Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => Places and Map Design => Topic started by: Obsidian on 15 June 2001, 13:58:00

Title: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 15 June 2001, 13:58:00
I found this spot on the map of Santharia and decided to give it some background so here goes:

The Shivering Wood is a forest in Western Santharia south of the town of Horth. The area gets its name from a mysterious phenomenon. At night, whenever the slightest breeze brushes the trees, they begin the shiver and quake from the highest leaves down to their roots. Many people believe the forest to be haunted, mainly because of its history.
Long, long ago (the exact time is unknown, though many scholars are sure it was during The War of The Chosen), a powerful group of sorcerers calling themselves The Silver Hand established a fortress deep within these woods. Though very little is known about The Silver Hand in these times, what is known is that their mission was and still is quite common: Immortality.
Information gathered by explorers and sages suggests that near the end of the war, The Silver Hand sorcerers created a magnificent ring of erect stones in the heart of the Shivering Wood. This structure was to in some way help them to gain immortality. Unfortunately, their greed got the better of them and as they wished to be as everlasting as the mountains themselves, the sorcerers' souls left their bodies and each of them became one with an individual stone in their great ring.
This is perhaps the first account of the well-known form of immortality by turning the subject to stone. However, most of this is guessing based on what little evidence has been gathered, and the fate of The Silver Hand remains uncertain.
To this day, the ring of stones still stands, and the magic around it is almost tangible at times. Of course, only the bravest dare to venture into these woods.
Today, the Shivering Wood has a new supposed occupant: the mysterious Greywolf. There is as much controversy around this half-elf only rumored to exist, as there is around the history of the ring of stones. Of course, it is doubtful that answers will be found to either subject in the conceivable future.

The Shivering Wood is a deciduous forest with a thick canopy of leaves that block out some of the sun light. Contrary to what many believe, the forest does have inhabitants. In addition to numerous fruit-bearing trees and bushes, the Shivering Wood is home to many common animals from squirrels, to hawks, to deer. There is also a single wolf pack which has laid claim to the entire forest as its territory and held onto it for innumerable generations.
The unusual shivering trees that give the forest its name are still an unexplained phenomenon. However, since the trees shake down to their roots, it has helped to loosen and air out the soil. Combined with the countless burrowing insects and humid conditions, the soil in the Shivering Wood is very fertile and ideal for plant life. As such, the numerous fauna living here are surpassed by the amount of flora. Deeper in the forest, the sun is all but completely blocked out by the canopy.

That's all I have for now. Any suggestions? Criticism? I'm still unsure if I'm doing this right. And, yes, I know the stone immortality story is a bit trite, but I think it works nicely in this legend. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Edited by: Obsidian at: 6/14/01 9:25:56 pm

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 15 June 2001, 16:23:00
Okay, I like the Shivering Woods concept. A few questions. For one, why do the trees "shiver and quake"? Were these people creating the forest to guard the ring of stones? Also, these sorcerers may have been aligned with the element of air, and that explains why wind makes them move. Also, are there any sentient beings living in there except for Greywolf? (And possibly the normal wolves...)

As to life inside, perhaps there are some sentient flora? (Such as Ents, only not trees. Maybe vines or flowering shrubs, but Ents is too predictable.)


Psychotic Wizard-Type

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 15 June 2001, 16:39:00
I plan to elaborate more on this as time goes by. This is basically what it would look like to someone who opened a history book and tried to do research on the forest.
I like the idea of sentient plants and perhaps I will create those, but for the time being, I'm finishing up details on The Silver Hand.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 15 June 2001, 19:03:00
Okay, here's the whole story behind The Silver Hand:

