Greenriver Holt

Travel from the First holt to Greenriver is short and pleasant, at a slow walk it only takes three hands of days to reach it. The eastern border of the First holt is the barren burnt lands, but it is not necessary to travel these to get to Greenriver. By taking the forested southern pass which starts just east of the Swamp, the hilly terrain is light travel. The woods there are mainly wide-bolls and round-tops, with an occasional copse of evergreens or rainforest, but rarely is it any thicker than 'average'. A lot of sunlight penetrates here, but there is little in the way of undergrowth, because of the rocks which erupt here and there. A very small stream runs east all the way past this area, finally exiting around the swamp near the Hall of Portals. This stream is best followed on the north side, for it forks and following the south side will cut off any easy travel.

The Greenriver Holt is a little south of where the First sits, and east by a ways. The whole area is hilly and pleasant, etched by a river that both meets and forks around others to the south. The overview of the Holt is seen only from the highest point, Farsend's peak, inside of which is mainly crystal and clear. More on this later. No other area, hill or peak, offers a complete view of the holt, because of it's rolling and wide nature. The elves mainly live in the area around a shaped cave, beside their river. Some will live inside the caverns, many live outside in tree-houses (not shaped dens) or other smaller caves. Almost every hill around is hollow, not naturally so, of course. The trees dotting the low grasslands are mainly round-tops and occasionally a large pine or redwood towers above. Many of these pines have been shaped into boundary markers, easily seen from nearly anywhere, and since it is quite simple to become lost in the wide areas, all an elf needs to do is head for one of those, and look around. They are spiraled red and green needles, a simple shaping job that has to be redone nearly every year. All of them are shaped within sight of the next, and they become more orange-colored the closer to the center of the Holt.

On the very west side of the holt are denser forests, mostly wide-bolls. This whole area is nearly flat, a contrast to the hills and mountains found east and north. To the south of the holt is the Hive, which will be described later. On the north side is heavier mountain areas, but none nearly as tall as Farsend's peak. These mountains eventually dwindle down to chasms and rocky hills in the far north, many hands of days away, where the Tundra elves sometimes hunt. East of the Greenriver holt is a thicker forest than on the west, it is forbidding and dark much of the time, with large fog catchers and a tremendous amount of undergrowth. Few people hunt here, as it is just plain difficult to get around. Some elves have searched for their soul-names here, but other than that, it is useless.

Due south, past the Hive, are the beginnings of the central plains. Occasionally, some of the wanderers will winter up here in the north, rather than appear at the South holt. This is rare, however, and more visitors come through on their way from the Hall or to the Tundra.

The river itself is slow and wide, where the elves live however it is fairly narrow, and therefore slightly more quickly moving. It snakes through the area and is very rich in plant life, and fish abound. There are few waterfalls on the north side of this area, but several before reaching the Hive to the south. Many hills offer caves, all caves, therefore, are beside the river. Most of the trees are right on the top of each hill, and only rarely is there more than two or three trees for any given hilltop.

The main cave den and meeting place is always the center of activity, fishing, repairing of nets, shaping and anything else needed to be done is done on the sides of the river. There is a bridge newly made (yr 42) that crosses the widest point of the river, and as all elfin creations this one is perfectly designed not to interrupt the natural flow of the water. A few strides away is the entrance of the cave, framed with vines and painted rocks. Torches line the front, and every few strides is another. A thin line of smoke can be detected flowing in the very top of the corridor ceiling. There are several seats and shaped stump chairs lining the entrance, and of course, the ever-present hide flaps stored for winter use.

There is a large circular area hollowed out from the natural cavern beneath the soil of the hill, the dirt is fairly shallow, and no trees grow on this particular one. A kind of stone ledge shelters the entrance, and is a good place to sit and watch the river. Any weaponry and communal items are stored in the first room. On the far right side from the entrance is another doorway, with a beaded hanging shielding the other side. Through this is a set of steps leading down and to the left. Several openings and halls connect to this staircase, and as always there are torches to light the way. The first entranceway is to the left, where Cloudpelt and Sheerbreeze live, the second is on the right many steps down, and opens to the communal entertainment area. A fire pit sits at the far side, and is ventilated by a shaped hole leading to just next to the river. (The plume of smoke can be seen from outside.)

