Remembrance of the Wood

Copyright© 2014 by Tamalain

Long ago, the ancient dragon of the sky deposited life on a lifeless world. As the ages of time passed, life arose in the sea and on the new lands of Norrath. With life came intellect and over time, civilizations rose and fell.

The Mighty Empires of the Age of Scale were born, Ruled over by the mightiest of the Dragon kind. As with all things that live, The Age of Scale Dragons lived out their time, fading into history, then became legend, and finally lost to the stories of half remembered mythologies. New races were born as the old would fade away. More ages of time came and went, the new younger races rose to take their place on the world stage of Norrath.

The lands changed with time, oceans where born and died. Mountains rose and were worn away as the wind and rain had their way. Deserts became massive forest, and those called Elven finally found their home. Alas, nothing is forever, the desert of Ro reclaimed the forest lands over time as new mountains in distant lands stopped the rains from reaching the Elven home. The mighty Elvin empires home withered and died to be lost to history. They had little choice in where they could go. The new race of men did not want them in their lands, and no other forest on Antonica suited the Elven needs.

The Elven race was slow to fade though. They were long lived and took care to remember who they are, that they are the children of the wood. It was only when the Elven had begun to accept their fate when the sailors from the small human port city of Freeport told tales of new destinations. They carried word of a mountainous land, with vast valleys that held forest of a size not seen in any living memory of men. The trees where so massive they could not be reached around with twenty men's out stretched arms. The Elven leaders in a desperate gamble, called for there best Rangers and scouts to find out if these tales were true.

Over many months, the leaders laid down travel plans, supplies were obtained and passage aboard a ship heading east was arranged. The scouting party consisted of six of the best trackers, being lead by ranger Talon Trueshot. The Druids sent three of the best healer fighters, and the casters guild sent a representative from each school of magic. A small group of baggage handlers and support followers where selected and prepared for the journey as well to provide support and aid as called for.

During this time of preparation, the wizard Spider Thorn traveled across what was known as the Common Lands. His mission was to set his evacuation spell bindings to the small Ulteran portal tower located far out in a massive grassy plain. He did this so if things went very badly wrong, he would have a chance to return and warn the rest of the Elven of events and dangers. It was also so that he could bring news if they found a new home for the Elven. The expedition set out on their sea journey after all the careful preparations being made had been completed to the satisfaction of the group leaders.

The ship, The Golden Dawn sailed with the tide in the late spring of that year. It cleared the shoals outside of the Freeport Harbor without incident and made sail for the Ocean of Tears. The first several days the ship had to tack repeatedly to make headway across the sea. The ships Captain knew what was coming and the crew was ready to make full sail with the wind on the seventh day. On the seventh day out from the port, Talon confronted the ships captain in confusion. He wanted to know why the ship had come about and was returning to Freeport.

"Hold your tongue Elven we have not turned about. There is much you and yours do not know about out here on the Ocean of Tears" He admonished the upset Elven leader. "The Ocean of Tears has a trick that has cost many sailors there lives boy. You must sail west in order to go east. The compass shows it to be this way and even the sun and stars act in reverse."

"But how can this be captain?" asked Talon.

The captain gave sad smile and told Talon that it has always been this way, and always will be. Talon accepted this with as good grace as possible. He asked the rest of the party if any of them felt off in there directional sense. When he asked them all to point east, they all looked west. It was a very disoriented company of Elven that continued across the Ocean of tears.

The Captain later informed the travelers, "We have a stop with a cargo drop at Sister Island. It is a bunch of Prexis worshippers, run by the women no less. We should be sighting the island in two more days if the winds hold." The winds held and the ship made port at the small but well cultivated island. Once the cargo was dropped and any passengers stopping were off, and a few added on from the island, the ship sailed and again ran with the winds.

Three weeks later, the Elven felt direction swing back to the way it belonged and the ship was once again tacking into a stiff wind. Talon saw it was true as they arrived at Butchblock Bay, the first stop in there journey of discovery. The dwarves running the port were shorter than the woodland Elven, wore heavy beards and drank stout ale that to the Elven, smelled extremely unpleasant.

A Dwarven guide was arranged the next day and the Elven party was able to move out once all their gear and people were off the ship. They guide led across the first range of mountains up to the high plains, across valleys large and small. The guide showed them the main roads that were safe and what ways to avoid. He showed them some of the dangers hidden away in the little side valleys that went in every direction. One road leads to a massive lake, Dagnor's Caldren with the sunken city of Kedge hidden in the depths. Another to a giant chess board once fit to be played by the gods, Only the dead played there now.

