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:''The Boiche Elves were of the Earth Bones who most hearkened to Jephre and his greensongs. They did not build a Tower, they grew it, a great graht-oak whose roots sprang from a Perchance Acorn. And this was their Stone. And because the Acorn might perchance have been elsewhere, thus was Green-Sap manifold and several. And each could walk.'' — {{Lore Link|Aurbic Enigma 4: The Elden Tree}}
[[File:ON-place-Heart of Valenwood.jpg|thumb|right|The Heart of Valenwood]]
The earliest days of the Bosmer are lost in legend. Some speak of the Ooze, the shape-shifting formlessness from which they came before the Green Pact with Y'ffre.{{ref|name=TOAF|{{Cite book|The Ooze: A Fable}}}} More obscure legends also suggest that not all Bosmer agreed to the Green Pact. Some wished to stay as the Ooze, to keep their shape-shifting abilities. However, these dissenters were apparently overcome by the other Bosmer, and as punishment, these "Oathbreakers" were buried in {{Lore Link|Ouze}}.{{ref|name=OOO|{{Cite book|Oathbreakers of Ouze}}}} There's some suggestion that early Bosmer were known for intermarrying with humans.{{ref|name=TM|{{Cite book|The Monomyth}}}}
Another legend is that the Bosmer grew the [[Lore:The_Towers#Green-Sap|Tower of Green-Sap]], a great {{Lore Link|graht-oak}} which, in those ancient times, appeared in many different forms. Each one told its own stories of the Green, the forest home of the "Boiche-become-Bosmer".{{ref|name=AU4TET|{{Cite book|Aurbic Enigma 4: The Elden Tree}}}} However, due to the machinations of the Ayleid sorcerer {{Lore Link|Anumaril}} around the time of the {{Lore Link|Alessian Slave Rebellion}} circa {{Year|1E 243}}, the "Doors Equivocal" which were created by the nature of Green-Sap were closed, and Green-Sap was reduced to a single, definite form: the {{Lore Link|Elden Tree}} of {{Lore Link|Elden Root}}.{{ref|name=AU4TET}}
Eventually, the Bosmer would be united under the leadership of {{Lore Link|Eplear|King Eplear}}, whose conquest of the wilderness and founding of the {{Lore Link|Camoran Dynasty}} heralded the start of the First Era. They made a formal trade treaty with the {{Lore Link|Alessian Empire}} in {{Year|1E 340}}, though it would only last for several decades before breaking down into on-and-off border skirmishes with {{Lore Link|Colovia}} for most of the First Era.{{ref|name=PGE3V}}
The earliest known Wild Hunt occurred in {{Year|1E 369}}, which ended with the death of the {{Lore Link|Nord}} High King {{Lore Link|Borgas}}.{{ref|name=PGE3V}}{{ref|name=AHOD|{{Cite book|A History of Daggerfall}}}} This assassination can be viewed as an act of self-defense, though perhaps proactive, as Borgas had been journeying to {{Lore Link|Cyrodiil}} to rally support for a joint war against Valenwood. Another Wild Hunt would not occur again until the {{Lore Link|Third Era}},{{ref|name=PGE3V}} though whether one or more occurred then is not clear. After the Bosmer were devastated by the {{Lore Link|Thrassian Plague}} in {{Year|1E 2417}}, they were absorbed by the {{Lore Link|Second Empire}}. The Empire, in their usual fashion, divided power in Valenwood amongstamong several districts to ensure they would not unite against Imperial rule.{{ref|name=PGE3V}}
In {{Year|1E 2920}}, the last year of the First Era, on the 19th of Sun's Dawn, {{Lore Link|Molag Bal}} destroyed the town of {{Lore Link|Gilverdale}} in {{Lore Link|Grahtwood}} (eastern Valenwood). This prompted {{Lore Link|Sotha Sil}}, the living wizard-mystic god of the {{Lore Link|Dunmer}}, to negotiate an agreement with several Daedric Princes to forestall further such acts, though the details of this agreement are still unknown.{{ref|name=2920L|{{Cite book|2920, The Last Year of the First Era}}}}
