Avg. Height: 6'0"
Avg. Weight: 130 lb
Avg. Lifespan: 600
|Eyes:||Predominantly brown; some blue and green.||Hair:||Blond to brown, occasionally shades of green; very rarely, fiery red.||Skin:||Fairly pale to tanned; varies depending on location.||Body Type:||Graceful and limber.||Clothing:||Forest colors, change outerwear to reflect seasons.|
Languages: Common, elvish.
Special: Bonus to Archery and Outdoorsman learn rates.
Penalty to Kinesis and Sorcery learn rates.
Definitely the sprite of the forest, the Byra are the direct ancestors of the Sylvani that first appeared in the Age of Awakening. While their cousins moved on and outward to protect the rest of the world, the Byra stayed to live, frolic and guard the woodlands.
Living in and amongst wildlife has given them a depth and understanding of Beade that is so inherently a part of their souls that it supersedes any need for religion. There is no need for faith, Beade simply is! While traditions and ceremonies abound, they tend to be secular in nature and mark events such as the changes in seasons and leadership. Marriages, births and even deaths are all celebrated with the profound awareness that nothing happens in the forest that Beade does not see.
Eschewing the need for what their Tain cousins call proper houses, the Byra call the forests their home and can be equally comfortable in the hollowed out trunk of a tree or within its branches. In fact, some prefer the forest floor, cushioned by fallen leaves and needles. Given that they live for hundreds of years, the pace of life for the Byra is leisurely and pleasurable. A given task may take a year of thought and planning and then up to a decade to complete. The passing of time is of little consequence to most Brya.
Considering themselves guardians of the weald, the Byra live in balance with nature, neither taking more than they need nor substantially altering the environs. Although they harvest wild fruits, berries and grains, they are always careful to not deplete an area. Picking is done judiciously to keep the plants always flourishing and when a tree dies, a rebirthing ceremony takes place and two seeds are ceremoniously planted as replacements.
Born with keen eyesight and fast reflexes that are further honed over years of living in the wilds, Byra are capable of feats that amaze outsiders. Their natural aptitude with bows and slings has given them the ability to take aim and with one shot, kill their dinner or a threatening invader before the unwary is even aware they are being stalked. In fact, their legendary skill with bows extends to design and crafting as well, and Byra bows are known as the standard by which all others are measured.
Preferring to dress in the colors of the forest, most Byra change their outerwear with the seasons, traditionally choosing grays and browns in winter, varying shades of green in the spring and summer and in their favored season, autumn, they don bright cheerful clothing in shades of red, orange and gold. They fondly call these garments their "flaming finery," as the colors resemble that of a roaring fire, their chosen element.
While marriages are encouraged and extended family is treated with the same love and protection as immediate family, children are rarely conceived. Having an innate sense of balance from their observations of nature, the Byra are careful to not overpopulate the forests with more elves than the environment can comfortably sustain.
Living within the heart of Beade, the most common professions of the Brya are that of rangers and druids, thus increasing the natural connection that exists with the animals they share their home with. Those choosing to become empaths are not uncommon either and rumors of an ancient healer who practiced her arts on wounded animals has been handed down from generation to generation.
Remaining fairly isolated, the Byra are watchful when strangers wander into their territory. The outsiders are normally observed carefully, albeit it secretly to determine whether they be potential friend or foe. Random or unnecessary destruction of the weald automatically marks a foreigner as an enemy and as such, is slated for death. If on the other hand, an outsider wanders into the forest and treats it with respect, he will be given safe passage and even protected if necessary. It is not unheard of for members of other elven clans or even other races to make their home with the Byra as they welcome all who are at peace with Beade.
Graceful and limber, the Byra are agile tree climbers as well as sure-footed when traveling rough terrain. Eye colors are predominantly brown, but shades of blue and green are not unheard of.
Skin tone and complexion tends to vary depending on how deeply within the weald the Byra lives. Those that live in dense forests are typically fairly pale since the sun barely dapples the forest floor in such places. Other clans living closer to the plains and large bodies of water have been known to become great sun enthusiasts and for them, tanned skin is the norm. Hair colors typically fall in the blonde to brown range although varying shades of green are not uncommon. Very rarely, a Byra will be born with fiery red hair. This is seen as an omen of such import that all in the clan change their clothing and wear their flaming finery for a full fortnight regardless of the season. The redheaded infant is always brought to the governing elders to appraise and name.
In the annals of history several of the most revered Byra have been redheads, thus the child is "marked" and closely watched. Pressured by the added and burdensome attention, the majority of redheads choose to make their way to the seas, preferring the solitude of the oceans over the claustrophobic scrutiny that they undergo within the weald. In fact, mothers have been known to weep when a red-haired baby is born, knowing that whether by greatness or self-imposed exile, the child will be set apart from the tightly knit clan.