217 years ago…
The world was at peace. Well as much as any world can be. For over 300 years a people who called themselves ‘Fae’ had travelled the land. They claimed to have come from another world, they did not say why. Trust did not take long to bloom in the hearts of the natives. Who could resist? Their beauty was ethereal, their love was given freely and their knowledge readily shared.
Village to village they travelled building cities and teaching new Gods over the old. The natives readily parted with the old ways swayed by something the Fae possessed, something that had never been seen in their world - magic.
The Fae used magic without restraint to awe and indulge the natives but that wasn’t the only way they indulged them. The Fae took the people to their beds, filling the land with their magical offspring, and so they lived side by side harmoniously. The population grew exponentially due to the amorous nature of the Fae and of course due to the betterment of the world.
The water was cleaner, the medicine improved, crop cultivation was more effective and the magic coated everything. The people prospered and lived like they had never lived before. Like all things, nothing lasts.
The summer air was heavy and charged despite the high sun and the bright sapphire sky. It sang the promise of rain, the promise of a storm.
The Fae were gathered in the great desert, a barren expanse of dark red sand that filled the centre of the continent. They were waiting. Waiting for the sun to reach its highest peak, the summer solstice.
With excited minds and racing hearts they all looked towards the gargantuan gate in front of them. This was not their first journey and it would not be their last. The summer sun peaked and the gate glowed, a hulking great purple crystal arch with no doors, only an empty space that looked to the desert beyond. It crackled and buzzed with the hum of the magic growing inside it.
The Fae raised their hands in unison letting their magic flow freely through each other, a hand placed on the shoulder of the Fae in front created a living, flowing net of magic that sparked and surged. Kiya, Queen of the travelling Fae, placed her hand on the base of one side of the arch.
Magic leapt from her, pulled from her people who were all connected as one. It formed a strange reptilian beast made of lightning that coiled its body around and around the crystal gateway. It radiated heat and light but growled like a predator in the shadows as it squeezed the crystal.
Tighter and tighter it coiled until, with an ear-splitting screech, the creature bonded to the purple arch. The crystal groaned and cracked into gigantic pieces but did not fall. The chunks hovered in place, keeping shape. The air at the centre shimmered and rippled. The gate was ready, a portal to take them to a new land.
And so the Fae left without even a backward glance. They did not tell anyone they were leaving. They did not take even one child born between any of the natives and a Fae. They did not care, their work was done and a new adventure awaited them just beyond the gate.
After the last Fae crossed through the portal that gleamed at the centre of the arch the land began to tremble. Dark burdened clouds rumbled through the sky, thunder roared and thick weighty raindrops began to fall in the desert. The boiling hot sand sizzled with the first drops.
Mighty vibrations seized the already fragmented arch, a scream like an animal in pain burst forth; so strong it bent the rain. An eerie silence followed and everything stilled. Raindrops were hanging in the air, splashes stood up from the ground like little crowns, the clouds ceased their roiling and lightning paused - fingers glued in place, misshapen and desperate to touch the ground.
The world held its breath.
A whisper began and rose, air was rushing past the paused world as though it were filling the lungs of the old God. It grew and grew until the world couldn't possibly give even the tiniest puff of air more and then the gate exploded with an earth shattering clap. The purple crystal filled the air, turned, for the most part, into a fine powder that settled across the wet red sand.
The rain began to fall again, the crowns that decorated the sand melted into the earth, the clouds twisted and rolled and the lightning forked and split once again striking the ground with abandon.
Everywhere the purple powder settled an incredible forest began to grow. Its pace was frightening. The creaking and cracking of colossal trees spinning up from the earth towards the darkness of the sky was melded with the feverish cries of thunder and screaming enraged lightning.
And so the Eternal Forest was born the very day the Fae abandoned this world. With their departure the world was thrown into turmoil. War and chaos abounded as the people grabbed for power, greed and fear swelling in their souls at the realisation that magic had become a finite resource.
Powerful Kingdoms rose, filled with powerful, magic wielding descendants of the Fae but still they fought for more and the people suffered. Magic became a thing to own, to possess and when rumours surfaced of raw magic hiding in the Eternal Forest the fragile peace was already teetering on a knife edge.
People whispered of small stones made of purple crystal that glowed with pure magic, magic that anyone could wield, magic that the Fae had left behind. These small residual pieces of the gate became known as Remnants...