In {{Year|2E 406}}, a salacious scandal rocked Valenwood: the sleepy trading post of {{Lore Link|Cormount}} of Grahtwood was likely home to numerous potential heirs of the Camoran Dynasty, as Camoran rulers had evidently been journeying to the secluded town for untold years to engage in extramarital relations. Cormount's population nearly doubled in a week, and weddings became a daily occurrence for months, as many Bosmer sought to sire children with a noble lineage despite the ignoble circumstances. The news even brought many Bosmer who had never lived in Valenwood back to their spiritual home. These migrants, who largely came from Cyrodiil and thus did not follow the Green Pact, were shocking to the established Bosmer of Grahtwood, and tensions brewed for years as a result. Finally, in {{Year|2E 420}}, the migrants' village, {{Lore Link|New Joy}}, was burned to the ground for provocations that have been lost to history. The incident eventually inspired the formation of the Blacksap Movement in {{Year|2E 489}}, a Cormount-based cultural organization which hoped to formalize the Bosmeri approach to the Green Pact and thereby prevent any further tragic misunderstandings.{{ref|name=TROC|{{Cite book|The Rise of Cormount}}}}
With the fall of the Empire in {{Year|2E 430}}, the regional powers went about warring amongstamong themselves, and {{Lore Link|Maormer}} pirates were able to get a foothold along the coast which they used to harass the Altmer of {{Lore Link|Summerset Isle}}.{{ref|name=PGE3V}}
[[File:ON-icon-Aldmeri Dominion.png|thumb|right|The symbol of the Aldmeri Dominion]]
During the {{Lore Link|Alliance War}} circa {{Year|2E 582}}, the Bosmer became part of the {{Lore Link|Aldmeri Dominion}}, along with their allies the Altmer and the {{Lore Link|Khajiit}}. The alliance was rocky, though the {{Lore Link|Thalmor}} Committee on Alliance Relations encouraged tolerance of the Bosmer's cultural eccentricities to help keep the Dominion together.{{ref|name=TH|{{Cite book|Thalmor Handbill}}}}{{ref|name=ASIV}} {{Lore Link|Elden Root}} was made the capital of the Dominion, and drew many new migrants as a result (this also became the impetus for plans to establish a gladiatorial arena in the city).{{ref|name=WMTM|{{Cite book|Want More than Middens?|ns=Online}}}} Many Bosmer saw the Dominion as their only chance at survival.{{ref|name=LTC|{{Cite book|Letter to Calahawn|ns=Online}}}} However, many others remained resentful of the alliance, believing the Dominion had "polluted" Valenwood.{{ref|name=WCN|{{Cite book|What Comes Next|ns=Online}}}} Resentment may have also festered due to the "Massacre at Cormount", wherein the Grahtwood city was apparently razed by Dominion soldiers utilizing particularly offensive tactics.{{ref|name=TMAC|{{Cite book|The Massacre at Cormount}}}}
The elves of Valenwood have always stood ready to defend themselves against aggression, and have done so on many occasions.{{ref|name=MUT|{{Cite book|Mixed Unit Tactics}}}} They often rely on their forest-coupling skills to make use of guerrilla tactics. The title of their most famous poem, the Meh Ayleidion, means "The One Thousand Benefits of Hiding".{{ref|name=PGE1Ald}} However, the Bosmer seem to be the most pacifistic of all the modern races on Tamriel, as they have never instigated war with other nations (leading some more militant cultures to criticize them as cowards),{{ref|name=FWOB|{{Cite book|Fav'te's War Of Betony}}}} though they have been accused of needlessly escalating [[Lore:Five Year War|some conflicts]]. They have never found a tried and true ally in any other Tamrielic nation. Mistrust has been engendered by the ritual cannibalism they practice, and it's often difficult for them to adjust their lifestyles to the expectations of other races and cultures. Nevertheless, the Bosmer are heavily dependent on good relations and trade with other races, as the Green Pact forces them to import the timber needed to make their homes, arrows, and other wooden instruments.{{ref|name=POT}}{{ref|name=PGE1Ald}}{{ref|name=ADIF2|{{Cite book|A Dance in Fire, Chapter 2}}}} Their own resources for trade include hides, river pearls, and finger-bone charms made from the {{Lore Link|magic}}ally-charged hands of their dead wizards. When they are at odds with Colovia or other trading allies, they are said to rely on piracy or banditry to get what they need.