The Silver Hand was a group of sorcerers during The War of The Chosen. The Shivering Wood already stood long before they came, but back then it didn't have a name.
The Silver Hand did construct the ring of stones at the heart of the forest, but what they didn't know, was that there was a small group of men and elves who planned to stop them from gaining immortality.
The night that The Silver Hand performed the spell to grant them everlasting life, the elves struck. As the elven warriors fought back the sorcerers, the men snuck in and sabotaged the components at the center of the ring. The elves then used their magic to alter the spell. You see, the men had rearranged the materials and reagents in a special way.
The elves completed the new spell and sent The Silver Hand into their ironic punishment: each sorcerer had his soul removed and imprisoned in an individual stone in their precious ring.
The saviours were clever enough, however, to realize that someone may try to free them one day. Spells were placed upon the forest to overgrow it with vegetation and block out the sun the deeper into the forest one went. The elves, with their affinity to the winds, enchanted the trees to shiver and quake with the breezes down to their roots.
They even placed several breeds of sentient plants to serve as guardians at the heart of the forest. They were later joined by a wolf pack that had the gift of humanoid intelligence. The wolves promised that they and their descendents would keep vigil over the forest until such time as it was unnecessary.
As a final precaution, one of the elves stayed behind with the wolves, taking the same vow. Today, people avoid the Shivering Wood, believing it to be haunted. The descendents of the wolf pack, though not as intelligent as their ancestors, continue to watch over the ring of stones.
Then there's Greywolf. Though he does not know it, he is the direct descendant of the elf maiden who volunteered to guard the ring of stones. His mother took a human mate and Greywolf was born soon afterwards. Unfortunately, Greywolf's father was killed one year later, executed for a crime he did not commit. Greywolf's mother was heartbroken, and only kept on living to raise her son. However, after only a few months she became ill and gave her son to the wolf pack to be raised as a warrior. Her last wish on her deathbed was that the wolves take a new vow: to watch over her son and tell him of his destiny only when the time came.

Edited by: Obsidian at: 6/15/01 5:32:46 pm

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 16 June 2001, 13:32:00
First of all: No need to worry, Obsidian - I assure you that you're doing fine:)

I'm a bit late at commenting (bit stressed these days), but before I read your last post, the following idea popped into my mind: It was still a bit unsure why the Shivering Wood really shivered, so I thought it like this: In order to become immortal the mages had to change their alignment (see Compendium entry) in favour of a single element, in this case of Earth (Stone). This was a very dangerous experiment and they finally managed to do it with joined forces. It is thus logical that their spirits (element of Wind) were/was seperated from their bodies. This was the bad part of it. Their spirits of course couldn't return to the bodies anymore, and the result of this whole thing is, that the mages are immortal in two ways: as stone and as winds, but not together.

Well, this was just my first idea when I read your description and I just wanted to post this idea, although you've already elaborated further. But I guess it sound intriguing and logical. Wnat do you think?

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 16 June 2001, 15:16:00
Sounds like an intriguing idea. None of this is, pardon the expression, set in stone yet so we could consider a number of possibilities.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 17 June 2001, 01:36:00
Well, as nobody really knows what's going on in the Shivering Woods different theories why the Woods are shivering don't contradict themselves. These are just rumours. You can name and try to explain these rumours, but don't have to decide which one is the right. This is quite normal at a myth. Nobody knows exactly, but there are several strange stories going on...

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 18 June 2001, 14:05:00
I see your point. For now, I'll just stick with what we have and concentrate on finishing the story.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 18 June 2001, 15:36:00
Yup. Always keep in mind that it is our goal to add things to the site, bit by bit. This means: Just concentrate on one thing and try to finish it before you do another;)  

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Greybark on 19 June 2001, 02:17:00
Unless its something really really big you're working on.....than just give us manageable pieces once in awhile :)

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 19 June 2001, 16:44:00
Looking back over the History section, I noticed something I had previously overlooked: During SWI, it mentioned dark elves inhabiting the Shivering Wood.
I'll have to come up with something in to accomodate for that. Perhaps the elves that helped stop The Silver Hand were the first drow tribe? Perhaps Greywolf had many ancestors. During the Age of Blood, it's possible that the dark elves had control of the Shivering Wood, but their bloodline in that specific tribe began to dwindle until only Greywolf was left. Hmm. I kinda like that.
Well, like I said before, nothing is set in stone yet, so I'm open to suggestions.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Koldar Mondrakken on 20 June 2001, 06:58:00
Perhaps the darkelves that came to these Woods, came there after the War of the Chosen drawn to this place of magic, the Silver Hand had created and started to worship this place for its power that must be a nearly direct link to Cor?

The Elves of the Shivering Woods destroyed Ximax which was the center of human magic so they must have been very powerful, so a decline without anyone to notice it sounds somewhat strange but I just can't come up with a better idea.

Perhaps they were only that strong because of this place within their woods?

Eventually they opposed to other Elves/people and started a private vendetta that weakened their tribe and destroyed their source of power?

