It is the Realm Within Realms. The Great Magical Wound. The Cradle of Humanity and the Dragons. The First to Fall. The Crown of Creation.
When Yggomni first established the world, He had plans for it and its mortals that would have them as co-rulers of all Creation. But when His chosen champion ignored His warnings and fell to the Enemy, the world came under constant threat of self-annihilation. In the heavenly kingdom of Idridelle, Yggomni grieved, for His children had been led astray and adopted by a traitorous new patron—The Malifarr—and would now share his fate of damnation.
Many calamities then fell upon the realms as the Dawning Age came to a close and gave way to a time of myth and legend. The Day of Magic reshaped the world, and many became fatally addicted to the power that magic offered. As a result, the Dragons left the world out of fear of the warmongering and foolishness of sorcerers. The Mythical Age had become marked with as many horrors and crimes as it was by its heroes and legends. Then came the Third Age. The Seelie Age. During this time, the Fae invaded and enslaved the world, and the Enchantians fought back, resulting in the death of untold thousands and the extinction of the entire Dwarven Race. Amidst all this horror and pain, Yggomni the Father sent His Son, Lorraullion, the White Faun. He sacrificed His one true Son in order to save His fallen children from their sins and to begin the end of the tyrannical reign of the Fae. Thus, He heralded the end of The Seelie Age.
Enter the Arcane Age.
In this Age, Enchantyon once again stands as a world teeming with wonder and adventure as Yggomni’s Living Light illuminates the darkest corners of all the realms from the very hearts of the mortals He saves. But this age is not without its perils. The Malifarr’s revenge against Yggomni has taken on a host of new forms, as well as reviving some old ones.
One place where this conflict is most evident is on the troubled Continent of Tesardess.
In the Northern region of Tesardess, the peoples of the Jördlands fight raiders and forgotten powers, Elves flee persecution, and all endure the cold tundra. In the continent's heart, The Free Border Dominions of Tesardess fight their own daily battles: they fight amongst themselves, against the last hosts of the Wolfplague, and the monstrous beasts and heathen tribes of the Greater Wilderness. They also must contend with the agents and champions of the Dark Province to the West and of the Eastern nation of Goblinstine across the Green Channel. And on the Southern end of Tesardess, there is an ancient threat stirring in the ruins of ancient Zano, the Forbidden Island of Sleepwalkers. For this reason, The Emperor of Octavia has gathered his best centurions and adventurers to uncover the island's secrets.
As heroes rise and fall in this tumultuous time, it falls upon the average citizens of the realms and Yggomni’s Holy Church to rise above the fray with courage and valour. Two qualities that the Tesardessians thankfully have in abundance.
“Despair has no home within our hearts, for we were not given spirits of fear.
From our hearts, like beacons, Living Light will flood this world.
Arise, my brothers! Arise, dear sisters!
To the Enemy, beware! Your annihilation is nigh!”
—An Enchantian Creed
The Greater Wilderness
August, 500 A.A.
The campfire's crackling and pleasant hickory smell failed to distract from the awkwardness between Lalauri and the child.. Little ever did.
Lalauri had rescued Keridwen from Panok's demonic clutches and her hidden sanctuary's ruins a full four months ago, but she was still struggling to establish any sort of bond with the child she had adopted. Truthfully, the whole prospect still felt both incredibly alien and incredibly daunting.
I’m a mother now…this child I’m taking home with me is…my responsibility. Am I really ready for this? Qualified for this?
…A mother…an actual mother…
From the hidden and ruined adytum, the child's previous residence, they went directly to the village where Lalauri's fellow soldiers, the Wolf-bane Battalion, had been waiting for the return of their paladins and war-pastor. When only Lalauri returned with no one else but the little girl, she told them what had happened and about the new charge she had been given regarding the girl in question.
Lalauri remembered feeling so much more certain of things then. She was fresh off the battle—of victory, and this victory filled her every fibre with an electric buzz. In that moment, there was nothing she felt she couldn’t do. Now, though, she wasn’t nearly as sure of herself. Despite the warmth of the fire, she couldn't shake the feeling of unease that settled in her stomach, causing her to keep a watchful eye on the shadows and on the little girl.
Am I qualified for this? Am I truly qualified?
As she sat across from little Keridwen that night in the forest, Lalauri observed the human girl. Keridwen’s platinum blonde hair—which now matched Lalauri’s own hair—flowed fully past her shoulders. It was a mark of the emotional scarring the little girl had to carry with her now, but for a moment, Lalauri looked into the girl’s future through that hair. Through it she saw the beautiful young woman that she might be one day, with that white hair acting as a gorgeous frame for that adorable, dirt-smeared face of hers.
That is…if I can ensure she lives to see that day…
“Lalauri?” said Keridwen, breaking Lalauri from her train of thought. “Are you okay?”
It was at this moment that Lalauri realized she had been just staring at this girl somewhat menacingly this whole time. “Sorry! I’m sorry, Little One. Yes, I’m fine. Thank you for asking.”
Another moment of silence passed between the two.
“Yes, little one?”
“How much longer until we get there?”
“Well…on our current trajectory, at our usual speed…another week, I think.” When Keridwen’s shoulders drooped considerably, Lalauri hastily added, “However, there is a town not too far from here that should have a faster means of transportation that we can use. Assuming that’s still the case, then we should arrive in Aureate in no time.”
Keridwen continued to frown at her, though. “But…how do you know there’s a town nearby? You don’t have a map. I haven’t even seen you use a map once since we left…”
As the girl’s eyes drifted back down towards the fire, the name and memory of her home village hung unspoken in the air between them.
“There is a town there.” Lalauri said. “I know this because…well, I’ve been around a very long time, little one. And there are very few parts of the Greater Wilderness that I haven’t been to at least once in my lifetime.”
“But things can change, can’t they? What if it’s changed so much that you don’t recognize it? What if that town isn’t there? What if there isn’t transportation to make things go faster? What if…what if…” It was then that a deep, long yawn escaped the little girl’s mouth.
Lalauri watched as Keridwen rubbed her eyes with her still adorably small hands. “You should get some sleep, Keri. We’ll be moving again in the morning.”
But Keridwen shook her head sleepily. She looked back up at Lalauri, tears welling up in her eyes, and whispered, “The nightmares…”
Lalauri’s heart broke a bit at the sound of that; the sound of the little girl’s voice cracking. In the four months since leaving Khar Vell, the little girl had spoken to her a few times about the nightmares she had been having. All of them nasty by the sounds of it.
Lalauri opened up her arms wide and the little girl took the invitation to come over and sit on the grass beside her. “Lie on my lap, little one. I promised I would protect you, remember? So rest your head and go to bed. If I notice you having any nightmares, I’ll wake you up myself so they cannot hurt you any longer. Alright?”
Keridwen nodded. After the little girl yawned once more, Lalauri gently guided her head down onto her lap. Once she was properly cozy under a blanket Lalauri placed upon her, Keridwen quickly snored soundly. Lalauri then let her self lay back onto the tree she was sitting up against and let loose a sigh of relief as she sent out a silent prayer.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for helping me with this child. And thank you for helping us get this far with little difficulty. Please…please, Father, let us get to the next town safely as well. Let us find safe and swift transportation so that we may get home as soon as possible. Let us sleep soundly tonight and let us awake refreshed and ready to take on whatever the dawn brings with it. In your name, Lorraullion, amen.”
Lalauri then lay her head back on the tree’s trunk, closed her eyes, and allowed for sleep to take her from the waking world, blissfully unaware of the trials that would come for her the next day.
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