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Foyii / Woodsmen ([fɔɪi] / [wʊdʒmen])

The Foyii (also known as the Woodsmen) were evolved descendants of Paràntii ancestor who lived in, nurtured and defended the The Forest of Doon. With superior agility and vision to rival even the Kyadii, they could swing from tree-to-tree even on the weakest branches and that with near-silence.  

The Two Clans

Although it led to no cultural or societal division, the Woodsmen within The Forest of Doon were, in fact, divided into two people-groups. In Foyiitùn, the two clans were the Foyverii and the Foyruszii.  

Foyverii (Pronounced Foy-vair-ee)

Those “green-leaved people” were, for the want of a better word, “pure Woodsmen” - descendents of two Woodsmen parents. Spiritually sensitive, they revered Erdé and all that sprung from it. Such was their affinity to Erdé, that they attributed spirits, or souls, to most plants, especially trees. Whenever trees needed to be felled, a ceremony would take place with the Elder and Seers, where they “released” the spirit back into the Air before cutting the trees. To not carry this out was believed to cause physical pain to the trees and destabilise the Elements.    

Foyruszii (Pronounced Foy-roosh-ee)

These are “red-leaved people” and were mostly those descended from mixed marriages and partnerships between Foyverii and Paràntii. They carry extra sorrow from the deaths of the Gem Rush and therefore have a strong affinity with the Ghastrusz (an archaic Foyiitùn word to mean "The spirit of the Red Leaf"). While their armour was in all other aspects similar to the Foyverii, they utilised red leaves instead of the traditional green ones.   Because of their own historical scars, Foyruszii were more aggressive than their Foyverii counterparts. For this reason they were usually the frontline defenders against aggressors, but were also not welcomed on hunting trips when a Gathering was needed, as they did not honour the animals as much as the Foyverii would have liked.   Together the two ‘tribes’ formed a symbiotic relationship: the Foyverii would house and feed the Foyruszii while the latter protected and defended the former. Foyruszii were generally physically stronger, but less able to move as silently. This extra strength gained them honour in war (where war was forced upon them) and in physical construction of their homes.   The characters Lyssah (of the Foyverii) and Calledth (of the Foyruszii) are key Foyii characters within the Chronicles of Qal'ath.

Was There One Term for All Woodsmen?

Yes, although this was not used between the tribes. They were simply “Foyii” - the “Leaf People” in Foyiitùn.  

Foyii Not in The Forest of Doon

Woodsmen could be found in various pockets, both in the regions around Qal'ath and The Forest of Doon but also further afield across Erdàn Savànii.

Foyblànii

The "White Leaves" lived East of Frostplain in the very North of the Known Lands in the self-named Bruhaii Foyblànii. This blanched wood was very alive, despite appearing dead to anyone brave or careless enough to stumble that far North. Guarded by the Daìn da Vyt, a sacred set of six tall mountain-like peaks, the Foyblànii had a more spiritual nature than those within the The Forest of Doon. But they were known of by the Foyverii and Foyruszii as distant relatives, but only a genuine emergency or disruption of Element Earth, would either group travel to the other's homes.  

Foyi Camps

Within the region of "Qal'ath ikà Doon" (which geographically included The Verdant Hills - Bevérohii, even though diplomatically independent), there were various Foyii camps or hamlets.
  • Vévé-Rusz: the nearest village of the The Verdant Hills - Bevérohii was Vévé-Rusz. This was a hamlet of sorts, with homes made of tied branches or similar that could be easily rebuilt after high winds. It was a small community of both Foyverii and Foyruszii that served as a liaison between the Foyii / Woodsmen and the Elelupii.
  • Yi-Foyverii: This tiny wood had no name, officially, so became simply known as "Here are the Green-Leaves". It was close to the Hillsworn Fort and on the North-East corner of Tolmyr Sands. The purpose of this camp was
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    to keep watch over anyone wrongly exiled from Qal'ath and help them find a path to safety.
  • Inimàr: White technically part of The Forest of Doon, Inimàr was geologically separated from it by the Aszilousii River to the West and the high cliffs to the North. Its name means "the watching of friends" - a dual meaning of "we watch over our friends" and "we are friends who watch". It is the farthest East location for the Foyii to be permanently based, so became an intelligence watch-post as they looked South, and a guardpost at the base of the cliff North, cliffs that protected Elorah (more to follow about the references not linked here).
  • Byanté Territory: The lands Erdàn Blànvyta are home to the Byanté Alliance. Foyii / Woodsmen from birth and those who adopted their style of culture were found in the multi-nation Alliance.

