The Old Road

When the The Wild Hunt rides your back/Turn your feet to the old stone track/And even the fiercest Fae flees/Preferring the depths of the sea
— Fragment of children's verse recorded by Aelithi scholars following the Occupation
 
The Old Road is an ancient roadway that crosses the archipelago of Laeonesse, potentially existing beneath the sea, and continuing on through whatever lands exist beyond the waters.

Purpose / Function

None know the purpose that the Old Road was originally built for, for it was raised in the earliest depths of time. Some say even that it was Lynur's first processional path as he strode across the world. Other say it was built after he and Ytoniel were separated as a way to commemorate their respective journeys. Yet others claim it was built by the true first inhabitants of Laeonesse before being displaced by the Fae. Of course, that begs the question why the Fae avoid it if it was from peoples that they themselves drove out. Regardless, nothing remains of the original purpose except contradictory song fragments.   However, what is clear is that it was built to be a road and that it still is a road. It was built for individuals to walk upon and to travel across the isles of Ynys Awen, across Ynys Gwyddard, and then across Ynys Alban. Whether it continues across the Endless Sea, none know, and none have sought out anything that might remain in Saisland of it continuing towards the mainland.   What many consider the most interesting and valuable part of the road is that Fae cannot step into its perimeter, cross over it, or affect what lies inside in any way. Something about the road, which has not yet been determined, prevents them from entering it in any way.

Alterations

Some curious children did some digging within a section of the road and uncovered that the road was once paved with great flagstones that have since been cracked and weathered to smaller fragments that underlie the avenue. The bards and the druids guess that these continue the entire length of the road, although what the children discovered was damaged too severely for any runes or other markings to have survived. Since the construction, the roadway itself was shattered and either buried or overgrown. No one can decipher how or why this happened, so the mystery remains open to future scholars.

Architecture

The Old Road is composed of standing stones stretching across the landscape for hundreds of miles. Each stone stands between four and five feet tall, weighing nearly six hundred pounds each. They stand in pairs exactly forty-eight feet apart and twenty feet from the next closest pairs. Overall length of known sections of road is in the several hundred miles, but that is only the sections known to exist as part of the complete Old Road. There are smaller, less-well marked pathways and tracks that connect to it across the archipelago.

History

When the first humans arrived in Laeonesse, the Old Road was already there. Not even the Fae knew its origins and they were unable to enter into its territory. That led to the Old Road being the first great shelters of humanity when they found themselves in conflict with the Fae. Ever since that time, they have fascinated humanity and they have always wished to unlock its many secrets.
Type
Footpath
Parent Location


Cover image: by Dickbauch~commonswiki

Comments

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lunalapanda
Atena Luna
17 Jul, 2018 23:08

I like the whole road is somewhat of a "protection" against Fae. It's an interesting thought that it may go beyond the sea. Does the road circle a human city or settlement or it's just a straight line? Is there anyone in the world that knows where it came from? Great job on the article ^^!

18 Jul, 2018 15:23

Thanks! I felt it was an interesting touch, mostly inspired by Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising books. And it does not circle anything, it is purely a straight road. Some of the oldest Fae likely know its origin, but they never speak to humans. Thanks!

18 Jul, 2018 07:01

The children's song really sells this for me, even though it's just a road the magical details and the world that interacts with it makes it really interesting! Are there any cases of the Fae struggling to get across the road or any events that occurred because of it?

18 Jul, 2018 15:25

Glad you liked that bit! It seemed like an appropriate addition to this sort of landmark. There are, yes! The one that the song refers to is when two mortal children were being pursued by the Wild Hunt (before they were bound by Angharad to never steal children) and they ran to hide behind the stones that bordered the path. As a result, the Wild Hunt was unable to get to them and so they rode away.

19 Jul, 2018 00:14

I just read through your Wild Hunt article for some more context and I love it!

19 Jul, 2018 11:19

Awesome, thank you! Glad you liked it! I do need to go back and add them into here so they link better.

18 Jul, 2018 08:02

Oh, the music is a real nice touch!   Maybe add a one sentence above the Purpose/Function and under the quote to give us a quick overview of what the thing is? That'd be a suggestion from me :)


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
18 Jul, 2018 15:20

Thanks! And yeah, I could probably do that. I realize now that there isn't a short, concise explanation anywhere.

18 Jul, 2018 15:37

Yeah, I think that'd help. :)   Are the stones from the Road ever removed and used for something else?


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
18 Jul, 2018 15:49

Brilliant! Went ahead and added to it. Not initially, no, but many were later removed during the Aelithi occupation and used as corner stones for their forts.

18 Jul, 2018 16:08

Sounds like some awesome details that'll be there! Are those fort particularly fae-repellent at all?


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
18 Jul, 2018 16:16

Yeah, it should be! Lots of opportunities to work with. And no, the Aelithi forts are not Fae-resistant outside of the high concentration of iron that exists inside them.