Gauldowhynna Ethnicity in Cairne | World Anvil


The Elves of Gaul Do Shah Following the Blight, the surrounding lands were hit hard, the once supple elven lands of Gaul Do Shah were taken by a sickness that infected every tree, causing them to wither and die quickly. In a desperate attempt to save themselves, the Elves used the able bodied remaining elves and all the magic they could muster to move their Spirit tree deep underground, knowing that should it die, the elves would be soon to follow. The halflings of Amberhearth and Veddashire who lived on the edges of the forest did everything they could to help, using their agricultural knowledge to assist in moving and crafting underground irrigation and sources of light, but it served only to delay the inevitable. The tree was infected. Between the halfling efforts and the skill of the elves they were able to slow the process to a near stop, but the damage was done, and the elves began to change. It started with little things, temperaments became increasingly hostile and aggressive, and they became suspicious and paranoid. Within a matter of days, things in the caverns beneath the ruined remains of their now dead forest turned for the worst. The elves, now firmly in the grips of madness, the condition of their spirit tree warping their minds, eventually turned on the peaceful halflings that had sought only to help them. The poor souls were slaughtered quickly and without mercy. The elves piled their small bodies high upon the roots of their tree, some form of mass psychosis leading them to believe that the blood and corpses of the elven "enemies", would feed the tree and bring back what they had lost. When this did not happen, the elves began to raid the halfling communities for more sacrifices, and within a short matter of three months, the remaining small folk of those communities were gone, taken or slain in nightly raids. The settlements now lay in ruin at the edge of the wastes, haunted and vacant. As the elves continued to devolve, they became more and more aggressive and territorial, regularly patrolling the wasteland that once was their home and killing any that would dare to trespass there.


Major language groups and dialects

  • Gauldowhynnian

Culture and cultural heritage

The environmental situation of the Wastes has forced them over the many long years to turn to scavenging and even cannibalism to stay alive. They no longer make the distinction when it comes to food and will eat anything or anyone that could provide sustenance. The elven populace, due to the nature of their isolationist way of life, is slowly dying out, as the rarity of a child being born is eclipsed only by the likelihood of the child surviving into adulthood. It is only their excessive lifespan that is keeping the race alive.

Shared customary codes and values

The elves are now a society only in that they inhabit the same general location, and do not kill one another. Gone are the days of skillful arts and fine music, and no longer do they pride themselves on fine wines and unique foods.

Common Etiquette rules

The elves themselves, due to the withering of their tree, reflect this damage through paranoia, psychosis, and neurosis. They are a highly aggressive people, and hold only servitude to their queen of any importance, all else is trivial. They will attack any they see on site in their lands without warning unless instructed by their queen to behave otherwise.

Common Dress code

Clothing is found and no longer made, more often than not torn from the dead and wrapped around exposed areas of skin.

Art & Architecture

The Gauldowhynna live in the ruins and wastes of their homelands, and are primarily active at night, though patrols still persist at all hours. They live in isolated homes made from refuse and broken bits left over from the forest, seldom building anything permanent.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

They do not socialize with one another beyond what is absolutely necessary, and while they do maintain a great degree of intelligence, they are all broken.

Coming of Age Rites

Prior to the Blight, the coming of age ritual among the elves of Gaul Do Shah was a fairly simple yet, elegant affair. Very young elves were brought to a meticulously crafted room, grown rather than built from the ancient and twisted hardwood trees that once filled the lush forests of their domain. The chamber, filled with the various implements of every elven profession, were displayed and arranged upon a large dais in the center, and along the walls of the room as well. The young Gauldowhynnian was then encouraged to choose their path, guided by the remnant memories from their previous incarnations.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Until the Blight, the Gauldowhynna had a unique form of death ritual based on willfully rejoining their souls to their tree. The elves of Gaul Do Shah, being immortal in the face of time, chose this path when they felt their current incarnation had achieved all it could or was intended to do, and saw this as an honorary duty to return their spirits to the tree and further their people by allowing their reincarnation to occur and the race to grow and evolve.     They've since forgotten all of that, though in their madness, some abstract need to continue this is embedded in their distorted but eternal memories. The remaining elves, upon realizing death is upon them, or even upon giving up their hope to continue, still seek out the tree...what remains of it...and offer themselves to be returned to the spiritual rejoining. Sadly, with the state of the tree as it stands, withered and dying, and with the absence of Shah as well, their souls cannot reconnect with their source leaving a mass grave among the gnarled roots of the Spirit Tree, a vain attempt done due to a memory they cannot understand to empower the tree that gives them life.

Historical figures

  • Queen Sharvisal Gwhynndahris


Beauty Ideals

Once the envy of all the lands, the Gauldowhynna elves are a husk of what they once were. As madness descended upon them, they began to devolve into bouts of self harm and mutilation, using ritualistic scarring and obscure and often meaningless tattoos. Clothing is found and no longer made, more often than not torn from the dead and wrapped around exposed areas of skin. Their skin has begun to show the wear, darkening from the once alabaster tones to a more ruddy and tan, and their hair no longer holds any color, growing stark white. They do not tend to care for themselves, leading to either shorn, close cut hair, thick braids, or matted and unkempt "styles''. Their eyes that once held every color of the spectrum, now only range from solid white to red, and all forms of cosmetic enhancement are long forgotten. Madness takes many forms, and there are cases where these standards are broken, but the elves are now wild and feral, and their appearance reflects this.

Articles under Gauldowhynna


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