Warning: This is a long post
The Lands of the Fey once called Arcadia used to constantly cross the boundaries over into the mortal world, Before the gods came into being.
They viewed themselves as the shepherds of the sentient races, both teaching them and enslaving them at the same time.
After thousands of years of oppression the sentient races rose up in their first rebellion, It was a lost and futile act and they were crushed utterly. once the rebellion was over the Fey Masters became even more
oppressive, unaware that the sentient races had made one important discovery upon the battlefields, that was the secret of iron, Iron was found to be effective against the Fey in a limited way, it could help to break the glamour that they held the minds of men and could even hurt the Fey
creatures, as such the sentient began to have a degree of â€œfaithâ€ in iron,over the years that faith grew into the first primitive religion that did not involve the worship of the Fey, this unguided faith drew the attention of several Divinities from other spheres.
These gods came in secret to our realm, for then the power of the Fey was even greater than their own, and they taught the sentients the power of faith, the magics of the divine and finally the secret of silver and between gods and mortals the second rebellion against the Fey Masters was plotted.
When the second rebellion came, with the new teachings of religion, the use of new spells wielded by the closest followers of the gods as well as being encased in armour of iron and wielding weapons of silver the Fey were driven from the realms of the mortals, The gods then tried to sever the links between Arcadia and the Realm only to discover that over many years the Fey had forged links between the two worlds that could not be severed without the destruction of both worlds.
And so the war against the Fey continued, at first the Fey were able to strike into the realm from Arcadia, bringing chaos and terror wherever they struck, ensnaring the minds of the mortals and leading them back to Arcadia to be enslaved once more whilst we, the mortal races were powerless to stop them. Yet with the shackles of the mind lifted from us by the gods we were able find ways to reinvent their easy access to our realm, We hunted down those places with the strongest links to Arcadia and
bound them with rituals, wards and charms The gods built defenses that ensured that the Fey could not create new gateways to our realm and gradually many of the portals between the two worlds were closed.
Yet still they gained access to the realm and took our children and replaced them with changelings to bring more fear and despair to us, so once more we turned to the gods for aid, and between man and god we learned how to enter Arcadia itself. At first we contented ourselves with
building fortresses of law within their land to stop the Feys incursions into the Realm, But this was a constant battle, there could never be a true victory over them whilst we merely held them at the gates, All of the
mortal races felt like a people under seige so the gods took the mortals and changed them into the three great races: Firstly they made the Elves, long lived and rich in magic. They were to serve as our memory of what had
been and to remember the traditions of what had been done to keep the Fey at bay. Then they wrought the Dwaves be those who armed and armoured our people. They learned how to find and purify iron, how to extract the silver from the ground and ensure that we would never again fall under the enchantments of the Fey. Lastly they created Humans, the power that they gave man was the greatest of all, for they made man numerous, and with each generation mans numbers swelled the world with life.
Generations passed and still the subtle war between the worlds continued, always the Fey losing more of their control over this realm yet still finding new ways to bring fear and slavery upon us, several times they assaulted and overthrew the various fortresses of law that kept them
contained in their realm and always the mortal races fought back with greater determination to be free until the numbers of men became as such that they could never be counted and never be defeated, then the gods formed an army of order, an army greater than any seen before or since,
each member was armed with the deadly silver and encased in protective Iron, Great spells and enchantments were woven about this army and all its members were blessed by the gods.
Driven by the fire of righteousness we struck deep into Arcadia, our number were so great as we could not be contained by the Fey, all that we found were put to the sword, their lands laid waste and their enchantments
For the first time the Fey knew real fear, every time they tried to oppose the blessed host they were defeated and driven back further into Arcadia and the prospect of utter anannihilationas upon them, and so in their desperation they sought to tear Arcadia from its links to the Realm and were shocked to find themselves unable to do so, the bonds that they had created were no longer theirs to control and they knew that to sever those links was to doom both worlds to oblivion. So they wrought a great enchantment that split Acadia in twain. The part of Arcadia that had fallen to the onslaught of the mortals was cut off from Arcadia and warped into a chaotic wilderness filled with madness despair and dark enchantment. The Fey sought out all those portals that could move between Arcadia and the Realm and cast them into the dark wilderness that they had created. All who attempted to enter their world would be ensnared in this dark and enchanted place. The armies of man would never be able to penetrate deeply enough into this new world to reach the one portal that lead from this land of darkness into the true Arcadia.