He took them to the Dwarven city of Kaladim were they rested and traded gold for more travel supply's. The massive underground city was a warren of tunnels and caverns that left the Elven lost after only a few minutes below ground. The dwarves were glad to hear the news that the sea lanes were open once again to travel. They would begin preparing their cargo ships to travel across the sea and open trade with the men of Antonica.

After several days of rest and restocking, they set off on their journey of discovery once again. It was two day later they saw a sight that left the druids in a sad emotional state. The local druid standing stones had been destroyed in an ancient cataclysmic battle in the final days of the Age of Scale. The druid team studied the condition of the stones for a few minutes, it was decided they could not be restored do to the amount of damage done and how long it had been since the damage happened. All the power that was once in the stones had long since leaked away.

After many more weeks of hard travel and searching each valley, their guide informed them what the Elven sought was just over the ridge they were standing on. Looking down a massive valley, a giant forest greeted their tired eyes. A mist hung over the upper reach's, the faint smell that all forest have reach to them, called to them to their very souls. One of the Elven called out that he could see the tops of Combine Empire portal spires. If the spires worked, their people would be saved in a matter of days instead of years.

The guide insisted that they wait a day before descending into the valley. He had been instructed his own people to give the Elven the full briefing on what they would be facing once they moved their people to the Faydark. It would not be an easy place for them to adjust too.

He laid out a map and pointed out the dangers that lurked in the mist below. Far to the east beyond the next range of high nearly impassable mountains lay the Crushbone Empire. The Crushbone Orcs were considered to be the largest and most vicious of all the known Orcs on Norrath at the time. They believed the Faydark belonged to them alone. But they did not try to over run it. The real residents, the Fay saw to that. The Fey were the Brownies, Fairies, Sprites and assorted Treants that lived under the might trees. The combined powers of the Fay races was enough to hold the Orcs at bay.

"To the south is a smaller valley called the lesser Faydark. You will not enter that land period. I do not say this in jest. The Vampire Lord, Mayong Mistemoore holds sway over that land and none living will ever be welcome there, except as food and undead. He will not bother with you over much if you leave his lands be. Bother him and an undead army will drain your entire population dead in a night."

The Elven looked in the direction the Dwarve had pointed and felt a cold stab of fear. They all knew the legends and lore of Mistmoore, and knew in their hearts that what he said was cold truth. They would set a watch station at the entrance with the sole purpose of keeping any from entering that fell land.

The next morning the party worked their way down the slope into the forest. Almost at once a group of Brownies confronted them as they descended to the tree line and asked why they trespassed. Talon told the leader the tale of the Elven and of their dire plight. He told them of the majestic wood that was once their home and how the desert had drained it, turned it to dust. We the Elven races are of the wood and would never destroy such a wondrous place as this. They could build in harmony with the lands and leave the Fay folk alone if that is what they desired.

The Brownie leader asked that they wait one full day so all the other clans and families would be asked if the Elven would be welcome. "If they agree to allow you and yours to live here, then you are welcome. If they say no, you will leave forthwith, Agreed?"

"Agreed," said Talon sadly. He had had such high hopes, and now they could be dashed in a single instant.

By noon the next day, word came back that the Elven would be welcomed as new brothers as they were Fay as well. The Brownies welcomed them and escorted the party to the massive Combine towers. They were also shown a slightly worn but functional Druids ring of standing stones. These two things alone made the Elven even happier.

The wizard Spider Thorn ported to the commons spire and sent word for all the Elven to make for the spires with all their belongings and gear as quickly as possible. The Elven quickly set up a small town along the valley edge and started scouting for trees that would make good homes once they built in them.

The construction of the new city in the trees was soon underway, and the Fay folk looked on in wonder at the works of the Elven kind. The small folk were amazed at how it all blended in with the forest. The smaller wood Elven moved into their new tree homes and called it Kelethin. The larger more magical High Elven found a small side valley that was to their liking and built the small town of Felwithe that was suited to them. It would one day be a city of magic and power that would be considered a wonder of the world.

As they always do, more ages came and went. The new empires of the humans rose and fell, but few remembered the wood where the Elven kin had gone to call their home.

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