Several doorways are for private dens, then there is a break in the staircase. It opens out to a large, fairly dark room, the healing den. There are many other side entrances to this room, to dens, storage chambers and smoking rooms. The tanner Silverlake does most of her work outside, rarely storing anything inside. The usual assortment of healing herbs and medicines line the rooms walls, and there are not one but two large healing pits with their soft pillows and furs. There are many moderately powered healers in the Greenriver holt, but several very strong ones, so at least two of them will be able to work at a time, most of the time this is not used, since there is little in the way of dangerous prey or situations here.

At least half the entranceways, again, lead to private dens and small rooms, but the main exit from the healing room is to a tall spiral ramp that leads into a vast open cave below. It is warm, fueled by shaped magma brought by the stone shapers. All metal shaping, gem extraction, and pretty much most of the artistic works are done here, and there is a lot of that: Lightshaft making her arrows and javelins; Axe and Crusher making their own large impressive weaponry; Silverbow working on his missile weaponry; Orchid painting and all the others. On the metalworker's side, they have shaped the veins of ore into easily accessed areas, and it is loud over there. They have a pool with cool water which is connected to the river above, that runs next to the wall on the painter's side before collecting in the depression.

Outside, there are several areas that are most often visited. Three-trees pass is a small area between two hills with three trees (obviously), that has a well-worn trail in it. It opens out to the area behind the main hill. The grazing pasture is a protected glen where the hoofstock usually grazes, all bond animals that are not predators live near or in this area, and are strictly off limits for the wolves and cats that might otherwise eat them. All new wolf bonds or predatory animals brought to the holt must be introduced to the animals here, and the reverse is true. There is a large herd of horses that roam nearby, to the east, and often can be found in this glen because their main stallion is bonded to Silverbow. The south area following the river has a lot of high boulders and exposed rocks, with hardier trees living there, and it is here that affords the best view of Farsend's peak.

A few minutes travel north and around a lot of bumpy ground leads to the base of Farsend's peak. There are many entrances to it, and the south face is nearly vertical at the ground level, so these entrances are pretty obvious. When looking at the south face, that is to say the 'front' of the peak, off to the left there is an odd arrangement of shaped stones and leathers strapped together. This is the end of the slide, which will be described later. The trees are more dense here, and tend to be dominated by short and sturdy leafy trees. All of the trees except the border pines and redwoods lose their leaves and become dormant for winter, and therefore the autumn festival is a big one here.

Just inside the entrance at ground level to the peak, there are a series of rooms, some of which contain sleep furs and bedding, used often by the tired sledders and hunting parties. Up from these are many open cavities, all laced with crystals and stone sculptures. The only thing shaped into this area is a long ramp that ascends back and forth through the whole cave. It disappears through a dark arch.

Past this archway is a fairly dark place, obviously close-walled, but since all of the stone here is transparent or semi-translucent, distance is very deceptive. Once leaving this part of the cavern there are catwalks and arched bridges, one even passing over a totally clear stone, which is over a warm spring that is completely enclosed. Steam rises and there is effectively a pillar of mist in the middle of the peak. Lining the sides of the ramp now are fan-stones, raw crystals, ores and geodes, none have been shaped, they are all natural. This point is halfway up the peak. Past this is more strongly shaped stones and gem formations, stalactites and mites, and the ever-present ramp up. A spiral similar to the one in the main cave is here as well, although this one goes up to the top of the peak rather than down to the bottom. The steam formation at the middle of the mountain provides the small bubbling pool that greets visitors on arrival to the main top of the peak, percolating upwards. (Aided by magic?) The inside of the peak here is totally clear glasslike stones, all subtly shaded in colors. Farsend has shaped the formerly open peak to be sheltered, using all the stone available and making a thin wall. Here, Farsend lives and only rarely does he spend more than a night anywhere else. He tutors any and all mentalists (astrals, mind snarers, hypnotists and deep senders) in a quiet and relaxing environment.

