The Brownie Rrao-LLaoihrr tribe, known as LLaoihrr or Vale Brownies to other races, lives in the Vale of Brownies, in Santharian province of Sanguia. Diligent and hard-working, they still know how to have fun. They worship the spirits of tree and rock and stream, though not as fervently as their Aohu'o cousins. Best known for their intricate wood-based technology, which though ahead of its time, is often difficult for them to adapt to the needs of other races. They are also the record-keepers and historians of the Brownie race, their language is the closest to the original Browniin. A clan-based society, each clan provides a specific product or service to be traded with the other clans.
Image description. A Brownie of greenbark ethnicity with a birdfeather cloak and blowpipe. Image drawn by Quellion.
Appearance. LLaoihrr individuals are identical in appearance to those of the Memnoor, Aohu'o, and Milken, fitting the general Brownie description. Members of every Brownie ethnic group belong to the LLaoihrr, generally categorized as greenbarks, brownbarks, redbarks, bluebarks, yellowbarks, ebonybarks, greybarks, and birchbarks.
Coat of Arms/Sign. A Cinnibark Pine (representing
the LLaoihrr Council Tree).
Territory. The entire area enclosed by the Vale of Brownies, stretching out between four mountains, named Chieftain, Sorceress, Life, and Death. The Rimmers Ring and Santhala lie just to the east, Wind Bay just to the north, Kor Donion to the west, and the Quallian Forest to the south-west. However, entrance into the Vale of the Brownies is extremely difficult, if not impossible, from any direction other than the west. Through the Gate a deep gorge is twisting for a thousand peds along the course of the stream from the Vale to the outside. This gorge funnels all outside commerce through a narrow, easily defended knife-cut winding through the solid rock of the mountain. In all other locations, except for the south, the valley is bounded by steep mountain slopes and/or cliffs. A mixed forest covers much of the valley, with a thick jungle covering the low southern slopes, eventually becoming inpenetrable, even for Brownies. A deep stream, the Snake River, waters the entire valley, eventually flowing out of the valley through the gate. This stream has two tributaries, one of which flows out of the southern jungle, the other of which flows from the Bottomless Lake, at the base of Life Mountain, fed by the Diamond Falls.
People. LLaoihrr tend to be more serious in outlook (for Brownies) than their Aohu'o cousins, quite scholarly, and are the guardians of the written history of the Brownies of Caelereth, as well as many other written works, from many of the other races of Caelereth. As a whole, they are quite inventive, and produce an endless stream of gadgets. They are moderately religious, mainly believing in spirits of rocks, trees, and mountains that need to be appeased (see Brownie beliefs).
Each LLaoihrr child is trained to survive, to hunt, and to read and write before reaching the Age of Choosing at 15. LLaoihrr children manage to learn the skills needed by their parents' clans to varying degrees as well. Further training is done once one has joined a clan, and traditionally this apprenticeship lasts for 15 years. By the end of this time, he or she will be expert in the skills that need to be utilized for the performance of the duties to the clan.
Magical special abilities
Being able to do things using lifemagic is also particular to Brownies. Most can only do the simplest spells, but the Redbarks, with their greater affinity to the lifeforce of living things, with training can become quite adept. Alas, the secrets of many of the most powerful spells have been lost forever - lost since the fall of Birn. Lifemagic is unique in that it does not drain the user, rather, it drains the life force from a nearby living thing. Lifemagic spells can only be cast on living things. If a single Redbark is not powerful enough to acheive the range that she desires on the particular spell she is casting, she can join with other Redbarks to add their maximum ranges together, with no limit to how many Redbarks can participate in this way.
Housing. LLaoihrr houses are well-built treehouses generally made with twigs and leaves, and used for a single family. They consist of a large main room, used for everything but cooking and sleeping. Smaller, low-ceilinged rooms are attached to the main room as needed for kichen or bedrooms. Sleeping is done on woven mats. The door to the outside is also quite low, perhaps 2/3 of an average Brownie's height (in order to keep out the weather) and is just a hole in the wall. A thousand LLaoihrr can live in a single tree.
Clothing. Both men and women dress primarily in mouseskin, though leaves, bark, or feathers are also worn at times. Because of the average Brownie's extremely active lifestyle, and parts of the valley being chilly year-round, rough tunics and pants, and low mouseleather boots are almost universal among LLaoihrr. A belt with multiple pouches is often worn, and a hunting/writing knife or two are generally to be found slipped into a boot.
