The Cottonwoods form a long tale of valor, honor, and glory but like all stories, it starts with humble beginnings. The founders of the clan were two brothers, Boldrumir and Cyler both forest dwarfs both with a sense of unification with their forest brothers and sisters with these thoughts the Cottonwood clan began as the clan who wished to bring the Forest Dwarfs together. As Boldrumir’s and Cylers first steps into making their clan they had to decide on who will lead, Cyler being the more militaristic dwarf he wished to rule with an iron fist or Boldrumir with his sharp thinking and gentle words, Boldrumir won the little debate and became the first chief of the Cottonwood clan, his first orders as chief was simple 'bring the forest dwarfs home' and with that, the epic quest of Cotton started. This quest would take the clan through a rough saga, through which it greatly evolved and changed over the years but always stayed true to their core beliefs.
The Cottonwoods have ginger or brown hair, ranging at 4'0" - 5'0" ft in height with different shades of green eyes some can also have purple eyes in rare cases. Cottonwoods normally wear rather simple nature-colored clothing to blend in with the forests surrounding their village. During the winter months, they are often seen packed with thick layers of fur and bare-chested during under the summer sun. Newer Cottonwoods tend to have different shades of hair color from dark browns, light browns, blacks and of course the traditional ginger hair.
The culture and ways of the clan throughout their history could be split in three main periods. The Cottonwoods of old during age in which the clan was founded and led by Boldrumir Cottonwood in Axios and early Atlas. And the era of the reformed Cottonwoods, starting with Bjor Cottonwood in late Atlas up until Eerika Cottonwood in Arcas. And thirdly the hunting era of the clan starting with Beorn’s chieftainship after Eerika up until the present. Cottonwoods are and began as a tribal clan where they follow only one ruler and follow the rulers words to the punch. The brutality and neutrality of the Cottonwoods of old allowed them to remain around during Axios of the time of the dwarven civil war. The Cottonwoods under Bjor’s ruling were calmer than their older kin, living their life following their clan chief Bjor 'Sugartits' Cottonwood who thought them to lay the focus more on enjoying life to the fullest. In his vision this was done with many feasts, and strengthening the bonds in between clan members. The Cottonwoods tended to create their weapons with sticks, leaves and steel combining them all to make powerful mixed material weapons, there armors are created with the same materials however it is very common for a Cottonwood to run into battle wearing very little for Anbella, the Hearth Mother is protecting them, or so they believe. Later on Cottonwoods were also often seen carrying flint weaponry for they were very effective in their hunts. Cottonwoods believe in the life of luxury whereas soon as a hard days work is completed they would settle around the campfire enjoying feasts and talking with one another, however the Cottonwoods of Old tend to fight in their free time as well as a feast which lessened during the second era of the clan. The clan shifted its focus towards the hunt under Beorn’s chieftainship, which replaced the lack of this physical fighting, together with the craftsmanship which came with working the materials gathered from such hunts. The clan lived from these hunts and from the handle of these products with Hefrumm and the under realm of Urguan. Although the great drinking feasts of Beorn’s father Bjor stayed, the clan became known for their fierce hunters being the protectors of the woods surrounding the village which was gifted to them by the hearth mother, Anbella.
Though through time the Cottonwood trials changed the core idea always stayed the same. They’d need to hunt down a creature or beasts for varying purposes. In the old days, this was to show the clan your strength and courage to be deemed worthy to be called a proper Cottonwood. Later on, a religious ceremony under Bjor’s ruling was added to give the hunt more of religious meaning. The trial hunts were now often done in little groups to prove to the clan the aspect of teamwork and courage to save other clan members rather than blind courage. Further down the line, the future clan member would need to find a use for every part of the creature they had hunted to show to Anbella the life of the creature would not be washed. During their trials they’d also need to delve into working the materials they gathered from the creature, creating something they’ll wear till their old days to remind them of their trials. Some examples of these would be a fur mantle, a boartusk dagger, a necklace or earring with the fangs or claws of the creature, etc. This would often be combined by a tattoo of the creature.
The Cottonwoods of old had a tradition as old as the clan itself, where the clan chief could be challenged to one-on-one combat for his/her chieftainship. This could be done by any clan member but needed the approval of the elders to be done honorably. Though this tradition has disappeared in time, the chief’s past Boldrumir have never mentioned it nor deemed it unlawful.
Under Bjor the tradition of burying their fallen clan members in a sacred tree of ancestors was introduced. This tree of the hearth mother was always positioned in the center of the village making it that the sagas of such follow clan members would not be forgotten. They also often shared their drink with their ancestors by spilling some at the roots of the tree or simply during the funeral ceremony. Although they did not need a reason for their feasts, there were a few yearly ones introduced. They, for example, had a great harvesting feast to thank the hearth mother for her blessing upon their farmlands.
