Arinvaa

Demonym: Vaad
Government: Tribal gerontocracy
Primary Race: Wood elves
Capital: Kaviled

In Aldasia long ago, an underclass of wood elves revolted against the much smaller population of high elves, and claimed the southern forest, called Arinvaa, for themselves as an independent nation. Since then, Aldasia has tried many times to reconquer the land, and never quite succeeded. Fiercely wild and independent, Arinvaa is less a nation than an alliance of closely interrelated tribes that refuses to submit to any authority but their own, but anyone that challenges Arinvaa or its interests quickly discovers they are more cohesive than they seem, and since the fall of the gods, their power has only grown as natural magic surged.

They have always been incredibly strong natural mages, and nearly all Vaad could be classified rangers or druids. Nearly everything within its borders remains wild and more or less in its natural state. There are cities and towns in Arinvaa, though an outsider wouldn't ever guess – built or grown in harmony with the natural environment, they blend right into the forest, so even their largest cities seem very isolated and peaceful. Arinvaa has a larger population of half-elves (of all varieties, not just human) than most other elven nations, because of escaped slaves from Aldasia fleeing south – they are usually accepted into Arinvaa's tribes, provided they can abide by the tribe's laws and do not use arcane magic.

No one tribe is really in charge – it's likely the Vaad wouldn't accept that singular an authority as their rulers. Instead, each tribe is led by the eldest members, and the tribal alliance led by a council of the eldest members of all tribes. In theory, all council members have an equal say in decisions; in practice, often the oldest member of the council or the leader of the largest tribe can strongarm people to get their way, but it remains a relatively fair organization… and given elves' long lifespans, very stable as well.

Specific cultural practices do vary from one tribe to another, but some similarities tend to hold true. By and large, Vaad are not a talkative people, and can seem isolationist and kind of hostile to outsiders… but they are tolerant of nearly any difference or life choice (with the exception of arcane mages, who they will kill on sight). They believe strongly in their own freedom, and they're usually at least somewhat protective of other peoples' freedoms. In Arinvaa, ideally, you can be as you are – if you don't like the tribe you were born into, you can always find or start one that better suits you. This tolerance can have a dark side, however, because within Arinvaa probably the largest taboo is interfering in another tribes' way of life – because of this, they may well look the other way if a particular tribe is doing some genuinely shitty things, in the name of personal freedom.

Arinvaa

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