Gambriath Wood of the Lost Fey

Dark Treant
CategoryForests
ContinentBrucrumus
RegionHigh Wood Country
AliasWood of the Lost Fey
MapOhtarion

Gambriath was once a grassland hemmed in by two swamps and their two mountain rivers. In the Demon Spawn War, after the Covenant war against the demons moved to faraway areas, members of the 9th Deception Wing under Melrith made it their home. In Covenant records, the 9th DW-M as they coded it, was a brigade sized-unit of sprites. They were noted for being mischievous tricksters, and to be kept away from more organized and lawful minded units. Ares wrote that they are best used for stirring up trouble behind enemy lines.

Around 1800 HE, a Theegan warrior, an Araj ex-patriot, retired to this area. He was the first of a couple dozen those that would come to this area. What they all had in common was a distaste of the growing numbers of horse-cultists taking over southern Emeldimir. This part of the valley was home to Theegan settlers, frontier breakers on the northwestern fringes of Araj's contested claim. Influenced by the valley's unicorns, many of them took to worshiping horses. Two centuries later, in the start of the First Epoch, these cultists became the faces of the Jara race.

To reach Gambriath, the ex-patriot Tel'kaut had to cross lands claimed by the city-state Antokepf. Goblins mounted on black unicorns, Antokepf's elite patrols, told Tel'kaut that he was free settle in Gambriath. Araj had long been at odds with Antokepf, leaving Tel'kaut surprised at their sincerity and friendliness. They were up front to him, stating the area ahead has a more recent name, one less known, the Wood of the Lost Fey. They said early in the Horgon Era (845 HG to be exact), their ancestors, Antokepf's founders, passed through this area on a northerly route. It was a harrowing journey leaving hundreds of dead and wounded spread across a hundred miles. Tel'kaut wrote of this meeting.

Then looking off in the distance at the setting star, then back at the looming forest ahead, the goblin lieutenant nervously said, "as Merioss began to wane, the sprites would come out drunk and belligerent. This led to some fighting. The worse though was all the stealing they did, leading to dissension in our own ranks. Our own accused each other of theft, and sometimes proven true with the wily sprites planting one's gear in another's wagon or pack. These sprites, who we now know as the descendants of Melrith's 9th Deception Wing, were consummate pranksters, loosening straps and tack with their magic. Much time was spent gathering up livestock lost in the night. They applied their fey magic in annoying aways, but nothing overtly aggressive. Some took it upon themselves to dole out reprisals, leading to our worg riders setting ablaze our foe's tree cottages, or vengeful arcanists leaving fire trap spells in them. Sprite attacks became more bold. They captured some our children, taking them off to be slaughtered, strangely to raise them. Things turned for the worse, when necromancers were employed to raise the dead. They positioned sprite zombies and our own fallen, on the edge of the march, the first line of defense for a thousand men, woman, children looking for a new home. Luckily for them, the sprites, perhaps seeing a dark omen in their kin raised as zombies, ceased hostilities.

- Tel'kaut, from a personal journal - "12 Temporal 1801 HE"

What the guards did not tell Tel'kaut, was that decades after the founding of Antokepf, 869 HE to be precise, a goblin necromancer named Kyvile returned to Gambriath. In the crossing, he had lost his entire family to the sprites. Now a seasoned necromancer, he came back for revenge. He killed nearly a hundred of them before tiring of the slaughter. Before he left, he burned the sprites in a massive funeral pyre. Unbeknown to him, this was a violation of the sprite's sacrosanct burial practice of letting the dead lay where they died. A few of the dead sprites, their soul energy still wandering aimlessly about Arcadia, pleaded to the gods for revenge. Melrith answered, sending a dozen of them to Gambriath as ghosts, the Lost Fey. These sprites had hoped this would be something on the order of reincarnation into something more dangerous like an elder treant, but instead they became wisps of negative energy with the power to take over the bodies of the living.

When Tel'kaut came to the area, one of these ghosts took possession of his body. It was not done out of maliciousness, but to experience living one again. The sprite that took possession of Tel'kaut was named Tin'tat. When the sprite was a mortal, he enjoyed gardening. He was never a warrior, only getting killed in the fighting because he was drunk. Tel'kaut the Possessed went to work on his gardens, using his magic items and his great wealth to build something so expansive and grand that it would come to cover all of Gambriath with trees, briars, a multitude of plants that has been called part-maze part-city in its layout. In the early stages of all of this, Tel'kaut befriended the area's mischievous sprites, convincing them through his possessor, that he could be trusted. Tel'kaut had one of these sprites carry messages to some of his Theegan friends, telling them of the good life to be had in his new home. Frontier types did come, but they too ended up possessed by the Lost Fey. These other ghost sprites were jealous of what Tin'tat had. They could see his enjoyment at once again acting like the living, experiencing things they now greatly missed. When their hosts died of old age, sickness, or other causes, these Lost Fey took to finding others to continue "living" through another.

In the First Epoch, the RĂºmil came to the lowland forests south of Gambriath. They learned of these ghosts and saw the effects of over a millennium of their dark deeds. The grassland had become a deep and tangled forest, one built by many applications of the druidic plant growth spell and similar plant enhancing magic.

Gambriath is a Focus for Dark Nature Energy, a home for dark treants, evil fey, and undead. Except for the Lost Fey, the area is devoid of sprites. Because of its dark nature focus, all illusion, charm, domination and influencing magic cast in Gambriath have a +2 to their difficulty checks.

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