With the hunting culture of Beorn also came some new traditions. With the adapted trials it was now common for a Cottonwood to wear their great trophies of the hunt on them as they took much pride in those. This would start with them wearing something of choice from the creature or beast they had hunted down for their trial. This would go hand in hand with many Cottonwoods tattooing each great beast they had managed to slay on their body, as this tradition has the same origin as the previous one. Cottonwoods often fought with rather primitive materials, being rough copper, rusty scrap metal or flint knapped weapons. The usage of flint or volcanic glass had been brought into the clan by Beorn, who had been taught in working these materials through the technique of knapping by his father. Worked flint would be sharper than any common metal but rather brittle against solid materials like armor, making it perfect for most hunts. The working of this material would also require a lot of experience and be rather time-consuming.
The Laws of Cotton are broke up into four simple laws which all the clan members obey.
Follow your chief
Respect your clan
Stay loyal to Anbella
With these simple rules the Cottonwoods govern themselves for there tribal ways do not need long laws or laws about property they only need respect and loyalty
The Cottonwoods were formed under two Brothers. One was the more headstrong, gentle Cottonwood known as Boldrumir Cottonwood and his younger hot-headed brother Cyler Cottonwood, both sons of the widely known Ozneat Treebeard. The Cottonwoods were a two-man clan working the fields of Jornheimwhere. Their goal was very simple back then, to find and reunite their Brothers and Sisters of the forest. During their time the Cottonwoods were much more peaceful, speaking to both the Frostbeards and the Grand Kingdom of Urguan as equals during the War of the Beards. This led to the clan gaining the title of Common clan from both rivaling Kingdoms thanks to the diplomatic leadership of Boldrumir Cottonwood. During Boldrumir’s rule, the Cottonwoods gained fame and began to grow until the end of the War of the Beards where they remained in their farmlands where they collected a decent amount of kin until the world ended, and they fled on ships to the new lands.
During Atlas Boldrumir Cottonwood remained the Chief of Cotton. He moved the Cottonwoods from their allies within the newly formed Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah to the rivaling settlement known as the Confederation of Hammers. There the Cottonwoods showed up with numbers offering to join the Confederation giving them additional manpower. This was welcomed to defend their lands against the hostile Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah. During their time of the construction of their new village, Boldrumir appointed his brother Cyler Cottonwood to be the war chief. This was a newly formed title, created for him to lead the military affairs of the Cottonwood clan. This decision would cause the clan to form a military force that matched that of the main mountain dwarf clan of that time, the Silverveins. The Cottonwoods within the Confederation had a rivalry with the Silverveins due to their Clan Father, Edel Silvervein, openly mocking the Cottonwoods in manpower and military power. This conflict was handled diplomatically until the Silverveins chose to take hostile actions against the Cottonwood clan. Boldrumir wanted a peaceful settlement, but Cyler heavily disapproved of this which caused Cyler to launch counter-attacks on the Silvervein clan. These small physical and verbal conflicts would happen between the two clans but this conflict escalated quickly during a meeting of the Confederation. Here Edel Silvervein openly mocked the Chief of Cotton to the council once again. Because of this, the highly annoyed Cyler Cottonwood decided to throw an attack upon the Silvercity, the keep of the Silverveins. This lead to a poor display by the Silverveins where they hid within their keep unwanted to come to face the horde. The Silverveins stayed in defeat as the Cottonwood forces left the city burning. The clan needed to find a new location for their village after this as they were kicked from the lands of the Confederation of Hammers as Edel Silvervein called the attack an attack on all of the Confederation. The Cottonwoods created a new village where Boldrumir ruled once again. Following this event the great chief slowly turning insane. The non-diplomatic Cyler Cottonwood took it upon himself to run the village, but with Boldrumir's madness and lack of leadership, the Cottonwoods of Old seemed to have faded away. Bjor was a young forest dwarf who had stumbled upon the village with only vague memories of his childhood, Boldrumir had found this dwarf and took him in as his son. Though after Boldrumir had made him chief he left the young dwarf to his faith for unknown reasons. This caused Bjor to have a lack of knowledge when it came to the traditions and ways of the old. After years of maturing the dwarf starting shaping the clan in his own view. The epic quest of Cotton, with which the clan had started, seemed to have failed but especially in Bjor’s later years, he took up this quest once again. The ruling of Chief Bjor ‘Sugartits’ Cottonwood itself would be more easy-going than the previous Chief. He wanted to focus on the community of his clan, with a familial bond between all members and getting the best out of life as his main goals.
