Lore:Brackenleaf (tree)

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This article is about the ancient tree. For the settlement, see Brackenleaf (settlement).


Brackenleaf is believed to be one of the first trees of Grahtwood. The story goes that when Y'ffre spoke their world-shaping tale, she planted her words in the earth and there grew Brackenleaf.[1] Indeed, Brackenleaf was compared to Elden Root, mentioned as one of many more ancient seeds.[2]

Brackenleaf's heart is a sought after relic as legends say the heart holds the power of Y'ffre, the same magic used to create the world. Due to this, it's been under threat since the beginning of time itself, with foes seeking to take its power for themselves. The Outsider is a prominent example of such a foe.[1]

Brackenleaf's Briars[edit]

Brackenleaf resting
Spriggan Spirit
Leader of the Brackenleaf Briars, 2E 582

Named for the thorny underbrush Valenwood raises to protect its flora, the Brackenleaf Briars protect the heart of Brackenleaf, follow the way of the hunt and protect the forest.[1][2] The first Briar was an expert hunter named Thaldil. Alone, she protected Brackenleaf from being ravaged by Colovians during Imperial occupation of Grahtwood,[2] at some point between 1E 2714, and 2E 430.[3] Following Brackenleaf's guidance, she established the Briars.[2]

Circa 2E 582 they were lead by the Wood Elf Glaras. Brackenleaf endows not just a deep knowledge of the forest and its creatures but also the power of its heart on its Briars, and in turn they use this strength to protect the heart, the forest and Brackenleaf itself.[1][2]

The greatest enemy of the Brackenleaf and the Briars is The Outsider, a deathless foe who returns again and again to attempt to steal the heart, but is consistently destroyed by the Briars just as often.[2]

They Briars owe no allegiance to any kings or alliances, following only Brackenleaf and Y'ffre. They believe that involving themselves in politics would taint their mission.[2]

The Briars have three rules: to live off flesh, to bring no harm to nature and to protect Brackenleaf with their very lives. To become a Briar, one must become a formidable hunter and be willing to give up life to protect Brackenleaf. Anyone may become a Briar as long as they pass the trials, as these tests don't differentiate between the races of Tamriel and so, neither do the Briars. The actual initiation is done in the form of multiple trials. To do this, one most first listen to the lessons of each Master, located at shrines of the Snake, Wolf and the Tiger.[2]

  • The way of the Snake is dark and methodical. Prey does not see one coming until it is too late. Snakes are calculated, cutthroat and agile. Circa 2E 582, the Master of the Snake was Hednor.[4]
  • The way of the Tiger is brutish and powerful. The Tiger's way is to dominate and overpower, standing toe-to-toe with prey to finish them off. Circa 2E 582, the Master of the Tiger was Miliril.[5]
  • The way of the Wolf is to hunt in numbers and to work together with others to take down mighty prey. Circa 2E 582, the Master of the Wolf was Gaerthir.[6]
Brackenleaf speaking

The second trial requires committing ones entire body and mind. To begin, an initiate must eat a rare Falinesti Peeper frog, eating it alive. This consumption allows one to see Valenwood in a different light and be guided by spirits of the forest. A Spriggan spirit, cut and "birthed" from the branches of Brackenleaf, is a regular guide in this spirit journey.[7] During this trial, an initiate speaks with Brackenleaf itself and during this conversation, they must decide what animal aspect to take upon. Fulfilling this trial requires the initiate to hunt the prey of their chosen aspect. The Wolf hunts the Tiger which hunts the Snake and which hunts the Wolf. Not just this, but they must also defeat their own predator.[8][7] The final trial is to defeat the Outsider, a being who Brackenleaf reveals to be the initiate themselves. They are to enter the trunk of Brackenleaf and touch the flame of their heart. Then the must defeat the Briar Masters in combat to become a Briar themselves. This way, the Outsider is defeated either by dying or by completing the test and becoming a Briar themselves.[8][9]

As a Briar, one may pray at shrines of their chosen aspect for boons when within Valenwood.[9][10] Maintaining of those shrines is a duty of Master Hunters.[5]

A Briar may receive the title of Master Hunter. Master Hunters are chosen by Brackenleaf after years of service in his Briars.[11] Elderly Master Hunters may opt to no longer actively serve, but, at least some of them were known to still aid the faction through other means, such as providers of supplies.[12][11]


  • Other arcane and sometimes sentient trees are seen throughout Tamriel. The Hist are also a species of sentient tree, who have also been known to communicate through the wind. The witches of the Beldama Wyrd are known to congregate around the eponymous Beldama Wyrd Tree, a gargantuan oak tree that serves as the heart of the coven's mystical crafts. The Witch Tree is a sentient tree found in the Western Reach which can speak cryptically through the rustling of leaves, and can also move its roots to communicate.

See Also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d Eringor's dialogue in Online
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Glaras's dialogue in Online
  3. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Wilds Remain: ValenwoodImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  4. ^ Hednor's dialogue in Online
  5. ^ a b Miliril's dialogue in Online
  6. ^ Gaerthir's dialogue in Online
  7. ^ a b Spriggan Spirit's dialogue in Online
  8. ^ a b Brackenleaf's dialogue in Online
  9. ^ a b Events of Bosmer Insight in Online
  10. ^ Shrines of the Wolf, Snake and Tiger in Grahtwood in Online
  11. ^ a b Gelur's dialogue in Online
  12. ^ Lereluin's dialogue in Online