Common Traits

Woodsmen commonly lived to be over one hundred and fifty years, retaining their vigour until their last decade or two. This figure had been higher but the Woodsmen believe the shrinking of the Forest, along with marriages with Paràntii, had shortened their life expectancy. Having originally evolved from the Paràntii, marriages to them were seen as "backwards steps". Thus the length of their lives depends greatly on their parents and the health and size of the Forest itself.   Both peoples were highly spiritually sensitive and they would journey together on the annual Pilgrimages, which could be in various locations around the Erdàn Savànii where other Foyii could be found.   The Woodsmen were a tall, slender people with enhanced vision compared to, say, the Paràntii. Over centuries of hunting experience, that vision developed to be even better at night.   Aside from a common desire to honour Element Erdé, they honoured Unity and Truth. A Woodsmen (and women, but see below on terminology) was a person of their word in all things. They acknowledged that universal ‘Unity’ was unachievable but that did not stop them striving for it anyway. And Unity under the roof of the Forest was of utmost importance.   While protected by Element Erdé, the Foyii did not feel the cold as acutely as other people groups and increased exposure did not pose a risk to their health.  
 

Woodsmen and Genders

It must be stressed that “Woodsmen” was never how they referred to themselves, except when speaking to outsiders - and never inferred a specific gender to them. The name had developed out of a preconception that the males were dominant in their society, but nothing could be further from the Truth. Unity “under the roof” also meant between the sexes - females could be warriors, hunters, crafts folk and cooks and stay-at-home parents. The same was true of males.  

Why Not Correct “Woodsmen”?

As camouflage and stealth were required to defend the Forest, surprise was a key strategy to achieving that goal. Thus if an enemy were suddenly faced with a fierce female Warrior, that had often given the split-second advantage needed to overcome the foe. To maintain this advantage, the Woodsmen only sent males as emissaries or to negotiate terms with any foes in war.
 

Homes of the Foyii

As the life of an individual Foya was spent outdoors hunting or patrolling, physical homes were not required until expecting offspring. They would sleep under woven tents, or often under hand-sewn blankets wherever their day in the Forest ended. As the edges of the Forest were protected by scouts, they would also sleep on the small wooden platforms high in the branches of the wood. In order to remain as hidden as possible, these platforms were tiny and made for uncomfortable beds, but did ensure they did not sleep too deeply when supposed to be on guard duty.   That changed if a couple were expecting a child, when a wooden home would be constructed as a layer of physical defence for the baby. A common "village" could be found in West Doon allowing parents (which may or may not be the mother, see below) of children to support each other.   Before the birth of a child the couple, usually in consultation with the Elder or one of the Seers, would decide on which of the parents would stay home to look after the new offspring and who would continue to serve the tribe. Some parents worked in shifts in order not to stifle the freedom and skills of the other. Often, however, it was the male partners who stayed home for much of each day, only venturing out when their partner returned fresh enough to pick up the duty.
 

The Language of the Woodsmen

While historically the Woodsmen only spoke Foyiitùn, they could not be kept secluded from other nations and languages. Thus they often spoke in Common Tongue/Parànti, even between themselves. Since the failed Foyiitùn Language Ban Edict of King Carnael II, any skirmishes or conflicts the Foyii encountered proved an opportunity to communicate tactics via Foyiitùn, knowing the high probability that the enemy would not understand.  

Communicating With Nature

Nearly all Foyii could understand the languages of animals, especially birds. The Aszilmìsii the Bluebird Messengers, historically proved helpful for communication and defence of the Forest. Were Doon to be threatened again, the Chief would almost certainly enlist their aid once more.
Diverged ethnicities
Related Organizations
Related Myths
Languages spoken

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