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 The Woodlings

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PostSubject: The Woodlings   Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:41 pm

Woodlings



Overview:

It is said that Elves are creatures of the forest, but Woodlings are creatures that truly are the forest. The Woodlings are a rare and mysterious race that are born of the forest itself. These ancient creatures have existed in one form or another for as long as plants have thrived on Terra's surface. They are mostly found hidden away deep in old growth forests, existing separate from the human world, which is the anathema of nature. Being Children of Terra, the Woodlings have ties and dealings with other Fey races that revere nature, and accept the authority of the Fey Courts commonly considering themselves as members of the Light Court.

Woodlings begin their existence as intangible tree spirits that are called Kodama. Kodama are short bipedal spirits that range in size from six to twelve inches tall. Their small bodies are dominated by disproportionately large gourd shaped heads that rattle when shaken as a warning to creatures who stray too close to them or their trees. Groups of Kodama are bound to old growth trees, living within their trunks, and caring for the great plants that give them shelter. If the tree that they are bound to should be cut down, the Kodama will soon wither and fade away. Should they and their tree survive the three to seven years that it takes for them to reach maturity the Kodama will leave its tree and go to ground. From its head grows a sapling that quickly matures into its next life stage.

The sapling that grows from the Kodama quickly matures into a humanoid shaped body. All though it resembles the bipedal shape of a human the similarities end there. Its skin is wood with a healthy grain that has been burnished to a lustrous glow. The colors and hues of the wood are as varied as the different types of trees that exist in nature. Instead of hair they have fine vines or leaves that vary in shades of green from emerald to almost black. Their eyes shine like tree sap that has been hardened and polished to a gemlike shine. At this stage in a Woodling's life they exhibit gender characteristics that other races would recognize as male and female. The females of the species are called Dryads while the males are called Briars.

In this state the Woodlings have a spoken language and their own society. Woodling society is unlike the societies of other Fey races. They do not congregate in large numbers, but instead live in small collections called Thickets that radiate out from the tree that sheltered them as Kodama even though they are not bound to it for survival. They protect and nurture the tree that gave them life as well as the surrounding lands. As they mature the Woodlings will travel farther and farther away from their life spring to explore the forest, and possibly venture out into the surrounding world. While this has become rare in recent centuries because of the war and the state of the planet, history holds tales of Woodlings venturing across the world to find other forests to dwell in. These tales also tell of the great bounty and fertility that come to the land in the wake of a Woodling's passing.

Woodlings are a long lived race, but the time they spend in the life stage of a Dryad or Briar is roughly equivalent to the life span of a human. After a time, their bodies grow hard and gnarled with age, and soon force them to enter the final stage of their lives. Although forced to do so when their physical bodies can no longer sustain them, Woodling can chose to begin the final stage when they feel their time has come. Whether driven by desire or necessity, a Woodling will at some point in their life, find a tree and create a personal bond with it. Once bonded to a tree, the Woodling will remain near, and over time nurture the tree and its surrounding lands to grow strong and fertile. It will also fiercely protect its tree and patch of land against any and all intruders that would do arm to it. This process can take years, but when it is complete, the Woodling's body withers away to fertilize the land, while its spirit joins with the tree it bonded with.

After making the ultimate bond and becoming one with the tree and land, the tree and surrounding lands become fertile and bloom with legendary beauty. The Woodling in essences to become a Great Forest Spirit, and their life force grows more powerful over time, reaching farther out into the surround lands, nurturing all life. In time the tree that grows at the hidden center of these great forests, the tree that the Woodling originally merged with to become a life spring for the land, will bring forth new life of its own. From its trunk, branches, and leaves emerge Kodama to begin the life cycle anew.


Racial Abilities:

As Kodama Woodlings are completely harmless and lack the ability to impact the physical world save for nurturing plant life with their presence. In their final life stage as Great Forest Spirits, Woodlings are extremely powerful, but take no interest in the outside world apart from nurturing the forest, and guiding its children. Great Forrest Spirits rely on their children the Dryad and Briar for protection, and accept their fate as the will of Terra. It is in their Dryad and Briar life stages that Woodlings possess the greatest ability to impact the physical world.

