.:| Quote |:.
"Duty is doing what must be done, regardless of what others may think."
-- Kierath Ranamor
.:| Vornae Proverbs |:.
"I no naka no kawazu taikai o shirazu."
A frog in a well does not know the great sea.
"Ame futte chi katamaru"
After the rain, earth hardens
.:| Libraries |:.
Information on The Defiler and the expansion of the Chaos Forest in Greyhelm
As I traveled the outskirts of the Chaos Forest, heading from Keljin to Kirran to Harlan's Glen and then on to Eladhir's Haven, I noticed far fewer people around than I had expected to see, and those I did see seemed quite nervous. When I asked several of them what troubled them, they dismissed my concerns and told me that they were "fine". From all outward appearances they did not appear to be under any sort of control or influence; if anything, they simply seemed genuinely frightened.
I was able to learn from speaking with several of them that the forest is expanding at a rate of roughly a foot per day, which according to them is more than twice the rate that has been seen at any time in the past. They also told me that chaos pools have become quite common, along with the tainted animal and plant life that has been seen in the past in their vicinity. The chaos-tainted animals were an especially sore subject with the local hunters, as they reported that the meat from the tainted animals is completely inedible after they are killed, tasting rotten despite appearing normal.
As I neared Harlan's Glen, the few people I spotted near the forest actually hid from me, with one gentleman even threatening to impale himself upon his own sword until I backed away and gave him a wide berth. When I finally reached Harlan's Glen, I was amazed to find the forest had almost enveloped the town, with the tree line a mere couple of hundred feet from the town walls. There was a large contingent of men working to try and clear the growth and push back the wood line as I entered.
In the tavern in Harlan's Glen, I learned the reason for the behavior of those I saw near the woods. The head of the guard there had recently issued orders that anyone found to be traveling alone into the forest would face obliteration by the sword, due to the number of hunters and scouts that had returned from the forest tainted. Apparently many had died to those individuals before the problem was discovered. Additionally, I learned that all of their efforts to stem the advance of the forest were failing, with the day's progress completely erased each night and the tree line advancing.
Finally, my circuit reached Eladhir's Haven, which was thankfully quiet when compared to my earlier stops. There did not seem to have been any additional activity at the crypt on top of the mountain since the last gather there. The only noticeable difference was in the number of troops stationed there, which I learned from the Captain was due to his dispatch of reinforcements to Harlan's Glen and Kirran.
I spoke with my source, and after describing to her what I knew of the creature we have encountered in Greyhelm, she confirmed that it is indeed a Defiler and is quite a rare find. In fact, in her centuries of study and research she has only seen one of them.
What I was able to learn was that Defilers are a creation of Tyrra itself, meant to balance and filter the life energy collected and destroyed by Earthhaunts. Areas that spawn a great number of Earthhaunts will also spawn a Defiler. When things are properly balanced, the Defiler channels the energy that the Earthhaunts bring, sending it back away from the dead land. In this way the Defiler's territory is preserved, but the damage done by the Earthhaunts to other land is minimized. When there is too much destruction, though, the Defiler can grow in power to a point where he no longer needs to concentrate on preserving his own lands, and then he will turn to conquest. His ultimate goal in existance is to bring all things on Tyrra into Chaos, but he is intelligent enough to understand that he must preserve a haven for himself. Usually, doing that takes all his time and energy, for a Defiler is not naturally a strong creature.
She then went on to briefly explain the origin of Earthhaunts:
The Lady of the Forest, when she was young, came upon an area of devastation where the Lord of the Haunted Wood had sucked the life force from the land. She was, of course, horrified by this, and since she had recently become a Fae Queen she decied to use her Curse of Kings to make it right. The Lord of the Haunted Wood was not powerful enough to have such a curse yet, so he could do nothing to stop her. She drew upon all her power and spoke these words: 'May the earth rise up against such horror, when drained let it fight for itself so it may renew.'
Of course, she was young and foolish, and did not realize what she had done until the first spirit rose from the ground to "renew" the earth. The spirit could not create life force, so it went outside of the deadened area, killed things, and tried to bring the life force back. Of course, some life force is inevitably lost in this process, so the net result is a great loss of life. The Lady was horrified, but there was nothing she could do to change her Curse, and the resulting destruction soon brought so much power to the Lord of the Haunted Wood that he became a Fae King, and was able to oppose her as an equal.
The Defiler is a problem for us because something has apparently upset this balance and allowed the Defiler to grow more powerful and roam outside of its territory. We must take care, however, not to destroy the Defiler, as to do so would allow the Earthhaunts to go unchecked. Instead, we must find the source of the imbalance of Chaos and destruction of life force that allowed the Defiler to break out of its accustomed pattern, and remove it.
I have three theories at this time about the imbalance, but it could of course be none of these.
- Kauffe, being a Havoc Lord (chaos, death, destruction) is causing the imbalance through the continued atrocities he is committing.
- Traegor, formerly through Malyon and now on his own, is causing the imbalance through the destruction of life being performed.
- The Unseelie are somehow behind it, given that Earthhaunts originally stemmed from a Fey curse gone awry.
In the meantime, our best course of action is to continue dealing with the pools as best we can. The individual I have been speaking with has agreed to try and come up with a more permanent solution for the pools and come to Greyhelm in June for the gather with her findings. She warned me, however, that the price of this may yet be more than I am willing to pay.