* 
Welcome Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?


*
gfxgfx Home Forum Help Search Login Register   gfxgfx
gfx gfx
gfx
Pages: [1] 2 3
Print
Author Topic: Granther Willow's Lantern / "will'o'wisp" (apparition)  (Read 11294 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Azhira Styralias
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 132
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2.774


Mód’dél’áey


View Profile
« on: 18 July 2008, 03:55:37 »

Overview:

"Granther Willow's Lantern", or more commonly known as the will'o'wisp in many of the human lands of Sarvonia, or the "injóh" (lit: "light creature") by the elves, is a mysterious apparition known to inhabit desolate swamps, moors or bogs. There are also occasional sightings among old ruined fortresses and catacombs. There are many legends and myths told of the will'o'wisp, with most of them giving the wisp a capricious and benevolent nature. Still other tales do not paint the wisp in such a positive light, warning travelers never to follow a wisp in the night for it will lead one to their doom. Regardless of the truth, many researchers cannot agree as to the apparition's true nature.

Appearance:

According to various eyewitness reports, the wisp's color can range from a soft blue to a dark red, and its size from a few nailsbreadths to almost half a ped. Typically, it appears as a floating ball of soft flickering light, about the size of an adult human's fist. Some accounts say that the wisp can grow large, to the size of a human head or shrink itself to the size of a fingernail. The color of the will'o'wisp also varies among the tales with most saying that the creature is typically a soft blue in color. The wisp is typically seen floating about one ped above the ground or water. It's light is never very bright and barely illuminates the area around it. If it is approached or even looked upon directly, the wisp seems to fade slowly away and disappear altogether and reappear somewhere else close by.

A common story among researchers of the will'o'wisp is that the apparition communicates through the changing of its colors. Some say that the it glows a soft blue when calm and undisturbed. A soft red shade of color may indicate anxiousness or aggression while a whitish color may mean that the wisp is afraid. No one has truly understood the reason for the color changes as asking a wisp directly has never been possible nor has one ever been caught for study.

Special Abilities:

The full extent of the will'o'wisp's abilities is not fully known or understood. It is difficult to study, as it fades and vanishes when approached, only to reappear somewhere else nearby. As such, the apparition has never been captured for close study.

What is generally known is that the wisp is capable of appearing in one of three shades of colors: blue, white or red, as mentioned above in the appearance details. Each color shade is never bright, always soft, as if hidden behind a veil of thin cloth. The wisp floats above the ground or water, moving slowly up and down or in small circular motions. The surrounding ground beneath a wisp is never warm despite some theories that a wisp produces heat.

The wisp does appear to be at least partially solid as it avoids obstacles rather than passes through them. It has been observed that it can, however, vanish for a short time then reappear on the other side of whatever obstacle was in its path, such as a tree or stone.

Some stories say that the wisp has a hypnotic effect on those who try to watch it. Some tales warn that a wisp is capable of feeding from the warmth of a living being while others say that a wisp is sentient spirit who aids travelers to safety in the dark of night. The wisp has never been known to be able to be summoned or called.

Territory:

The wisp is known to inhabit bogs, swamps and similar places of moist and water ridden areas. Wisps rarely appear amongst areas of high civilization, meaning they would not appear in the middle of a fountain in the center of a busy city square. Rather, they seem to prefer to haunt lonely, desolate places away from people.

Graveyards, catacombs, and ancient ruins all are believed to hold wisps as well, although they are not sighted as frequently as in moors, bogland areas or damp forests. The Shadow Marshes are rumored to hold a great number of wisps although no specific number can be ascertained due to the noxious fumes that permeate the once proud city of Fá'áv'cál'âr. A serious researcher would think twice before entering the realm of the shadow elves. The Silver Marshes, another large swampland, are home to the wisps and probably is the most well known area of wisp habitation in the south.

Some other places in Southern Sarvonia where wisps have been sighted are the catacombs underneath the city of Ximax (recounted below in a personal experience by researcher Vekarn Tak'mal). Sailors passing too close to the Enclave of Alvang have reported seeing floating lights among the ruins near the shores.

Santharia's largest forested region, the Thaelon forest, is home to the wisp, according to some tales told by travelers to the region. Specifically, the western region of the woods, called the Már'cál'ethrón (Styrásh for "Swamp Extension [of the Thaelon]") is said to be a favorite haunt of the wisps. One oft-told legend tells of an Erpheronian courier who got lost in the Thaelon around 1500 a.S. His steed had gotten stuck in some deep mud and he had given up trying to escape when a group of wisps appeared before him. The courier's tale is often imbellished in superstitious legend, depending on who tells it, but according to his descendants, the courier managed to free his horse and follow the wisps out of the swamps and into a wandering group of wood elves who then led him to the nearest human village. When the courier tried to explain his rescue, he was laughed away and few believed him. Yet, presently, Ximax is probably the only place in Santharia where the belief in wisps is widely accepted. In many other places, such as the Kuglimz lands, the belief in wisps is regarded as superstitious lore.