Another dark elves tribe might be suitable for that as well as a restrengthening Ximax or white elves that could not accept their behaviour?

BTW: Art, what is the name of the tribe living there? I could not find them in the Tribes-section.

Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 20 June 2001, 15:40:00
Hmmm... Although the Shivering Wood elves are mentioned shortly in the history, there isn't any tribe's name assigned to them. You could name them and give them their history and destiny, Obsidian, if you want. All mentioned ideas sound workable.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 21 June 2001, 16:48:00
Wait a minute. I thought that dark elves were elves that were evil, not a separate race in themselves. Why would they stop the Silver Hand from becoming immortal by sabotaging the magical components of their spell? Why not just use the spell on themselves after slaughtering the Silver Hand? Or are Drow not really evil, jsut darker colored? My mental image of Dark Elves may contradict Santharian's version?


Psychotic Wizard-Type

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 21 June 2001, 18:21:00
The way I nevision htis is that the dark elves of the Shivering Woods weren't originally evil, just recluses. The Silver Hand was a threat that they had to stop. To later the original story a little, let's suppose hte dark elves were determined to watch over the area and make sure no one discovered hte truth behind the ring of stones. Unfortunately, the blood of the tribe became thinner and weaker as time went by. Perhaps it was the magic from hte stones causing an ill effect on them.
Eventually, the dark elves were forced to save their tribe by intermarrying with humans. Greywolf is the last of the dark elf tribe. I'll think up a name soon, but for the moment, I have some real-life issues to prioritize, like my new job.  

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 22 June 2001, 13:44:00
There are of course different tribes of dark elves, some of them may also have dark skin, others pale skin. All dark elves originated from the typical elves (spiritual beings), but they accept Cor's pre-dominating role in the world. Read the entry in the Maps/Places section about F'v'cl'r in order to get a background information about dark elves in Santharia.

To Obsidian: Please let me know when your description about the Shivering Woods can be seen as finished. What is considered finished can be put up on the site next update. In any case I go through entries when I put them up, doing final corrections and adjustments. So always try to focus on something and get it done before moving to the next thing (repeat myself here, but that's important in order not to get lost in details).

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 22 June 2001, 15:49:00
I'm hoping to finish up details on the Shivering Woods by the weekend. I'm putting in some extra effort on the locale, so just give me a few days. Do you want me to send it in as a Compendium entry resembling what a Santharian encyclopedia article might look like, or should I give the whole back story?

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 23 June 2001, 07:51:00
Okay here's a few more details: The dark elf tribe that once inhabited the Shivering Wood was called the Tsvaen'mol'khar (put an accent over the first and second "a"). The meaning is unknown as the tribe had its own unusual dialect derived from Elven which was later lost when the tribe died out. However, some bits and peaces of the language have been gathered by scholars and many theorize that the tribe's name translates roughly to "Pale Shadow." Of course, no one living knows more than a few words from teh tribe's language, so this is only speculation.
The dark elves of the Tsvaen'mol'khar tribe all had pale skin, eyes, and hair. When the tribe began to die, they intermarried with humans to form a breed of half-elves to carry on their vow. Unofrtunately, not many of these half-drow progeny are left. The few that remain can be identified by those who know what to look for. Usually, distinguishing characteristics would be skin that remains pale no matter how much sun it is exposed to, eyes of twilight purple or grey, and white or platinum hair.
Today, everyone believes that the Tsvaen'mol'khar are dead. Many people believe that Greywolf and a few others are their progeny, but they can't be certain, and some people don't want to know if their right. Remember, the dark elves of the Shivering Woods came their because they were recluses and weren't evil per se.
As for the story and fate of The Silver Hand, let's keep a little open-minded on that one. There are plenty of good ideas out there. Artimidor's idea sounds especially intriguing.
If I come up with anything else, I'll post it here as soon as I get the chance.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 23 June 2001, 14:46:00
Yup, I'd say a Compendium entry for the Shivering Woods should have priority for now, Obsidian! You can refer to the elven tribe you described, however, I would also suggest to elaborate the elves too a bit more and do an own Compendium entry for the elves sooner or later (e.g. with a description of their coat of arms etc.). The more details we have on certain parts of Santharia (places, tribes, whatever) the better.