During late Atlas the Cottonwoods reformed under Bjor 'Sugartits' Cottonwood leadership. This opened a completely new chapter for the Cottonwoods, for Bjor wasn't like the old Cottonwoods, he was kind, loving, respectful and ruled in peace. The earlier days of Bjor 'Sugartits' Cottonwood’s leadership he struggled to find his kin like the old Cottonwoods as there just weren’t any forest dwarves to be found. This caused the title of Chief of Cotton to be an empty title for many years. After many years of him searching, to his surprise, some members of the Cottonwoods of old would turn up within the Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah. Excited young Bjor Cottonwood would quickly introduce himself to these members, revealing that these dwarves were led by Thelnir Cottonwood. He was an old elder of the clan and wouldn't follow Bjor back to the founding lands of Cotton, for Bjor reformed the Cottonwood alliance with the Confederation of Hammers. Determined Thelnir stood his ground upon the matter setting up a small outpost within Garrond's Vale in the lands of Kaz'Ulrah where he and his followers stayed with him. During this time there was talk of the legitimacy of Bjors claim to the Chief of Cotton with rumors of the Champion of Cotton crowned for his combat skills would challenge Bjor 'Sugartits' Cottonwood for chieftainship. As the old Cottonwoods disapproved of certain things of the newer Cottonwoods, they didn't fully rejoin their brothers and sisters making it that Bjor 'Sugartits' Cottonwood held the title but Thelnir would be a rebel force. Though conflict was resolved diplomatically. During the return, the old Cottonwoods took a dislike to the Silverveins for their past crimes, which was swiftly resolved when Bjor signed the silver-wood alliance a non-aggression pact between the two clans. As time passed the older Cottonwoods faded away as they came, with them traveling away from other dwarves. As the Old left Bjor 'Sugartits' Cottonwood once again he remained alone for some years, until he once again started his search for his kin who he supposed were in need of a warm home, not giving up upon the quest of Cotton. Now the more matured Bjor had more success, slowly over time he started to gather kin in numbers he had never seen. In these times Bjor created Hefrumm, the unity of the forest dwarf kin. Besides his own clan, the Treebeard clan was also part of this unity together with other lesser clans and clanless dwarves joining Bjor in his expanding village. Under the ruling of Bjor, the Cottonwood clan was the major clan in the unity of forest dwarves on the lands of Hefrumm. Their numbers had increased greatly after Bjor’s travels to return his lost brothers and sisters from the forest, offering them housing in the Cottonwood village. Bjor had moved the focus of the clan more on good simple life in the sunny valley of the Cottonwoods, preferring to stay out of Angarum’s politics unless necessary. Around these times the legendary drink Cottonwood honey beer was brought forward from Bjor’s shelves becoming as common as great feasts themself. Later on, the barrels of this beer would run dry making it highly sought after during Acras. In 1699 news had started to spread that the great Boldrumir had been murdered by Balrog Ironkiln the first. Hearing of this enraged the o so peaceful Bjor Cottonwood for his adoptive father had been taken from him. The following week Bjor would stumble upon this cave dwarf resulting in an honor dual, where Bjor would take Balrog’s life. This would be the only account of Bjor taking a dwarf’s life, though Balrog was no longer seen as dwarf due to his kinslaying actions. Right at the end of Atlas, the Cottonwoods dealt with a great plague of swamp alars terrorizing their village. They were able to catch Bjor and his kin off-guard as they had gotten used to the peaceful and relaxed lifestyle. The clan together with Hefrumm as a whole was pushed back into the forest out of their village, where they had set camp for a few weeks. Bjor saw this as his own failing, causing his initiative to form the thorns of Hefrumm in Arcas. The village was swiftly retaking though with great damage to their beloved village but luckily no lives lost to the invasion.
At the arrival in Arcas, the Cottonwoods of Hefrumm were able to build a greater village than the one they left behind in Atlas. The village itself doubled the previous one in size with more housing which caused the clan to grow even further in the early days of Hefrumm. During Arcas, Bjor stepped down from his title as Chief of the Cottonwood clan as their clan was now big enough to host actual elections with him now being the High Chief of Hefrumm. Eerika Cottonwood won these elections. During her ruling, the clan stayed the major clan in Hefrumm, not really increasing in size neither decreasing. Eerika continued to rule in the image that Bjor had set for the clan. Valuing the familial bond between clan members greatly. After the death of Bjor Cottonwood in 1715 as High Chief of Hefrumm, the clan suffered greatly and so did the chieftess as Bjor was her husband, mourning the fallen clan member. The clan slowly started to wither away together with the rest of Hefrumm, with no immediate successor for Hefrumm prepared by the lost High Chief. During the following ages, the village of forest dwarves attempted to return a few times to fall shortly after, but the Cottonwood clan did not manage to regain their previous position in Hefrumm.
Beorn Cottonwood, son of Bjor Cottonwood had remained in the village for many years after the fall of it. He had called for his kin to unite once more, and though the numbers of those returning were rather slim, he stepped forward as new chief with no other running against him in an attempted election. Beorn directed the clan more towards the art of the hunt than his father had done, with himself having the experience after his years of solitude. The ways of flintknapping swiftly became a traditional way of making weapons for their clan hunts. They took great pride in their trophies of the hunt often wearing them to show-off. Over a few years, the clan slightly grew in size but not reaching the numbers his father had counted. In the year 1760 Beorn called for a clan meeting and new elections for his chieftainship, as Beorn had recently been crowned High Chief of Hefrumm he saw it fit to give other clan members the chance to step forward with their view on the clan’s future. During these elections Maggie Cottonwood won her chieftainship with 2 more votes than Bordavir Cottonwood, son of Boldrumir.
Boldrumir Cottonwood, The Founder
Cyler Cottonwood, The Bear
Bjor 'Sugartits' Cottonwood, The Reformer