When looking down from the peak, every part of the holt is visible. On a very clear day travelers can be spotted from several days away! In this manner, visitors from the Hive can be prepared for, and storms are monitored from there as well. There are no weathershapers in the Greenriver holt, therefore they need to be as warned as possible, since flooding does occur.

East of the meadow there are a series of plateaus and muddy streams, which become a large marsh in the flood season. Continuing east for about a hand of days is the typical hunting range of the Greenriver parties, after a certain point however, they reach the northern extension of the dark woods, and give up. Past this is the very extended range of the Ice Traders.

South-west from the main cave and past the rocky hills is a dry wash. This is the old course of the river, before the hills interrupted it, they must be a new item in the landscape, or the water simply found better causeways to the east. Every year, however, the flooding does spill off this way, and the floodwaters wash directly through the Hive's territory. By following the wash it is a trip of only three days, two on wolf and just a few hours by flight. The Hive welcomes elfin visitors as long as they observe simple rules: don't hunt their food items, and accept whatever gifts the Elders decide are necessary.

The Hive live in a communal nesting site, and they are fully described elsewhere. The area where they live is a hollow and totally inactive volcanic cone, the north-east side of which has been worn away by time and water. The view from the south or west, however, makes it seem like quite the large rock formation. The winds in the area are shielded by the existing stone, and it has been built up by both Hive engineers and elfin stone shaping.

In the wash, there are thousands of eggs and silk draping them. The sandy dirt with smooth pebbles is ideal for the Hive's hatchlings, easy to keep warm and protected now by both elves and the Hive's scouts from the predators like rats. The wash has a fissure about ten minutes upriver, and there is a small streamlet now running through the wash. (The events that necessitated the structure are described in several other places) The south running direction of the stream widens out for miles, until it reaches the plains.

The Hive cone is sheltered only on the south-west sides, and the circular area in the center of the cone is used as a communal area for weaving and whatever it is that the creatures do while elves are away. At the north-west curve of the cone, the Elders hang in their giant cocoons and no one knows what they look like inside. The old females and warriors who have outlived their prey are allowed to decorate the cocoons with leaves and stones, and other small bits of stuff they have picked up along the way. Some (very few) elves have also been allowed to do this, and it is a great honor.


The trip to the Plains is very short from here. Just head due south and keep going until you're in the middle of nowhere. Equally uneventful save for the chasms in the way is the trip to Tundra Hill. The only really regular journeys are to and from the First holt, and to the Hive. Some elves come to the Otherforest through the Hall of Portals, and if they are headed west, as most are, they either must endure the trip through the plains, or take the longer but safer trip through the northern woods. The other possible place to get to from Greenriver is of course the Ice Traders, but even the Greenriver elves have not done this.

Led out of the First Holt because of overcrowding, the pair (not mated) responsible for leading them is Cloudpelt and Lightshaft . Cloudpelt is blind, but through his magic can see with the eyes of others, be it an elf or animal. He is a strong sender and a personable character. Lightshaft is independant and often overbearing, but always backs her actions up with sensible decisions.

The Greenriver tanner is Silverlake , who often works day and night through without stopping. She is a little obsessive on her works, and sometimes that can make her clothing more decorational than functional, though they are quite beautiful.

Orchid is the holt's artisan, and she works deep in the lower caverns by torchlight making tapestries and painted portraits of the elves and their histories. She is similar to Willow in the First holt in that she often may sense new elves on their way, and paint them before they have arrived.

This holt is unusual in that it has not just one storyteller, but several: Cloudpelt is one, and Sharpsword is another. Sharpsword (who also is a weaponsmith), Shield and Otter are lifemates, the other two being women. He had been a teacher on earth, and his ability to relate information was retained. His stories are mostly based on real adventures in the holt, but some he has invented. The concentration of earth-teachers is fairly high here, Foxfur is one as well.

Inhabitants of the Green River Holt ((FEMALE)) ((MALE)) /c = child










Deer's Horn