As for the Shivering Woods Compendium entry: I propose to work on a final version, which you either post as a whole here at the Forum or which you mail to me in order to put it up on the site.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 23 June 2001, 16:06:00
Understood. I'll see what I can do. It might take a little longer to write up some information on the dark elves as a race, especially since my new job is really pushing my hours (as far as they can push a minor, that is) this week.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 24 June 2001, 01:13:00
Okeydokey. Good luck with your new job BTW:)  

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Koldar Mondrakken on 24 June 2001, 07:21:00
>> ...(e.g. with a description of their coat of arms etc.)...


Always looking for more work for me, Art? Thought I enough things to do. But on the other side a CoA is something I can finish in one day when I have time. So just tell me what you've imagined on that, Obsidian, and I would be honored to realize it! :)

Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 29 June 2001, 23:56:00
Okay, I'm gonna get this finished now. I decided to make the history of the Shivering Woods to be an amalgam of what I orginally envisioned and what Artimidor suggested:

The Silver Hand tried an alignment shift from wind to earth to gain immortality. The dark elves stopped tehm, seeing htem as a threat, and upset the spell, causing the reaction Art described.
To add a little flavor, let's say that the sorcerers' bodies became the smaller, man-sized stones inside the ring. They are no longer recognizable as humans since ages of abuse from spiteful dark elf guardians and natural erosion have worn away any humanoid features.
The dark elves did indeed protect the forest, but their tribe was adversely affected by some of the new insects nad plants they encountered there. The blood of the tribe became thinner nad weaker as entire generations were lost to new strains of disease they had never encountered before (Sort of like a lethal version of Montezuma's Revenge).
By the end of SW III, the tribe had dwindled greatly and already had several generations of half-elves. Unfortunately, they continued to dwindle until only a handful were left. Greywolf and about four or five others are all that remain of of the Tsvaen'mol'khar tribe.
I'll have a final copy written up by Monday or Tuesday.
As for a coat of arms, I envision a black circle with a sword point-down across the diameter. The white sillouette of a wolf's head is on one side and the image of a blood red crescent moon on the opposite side. Not much, But I could think up something better given some time.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Gnufruk the Trader on 30 June 2001, 03:40:00
Obsidian? New members? Wow, I have been gone for a looong time.


Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 30 June 2001, 09:48:00
Wake up, Gnufruk! *riiiiiiiiing* *hehe*

Sounds nice! Looking forward to the final entry:)  BTW: Coat of Arms idea sounds very good from my point of view. I can envision this as a very atmospheric CoA...

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 04 July 2001, 01:11:00
I think I'll stick with the coat of arms design, but perhaps elaborate on the detail a bit. Like having eyes in the wofl head silhouette of a deep blue or purple color. Or perhaps give the sword some more details like the handguard being crafted in the shape of a pair of bat's wings.
Anyway, the final copy is going to be late. My job has me working most of the hours I'm awake and I'm trying ot catch up on past projects that I have been horribly slacking off on.
On a lighter note, one of the delays isn't too bad for me: I finally got a date. :D
I'll try to get the final copy out ASAP, though.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 04 July 2001, 10:52:00
*hehe* Date is fine, final version too:)  Thanx for keeping us informed!

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Bard Judith on 12 July 2001, 21:13:00
As the unofficial botanist of Santharia, might I make a suggestion about the actual composition of the Shivering Woods?

In this mundane Terran ecology we have poplars, aspen, and larch - all delicately designed trees with light leaves/needles, which quiver in even the slightest breath of wind.  Aspen in particular produce a lovely shimmering effect because of the refractive index on their leaves.  In fact, there is a legend relating the tremors of the aspen and poplar to guilt since the wood of the Cross was taken from them.....

We also have a North American tree whose name I can't place at the moment, but it has pale bark, a deep shimmery green leaf topsurface and a soft, felt-white leaf underside, which creates a spectacular ghostlike image in a strong wind.

Perhaps then it would not seem at all out of place to design a tree specifically for the Woods; my proposed entry for the Herbarium is below.