Physical Attributes: Woodlings possess physical strength, speed, and agility that is on par with that of a human being or an Elf. Because they are plant life, Woodlings are very susceptible to fire and easily damaged by it. Being plant based they are also resistant to poisons that affect animal life, but affected by chemicals that would adversely affect plants.

Growth of Plant: A Woodling is innately a magical creature and its very presence has an effect on the land. Plant life is generally healthier when a Woodling is near it, and should a Woodling remain in one spot for an extended period of time, the land would naturally become more fertile. In times of need, a Woodling can focus this ability and accelerate the growth and maturation of plant life, but the process is extremely taxing on the land in which these plants grow. For example: If a Woodling were to stay at a farm for a time, the crop would be bountiful with no ill effect to the land. If that same Woodling were to force the crops to grow to maturation immediately, the ground would become fallow and be unable to support a crop the following year. In times of great need a Woodling could cause a small amount of plant life to burst to life and grow according to its whim by utilizing its own life force. In such cases, the more a Woodling accelerates plant growth, the more taxing it is on them.

Pass Plant: Being magical creatures that were born of the forest allows them to become one with it for a number of reasons, travel being one of them. Any Woodling can merge its body with a large enough plant (tree, bush, or area of ivy that is of equal size or larger than the Woodlings body), travel along its root system and any root systems touching it, and emerge from any large enough plant an instant later. While a Woodling can be seen merging into one plant and almost instantly emerging from another plant elsewhere, the process of merging is a slow one. For its body to completely pass from one plant to another, anywhere from thirty to sixty seconds is needed depending on the size of the Woodling and how much gear they are carrying. The magic that allows a Woodling to Pass plant affects any objects they are wearing on their person regardless of material.

Reproduce Plant: A Woodling, being the essence of plant life concentrated, has the innate ability to grow plants from its own body by force of will. The process consumes its energy and takes concentration, but a Woodling can grow and reproduce any form of plant life it has personally encountered. There are limitations to what a Woodling can reproduce however. They can easily cause vines to grow from their bodies, or flowers to grow from their hands or hair, but they cannot grow an entire tree from themselves. They can however, produce an acorn, that can be planted, and one day grow into a mighty oak. The more plant matter a Woodling generates, the more exhausted they become. At its peak, a Woodling can generate a quantity of plant matter equal to its own mass before becoming exhausted.

Plant Empathy: Woodlings possess a natural affinity with plant life. Although plants cannot communicate, unless they are a life spring tree of a Great Forest Spirit, a Woodling can sense impressions of events that have recently happened to any plant that they touch. This ability is similar to psychometery, and the farther back in time a Woodling tries to sense, the more taxing it is on their minds.

Woodland Creature Affinity: All Woodlings possess a natural affinity with the creatures of the forest. Any natural animal that is native to its lands will act as friendly to the Woodling. In times of great need woodland creatures have been known to come to the aid of Woodlings that nurture and protect their habitats.

Regenerating Slumber: Being creatures of the forest, a Woodling draws its power from Terra herself through her plants. Unlike animal life, Woodlings are incredibly resilient, and capable of bouncing back from a great deal of damage. On their own, they heal at about the same rate as a human with the same limitations on what can be healed as the human body. Woodlings, however, are not bound to only this method of healing. In times of great need a Woodling can merge with a large and healthy tree, to enter a state of hibernation. During this deep sleep, a Woodling's body is capable of completely regenerating to its original state. This process is slow and time consuming, taking anywhere from a week, to an entire year depending on how badly wounded a Woodling is. While in this coma like sleep a Woodling is extremely vulnerable. Should the tree they are sleeping within be destroyed while they are regenerating, the Woodling inside would die as well.
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