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The Old Wylds (sometimes known as Malendii's Wylds, the Wyldlands, or just simply the Wylds) refers to any ancient forest that grew as the result of Wyldtrees, and were or are the home of various Wyld Spirits and other fey servants of Malendii, her Creator allies, or her allied Wildgods.

These are ancient lands that once dominated vast regions of the world during and after the Wyld Ages, but have since become less common in lands where the arrival and prospects of civilization have either cut down the ancient woods, or caused them to stop growing as a result of domestication of the lands and wilds.

When referring to the Old Wylds, one refers to the Kingdom of Nature, and the Wyldwoods that manifested its existence as the many Woodland Realms. Some would define the Old Wylds as all of Malendii's Realm beyond her own personal Dreamworld, and any lands still belonging to the Old Wylds are an extension of her. The term focuses mainly on any forests that grew during the Wyld Ages, and to the lands that were or still are dominated by Wyld Spirits and nature.

Various forests, jungles, swamps or other lands thick with blossoming vegetation and nature can fall under the dominion of the Old Wylds, so long as they possess a Wyldtree at their core, and the free-flowing naturistic magic that is deeply ingrained in the surrounding trees, plants, animals and spirits.

Druids call upon the powers of the Old Wylds during their rituals and when using their naturistic spells. Many Druidic Circles can be found dwelling deep within various Wyldwoods, where they are committed to protecting the Wyldtrees, as well as uphold Malendii's laws and wishes. They build ritual sites and shrines where the naturistic magic of the Old Wylds is strongest, and use such Places of Power to empower themselves, or to awake new druids through Malendii's Calling.

Many fear the Old Wylds, as those who make these ancient forests their home rarely tolerate the uninvited. There are many peasant tales that tell of old, overgrown forests that more or less eat (sometimes literally) any who dare to enter them. And there are also stories of how dryads will lure men into the woods, or turn young, lost girls into new dryads. Additionally there are tales of ancient, vicious beasts who dwell in the Old Wylds, or of spirits who wield magic from a time when the world was still young and new.

The wrath of the Old Wylds is not to be underestimated, as it is the manifested wrath of Malendii and nature themselves.  The Kingdom of Nature is merciless and unforgiving, and those who wish it harm can expect to face the full force of the Old Wylds' wrath and power.

 

WYLDTREES

The core and heart of every Wyldwood is a Wyldtree. These ancient, magically strong trees are huge and powerful trees that contain vast amounts of naturistic energies. They were created by Malendii for the purpose of healing the world's sickness caused by the Worldblight, and aided in regrowing the natural world from its barren and desolate state during the Wyld Ages. Eventually they would ingrain themselves so in the world, that they now more actively help in maintaining the spiritual and natural balance of the world.

A Wyldwood can contain several Wyldtrees (in the case of particularly strong, large, and ancient Wyldwoods), but most will possess only one. It is from a Wyldtree that the powers of the Old Wylds grows and spreads; draining any Blight energies from the world, and renewing the naturistic energies of the lands.

The first and most ancient of the Wyldtrees grew during the Wyld Ages, after Malendii had planted the Wyldseeds in the world to counteract the effects of the Worldblight, and to contain its corruption. Malendii and her servants planted seeds in every corner of Nym, and as they grew into trees they absorbed the Blight energies infesting the world, and healed the world of its corruption and sickness. In time the Wyldtrees became large and powerful, and around them grew the Wyldwoods, thus creating the Kingdom of Nature all throughout the world.

Wyldtrees are connected to Malendii's Dream, and they transfer, feed and maintain various naturistic energies that help to keep the Sleeping World alive, and in return the Sleeping World helps the natural balance of the Waking World. Wyld Spirits and even World Spirits flock to Wyldtrees, and especially dryads, who maintain groves around Wyldtrees to provide protection, along with other fey creatures. Certain Wildgods (those who allied themselves with Malendii's Dreampact) will also reside around more powerful Wyldtrees, or their servants will do so in their stead to aid in keeping the Old Wylds safe.

