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The Wilde

The Mysteries of the Unexplored

Excerpt from The Follower of Lights (unknown author)
I see the lights and know where they lead. I have seen the end of all and the beginning of nothing. You should go see it as well, it will make you understand why there is nothing to worry about. The lights will soon come for us all.
 

Cavern of Creation

The heart of trade in all of crevice sits on the Guild Stratum and is considered one of the busiest parts of the city. Thousands of people travel hear everyday and it is considered safe and secure. Just outside the city is a maze of dangerous caves. The majority of the exits are guarded to prevent people or children from wandering into them. Unfortunately even small quakes can open up new holes and inevitably someone will want to be first to explore it. Entering the Wilde is dangerous and foolish for all except the most experienced explorers.  

Into the Wilde

The caves closest to the city are kept relatively safe. Scouting missions are sent out to clear out nests of worms although most of these are uneventful. Even these missions stay close to home and don't wander into unexplored caves without a plan. It is very easy to become lost in the caves and the few that do make it back are never the same.  

The Dancing Lights

The Dancing Lights lights are term given to simple dust that comes off a peculiar ore. The ore was completely removed from the populated areas as the dust became very distracting and hard to work around. It does still exist in abundance in the Wilde and can create havoc for explorers. It seems to create an almost hypnotic effect on some people and they will follow the lights as they randomly float through the caves. Once the person gets their senses back, they have completely lost where they are at.  

Core Worms

A group of miners discovered these particularly nasty worms. They drawn to heat and will burrow into your skin slowly eating away at your muscles. They are barely 1 cm in length and can easily enter someones body as they sleep without being noticed. As they feed, they also seem to produce a toxin that infects the mind. The miners came back ranting and raving about a variety of different things. Eventually their muscles degrade to the point where the worms leave and look for a new host. Sadly the mental damage appears to be permanent and no cure has been found for it. Most explorers have themselves checked on returning as the damage can be prevented if removed within a week.  

Altist Expedition

This unusual phenomena happens in the caves 4-5 cycles travel from the city border. It is very rare that anyone travels that far out, but the few records available report an odd noise in the caves. The Altist Expedition spent over a month in the Wilde before a rescue party was mounted. They found one survivor wandering through the caves chasing the Lights. His fingers were broken and the skin torn away to the bone. Most assumed the Core Worms had got him, but further examination removed that theory. Their journals hold the only clues.
....There it is again! I keep telling them that it's out there, but they just ignore me. I can hear it....tick....tick....tick..... Therkon heard it too...I know she did. She is gone, but I didn't believe her....no I should have. Why won't it stop...why am I the only one that can hear it. I must find the source...I have to show them.
— Pithen Muddlestop--Altist Expedition
 
I need to watch Pithen carefully, he can hear it too. Therkon did, but I couldn't have her finding it first. Nothing can stop me from finding it first. They will not have it.
— Interia Othen--Altist Expedition Leader

Fauna & Flora

Besides the few patches of mold or fungus, very little grows in The Wilde. It is largely desolate of life, which makes exploring it less interesting for most. This is debated within the druidic circles though. It revolves largely around the Core Worms and questions how they can continue to live without another creature to live on. There is a belief that something else must live there for the core worms to thrive as they do.

Natural Resources

Glittering Jewelry

The only real resource is the glittering ore that creates the dancing lights. It is a very weak ore and does not have much use overall, although mixing it with some other metals has created some unique jewelry designs. Even jewelry made of the ore is considered cheap and tends to break easier than other jewelry.  

The Shard

The Altist Expedition did have one interesting achievement. Pithen Muddlestop returned with a shard of metal gripped in his broken hand. He refused to let it go. Even in his sleep, his grip would never waver as it cut even deeper into his hand. When he finally died several Cycles later, the shard of metal was finally able to be examined.
It has the glittering ore in it, but it seems harder than any metal I've ever seen. I've seen it cut through a steel sword with ease. I'm surprised Pithen didn't sever his own fingers holding it so tight. No amount of heat will make it melt or even burn red.
— Ulther Firepulse--Head of the Blacksmith Guild
The Shard would be examined by many blacksmiths and it's origin and makeup remain a mystery to this cycle. It currently sits in a museum mostly ignored by all but historians and school kids.

Type
Cave System
Location under
Guild Stratum

The Stalker

The discovery of the Shard did lead to several other expeditions by those looking for the origin of such a metal. All of them failed and most did not come back at all. The few that did reported that they felt they were being hunted by something. None reported seeing anything, but most of the expeditions had missing members that they blamed on this Stalker. None reported hearing the noise reported in the Altist Journals, but they did report other noises. Odd tapping noises with no source echoing throughout the caves. This was largely thought to be the Stalker toying with them as it hunted.

Mysteries

The Wilde still has many mysteries that continue to be unexplained and the counsel has no interest in exploring too far out. This lack of interest and the continued disastrous failure of previous groups finally led to an almost dismissive attitude of many of the stories coming form the expeditions. The Ticking and The Stalker became more myth that fact.

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