The Forest Folk Chapter 5.1

The Forest Folk Chapter 5.1

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Genre: Fantasy

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Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

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Summary

The Third Founding
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Summary

The Third Founding

Chapter8 (v.1) - The Third Founding

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 04, 2017

Reads: 21

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 04, 2017

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THE FOREST FOLK:

 

Chapter 5.1 - The Third Founding:

 

The inhabitants of Koldar, known as the Koldan, were different to most of their kin, with the exception of the Makareye. This was because they were explorers, and the worlds that they founded were not out of necessity alone, but rather out of curiosity. Like their cousins on Tollana, the Koldan developed the technology necessary to create portals relatively quickly, and soon were more advanced than any of their rivals.

 

They evolved to become an extremely spiritual race, and indeed still are. One in which the pursuit of mysticism is greatly prized, almost even more so than the understanding of science. Their belief is that both go hand in hand. Unlike many scientists, the Koldan believe that the pursuit of logic will further their ability to comprehend even the most spiritual of truths. Thus, rather than deny the existence of the spiritual reality, they seek to explore it.

 

Alas, Koldan philosophy was not always so altruistic. Indeed, to begin with, they were a violent race. Partially out of necessity, because when they first arrived, the settlers on Koldar were faced with a very hostile reception by the local population of Merka-Tel. There were a number of clashes between the two, and the new arrivals were hard-pressed to establish a secure footing on the planet. Their only advantage was that their weapons and armour were superior to that of their attackers, whereas the Merka-Tel had the upper hand because they were familiar with the territory.

 

In many ways, Koldar is somewhat of an exception to the rule when compared to the other Sylvan worlds. The main difference was that the planet itself had very little vegetation, by Sylvan standards that is. Instead of vast forests, there were small clusters of trees amidst huge expanses of grassland and savannah. This meant that the Sylvan settlers had to adapt to a more arid climate than the one to which they were accustomed. This, and the constant strife caused by the indigenous population, made life difficult to say the least, which was possibly why the Koldan were more aggressive than the rest of their race.

 

That was until a certain individual by the name of Sinaht came into power. This spiritual leader is considered to be the most important figure in Koldan history. He was a pioneer in many ways. The most remarkable was that he almost single-handedly transformed this warlike culture into one that pursued peace with other races, at all cost. It was his work that put his people back onto the path of Kuivisye. Before this, it would have been doubtful that any from among the Koldan would have attained Ascension, because it was considered impossible to do so with blood on their hands.

 

Long before they began working on the Portals, the Koldan were made certain that their search for new worlds would not be in vain. This assurance was given to them by one of their seers, a student of Sinaht. In a vision, she saw explorers from her own world meeting with strangers, some of whom were very different to any of the other humanoid races. A voice spoke to her, and instructed her, that before this could take place, the Koldan would need to prove that they had embraced the 'Nadath ya'Seraye', 'the Path of Peace', the basis for the teachings of Sinaht.

 

These were the three basic tenets of his philosophy: Firstly that all races should be urged to live peaceably with one another. This should be done for mutual benefit. The second rule was that none should seek power over the other. Even if one group was more advanced than another, they should not use their technology to subjugate those who were less sophisticated. Instead, they should seek to enrich the other race with their knowledge, and even then, not without their consent. The last main aspect of this teaching, was that as far as possible, any dispute should be settled using reason and logic rather than with violence. This did not mean that the Koldan were not allowed to defend themselves, but that this would only be as a last resort, rather than being the first option.

 

And so the Koldan renaissance began. After centuries of war and strife, sometimes even amongst themselves, the people sought to live in harmony with one another, as well as the other races with which they shared their home.

 

As with all change, this was not accepted universally, and a certain faction broke away from their peace-loving brethren. They called themselves 'the Revolution', or 'Urglivayes' in the Sylvan tongue. This group of rebels settled in the lands of Sharian, Vander and Artin, where they remained until the first portals had been erected, and then elected to be among the first to leave Koldar completely. Unlike the rest, who embarked on journeys of discovery, the revolutionaries set out to conquer. Later the Urglivayes changed their name to the 'Riluaneth', 'the Followers of Riluan', one of their most notorious leaders, known for his cruelty and brutality.

 

Because Koldar was so barren, the time soon came when its environment could no longer sustain the Sylvan population. By that time the portals had been built, and the time came for the first exploration teams to go through and find new worlds on which the Koldan could settle. Far from the rough structures of old, these were technological and aesthetic masterpieces, some of which are still in use even to this day. Without the threat of violence or attack, the Koldan could make use of these gates much more readily than on some of the other planets. The same basic principle applied: In the incantation that activated the portal was included a phrase that would ensure, that wherever those who used it were going would be for their 'Highest Good'.