In the northern Sarvonia continent, among the ruins of Dak'dinal near the Kuglimz lands, wisps have been seen (mostly from afar as very few people dare enter the wastes around the fortress). The Deep Winds Portal of Osthemangar is surrounded by some large frozen lakes where tales of the wisp are known among some of the more obscure orcen legends. The Osther-Oc battle song, "Choan'ash'uon'kh'al'on'uck" (lit. "Choan the Worthy"), has a few lines in it that tell of an army of wisps that were summoned from within the Deep Winds Portal to function as guides for the orcen armies as they invaded southern Santharia. The song has been translated as either being wisps, demons or phantasms. Apparently, the Kh'om'chr'om word for "ghost" can also mean many other things, including will'o'wisp.

The wisp is not just native to the Sarvonian continent, but the continent of Nybelmar as well, although fewer tales exist from there. Probably the best known wisp haunt in Nybelmar is the damp and foggy Drifting Woods where they have been seen dancing among the thick flora and misty fog. Other less known areas include the Haunted Jungles of Shar and the Broken Woods of Marmarra.

Habitat/Behavior:

The wisp appears as a harmless, soft floating light by all accounts but recorded testimonies tell a different stories. Travelers have recounted experiences of traveling at night through a heavy forest or passing by a bogland and seeing lights dancing in the darkness, perhaps ten to fifteen peds distant. If the lights are watched directly, they seem to slowly fade away. If one were to look away, but keep the lights visible out of the corner of the eye, they seem to reappear strong and bright. If approached, the wisp will also fade away and reappear somewhere else nearby. So far, it has been impossible for anyone to get much closer than five peds from a wisp.

Some tales tell of unlucky travelers becoming so obsessed with catching a wisp that they follow it through the darkness unaware of the dangerous bogs for which they are stepping in. As a result, the wisp always seems just a bit farther out of reach but then victim suddenly finds himself trapped in thick sinking mud with no means to escape. These accounts are also accompanied with a more terrifying tale of dark spirits known as the mystrans coming forth from the shadows to feast on the now trapped victim. Whether the wisp intentionally leads the victim to this terrible fate is now known.

In most every account told of a wisp's behavior where a child is involved, the wisp always appears to be very helpful or friendly. It is as if the wisp favors children and tries to befriend them. One recent account comes from Ximax where a group of young magelings had gotten lost in the western edge of the Shivering Wood as they traveled with a caravan coming home from an expedition to collect reagents. The children were perhaps barely older than thirteen years old, two human girls and a Volkek-Oshra boy. They had wandered away from the caravan and soon found themselves near a small bog surrounded by thick, overgrown willow trees. As night fell, the children paused in their wandering when suddenly a single glowing ball of bluish light appeared before them. The children, desperate and shivering from the cold, followed the light for a distance of three strals directly into the caravan's camp.

Diet:

As far as is known, the wisp does not require any kind of sustenance such as food or water. Researchers have classified the wisp as an apparition, and is not a living, breathing creature by all accounts. However, some researchers believe that the wisp feeds upon mystical energy that permeates places of old magic, such as Tak'dinal or Alvang. The lost empire of Fá'áv'cál'âr, a place most certainly one that still holds some remnants of ancient elven magic, is thought to be home to the highest number of wisps.

Still, some others believe that the wisp is attracted to and perhaps gains energy from the emotions and thoughts of people it comes across. Perhaps the wisp feeds upon the fear or anxiousness of those lost in the wisp's homeland. Maybe they are drawn towards the hopelessness and despair of lost people. In most legends, the wisp appears to those who are in a strong, negative emotional state. Such theories are hard to prove as no one has ever come closer than two to three peds of a wisp.

Mating:

Wisps have never been known to mate as other creatures do. In fact, it is not known how a wisp is created. The demonologist Vekarn Kha'mal holds to the belief that the wisp is born from the remains of the dead and that they are in fact spirits. Others have said that the wisp is merely an illusion of the eye. His theory is that the wisp actually can reproduce by joining together to create a larger wisp or even separate themselves to create several other smaller wisps. Kha'mal further theorizes that a wisp may simply be parts of one larger entity that splits and joins as needed. For what purpose the wisp would behave this way is not yet understood.

Myth/Lore:

To recount all of the myths and stories associated with the mysterious floating lights would fill many books and tomes.

 - The will'o'wisp's popular name, Granther Willow's Lantern, originates in a well known story that involves the folk figure known as the Granther, or Grandfather Willow. In these stories, it is said that the wisp is born from very old marsh willow trees and that they accompany the Granther, a capricious old man, as he greets travelers through the bogs. Sometimes, depending on the old man's mood, he speaks to his visitors and offering them gifts or tells interesting jokes and stories while the wisps are occupied in seemingly happy flittering and dancing. Other times, the wisps around him dance in mesmerizing motions leading the travelers further astray into the swamp to become trapped in the many pools of deadly sinking water.

