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16  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Shivering Woods 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:

History:
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.

Ecology:
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
17  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: RE: Shivering Woods 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. :)  

18  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: RE: Shivering Woods 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.

19  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: RE: Shivering Woods 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?

20  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / RE: Shivering Woods 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.

21  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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.

22  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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.

23  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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.

24  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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.

25  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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?

26  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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.  

27  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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.

28  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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.

29  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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.

30  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Shivering Woods 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
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