 

The first planet that the explorers encountered was called Felaria. It was a small world orbiting a distant sun rather like that of Eidolon. The only difference was that all the land appeared to be covered with rainforests. This was because there was little difference between the seasons, and it rained almost the whole year long. This made Felaria a very rich environment, and the Koldan believed that they had discovered paradise.

 

The other feature that set this world apart from almost all the planets upon which the Sylvan had previously come to settle, was that there were no Merka-Tel. Instead the main continents, of which there were three, and most of the islands were inhabited by a race of bi-pedal felines known as the Myshari. Although their appearance was somewhat intimidating, they were generally a peaceful race. They recognised the visitors as being equal if not more advanced than they. Which was advantageous because they were also fierce hunters, and considered any life-form below them to be a source of food.

 

The initial exploration party returned to Koldar, and assured the authorities that Felaria was a viable new home for those who wished to settle elsewhere. Thus the first colonists went through the portals, and made the small planet their new home. They quickly made a pact with the local population, promising that they would not interfere with the Myshari supply of food, as long as the felines did the same. Seeing the Sylvan are mostly vegetarian, and their new neighbours were meat eaters, this arrangement was easy for both sides to uphold.

 

But little did they know that a group of Riluaneth had established a settlement on one of the other planets in the same system, the world of Tor Aman. They had no desire to peacefully coexist with the local population. Instead they sought either to subdue, or even destroy it. So when the invaders discovered that the inhabitants of this world were primitives, they soon began using them as slave labour. Tor Aman was rich in mineral resources. It also had lush vegetation, although not as fertile as Felaria. Fortunately for the colonists on the smaller planet, their more aggressive kinsfolk had no way of knowing that the Koldan had settled in the same system as they had. It was only relatively recently, with the advent of space travel, apart from that of the gates, that the two discovered that they were neighbours. A discovery that led to war between the two worlds.

 

The real wealth of Tor Aman was situated deep beneath its surface, where rich deposits of gems lay, and veins of gold, silver, and other precious metals ran. But alas, another evil lurked in the deep caverns below. A menace that was to bring much suffering, first to the people who had made this world their home, and later for the whole system. These were creatures from the earliest times, long forgotten. On the surface they were thought to have become extinct, remembered only in local folklore. The indigenous folk knew full well, and feared what could be down at the bottom of the mines that delved ever deeper under the planet's surface. But seeing as they had been reduced to mere slaves, no-one bothered to pay heed to their warnings. And besides, those who ran the mines were too obsessed with the riches that they offered. Their own greed deafened them to the cautioning of these 'savages'.

 

The creatures that were unearthed were called the 'Snagara'. Meaning 'Slaver', this was an ancient species of monster that fed on any flesh that it could capture. But there was a darker, even more sinister side to them, and that was the manner in which they reproduced. A Snagara resembled a giant octopus, excepting that it had more tentacles, and was much larger.

 

Unlike with the marine creature that they resembled, their tentacles were not designed to catch prey upon which to feed, or not all of them. Some of them were situated at the rear of the creature, near what was at first thought to be its cavernous mouth. Later it was discovered that this cavity contained the beast's reproductive organs, most of which were male. They reproduced by capturing the female of a selected species, and then keeping them inside this massive cloaca. There they drugged their victims, using a powerful combination of toxins and pheromones, before they used a specific tentacle with which to mate with them. The drugs were so strong that their captives seemed to enjoy the experience, that is until their offspring were ready to be born. These were either born alive, or in egg form.

 

What puzzled the early inhabitants was that the Snagara also captured male victims. The few reports that they could gather indicated that they too were indecently assaulted. Later it was discovered that this was the way in which these creatures strengthened their own genes. Because of their massive size, only a few Snagara could live in a specific area. Thus, even if they captured many females, there was always the danger of in-breeding, which in turn would increase the threat of genetic defects.

 

When they captured a male, they would fondle with his genitals, using their grotesque tentacles, until his seed spilt out onto the monster's porous skin. It would then be absorbed into the Snagara's body, and the genetic material would be added to its own. Again the victim would be drugged, in much the same way as their female counterparts, so that the experienced was seen as pleasurable. These pheromones contained a substance that ensured that the captive climaxed more than once, and also increased the emissions' volume. One of the long-term side effects of this was that their victims became sterile.

 

There was another reason why males were taken captive: Once the Snagara had absorbed enough of their prisoner's genetic coding, the beast would then produce a toxin, that was either airborne or secreted through the skin. This would drug the male until he became the fiend's slave, whose main task was to capture more females with which the Snagara could mate. These male slaves became known as 'Snagaye', or 'Drones'.