 - An old sailors legend tells of an Erpheronian sailing ship that encountered the wisp lights when the vessel passed close to the Fortress of Alvang not long after the infamous Battle of the Witchking's Night. It was supposedly written by the ship's captain, Drak Wavegrinder, in his log. Interestingly enough, the captain later became a pirate in the employ of the Erpheronian government and named his ship the "Will'o'Wisp".

"The island loomed large upon the horizon, the fortress's cracked spires piercing the sky like dead broken fingers. All was dark and shadows danced along the walls and broken stones. There is no looking directly at that blasted castle! It moves and vanishes if you so much as try to focus on it. Strange it is.

As the ship passed by, the moon shone down upon the island in such a way that I could see movement! I cried for my spyglass and peered through it, watching the movement. I saw lights marching together near the eastern side of the fortress. The damned sea is so rough that I had a hard time seeing the lights clearly. I thought I saw bodies, too! The moonlight looked to be shining off half buried steel and armor from the battle long ago.

A fear gripped me then. I looked one last time and saw the lights moving more rapidly. I thought them to be torches...maybe survivors of a stranded ship. I started to call to them, but then saw that the lights were not torches at all. There was no one alive even holding any torches. They moved all by themselves!

I ordered the ship away right quick. I don't know what the lights were, but they gave me a fear I've never before felt. No amount of liquor will ever drown out the image of those lights moving among those fallen souls."


 - The researcher Ansrid of Necoma, the famous rivermaid expert, made a name for himself when he began to study of the legends of the swamphag. During some of his travels in the Silver Marshes in search of the mysterious hag, he wrote of his encounter with some floating lights that appeared nearby to him once the sun had set:

"The lights before me were delicate and soft, almost like wispy, nice glowing pieces of cotton floating in the air. There was a breeze, but the lights seemed unaffected by it. They had a mind of their own and as they danced around each other, they seemed almost happy. I stared at them, first one appeared then several, but as I looked, they faded away only to reappear to my left or my right. One of them made back and forth motions at me almost as if it wanted me to follow it. I dared not follow it, however, as I could see that the lights were floating directly over a deep looking pool of dark water and mud. Instead I backed away and found solid ground to watch. The lights, however, ceased to beckon me and floated behind some tall reeds and vanished from my sight."

 - The Volkek-Oshra demonologist Vekarn Kha'mal experienced the wisps personally while lost underneath the catacombs of Ximax. His experience was quite positive as the wisps led him to safety:

"I myself had a wisp encounter years ago" Kha'mal writes in his book "Guiding Light: The Myth of the Wisp. "I was exploring some very old and forbidden catacombs deep under Ximax. I was warned away from that old section and not even my orcen relatives, most of whom are cavers, would dare venture into the old Ximaxian underground. Nevertheless, I persisted and was rewarded when I encountered a group of friendly wisps who aided me when I became lost.

I had turned several corners trying to backtrack through some narrow passages when my torch suddenly snuffed out. I felt along the rough hewn walls, passing many entombed corpses and skeletons (for my clumsy arms knocked down several remains making a loud clatter that echoed all through the passageway). I was on the verge of panic when suddenly there appeared before me a floating white light the shape of my fist. It moved forward and stopped. It moved again and stopped. I believed it wanted me to follow it. I did so and soon more of the lights came around me. Within moments, the entire corridor was filled with floating white lights.

The lights guided me through many corridors and rooms, some filled with wonderous relics and ancient remains, until at last I emerged out of the ruin into a little used cistern room near the Ximaxian Academy. As the glow of several torches burned my eyes, I had to stand a moment to get my bearings. I turned to thank my saviors, sounds silly I know, but the floating lights were gone. The passageway from whence I came was dark once more. Never again did I venture into the catacombs."


 - An old Astran drinking song, The Rocky Road to Strata, has spread through much of Santharia. It is most commonly heard in a pub, as a group of drunken Proudmen and Avennorians chant the words, sometimes off beat, off tempo, and off key. It's not uncommon for some of the lyrics to be substituted, depending on region. While the story stays the same from region to region, there are thousands of derivatives of this song, many differing by only a word or two.

"In the month of Singing Bird, from me home I started,
Left me darling wife alone and broken-hearted
Saluted my only boy, And he kissed me back
Left him with a toy, left him with a whack

Then off for Silvermarsh, leave where I was home,
Cut a thornbranch harsh, to banish wisps and goblins;
In a brand new pair of brogues to rattle o'er the bogs
And frighten all the dogs on the winding road to Starta

(Chorus):
One two three four five,
Start from North and end in South- the winding road
And all the way to Strata, Whack fol la de rah!

