The Isle of Melinda

Racial Breakdown: 90% Wood Fae, 10% other
Major Industries: Agriculture, Art
Population: Unknown
Cities: Linden, Mapleton, Oak Keep,
Capital City: Cherry Dale
Military: unknown
Government: Democracy
Current Ruler: High Council Jabin Falar


The Isle of Melinda is the homeland of the Wood Fae, and is south of the Faerie Isles. Situated on one large island, the nation is comprised of numerous small cities and heavily-forested lands. The people of Melinda are solitary and fiercely independent by nature.


The nation is governed by a system of local councils and one high council that represents the whole island. Each council consists of three members elected by the residents of the village, town, or city in which they live. A councilor serves until they either die or resign, at which point the remaining councilors run an election. The election is a very informal and somewhat disorganized event which consists of the councilors (and in large towns and cities volunteer assistants) visiting each household and asking who they think would make a good council. The councilors (and assistants) then meet and discuss the opinions of the people, picking the new councilor based on the opinions gathered.

A funeral or retirement party is held in honour of the former councilor before the election is held, and a festival then held for the new councilor.

The high councilor is elected in a more organized manner. A messenger from each councilor is sent to Cherry Dale listing how many votes that councilor has received. The votes are tabulated, and the councilor who with the most votes becomes the new high councilor. After such elections are finished, an island-wide festival begins, lasting for a week. Elections rely on honesty and good intentions, but as the position of council or high council is not one of power, wealth, or glory, the system seems to manage well.


Despite a love of nature and freedom, Wood Fae society is not entirely free of crime. Crimes are broken down into the categories of Lesser and Major.

Lesser crimes include:

  • destruction of property
  • theft
  • abuse of nature (unnecessary cutting of trees, destruction of a field/crop, killing an animal without purpose)
  • fighting

Anyone who witnesses or discovers a crime reports it to a councilor, and if the perpetrator is known, he or she is summoned to a trial. Witnesses give testimony to the council, and the accused either admits guilt or denies it and tries to prove their innocence. The council then takes time to make a decision, and decide whether or not punishment is necessary. Punishment is appropriate to the particular crime, and is intended to repair any harm done. For the most part, punishments consist of performing services to those harmed by the criminal's actions.

Major crimes include:

  • rape
  • murder
  • destruction of the forest (or homes)
  • charming magic/alchemy
  • rejection of society (repeat offenders, refusing to perform tasks assigned as punishment).

These crimes require a high council member to judge, and the accused, if found guilty, is either exiled or sentenced to death. In some cases, where the accused is willing to show for his or her trial, is very repentant, and has only committed one crime, he or she will be given a severe punishment for restitution. Nevertheless, society will generally be wary of that person. Multiple rapists, murderers, charm mages/alchemists, and arsonists are typically sentenced to death, while one-time offenders and those who reject society are generally exiled. Individuals who do not attend their trial are considered to have forfeited their right to defend themselves and the trial proceeds without them.

The exiled are deemed too criminal to act as part of Wood Fae society anymore, but may yet reform and be able to function in another society.

The high council often presents gifts to victims to ameliorate their loss, and neighbouring Wood Fae help out anyone who falls in dire need because of criminal act or accident.

Death sentences are for those deemed beyond rehabilitation. It is considered merciful to end their lives because they are a danger to themselves and anyone around them. If the sentenced person willing accepts their death, they are executed in a somber ceremony and given a proper funeral. Those who attempt to escape justice are hunted down and slain by warriors, and receive no funeral rites.

In addition to actual crimes, councils also settle disagreements between people. Generally Wood Fae try and settle disagreements by themselves, but if they cannot they may do one of three things.

  1. By a contest judged by a third party. This contest may be a duel, a test of skill, a game of chance or a competition in one of the many forms of art (the latter being the most preferred).
  2. By calling in a third party to offer advice on the matter. Some people are considered excellent advisers and even make a profession out of offering advice in disputes. Council members are frequently elected from this group of people.
  3. By having a council member decide a solution to the problem. This option is used when neither party can agree on a solution. Both sides must be willing to accept the councilor's decision. High councils decide matters which involve people from different cities or towns.

It is generally considered good manners to present a gift to anyone who helps settle a dispute. Councilors tend to collect a fair amount of food and goods this way. This parallels the concept of taxation in other societies.

Societal Views

Wood Fae hate having their freedoms taken away from them in any form, whether through magic, alchemy, or force. They will not allow another to govern how they live and are inherently resistant to mind-controlling effects. This ingrained racial desire of freedom may seem to make it impossible for Wood Fae to form any kind of government at all, but Wood Fae love nature as much as they love their freedom and they understand that certain "natural laws" exist and must be obeyed.

Wood Fae society does not have any distinct classes or social castes. No titles denote special rank or privileges and individuals gain respect based on the merit of their work. The closest thing to a title that exists is the person's vocation. In formal ceremonies, this vocation is used as part of their name (eg. Painter Charity, Council Idril, Goldsmith Demetri) or may occasionally be used to distinguish between two people of the same name. While Wood Fae tend to pick one specific art as their job, they often will work on food production crafts as well. Most Wood Fae homesteads have gardens or orchards. These are spaced at least five feet apart in even the most populous cities.

Wood Fae settlements are marvelous constructions combining both natural growths and hand-made building materials in an astonishing combination of art and nature. Assorted sculptures line the roads and buildings are frequently ornamented with mosaics and frescoes, demonstrating the skilled aesthetics of the Wood Fae.

Whereas most societies have economies based on coin currency, the Wood Fae prefer a trade and barter system. They trade in raw materials, finished goods, and works of art.

