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Background

Celebrations

Physical Layout ("Lake-Dwellers" era)

The Isle, seen from above, is an oval shape, with the longer axis running roughly north to south. It has a number of levels, more below the water than above. The details shift from year to year, but the basic layout has been fixed since the addition of the Hall of Remembrance and the Tower, designed and built the first century after the Years of Sorrow.

 

The Tower The exterior of the tower is a double spiral, pierced with several entrances for watchers, and covered with vines trained by the plant-shapers. It also includes the main intakes and exhausts for the hearth-fires.
The Hall of Remembrance The base of the Tower encloses the Hall of Remembrance. This Hall is filled with tapestries, rock-shapings and other items which commemorate the history of the Isle and those who have died. Farseeker spends most of his time here during the summers. By tradition, no one speaks aloud here. 
The Gardens Interior gardens take up this level, with the exterior walls composed mainly of transparent or translucent stone. Thanks to the gardens, the elves enjoy a certain amount of fresh plant food year round. A certain amount of experimentation with plant changes is usually going on, though the plantshapers have to be careful -- what works well in the ambience of the magic-soaked Isle may not do well in the Valley -- or vice versa. The tradition of experimenting goes back to Diirla. Dawnflower is acknowledged as the ablest and most creative of the living plantshapers.
The Grand Hall The center of life within the Isle tends to center on the Great Hall. It's the single largest space within the Isle, with several levels, and a balcony running around most of its perimeter which leads to various trysting rooms, the Weaving Hall and the Council Hall, and weapons storage rooms. The lower level includes exits to the outside. The Grand Hall is where the major feasts are held. Eight columns, shaped like trees, support the higher levels. The outside walls of this level are composed of dirt and are covered with plants
The Walkway The Walkway surrounds the Isle at its maximum above-water perimeter, about two human-heights above the lake waters. The northernmost part of the walkway supports the summertime kiln and forge. The southernmost point is used for diving. A raft is usually moored nearby during the summer.
Starglow Hall Starglow Hall, named for the flecks of clear-crystal embedded in every stone surface, is where most of the 'uncommitted' elves hang out during the winter. The arrangements within the hall are random and subject to frequent change, consisting of single stools and small tables, multilevel, fur-topped lounges, ledges along the wall, and even seats and tables depending from the ceiling. Games rule in this hall, whether they are table games, or the ever continuing, many ruled (mostly unspoken), and sometimes explosive game known as "Lovemates and Furmates." 
Bathing and Hearth Halls The hearth halls and bathing pools dominate this level, along with the individual rooms. The bathing rooms, which included heated pools and waterfalls come in various sizes, from just large enough for a family to large enough for all the Starglow Hall habitants. The hearth halls (equivalent to kitchens and dining rooms), also vary in size. 
Storage Levels Living areas are increasingly interspersed with storage rooms, the deeper down one goes in the Isle. Several large rooms at the very root of the Isle, which lead to the under lake tunnels, are used as practice areas by the warriors during the winter seasons. 

 

Expressions and Phrases

* Furmate(s) - The Isleanders basically acknowledge three levels of attachment between adults: Furmates for a night or a season, lovemates for years, lifemates forever.

*Break the Lakeholder!

*Var's Curse [of Madness]

* By Valley and Lake [and Isle ]

* High Moons and Sweet Breezes

* [By] Haliil's Heart

* Willed-Born - Refers in general to anyone born outside of Recognition, but in particular, the elves born outside of Recognition between the early years and the time that Vrayl took the leadership from Var.

* Shore-Freedom - Children are restricted to the Isle except on extremely rare occasions. To gain access to the shore, a child must demonstrate proficiency in sending, heal-crafting, at least one weapon, fire-making and a knowledge of plants. Once a child has demonstrated this, generally by age fourteen or so, he or she goes ashore with a pair of mentors, whose responsibilities are to teach the youngster survival skills. Permission to lead a hunt for a large prey animal is usually the sign that the mentors consider the youth is ready to be acknowledged as an adult. A successful hunt is almost always followed by a return to the Isle and a name-feast. Most often, one of the mentors will take the youth as a fur-mate for the following winter-season, continuing their education in a different field.

*Farwalking, spirit-walker - Both terms refer to the ability to send one's spirit out of one's body. This gift plays a vital role during the summers, allowing the different groups of elves to stay in contact with each other, who would otherwise be out of sending-range. The four elves who can consistently 'farwalk' are Tinar, Farseeker, Arrowrock and Brightdark.