Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Pond of Sighs

Home of Stenega

Hidden behind the branches of weeping willows, in the depths of the Tanhad woods, lays the Pond of Sighs. It is peaceful and nostalgic, a piece of paradise amidst the forest. White nenuphars gently colour the surface of the pond, as the chirps and songs of birds fill the air in harmony. Under the shadows of the branches sleeps Stenega, the Echo.

Jewel of the Forest

pond.png
Detail of Water Lily Pond by Claude Monnet
The still waters of the pond sleep, cool under the lazy shadows of the trees. Dozens of dragonflies buzz above its surface, gently hovering from one flower to anther. In the trees, birds chirp. It stretches out in an almost crescent shape, long reeds following its edges, a temple of serenity none would dare disturb.

Around the pond, wild flowers of all kinds decorate the grass, a swirling dance of colours amidst the deep green of the surrounding forest. They grow bold and tall, as if coaxed by some unseen power to be as beautiful as can be.

At night, after the chirps have quieted down and nature has fallen asleep, the fireflies awake. They light up the pond, swirling through the clearing, and for a moment it seems one is dancing among the stars.

And when the wind blows through the branches and foliage of the trees around, Stenega lets out a sigh, lost in memories of older days.

Stenega, Goddess of Sighs

The beauty and magic of the Pond originate from an old, little known Goddess. She is kown as Stenega, Goddess of Sighs. Saohri theologians seem to agree that her presence in the woods predates the arrival of the Danatelians, and whatever people once worshipped her are long gone from memory.

Local villages have adopted her worship, and a Druidic circles claims to act on her will, but few have ever seen the goddess, for she spends most of her time hidden in her pond, draped in her cloth of algae. She sleeps soundly, peacefully awaiting for her time to come.

Origins

Stenega is an archaic Baseikan divinity, who has lived on in the woods she was once worshipped in. She survived long after the Baseikan's abandoned their ways, and long after their doom too. Her very spirit seems tied to that of the forest, which she protects and cares for.

She is worshipped by the Danatelians as a Goddess of sleep and memories, of nostalgia and sighs. Some claim they can hear her breath as they walk through the woods, their heart swelling with an emotion that is not theirs.

Flora

The Pond of Sighs, protected by the magic of Stenega, has morphed into a small ecosystem of its own. Species which have long disappeared elsewhere have remained present within the bubble, thousands of years of evolution preserved within a single place.

Ancient Magic

The pond is surrounded by a magical aura, a vestige of the powers Stenega once possessed. All who enter the area, all find themselves soothed by the ambient tranquillity, making the clearing a haven for animals of all kind.
Click to reveal RPG relevant info
If a fight stills breaks out while in the clearing, all people who take an offensive action on their turn suffer 1d6 psychic damage and must succeed on a WST, as the magic tries to calm them down
Circe_Resplendens_(1913)_by_Margaret_Murray-Cookesley.jpg
by Margaret Deborah Cookesley

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Cover image: by Claude Monnet

Comments

Author's Notes

We made the 25k yall! Hope you enjoyed the answer to today's prompt. As always, feel free to like and comment!


Please Login in order to comment!
29 Dec, 2020 00:34

I literally relaxed as i red the article with the ambiance playing in the background. The swirling waters and dancing with the stars painting such a vivid image. Magifiqe.   Oh! Congrats on 25K! Wohoo!

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
29 Dec, 2020 14:00

Ooh, I’m so glad to hear that!! Thank you so much for the kind words <3 :)

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
29 Dec, 2020 10:46

What a lovely little place. I love that you added the mechanics for the area.

29 Dec, 2020 14:00

Hahaha thank you! I thought you’d enjoy them as I was writing the article :)

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
29 Dec, 2020 12:05

Your writing is absolutely stunning in this article. I would love to visit this place and just relax and watch the fireflies. <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
29 Dec, 2020 14:01

Thank you so much Emy, means a lot <3 :’0 I really wish I could visit this place too

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
29 Dec, 2020 17:57

Great work! I really like the ambiance of the whole piece, it reminds me of a Butterfly Habitat at the zoo. I do find it contradictory that the magic would try to calm a creature down by harming it with psychic damage. I would probably just make it a higher save to take hostile actions, sedating a creature on failure.

30 Dec, 2020 14:47

Thank you for the kind words!!   The way I saw it, creatures would get psychic damage from trying to directly oppose the magic of the place (and the psychic damage is like mental strain) rather than the place dealing damage itself as repercussion on people attacking. Though making a higher save would make sense too ^^

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
29 Dec, 2020 19:51

This was beautiful, and the ambiance together with it was the relaxing break I needed today. Well done!

30 Dec, 2020 14:48

Thank you Maybe, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it <3 :D

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
30 Dec, 2020 19:51

Oh, this is truly beautiful - not just the location you describe, but the article as well! I love how you illustrate it with those paintings and the ambient sounds. This seems like a wonderful place to sit down and relax.

30 Dec, 2020 21:14

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the ambient sounds and paintings, it means a lot :)

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
6 Jan, 2021 12:57

This... this is just... I'm lacking words. It's breathtaking! I think I felt stress slide off me while I read this!

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
6 Jan, 2021 15:02

Hell yeah, thank you so much!! Your words mean a lot, I'm really glad to hear my writing can provoke such feelings :')

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
14 Jan, 2021 06:13

This place sounds so beautiful. I wish I could visit it someday. :)

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
14 Jan, 2021 10:23

God same.. thank you for the kind words!

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!