My troubles putting pen to ink continue, for I realise it has been moons since last I inked thoughts on my ancestor’s scrawlings. That, I hope, will get easier as I expose myself to more of it. For the moment, it feels like a huge effort to get anything resembling a work done, though.I can scarce imagine the stress Ranger Thinnas is under - everything outside of the small escarpment of land the Elves arrived on is foreign, even hostile. Ah, but I shall let the tale be told in Hollister’s own words, lest my perspective taint the proceedings!
“Replenishment of the council’s numbers should have waited. We are in a dire situation, surrounded by hostile forces who would deny us basic comforts. The only way to Elven survival is to flee, preferably to a defensible position. The Rangers have managed to convince the council of this, and to that purpose scouts have been sent out to the four cardinal directions - or what we think the cardinal directions are - for a six day journey. That’s three days out, three days back, and we’ll see what the best direction to head is.
“I only pray that they find their journey not overly troubled by obstacles. The setting of the suns brings fear, and moonlight, horror. I have come across - just in this localised area, during my first sweep - man sized flora which, when I got closer, had teeth and a tongue, to consume large prey. There have been things which at first glance seem edible, but cause a blistering reaction when handled. While that might not seem like such a bad thing, it is hard to breathe when blisters are blocking your windpipe, should you have had a nibble of what I’m calling corpsepeppers.
“And then there are the spriggans. Tree folk, concerned mainly with the health of their grove. We Elves can respect that, for we have always had an unyielding tie to nature. We are of it, and it is of us.
“Regardless, we shall see what the forest holds. Should the rangers find no place to call our own, if we should find ourselves in a never ending sea of leaves and fronds, I dread for the future of the Elven people.”
And so the Elves send a contingent of rangers to scout for a viable place to plant the child of Lumos. Knowing the Tree for what it is today, I am eminently grateful. I am brought, however, to thoughts of it in its infant state, being carried from a world left to demons and traitors. Did it know of its future in a Revenant-gripped world? If not for the effort of not only the Elves, but also every sane race (or semi-sane, in the Skar’s case) on the face of god-fearing Terminus, I fear that would likely be the case.
These Elves have not realised an ounce of their worth, though; they are dirty, cast out refugees with a dying tree that needs planting and gods who are watching enough that we and the Tree were saved from sure disaster, true, but with so little thought for where we landed! I suppose the idea was “anywhere but here,” but the “anywhere” could have been on Sio’laen!
‘Tis true, though, that we had at that point already tried hiding and co-existing. No, I should not doubt my betters. This is the best future offered us Elves, after what misfortune has visited upon us. It is merely shocking that we exist at all, given this sorry state of interim affairs. Regardless of my shock, Hollister’s writing continues.
“Day one of my six day journey north. In the very early hours of the morning, I came across a plant with rich clusters of pink berries on low vines. I came near to trying one, but I noticed a carpet of small animal bones underneath the vines. I am not sure precisely how the plant functions, but I am sure that a pet cemetery is not the basis for a positive plant-Elf relationship. I am going to avoid that plant for today.
“I found a bush with similar looking clusters of pink berries, but there was a strange creature eating them - long, cloven-hoofed legs for running, a lean body to glide through the air, and an adorable fuzz-covered head with teeth as sharp as any blade, and a disposition that would strike at a flutterfly just for having the audacity to exist. I let it finish feeding before I made myself known. It left, and I ate. These pink berries are simply fantastic. Sweet and juicy, though they do not travel well in a pocket. They taste exactly what that other creeping berry plant looked like it tasted. I wonder how they would be in a tart?
“Day two of my journey. Slow, careful going today. I pulled something in my leg and am limping badly. I passed by a copse full of corpsepeppers with a heavy dose of the creeping fruit in the early hours. There was a snapping, almost a crackling in the trees, and I held my ground, watching the copse for any signs of movement. It was the berries themselves - they exploded as the morning sun peeked through the canopy of leaves. Between that and the devouring of their victims, this is not a forest I feel like I can safely call home.
“Day three. I woke for perhaps the fifth time to the crackle of the nightfruit exploding. That’s what I’m calling it, now. Nightfruit, because it fruits at night. The previous four times I woke up it was because an spindley, thread-thin insect the size of my head was trying to feed on me in my sleep. If only I had some lymon to keep insects away. I wonder if lymon would work on something this size? I suppose that is a thought best left to later, once we find a place to plant the Heartseed.
“After a half a day’s travel on a seemingly mended leg, I fear to say that I have come to a clearing on a hilltop, where one might take in the surroundings. I think I might even have a better view here than on any of the other rangers’ cardinal journeys, because I can see clearly for miles. Green as far as I can see to the east, west, and south, but to the north, off in the distance, I see a mountain range that veritably calls our name. I must rush home and tell my people about this mountain!
“Day four. I am sleeping in different spots than on my way here, as I am a half day ahead; I saw that mountain and I knew that we were going to make our new home there. I hope the others will be as excited as I am.
“Day five. Saw one of those sharp-toothed deer that tried to eat a corpsepepper. A young one, too. Makes sense, though. This forest does not suffer the innocent.
“Day six. I arrived home and made my report. The other scouts found water to the east and west, and nothing but trees to the south. My report of a mountain range to the north was well received; I am glad to have contributed to our safety in such a key time. This is a time for me to be proud, and for me to hope that any of my descendants share in that pride.”
I am astounded that I not only found an account of my ancestor’s exploration of a freshly unknown Terminus, but to find that he was first to spot the location I call home? Hearing that really brings me a sense of worldly agency. A sense of closeness to the heart that might drive some lesser peoples to acts of jealousy, but as Elves we know it is our responsibility to set the example to the races of Terminus less possessing of grace.
Ah, but my studies call and I feel a newfound sense of responsibility to further the Elven cause of wizardry, that we might help others overcome trials we have had the solutions to for ages. I will try to return a moon hence with a tale of the Elves’ journey to their seat in the Roan Mountains, but until then, I fear I shall, as always, have to remain,