{{ref|name=PGE1Ald}} They have attempted to accommodate other races in Valenwood throughout history, though many remained wary of outlander encroachments into their home.{{ref|name=OBRTTD|{{Cite book|One Bosmer's Response to the Dominion|ns=Online}}}} To this day, they have little more than foot paths connecting their tiny settlements in Valenwood's sparsely populated forests.{{ref|name=POT}}{{ref|name=FTJOAHES|{{Cite book|From the journal of Aretille, High Elven scholar}}}} Some primitive bosmers practice cannibalism upon their enemies.{{ref|name=CP|{{Cite book|Corpse Preparation}}}} Some Bosmer have been known to file their teeth to sharp points.{{ref|[[Online:Contraband C|Contraband]] in [[Online:Online|ESO]]}}
The Bosmer greatly value diversity. Their respect for life's many facets is inherent in many of their old sayings, like "One mans miracle is another mans accident".{{ref|name=AOOGAW|{{Cite book|An Overview of Gods And Worship}}}} Other races are ''generally'' welcomed in most of Valenwood, though most foreigners stay in large cities.{{ref|name=PGE1Ald}}{{ref|name=PGE3V}}{{ref|name=AMGTV|{{Cite book|A Merchant's Guide to Valenwood}}}} Travelers are encouraged to take care when imbibing drinks of fermented milk which are popular amongstamong the Bosmer, as non-Bosmer may have adverse reactions to them.{{ref|name=ADIF|{{Cite book|A Dance in Fire}}}}{{ref|name=FTNOACC|{{Cite book|From the notes of Ancemion, Ceremony Coordinator}}}}
===Life in Valenwood===
Though the Bosmer first united under the Camoran Dynasty, this form of governance has been called a "loose hegemony".{{ref|name=TWEOV|{{Cite book|The Wood Elves of Valenwood}}}} There are in fact many leaders throughout Valenwood who wield varying degrees of authority, such as the treethanes.{{ref|name=DDTTH|{{Cite book|Diplomacy during the Handfasting}}}} Their territory has sometimes been referred to as the "Valenwood Nations",{{ref|name=PGE1Ald}} perhaps because of the autonomy practiced by various leaders.{{ref|name=TWEOV}}
The Bosmer have adapted to life in the Green in many ingenious ways. For instance, in the heat and humidity of Valenwood, popular Altmeri ink refuses to dry. It is still prized, though, as it is perfect for writing temporary messages on certain types of porous stone found in the Green. But to write words permanently, the Bosmer use an ink which can dry even if a parchment is submerged in water. Ink which glows faintly in the dark, perfect for writing in the shadows of the forest, is also prevalent. Writing on a leaf or a flat stone is common in Valenwood, and often preferable in a place where quality parchment is rare and even paper is uncommon.{{ref|name=TC7|{{Cite book|Tamrielic Calligraphy, Chapter VII}}}} They've also found means to both deter and eradicate {{Lore Link|hoarvor}} infestations.{{ref|name=HF|{{Cite book|Healer's Fieldbook}}}} Though they refrain from smoking plants, many enjoy smoking bugs from bone pipes.{{ref|name=PGE1Ald}}{{ref|name=RM3TWE}} Finding light without resorting to the danger of fire is an issue on the perpetually shadowy forest floor, but as the moons rise, additional light is provided by luminous lichen, molds, and fungal growths at the base of the oaks. Higher up, nocturnal flowers feed from the graht-oaks, attracting {{Lore Link|torchbug}}s, whose hives light the branch platforms.{{ref|name=AA|{{Cite book|Arboreal Architecture}}}}
