The Wood Wailers
We will protect the wood with our lives!
— Swethyna Brookstone
The Wood Wailers are a group of spearmen formed around the founding of Gridania. Charged with protecting the Twelveswood, the Wood Wailers keep the cities and settlements free from monsters, as well as stop poachers that would put the wood in danger.
In the Sixth Astral Era, after the Ixal were exiled from the forest, the Gelmorrans, Elezen and Hyur settlers who had come some decades before and battled for the safety of the caves amid the attacks of the Elementals and had eventually come together to survive underground, emerged and learned to commune with the elementals. The elementals granted them their blessing and they formed the city of Gridania, under the promise that the Gelmorrans would defend the woods and act as their protectors.
After a time, the Ixal returned from Xelphatol to invade the forests and reclaim the land they had lost. The soldiers that met them were spearmen that were led by Captain Josselin. They battled long and hard but managed to drive the Ixal out of the forest. From this point forward they were known as the Wood Wailers.
Like all the original Gelmorran's, the Wood Wailers are charged with defending the Twelveswood from both internal and external threats. The Wood Wailers patrol the various settlements of the forest, as well as other areas and hunting grounds. They defend the towns and cities from invasions of monsters, and take out monsters that threaten to throw off the balance or destroy the woods. They are also charged with stopping poachers from destroying various ecosystems for their own profit.
The Wood Wailers are masters of the spear and share their headquarters, The Wailing Barracks, with the Lancer's Guild in New Gridania. They wear green leather and scale armor that is easily identifiable, but provides camouflage within the forest. They also wear masks to conceal their identities, both from brigands and the elementals themselves. These masks are said to signify the Wood Wailers are willing to do whatever it takes to protect the forest, even if that means incurring the wrath of the elementals themselves. However, it is believed that the elementals see people based on the shape of their soul, not their face.
Wood Wailers function as a form of military, with ranks denoting whether they are involved in recruitment and training, what their duty is, where they are dispatched, etc.
- First Spears: Members who recruit and train prospective Wailers before sending them off to their specified posts.
- Second Spears: Patrol and handle matters inside the city of Gridania proper.
- Third Spears: Patrols the Central Shroud and safeguards the communities of Bentbranch Meadows and The Bannock from the voidsent coming from Haukke Manor.
- Fourth Spears: This platoon defends the Hawthorne Hut and the fledgling Chocobo that are born there. They are the closest to the Sylphs, and while they protect the area around their home, they do not enter the village.
- Fifth Spears: These Wailers defend the northern half of the South Shroud and the area around Quarrymill, guarding from threats from Amdapor Keep while keeping vigilant for sightings of Odin in Urth's Fount.
- Sixth Spears: Defend the outpost of Camp Tranquil and the southern half of the South Shroud.
- Seventh Spears: Defend the eastern half of the North Shroud, and guard the entrance to the Yellow Serpent Gate.
- Eighth Spears: Guard the western half of North Shroud and the community of Fallgourd Float.
- Ninth Spears: Poacher Eradication. These members of the Wailers are generally deployed alongside any of the other Spears and patrol popular hunting areas.
- Tenth Spears: Guarding the West Shroud. Mainly preserving wildlife and keeping monsters away from Gridania.
The Wood Wailers originate in a group of young spearmen, who assembled under the auspices of Captain Josselin shortly after the founding of Gridania. This, the first company of Wailers, was tasked with defending the Twelveswood—per the woodland city-state’s covenant with the elementals. Since then, the Wailers have protected the forest from internal strife and have become masters of the spear. They keep the peace from garrisons in Gridania proper to posts in its hamlets and watchtowers scattered throughout the Black Shroud. For good measure, they also dispatch patrols in the woods.
Wailers’ masks signify that they will do their utmost to protect the forest and its inhabitants—even at the risk of incurring the wrath of the elementals if needs be. The elementals, however, distinguish between men not by their faces but rather by the appearance of their souls. As such, there is little scholarly consensus over whether the masks have any effect whatsoever.
- First Spears: Recruitment and Training
- Second Spears: Gridania Proper
- Third Spears: Central Shroud
- Fourth Spears: East Shroud
- Fifth Spears: Northern South Shroud
- Sixth Spears: Southern South Shroud
- Seventh Spears: Eastern North Shroud
- Eighth Spears: Western North Shroud
- Ninth Spears: Poacher Eradication
- Tenth Spears: West Shroud
- Encyclopaedia Eorzea: Volume I, page 117