Tales of Gromlin
About 150 years ago, a large group of human farmers, hunters, blacksmiths, and foragers let the civilized cities and small towns of Raelon to live a life free of those who would try to rule their lives. These humans found each other on their way to a better place. They found a forest near the border of Leagalla, the Fey Kingdom, and decided to find a good area and make a new place to live for themselves. But upon exploring deeper into the forest they found another race had already made their home here, Wood Elves. The Wood Elves had a small tribe set up and did not like the fact that these humans had found them. After a couple hours of debating between Triston Langley, the leader of the Humans, and the main Wood Elf Elder of the tribe, Zilyana Genneiros, the Elves allowed the humans to stay as long as they stayed true to their word that they would learn the ways the tribe has followed for generations. The next few months were a little rough for the humans, since they had to learn a whole new way of life, but got used to this life and soon applied their skills to better the tribe.
After a few years, the tribe has picked up a more defensive stance in regard to outsiders. In order to protect the forest better the Druids and Rangers of the tribe trained to be silent in their hunts and stalk those who would be a danger to the tribe. Many explorers have entered the forest to either never be seen again or return horrified, scared, or wounded. Those who found themselves alive after entering the forest ended up calling it the “The Forest of Shadows” for no one saw those of the tribe. The tribe ended up calling themselves the “Endless Shadow Hunters” since the tribe was able to quickly move from one end of the forest to the other without being seen. Shortly after this, Elder Zilyana wanted to know what is happening outside the forest so the tribe can understand and act accordingly to why so many people are trying to cross through the forest.
The Elders, except for Zilyana, did not care for what was happening outside the forest and had no interest to learn why so many are entering the forest. For decades the Elders would debate on this subject, until a large number of Ogres started moving through the forest, destroying just about everything in their path. The Rangers and Druids were sent to stop the Ogres, which was accomplished. When all the Rangers and Druids returned from removing the Ogres from
the forest, it convinced the Elders to send someone to discover what is happening outside the forest. It didn’t take long to decide who to send, because there was only one person who would be able to handle this task. The Elders chose Zilyana’s daughter, Thalia, to discover what is happening. Thalia was a very powerful Druid when she was given this task, and had proven herself able to take care of herself on her own.
During Thalia’s quest, the Tribe became a lot more determined to defend the forest from anyone outside the forest. One day however, a Representative from Leagalla entered the forest wanting an audience with Elders of the tribe. Knowing the consequences for killing this man, the Elder granted him his audience. He came bearing word from Leagalla, stating that they have heard of what the tribe’s Rangers and Druids are capable of and offer a partnership of sorts.
The deal was that Leagalla would give the tribe sanctuary and a new place to live should war break out across the lands and destroy the forest they lived in, as long as all the Rangers and Druids used their skills in the defense of Leagalla. The Elders told this man that they cannot agree to this until they know for a fact of what is happening, for they will not agree to something that could end up hurting the tribe more than saving it. They told him that a decision will be made when Thalia returns and explains what is happening. The representative understood their position and returned to Leagalla, waiting for word.
Thalia returned to the tribe after sometime. She explained what each Kingdom is preparing for and what they are working towards, also that the Ogres would return one day. The Elders spoke amongst themselves for a few days deciding what course of action to take. Eventually believing that staying out of the other Kingdoms eyes would be best. This stance held up for a few years, until some of the Rangers met an exploration party from Phoviel, the Elf Kingdom. This party listened to the warning of the Rangers, but still seeked to speak with the tribe on a possible trade agreement. Skeptical, the Rangers led them blindfolded to the tribe so they could speak with the Elders. Phoviel has offered to send the Tribe people who wish to live their lives in exchange for some pelts from certain animals which after years of hunting can only be found in their forest. The Elders did not like this, but before they could turn down the deal a member from this party said they were only after a couple pelts, three at most and in return they would send six to seven people similar to them for each pelt. To this deal the Elders agreed but still did not like it. Eventually the Elders sent word to Leagalla that they would refuse the partnership they offered, and offered a deal of their own. If Leagalla would give them sanctuary if the worst should happen, they would help train their young Rangers and Druids,
to which Leagalla agreed.
For about twenty-five years this was the normal life for the tribe. Trades with Phoviel saw the tribe well populated and training some of Leagalla’s Rangers and Druids secured a good relationship with both Kingdoms. The Ogres pushed into the Forest a few more times during the last few years to meet the same result, but one thing changed with the last push from them. Worgs started coming with the Ogres as if they were trained beasts of war. Though most of the Worgs were slain in the last push, some broke free and found a home for themselves in the forest. Once the Elders learned of this they wanted to Worg’s population kept in check, and eventually making a trial for those who wish to earn the Elders confidence by hunting and stalking a Worg Alpha on foot by yourself. This brought a new challenge to the Hunters that needed the confidence of the Elders in a dispute or support on leading a hunting party.