In Nyermersys that night I rested limbs so weary
Even in daylight, it seemed too dark and dreary
Took a drop of svaq to keep me heart from sinking;
That's a ranger’s snack whenever he's on drinking

See the Mullogs’ teeth, while they lie underneath
Waitin’ for your sleep, 'twould set your heart a bubblin'
Asked me was I tired, aid did I require
Till I lost all desire for the winding road to Strata

(Chorus)

In a bind I next arrived, I thought ‘Ava take some pity’
I would be deprived a view of that fine city.
Decided to take a stroll, I ran among the gnolls;
Me bundle it was stole, by a Mullog not so pretty;

Something crossed me mind, when I looked behind,
No bundle could I find with me stick a wobblin'
Enquiring for the thief, I lost all my relief
I was in disbelief on the rocky road to Strata,

(Chorus)

From there I got away, a spirit ever-calling,
A floating will-o-wisp, in scarlet colours glowing.
Then followed I the glow, and as the wisp was fadin’
I nearly had a row, this spirit I was cravin’.

I glanced to my side, the spirit couldn’t hide,
Then I nearly cried, the wisp was back to hidin’;
I was to lose my head, wished wished I could find the red,
Or better far instead on the rocky road to Strata,

(Chorus)

The Great Ol’ Grandpa Willow, when the wisp had left me stranded,
Called meself a hero, I could forever languish.
Face began to blush, composure I was losing;
Great Ol’ Granther Willow, he began his schmoozing.

"Hurrah me soul!" says I, let the gifts now fly.
Dream sleep now did come nigh, I saw I was a hobble in,
With a loud "hurray!" Granther took me off my way.
Soon I lost the way to the rocky road to Strata..."


Researchers:

For centuries, wisps and stories of floating lights have been subjects of research for those interested in mythical creatures and apparitions. The two most prominent researchers are the Volkek-Oshra demonologist Vekarn Kha'mal and the rivermaid expert Ansrid of Necoma. Both researchers lived to tell of their wisp encounter. A third researcher, someone with a more dubious reputation, is the Gnorian Waudrin Ghortz, who claims that the wisp is but a figment of the imagination but his critics point out that, unlike Kha'mal or Ansrid, Ghortz has never encountered a wisp before and never wants to.
« Last Edit: 02 August 2008, 17:56:26 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
Azhira Styralias
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 132
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2.774


Mód’dél’áey


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: 18 July 2008, 21:55:53 »

Ok, the Wisps are ready for comment. As with any unknown or rarely studied phenomenon, I've left many details vague and ambiguous. But, not too ambiguous because I want the wisps to be known as a very real creature classified as an apparition.  :D
Logged

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
Decipher Ziron
Moderator
****

Gained Aura: 55
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2.574


General Genius of Remarkable Modesty


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: 18 July 2008, 22:19:42 »

Overview:

Amongst the dark and lonely places of Caelereth, places where evil and death once dwelt, there exists the mysterious creature known as the wisp. Having the appearance of a dull colored, floating light, the wisp is believed to be many things: a spirit of the dead, the spiritual embodiment of a demon, messengers from the gods or just simply an illusion of the eye. Whatever the wisp is, it is always associated with dark places in many tribal myths and legends. You say wisps are found in areas of evil and death- but you then say what they are in unknown. In relation, surely knowing that it has an affinity for evil would eliminate certain options mentioned (like an illusion)

Appearance:

The wisp varies in size and color in many eyewitness reports. Typically, a wisp appears as a floating ball of dull flickering light of various colors and shades (Such as?). The wisp floats about one ped above the ground but has been known to float much higher, even to the tops of the highest trees or been known to slink low to the ground as if stalking its prey (Does it hunt, otherwise this is quite a silly simile). The wisp's light is never very bright and looks as if a light has been shaded behind a veil of silk or light cloth. It produces little radiant light (should that be 'a little radiant light' or do you mean it produces  small amount?)   and barely sets the area around it with much light. A group of wisps, however, can become quite bright together.The creature can increase the brightness of itself to the effect of a small flame or cast itself in darkness to barely the visibility of a shadow. Some say that when the wisp is approached, it flickers away only to reappear when the person is not looking.

A wisp has been seen to take the form of only a sphere shape about the size of a typical human adult's fist. Some accounts say that the wisp can grow larger, to the size of a human head or as small as a fingernail. Some have conjectured that the wisp actually has development stages - baby, child and young adult with the elder wisp being the largest in size. This, of course, has been impossible to prove and it is generally assumed that the wisp simply assumes different sizes for no other reason than that it can. Sounds too ambiguous or inplausible....is it possible to catch one of these things and study it?

Special Abilities:

It is unknown the full extent of the wisp's abilities. Other than that the fact that it has a glow of various colors (details) and that it floats above the ground is all that is known of any of its powers or abilities. Some stories say that the wisp has a hypnotic effect on those who watch them. No one has heard a wisp speak or display any sort of sentience (Surely the same is true for any non-sentient being?).

