Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

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Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  Arnier the fallen on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:32 pm


so this was done by a friend of mine on another forum and i though i would share it with you all. happy reading Smile

4E 142, Imperial Geographic Society
Andre Granius

Introduction:

The Bosmer (Wood Elves) are not known for their maritime tradition, but it is fascinating nonetheless.

The Green Pact, the Pact between the proto-Bosmer and the Forest God Y’ffre, is a well known facet of Bosmeri culture; it established the central tenets of the Bosmeri people, and it affects life in Valenwood even today. For instance, the Green Pact forbids the use of any plant matter, alive or dead, for personal or societal benefit. Therefore, the entirety of Bosmeri culture is built upon what seems, at first, to be an economical impossibility. The Bosmer do well enough in spite of their cultural lifestyle: their bows are built of chitin and bone, they only eat meat—including people, for the Meat Mandate within the Green Pact dictates that the Bosmer must devour those enemies that they fell in battle—and any needed wood is imported from foreign forests.

Due to the Green Pact, ships such as those of men cannot be constructed with local materials. The Bosmer may, and do, sail ships built of imported wood, but the sole use of foreign ships and local ships built of imported materials would simply be inefficient. Ships built of insect materials, such as those of the Dunmer (Dark Elves) and Maormer (Sea Elves), are out of the question as well, for the ships of both races do include some small quantity of wood in their design, and such huge insects as are needed are not native to Valenwood. Even the legendary ships of the Altmer (High Elves), built of crystal, light, and aetheric fire, are unsuitable, for although those ships do not put plant materials to use, Bosmeri mages capable of constructing such craft are few and far between.

The Bosmer are spared the fate of naval mediocrity by the Maritime Provision, a little known note within the Green Pact. Thaewen, a renowned Bosmeri historian residing in the Imperial City, states:

“When Y’ffre and the proto-Bosmer negotiated the Green Pact, the proto-Bosmer insisted that a provision of some sort must be made for sailing craft; to stand on its own, the nation of Valenwood would need to defend itself both on land and at sea against its enemies. The Maormer threatened Valenwood’s coastline even then, and the proto-Bosmer knew that they would have to fight against them if Valenwood was to stand at all.

Y’ffre thought and thought and thought, and he had an idea. He told the the proto-Bosmer that he would give them trees that would grow ships like fruit. He made the trees so that the proto-Bosmer could defend themselves against the Maormer, travel easily throughout Valenwood with the aid of its waterways, take a piece of Valenwood with them even when they went to sea, and spread seeds of more mundane trees and plants wherever the ships went. These trees, the Rellyeis in my tongue, were one of Y'ffre's many gifts to the Bosmer.”

Growth Cycles and Other Details

Whether genuinely given to the Bosmer by Y’ffre as a provision of the Green Pact or created by some magical prodigy forgotten by history, the trees which bear ships as fruit do indeed exist. These trees, known in Valenwood as the Rellyeis, have a very complex life cycle. A given Rellye begins its life as a sapling growing on a coastline or riverside, and in general, it is half as thick as a Bosmer’s arm length from the moment it sprouts from the ground. During the first stage of its life, the tree simply grows, spreading its roots, widening its trunk, and extending its branches. It has been noted that the Rellyeis gradually tilt their trunks and reach their branches in the general direction of the nearest body of water, be it lake, river, or sea, hanging over the body of water in preparation for later stages in its life. The period of growth lasts anywhere from twenty to thirty years, depending on the conditions of the tree’s surrounding environment. The Rellye continues growing even after this initial period, of course, but there is a core difference between the first stage and the stages after, to be discussed in the next paragraph.

Once it is as thick as one and a half arm lengths, a given Rellye enters the second stage of its life, which generally lasts thirty to forty years. It begins to bear fruit. That is the core difference between the first stage and the later stages; in each of the later stages, the Rellye grows a variety of water faring vessels. In the second stage, the tree grows small boats, such as rowboats, canoes, faerings, shallops, etc. These boats are generally put to use in the rivers and lakes of Valenwood, and only rarely stored within seafaring vessels. The boats are truly a boon to the Bosmeri people, for the rivers are the country’s only infrastructure—though the first Aldmeri Dominion introduced extensive roads throughout Valenwood, the Bosmer made no effort to maintain them in the years following the Dominion’s collapse, and they allowed the roads to fall into disrepair. Unsurprisingly, considering the Bosmeri appreciation for individuality, not one boat is the same. Initially, enormous flowers grow on the tree, eventually wilting and producing the bulbous fruit set. Over a period of six months, the fruit set expands as a roughly spherical shape. The fruit drops into the water, still green. Over a shorter period of three months, the fruit unfurls into the shape of a boat and grows bark. The boat is then complete, though oars must be crafted separately, oftentimes out of bone. The boat is alive. It absorbs water via small, hairlike roots poking out of the hull, gathers oxygen via small lenticels within the boat, and requires occasional exposure to sunlight.