When this great enchantment was cast the Blessed host was scattered in the chaos, most quickly perished, many were quickly over come by the enchantment and were corrupted into servitors for the Fey. A few survived unharmed and of those a very few managed to return to the
Realm to tell the tale.
But return they did and the tale was told, and in the telling of the Tale there came to be a name for the terrible no mans lands of chaos and sorcery, a name that was furnished by those who had survived and returned, that name was Darken Glade.
And So we have been free from the influences of the Fey for the hundred generations, we have suffered from only the most minor of incursions, and these have always been from the Darken Glade never from Arcadia itself. So it should be borne in mind that while there are still several points of access to the glade from the Realm there is rumoured only to be one point of access between the Darken Glade and Arcadia itself.
Entering the Glade
To those foolhardy few who are bereft of wit and wish to see the glade there are still a few areas in the world were even those of the meanest ability may gain access, providing they know the way.
1) Any of the great monoliths or megaliths that still shine wwithhe power can still be used providing that you either speak the correct words or make the right sacrifice, aallthoughthe words and the Sacrifices vary from place to place
2) A few of the Sacred groves that are tended to by the Druids will permit both access and egress from the realm although to persuade those who keep the sacred groves to use them to gain access to the Glade is hard enough, to persuade them to allow travel from the Glade to the Realm is almost impossible
3) The Higher Arts: All of the Gods still retain the ability to travel from the Realm to the Glade, or to send others there although getting people back is another matter entirely, but there are some amongst the portals who are able to travel both to and from the glade, but as with the
druids,if you can even find those who are capable of doing it. The trick is to persuade them to do it.
A word of warning to those who do venture into the Glade, The sensitivities of Arcadia are felt deep within the land of the Glade, any one foolhardy enough to use the spells of the gods within the Glade should be aware that in doing so they will almost certainly draw the attention of
those who reside there. Those who would bear iron in the glade, true, it may protect you from some of the enchantments of the Fey, it will also betray your presence in the Glade - cause discomfort in those who are
attuned to Arcadia, leading to hostile actions taken against the bearer. To those who would carry the Fey Slaying metal of silver, know this, all that the possession of silver will bring you in the Glade is death for it is the greatest sin within the glade.
Should you desire safety within the glade then there are various of the old ways that are adhered to by most of the denizens of the glade, and those who are protected by a fairy ward should be able to travel unmolested.
Travel within the glade
Should you manage to travel to the Glade unmolested you should know that there is no law that is truly obeyed, there are however lores that are generally followed, if you respect these lores then will be held in a higher regard by those who dwell within the glade. Some of the more useful of these I have outlined below.
1) Time does not exist to the creatures of the fey, try to avoid any reference to the measurement of time, they find it confusing and somewhat offensive.
2) Certain metals are viewed with hostility, although iron can interfere with their power, it is not a good idea to rely on it as a defense. Wearing iron will also lead to a degree of hostility from certain denizens of the Glade. Although others will care not for its prescience they will not chastise those who wear it. Silver is a metal of power in the Glade as is can permenantly slay those who live there. As such if you are found to be carrying silver you will almost certainly be hunted down.
Gold, on the other hand, is highly valued by the Fey and can be used to good effect to purchase safety or passage, at least in the short term.
3) True names are things of power within the Glade, so do not give yours freely and remember that it is insulting to ask anothers name. Remember that if you are told someones name, then the chances are that it will not be their true name, just a point of reference for them. Should you divine someones true name you can only use its power over them once. Make sure you phrase your command carefully as they will seek to corrupt the meaning and interpretation of your words.
4) Above all remember that ultimately the Glade is a place of Chaos incarnate, as such not all of the above can be regarded as true all the time.
Powers within the Glade
There are many powers within the glade, some are powerful beyond our humble comprehension, others are more subtle than a summer breeze and others darker than the absence of light. I shall attempt to briefly describe a very few in mere words here;
1) The Weaver
She is the power behind the Glade, A single being who holds all the power of the Glade together, She is the one who guards the sole gateway between Arcadia and The Glade, She is believed to be dormant although she possesses many minions who attend to her needs and sustain the power of the Glade, She will probably only truly awaken should the door to arcadia be threatened
2) The Unseelie Court
When the Blessed Host entered Arcadia and ravaged the lands beyond the gates many of the Fey went insane. Their deep seated links with their lands could not stand the blight that hit them and they simply went mad. Those who survived this madness were banished to the glade by their peers. Here they wrap their ruined minds in the enchanted dreams and nightmares of the glade. Though they still cling to their courtly ways, the chaos of the Glade makes it impossible to form themselves as a permanent court, power rank and status are fluid, one who may be a king in one month could well be a page or a herald the next. In spite of this they are one of the most active powers within the glade. Never forget that even within their madness they are true members of the Fey and carry the inherent power over the land around them- a force to be respected, feared and avoided.