Territory:

The wisp is known to inhabit dark and desolate places. Graveyards, catacombs, ancient ruins and places of old evil all are believed to hold wisps. Some of the most well-known places where wisps have been sighted are the catacombs of Ximax, the ruins of Dak'dinal, the Shadow Marshes, the Enclave of Alvang and the Deep Winds Portal of Osthemangar. Why are all the evil places on Sarvonia? Surely the Haunted Jungles of Shar or the Broken Woods of Marmarra would be a little more evil?

Also talk about why people think they are found here


Habitat/Behavior:

The wisp appears as a harmless, floating light by all accounts but recorded testimonies tell a different story. The Kuglimz peoples of Northern Sarvonia know well the peninsula of Kr'ull and the ancient, evil fortress that stands there. The ruins of Dak'dinal are believed to be haunted by many things and it is there that the greatest number of eyewitness accounts of the wisp come from.

The Volkek-Oshra demonologist Vekarn Kha'mal put forth the theory that the wisp is an evil spirit that actually drains the life from its victims. His belief comes from an actual eyewitness he interviewed during his youth over 30 years ago.

"Garan Nimblefingers and his human partner, Sharya Horsemane, once attempted to sneak into the ruins of Dak'dinal to steal what treasure lay hidden inside. They were guided to the area by a Kuglimz scout who refused to follow them any closer to the ruin than a few strals. The halfling and his partner traveled the rest of the way and encountered a grand fortress, dark and foreboding, hidden amidst a cluster of grey, dead hills. The ruins were black in color, as if the stone itself were made of shadow. The only activity was near the great double doors on the west side of the fortress. As the two approached, they saw many floating lights moving through the air like large glowing insects. Some moved slowly while others moved rapidly as if impatiently waiting for something.

As the two approached, the lights stopped in their movement and without warning, the two thieves were surrounded by the lights. How the lights could have moved so quickly over several peds the halfling could not guess. Without a doubt, he felt a great fear and despair and started to run away back to where he came. Sharya Horsemane stood fast, staring at the lights, a blank expression on her face. To his credit, the halfling resisted looking at the lights and instead ran from them. He glanced back and saw that the lights had completely encompassed the human woman and he saw her fall dead away to the ground moments later. Garan ran and never looked back again until he was safely within the Kuglimz homeland."

Another account of a wisp attack is told in the diary of a Kuglimz merchant accompanying a group of warriors through the Folkmore Trees in the peninsula of Kr'ull in Northern Sarvonia. Again, the sighting took place near the ruins of Dak'dinal:

"The caravan paused along a narrow gorge, not very deep, and probably carved from a tributary flowing south from Ebony Lake. Ahead, in a small grove, I witnessed several lights that appeared to be moving about. At first, I thought them to be another group of travelers come to meet us. But, I heard no voices from the group and not even footsteps! Yet, the lights grew closer and closer.

My Kuglimz companions, large and temperamental men all, halted and stared at the lights. I still don't believe it, but I could have sworn I saw them frightened. I dismissed their looks of fear and marched forward to greet the group approaching. As the lights came through the trees, I saw that they were not torches carried by people. Instead, they were glowing balls of red light swaying to and fro like angry insects ready to strike.

My Kuglimz friends backed away and began to pull me away back to where we came. I hesitated as I was mesmerized by the lights. It was then that the entire group flew at me and as I fell to the ground to take cover, I heard nothing but shouts of alarm from my companions. I opened my eyes and beheld the darkness once more. The lights had vanished."

From these accounts, it can be assumed that the wisp holds an aggression similar to perhaps a predator beast. It seems drawn to living beings for purposes unknown. But, the demonologist Vekarn Kha'mal also holds that the wisp is not always so dangerous:

"I myself had a wisp encounter years ago" Kha'mal writes in his book "Guiding Light: The Myth of the Wisp. "I was exploring some very old and forbidden catacombs deep under Ximax. I was warned away from that old section and not even my orcen relatives, most of whom are cavers, would dare venture into the old Ximaxian underground. Nevertheless, I persisted and was rewarded when I encountered a group of friendly wisps who aided me when I became lost.

I had turned several corners trying to backtrack through some narrow passages when my torch suddenly snuffed out. I felt along the rough hewn walls, passing many entombed corpses and skeletons (for my clumsy arms knocked down several remains making a loud clatter that echoed all through the passageway). I was on the verge of panic when suddenly there appeared before me a floating white light the shape of my fist. It moved forward and stopped. It moved again and stopped. I believed it wanted me to follow it. I did so and soon more of the lights came around me. Within moments, the entire corridor was filled with floating white lights.