LARKENTIR:  a tall slender-trunked tree with elongated silvery leaves.  The entire tree, trunk, roots,and all, trembles and vibrates in response to any movement of the air, no matter how subtle.  A human voice at normal volume is enough to cause a single tree to stir, while a shout can make a whole copse of Larkentir shudder violently.  An explosion of mage-force level has been known to fell swathes of these incredibly sensitive and hauntingly-shaped trees.  Nonetheless, people steer clear of Larkentir and do not use even the fallen wood; the sap is a deep crimson red and it is terrifying to see it ooze slowly from an ax blow or a torn-off limb.  Larkentir are found almost exclusively within the confines of the Shivering Woods in Southern Santharia.  For more detail, see the entry on Shivering Woods.

Title: Re: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 13 July 2001, 11:13:00
Yup, entry on Larkentir: bought! Now we only need the final version of th Shivering Woods entry. Stooooormcrooow! Still alive?

Title: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 15 July 2001, 09:48:00
Sorry for the excessive delay. The past couple of weeks have been a pain in the arse, especially getting fired for that sick day I had to take. I won't bore you guys with anymore details, but I promise to get back to work.
I love the Larkentir trees and I'll modify what I have so far to accomadate for them.

Title: Re: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 15 July 2001, 10:29:00
Ah, indeed it was you, Obsidian, with the Shivering Woods entry! Sorry for your job problems, but well, things just happen sometimes. Cheer up! - Looking forward to the Shivering Woods entry, but no need to hurry though, Obsidian:)  

Title: Re: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 16 July 2001, 23:06:00
I have a final design for the CoA of the Tsvaen'mol'khar. The background is a black circle bordered by Larkentir boughs. The circle is divided down the center by a sword with notched barbs along the edges and a handguard resembling bat wings. On the left side of the sword is the white sillhouette of a wolf's head with indigo eyes. On the opposite side is a blood red crescent moon.
How's that? Need work?

Title: Re: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 17 July 2001, 10:29:00
Sounds nice, but we need worked out entries, Obsidian!

Title: Re: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: Koldar Mondrakken on 17 July 2001, 11:13:00
What kind of shape? I just imagine some kind of weired  halfmoonlike shape which might fit best although I don't know how to make the wolf and the tree.

One question, though. I think a sword is too stereotye, I don't like it on too many CoA(. Will see, if I can elaborate a CoA without it how that looks. Is it really neccessary?

Otherwise, give me some weeks! :)  

Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight

Title: Re: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 29 July 2001, 10:50:00
I finally got my new modem!! Goody goody gumdrops! In a more mature tone, it's about (expletive deleted) time! They took four extra days to realize they hadn't shipped it and made me wait another few days.
Anyway, the Shivering Woods entry is about finished. I've had a lot of stuff to put up with, besides my lack of internet. For example, my recent recovery from a nasty flu, and staticy phonelines.
Back to the point, I'll send Art an e-mail with entry attached when I finish tweaking it. Will a WordPerfect file be ok? Or would text be more prefferable, as I've found is often the case.

Title: Re: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 29 July 2001, 12:19:00
I see everything's getting back to normal with you, Obsidian, so I hope we'll get this Shivering Woods finished soon too:)

Concerning the format: WordPerfect is ok, Textfile too, just how you prefer it. Looking forward to it!

Title: Re: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 31 July 2001, 10:28:00
How come swearing is seen as more mature? It seems to me more juvenile, although many a-dolts use it a lot.


Psychotic Wizard-Type

Title: Re: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: Obsidian on 01 August 2001, 07:55:00
I could start a long, gratuitous, friendly debate on swearing and issues of its maturity, useage, appropriateness and so on, but I'm not going to because I'm too lazy. :)  

Title: Re: RE: Shivering Woods
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 01 August 2001, 12:05:00
Speaking about being lazy... *grin* Any news from the Shivering Woods, Obsidian?

Title: Hey judith
Post by: Wren on 04 August 2001, 14:25:00
Fancy looking at the ecology of the Quallian forest for me? West of Santhala.  

questions, questions.....

Title: Re: Hey judith
Post by: WraithObsidian on 11 August 2001, 21:52:00
Did I say getting back to normal? I jinxed it. The entry on my comp was erased (God only knows how) and in despair, I just pulled together the bare minimum for an entry. God I'm feeling low about now.

Title: Re: Hey judith
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 12 August 2001, 00:29:00
Seems you've also lost your name or can't remember the password, huh?

Title: Re: Hey judith
Post by: WraithObsidian on 12 August 2001, 09:42:00
Registered a global account and can't get rid of the dang thing