The Old Growth Hollow
The Old Growth Hollow
The elves of the Fae Wood and the wise Deeproot Tree have long been friends and guardians of Crystalia. Their timeless stewardship of the land made them ideal caretakers for the exiled Forgotten King and his court. Yet the rise of the Dark Consul has sapped their ageless strength as they are beset on all sides, and The Forgotten King has become a cancer that corrupts from within.
As the Consul’s power rises, so too does The Forgotten King’s and he has used his magic to sicken and bewitch the forest spirits within the Lordship Ruins. Twisted by The Forgotten King’s hatred, these corrupt kodama have lent their strength to the Dark Consul. Now the elves find themselves under attack in their own woods.
In the Glauerdoom
Many of the Kodama that now dwell at the edge of the Fae Wood near the Glauerdoom Moor have fallen under the sway of Nightsong the Eternal. They delight in spreading blight and corruption.
Those in their midst have begun to take on aspects of the undead that plague this land. Wilting and blackened leaves, twisting dried branches, and withered bodies all following the will of their nefarious and dastardly lord.
At the Fire Flows
The seeds and sprouts of the Deeproot Tree have traveled far and wide on the winds of Crystalia. The lava beds of the Dragonback Peaks can create fertile grounds for these new sprouts to take root. This new growth takes on the aspects of its surroundings, creating Kodama with fiery tempers.
While these Kodama are not servants of the Dark Consul, they are temperamental, belligerent, and dangerous. They have inherited the flaming wrath of the mountains in which they dwell, and they can pose as great a threat to a Hero as any monster.
Of Sprouts and King Sprouts
Sprouts are blessings of the Deeproot Tree. Each spring the Deeproot Tree breathes life into countless sprouts. Some travel the surface, others take to the wind upon whirling propellers of leaves, while others burrow deep within the earth.
They spread throughout Crystalia bringing the promise of renewed life throughout the land. When a Sprout concludes its journey it takes root, becoming a tree, shrub, sweeping carpet of wildflowers, or any other variety of bright greenery. In such a manner does the Deeproot Tree spread its influence throughout Crystalia.
Since the rise of the Dark Consul, Sprouts are captured by servants of the wicked creatures who call the Consul master. Employing black magics they pollute the seeds, corrupting not only the plant the Sprout was meant to become, but all the Kodama who rely on its healthy growth for shelter and sustenance.
Uncorrupted, a Sprout grows to become a mighty plant or tree within the Fae Wood, providing food and shelter to the denizens of the forest. Under the Dark Consul’s influence they instead become ravenous creatures of flailing vines, snapping jaws, and insatiable hunger.
Each spring the Deeproot Tree breathes life into countless sprouts. They travel Crystalia, settling down and blooming new life throughout the land. Most sprouts take root in fertile territory, where they can reach their full potential. But some find themselves deep in the Glauerdoom Moor.
Even so, a sprout will sometimes take root in the oppressive, swampy waters and create a beacon of life and hope in that desperate and forgotten place. But all too often the sprout will be corrupted by the foul things that lurk in the moor. These corrupted sprouts are known as bad seeds, and instead of spreading life and hope, they spread death and despair. Where they take root, rot spreads and a blackened blight forms on the land.
Sometimes a seed from the Deeproot Tree will become encased in lava as it cools. The magic of the Deeproot is strong enough to keep the seed alive, and it can remain trapped for centuries. When these seeds are unearthed, they grow wild and fierce. They are not only immune to flame, but they crave it, often growing stronger in the warmth of a blaze.
Catching a glimpse of a Wisp is considered good fortune. Normally these shy and elusive Kodama lead lost travelers to safety and shelter. Under the Dark Consul’s influence their guidance becomes malicious, leading unsuspecting Heroes into ambushes and fields of thorns.
Those Wisps who have become corrupted by Nightsong the Eternal still lead travelers, laughing and chirping, creating the illusion of comfort. But the longer the weary traveler stays in the company of the Wisp, the more they sink into a dark despair, until they simply lay down in the blighted moor. Unable to bring themselves to seek shelter or food, these travelers wither away as the wisp laughs and plays.
The Kodama who eek out an existence in the Dragonback Peaks are even more temperamental and fickle than usual. Flame Wisps are particularly hard to predict. A Flame Wisp may lead a Hero through a twisting pass in the mountains one day and then set the Hero’s pack on fire the next day before running away and gigglin'.
Turnipheads are the least swayed of the Dark Consul’s influence. Its has always been their purpose to heal the sick and dying plants. It makes no difference to them if the plant is under the Consul’s thrall or not.
However, those that do become corrupted are consumed completely, becoming devoted to spreading blight and plague to the living. They forsake their ability to heal, instead reveling in the decay that reflects the visage of their undead lord.
In the harsh conditions of the Dragonback Peaks, a Turniphead cannot properly heal every burn, every lost leaf, every torn root. This frustration builds in fiery rage, and a Spicy Turnip is born. Unable to heal the wounded, Spicy Turnips instead seek to stoke the flames.
Constantly busy and cheerful, the Mooks are guardians and caretakers of the forest. Filled with an insatiable curiosity, their naturally mischievous nature has been twisted to cruel pranks with deadly intentions under the Dark Consul’s power.
Rotten Cabbages are corrupted Mooks. Their mischievous nature takes on an edge of cruelty. They hound their victims in packs, laughing and jeering all together at whatever malicious prank they have pulled. When they form such groups, the stench of decaying cabbage is overwhelming, becoming a weapon in itself.
Broiled Mooks who have been charred in the harsh conditions of the Dragonback Peaks have an unusual sense of humor. All of their pranks tend to involve flames or hot coals. While Broiled Mooks are not inherently hostile, their fiery pranks are often detrimental for Heroes.
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