Post from Scarred Lands Forum, preserved by CarnivalKid.

Short Story; From the Journals of Marith Kuelvar, Royal Calastian Explorer

author: Joseph Carriker
date: 2002-03-04
status: finished

From the Journals of Marith Kuelvar, Royal Calastian Explorer:

Day 87

We have made the most marvelous discovery today. While I was sure that these jungles held nothing but biting insects, snakes and man-eating giant cats, today's discovery totally refutes that idea. Perhaps there are more terrors on this damnable continent of Termana, but there are certainly some wonders, too.

Those blasted fey creatures that have been plaguing us for nearly a week now have shown themselves. Now, despite their use of confounding (though, in retrospect, non-lethal) illusions, as well as their ability to speak to the small animals of this verdant wilderness, these small folk are actually very friendly.

Their chieftain and shaman, who both speak halting Ledean (passed down from time their ancestors spent among the Forsaken elves, if I understand them correctly), paid us a visit today, after we made the fact that we were merely explorers clear. Thankfully, Caldrick's idea worked; I could have kissed that bard.

These folk call themselves "gnomes," a name I have only heard in reference to the strange brewer gnomes. Now, whether these two groups spring from the same primeval source, or it was a similarity that caused one to be referred to by the name of other was unclear. We do know that the Forsaken elves (whom the gnomes called The High Ones) are responsible for this naming convention, one way or the other.

These folk are clever and small, with chestnut brown skin and dark hair. Their green eyes gleam with intelligence and, dare I say it, mirth. They seem to be a happy folk.

Nor are they the savages that one might mistake jungle- dwellers to be. No, indeed. Though they would not take us to see a settlement of their place, their chieftain claims that his folk make their homes in the vast root systems of the massive, sprawling trees of these places, comfortable among the small monkeys, burrowing mammals, lizards and brightly colored birds of this place.

Their shaman was an odd fellow, too. Kuorney, our sage, was interested in the specifics of their faith. They seem to worship none of the gods. Nor, however, do they openly worship any of the Titans, despite the distinctly druidic powers of their shamans. Rather, they claim to worship the spirits of their land. According to the shaman, every major feature of the land - a large stand of trees, a mighty mountain, a stream, a volcano - has a spirit.

When we mentioned the titans, the shaman shushed us quickly, and asked the chieftain to step away from the conversation. He took us aside, worry furrowing his brow. He said that we were not to speak of The Great Ones; he referred to them as the Great Fathers of All Spirits, implying that the spirits they revered owed some kind of vassalage to the Titans. But to speak of the Titans themselves was forbidden, the nature of The Great Fathers a taboo subject.

They told us that they often tried to drive off strangers, for they had dealt with centuries of being enslaved by the charduni of Chorach, or hunted by the foulnesses that arose from the Blood Bayou.

I hope to meet up with these small folk again, soon - they are truly fascinating.


Joseph Carriker