The Glistening Well of Goltherlon is a small ancient well that lies deep within the depths of the Goltherlon Forest in the eastern side of the Vardýnn province of Santharia. Said to be nestled in a massive baych grove, the well is neatly hidden from all but the most curious seekers. Some of the local Golgnomes believe the well to be possessed of strange magical power, perhaps elven magic that still lingers at the structure after centuries of lonely existence. Despite the gnomish culture of reasoning and science over mystical energy, some betrothed Golgnome couples have established the belief that the well gives fertility blessings when visited. The true purpose of the well is not understood by contemporary scholars, and the Goltherrihm Elves have long left the forest and cannot be sought out for answers. Nevertheless, the well is a curious object of study by explorers and sages who seek to understand the well's strange power.

The Glistening Well of Goltherlon
View picture in full size Picture description. The mysterious well hidden deep within the Goltheron, which then local Golgnomes suspect to possess strange magical powers. Image drawn by Seeker.

Description. It is easy to miss the Glistening Well of Goltherlon, hidden as it were in the southern lee of a massive baych deep in the midst of the Goltherlon Forest. If the light is not right at mid afterday, the well’s shadow looks no different than any other seam in the great upwelling roots that shroud the base of the baych and its forestral brethren.

Located somewhat near the present day Helesari Roadway, no obvious path leads to this most ancient well whose unmortared crude cut volcanic stones portaged from higher elevations of Mount Hèckra sit crumbling and drenched amongst the Goltherlon Forest floor.

Triangular in shape, its northernmost vertex seemingly embedded in the broad baych’s mottled bark, the well’s draping inky blue sou’cald moss can often trick the passing traveller into thinking the Glistening Well is just a root shrouded animal den.

Few legends survive concerning the builders of the Glistening Well, or why the strange striated tufa stones were carted so far downhill from Mount Hèckra. Tufa not being a hard material but easily shaped and even more easily eroded, is not the best choice for well casing stones. Much better would be the shorebed stones from the Ancythrian Sea or the durable slates of Twinnean Peak.

No more than half a ped tall almost lost in the thick shadow grasses that festoon the base of the grand baych, the water level of the Glistening Well many times overflows in the frequent rains and seeps into the embracing roots of the baych. Some Golgnome familiar with that particular area of the Goltherlon Forest suggest the Glistening Well is reason for the huge baych’s great size.

The waters of the well are somewhat bitter and have the faint aroma of mint. Many visitors have remarked that hours later after having drank from the well waters that they have heavy sweats and a bit of rictus to their muscles. Still the tradition to search for the Glistening Well after the birth of the first born daughter is a well respected familial tradition in the stone huts of the Golgnomes who live in that area.

To those who are lucky enough to see their reflection in the well, it is said that the Forest Ancestors will have a special blessing on their household, and their daughters will bear many healthy young gnomes. Return to the top

Location. The Glistening Well of Goltherlon is quite an old watering hole, some believe possibly built by the Goltherrihm Elves before their wars with the encroaching Helcrani who had moved into the forest from the west and south. But the elves migrated from the region, and any names they had for that particular area of forest are lost to time. The present day Golgnomes simply call the area Big Glade as there are numerous sweet springs and wetlands which allow the baych trees to grow thick and strong in that region. To a traveler passing through the region, Big Glade is roughly five days journey east along the Helesari Road into the Goltherlon Forest from Heleroth. Return to the top

Function. The original purpose of the Glistening Well of Goltherion may have been to magically enhance the Goltherrhim Elves crop yields during the times of the Helcrani raids. This at least is learned from some fragments concerning supply documentation which were gained from the Sanhorrhim, the tribe with whom the Goltherrhim mingled eventually. Some passages therein indicate that the Sanhorrhim preservation options are somewhat different to the conditions at the Goltherlon, due to the lack of 'dél'már' ('magic water'), which many interpret as a reference to the Glistening Well and thus as a possible explanation of its powers.

The forest floor of the area around the Glistening Wells is crisscrossed by the barest dikes and mounds of what might have once been a defensive redoubt, but the age of the fortress if that is what it truly was, must be immensely old as the baych trees grow out of the ancient muddy embankments. But as the Glistening Well is found just off the Helesari Road, it is possible to surmise the site may have been an important waystation of some sort for the Goltherrhim Elves.

It is unknown whether the well had magical properties when the elves first arrived to the forest long ago, of if they enchanted the waters themselves. At any rate the powers of the elves stand in high esteem among the otherwise rather practically orientated Golgnomes - maybe it is also due to the existence of this very well that actually drives their own ambitions towards progress in the field of alchemy. On the other hand, at least in the point of view of the females gnomes, the well might work as a relief from the often too mundane tasks of gnomish research, providing a glimpse of insight in the miracles that exist since the world's creation. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. As Golgnomes are noted alchemists, the tradition of magically fertile waters of the Glistening Well have long been a subject of debate in their alchemical studies. In fact a much discussed aspect is whether the magical properties of the well water, which have indeed been confirmed by the Ximaxian Academy (as wind oriented cár'áll nby the way), is inherent in the material of the water itself, or a product of the particular interaction of the tufa stone with the rainstorms of Big Glade. Much of these Golgnome speculations are carried on only at the highest levels of Golgnome research, and very rarely discussed in the company of Golgnome females, as matters of gnomish fertility are a private subject rarely discussed in public. Return to the top

 Date of last edit 1st Rising Sun 1672 a.S.

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