The lights guided me through many corridors and rooms, some filled with wonderous relics and ancient remains, until at last I emerged out of the ruin into a little used cistern room near the Ximaxian Academy. As the glow of several torches burned my eyes, I had to stand a moment to get my bearings. I turned to thank my saviors, sounds silly I know, but the floating lights were gone. The passageway from whence I came was dark once more. Never again did I venture into the catacombs."

Diet:

As far as is known, the wisp does not require any kind of sustenance such as food or water. The wisp is not a living, breathing creature by all accounts, but is a spirit or magical creature (Even magic creatures need to eat). There are some stories that say the wisp feeds upon the life force of the living (How exactly...and shouldnt this be considered a special ability?) , or that it relies on the darkness and shadows to exist. None of this has been proved.

Mating:

Wisps have never been known to mate as other creatures do. In fact, it is not known how a wisp is created. The demonologist Vekarn Kha'mal holds to the belief that the wisp is born from the remains of the dead. that they are in fact spirits. Others have said that the wisp is merely an illusion born from the imaginations of drunken or crazed fools parading about in the dark (I doubt this....1. What would they have been drinking? 2. Why would you go so far as to write an entry about a drunken illusion- this should at least be considered real regardless of how mysterious you wish to be about it.) . Still others say that the wisp is the creation of dark magics gone wrong, the results of fizzled spells or a mad alchemists experiments (You seem to invent many various origins for these creatures- these are good but at least keep them consistent) . Whatever the case, a wisp has never been seen reproducing.

Myth/Lore:

To recount the myths and the stories associated with the mysterious floating lights would fill many books and tomes. Most of the known myths originate among the northern regions of Sarvonia where two prominent areas once dedicated to great evil still stand - the Deep Winds Portal of Osthemangar in the peninsula of Caael'heroth and the ruined fortress of Dak'dinal on the peninsula of Kr'uul, near the Kuglimz homelands. Why? You said it wasnt proven they hang around evil places

Among the tribes of Southern Sarvonia, the regions surrounding the Ancythrian Sea, such as the city of Cavthan and the gnomes of the Goltherlon forest all tell of the floating lights in and around the Enclave of Alvang, the dark fortress of the Mochron Saban Blackcloak. According to legend, the wisps began to appear soon after the fateful Battle of Alvang in 62 b.S. An old sailors legend tells of the first sailing ship to ever see the lights when the vessel passed close to the fortress not long after the battle. It was supposedly written by the ship's captain, Wolhelm Sanjar, in his log:

"The island loomed large upon the horizon, the fortress's cracked spires piercing the sky like dead broken fingers. All was dark and shadows danced along the walls and broken stones. There is no looking directly at that blasted castle! It moves and vanishes if you so much as try to focus on it. Strange it is.

As the Sea Arrow passed by, the moon shone down upon the island in such a way that I could see movement! I cried for my spyglass and peered through it, watching the movement. I saw lights marching together near the eastern side of the fortress. The damned sea is so rough that I had a hard time seeing the lights clearly. I thought I saw bodies, too! The moonlight looked to be shining off half buried steel and armor from the battle long ago.

A fear gripped me then. I looked one last time and saw the lights moving more rapidly. I thought them to be torches...maybe survivors of a stranded ship. I started to call to them, but then saw that the lights were not torches at all. There was no one alive even holding any torches. They moved all by themselves!

I ordered the Sea Arrow away right quick. I don't know what the lights were, but they gave me a fear I've never before felt. No amount of liquor will ever drown out the image of those lights moving among those fallen souls."

The Volkek-Oshra demonologist Vekarn Kha'mal, puts forth another rarely heard theory. He once visited a Kuglimz woman, someone very old, whos family owned a library for generations. This old woman told a strange tale of the wisps that Kha'mal had never heard before. According to her, the wisps are associated with evil spirits known as mystrans. In the myth, the wisps lure victims away from the light and into dark places where they fall prey to these mystrans. She could not describe a mystran and knew no who had seen one. But, she did say that mystrans could be the product of evil dark elven magics, or perhaps beings from the Netherworld itself.

According to Kha'mal, the woman would say no more for fear of cursing herself. The demonologist's research has turned up precious little concerning these mythical mystran beings, but he is certain that the old woman's theories hold some truth - the wisps are not alone in their work. But, despite the old woman's tale, he is still unable to explain the way the wisps helped him escape from the catacombs of Ximax.

Researchers:

For centuries, wisps and stories of floating lights have been subjects of research for demonologists and anyone interested in otherworldly creatures. But the most prominent researcher who has actually lived to tell of an encounter with wisps is the Volkek-Oshra demonologist Vekarn Kha'mal (suggests its a demon doesnt it.....and also...did he catch any to study- otherwise surely its just hypothetical work) . His work in the libraries of Ximax has helped him uncover many such tales of strange things and the wisps soon became the focus of his research. He rejects any such suggestions that the wisps are products of the imagination.

Usages:

There are no known practical usages for ghostly floating lights (You define them in this sense, you have remained ambigous throughout the entry and then you tell us what they are at the end?).
Logged

Laugh ,and the World Laughs with you.