The Awakening of druids comes from contact with Wyldtrees, as the Calling comes through those trees whenever Malendii chooses potential druids for ascension. The Calling is described as a beautiful, indescribable, yet faint song (assumed to be sung by Malendii herself), which becomes clearer and more purposeful the closer the one who hears it nears a Wyldtree. 

Various Druidic Circles have their own rituals when concerning the Awakening of a novice druid, but all rituals will somehow involve a Wyldtree in the process. In some cases it might just be long meditation along one of these ancient trees, or the spilling of animal blood to be smeared upon the tree's bark. It depends on the Circle and their creed.

Every Wyldtree is more or less connected to each other through a network of strong, expansive roots, which helps to transfer naturistic energies between them. These roots go far and deep; penetrating beneath the earth and sometimes into the Underneaths. Druids might use these roots to communicate with distant Circles on the other side of the world, and can convey messages instantly, but at the cost of serious fatigue.

While most Wyldtrees are found at the heart of Wyldwoods, some might be faintly or entirely disconnected as civilization cut down surrounding trees and built villages or cities around them. Some of these Wyldtrees still maintain some connection to Malendii's Dream or to other Wyldtrees through their network of roots, so long as they are kept alive through nurturing and care. Certain cities might maintain such Wyldtrees in druidic temples that are kept by city-based druids, or various Mage Orders might sustain Wyldtrees through arcane magic; creating a Weavesource that helps to empower their spells and mana.

Wyldtrees are particularly potent in energies and useful for creating staves, armour, or wooden weapons, as the wood and bark itself continues to live even when separated from the Wyldtree, and the Wyldtree will just regrow any of its lost limbs and branches. The Wyldtree-wood will continue to live so long as the Wyldtree it is sourced from doesn't fade away and die. Wyld Elves use Wyldtree-wood to make Leafblades; living weapons of enhanced wood and leaf.

Some villages might decide to altogether cut down Wyldtrees, as they fear the Wyld Spirits who typically dwell in or near these trees, and choose then to chase away those spirits by destroying their connection to the land. This often has a more devastating and more negative effect than planned, as the absence of a Wyldtree could cause a decline in naturistic life in the local area, or the agressive act of cutting it down could cause Wyld Spirits to become angered and seek vengeance against those who defiled their Wyldtree.

In most cases villages and towns let Wyldtrees be; not wishing to anger Malendii or her servants, and instead pay tribute to Wyldtrees in the form of monthly or annual celebrations or generous gifts of worship.

 

WYLDWOODS

Ancient forests that contain a Wyldtree at its heart are known as Wyldwoods. Wyldwoods are strong in spiritual energy, and possess a direct connection to Malendii's Dream due to Wyldtrees that act as their hearts. Naturistic magic dwells most strongly in Wyldwoods, as they grow and nurture the plants, animals and spirits within these ancient woods. Many of the more primordial beasts and spirits dwell in Wyldwoods, where they can find refuge from the rest of the world, alongside other fey creatures who are pushed back by growing civilizations.

The largest known Wyldwoods are the greater woodlands of Ashala Endelaith in Ashanor, home of the Wyld Elves. These Wyldwoods are kept safe by the various elven forest kingdoms of the land, as per the bond they made when they accepted and joined Malendii's Dreampact. Knowing and understanding the fierceness and fickleness of nature, these elves have adapted to live alongside the aspects and other inhabitants of the Wyldwoods.

Wyldwoods are dangerous to any who don't belong there, or to any who aren't accepted by these woods' inhabitants. Even Wyld Elves, who make the Wyldwoods their homes, must tread carefully to not upset the ancient, often wrathful trees or the woodland beasts, the latter of whom act more on instinct and bloodlust than calm sense. Spirits who dwell in Wyldwoods can also become potential threats, as they guard their homes by any possessed means whenever they feel threatened.

A typical Wyldwood forest has grown dense and labyrinthian in its trees and vegetation, decorated by hundreds of various plant species of colourful displays, which have grown to cover and hide rare ruins of an old world long forgotten. There is an idyllic sense of calmness to the Wyldwoods, as if time had stopped and never progressed beyond the Wyld Ages. The harmony and tranquility creates a distracting image of the woods' balance of nature. Though one should take care to not become too hypnotized by their supposed sense of peace and harmlessness; there is plenty of the Old Wylds to be rightfully afraid of.

Wyldwoods are the core domains of Malendii's servants in the Waking World, and especially so to her Creator ally, Nalnir, whose servants often stalk the Wyldwoods in search of uninvited prey. Other servants, such as Staglords, personally guard certain Wyldwoods as the Wildgods' chosen guardians, and use their primordial powers to assist Malendii and her allies in upholding a Wyldwood's natural balance, as well as ensuring that outsider threats don't interfere with the Wyldtrees.

The general consensus is that a Wyldwood itself is a living being, as it acts and responds to any threats to its well-being. When villagers settle near a Wyldwood, or a group of loggers come to try to chop down its trees, the Wyldwood groans and anguishes, until it finally retaliates in anger. It summons all of its inhabitants, sending animals, spirits and roots to attack and repel its invaders. In most cases the Wyldwood will succeed, and it is said that one would need an army to conquer it fully.

But the Old Wylds won't bend so easily, and nature's wrath is unlikely to forget, to forgive, or to show any mercy on those who threaten its kingdom.


 

NYTEWOODS

Whenever a Wyldwood becomes too wild to control itself, it can potentially grow darker and more dangerous. As Malendii's nightmares grow and take hold on the lands, her Wyldwoods transform into woods beset by eternal night.


So called Nytewoods (or simply referred to as Nightwoods) are Wyldwoods that have been transformed into dark, night-filled forests. The cause can be many: either a Wyldtree is overcome by Blight energies, it is corrupted through some unsacred, magical way, or it manifests more purely and naturally as Malendii's nightmares grow stronger. At the point of transformation, a Wyldtree becomes a Nytetree, and casts a wide cloak of dark night over all of its local domain.


While Nytewoods are decidedly scary and emitt a certain aura of darkness to them, they aren't necessarily places of evil, as is commonly told in peasant tales. Nytewoods are home to Malendii's darker thoughts and dreams, and are often inhabited by her servants who serve the nightmares, or her servants who try to contain those nightmares. Many creatures of the night make their home in Nytewoods, where they more readily and more comfortably belong in comparison to normal Wyldwoods.


In many respects Nytewoods can be far more beautiful than terrifying. Mushrooms and nightblossoms glow and bloom, illusionary moonlight shines and reflects in mirror-like pools and ponds, and the chirping of crickets and nocturnal birds create a harmonious picture of the woods. No doubt the Nytewoods are dangerous and shouldn't be entered carelessly, but the nightborne beauty of the darkened forest has been described to be incomparable; a dreamlike reflection of Malendii's Nightsoul.


Nytewoods are more fondly protected by Malendii's Creator allies Nocturne, Shaia and Auriel. Their servants become one with the nightborne forests, possessing them and help to expand the domains of their patron goddesses. The creatures inhabiting the Nytewoods more readily serve the three goddesses respectively, and while they all serve Malendii in some way, they often feel cast aside by her and her unwillingess to accept her nightmares as part of her being.


In comparison to Wyldwoods, Nytewoods are far more dangerous and inhospitable to outsiders. Here the local creatures, trees and spirits are more easily overcome by nature's wrath, and the more primal instincts and aspects of nature. Malendii's dark dreams more easily manifest around Nytetrees, and phantasms or nightwraiths who escape Nightsoul come first to Nytewoods, where they hide from Malendii's more loyal servants, and hungrily feed on the energies of the woods themselves.