Deity: Orthas, the Great Weaver
The Lands of Thorns
Population: Approximately 1.5 million (many more beasts and nature spirits)
Governing Body: The Great Circle
Each of the Champions, as well as elder and respected Faerie spirits are invited to join
Notable Locations: The Great Meet of the Bark, Tree of Life, Buried Camp, Jade City, the Great Glade
Thorns never wanted this war. They were content to tend to their groves and forests, to provide life and nature a safe haven. Even with the near-constant raids in the Northern branches by the goblins and slags, they were content. After all, nature is not without struggle or battle. When the dragons rose, however, things changed.
The Castle of Korrad Dur fell from grace. The long stream of refugees fleeing from the lands of Strife suddenly stopped. Then, the demon kin began their campaign. This was not skirmishes or raids, this was not natural. The Hollow men, refugees from Strife and settled along the Northern branches, were forced South. The Druids of the Bark were forced to hold the line.
During this battling, the Tree of Life wilted. But still, with patience and strength, the Druids held Strife to a stalemate. War was averted for a time. Then, of course, Scales sought the secrets of biofuel from the Hollow refugees resettled so far to the east. It was the final insult – Thorns would go to war.
Situated on the southern edge of Terrene Gall, the forests of Thorns stretch far north on the western side of the Rage Mountains, forming a border with Strife. On the eastern side of the Rage Mountains, the forests naturally give way to the farmlands of Scales along the northern edge.
Thorns counts Strife and Scales as enemies, but some wonder if Thorns has been pressed too far. If they put down the dragon hordes of Strife and the mercenary incursions of Scales, will they stop there? Or will they continue to press onward, returning a world of civilization back to a world that follows an older order, a natural order?
The Champions of Scales
The Champions of Thorns are a diverse group, as one would expect of Thorns. From elevated mortal men such as Tamas Dow, to ancient spirits such as the Eidolon of Earth, the Champions come from all corners of the land. All have their place in the Forests of Thorns, and all are more than capable of mounting an incredible defense of their homeland.
Eidolon of Earth
One of the greatest spirits of the forest, the Eidolon is a remnant from a time when nature’s rule was absolute. It is a massive amalgamation of rock, earth, and rage that kindles anger in all those loyal to it. Most druids claim that it exists before the Gods, and no one disputes that it has inhabited Terrene Gall longer than the Gods. So long as the Eidolon fights, the forests have a chance at survival.
BranDuir of the Bark
Easily the most powerful of the bark Druids, BranDuir guides the Great Meet of the Bark on a course of war. Over years, he has engineered the enchantments and fortifications that have held the hordes of Strife at bay. Now, with the invasion of Scales at the farthest edges of Thorns, he has turned his protective magick to assault, capturing the lesser wyrms of Strife and bending their energies to call on more destructive magick.
The Pangaea Tree is said to be the direct offspring of the Tree of Life. The great roots hold the world together, and find their way everywhere on Terrene Gall. According to some faeries, in fact, the Pangaea Tree is considered the very soul of Terrene Gall, itself. Regardless of its origin, the Pangaea Tree is only quasi-real, fading in and out of the physical world seemingly at will.
The leader of the refugees, Tamas Dow sought to protect his charges as they fled the southlands of Strife in to the forests, then again on the northern border from Strife as they journeyed through weeks of journeying through forest to the far edges to build the Buried Camp. The mercenaries of Scales have threatened to take even this home. Now, the Lord-General of the Hollows leads ambushes against all who enter the forest unbidden, killing without mercy and using the bodies to cultivate the land.
The Armies of Thorns
The forests are overseen by a Great Circle that meets each full moon. This Circle’s membership changes regularly, but always contain representatives of the Hollows, Bark Druids, and Faeries. Most often, some being that holds sway over the spirits of the natural world also arrives.
These tree people have watched their species nearly eradicated by the flames of war, and find protection with the Hollow people of the Thorns Guild. The Bark Druids bring the creatures of the forest to their cause, as well as magical prowess. They are a powerful force, and grow stronger the longer they have to entrench their positions.
- Example Unit: Bark Druids
These are the displaced people of the forest. They lived off the land in solitude until the Second Great War brought destruction to every corner of the world. They banded together to save the last few Life Trees still standing and have cultivated the secrets of tapping into the biofuel that flows beneath the forests. They scavenge weaponry and gear from fallen enemies, and utilize biofuel to create flying Earthships and breed mutated creatures to devastate armies that get too close to their preserves.
- Example Unit: Hollow Harvester
From the miniscule Forest Wisps, to the great Storm Strider, the faerie kin are an incredibly diverse group. They tend to be both spirit and flesh, and are ancient beings fighting to protect the last refuge they have from the incursions of mortal man. In the end, most faeries dislike mortals to some degree, and hold them responsible for the decay of the natural world that is slowly killing the faeriefolk. They have an only tenuous alliance with the Hollows, but grudgingly work toward a common goal.
- Example Unit: Forest Wisps