Etris

Motto:                      None
Coat of Arms:         None (symbols such as trees are sometimes used to represent Etris by outsiders)
Settlement Type:   Sub-continent
Ruler:                       Many and None
Population:             Innumerable

The Savage Land, the Wildling Wood, the Great Land; Etris has many names, as befits its size. The sub-continent of Etris is vast and heavily wooded, a primal forest from when the world was young. Within its borders, the laws of the wild hold sway, red in tooth and claw. Within its deep heart are mysteries as dark as any that ever dwelled within the Empire.

The people of Etris are largely Orcs and Elves, though other peoples are known to inhabit the land.  Some groups are purely composed of one species, while others are mixed, almost to the point of making no distinction as to species.  While each clan, tribe or village has its own tale, there are some common themes.

The Orcs were forced to the very edges of the world when they were cast out of the Empire. Pushed ever further, they settled in the last wilderness, beyond the reaches of Imperial power. The endless forest swallowed up the displaced Orcs, and a thousand Clans, Tribes and Villages sprung up throughout the land..  Arriving in small groups that began to band together to increase their chances of survival, the Orcs slowly grew into the tribes that are seen today. Nomadic at first, following the herds of deer and aurochs on their migratory paths, many tribes still follow this way of life. In the time of the Empire, these nomadic hunters were known as the terror beyond the borders, raiders who were kept at bay by the Imperial Legions.

Since the fall, some have felt safe enough to build settlements, clearing the trees for use as lumber, planting and harvesting crops. Separated by leagues, and a fierce sense of independence, there is no one Orcish nation, but innumerable sovereign dominions.  In recent generations, the settlements have grown, the tribes have flourished. Slowly, but surely, their numbers have grown, the scattered settlements scarce able to hold them. In many places, there are now too many Orcs to live in the way their ancestors have.

To prevent hostilities, and tribes encroaching upon territory claimed by another, any clan leader may call for Conclave, though only if the leader is well-respected or the matter serious enough will others answer that call. A tradition begun by the Elder of the Oak Tribe many years ago, it has strengthened the ties of brotherhood between the tribes, while ensuring each respects the other’s independence. All are welcome at Conclave, as it is a place of peace and wisdom, but only those who earn the respect of their fellows will have a voice.

At the recent Conclave, it was decided that rather than fighting the primal forest, those orc tribes in search of new land should spread out from the forest.  As a result, many find themselves migrating towards the ancestral lands of the dwarves of DolMorgan. There, a clash of cultures has begun, and only time will tell how it ends.

The Wood Elves are those whose ancestors rejected the Eternal Empire, instead preferring a life of exile and simplicity in keeping with the traditions of the distant past.  These Elves live in harmony with the natural world in a way that seems magical to the other peoples of the lands that were the Empire. They do not build, as other people do. They do not harm the wood, but live as part of the cycle of the seasons. In deep Etris there is said to be the wildest of magics; where Elf and Orc alike walk with the elements, and speak with the Spirits.

The Spirits are a fundamental part of life in Etris. Though some of the traditional Gods are revered, many would argue that the Elemental Spirits of the place are the true deities of Etris. Father Storm, Mother Earth, Brother Storm, and a dozen others, these Spirits provide guidance to Orc and Elf alike.  

Etris is unlike other lands in its sheer scale. For all that is known of Etris, there is at least ten times that which is unknown. As word of the outside world, and its happenings, reaches the interior, more and more emissaries from hidden and forgotten lands emerge. Almost anything could dwell within the forest’s heart, and its secrets are only beginning to be revealed.