Aireys

Aireys, also called the tree folk, are horned humanoids native to Skelbakh. They inhabit the forested areas of the continent and worship deities of four elements, especially their mother-goddess, Oana. Aireys live in harmony with the land and respect the nature. Unnecessary violence, destroying nature and wastefull living are despiced among Aireys and they tend to avoid cities and other large man-made structures.

Aireys have the inborn ability to cast spells. Aireys use their spells to aid them in their everyday life. Spells can be used to light a fire, heal wounds, move objects, cook food, enchant materials to become more durable and much more.

Kael is Aireys’ mother tongue, although many also speak, or at least understand English. As a language, Kael is soft and subtle, mirroring Aireys’ lifestyle. The tree folk treasure nature above all and attempt to become one with it. They take what they need and remember to thank the gods for the abundance they give them. Aireys favor natural materials, such as bone, stone, leather and plant fibres, in their tools and homes. Metal is considered evil and Aireys avoid it at all costs. Besides, Aireys don’t feel the need to include metal into their lives. They can enchant wooden cooking bowls to become untouched by fire and bone blades to become deadly and unbreakable.

Aireys and nature

Aireys believe that nature is perfect as it is and there is no need to change it. Therefore, bred animals, such as dogs, are seen as an abominations and Aireys never keep them as pets. Keeping domesticated animals and wild animals as pets is a taboo amongst Aireys. They think that animal should be free in the wild, not chained up to entertain and serve people. However, if a animals domesticates itself (stays with Aireys even when given a chance to return to the wilderness), they are welcome to stay and Aireys care for their companions as if they were part of the community.

Aireys don’t practise agriculture, or keep livestock. They are hunter-gatherers who live in harmony with the changing seasons. During the wet season, Aireys collect food and store majority of it for the dry season. Aireys eat mainly plants and plant parts, like nuts, berries, fruits and root vegetables. Food is ofter preserved by drying. Most commonly used edible plants are: wild turnip (Brassica rapa), wild carrot (Daucus carota), common hazel (Corylus avellana), European  crab apple (Malus sylvestris), willowherb (Chamaenerion angustifolium) and blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillys). Aireys also use many herbs as seasoning and collect seeds from grasses and other plants to make flour.

Hunting and fishing

Usually only one quarter of Aireys’ diet consists on animal produce. Fishing is a relatively easy  way to obtain food and everybody can do it.  Aireys use mainly hook and line to fish, but more experienced fishermen can also use nets and harpoons.

Fishing is considered ordinary, but hunting is different. To Aireys, hunting is one of the most sacred ceremonies in their culture and it is not something everybody can do. Hunters are trained warriors who are taught to respect the game and always shoot to kill quickly. Hunting means killing Oana’s children and therefore is to be taken very seriously. Like always, hunters take only what they and their community need, and every game is given a funeral where its soul is brought back to earth to be reborn. Bow is Aireys’ most sacred weapon and the only weapon used in hunting.

Laws and punishments

Aireys don’t have written rules or laws, but some guidelines are rooted deep within the tree folk. Kindness and generosity is greatly revered and every Airey is expected to help those in need. Respecting the nature and gods is the core of Aireys’ culture and for one to irrevere them would be the greatest insult to the entire community of the tree folk. Aireys despise violence, dishonesty and selfishness. An ideal Airey would be friendly, welcoming, generous, selfless and respectful to the gods and the harmony of nature.

Aireys don’t have a punishment system, since it is very rare to one of their own to do something worth punishing. Usually, when people do something stupid, general disapproval is punishment enough. In very serious cases (murder, blasphemy etc.), Aireys are known to have banished the person in guestion from their community and cast them out of their tribal territories.