Weep, and you weep alone.
Azhira Styralias
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 132
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2.774


Mód’dél’áey


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: 19 July 2008, 11:30:08 »

Thanks for the excellent comments, Deci. I guess I am trying to decide exactly what the wisp is...upon some reflection, this seems inconsistent, as I can't decide on whether to make this a product of some dark magic gone wrong, whether it is an actual undead spirit as it seems to hang around graveyards and tombs...or if it is a product of the Netherworld, some other kind of creature from a world beyond.

The only real aspect of the wisp is from the mystran entry. The wisp leads a victim, whether intentionally or not, to a place where a mystran can get it. I want to connect the wisp to the mystran somehow. I also want the wisp to be found in dark, evil places (your suggestions of the Haunted Jungles of Shar and the Broken Woods of Marmarra are excellent and I will definitely use them).

I was trying to perhaps integrate all of these aspects as possible explanations of the wisp. I'll organize it that way.  thumbup
Logged

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 143
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 11.638


Shendar, Shen-D'auras


View Profile Homepage
« Reply #4 on: 19 July 2008, 16:31:39 »

Azhira, unfortunately I didn't have yet the time to read your whole submission, I wanted to make some proposals though, for the wisps are on my mind for quite some time as well (not writing the entry though)

I thought I had mentioned them in my Swamphag entry here, but obviously I did not. However, I always thought that these wisps are inhabitanting not only graveyards and dark places as you describe them, but these dark ,forested, but  swampy areas in bigger forests, where nobody dares to go. Maybe I have this pictures because there was such an area not far away where I grew up and there are several nice myths...

What do you think of adding them to these areas as well? There is always the thought present, how many people might have found their death in these groundless areas..

You could well mention as the researcher Ansrid of Necoma, the one who lost is reputation due to his interests in swamphags, Maybe we could add wisps in the entry as well (a link ;) !) Then you have them located deeply in Santharia as well...

I need to read your submission , maybe Ansrid knew the works of Vekarn.

How does straylight sound as an additional name? It is "Irrlicht" in German and that name always fascinated me.
Logged

"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
***Astropicture of the Day***Talia's Long, Long List***
Bard Judith
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 365
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 7.650


Dwarvenmistress


View Profile Homepage
« Reply #5 on: 19 July 2008, 22:51:21 »

I love the poetry of 'Straylight'! 

And yes, they should be in marshy and swampy places; that is an essential part of the legend.

I had pictured these less as malevolent than capricious - sometimes actually leading travellers to safety, or showing where shelter (even if only an old tree) might be.  If the lights/wisps/smoky apparitions are always known to be hostile in nature, then why would anyone ever be led astray?  I suppose travellers might quite naturally mistake one for a flickering cabin light or lantern, but after a few too many mishaps wouldn't cautionary tales spread?   I think they should be drawn more ambiguously, and less as active forces of evil.  Goodness knows (no pun intended ) we have enough demons...

In line with that, I had always hoped to connect wisps, when they were written, with the Willow entry and the legends of Granther Willow.  If you would at least consider the possibility, I'd be very appreciative (possibly even unto an illustration)...   :D  The relevant passages are quoted below: you'll note that there is no explicit mention of HOW Granther leads people astray, as after the unfortunate episode with the wisps' initial development we removed any cross-references for the time being.

" Human peasants from the Almatrar to the Sharadon forests believe with varying degrees of credulity in a folk figure known as Granther, or Grandfather, Willow. He is said to dwell in a great ancient Marsh Willow in the depths of the swamps (usually the location varies depending on who is telling the story) and emerges to speak to lone travellers. His moods are as changable as the weather, and he can capriciously bestow gifts or lead people astray in the bogs, so it is always wise to be courteous to old men one meets at dusk! For a typical Granther Willow story see "The Babetales: Of Swamps and Sorrows".

Very old and twisted Willows are all possibly the residence of Granther Willow, or of other capricious spirits, so it is not unknown for superstitious people to make simple offerings at those trees: a splash of milk, a crust of bread thrust into a knothole, a bright ribbon or scrap of cloth tied round a branch. These last should not be confused with the prayer ribbons dedicated to Grothar, which are usually long and white, and located in public places such as crossroads.

In other areas it is felt that the spirit of the Willow is a female, a nurturing, dreamy sort, who may or may not reward gifts by answering petitions. For a poem in this tradition, ascribed to the nature poet Avalotus, see "Old Willow".   
Logged

"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Tharoc Wargrider
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 52
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1.642


Peripatetic plunderer of crunchy comestibles


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: 20 July 2008, 02:32:43 »

Wisps? Willow?

Will 'o' the Wisps?

Whip 'o' Wills?

It's all very confusing.
Logged

Use the force, Luke.