 

Gradually these Drones would begin to mutate, until they possessed certain characteristics of the beasts that had enslaved them in the first place. The reason for this was, that in the process of ensnaring them, some of the Snagara's own genes were passed on to their servants. These grotesque beings were known as 'Hybrids', or 'Tara'Nostaye'. They were capable of producing offspring of their own, but these too were Hybrids. Only a mature Snagara could sire its own kind.

 

The first encounter with these beasts was long before space travel was invented, and the Riluaneth inhabiting Tor Aman were forced to deal with the problem themselves. They knew that they could not defeat these beasts with the weapons they possessed, and so they devised a plan, hopefully to rid their world of this menace. In the same way as the people of Yesha, on Myr-Madrion, had done to free themselves of the demoness Lolyeth, the inhabitants of Tor Aman created, not one, but many portal stones. They mounted them onto large tower shields, and confronted their foes. Their weapons seemed to work, and one by one the fiends disappeared. Or so it was thought!

 

But instead of being destroyed, the Snagara were only sent to the 'Lusta', said to be the Void that exists between dimensions. There they not only grew in number, but evolved into many, and even more hideous forms. Indeed, this was not the last time these hellish creatures would trouble the planet of Tor Aman. Their banishment to the Void also caused their evil influence to spread to other systems, and even to other galaxies.

 

The Koldan settlers landed on three other planets in this system. The first was called Devania. These pioneers were not as fortunate as those on Felaria. On this world they encountered not one, but two hostile races. The first were similar to the legendary Werewolves, excepting that they could not change their shape. They were called the 'Ryaka', simply meaning Wolves. These were only a problem in the beginning, and were soon hunted to extinction. The reason for this was that they could not be reasoned or bargained with. They seemed also to hunt for pleasure, and not necessarily because they needed food. The Ryaka hunted in packs of up to fifteen individuals. They were not at all selective as to what species they treated as prey, and would often take the young and the weak.

 

The only advantage that the settlers had over these brutes was that their population was generally small, and they did not live in large settlements. Thus it did not take long for the Sylvan to eradicate them completely.

 

The same cannot be said for the second opposing race. These appeared to be related to the Uryk. Although they did not hunt like the Ryaka, these beings were extremely territorial, and treated the Sylvan settlers as invaders. Called the Myrwol, they resembled the Neanderthals, excepting that they were much larger. The average height, if one were to stand up straight, would have been between seven to nine feet tall. They were also heavily built, and more technologically advanced than their cousins on Elarda.

 

Also unlike Felaria, there were Merka-Tel residing on Devania as well. Rather than living in the forests, however, these dwelt in the massive cavern systems under the snow-capped mountains on the Southern-most continent of Arthendor, and the smaller of the two Northern land masses called Dartura. Their habits and appearance were so distinctive from their arboreal cousins, that they were called the 'Zia'Quessir', to distinguish them from the others.

 

In the beginning, the Zia'Quessir did not pose any threat to the Sylvan, who already had enough problems dealing with the Myrwol, until one of their leaders, named Vyentara, pledged their support for their larger compatriots. Before then, these illusive folk kept very much to themselves.

 

The third planet in the system to be occupied by the Koldan was the most unlikely, and that was Heydres. The reason for this is because it was a largely aquatic world, with a myriad of islands dotted about the vast ocean. It was here that they met with the race that were so different from anyone else they had encountered before, that they were hard pressed to find a name to fully describe them. They called them the 'Mairimbaye', literally meaning 'the Sea Hosts', or 'the Hosts of the Sea'.

 

These were similar to the mythical 'Mermaids' of Earth, except for their ability to shape-shift almost at will. This transformation allowed them to survive out of the water for a short length of time. They could only change shape while they were still underwater, and feint scales began to appear on their extremities as a warning sign, telling them that it was time to return to their natural habitat. This ability proved essential when they began to trade with the Koldan.

 

The Sylvan who landed on Heydres inhabited the thousands of islands that were the only land available. It is thought that the planet once had vast continents with many mountain ranges. That was until some global catastrophe or another caused the polar ice caps to melt, covering the entire surface with water. The only land masses that remained were the peaks of the mountains. These became chains of islands, the rest of the land having sunk under the waves.

 

Generally the two races lived in harmony with one another. There was an agreement that the Koldan would not fish in the oceans, especially not commercially so that they did not need to use nets of any kind. In return, the Mairimbaye provided the land dwellers with produce from their underwater 'fields'. These included kelp and edible types of seaweed, shellfish and of course fish. The merchants that sailed between the islands had more contact with the aquatic folk, and there were many tales of sailors being seduced by them. Unlike similar legends on Earth, in which the unfortunate seafarer was drowned by mermaids, the males in these stories often jumped overboard, and lived out the rest of their lives on the small coral atolls that were dotted around between the various archipelagos.