Like the Hoblings, the Wood Fae are noted for their frequent celebrations and revelries. With some luck, a group of travelers might find themselves journeying from celebration to celebration instead of from town to town.

Family and Education

Marriage is a very different concept in Wood Fae society than it is for many other races. Monogamy is very rare and unusual amongst the Wood Fae. As with Orcs, polygamy is the norm.

A bonding ceremony and party sometimes take place between a pair of Wood Fae before they have children. Afterwards, subsequent members are introduced into the family unit. This often leads to complex family structures. Although an infrequent occurrence, the bond between two Wood Fae may be annulled at any time if agreed upon by both parties.

Children refer to their birth mother as "mother" and any other female partners in the family unit are considered "aunts". If a man is known to be a child's father, then he may be referred to as such by the child. Otherwise, all men in the family group are considered "uncles". Other children within the family unit are considered brothers or sisters regardless of parentage. Children are raised with a deep respect for life, nature, and individual rights to freedom.

Wood Fae are a very communal people and children are generally looked after by the whole community rather than just their family. Most Wood Fae love children of any age and babysitters are easy to find. All adult members of the family play an active part in raising the children of their household. Children frequently stay at each other's homes overnight, although they tend to let one of the adults in their home know where they are going.

Wood Fae society does not have institutions for learning. Instead, children learn by asking questions and by exploring the world on their own. Around the age of 7, children are allowed to travel freely throughout the local neighborhood. While adults within the family unit have the most influence in their children's early education, neighbours also have significant involvement. If a child shows interest in a craft, artisans are eager to share the basics of that craft.

By the time a Wood Fae has reached their late teens, they typically have begun to practice some form of craft.

Bards and story-tellers also share the latest news from distant lands, tell old stories which teach about the world abroad, and speak of the many inhabitants of the world.

Death and Burial

While the Wood Fae have a deep love of life, they also understand that death comes to everyone. Untimely deaths are considered tragedies, and and a week of mourning is allowed for the immediate family before the funeral ceremony takes place. Funerals for those who've succumbed to a natural death (eg. disease, old age) take place the day after the death. These ceremonies are usually officiated by clerics or healers who knew the deceased, and they are responsible for the actual burial, the preparation of the funeral feast, and for informing the community of the death.

Close friends sometimes watch the burial, which typically takes place in a specific place in the wilderness just outside of their town of residence. If the deceased had made a special request to be buried elsewhere, they may be buried there, instead. Graves are shallow, no more than a foot deep, so animals may scavenge for food and the body be returned to nature. Close friends come to visit the grave, say any final words and hear the funeral director say a prayer over the body and do a ritual blessing of the body's return to the earth.

While it is acceptable for the family and close friends to show grief and some sadness at the passing of a loved one, the funeral is a celebration of the deceased's life and achievements. Funeral parties are held a respectable distance from the burial grounds, where friends and acquaintances celebrate the return of the body to the earth and the memory of their friend. During the festivities the director oversees the redistribution of the deceased's possessions to friends and those who provided food and drink for the celebration. Any possessions remaining at the end of the funeral party are returned to nature.

Funeral parties are thrown for most deaths, with one notable exception: slain criminals who tried to escape death. They are not given a burial or blessing, and all their possessions are returned to nature.


Necromancers are rare on the Isle of Melinda, and their studies are not frowned upon, if used for the common good. Unnatural death (eg. murder) is considered an act against Nature. In such an instance, a Necromancer may be summoned. It is determined by the wisest citizens whether the deceased should be raised. If it is decided the deceased should be raised, they retain most, if not all of their free will. This allows the deceased to perform one last task. This could be anything from saying farewell to loved ones, continuing to nurture saplings until they are fully grown, to pointing out the murderer for punishment. Once the task is completed, the Necromancers return the raised to their grave so that Nature may continue to run its course.

Necromancy can also be considered a great crime if wielded in the following ways:

  • Raising the dead as slaves with no will
  • Raising the dead and not returning them to the grave
  • Raising the dead to gain power through raising an army.

These things are abhorrent to the Wood Fae, since they go against the very essence of Nature. Those Wood Fae who practice such criminal acts are careful to keep this information to themselves, lest they be exiled.


The Wood Fae have a deep love of nature and freedom, which is very evident in their religious practices. For the most part, the Wood Fae worship nature itself, rather than gods. Their religious beliefs are manifested through practical actions and few prayers.

Wood Fae save seeds from their meals and harvests to replant and replace what they have taken from nature. Approximately once a week, households offer a portion of their meals to nature by reverently taking it into the wilderness to feed the animals or to enrich the soil. Similarly, when they are no longer needed, very old pieces of art are ceremonially returned to nature.

Wood Fae are very careful in how they use the resources of their land. The trees they do cut are chosen with the future of the forest in mind. Hunters do not over-hunt their prey, and no part of the animal is wasted. Bones are carved into utensils, hides are tanned for leather, hair and feathers are used for adornment, and sinew for thread and binding.

Citizens of Melinda have frequent festivals and celebrations of life or nature and the turning of the seasons.

While nearly all Wood Fae are devout believes in nature deified, they also are tolerant of an individual's right to believe what they will and do not condemn other religions or deities. In fact, Wood Fae often embrace other religious holidays for the sake of having another celebration.


The Isle of Melinda is known for its fine carvings, mosaics, and crafts. It is also known for its maple syrup and nuts. Walnuts, acorns, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, chestnuts, and hazelnuts of excellent quality are harvested in great quantity each year. One of the greatest festivals is the Festival of Nuts, held each year at harvest time.

Although a very insular nation, the Isle of Melinda has a healthy trade arrangement with the Republic of Duvain.

Because of Berphaunt's conflicting approach to natural resources, the people of Melinda are loathe to have any dealings with them.

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