven in full observance of his followers so that they might learn the steps needed to escape the mortal plane [14]

Z'enEdit

Z'en (God of Toil): Bosmeri god of payment in kind. Studies indicate origins in both Argonian and Akaviri mythologies, perhaps introduced into Valenwood by Kothringi sailors. Ostensibly an agriculture deity, Z'en sometimes proves to be an entity of a much higher cosmic order. His worship died out shortly after the Knhaten Flu. [14]. He is linked to the Aedra Zenithar [14]

LusEdit

Ius is a god depicted in statues throughout Valenwood, Hammerfell and Elsweyr, depicting a misshapen humanoid carrying a rod. [15]

Notable placesEdit

FalinestiEdit

Main article: Falinesti

The walking city of the Bosmer king, Falinesti is south in the summer and north come Hearth Fire. It is the largest of Valenwood graht-oaks, whose magic was invoked at the dawn of recorded history. The Camaron throne is somewhere in the highest branches, as are numerous other natural dwellings. Wood Elves climb about its surface like termites, or carefully swing from level to level by means of thorny vines. Humans have generally been too unsettled by the city to stay there long, though Great Apes (Imga) and Orcs are common.

Eric of Guis stayed in this capital city during its summer migration[4], and had this to say about it: No less abhorrent are the Bosmer than their kin at Summerset, but they are far more cooperative. The Wood Elves love the current human activity because it makes them feel important. [4]

See alsoEdit

  1. Bosmer
  2. Imga
  3. Wild Hunt
  4. Camoran Usurper
  5. Five Year War
  6. War of the Blue Divide
  7. Aldmeri Dominion
  8. Green Pact
  9. A Dance in the Fire

TriviaEdit

AppearancesEdit

Other ProvincesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Provinces of Tamriel
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Valenwood
  3. Special Flora of Tamriel
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Aldmeri Dominion
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brief History of the Empire, v 2
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Refugees
  7. Brief History of the Empire, v 3
  8. Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Eras
  9. The Fall of the Usurper
  10. Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: High Rock
  11. Corpse Preparation, Book I
  12. Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Aldmeri Dominion
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Tamrielic Lore
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Varieties of Faith in the Empire
  15. 15.0 15.1 Ius, Animal God
  16. The ELder Scrolls Online Interactive Map of Tamriel
  17. Beggar Prince
  18. Words and Philosophy
  19. The Asylum Ball

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