Spirits of the Forest Myth in Fyria | World Anvil

Spirits of the Forest

Don't pass through forests after dusk, or evil spirits may follow you home
This wives tale has several incarnations and differs depending on the region, but it shares a common origin story across the world. This tale acts as a warning to dissuade wandering children and errant travellers from venturing into areas that are known to be dangerous at nighttime. Commonly this story is told to children by there parents from a young age, in the hopes that this warning will sink in deep enough so if their child ever slips away at night or finds themselves nearing a forest close to dusk before finding their way home.   As well, more elaborate and fanciful versions of this tale are told by bards, pub-goers, and adventurers as a more entertaining way to pass on a similar warning. Travelling at night is dangerous, and should be avoided if at all possible, especially in dark woods, vast deserts, and dense jungles.  
Countless versions of this story exist across the entire continent and beyond, it has been a tool in the pack of parents, travellers, and more to educate the young, brash, and inexperienced, As such, no one knows what version of this story can be called the first and most believe it came about across the world naturally and none can truly take claim as first.   Because it is such a common tale, many cultures have their own versions of it, each claiming different dangers and various locales. Though most stick to the more remote, dense, or known danger zones in their home nations. As such, common elements that can be found in each of these tellings are deep forests, dense jungles, sinking swamps, and vast deserts.   In Raum'alur, stories of ancient spirts are common and often the residents of this land believe in them fully, so tales of distraught spirits roaming remote forests at night are told to dissuade people from entering these woods and upsetting said souls. In the Jungles of Mijhail tales are told of the lost spirits of slain adventurers accosting those that enter the jungle at night, the souls of the damned pleading with travellers to stay and help them. And in Aldelgis children and travellers are told to be wary of venturing into mountain passes at night as the dwarven spirits of the mountain may push them off a cliff down to their deaths for their rude trespassings.   Throughout all these different nations, the common theme across all of them is simple, avoid travel at night for danger might soon follow you.  
While these stories do share their origins as a simple tale spread by common people to dissuade unnecessary and dangerous travel, it may in fact hold some truth. While most forests, jungles, or deserts do not pose any threat from spiritual attack there are rare locations in the world that hold dense spiritual and magical energies. These areas have at some point in their past been home to events that have thinned the barriers between dimensions and drawn strange and chaotic energies into the world.   These energies can be of a magical nature, leaking into the world from a vast plane of energy called the Cacophony. This type of energy can cause wild and often dangerous effects, including creating windows or doors into different dimensions and times. Or these dramatic events may draw the spiritual energies of wandering spirits that have not found their way to the realm of the god of the dead. These wandering spirits are often distraught, or chaotic in nature, having committed heinous acts in life or experiencing extreme trauma before or during their death. These spirits become active at night and can be extremely dangerous to those that pass through the territory in which they reside.


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