Legend of the Wyldwood

Long before men brought their ruin to the world, working iron and stone to smother the rich soil and the green wonder of the earth, there grew a vast forest. It was named the Wyldwood and its borders stretched from the frozen mountains of the north to the golden coast-lands on the south. Its countless trees were strong and tall with creatures unnumbered dwelling beneath their high branches.

From the lonely marshes of the west to the blistering deserts of the far east the Wyldwood grew unhindered and unspoiled. Those were days of peace and plenty, of laughter and love freely given. A golden age of wonders that is remembered now only through songs and stories told to children at night.

It was at the end of this age that the shadow came. Stretching its hungry malice from beyond the endless ocean to weave its poison into the roots of the earth and the breath of the storm. It came first to the minds of men who quicky fell to the lure of gold and the lust for blood. It assailed the elder races with a different poison mixed of mistrust and pride.

The Fomorri; goblins of the deep earth fell far under the spell of the shadow. They shared in the greed of men and in them burned the fires of the lower realm that were so easily kindled into violence. Others followed in their doom, but not all. The Tuatha stood in answer to the shadow. Children of the Wyldwood, called the Faery by the sons of men. It was their destiny to stand against their shadow, it was their light that was to become the light for all.

Eletha knelt beside the cool waters and carefully folded her green cloak upon the mossy earth. Leaning over the still pool she studied her reflection. Emerald eyes gazed back at here from the mirrored surface framed by long locks that flowed like molten gold about her shoulders. She smiled sadly as she reached out and brushed her fingers upon the water. Her visage melted from view and by her arts a darker image began to form as if drawn from the murky depths.

The Wyldwood stretched out beneath her gaze as countless trees stretched out before her. They were strong and healthy, reaching up towards her as if towards the sun. Branch, twig and leaf, each exultant under her steady eye. She resisted the urge to stay her vision and dwell upon the beauty of her realm as she so often did, but with a heavy sigh she moved her eyes to the north. She had a different task this day.

Soon the once green leaves began to darken and wilt. The rich brown bark turning black and sickly with strong trunks sagging into gnarled and tortured shapes. She longed to turn away, to draw her mind back to the green beauty of the world but she forced herself to press on.

The sickness of the land assailed her senses, the poison killing her trees threatened to overwhelm her. She was forced to close her ears to the shrill cries of the forest as both flora and fauna were twisted into things of dark horror. Faster she moved unable to dwell on the vision of loss and pain.

The forest grew thin. Barren grey soil stretched it between the trees, cracking and oozing with foul yellowed vapours. She saw dark creatures moving like ants upon the dead earth. First there were a few and then soon a great host marching upon newly levelled roads.

"Fomorri." She whispered. Her voice filled with pity. Her whisper came to them as carried by a cool breeze filled with the promise of new life and many of the twisted creatures looked about in silent wonder. For a moment their shrivelled hearts were lifted feelings of long forgotten hope. Then the voice was gone and their heads were lowered once more under the weight of their greed malice.

So at last she came to her goal as the flat lands beneath gave way to a great blackened Spire rising from the earth like a poisoned dagger. It reached towards her and she sensed the hateful darkness within.

Here was the cause of the sickness, the source of all of this poison and disease. Driven by a dark purpose the Fomorii had turned this wonder of the earth into an abomination that threatened to overwhelm the world.

Her vision closed upon the cold black structure and a lance of pain tore through her mind. It grew stronger and sharper as she moved inwards passing through the outer walls and into the hallways within. For a time she wandered the passages in sickened horror. This had once been a place of such splendour. A bright jewel of the world lost now to the shadow.

At last she came to the sacred Hall, hewn by strong hands in an age now forgotten. It was here that she found her desire, for at the centre of the darkened chamber like a white pillar of hope grew the heartwood. The last pure filament of the elder tree from which the great Spire was once carved. While the heart remained pure the whole might be saved and with it the world.

A single tear of hope and joy unlooked for tracked along her pale cheek and fell into the pool bringing her vision to an end. She must move quickly now or all would be lost.

< Prev : Game Information Next > : The Armada