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Author Topic: Shivering Woods  (Read 8077 times)
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Obsidian
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« 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
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SmurfStormcrow
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« Reply #1 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.)

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Obsidian
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« Reply #2 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.

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Obsidian
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« Reply #3 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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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #4 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?

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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Obsidian
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« Reply #5 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.

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #6 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...

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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Obsidian
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« Reply #7 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.

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #8 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;)  

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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Greybark
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« Reply #9 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 :)

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Obsidian
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« Reply #10 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.

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Koldar Mondrakken
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« Reply #11 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 Coór?

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

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #12 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.

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SmurfStormcrow
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« Reply #13 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?

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Obsidian
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« Reply #14 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.  

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