At a thickness of two and a half arm lengths, the Rellye enters the third stage of its life, and begins growing significantly larger fruit. The process is much the same, with the exceptions that fewer fruit grow at any one time than in the second stage, that each fruit grows for a year, sometimes two, and that each fruit bears a stem and leaf which protrude together from a small opening near the crown. Later, as the fruit unfurls in the water over a period of eight to twelve months, the stem is shed and the leaf grows into a sail. The product is a small ship, ready to sail. Like the ships of the second stage, each ship is different. In fact, the ships grown in the third and fourth stages are especially different, for they are particularly complex, at least in comparison to the relatively simple second stage fruit. Because each ship is different, a sailor cannot leave one ship and sail another as well as the first. With a new ship, much of a sailor’s old knowledge is useless, for the quirks, flaws, and intricacies of one ship are most often drastically different from those of another. However, despite their differences, the third stage fruit generally share the following characteristics: the ship’s rigging is of vines and roots, the rooms below deck are as the locules of a fruit, and there is no anchor, for instead of using an anchor, the ships extend the thin roots of the hull until they grip at the seafloor below. The ships can be put to use at sea in spite of salt water, for they employ a powerful filtration system akin to that of mangrove trees. Some small quantity of salt does enter the plant, but the salt is evacuated through the sail-leaf. The sailors of the ship must sweep the salt crystals from the sail daily. The ship even allows the sailors to put its water to use; the ship absorbs a great excess of water when the stores of the sailors are low, and sweats as much water as it can into a specified locule somewhere within the ship. Boats from the second stage are occasionally taken aboard the vessels from the third and fourth stages, and are stored within said locule. The boats of the second stage have very poor salt filtration systems, and are thus put at risk when used at sea.

After at least half a century of growth in the third stage, the Rellye enters the fourth, with a trunk thicker than four arm lengths. The fundamentals are, again, all the same, but everything is larger and takes longer. The fruit grow for as long as five years and unfurl within three. And, at this point, only one fruit grows upon the Rellye at a time. The products of this stage are equivalent to the products of the third stage, except greater in size. The ships produced in this stage are frigates, galleons, wide-bellied trading ships, and other such grand vessels. When a ship of the fourth stage drops off of its Rellye, the tree’s shipwrights—who tend to the bodies and fruits of the Rellyeis, and live in dwellings which cling to the trunks and branches of older Rellyeis, like the dwellings upon the famous walking city of Falinesti—celebrate for days and sometimes weeks on end, partaking in races down their river or around their lake and guiding the floating fourth stage fruit to ideal unfurling growns. At the time, the particulars of the final product, from the general shape to the specific quirks, are a complete unknown. As such, the shipwrights never know whether a fruit will be sea worthy or not. Indeed, complex as they are, the third and fourth stage ships are known for defects. The defective ships function well enough as plants, but are inoperable as ships. Such ships are most often either relegated to use as fishing platforms, or abandoned at sea to spread the seeds of trees other than the Rellyeis to other lands, as described in Thaewen’s earlier statement. During their celebrations following the fall of a fourth stage fruit, the shipwrights pray and dance such that the ship will grow to sail well, hoping to stave off defects with the power of tradition and Divine favor. After all, is a fourth stage ship grows to be defective, around eight years of development will have been spent without reward.

The Bosmeri shipwrights most often plant Rellyeis—through some secret ritual with inexplicably found seeds—along riversides and lake shores, and in consideration for the second stage boats and their poor salt filtration systems, they are only rarely planted along Valenwood’s coastline. The chosen locations are always accessible by boats and ships of all sizes, for the ships of the third and fourth stages must be able to leave the rivers and lakes in which they unfurl. Occasionally, either due to poor planning or changes in river flow, some of the products of the Rellyeis are trapped within their lakes or rivers. Such trapped ships can only be pushed to shore or left to float.

Maritime Implications

Despite the saying, “[a rare or uncommon object, product, or other commodity] doesn’t grow on trees”—for example, “Daedric armor doesn’t grow on trees”—and the fact that Bosmeri ships literally grow on trees, the Bosmer are not known for maritime superiority or an excess of seafaring vessels. Without consideration of the Rellyeis, the cause of their naval weakness would seem obvious; building a fleet solely of imported wood would be a nearly impossible endeavor. With consideration of the Rellyeis, the cause is less sure. The difficulty the Bosmer have with the concepts of military hierarchy and organization and the like (such as that within a fleet or a navy), the lack of a strong centralized government within Valenwood, and the rarity, slow production rate, imperfect products, and occasional outright defective products of the Rellyeis are all contributing factors. To be frank, the best of Bosmeri fleets could never hope to match the best of Imperial fleets or Altmeri fleets, and certainly not the best of Maormeri fleets.

There has only ever been one exception to that rule of Valenwood’s maritime weakness. As dictated by Thaewen, the Bosmer historian referenced in an earlier section:

“As with many great exceptions in Bosmeri history, the one exception to Valenwood’s historical naval weakness occurred under Haymon Camoran, the Camoran Usurper. As his influence spread throughout and ultimately suffused Valenwood, Haymon pushed the Rellyeis to produce better ships, faster. He disregarded uniqueness and promoted efficiency, and as a whole he labored to ensure that he would have the fleet necessary to fight against the Empire in his march of conquest.