The Bosmer share Valenwood with the {{Lore Link|Imga}} and so-called "Wood {{Lore Link|Orc}}s", along with the many beasts of the forest, including {{Lore Link|Centaur}}s.{{ref|name=PGE1Ald}}{{ref|name=CAEWO1|{{Cite book|Civility and Etiquette: Wood Orcs I}}}} They have a long history of welcoming those who seek refuge within Valenwood.{{ref|name=VAS}} They accepted slaves fleeing the {{Lore Link|Ayleids}}, and then Ayleids fleeing the slaves, without showing favorites. Around the time of the Alliance War, they also freely welcomed {{Lore Link|Argonian}} refugees who had left their homeland in protest over the formation of the {{Lore Link|Ebonheart Pact}}.{{ref|name=ARD|{{Cite book|Argonian Refugee's Diary}}}} Many foreigners visit {{Lore Link|Falinesti}} at some point, the marvelous traveling city of the Bosmer (though at last report, the city had mysteriously rooted itself).{{ref|name=PGE3V}} Cultural loyalties have tended to divide the Bosmer, such as the rivalry between the {{Lore Link|Blacksap}} and the Camorans, and the schism between followers of the [[#The Green Pact|Green Pact]] and "salad-eaters" who have no qualms about breaking the tenets of the Pact.{{ref|name=OBRTTD}}
The Bosmer also venerate {{Lore Link|Arkay}}, {{Lore Link|Xarxes (god)|Xarxes}}, {{Lore Link|Mara}} (who they consider to be the wife of Auri-El), and {{Lore Link|Stendarr}}. The God of Toil, {{Lore Link|Z'en}}, is the Bosmeri god of payment in kind. His origins are mysterious, as is his place in the cosmic order. The Bosmer are one of the few who worship the trickster {{Lore Link|Baan Dar}}, the trickster spirit of thieves and beggars they apparently borrowed from the Khajiit.{{ref|name=VOFTWE}}
There are many other deities with significant Bosmer cults, such as {{Lore Link|Hircine}}.{{ref|name=VOFTWE}} They also worship the moon gods {{Lore Link|Jone}} and {{Lore Link|Jode}}.{{ref|name=VOFTWE}}{{ref|name=OJ|{{Cite book|Of Jephre}}}} Ancient stories of the supernatural, enigmatic {{Lore Link|Wilderking}} abound in {{Lore Link|Greenshade}}.{{ref|name=TWL|{{Cite book|The Wilderking Legend}}}} Like the Nords, the trickster spirit {{Lore Link|Hermaeus Mora|Herma-Mora}} appears in their legends (and they insist he is not to be confused with the {{Lore Link|Daedra}} {{Lore Link|Hermaeus Mora}}). And, of course, in a culture replete with trickster spirits, they do not forget the greatest trickster of all: {{Lore Link|Lorkhan}}.{{ref|name=VOFTWE}}
===The Green Pact===
Due to the proscriptions of the Green Pact, forges are rare in Valenwood, and metal weapons have never been widespread amongstamong the Bosmer. They typically utilize bone clubs, or else axes and spears with blades of stone or obsidian. Their composite horn bows are arguably the finest in Tamriel. In coastal towns, imported metal weapons are more common, and Altmeri tutelage in these areas has benefited many Bosmeri swordsmen. However, Altmer who are schooled in "Proper Conflict", as they call their system of swordsmanship, typically refuse to adapt their techniques to the needs of their shorter cousins, and Bosmer students are typically less attentive to the finer philosophical points of the lessons, thus the experience has often proven to be mutually exasperating.{{ref|name=CAOV|{{Cite book|Common Arms of Valenwood}}}}
By the age of fourteen, Bosmer youth are typically proficient enough with the bow to accompany hunting parties.{{ref|name=CAOV}} Long-distance archers are known as Jaqspurs.{{ref|name=CAOV}}{{ref|name=WAP|{{Cite book|Words and Philosophy}}}} It is their style of draw, "snatching and releasing in one continuous motion", which has made the Bosmer famous as archers. Their traditional bows are crafted from horn and sinew. Strings are also made of sinew; Khajiiti gut is said to work best, and is thus prized among Valenwood archers. Bosmeri arrows are carved from bone, and fletched with the feathers of various bird species. They believe the source of bone used influences the characteristics of the arrow. {{Lore Link|Mammoth}} bone arrows are thought to strike with enough force to knock down a target. Bird bone arrows fly faster and more accurately. {{Lore Link|Senche-Tiger|Senche-tiger}} bone arrows deal extra damage. Trials by Imperial observers have been unable to replicate these alleged effects. Upon hearing this, the Bosmer merely cluck their tongues and smile.{{ref|name=CAOV}}