Thalia became one of the Elders and leader of the tribe when her mother passed away a few years later. Zilyana’s passing was felt by everyone in the tribe for she was the leader of the tribe for almost 300 years. She brought the tribe from being nearly non-existent to it being more productive and stronger than it ever was. The tribe could not mourn her for long as the tribe needed to send another person out and see what the Kingdoms are up to. A tall female wood elf volunteered to do this, as she was a close friend and student of Thalia. This druid was named Nilindia Venleth. Nilindia was very skilled with her abilities and surveying the lands she was in. Thalia accepted her offered to do this.
Nilinda’s journey was very similar to Thalia’s, she explored much and learned just as much from all the different people she met. During a walk in the forest, Nilinda came across a young human woman from the tribe that was practicing her Druidic powers. Nilinda was surprised to how dedicated she was to practicing at the young age of fifteen. She spoke with this young woman and found out that her name is Kellie Braxton, one of the few humans that had a interest in becoming a Druid. Kellie impressed her so much that she took Kellie as her student, and everyday for the next five years she taught Kellie everything she could handle without discovering some things on her own. After Kellie turned twenty, Nilinda told her that from here on she must find her own path in the life of a Druid and not to be afraid of what is to come. Kellie knew what she meant and prepared herself to leave the tribe for her trial.
Kellie left a few days later, after she got the Elder’s blessing for a safe journey. She was making her way between tribes in her attempt to master all styles of magic used by Druids. On her way home, she ran into a man named Karvar. She was rather taken by him, so much in fact that she delayed her return home to spend more time with him. Several months had past now, and their love grew to the point that he asked her to marry him. She said yes, but only if they could be married at her tribe. Not having much to call his own, he agreed. One morning on the trip home, she started throwing up. Later that day they discovered she was pregnant, and they decided that they would have to quicken their pace back to the tribe before the baby was born. The trip took longer than what they were expecting due to weather and bandits, but got back to the tribe with the baby due anyway. Just as they made room for him, Kellie went into labor. After about 8 hours, the baby entered the world, it was a boy and they named him Archedon.
Life in the tribe was great for years. Archedon was learning what the tribe’s Rangers had to do very quickly. After Archedon turned fifteen, he decided to set out into the forest on his own to fully test everything he had learned. While he was out, he could hear the screams of Ogres not far from where he was so he went to investigate. Upon arriving at the area of the screams, he saw many dead Ogres. He also saw Rangers and Druids from his tribe in a circle. As he approached he could hear some of them crying, which meant some of the Druids and Rangers had died in stopping the Ogres. He pushed his way through the group to see that the fallen were his parents. Devastated, he leaned down and held them for what would be the last time. Nilinda pulled him away and took him back to the tribe, and offered him a place with her. Since then, Archedon focused mostly on his skills as a Ranger. The next few years Archedon spoke to a few people,
but mostly to Nilinda and a young Wood Elf named Lorana. Archedon and Lorana became a deadly two-man team. Tracking and eliminating all targets they set their eyes on. One day when Archedon and Lorana were out gathering supplies for the tribe they heard a crashing noise. When they went to investigate they found a woman, who appeared to be injured and tired from traveling for days without rest. She kept her hood up hiding herself. Archedon had Lorana stay hidden with a clear shot if something happens. Archedon approached the woman who then panics for a moment, and turns her head away as she quickly grabs a blindfold and puts it on.
Being very cautious, Archedon took a few steps forward with his bow ready to shoot. He tells the woman to leave and never come back. Before the woman could respond, a small hissing sound could be heard. She tells him if there is a place nearby that she could rest and get help. Archedon just points to the edge of the forest and tells her to go to the nearest village in that direction. She tries to convince him to take her to somewhere closer, but he did not listen, and told her to leave now or never be able to take her blindfold off. The woman turned and left, as Archedon and Lorana followed from a safe distance. Once she was gone, they told the Elders about this encounter. The Elders saw this as a sign that once again someone needed to leave and see what is happening, for this is the first time a creature like her came to the forest. Archedon and a couple others volunteered, but only one would be allowed to go. Knowing of how the Elder’s give favor to those who kill Worg Alphas, he set out immediately. Lorana wanted to go with him, but he told her she had to stay as this is something he has to do alone. Though she wanted to go with him, she understood. Archedon left before the sun was up on what would be his greatest hunt. It took him three days to find his prey, but something was different. This Alpha was bigger than normal and wasn’t alone. The fight pushed Archedon beyond anything before, as he eventually killed this pack. He took the canine fangs and made a necklace as his trophy and the heads were taken to the Elders who had no choice but to choose Archedon as the next one to travel the world and see what is happening. Nilinda told him where to start his journey, and he left the next day. Right before the left the forest for the first time, Lorana was waiting for him. She asked again to join him, and again he said no. But when he returns, she could always be at his side.