3) The Furious Host
Sometimes called the wild hunt, led by Herne these shadow wrapped riders are amongst the last of the true Fey who were able to enter the Realm. Believed by some to be a part of the Unseelie court, other know that their roots go back much further than the creation of the Glade, back in the elder Days. It was the Furious Host that kept the Fey in dominance over the mortal races. They culled those areas that grew close to power and kept the realm in a balance of nature and sentience.
4) The Unraveller
The last of the great powers of the glade, the Unraveller wishes to tear open the gates to the realm and resume the war against the mortal races and the Gods. When the Glade was first formed there was a great battle fought between The Weaver and The Unraveller which was eventually won by The Weaver. Neither was powerful enough to
slay the other. The Unraveller now lies trapped, bound and imprisoned by the Weaver.
The Races of the Glade
There are many races that dwell within the glade. Most are unknown to the mortal races. They do not confront those who enter the glades directly, preferring to wrap invaders in sorcery and enchantment from afar. The names of a few of these are known,although little other information is known (simply because there are few if any who have encountered them and survived).
Darklings, Quicklings, Sadhe, White Ladies, Ettercaps, sprites, Dryads, Pixies, Sylphs, Nymphs, Brownies, Faeries, Cored, and Satire are but a few of those who are known about, Some of these dwell still within the realm although their power is much diminished from those who have
closer links to Arcadia.
It should not be forgotten that there are others who still dwell within The Glade who were not of Arcadia but hail instead from the Realm. For those who were once part of the Blessed Host and survived the sundering of Arcadia still reside there, in isolated pockets and communities. Some are
utterly consumed by the Glade. They are mere puppets for the unseelie court. Others have fallen, but a little from grace and can still be talked to and reasoned with. A precious very few who are still untouched and part of the
Blessed Host as it was. Some of those who I know still dwell within the Glade I have outlined below:
1) The Seraphim
These were the chosen of the host, when the Fey Kingdom was cracked they had the power to return to the realm and yet they elected to stay and ensure that as many of the Blessed host as possible were returned to the realm. Once the portals were closed they then set themselves to
maintain the few Fortresses of Law that survived the sundering of the Arcadian Realm. In spite of their power they have been changed by their stay in the Glade. Although their purpose is still as true as it ever was, in appearance they look akin to the Knights of the angelic, sheathed in armour of Iron and borne with the wings of Divine Blessing. They seek out those who are lost within the Glade and try to return them to the realm. Their numbers are still constantly diminishing, though their power remains a the same. If ever one perished their power is passed unto the others to maintain their strength.
2) The Legion
When the Blessed host was scattered many of those who survived the initial slaughter fled to the vales of Myst, there the glade touched them as it touches all who enter it. In the case of the legion they became untouched by time. These are the same people who entered the portal to carry the fight against Arcadia. They have been lost in the Myst for generations, perpetually seeking to return to the Realm.
3) The NiiBil.
Over the passage of generations the Niibil Have change in form utterly since their forefathers entered the lands of Arcadia. At heart, they remain good and true to the cause of the mortal Races. Their recollection of just what that cause is is but a hazy memory. They can generally be reasoned with and are usually helpful to those within the Glade.
Corrupted in both body and spirit by the Glade, these wretched beings are despised by all who dwell there. They are vile demented creatures at war with both the Fey and Mortals. They have remained in existence for three reasons. Firstly they are able to create more of their own kind by slaying any mortals they come across and then raising them back as another of their own. Second, their other source of Power comes from the amount of silver that they have hoarded from their days as warriors of the Blessed Host. Thus few of the Fey wish to attack them directly out of fear. Yet in their semi dead state the Thanatos are immune to some of the enchantments that the Fay use. Finally, In spite of their separation from the Gods, they are still able to wield some of the priestly power that they once possessed. They have been likened in the past to priestly Ghouls, feeding of the war between Law and Chaos.
