In Search of the World Tree

Eseer Darkthorne

Active Member
On distant black sand shores, the boat drifts to a jarring stop. Black boots step down from the boat, the blood red ocean waves wash upon the shore around the edges of the boat. A pink foam is left bubbling on the sand. The figure in black had grey skin, black eyes, thin white hair, and black onyx horns protruding from his forehead. He reached down collecting a scythe from the boat and a pack that he slung over his shoulder. Few mortals knew of the world trees that the thornes used to seed uninhabited worlds with sentient life and flora. The trees terraformed empty worlds transforming them into life giving cradles. Eseer had come here in search of a rumor that he had glimpsed in the void of time. These trees had an infinite number of possible powers to them that had been lost to the ebb and flow of time.

It was said the trees were a marriage of science and magic, the thorne empire once spanned over a million worlds because of the trees ability to create life. Life that the thornes had enslaved, forcing their creations to worship them as gods. Then the Blackthornes came and changed everything. Now the ruins of the thorne empire are scattered across countless worlds their history and relics waiting to be found. Eseer had come to this remote world via a skyship. The ship now waited above the waves for him to return. He dared not land his ship on this world and have it stolen out from under him. He had not scanned any life forms that were of a threat to him, but he wasn't going to take any chances.

The jagged rocks that rose up from the black sand beaches were caked in a grey colored clay. Eseer made his way up the slopes of the beach. Here green grass, white barked trees with red leaves of varying hues. Eseer halted here as his senses picked up on something odd. The forest seemed to have an aura about it as though it were a sentient creature. Cautiously he tapped one of the trees to see if it responded to him, but it didn't do anything. The overcast skies began to rain pelting him with cold rain. There was no trail leading into the forest which meant it had not been traveled in either a long time or ever. Eseer moved into the forest seeking a reprieve from the rain and almost immediately the noise of the rain stopped. Barely a drop of rain made its way down from the treetops to the forest floor. Eseer was amazed at the bizarre nature of the forest, but he had to move on, deeper into the unknown.

Even though his ship had scanned the area for life and found nothing of interest, Eseer could feel eyes upon him. Eseer dragged the bottom of his scythe across the black dirt of the forest leaving a line that he could follow back if needed. His hand came up and with a well memorized word he summoned a green flame into life that hovered at his side. If he needed to, he could summon the flame to attack anything that threatened him. There were no signs that this world was ever inhabited. Eseer only found it from an image of all the thorne clans star charts. When the charts were put together at the center was a single point next to the now destroyed thorne home world and seat of rule for the former royal family clan. This planet had escaped the destructive force that destroyed the prime world. Yet there were no refugee colonies here, no thorne ruins, nothing indicating anyone came to this world in the past thousand years. Eseer had been created to resemble a thorne in every way down to his DNA, but he was created by dark magic. Who knew what protective measures the ancient thornes had used? Magic was everywhere on this world the leaves radiated magic, the rocks and dirt too. It was impossible to detect if a magical trap were lying in wait.

Eseer's thin frame drifted through the woods, his feet now levitating inches above the ground. He would attempt to avoid any traps he could. He couldn't travel fast through the forest because there were no trails, and it was overgrown with shrubs and vines. After hours of traveling, he felt as though he were still where he was when he first entered the forest. Now he understood, the forest itself was some sort of barrier. The inner most part of this island was covered in a thick fog, but this forest covered the entire island. It could be that the island was simply larger than he had seen from the air. Eseer decided to pause for the night, not really needing to sleep, but deciding to sit and observe the forest. He propped himself up against a tree and laid his scythe up against his left shoulder.
 
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Eseer Darkthorne

Active Member
In the eerie light of the twin moons that made its way through the thick forest canopy, Eseer could see the faintest glow of blue light. He rose from his repose and drifted towards the blue-hued glow. There is a glade a translucent figure its blue skin glowing faintly, runes carved in its flesh, ancient thorne runes. White antlers protruded from its forehead giving. The figure seemed to be talking with some unseen figure. Perhaps this was a visage of the past, or this ghost was simply eternally living out some experience?

The figure wore strange white robes that Esser had never seen before. The ghostly figure turned and slowly strode into the forest. Eseer followed the figure back to a cave in a hillside. It dawned then on Eseer who this figure was. There were legends amongst the thornes of sojourners thornes that had taken up the druidic arts and built burrows beneath ancient World trees. Here they would enter a deep druid sleep becoming one with the tree. It was said the roots of the tree stretch far beneath the ground and through dimensions to the very astral plane.

By entering this trance near the trees the sojourners could travel to distant worlds and dimensions even crossing the barriers of life and death. It was also said that those who entered this sleep rarely ever awoke, their bodies would become entwined by the roots of the tree, and eventually, any trace of them in the physical world would be gone. If this was truly a burrow then this ghostly figure could predate the thorne civil war. That would explain why there were no ruins on this world because even the ruins would have long crumbled to dust.

The cold earth smelled like any other, musty and earthy, the darkness of the cave was thick and the walls were lined with intertwining roots. Stones protruding from the cave wall were etched with thorne runic writing. Eseer could only make out a few of the words, but enough to understand this world was considered sacred to the ancient Thornes. It was a world where people came to learn and live in peace.

As Eseer ventured deeper the cave widened and broke off into other tunnels. Some were short and he could see where beds had been carved out of the earthen walls. These beds were covered in roots that erupted from the walls. Eseer couldn't help but feel a slight unease about venturing further. He felt something watching him even here. His magical light could barely penetrate the darkness of the cave.

The deeper he went the more he felt as though there was no turning back. He didn't even notice when the cave began to shrink. The cave corridor was tight now and he had to turn sideways to move further. It happened suddenly that he felt the walls give way as he entered what had to be the largest chamber of the cave he had discovered yet. It was then that the roots shot out wrapping themselves around him and pulling him to the wall. Struggle as he did, there seemed no effort he could muster against the strength of these roots.

The more he struggles the more he felt a weird sensation wash over him. His eyes grew heavier and he could barely fight back against the darkness trying to wash over him. A friend to darkness it was strange to him this new darkness, was this sleep? And with that thought, his eyes shut and he found himself in an ancient temple. The walls were crafted in the ancient thorne designs of ruins he had visited. These walls however we intact and the temple looked as though it had escaped the ravages of time. Other figures were there with him. Sojourners standing against the walls seem to blink in and out of existence.

Perhaps there were simply traveling across various pathways unseen to him. The open dome of the temple revealed a giant white-barked tree with golden leaves stretching to the sky. Veins of magical life energy flowed from the roots up the tree to its canopy.
 
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