The crowning jewel of Haymon’s fleet was the Water Lily, an absolutely massive ship built of four: Haymon bound four stage four ships on top of one another in such a way that they grew into one another and became a single entity. The result, a four-decked ship of incredible proportions, became Haymon’s mansion and castle at sea. Within, the Water Lily was a veritable labyrinth of locules and passageways. Haymon ultimately rode the Water Lily to the Battle of Firewaves in the Iliac Bay, where it was set alight, burned to cinders, and lost at the bottom of the Bay. The Breton forces in the naval battle had put fire to heavy use, for it was—and still is—a powerful weapon in combating Bosmeri ships.

The Rellyeis, of course, do not usually produce ships more urgently on the whim of a monarch, and their ships do not usually grow into one another. The Rellyeis are ‘just’ trees, after all, and the ships, as compared to mundane fruit such as apples, normally do not grow after they have dropped from their respective Rellyeis. Haymon Camoran’s methods behind the construction of his fleet are uncertain. Pro-Haymon sources claim that he conferred with the Rellyeis, or with the Spriggans, or even with Y’ffre himself. Some sources even indicate that he sang to or roared at the Rellyeis with some forgotten art of magic, and after he did so, the production cycles of the Rellyeis accelerated, and the ships he bound grew into one another. Anti-Haymon sources—of which there were many, after his death—claim that he hired a Telvanni wizard to push the Rellyeis, by employing the same magical techniques that the Telvanni use to grow their mushroom towers. Such an act would be a terrible crime, of course, flying in the face of the Green Pact. Though Y’ffre granted the Bosmer permission to benefit from the Rellyeis, he did not grant the Bosmer permission to change them, to warp them.

In the end, the accelerated Rellyeis were all destroyed. After Haymon’s death during the Battle of Firewaves, the Imperial navy sailed throughout Valenwood’s waterways and destroyed every Rellye they could find, so that the Bosmer could not build a new navy every decade as Haymon had. The only survivors were those Rellyeis which lay in backwater ponds and inaccessible tributaries. The Rellyeis have been purged in such a manner several times throughout history. Most often, the Maormer were the perpetrators. The last purge as perpetrated by the Maormer occurred during the Interregnum; more specifically, it occurred during the reign of the Altmeri King Hidellith, roughly one hundred years before his death. It should be noted that even upon his death, the Rellyeis had barely recovered, and that they would not recover fully until yet another hundred years had passed. As the Maormeri fleet departed from Valenwood, its dark work done, an Altmeri fleet followed that of the Maormer to Pyandonea, the noted battle that lent Tamriel its only account of the alien land.”
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Arnier the fallen
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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  The Rebel on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:33 pm

Sovngarde parody?

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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  Arnier the fallen on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:44 pm

The Rebel wrote:Sovngarde parody?

lmao no not at all
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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  The Rebel on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:45 pm

Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:Sovngarde parody?

lmao no not at all

Are you sure you're male? Lmao

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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  Arnier the fallen on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:46 pm

The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:Sovngarde parody?

lmao no not at all

Are you sure you're male? Lmao

last i checked yeah lmao
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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  The Rebel on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:47 pm

Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:Sovngarde parody?

lmao no not at all

Are you sure you're male? Lmao

last i checked yeah lmao

Check again for me bb? If you know what I mean...

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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  Arnier the fallen on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:48 pm

The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:Sovngarde parody?

lmao no not at all

Are you sure you're male? Lmao

last i checked yeah lmao

Check again for me bb? If you know what I mean...

well seen as its you lmao
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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  Sovngarde on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:49 am

Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:Sovngarde parody?

lmao no not at all

Are you sure you're male? Lmao

last i checked yeah lmao

Check again for me bb? If you know what I mean...

well seen as its you lmao
wat? Question
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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  Arnier the fallen on Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:24 am

Sovngarde wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:Sovngarde parody?

lmao no not at all

Are you sure you're male? Lmao

last i checked yeah lmao

Check again for me bb? If you know what I mean...

well seen as its you lmao
wat? Question

lol! long story don't worry nothig weird going on
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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  The Rebel on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:06 am

Arnier the fallen wrote:
Sovngarde wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:
Arnier the fallen wrote:
The Rebel wrote:Sovngarde parody?

lmao no not at all

Are you sure you're male? Lmao

last i checked yeah lmao

Check again for me bb? If you know what I mean...

well seen as its you lmao
wat? Question

lol! long story don't worry nothig weird going on

Razz

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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  Yngvar Half-Shield on Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:28 am

I enjoyed reading this
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Re: Treatise on Bosmeri Ships

Post  Arnier the fallen on Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:55 pm

Yngvar Half-Shield wrote:I enjoyed reading this

glad you liked it
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