5) Flesh Wraiths (Night Gaunts)
Looking for all the world like rotting angels, these creatures have been utterly corrupted by the Glade. They are the embodiment of terror, causing fear in all who see them. They have sold themselves utterly to the unseelie court and now act as spies and agents of the unseelie court.
6) The Fallen
Even those of the Blessed Host who died in the sundering are not spared the disruptions of the Glade. There are many who still walk or drift in the form of harmless phantoms. Others who have become part of
the Orchards of the Sidhe. Yet still others who have returned as lost souls, mindlessly attacking those who still retain their life or simply trying to find a way to return to the Realm where they believe their torment will finally end.
7) The Sleeping Kings
When Arcadia was first sundered, the Seraphim sought out the greatest leaders and mightiest warriors amongst those who died in the cracking of the world. To prevent them from being lost or forever corrupted they wove fresh spells around their bodies and gathered them together in great catacombs. Upon these fallen Heroes they placed a slow working magic. They used the power of the Glade itself to restore them to life. They perpetually slumber, awaiting the day that the Seraphim see fit to wake them from Death and to ride forth into battle against the Fey once more.
8) The Monks of the Shining Man
An insane group of mortals who have entered the Darken Glade since the last battle who strive to return the Fey to power within the realm. They are the willing puppets of the Unseelie Court. They believe to be the only true allies of the Unraveller. Disturbingly enough they also seem to boast a high number of prophets within their order who have been know to make some frighteningly accurate predictions. Even more disturbingly they are now getting to be established within the Realm as some form of secret society.
Geography of the Glade
A difficult subject within the Glade for the Landscape is constantly yet subtly shifting. It should be pointed out that there are certain landmarks, places and buildings that remain as a constant, although their location frequently changes, they are more or less always within the Glade. The only one that is a true constant is the Heart. A few of the more notable places are outlined below…
1) The Heart of the Glade
No matter how much the Glade shifts and changes there is one place that is always Constant, The Heart. This is the Home of the Weaver. She slumbers here eternally within a city sized stone held suspended over a gaping chasm. At the heart of the suspended stone lies the one portal through to Arcadia. The stone is almost a mile across and is suspended by many vast cables that are anchored to the edge of the chasm. The stone and the cables are inhabited by many of The Weavers Minions, mainly ettercaps, Great spiders, children of Ungoliant, Drider like beings and much worse. Tthey tend to the care of the cables that support the stone. They gather information from their many spies and whisper what they know into the sleeping ear of the Weaver as she passes eternity guarding the one Gate.
2) House of the four seasons
One house, six doors, no hope, I have only heard of this but it has been mentioned by both Fey and mortal alike. All that the mortals know is to avoid it and all that the Fey will say is that it is the most cunning of
3) Valleys of Mysts
A labyrinth of valleys filled with a perpetual myst that will stop the passage of time for all those who dwell in it. Granting a form of immortality to those who were not born to live for ever; the myst is a double edged sword for to leave it is to die, yet to stay is to be
imprisoned forever. After staying long enough you will lose all memory of what once was, and come to know that you must simply remain within the valleys of the myst. Even the briefest of journeys throughout the myst is fraught with the danger of becoming enamoured to the myst and being held captive within the myst by your own fear of death.
4) The Shifting Stones.
A useful and yet dangerous tool of the Glade are the Shifting Stones, looking like cracked and ruined henges they will grant passage to any other set of stones within the Glade. To use them means that you can avoid travelling through some of the worst parts of the Glade. They do carry a risk all of their own, for they were not made to be used by mortals. Any mortal whos passes through the shifting stones runs the risk of becoming corrupted by the Glade. It is alleged that there are chants and rituals that will prevent this happening. (These rituals do not always work, they merely lessen the risk not negate it). Using the shifting stones will alter your perceptions of the Glade. So you may see a sunny lightly forested area where is is in fact dark oppressive forest populated by the worst denizens of the Glade, these denizens may look harmless to someone using the stones.
5) Orchards of the Sadhe
Much is rumoured about these orchards, they are said to contain the souls of those who die within the glade, they are jealously guarded by root and claw and do not surrender their secrets readily. Some say that there is
no escape from the orchards for those of the mortal blood. Others claim to have passed through unmolested. In all they are best avoided for little of worth can come from them.