Hazel people

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The Hazel are the indigenous inhabitants of the Great Hazel Woods in southeastern Yellow Island.


The Hazel people have lived on Yellow Island for as long as their oral histories record. They had little to no contact with the other indigenous people of the island due to the dense impassability of the woods in which they lived. This effectively isolated the southeastern peninsula of Yellow Island by overland transport. For generations they lived in and around the Sacred Glade, where the Great Mother Tree was located. She held the oldest memories of the Hazel people, and only the certain druids who had studied ancient Treespeak could even commune with her. Her memories were passed to her from even more ancient Trees but they tell of Mona Von'Fel, an Elfinshi migrant who lived in the Elivia region of Menelmacar (present-day Lochhatonia). She left Elivia with stolen Menelmacari magick and walked into the wild, untamed country of ancient Yellow Island until she arrived at a clearing in a dense forest. She imbued the soil of the glade with its magick and taught the ancestors of the Hazel people living there how to use the magical soil to imbue objects with power. This forms the basis of hazkisi magick. She demonstrated this power by planting a single hazelnut in the middle of the glade and causing it to grow into a large hazel tree overnight.

In the early 1490s, Natopian colonists sailed through the Newport Strait and found a small Hazel fishing village at extreme southern end of Yellow Island. The natives called it Sidewinder. The Hazel fled back into the Woods and Sidewinder was converted into a modern port, and named Hazelwood City. With the Natopians encroaching from the east, and now the west, the Hazel people agreed to peacefully join the young Natopian Republic. As a reward for joining peacefully, prominent Hazel leaders were invited to join the early government run by Nett Opaegh, most notable was famous statesman, Rian Grass, who served as Regional Chancellor and Senator of Hazelwood for many years. He coined the term Legislative Frenzy.

In 1557, Jaies Timberpine founded a Monastic Order for druids and built a large monastery in the Sacred Glade. The Jaiesican Order would eventually be embraced by the Dozan Bovic Church as a way to bring in the druidic Hazel people into the predominant faith of Natopia.

In 1622, the Great Hazel Woods were destroyed in a great fire. Many Hazel escaped to Oakham and Hazelwood City. A colony, Moonoak Thicket, was established soon after on Tarsica under a climate dome. Many flora and fauna from the forest were transplanted to Tarsica. After years of recovery and replanting, the Woods had been regrown enough by 1663 that Tree spirits could be returned to a restored Sacred Glade. Most Hazel returned to live in the woods, although distinct and important groups of Hazel still live on the moon, in Oakham, and in Hazelwood City.


The Hazel people are deeply attuned to nature and place great importance on family bonds. Traditionally, they lived primarily as gatherers, living off the bounty of the forest. Wild berries, mushrooms, hazel nuts, wild fruit, sustained them. Although not active hunters, the Hazel did trap and eat the occasional deer, raccoon, rabbit, or other small animal. The druids could communicate with their ancestor trees, and the trees could sense the forest, and so the druids taught that the forest provides for its inhabitants. Part of the reason Hazel are Planted to become new spirit trees is so that they can return their energy back to the generous forest.

Although some Hazel still follow traditional lifestyles, the turmoil of the Great Fire of 1622 forced many into the modern world. Hazel adapted their natural lifestyle with modern conveniences. If the average Natopian were to walk into a typical Hazel village, it would be a similar experience to living in a modern campground. Most Hazel have cellphones, indoor plumbing, internet, radio and television. Food is still prepared around campfires. Everything is built to have minimal impact on the forest and when some unintended harm comes to the forest, the druids require things to be changed.

Every Hazel family belongs to a clan, which is associated with a species of tree.

Hazkisi magick

By experimentation, trial and error, and some luck the Hazel people have developed many rituals using hazkisi magick. The most widely known is that of Planting. After a Hazel has died, they are placed face down in a shallow grave of imbued dirt. A seed from their clan's preferred tree is placed in the deceased persons mouth. Prayers are uttered by the druids and, usually within minutes, the seed will sprout and grow through the head of the deceased. As the tree grows it uses the body for nutrients and the deceased is effectively absorbed by the new tree. In a few months, the Tree will be able to communicate with druids and the Hazel's spirit will have entered its final stage of life.

The Hazel have also developed a strengthening ritual. Nathan II famously participated in this ceremony under the direction of his sister, Clara Sundara and her partner, Cledwyn Starshade. The recipient is buried to their neck in dirt among the roots of one of the older Tree spirits. The imbued soil is absorbed into the skin and physically toughens the person. Unlike other Hazel who have pale skin, a person who undergoes the strengthening ritual will have a permanent dark tone to their skin from the absorbed dirt.

Many objects have been imbued with hazkisi magick. An enchanted, wooden, breastplate was given to Nathan Waffel-Paine by the Hazel when he was first crowned king of Natopia. The petrified wood used as gems in the crown of Flaventia are enchanted with protective powers.


Although every Hazel learns basic hazkisi spells and is instructed in how to commune with Tree spirits, only a select few demonstrate greater aptitude to become druids. Children with higher degrees of empathy are often asked to become apprentice druids around their 13th birthday. Some druids remain apprentices their entire life, and the apprentice druid is well-respected in the community for their advanced Treespeaking talents, mastery of hazkisi magick, and recognition of their devotion of time to study. Apprentices generally take on other careers. However at anytime after their 18th birthday, an Apprentice may request to be promoted to a full Druid. Usually this request is made after serious discussion and intense study conducted under their teaching Druid. A full druid has devoted their life to the Trees, and will move in to a community-supported monastery with other druids.