 

The last planet to be colonised by the Koldan was also the most mysterious. It was the world of Extari, home to the only species of Sylvan that fully resembled the traditional Faeries. They were also similar to the Kortee'mea, excepting that they were much bigger. Extari was a densely forested world. The vegetation was so thick that it was almost impossible to navigate one's way on the ground. Thus the local population had evolved in such a way as to enable them to move freely through the trees, and this gave them the ability to fly.

 

Called the 'Vyelia', the singular of which is 'Vyel', literally meaning 'Air Folk', these beings had wings that ranged from the traditional gossamer type, to ones resembling those of a bat. The former did not fly as such, but they could glide from the highest branches from one tree to the next. The latter could actually fly, and were used as scouts during the era when these folk were still generally nomadic. In both, these wings were not attached to the arms, but were separate appendages. This gave them the advantage of freeing their hands so that they could carry things in them.

 

In the beginning, the Vyelia lived in primitive structures, resembling nests, situated in the largest and oldest trees. At the time, they were nomadic, just like their diminutive relations on Myr-Madrion. Thus any structure that they built had to be taken apart again. It was therefore unlikely that these nests were more than rough shelters. But as their culture evolved, so did their skill at building. So much so, that when the Koldan first arrived, they were left spellbound by the delicateness and beauty of these arboreal villages. Naturally, there was no need to connect these settlements, as their inhabitants could fly from one to the other. Nonetheless, the various structures within a certain village were accessible by walkways, that spanned from one tree to the next.

 

It was largely thanks to the Vyelia that the Sylvan developed the technology to build settlements of their own up in the tall trees. These settlements soon became hamlets, the hamlets towns, and so on, until they developed to the point where they are now. Using new techniques to support them, great cities have been built spanning hundreds, and in some cases thousands of trees. Instead of destroying the indigenous vegetation, as is so often the case with humans, they were able to create whole cities, while maintaining the natural habitat. As with their winged neighbours, they built walkways between the structures for pedestrians to use. Any other form of transportation is done by gate.

 

As can be deduced, the relationship between the Koldan and the Vyelia is more than just cordial. To the point of being symbiotic. Without the technology that the former developed, it would remain impossible to build any settlement more substantial than a small village. But, were it not for the latter in the first place, the concept of building above the ground would probably never have been thought of. Likewise, the use of gates would have been alien to the relatively primitive inhabitants of Extari, and thus transporting goods was a long and laborious task. But once the Koldan had established a viable network, both them and the Vyelia would have benefited from it.

 

On some of the planets, yet another anomaly occurred, that gave rise to another sub-group of Sylvan. This was a direct result of the lack of sunlight on worlds such as Felaria and Eidolon. They were called 'Iskaso', or 'Pale Folk'. Typically they had very fair skin, almost like that of an albino. Their hair was usually either blonde or grey, although there were very rare individuals that had black hair, and their eyes were usually pale blue or green. Once again there were the odd exceptions to this, such as those whose eyes were brown.

 

The Pale Folk had an aversion to sharp sunlight, and their skin would usually burn very easily if exposed to it. It also effected their eyes, which would often lead to them going blind if exposed to direct sunlight for too long. This meant that whenever they migrated to a brighter planet, for whatever reason, they would either adapt their lifestyle so that they only came out at night, or they would wear protective clothing and eye-wear if they were forced to work during the day. On these worlds, their name was changed to 'Mora'. Alas, in societies such as the Korred and the Myrwol, they were often suspected of being a type of vampire. In the darkest of times, when the strife began between them and the other Sylvan, the Mora were rounded up in an attempt to wipe them out completely.

 

These Mora are not to be confused with the sub-race of the Nor'Quendi on Eidolon, who gave themselves the name in order to be distinguished from their more lenient cousins. The Iskaso did not give themselves this title, but it was used as a derogatory term by those who considered them either with distrust, or even disdain, claiming that they were not part of the Sylvan race.

 

Traditionally, the Goddess Ysha, 'the Great Mother', was depicted with fair skin and blonde hair, as was her sister, or in other traditions her brother, Kurnous ('the Huntress' or 'Hunter'), a figure later adopted by the Llianari under the name of Kulgen. It is perhaps because of this apparent dichotomy with regard to this Deity's gender that the llianari consider Kulgen as their Patron. The other Deity that was portrayed as an Iskaso was Hoyeth, the God of Wisdom. Hence these deities were honoured among the Iskaso, or Mora, more than the others. This was because they felt more of an affinity toward them than to the rest of the Ya'Araye.

 

On other worlds they were maligned even more. On Earth, and more specifically in the Scandinavian countries, they were called the Dokkalfar, literally 'the Dark Elves', not referring to their complexion, but to their preference for the dark. To this day, they have been put into the same category as Vampires and other creatures of the night. In fact it is because of this that all elf-kind are often depicted the same way in modern popular literature.

 

 


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