Skip navigation

Green Pact

Y'ffre's Beckoning

Gwaering, the Green Lady

The song-story of the Green, now loud in my bones, has awakened me. I hear the tale as life in motion, the weave made real second by second, spun gleaming thread over gleaming thread. Every fleeting footfall is a drumbeat, a word, a thought blessed with shape. Each loosed arrow becomes an exclamation, a twist in the telling, a beginning in an end.  I am dissolved into we.

I have become the Hunter, the Protector, the Vengeance of the Green. My memories are drawn from the rivers of history known by Bosmer since the formless times. It was my hand that carved out the heart of the Bracken Malice, the writhing foe that devoured our children and made mothers and fathers wail in torment. My own arrow pierced the eye of Dulohoth the Axehaft, vile Orc who ordered his crowd-surge of followers to burn and hew tree and frond. When sickness came to the beasts of Grahtwood, I hunted without rest a hundred nights to feed the hungry. I will hunt a hundred more.

All of these things I have done, I will do again when I am called. The cries of Y’ffre’s children—their joy, fear, rage, and sorrow—only grow stronger in my heart. They are the thrumming of life in the deepest woods. I hear them in my dreams; their emotions become my own and echo a thousand times louder within me. Nothing will stop me from calling out my response. I will answer them until my blood soaks the loam and feeds the roots of graht-oaks.

Though I hear the tale the Earth Bones tell, some fear yet remains; some worry still haunts me. I am the Green Lady, and in my spirit there is no doubt that it is so. But in my mind, I am just Gwaering, archer-girl, brave but small. I am afraid. Will Gwaering fade away? Can she withstand the torrent of primal emotion that now rises? Is she strong enough to answer the Green and play her part? Can she protect her people and the Silvenar?

But I take some small solace knowing that my doubts and fears carry little consequence. They are a small digression, the interruption of an impatient child as the Spinner tells his tale. Time will carry on, and the story will be told without pause, never reaching an end, but ebbing and flowing. I will be called, and if my voice is not strong enough to answer, my role will end and another will emerge. Such, I see now, is the way of the world.

Secrets of Treehenge


Author of "Treehenge's Roots," "The Mammoths of Treehenge," and "Treehenge: Home of the Lady"

Those who wish to see the sacred Treehenge, wherein the physical remains of the Bosmer Green Lady are interred, must be prepared. Though it may not be obvious, the site is well-protected by a combination of incantations and even more subtle guardians.

Approach the site with caution and reverence. Bring an offering, and spend time in meditation amongst the trees. As your senses heighten, you may see visions of former Green Ladies walking the woods. You may also notice their likenesses in the trees from which Treehenge derives its name.

Close your eyes and breathe deeply, the scent of decaying wood, flowers in full bloom, and earth. Listen to the waterfalls, the buzz of insects, and whisper of leaf and branch.

When you feel these things within your heart, you will know the secrets of Treehenge in ways I cannot describe.

Oathbreakers of Ouze


The secret of Ouze is now clear. The Bosmer, it appears, did not all accede to the Green Pact. Something happened … civil war? A disagreement between their gods? It does not matter. One contingent of the Wood Elves lost to the other.

As punishment for their refusal to give up their powerful shapeshifting abilities, these Bosmer, called "Oathbreakers" by the rest, were subdued and buried in Ouze. We can only hope they were buried alive; the corpses are more likely to be fresh and intact that way. Digging in the tar-pits should render us one of the greatest finds in recent history, putting us ahead of even the great discovery of Stillrise Village in Shadowfen.

The Green Pact and the Dominion


Just like trees grow toward the sun and you can hear different birds singing when the moons are out than when they are not, every Wood Elf born in Valenwood (and indeed, nearly every one born outside of it), knows of the Green Pact.

The Green Pact is the agreement between the Wood Elves and Y'ffre that has guided our existence from the beginning of the great story.

Its rules are clear. Do not harm the forest. Do not eat anything made from plant life. Eat only meat. When you conquer your enemies, eat their flesh. Do not leave them to rot. Do not kill wastefully. Do not take on the shape of beasts. You are Wood Elves. Your form is sacred.

This is the Green Pact. In exchange for keeping to this Pact, the forest, which we call the Green, has provided us with ample food and shelter. Y'ffre has given us the limited gift to ask the forest to shape itself to our needs. We have been amply blessed.

But now, we find ourselves in a new situation. Our new allies—the High Elves and the Khajiit—do not hold to the Green Pact. They live in houses made of thatch and timber. They eat all manner of fruits and berries and drink wine made from grapes. They find the devouring of one's enemies barbaric.

How are the Wood Elves of Valenwood to accommodate these new allies, while keeping to the Green Pact? It is a question that perplexes many Wood Elves today, especially in the newly-erected city of Marbruk. In the past, we have fought wars over lesser defilement of the Green.

At the same time, we recognize that at the time of the Dominion's founding, the Green Lady and the Silvenar spoke on behalf of the Wood Elves and the Green Pact. We remember that we have a powerful mouthpiece in the Thalmor, Woodhearth's own Treethane Fariel.

These are the leaders we should look to in this uncertain time. They have shown us through their actions an example which we can all follow. We must welcome these allies with true Wood Elf hospitality. We must not pick fights with them. We must try not to steal from them (many of them do not appreciate the rite of theft, but that is a subject for another essay). But at the same time, we should not shy away from speaking out in our own interests, and in that of the Green.

Because of Treethane Fariel's powerful voice, much of the timber and all of the thatch for Marbruk was brought into Valenwood from other parts. For many the fact that so many trees had to be felled to clear space for the city is unforgiveable, but Fariel saw that accommodating our allies is the first step to a strong defense of Valenwood against those who would surely destroy it.

Queen Ayrenn's willingness to listen is a sign of her wisdom and respect for the Wood Elf people. We should repay her by being willing to trust her leadership.