The Inescapable East
Young one, let me tell you a story.
In the beginning, when the world-trees were still just saplings all of the places of the world were covered with life--rich, new, green life with deep roots and thick life-sap.
Jaeis looked different back then. The continents had not spread so far apart, the West had not yet been shattered, the islands did not yet drift as they do now. The desolation of the Seven Sands had not yet come to cover the South. The Northern skies did not fill with smoke and glass towers. Back then, son, the world was whole, and healthy.
Other life took root in the world as well. We Wukara claim we were the first of the thinking beings who walk on two legs. There is no record to tell, sadly. But there were many others who followed: the slippery Shidae, who you must never trust. The Vayu, who packed up their vanity and flew off to the heavens. The cruel Zjenithi who hide under the sand. The peoples of land, sea, and air. They thrived on such a lush, green planet, and they came to know that the world was called Jaeis.
They knew this, you see, because she told them. Back then, the voice of the world could be heard clearly by all her people. She was not so angry back then. We had not done her so much wrong, and she treated us well.
Of course her name was Jaeis. I know, young one. She has spoken to me as well.
Where was I? Yes, as time wore on the world changed and grew and moved and the names of other races carved their names into the dead trees and heavy stone: the Sobaki, like your poor cousin Lobow, who bite little children and turn them into their kind. The sagacious Ginsha of Borok, who tend the roaming libraries. The Tolae, who the humans called Goblyns. Sometimes they carved their names into the world-trees. For this, we killed them. Yes, young one, I am sad to say they were that foolish.
Then your kind came. You called yourselves humans, said you came from a world called Earth, or Terra. So we took to calling you Terrans. Yes, I think it sounds better, too. Did you know that we had never seen a sword before you came? A tool useful for only one thing...
How do I know all this? Young one, I am a treewarden. I am Wukara. I remember. I have looked through the eyes of my ancestors many times. I have fluttered in the wind on the end of a branch. The trees have told me their stories.
No, I am not making up tales! I assure you, I have seen these things. Not with my own eyes, no, but there are other ways. But come now, let's get you back home. Your mother will be worried. You Terrans are so scared of losing your children.
Yes, young one, we must go back. I am sorry. The loggers will come tomorrow with their torches and saws and weapons to cut down the Tombwood grove. I have spoken with the Feral God known as Fyrrl the Wolf. He has seen them coming, feasted on the flesh of the cutters. The Bloodwood trees have seen the cutters as well. They will be here tomorrow. We must be well rested so we can destroy them.
Don't look so scared, little one. The cutters have come before, and we stopped them then. They come because the Tombwood grove is special. The water in the spring is still so clean, it could wash guilt away. The soil there is so rich, the bloodwoods have grown so high they scrape the clouds. The cutters will keep coming for the bloodwoods until they realize that we will never let them have that sacred place. To them, the grove is worth much, but to us, it is worth more.
What's that? How will we fight them, you ask?
We will rouse the trees.
She can stir the oceans until the waves wash over the high walls of Kadwal. She is more powerful than you can imagine.
Why doesn't she?
I'm not sure, young one. I wish I knew. I do know that she is hurt. T
In the mountains, gorgeous statues are suddenly found on the sides of cliffs, where one has trodden only days before.
The Broken Islands
The Northern Alliance
The Seven Sands
The remains of the old Triadan Empire.
- Cydonya, the City of Bells
- Ruunholme, the Lost City and
- Zjenahd, ancestral homeland of the Zjenithi