And if that doesn't work, try switching it off and back on again.
Azhira Styralias
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 132
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2.774


Mód’dél’áey


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: 21 July 2008, 12:32:38 »

Wow, thanks Talia and Judy! You both have given me some superb ideas and direction. I am not familiar with wisp legends and tales myself. What I know comes from D&D and videogames (such as Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness where wisps attack your character in a swamp)...so you can see where I get the malicious behavior for them.

I will definitely use the Granther Willow stuff and the swamphags. And, add them to swampy areas as well as other dark places. Personally, I would probably go the direction of capricious apparitions rather than malicious creatures. I'll work on the entry Monday and see what I come up with.  evil
Logged

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
Bard Judith
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 365
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 7.650


Dwarvenmistress


View Profile Homepage
« Reply #8 on: 21 July 2008, 12:42:16 »

I had indeed thought of a convincing etymology to do with "Willow-wisps".... :D

Az, glad you like it! I'll be thrilled if you can work Granther in, and I'll gladly revise my entry to incorporate whatever references you come up with, so that everything's wrapped up together...   and if you want a piece of lore, myth, story, or poem, you have but to ask....
Logged

"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 143
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 11.638


Shendar, Shen-D'auras


View Profile Homepage
« Reply #9 on: 21 July 2008, 19:19:07 »

Yeah, I just have to dig out this old book which frightened me so much and steal some ideas for Santh...
Logged

"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
***Astropicture of the Day***Talia's Long, Long List***
Azhira Styralias
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 132
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2.774


Mód’dél’áey


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: 22 July 2008, 01:05:32 »

Oh this is a fun little entry! I've essentially re-wrote the entire thing and re-organized so it has to have a re-read. I've used Deci's comments as well as added more locations in Sarvonia and Nybelmar. I've added the Willow lore too. I've toned down the malicious aspect and played more on the ambiguous part. Lastly, I've classified the wisp as an apparition, not a magical creature.

Ok I need a few things from the language experts (of which I am not be any means...)

1. Some other names for the wisps, perhaps by region.

@ Judy -  I would dearly love a bit more myth on the Grandfather Willow. Perhaps a poem or bit of lore I can add?

@ Talia - I've made use Ansrid in the form of a personal story and prominent researcher so I hope you don't mind.  heart

Logged

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
Bard Judith
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 365
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 7.650


Dwarvenmistress


View Profile Homepage
« Reply #11 on: 22 July 2008, 01:13:25 »

Sure thing!  Will do tomorrow - um, I see it IS tomorrow.  I mean after I go to bed, sleep, and wake up - whenever that happens to be.

Goo' night, all!
Logged

"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Decipher Ziron
Moderator
****

Gained Aura: 55
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2.574


General Genius of Remarkable Modesty


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: 22 July 2008, 03:29:24 »

Oh I see!

Mira's Phed'lon outclassing Shar and Marmarra again!

How typical! *pouts*
Logged

Laugh ,and the World Laughs with you.

Weep, and you weep alone.
Azhira Styralias
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 132
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2.774


Mód’dél’áey


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: 22 July 2008, 03:31:08 »

Deci...there are no entries on Shar and Marmarra that I could find or I would have been more elaborate... cry
Logged

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
Santh. Member
***

Gained Aura: 143
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 11.638


Shendar, Shen-D'auras


View Profile Homepage
« Reply #14 on: 22 July 2008, 04:50:38 »

I read the Ansrid part - well done. This will add to his "weird nature". I'll think over a sentence of two about the wisps which we can add to the other entries where he is mentioned.
Logged

"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
***Astropicture of the Day***Talia's Long, Long List***
Pages: [1] 2 3
Print
Jump to:  

Recent
[27 March 2019, 00:01:57]

[21 June 2018, 14:28:00]

[31 May 2017, 06:35:55]

[06 May 2017, 05:27:04]

[03 April 2017, 01:15:03]

[26 March 2017, 12:48:25]

[15 March 2017, 02:23:07]

[15 March 2017, 02:20:28]

[15 March 2017, 02:17:52]

[14 March 2017, 20:23:43]

[06 February 2017, 04:53:35]

[31 January 2017, 08:45:52]

[15 December 2016, 15:50:49]

[26 November 2016, 23:16:38]

[27 October 2016, 07:42:01]

[27 September 2016, 18:51:05]

[11 September 2016, 23:17:33]

[11 September 2016, 23:15:27]

[11 September 2016, 22:58:56]

[03 September 2016, 22:22:23]
Members
Total Members: 1019
Latest: lolanixon
Stats
Total Posts: 144586
Total Topics: 11052
Online Today: 53
Online Ever: 700
(23 January 2020, 20:05:39)
Users Online
Users: 0
Guests: 50
Total: 50

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2005, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Theme based on Cerberus with Risen adjustments by Bloc and Krelia
Modified By Artimidor for The Santharian Dream
gfx
gfxgfx gfxgfx