The main food of the LLaoihrr is a
nutritious bread. Greenbark
moss is harvested from certain types of trees in
parts of the valley. They then dry it, grind it,
mix it with water and fermented
fruit, then bake it into bread. The
LLaoihrr have not lost the joy of hunting, however, and thus retain quite a
varied diet. Many types of wild animals, birds, and fish are hunted and eaten,
usually after having been roasted over a bonfire. Mice are also eaten, as they
are raised for their meat and skins in great numbers. Various types of fruits,
nuts, and herbs are also gathered wild.
Weapons. LLaoihrr weapons are adapted for hunting, whether of food animals, predators, or enemies in battle. The most common weapons used are the bow, the blowpipe, the sling-shot and the knife. Using bows and arrows is a skill that the Brownie people learned from observing elves before the Brownies began migrating and dividing into their tribes, in the time of Keekoo the Deliverer.
Image description. A Vale Brownie Hunter with a sling-shot used to hunt down beetles. Image by Quellion.
While human children often use sling-shots as toys, a sling-shot is a serious weapon for Brownies averaging only 1 1/2 palmspans. They are often used in combination with Hunting Knives to hunt down beetles.
Bows may be a tenth of a ped or longer, and are hand-carved from carefully selected and cut pieces of wood. Arrows are generally poisoned, killing the prey or merely rendering it senseless depending on which poison is used, allowing LLaoihrr to take on prey many times larger than themselves. They have a maximum range of perhaps 25 peds.
Blowpipes were invented in the same time frame that Brownies were first beginning to use bows, and are compact, easy to store and carry, and simple in form, being merely a hollowed-out straight twig. Poisoned darts are also used with blowpipes. The blowpipe range is generally considered to be 12 peds.
Hunting Knives are more common then any other weapon, as they are used for so many things, from skinning and gutting prey, to writing a message to someone, to being an aid in climbing, to being a last desperate weapon of defence. Made from rarely-used iron, they are never thrown. These knives are a univesal tool, and are used as if they were an extension of a LLaoihrr's hand.
Occupations. The vast majority of adult LLaoihrr (over the age of 15) are members of a clan, of which there are several hundred. Each clan is mainly self-sufficient, but also specializes in providing specific goods or services to the other clans through a trading network. The clans are not static, but grow or shrink, form and dissolve according to the needs of the Vale economy as a whole, as determined by the law of supply and demand. Children help in their parents' clans until they reach the Age of Choosing at 15, at which time they will have the option of joining either their parents' clan or a different clan, with acceptance to the clan based on personal merit.
Picture description. The steed of the Brownie general Greybark Ferretmaster, the snow owl Ookpik. Image by Quellion.
Government. LLaoihrr live in a clan-based society. Questions that
only affect one clan are generally decided within the clan, and outside interference
is generally not tolerated. A clan might have anywhere for a few hundred to
a few thousand individuals. Most clans are governed by a clan council, comprising
the most talented and experienced individuals in the clan specialty. The council
of all the clans acts as a go-between for matters that affect more than one
clan, and also makes decisions affecting all LLaoihrr, and meets year-round
at the Tree Circle around the Council Tree, a magically grown, heavily populated,
oversize Cinnabark Pine.
Production/Trade. LLaoihrr technology, based on wood, is among the most advanced to be found anywhere in Caelereth, and are a consistant source of somewhat useful gadgets such as artificial wings, catapults, and back-massage chairs. A few of these have been adapted for other races' use, mainly in Kor Donion. Being made out of pieces of bark, as the legend has it, Brownies are naturally adept at finding medicinal and other uses for pollen, leaves, sap, and other plant parts. These plant components are used in trade with nearby elven and human populations.
Natural Resources. Mainly unknown. LLaoihrr do not mine or otherwise exploit their non-living resources. The central part of the valley consists of a mixed forest, with a large stream flowing through with two main tributaries. The southern portion of the valley thickens into a jungle because of greater rainfall, eventually becoming impenetrable even for Brownie-sized individuals to the far south. Mice are domesticated for the meat and fur, along with a number of plants and sessile animals.
Holidays, Festivals and Observances. The main festivals celebrated are Keekoo's Day and Greybark's Day. All-Spirits Day and Aheh's Day are also relatively important to the LLaoihrr.
History. Greybark, founder of the flying militia, is probably the the most famous LLaoihrr. Research is underway to reconstruct the details of his life.
The Council Tree was grown by redbark Lifenagic adepts early in LLaoihrr
history. It and the clearing around it are home to half of the population of the valley, and serves as its
"The Vale of Brownies", composed and performed by
Format: MP3, Length: 3:58, Exclusively composed for the Santharian Dream.
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Information provided by Greybark