September 2, 2007

They say there is a place for those with no place amongst any. A place in the Wild, at the cost of your very humanity.The deal is simple, and absolute.

Walk beyond the sound of any human voice, the sight of any human structure or even fire. Walk beyond the sight of a single trail, road or footprint.

Walk there with the blood of your kin upon your hands.

The first beast will challenge you, and ask, “Do you hate yourself?”

The second beast will challenge you and ask, “Do you hate your own?”

And finally, the third beast will challenge you and ask, “Do you hate them all?”

Flinching not once, and answering affirmative, you will be escorted to the Queen of the land. A beast wiser and stronger than any. There you will kiss her feet and swear fealty, to serve her and nature against mankind, to never let them bring the world to ruin again. She will give you the chance, the smallest chance to try to make redemption for your crime against all.

She will grant you marvelous powers- to speak to beast and bird, to find food where none should be found, to control elements, and even to escape your form for a time.

In return, you will kill those who trespass sacred ground (everything is sacred). You will destroy their food so they cannot stay, you will attack the vunerable and the weak and the exposed because this is war, and they are the supply train for the neverending two legged beast which ripped open the fabric of the world and let the monsters in.

Though you will not know love or safety or peace, you will have a place, perhaps not in a heaven, but at least not in a hell. And maybe that’s all you deserve.

If there’s one thing I love about reading old history and mythology, is that it inspires better ideas for tired fantasy cliches. I also find that this kind of fits well with the older D&D conception of Druids- with an order that has to fight amongst it’s own for status and eventually leaves their humanity to become elemental beings. That aside, it’s also a simple demonstration of what most people are -really- looking for from setting- something that sparks ideas for wonderful and terrifying stories.

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