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Lore:Crafting Motif 115: Y'ffre's Will Style

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Crafting Motif 115: Y'ffre's Will Style
by Nauriel Elaia, Head Arborist of the Systres Horticultural Society
A guide to crafting armor and weapons in the Y'ffre's Will style

The following are annotations and observations collected while working alongside Galen's exceptionally talented druidic armorers. It was a wonderful privilege to work alongside such talented plant-shapers. My fellow horticulturalists would do well to offer them the respect they are due.


The knotted root structure holding the blade's neck to the axe's haft is no mere adornment. I could barely believe my eyes as I watched a druidic weaponsmith coax these roots into intricate structures that are nearly impossible to unweave.


It should be noted that this venture began when my daughter came home with a wonderfully crafted belt made by their druid partner. Its form fitting structure aids not only in cinching the entire ensemble, but also providing support to the lower back when lifting hefty weapons or heavy packs.


At first I was surprised by how tightly the boots gripped my calves. How strange I must've looked fumbling about! But given some time I found myself capable of footwork that I'd long since thought was behind me. These boots returned to me the balance of someone half my age.


I once heard that an archer that expects a bow to bend to their will, without doing the same in return, is a dishonor to the weapon. An archer should show fluidity in battle and become the swaying branch that was grown to make the bow.


When I first wore one of their chest pieces I was brought to tears. I wasn't just wearing a piece of armor; I was privy to the lineage of the crafter. Every stitch, every seam, passed down from one expert hand to the next. How strange to want to describe a piece of armor as comforting.


The cut of the Will dagger's blade was described to me as a biting wind. Sharp, and chilling, and nay impossible for any layer of armor to keep at bay. I was gifted one at the beginning of my stay. I still haven't unsheathed it for fear of cutting myself.


I've watched as hunters offer not only their hand, but entire forearm to an oncoming beast. A startling act of vulnerability, but not without reason. Their arm wraps are made of threaded fibers representative of the woods they hunt in. A succinct way of conveying parity between the hunter and beast.


The heat of the sun and the chill of night are no match for these helms. Heavier pieces even include wooden adornments that divert blistering winds away from one's eyes. These smooth, almost soft faceplates are crafted by hand. I've seen it myself: these artisans can carve wood with the same fluidity another might shape clay.


Druid Alurra explained that they ask their tamed beasts for leather only as a last resort. There was a sadness to the way she said it. An unspoken acknowledgement of respect and loss. But, at the same time, a comfort in the lives the armor will surely save.


Great care is taken in the chiseling of these stone mace heads. Every shard the smith chips away is a deliberate step towards a perfectly balanced weapon. Druid Alurra explained, while giving me a bracing exhibition, that a trained warrior can perfectly imagine the point of impact as if it was an extension of their own arm.


A stunning example of how early nurturing and druidic influence can drastically affect a familiar wood's growth. In this case, druids greatly increased the number of capillaries present in the trunk of this mahogany hybrid. This leads to a near iron-like density, perfect for these particular items.


It may be easy for some of our greener researchers, excuse the pun, to view these spaulders as being made from simple debris. Far from the truth! If you'd humor me, take a deep whiff of the spaulders. You'll note a nutty, earthy aroma. What looks like detritus acts as an aroma shield of sorts, masking the wearer's scent from local wildlife.


The druids insist that, even after being cut and hewn, the wood they use remains alive and aware. No better example can be found than their staves which rhythmically thrum as if still trying to grow, breath, and draw water from the earth beneath you.


Behind every weapon grown is a talented druidic blacksmith. Consider the craft and care they put into both a sword and a chisel. Both are perfectly balanced, with a form complimenting their use. And both are equally deadly when in the right hands.