- But Y'ffre took the Ooze and ordered it. First, she told of the Green, the forest and all the plant life in it. She gave the Green the power to shape itself as it willed, for it was her first tale. The Elves were Y'ffre's second tale. As Y'ffre spun the story, the Elves took the form they have today. Y'ffre gave them the power to tell stories, but warned them against trying to shape themselves or the Green. Shifting and the destruction of the forest were forbidden. Instead, Y'ffre commended the Wood Elves to the Green, so that they might ask the Green to provide them with shelter and a safe passage, and as long as they respected the Green, it would obey. — The Ooze: A Fable
The Green Pact, also known as the Treaty of Frond and Leaf, is a strict code upheld by many of the Bosmer of Valenwood. It is said to have guided their existence since the beginning of the "great story". Its rules are clear. Do not harm the forests of Valenwood. Do not eat anything made from plant life. Eat only meat. When enemies are conquered, their meat must be eaten, not left to rot. Do not kill wastefully. Do not take on the shape of beasts.
Green Pact Bosmer attack any who would harm the forest in which they live, which they call the Green. The cannibalistic "Meat Mandate" of the Pact sets them apart religiously from other cultures. The requirement to eat fallen enemies before three days pass is perhaps the most shocking part of the Pact to outsiders. Though many Bosmer still try to respect the Green Pact, the practice of eating dead enemies diminished by the Second Era, and is typically only practiced in the most remote villages. The family members of the warrior who slaughtered the enemy may help him with his meal. Bosmer who honor this facet of the Green Pact typically attempt to prepare themselves before large battles by fasting.
The Bosmer allegedly made the Green Pact with Y'ffre in return for Y'ffre's patronage and protection. As a result, they use bone, animal, and insect products widely; imported wood is used when necessary. Rather than drinking conventional liquor made from grain or fruit, the Bosmer consume jagga (fermented pig's milk) and rotmeth. Rotmeth is made from fermented meat seasoned with thunderbug organs, takes years to brew, and is considered a precious ritual beverage that symbolizes "the muscle of the boar, the power of the forest, the strength of the Bosmer people". No wedding can take place without it. Y'ffre is believed to have first blessed them with their form, thus their appearance is sacred, so although Bosmer may take the shape of beasts, the Pact normally bans this practice. However, the Wild Hunt is considered a result of the Green Pact: in return for their patronage to Y'ffre, the Bosmer may perform a ritual in dire times that transforms the participants into a horde of wild, shape-shifting beasts, which go on to lay waste to the enemies of the Bosmer.
The Green Pact made the felling of Valenwood trees by anyone, foreign or native, a crime against the Bosmeri religion. There are almost no cities or towns built by the Bosmer themselves. Rather, the Bosmer's relationship with the Pact grants them magical forest-shaping abilities to grow their settlements. The exact process is unclear, but reports claim that its often a highly ritualized affair which consists of slow, rhythmic chanting for several days. Much like the Meat Mandate, fasting is possibly involved prior to and during the process. Bosmer also believe Y'ffre has blessed them with the limited ability to ask the Green to shape itself to their needs to help them live within the restrictions of the Pact.
The tenets of the Pact have led to many tensions with allies and others who have disrespected their beliefs. More than once, the Bosmer have gone to war to protect the Green. While many "civilized" Bosmer don't adhere as closely to the Green Pact as their tribal brethren, they nevertheless often seem to be staunch advocates for respecting its tenets. Green Pact Bosmer are fanatical in their devotion to the Pact. They have been known to let loved ones die of illness even as the alchemical ingredients which could save them grow nearby. Nevertheless, these forest-dwellers are not savages: they have been described as a highly intelligent, curious, and rational people with rich cultural traditions vested in the forest and in their spiritual leaders, the Spinners of Y'ffre. The Spinners are charged with enforcing the Green Pact, and are said to hold the real power in Valenwood. Accounts suggest they have great influence on the people, and that their sermons touch upon more than just spiritual matters. Every springtime, Green Pact Bosmer gather at the Elden Grove for a festival in which they drink, tell stories, and pay homage to the Elden Tree.
The Green Pact Bosmer are known as fierce warriors, but are also known for the hospitality they exhibit to outsiders who respect their ways. Their stories speak of the Ooze, a purgatorial state reserved for Bosmer who violate the Pact (who are called Apostates), as well as the harsh punishments the Green unleashes on those who would harm it.
- Due to their diet, Green Pact Bosmer are supposedly prone to flatulence, which they refer to as "feeding the fire". Some Bosmer, however, assert that these claims are inaccurate and offensive.
- Once every generation, Bosmer celebrate the Handfasting, the wedding of the Silvenar and the Green Lady which is viewed as a renewal of their divine pact.
- A sect of Bosmer known to the others as the "Oathbreakers" refused to agree to the Green Pact in ancient times. They were subdued and buried in Ouze.
- The Green Pact and the Dominion — A discussion of how the Green Pact affects the Dominion
- Green Pact Bosmer: Observations by Dinycthus Precis — A study into the Bosmer adherents of the Green Pact
- Oathbreakers' Rest — Notes on the Bosmer who disagree with the Green Pact
- Pact Magic Examined — Notes regarding the Bosmer's relationship with Valenwood under the Green Pact
- The Ooze: A Fable — A children's tale from Valenwood
- Valenwood: A Study by Archivist Endaranande — A study of Valenwood
- Visions of the Green Pact Bosmer by Morvas Andrys — Insights into the worldview of followers of the Green Pact
- Why We Farm — The final words of an imprisoned Bosmer who broke the Green Pact
- Wood Elf Etiquette: An Imperial Perspective by Kerandas Calvus, in the year 2723 — A long discredited late First Era text on manners in Valenwood
- ^ Arboreal Architecture — Cirantille
- ^ a b c d e Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Aldmeri Dominion — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ a b c d The Green Pact and the Dominion
- ^ a b c Green Pact Bosmer: Observations — Dinycthus Precis
- ^ a b c War Customs of the Tribal Bosmer — Mistral Aurelian Teriscor
- ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Wilds Remain: Valenwood — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Valenwood — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- ^ Galithor's dialogue in ESO
- ^ Valenwood: A Study — Archivist Endaranande
- ^ Mixed Unit Tactics — Codus Callonus
- ^ Woodhearth: A Pocket Guide
- ^ Pact Magic Examined (Excerpt)
- ^ Marbruk Builder's Log
- ^ Gathiel's Diary — Gathiel
- ^ The Wood Elves of Valenwood
- ^ From the journal of Munamur — Munamor
- ^ The Eldest: A Pilgrim's Tale
- ^ Why We Farm
- ^ The Ooze: A Fable
- ^ Wood Elf Etiquette: An Imperial Perspective — Kerandas Calvus, in the year 2723
- ^ Note about "Wood Elf Etiquette" — Iirond
- ^ Diplomacy during the Handfasting
- ^ An Unusual Alliance — Aicantar of Shimmerene, Sapiarch of Indoctrination
- ^ Oathbreakers of Ouze
Note: the following references are not found in game. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.