“Run Forest, Run!”
Ents, also called Onodrim by elves and Tree People by common folk, are an ancient race of sentient, extraterrestrial lifeforms. After millennia of space travel, the Ents settled on the planet Earth, where they bequeathed unto its inhabitants the art of speech and karaoke. While Ents are easily distinguished from humans, elves, and dwarves due to their large stature, dense, green foliage, and bark-like epidermal layer, the only way to tell one apart from an average tree is by striking up a conversation; however, due to the Ents' complex language, one may have to devote several uninterrupted hours of their time speaking to an Ent before actually hearing any response.
Because the Ents themselves keep no logs of their history, the facts of their origin are left to rampant speculation and rumor-mongering.
Though the origin of Entkind is unknown, the extent of their influence is more noticeable. Since before recorded history, Ents have been traveling from one planet to another, spreading their knowledge and philosophy to the underdeveloped, barbaric cultures of the galaxy. At every stop, the Ents would develop a new language for the local inhabitants to master.
In several cases, the Ents have been known to remain on a planet for an extended time without any explanation. While natives rarely understand the Ents' rationale for this, the resulting outbreak of war quickly removes any question or doubt. As tenacious as the Ents are about cramming knowledge into the minds of their subjects, they are even more intent on leaving their mark before bidding adieu.
According to Ents, there is no better way to hold a going-away party than by having a bloody, one-sided massacre as part of the festivities. They have played a major role in ending virtually every war there has ever been simply for the sake of putting on a show. The first recorded battle involving Ents was during the War of the One Ring. They have also been cited as participating in the War Against the White Witch, both the Clone and the Galactic Civil Wars, as well as each and every World War, just to name a few.
Besides knowing all there is to know about spoken language, Ents are also excellent military tacticians. Before embarking from any planet, the Ents make a point of showing off their prowess in serious combat or, alternatively, ridiculous fantasy combat. Ents aren't belligerent, nor are they impatient. They will often wait for several decades just for war to break out. Once this occurs, the Ents follow a strict set of guidelines before joining the fight themselves.
Ent Military Protocol
- Pick a side. Once you know who you are going to fight alongside, you can start developing a deep, personal hatred of the other guys (this should be easy, as both sides probably utilize wood as a construction material).
- Allow the enemy to use some of your own soldiers as a lumber supply. Don't let them know that they are felling Ents instead of ordinary trees, though. This also gives you an "excuse" to initiate combat later on.
- Lower the morale of your allies, and make them think the war is all but lost, using any of the following methods:
- Retreat into the forest.
- Allow the enemy to set a few of you guys on fire.
- Pretend to have turned back into normal trees.
- All of the above!
- Wait until the war is all but lost.
- Show up unexpectedly and turn the tide.
The Ents have never started a war, but they always make a point of ending them.
Having existed for millennia, Ents have had much time to craft and nurture a superior form of spoken communication. Over time, the Ent language has been able to establish its roots in every known spoken language to date. Unfortunately for most non-Ent species, it is virtually impossible for any lesser race of beings to ever truly comprehend the Ent language itself, let alone speak it. This is most likely due to the fact that every idea or concept imaginable has been defined and cataloged in the hypothetical Ent lexicon. With so many possible combinations of accents, vowels, consonants, and guttural drones to use when conveying a virtually infinite number of things and thoughts through speech, it becomes quite obvious why most Ent words are several hundred syllables long.
On top of word length, Ents are also well known for being sticklers for correct pronunciation. To ensure that each word is properly pronounced, an Ent will often choose to articulate each individual syllable of every word for what most would consider an excessive amount of time. This can often result in miscommunication between Ents and non-Ents who rarely have the patience to properly master their own languages. Indeed, this often leaves both parties feeling somewhat inadequate. When considering the substantial influence that Ents have had on all modern languages, it is surprising to know that Ents have had absolutely nothing to do with the development of puns.
Because Ents created all spoken languages, the word "Ent" has only one literal translation: Ent. Its origin comes from the Ent word "EeeeEEEeeEEeeeEeEEeeEEeeeent" which shares the same definition. Ironically, the word "etymology" was originally "entymology" (meaning "as defined by an Ent"); though, as centuries passed, the misspelled version of the word crept into many written works and has since become the accepted way of spelling "entymology". E(n)tymology is not to be mistaken with entomology, which is the study of Ents.