The Sylvari

Twenty three years ago the Sylvari emerged as Tyria’s youngest and perhaps most inquisitive race. After a run in with the Asura that led to several unsettling experiences the Sylvari became more cautious with who they met. Over time the Sylvari constructed a society of honor, curiosity and diverse philosophy. An empathic race whose very being is embodied in the Dream of Dreams the Sylvari are still setting their place in the world in the Dragon-Haunted early.

Influenced by the Faerie folklore of the British Isles, the Sylvari are a race of that melds the flora into a mimicry the humanoid form. The stories of great heroes such as Cu Chulainn and King Arthur are major inspirations for Sylvari characters. Passionate individuals who fought for honor and ideals that they held important to their very being. In this the Sylvari seek to experience the world and understand it better as they adventure outside of the grove.

All Sylvari awaken (their word for birth) after time in the dream where they gain a basis of persona from memories woven to them by the Pale Tree.


Sylvari Cultural Themes:

  • Honor – Sylvari all have their own moral code, disputes are often solved via a duel and if not via the wisdom of an older sylvari.
  • Gender – Though the Sylvari possess what appears to be a physical set of gender they do not adhere to what some of the races may consider traditional gender roles. In fact the Sylvari place little emphasis on one’s societal gender. Gender plays no basis in their relationships other than interest in the individual.
  • Inquisitive / Curious – The Sylvari seek to understand and to experience.
  • Empathy – Sylvari are an empathic race who can sense emotions of other members of their race (the extent is unknown).
  • The Dream – All Sylvari share connection to the Dream of Dreams, be it those who follow the Tablet of Ventari or those who walk the Nightmare. Wakened Sylvari cannot access the Dream, but can sense echoes from it vaguely on rare occasions.
  • Philosophy – The Sylvari discuss their races ideals and the tenets of Ventari’s tablet. They are not bound by the ideals of Ventari.


Sylvari Naming Conventions

Names for the Sylvari are unique in that they seem to draw inspiration from real world Celtic names (Faolain is related to the Old Irish word, Faol meaning wolf). The actual naming conventions for Sylvari are unknown as most seem to only have a singular personal name. Secondary titles may work, but this is only speculation.

Good names might be descriptive names in a Celtic language (CroiCrann = Treeheart) or celtic names.


Sylvari Affiliation

Among the Sylvari there are four Cycles that all are born from. Each Cycle takes place during one part of the day from the Cycle of the Dawn to the Cycle of the Night. Each Cycle is believed to infer a different personality trait to those it is born to. Sometimes called Houses, the Cycles in turn are led by one of four firstborn called Lumaries.
Each Luminary in their own right has their very own unique occupation and place in the grove.

The Four Cycles of the Sylvari are:

  • Cycle of the Dawn - Led by the Luminary Aife those awakening to the dawn are said to have dipolomatic personalities. Infused with elements of gregariousness and friendly types who like to talk and plan.
  • Cycle of the Noon - Led by the Luminary Niamh who is in charge of the Wardens, a group charged with the defense of the Grove. Those awakening to the Noon are said to prefer actions over words and are far more interested in tackling ideas head on and feel the rush of direct hand experience.
  • Cycle of the Dusk - Led by the Luminary Kahedins a scholar with a kind heart and interest in developing a writing system for the Sylvari. Those awakening to the Dusk are said to prefer studying riddles and puzzles over physical pursuits.
  • Cycle of the Night - Led by the Luminary Malomedies a quiet man whose first contact with the Asura left him bearing a story he still fails to tell to this day. Malomedies is a scholar who was the first to chart the skies and introduce the art of mathematics to the Sylvari. Those awakening to the Night are said to be secretive and quiet while preferring to keep to themselves.


Syvlari Leadership and Government

The Sylvari do possess a nation and even a government of sorts. Unlike the organization found in the Human Kingdom of Kryta and or the military machine of the Charr High Legions the Sylvari are organize in a form of Gerontocracy or rule by the Elder generation. The Firstborn are seen with respect and in the case of the Luminaries act as guardians and even political figures in a way. At the center of this semi-oligarchy reigns the Pale Tree and from her are set down the basis of Sylvari law and morality via the Tablet of Ventari.

Those that follow the Grove where the government of Pale Tree or Tablet could be called either Tablet or Dream Sylvari. An out of character term referring to those that follow the teachings of Ventari. The actual meaning of the Tablet is discussed and debated, but to those that follow the Tablet it is is the core of the Sylvari culture.

Firstborn other than the Luminaries do act as teachers and inspiration for future generations of the Pale Tree’s children.

Outside of the Grove the Nightmare Court exists an direct opposite to the partially orderly rule of the Pale Tree and the Luminaries. At the top sits Faolain the Grand Duchess, one of the twelve firstborn. Below Faolain sit the members of the Retinue. Each member usually has a courtly title such as Duke, Baron and so on. Beneath the Retinue are the Knights individuals charged with spreading fear and despair and adding to the darkening pool of the Nightmare. Beneath them are the apprentices, newly chosen courtiers and retainers.

Knights and Retinue members usually adopt a title such as “Knight of Blades” in addition to their courtly title.


Other Things of Note

Each Sylvari is created from coalescing memories and each one is different. Sylvari do not have a hive mind, but are able within reason to sense the feelings of others near them. Sylvari who are much younger are less likely to have developed their own extensive moral code or ideals with experience outside the Grove to those who have lived for years. Another thing is that though Ventari’s Tablet is a acore of the Grove’s morality it is not ingrained or part of a Sylvari’s personality.

Roleplaying a Sylvari is roleplaying a creature influenced by emotion and interested in seeking experience. The one thing to avoid with Sylvari is to not roleplay them as Elves or as treehuggers. Like all races of Tyria they are a highly depth filled people with their own culture and differing ideologies that provide a plethora of oppurtunies for Roleplayers.

Some Sylvari terms to be aware of:

  • Luminary – One of the four Firstborn acting as guardians of the Pale tree and a leader of their Cycle.
  • Firstborn – One of the Twelve original Sylvari from the Pale Tree, only eleven remain alive.
  • Riannoc – The First Sylvari to die and one of the Firstborn.
  • Secondborn – The second generation of Sylvari, born six to seven years after the Firstborn.
  • Awaken – The act of a Sylvari awakening in their cocoon, the Sylvari form of birth.
  • Cocoon – Sylvari are born from large golden fruit that hang from the Pale Tree.
  • Dream of Dreams – The term for the collection of memories, dreams and experiences of the Sylvari race.
  • Nightmare – The darker feral and or crueler side of the Dream of Dreams.
  • Warden – A member of Luminary Aife’s military unit guarding the Grove.


Some major and important sources of Sylvari Lore are: