land of decay

Morning Routines

As the sun rises (or the moon for the nocturnal), a variety of beauty routines sweep the Netherworld as monsters seek to look their best (or worst, or both).

Dragons roll around in gems, often crushing them into a fine dust that polishes and protects their scales. There are few things better than a good scratch!

Witches often wash their face with swamp water before applying ash from their hearth. Ghoulish gracious you look terribly great!

Vampires use mold and fungi grown in decaying lands, adding the smells of the earth to their grim perfumes. This allows them to hide their undead auras and blend into crowds of humans.

Ghosts spend their time in the walls of houses, gathering forgotten cobwebs and creeping rust. Even the non-corporeal enjoy these pamperings, passing through the house’s bones to soak up residual energies. You are spooky and lovely, darlings!

Cause I can’t have a normal dream apparently

So, last night I dreamt that I was a vaguely famous youtuber which ended with me filming a “TWRP does my makeup” video, so the next time someone tells me to follow my dreams I’ll think of Havve Hogan doing my eyeliner while Commander Meouch full on demands that someone puts highlighter on his nose

From afar their cries sound like skywhale song, lilting melodically on the breeze as their serpentine bodies twist and swoop and twirl in the distance. The way they dance in the sky, entwining one another as they glide effortlessly in lazy circles, you might almost think them playful.

If you didn’t know better.

You count them in your think pan. Five of them, still five. Still far away. They haven’t noticed you all the way back here, back pressed up against a stone pillar in the ruins of a cathedral crypt. One wall has crumbled away completely, exposing a sheer ledge of rock beneath and granting you a breathtaking view of your land, all intricate but decaying architecture scattered in every direction as if they’d sprouted from seeds carelessly thrown across the entire surface of this forsaken world. They may as well have sprung up like weeds; the illusion of age and purpose is just that; an illusion. In reality, these walls and pillars and arches serve only one purpose. To keep you alive and provide cover as you hunt down every last one of those stinking hope-forsaken angels and put them out of their misery.

You’ve been watching them for a while now. It feels like hours, but time has very little meaning down here. Five minutes can feel like an entire day. A day can flash by in mere moments. But you’re sure of one thing. Those same five angels have been carousing above the distant skyline ever since you first transportalised down here today, blissfully oblivious of their certain fate. You’re not sure why you haven’t moved from this spot yet. Staring at them won’t do anything, and you’re too far away to shoot them from here, regardless of your enviable marksmanship skills.

You’ll need to get closer.

Keep reading

The saddest thing about reading Tolkien’s books was the realization that I’m seeing a land undergoing decay. Everything about Middle-Earth is grown old and scarred with the toils of the past. Magic is scarce and the Elves are leaving, because like a fire left without fuel in the wind, the world is diminishing, and even her colors are not as vibrant as they were in the Elder Days.

Little by little, with each passing year of the Third Age, there is less of the enchanting world of Arda and more of the hardened, cooling world we currently inhabit.

Dragon AU


  • Guardian dragons usually have their own sacred land they nurture as long as they are alive. This land is the spirit’s birth place and once the dragon is born, he is permanently tied to watching over this land and feeding it with energy. So when the dragon dies, it means that the host dies and the spirit moves back to it’s original place, which is back to that sacred area, but despite the spirit’s return, it no longer possesses the power to nurture the land. So if this lands decays, the areas around it decays too, creating a domino-effect. The areas are a source of life, and if it dies, the world around it dies with it. 
  • Since Shiro’s passing, the land he’s been watching over, a high seated area high up in the mountains, would have slowly fallen into decay. But Keith, who never stopped loving the previous Shiro after his death, has taken upon himself to nurture the land himself, so that the area won’t die out. 
  • However, Keith has a sacred land himself he has to take care for, and taking care of 2 sacred areas for an extended period of time takes a serious toll on Keith’s energy. After all, a dragon’s only task is to look after their land only. So the longer Keith nurtures both lands, the more sick and exhausted he’ll become. His escalating exhaustion will be one of the reasons he’s desperate to find Shiro. If Keith’s energy becomes depleted, both his and Shiro’s land will sooner or later die down. Combining this with Keith’s quest to find Shiro’s heir, Takashi, Keith is quickly becoming more and more exhausted. 
  • Keith is the only current living person/dragon that exactly knows where Shiro’s sacred land is. So in order to revive the dragon using Takashi, they need Keith to lead the way. This is also why the Galra are searching for him.
  • Lance, the guardian dragon of the sea, who recently met Keith and finds out about Keith’s situation, has taken it upon himself to nurture Shiro’s land together with Keith to make the burden less heavy, despite the fact that they don’t really get along at first. He respects Keith’s dedication to Shiro. But soon Lance’s energy will deplete too, so they have to hurry if they would ever want to revive the guardian dragon of the sky again. 
  • Pidge & Hunk are both humans who have an immense fascination with dragon history & lore and both had their own agenda in finding the missing dragon Shirogane, an encounter with Lance has eventually brought them to Keith.


splatman7300  asked:

So I'm writing a story with an island colony who mainly farm to support themselves. I'm trying to find an alternate to cows/bulls for what they do. Currently I'm using goats for milk, sheep for meat, and donkeys/miles for plowing fields. Is this good or should I consider something else. The island's climate ranges in the middle latitude Virginia area and this is a fantasy world so if there are maybe fantasy animals to consider that works too.

Oh, goodness, I love all these animals so answering this was real fun.

The animals you’ve chosen are all pretty good choices for that climate. Donkeys, mules, and goats are hardy animals (donkeys especially, since they can fluff up and flatten their fur to retain/dispel heat).

Mules/donkeys are less susceptible to disease than horses are (but it does still happen). They also have a strong sense of self-preservation, and tend to conserve their energy rather than overwork themselves. It’s why a lot of people think they’re stubborn - the animal doesn’t know how long they’re going to work, and if it gets tired, it stops. This is why, when mine animals were more of a thing, mules and donkeys were preferred to horses.

I’m just wondering how big your island(s) is (are). Is it enough to keep them all comfortable, and to grow the food they’ll be eating…maybe they’re going to trade for the food?

All of the animals you’ve chosen have smaller appetites than horses or cattle do, but each have different diets.

Ewes between 130 and 150 lbs (58.9 to 68 kg) need 3 to 3.5 lbs (1.4 to 1.6 kg) of alfalfa, clover, or mixed grass hay. They can also survive on pasture land, provided there’s enough. Your colony can practice flushing (giving the ewes more to eat before and during the breeding season) if they want - this is actually linked to an increase in the birth of twins. If they’re going to do this, then each ewe requires about 4.5 lbs (about 2 kg) of alfalfa/clover/mixed hay daily (or can be put to pasture). A nursing ewe (and, since I added flushing, she’s got twins) will need 4.5 to 5 lbs (2 to 2.25 kg) of alfalfa/clover hay, plus 2 lbs (a scant 1 kg) of coarse-cracked corn, or can be put to pasture.

Rams are alright with 5 to 6.5 lbs (2.25 to 3 kg) of hay or pasture all through the year. But around breeding, they may need more (0.5 lb or 0.25 kg of coarse-cracked corn, or 10% extra of their daily hay intake).

Compared to sheep, goats are (somewhat) easier to take care of. You can’t (or shouldn’t) feed them hay, because they have a harder time digesting tough fibers and cell walls, but trees and shrubs are fine (goats can detoxify the bitter tannins in bark, and don’t seem to mind the bitterness). You didn’t mention the colony raising goats specifically for meat, but I’m going to add that sometimes meat goats can eat as much as twice the amount of feed as cattle can. And for nursing/lactating does, protein is important! Alfalfa hay is pretty much the only hay with enough protein for them.

Donkeys and mules need a 4 to 1 ratio of hay to legumes. Alfalfa hay, and other rich feed, should not be fed to them. Friends of the family actually had a mule die because his feed was too rich…

It’s also important to know what size you want your animals to be. There are lots of different donkey breeds, for example, and a miniature is definitely different than a mammoth jack (whose average height is 13 to 15 hands high). Mules, too, depending on how big their parents were. And I bet you already know this, but mules are sterile (although there have been very rare accounts of a female mule birthing), and their average lifespan is around 20 years; if your characters are going to breed their own, then stud donkeys should be kept (the mammoth jack is good for this!).

Does the island have any predators? The donkey and mule are good guard animals, too…and they can be dangerous if they don’t know to be friendly around smaller animals. They’ll bite, chase, kick, step on, and even fling around intruder-animals (the mule I mentioned before loved to chase around his owner’s chickens, and pretty much hated the dog, but he didn’t ever get close enough to step on them).

If the number of animals you have are limited you can have multi-purpose animals. Donkeys can give milk (donkey milk cheese and soap are actually luxury products, although I’ve never tried them :P ), goats can be harnessed to carts (light work, though, no plowing), etc.

The ground might be a problem for animals, if it’s too muddy or swampy. I live in a part of the state where the ground can very quickly go from dry, grassy areas to swamp land (complete with l’eau de decay, how charming). The hooves of donkeys, horses, and mules are like suction-cups in the mud…

And fantasy animals are always good to solve problems. You could make up a breed of sheep/goat/donkey native to the area, or come up with a new species entirely!

I hope this helps. If you need more information, you can always email or message me. Good luck writing! (Whew, I feel long winded)

February 1986

The leaves begin to change. Fiery hues of red, orange, and yellow line the interstate, giving the setting sun a particularly golden quality. Steve, familiar with this route, knows that it’s not much further to the motel where he’ll crash for the night before setting off after a not-half-bad pancake breakfast in the morning. 

With Jonathan in New York and Nancy in California, Steve spends most of his time travelling back and forth between the two states. He counts down the days until they’re all united again by watching the seasons change and mark the land—the leaves slowly decaying, the snowbanks piling up on the sides of the road, the sudden bright green of spring enveloping the earth. Steve documents these changes along his journey with postcards and photographs that never seem to reach their destination before he does. 

It can be lonely sometimes and he always has a hard time saying goodbye, especially during his week-long stopovers in Indiana to catch up with Max. 

But, no matter how hard it is to leave the place he’s in, Steve always knows that no matter what direction he’s headed in, he’s headed home.

Dark Earth…

Nothing moves across the waters, the land barren, decayed, withered. The skies pale, lifeless, what was once fresh has turned to smog, dust, and ash. Animals now extinct no predator or pray to speak of; no life outside that of man. We are now alone, we witness our own down turn as all that is left are those who can survive such an existence, thus ensuring some form of human survival and evolution. Can this be, will it ever be? Life extinguished, our home only a shell of its former glory. Will we see this in our time of being, will we lose the Earth to a darkness? A darkness that comes from the outside in or the inside out.

Image: Abstract Outer Space Gravity

Brood Mother

I’m not really sure where this came from but uh… here’s a thing.

(~550 words)

The wind here howls and you hate it.

You hate it, along with everything else that surrounds you on this world. It’s too cold, too bright, too loud. The wind sounds like the far off cries of your missing brood and leads you in all the wrong directions. This world is young, arrogant, deceptive.

Wind shrieks through a rotting husk to your side, sound mimicking that of a lost thrall. It has led you astray again. You howl in outrage, cursing the trickery. The acolytes with you shift nervously. They don’t like this place any more than you do and they are afraid.

You drift lower and they crowd close. They are all you have left; you are all they have. They were to train, learn, grow. To become knights and provide more protection for your nest. But now? You have no nest, no enforcer, no brood.

You call out again, straining to make your voice heard across empty land and through inorganic decay. You layer in pain and rage and fear and your voice comes back to you, echoing from the surfaces around you and forming a chorus of despair. The acolytes lend their voices to yours and you pretend for a moment that you are in the dark, safe and singing with your brood.

A shrill bark shatters the illusion. Another chatter bark answers the first and you know you are being hunted. You raise and spot them – a small pack, defiantly racing across open ground. You know these creatures and you hate them too. You’ve never caught them in your caves and tunnels, but their scent lingers wherever your nest is raided.

They know where your brood has gone, they know where your enforcer has gone, and you are going to rip the knowledge from their corpses.

You howl and attack, throwing poison and catching the lead two. Your acolytes dive for cover before firing on the group. The two caught by your poison stagger blindly; the rest scatter. A shot from one of your acolytes catches one in the throat and it falls with a choked snarl. You rain energy on the blinded pair, stopping when an odd noise catches your attention. A dull whine carried to you by the persistent wind.

An explosion echoes from overhead and a fine cloud of dust and debris showers down around you. You look up at the artificial ledge above as a furious bellow and litany of high screams follows the rumble of the detonation.

Your enforcer and your brood! You cry out and he roars back.

The whine grows louder and suddenly ceases. A sharp crack-boom rings out and one of your acolytes collapses into dust. The pack turns their attention to the Light-bearer, but you know it won’t matter. Their weapon cracks and cracks and with each sound a corpse falls to the ground.

Another of your acolytes falls and you shriek, attacking the Light-bearer. It leaps to the side, vanishes, reappears. A crack-boom and you feel yourself thrown back. Feel your bone armor shatter and cave. Feel ichor leeching out of the gaping wound.

You throw poison again and sink into it, hoping to hide. You hear the voices of your kin overhead and pretend for a moment that you are in the dark, safe and singing with your brood. 

A sharp crack shatters the illusion.

i don’t have time to Write The Thing but:

  • it is 8 years after the S6 finale, emma and killian have a set of twins
  • henry has lucy somewhere around the same time because in midst of all the villains all the adults forgot to give him The Talk
  • magical hijinks ensue, transpotting henry and young lucy to the enchanted forest
  • A Time of Great Upheaval happens in the EF, and Lucy somehow escapes back to our world. 
  • The EF people are cursed back to TLWM, but to another town that isn’t SB
  • lucy gets in touch with people in SB to tell them what happened and asks for help
  • they tell her to wait exactly where she is and they’ll come get her
  • but this is the child of Henry Mills, who grew up with a bunch of heroes so of course she goes to find henry on her own
  • rumple, regina and killian decide to go after her, leaving emma to run the town and take care of the twins, and belle and zelena to help her (we’re never really interacting with them, just get updates via texts etc)
  • Regina, Rumple and Killian shenanigans in the real world ensue, while figuring out wtf is going on and how to save Henry/Lucy
  • Lucy is a spitfire, and gives Henry a 1000x hard time (he will later have appreciation for what he did to emma all those years ago)
  • lucy calls killian granpa, and calls rumplestiltskin great-grandfather to his face, and grandpa-crocodile behind his back, because this is a child that’s spent too much time with killian jones
  • the premise of the whole thing is because the author was cursed out, the lands are slowly decaying with no one to write their story
Twilight purification.

Originally posted by yugen-ai

Rest was not a privilege granted him this night. Kerrwynn’s mind had been racing since everything unfolded the previous morning. Throughout the day he gathered all the bits and pieces of the puzzle making the full story. Erudition had received unannounced visitors. In the course of conversation it was declared that his Ebon brother, Lledwyn of all people was a primary suspect in this unfortunate death. Kerr knew better. As much as a monster as Lledwyn could be if needed, he was level headed enough and possessed enough forethought to know that Winter’s death would never help the situation. Secondary to this but not a lesser concern, the welfare of the Scions was still endangered, specifically that of Demytrya and Ilyea. Kerr leaned forward, still on his makeshift bed letting his elbows rest upon his knees and support him. His head shaking letting his cinnamon mane drape and dance about his face.

“If either of those two even get a nosebleed because of this whole situation, I will set Azeroth aflame.” His muttered words contrasted the low humming of the wind outside. The sound of his own voice startled him and brought his mind back to his current location.

He needed to clear his head. He needed to develop a fool proof plan, and it seemed that foolishness was running rampant in this collection rushing towards imminent entropy if no one could hold the reins. He stood from the bales of straw and looked across the room, there was a sliver of moonlight dancing through the broken windows. This gave him enough light to get dressed without having to rely solely on touch. His gear freshly scrubbed and donned he began to step softly out of the dilapidated tavern. No one else was in the building, in fact he was certain no one was even outside the wards of Erudition except for him. He stepped lightly and brought himself to the door jamb , placing his back against the wall and crouched while reaching for his knife.


He had forgotten that he no longer was in possession of it and he could not find it whilst searching Erudition.  He started to creep out of the house to let it remain as silent as he was hoping to be. Each calculated step landed on a briefly tested and trusted board. The five minutes it took to leave the building might as well have been the next century. Upon exiting the tavern Kerr’s boot rested upon a small bit of gravel and his location was disclosed.

“You’re dead now Pretty.” The words of his mentor instantaneously echoed through his mind. He looked up at the moon and watched as the clouds played a game of chase before her. Every few minutes she would disappear behind the skyborne travelers and then appear again.

“ Dammit, moving upwind.”

Kerr turned to move towards the north. He grabbed the hem of his hood and flipped it up to cover the details of his face and calmly walked past the sentinels of Erudition. They kept a tireless and perpetual watch over the inhabitants of this quaint outcropping of civilization hidden within a land of destruction and decay.

Kerr knelt gingerly upon an eave of the abandoned building. At one point in time this could have been a bustling village, full of life and laughter. At one point in time he probably would have cared as well. Tonight this plot of land would seek to give him purification and cleanse his mind to allow his thoughts to remain unhindered. He thought it ironic that his designated sacrifice was stepping out of the remains of a church as well.

The being lumbered towards him limply and without purpose, just a sack of organs controlled by a cerebral nervous system ordering each part of the body to continue living. No purpose, except to breath and shit. They once had a culture, and now these ogres were scattered across the world as freely as the seeds blown from a dandelion with a child’s breath.

Originally posted by boohooyouhoe

Kerr waited until his mark was within range of his bow and swiftly nocked an arrow and drew back the string. As the fingernail of his thumb pulled back to touch his lips at full draw the limbs of his bow creaked. This drew the attention of the ogre. It also gave Kerr a better target. With a swift kiss to his thumb Kerrwynn extended his index finger letting the arrow spring forward towards the face of the ogre. Contact was made, and most effectively. The more pronounced head of the pair now had one eye useless with it’s reason for such still impaled into it’s skull.

“ You will not make false accusations against my own.”

 Kerrwynn’s whisper was barely more than a breath as his feet carried him across the small section of roof and at the edge lifted him towards the ogre.  Momentarily airborne Kerrwynn capitalized on this last advantageous moment he would have and nocked and loosed another arrow into the chest of the ogre.  He followed his projectile onto the flesh of the being.  The arrow sunk deep into the flesh of the gargantuan and Kerr’s feet landed inches above it. A quick slash with the blades affixed to his bow, across the face of his prey would do for now. He let his right foot slide down to put most of his body weight on the arrow that now was tearing the ogre open towards the midsection. His left foot rested still on the chest. He crouched quickly and sprung himself backwards and away from the mark.

Kerrwynn hit the ground with the balls of his feet and his left knee. His crouched stance allowed him a moment to reassess the attack he just initiated and decide how best to continue.  The ogre was writhing in pain from the shock of sudden peripheral blindness and the fact it had been eviscerated with the force of a full grown Sin'dorei.

Kerrwynn jammed his bow into the leather holster he wore on his back. When he heard the click of the bow resting inside the stiffened leather clips he slid his hands to the small of his back and retrieved the pair of throwing hatchets hidden by his cloak. A quick rush toward the beast and last minute change in direction caught it off guard enough to where Kerr easily raised one hatchet over his head and made a swift slice at the middle of the inner thigh of the ogre. His success was seen immediately. The stench and sight of the ogre’s blood was spurting onto the ground. The femoral artery had been severed. The beast only had moments left of living. The behemoth bent over to try and hold it’s leg but the evisceration of it’s abdomen caused the shift in weight to allow the smaller lobe of it’s liver to drift and meet the outside world for a moment. The ogre stood quickly but that was something Kerr planned to remedy. Not stopping his advance as the beast tried to guard it’s injuries Kerrwynn raced behind the ogre and with a slice from each hand severed the tendons along the rear of each heel. Immediately he yanked a small metal connibear trap from his waist and slid in a opened vial of alchemist fire. Kerr tossed it in front of the ogre and stepped back quickly.

“ You will not threaten my own, or I shall watch your world burn.”

The ogre dropped to a pair of blood soaked knees and fell forward onto the trap. The flash was visible just before the folds of the dying prey covered it. Seconds later the stench of burning flesh assaulted Kerrwynn’s face and the sound of a creature screaming in agony sang to his ears.

Kerrwynn walked by the beast as it’s last breaths were taken. It was choking on the smoke of it’s own searing flesh. He made his way back to the abandoned tavern. His only company for this trip would be the moon who shown her approval on this purification of his anger upon him.

He reached into his vest and his fingertips touched the now slick leather of his under layer of armor. He pulled out his last cigar from the leather container and struck a match on the buckle of his belt. “ I just cleaned this damn armor too.”

Originally posted by gameraboy

(( OOC note. This is a type of writing I’ve been debating, Please, and I mean this, send me feedback on it.))

@thebuildingcacophony @roewyn @lledwynlomeriel @aranyaphoenix @wolf-queen @kurel-andiel

Famous Jewelry of Middle Earth

There is actually a lot of really important jewelry in Middle Earth’s history. I’m just going to list the pieces below, in no particular order:

  • The Rings of Power: 19 rings of power were made by Celebrimbor and the elves of Eregion during the Second Age. The rings had the (general) ability to bring about what its wearer most wanted - in men, this meant an extended life. In dwarves, this meant increased gold and jewels. And in elves, this meant the preservation of the land (less death and decay.) Only the three most powerful of the rings were given names (that we know of) - Nenya, Narya, and Vilya, and all but these three rings were lost to Sauron or dragons by the end of the Third Age.
  • The Nauglamir: A fabulous necklace made dwarvish smiths in the First Age, using mainly gems and jewels brought to Middle Earth from Valinor by the Noldor. Later, one of the silmarils was also added to the necklace. The Nauglamir’s fate after the First Age is unknown.
  • The Ring of Barahir: This ring was originally given to Barahir, lord of the House of Beor, by Finrod, prince of the Noldor, after Barahir saved Finrod’s life in battle. The ring became an heirloom of Barahir’s house, and eventually found its way into the hands of Aragorn in the late Third Age.
  • The Elfstone: Tolkien wrote a couple versions of this, so the Elfstone (also called the Elessar) might be one gem or two different ones by the same name. But it was a brooch with a large green stone that was said to make its wearer feel young again, and even apparently had some healing power. It was made in Gondolin in the First Age (and, if you believe in the version in which there were two Elfstones, the second one was made by Celebrimbor in Eregion during the Second Age.) The later stone was given by Galadriel to Aragorn.
  • Necklace of Girion: This was an emrald necklace found in Smaug’s horde in Erebor and given by Bard to Thranduil as thanks for his help. The necklace had originally belonged to Bard’s ancestor Girion, who traded it with the dwarves of Erebor years ago.
  • Arwen’s Necklace: This was a white necklace that Arwen gave to Frodo to comfort him when his old wounds haunted him.
  • Star of the Dunedain: This wasn’t one specific piece of jewelry. Rather, it was a type of brooch that the Dunedain Rangers of the north wore on their cloaks to identify themselves to other rangers. It was silver and in the shape of a many-pointed star. Later the symbol was used by Sam Gamgee.
  • Star of Elendil: This was a crystal white gem set on a circlet made by the Noldor and originally worn by Silmarien, daughter of King Tar-Elendil of Numenor. The stone was taken from Numenor by Elendil (a different Elendil) before the island’s destruction, and it became an heirloom of his house. It was lost when Isildur was killed, and a replica was made and worn by the kings of Arnor, all the way down to Aragorn. (Eventually the original was found hidden in Isengard.)

I think I got everything!

SOURCES: LOTR, LOTR Appendices, The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales



Life and Death.

The eternal balance of all things, one a flourishing warmth..the other, a cold darkness. Yet it seemed not all things were as they should be in this world of men and monsters, the cold embrace of Death engulfing the land with destruction and decay far beyond what could be repaired in time. Leaving the chaos needing to be tamed in a far more direct manner, puppeteering the fate of this world, and cutting down one mindlessly bloodthirsty beast at a time. 

Judging by the decaying blood splattered across the Rider’s attire, it seemed he had been quite busy in that endeavor. Yet personally slaying such creatures of minimal importance alone wouldn’t suffice for his goals, he would need to know the details of what had occurred in this world before he could steer things towards order. And what better way than to simply ask?

“Just who I was looking for.” The Reaper would calmly speak aloud as he appeared before the other without warning, a soft smile upon his pale features. The dark reds and browns from the rotting blood still covering his form drastically contrasting upon his white flesh. “I have quite a few questions for you, my dear.”


My DM: Hey, can you send me a short email with some details about your character?

Me (6 hours later): Here’s the brief history of my Cleric.

Name: Marna DuGorman
Age: 17
Hailing from the quiet, verdant foothills of Chendle Glen. Her people are human but are said to have descended from a bloodline laced with halfling ancestry. The men of the tribe are known to be amicable farmers, shepherds, artisans and little else but have also had a long history of being regularly drafted into the wars of neighboring kingdoms.  This constant recruitment by their larger and less peace loving neighbors has left the men of this province to fulfill what has been coined as “Chendle’s Charge”. Over the course of the last few centuries, this has left the Chendles with generations worth of community history in which the women made up the vast majority of the population.  They have worked the land, maintained the homes and written the history of their people while their loving husbands were forced to fight and die for wars they couldn’t believe in because a man cannot fight for a cause he never knew existed.

The medicine women of Chendle Glen are followers of Pelor, the God of light and extremely adept healers. The unfortunate upturn of violence in surrounding kingdoms, in previous decades however has proven to be taxing on their community. War has made their boys into cripples, shut ins, and worse yet, cold, hard unfeeling men.  In order to treat the wounds of the body and the mind in such scale and volume, the Chendle healer women have turned to more unconventional but unarguably effective practices than had ever been explored by their distant forebears.

The Pilgrimage of Lenara:
Lenara DuGorman; My character Marna’s great grandmother was only 14 when the War of the Sparrow Rivers provided yet another dark age for Chendle Glen and its ever mending families. The men were taken by King Roenid the Cursed and his red clad knights but Lenara would not let her brother Rett be taken, at least not alone.  While she could not keep the red marauders from dragging away every boy and man who could hold a spear, she could pack a bag and she could keep pace with their march toward the now cratered and war torn banks of the Sparrow Delta.  For months, Lenara tended to the injured and fallen, seeing to proper burials for the dead and proper comfort for the suffering. In the red camp, she grew skilled at mending and soothing while her brother found that he had no choice but to become fierce and at times savage as he was forced to defend his beloved sister from the uncouth and desperate footmen who fought alongside him. 

This went on for years. Beyond the war for the Sparrows and over many borders. Lenara grew to know the smell of soldiers’ blood as any other woman of her upbringing would have known the smell of her children.  Rett never stopped protecting her up until his final day. She lost him in a sandstorm crossing the Khan-Kabar desert while marching toward the stone city of Esmir; yet another land to be violently contested in the name of Roenid the Cursed.  Most of that party were lost in that crossing but Lenara made it to the the other side where she realized that there was little reason for her to stay with the few surviving men who now revered her as an asset but would never respect her as an equal. Rett had fulfilled Chendle’s Charge and Lenara was left alone with no purpose other than finding her way home to let the rest of the Chendles know of their loss. 

Lenara struck off shortly after the desert crossing. She had been paid nothing but wisdom for her years of aid. She carried little else but grief for her lost brother on her journey. With only a basic understanding of which direction to go, she found that there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of languages outside of the Glen. So many that she could never learn half of them in a thousand lifetimes. Every town was alien to Lenara and she in turn, to it… but all living things know pain and sickness. This was her key to every gate. Her bargaining chip. Her currency. 

Lenara crossed hundreds of cities on her journey home. She helped whoever was in need and was rewarded for her compassion more often than not. There was only one place in which Lenara could find no use for her craft and it was there that she learned a bitter truth. “The world is vast and I know nothing”. It was a place so perfect that it somehow inspired only hopelessness. 

Lenara had found a land untouched by pain, sickness or even madness. It was here that she gave up hope of finding her home. She sat and waited for misfortune. The scourge of an inevitable oppressor. The cold of winter. The collapse of her tired, starved body. The release of death. The warm light of Pelor’s final grasp. None of it came. Nor would it. This tiny, hidden land was beyond decay and so was she, just as long as she stayed within its borders. 

The denizens of this realm were, and are (for they will no longer allow themselves to expire) practitioners of dark magic. Wielders of the type of energy that can produce anything so long as the price is paid with heavy interest. These beings were once seduced by power but toppled by a greed that consumes from within. But they were also beings of great intelligence. Just humble enough to change course before the fall. Wise enough to avoid the fall altogether… and fearful enough to accept that in order to never die, they could also never live anywhere but this one space. 

The Chendle listened to the tale of each one. All different in size and shape but identical in color. Elves, Men, other strange beings, some towering and branched at the top. Others tiny and flitting about on translucent wings. There was even what seemed to be a few half orcs and a goblin despite all the rest being the shape of more civilized races.  All of them were a deep blue in coloration. A blue darker than the blackest night sky. Their eyes were shining marbles of azure obsidian. Hair like delicate flowing blue cracks against the very fabric of space. Each of them different living statues cut from the same midnight stone. Each of them powerful sorcerers in a long passed life, deserving of a cruel hell for their transgressions against nature. Each of them just outside the gate of that very specific hell. Forever here. Painless. Deathless. By the saving boon of their one final spell. An eternal enchantment over this one small space. Their home. Their prison. Their penance. 

Through these hours and days and months, Lenara learned not to fear them. They were bound by the comfort of this place. They had all been wicked and in their sins she saw the fruit of vice and ill gotten gain. Having seen the fruit, she knew the seed and it was within her just as sure as she sat before them. 

But in hearing story after story, Lenara began to realize that the seed in her had not grown. Not much, anyway. Not like theirs. This was a place to avoid the wrath of a just universe. She was at peace with accepting her judgement and so she asked just one favor of these beings before she left. Lenara asked to learn the secret of their undying enchantment. They gave it freely and Lenara knew that her own charge had begun. 

It took Lenara another 2 years to journey back to Chendle Glen. She was 29 when she returned and the young girl she was had been all but forgotten over the past 15 years. No one recognized Lenara the woman. Not because she was older. Not because she had adopted the garb of many foreign lands in her travels. Lenara had changed in a much less subtle way. She was two years bluer. Not blue like a Ralterian troll. Not blue like a drowned man. More like a starling’s egg. One that blushed when she realized that she had… well, turned blue. It seemed that everyone else she had met recently just assumed that she was born blue. 

Very shortly after her homecoming, Lenara was recognized by her family and her friends and all of the dwellers of Chendle Glen. She told them of Rett’s loss and of the scores of other cultures, totally disparate in every way from their own but similarly bound by the chains of mortal suffering. 

But it was Lenara’s tale of the blue people that garnered the attention of the elder medicine women of Chendle. She told each of the creatures’ stories. She told of their shapes and sizes. And she told their secret freely just as they had told her. 

“The only magic for which there is no price is thus: Give and Trust.  Take only the life you can give back. Relinquish all you have so long as you trust that the world will give back.”

It is an endless, cyclical incantation. When understood, it can be used to form a bond that will accelerate healing, eliminate pain and ward off death itself. Give and Trust. 

Lenara’s teachings showed new horizons to the medicine women of Chendle Glen and they harnessed the cycle of give and trust supremely effectively.
Chendle’s charge is still being paid by many young men but most military leaders are careful to keep the Chendles safe. They aren’t typically efficient or fearsome fighters but a safe Chendle is crucial for morale.  The other men fear what happens when a Chendle comes to be harmed. 

For where the charge has been fulfilled, the blue women come. The young ones could be mistaken for any other girl who’s a bit less rosy in the cheeks than most… it’s the elder ones that’ll bring a chill into the heart of the most seasoned soldier. Shrouded in deep, dark blue, the matriarchs come and all the other men give them space. Space enough to stay clear of a Chendle healer’s hand. Blue black as the deep waters of the farthest sea. The mark of an elder healer. The price of the secret given freely. The give and the trust. Lenara’s proud rebuttal to Chendle’s Charge. 

Generations have passed since Lenara'a pilgrimage home. A daughter of Chendle may choose to follow her path and set out into the world practicing the magic of give and trust until they see fit to return to their homeland. Marna DuGormand has said farewell to her beloved sister Bale, her mother, her grandmother, her great grandmother Lenara, and of course Lenara’s mother and grandmother. 


This is where Marna’s story begins. She is a confident, optimistic and sometimes headstrong young woman. Marna approaches her Charge with a full understanding of give and trust but very little understanding of any other motivations held by less peaceful cultures.