The Shadowglade of Lingelad

Amongst the aelves of Yss, the mention of Lingelad equally conjures feelings of hope, despair, exultant praise, and calls of damnation.

Lingelad is the ancient throne glade of Yss, and a union of three distinct aspects. First were the sylvaneth and their groves, they guarded the ancient forests at Alarielle’s behest when Yss was young. Then came the noble houses of the aelves, wandering the realms after their split from Alarielle, seeking to make amends for their actions. During the Cyanth’arhain, a time before the sundering of the Azyrite Realmgate, the aelves were able to forge an alliance with the sylvaneth against a resurgent plague of beastmen and other chaotic creatures intent on despoiling the forest and glades they called home. 

For an age they stood side by side, going from allies of convenience to kin, building symbiotic groves and glades to shelter in from the horde. It is during the waning years of this period that the third aspect arrived, the kurnothi, their wild hunts appearing from nowhere during battle, harrying the chaotic beasts with blade and bow till nothing but meat and gristle littered the forest floors. The kurnothi’s uncompromising savagery helped deliver the killing blow to the chaos hordes that sought to infest the land. As with the sylvaneth and the aelves, the kurnothi soon took up a place within the union, although an aloof one as the sentinels of worldwoods paths, hunting intruders and watching the borders for threats. 

A golden period emerged from the bloodshed, the various groves and glades rooting themselves in the land, taking titles and forming bonds across Yss. Lingelad became the center of this union, a throne tree seeded with magics offered by each group at the heart of the glade. Each group chose three representatives for each major aspect of their culture, warrior, spiritual, and civil, who in turn had three advisors from each group. The equilibrium they created ensured the seclusion and safety of their kind for centuries, and that beast, orruk, and the savage tribes of man feared the deep woods. 

Unfortunately such golden times were short. When jealous tribes of men united to destroy a golden realm created by Azyrite colonists in an age past, they took the heinous action of corrupting and shattering the realmgate that linked to Azyr. In doing so they created a rift through which an apocalyptic horde dedicated to the gods of chaos poured into the realm. Their actions also rendered the other realmgates across Yss either inert, corrupted, or shattered entirely, creating smaller breaches into Yss. With chaos resurgent once more, the beast’s numbers grew exponentially, threatening Lingelad and all they had built.

The war that came upon them made those of the Cyanth’arhain seem insignificant in comparison. The beasts allied with mortals and demons, cutting though long coveted regions with rapacious bloodletting and savagery. Glades fell to axe and fire, sylvaneth remains used to fuel pyres onto which aelves were sacrificed, and the kurnothi rendered into impromptu feasts. The nobles of Lingelad sent out raiding forces to distract the hordes closing in on vulnerable glades and groves, while evacuating all they could to the throne glade. But even this felt futile, for every glade saved, one was lost, its people scattered and hunted. The hordes marched ever closer to Lingelad, using fel magics to breach the worldwoods paths so they might strike at the heart of the throne glade. These breaches cost the kurnothi dearly to repel. 

Eventually the council chose to undertake a dangerous ritual that would ensure their survival, but at the cost of their connection to the rest of Yss. They would close the paths, hide them with potent obscurations, and create cursed groves so inimical to life that even their own kind could never traverse them as long as the magics remained in place. The ritual itself unleashed a tremendous amount of energy into the worldroot, planting seeds of itself across Yss, as well as doing as they planned. Lingelad simply disappeared, lost to the outside world. The aelves, sylvaneth and kurnothi that survived beyond its borders singing lamentations about its loss, and in time, many cursed its name for abandoning them to face their doom alone. However their doom did not arrive. The chaotic forces broke, sundered by hordes of iron clad orruks that pursued them through the rift, torn apart from within due to the inherent nature of chaos and its followers, and driven back by coalitions of desperate defenders from the rest of Yss’s inhabitants. Lingelads gambit was, ultimately, unnecessary.

In the modern period, those areas touched by the magics used to sever Lingelad have continued to trap, curse and consume those that wander within their confines. Areas that sane man and beast avoid at all costs. But of late tales of these areas have started to change, with trapped figures walking free long after disappearing, the darkness dissipating and of creeping blood briars receding. But most scintillating of the tales are those telling of great hunts roaring forth from them and dragging away creatures stalking the woods at large, or of shadowy archers slaying roving orruk bands from high up in the trees. Many think these tales fanciful, but many a noble of the Grunvale and the Northern Kingdoms has come across their inhuman quarry dispatched with apparent ease in a forest clearings close to these ill beggoten places , with surgical decapitations and pinpoint accurate arrows in the most vulnerable of spots. There are even some talking of wandering aelves bearing the sigil of Lingelad wandering the ‘Vale, seeking their lost kin. Naturally I will look into these tales and see if there’s any veracity to the claims. To meet one of my ancient kinfolk would be most fascinating….
   

~ Thaltha Ylvanas, Author of “Ylvanas Concise Aelven History of Yss”, daughter of the Dra’nuin Grove of the Mere March.   

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