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A Venture into the Woods

An Excerpt From A Centuries-Old Journal

Written by Wolfient

Gentle Hands and a Keen Mind

The yellowed paper, coloured by time, weather, and dust, weakly bends as your gloved hands turn the pages. Oh so frail, the paper still holds the ink it drank many centuries ago. The words are sometimes barely legible, some letters having nearly faded from existence. It is written in Dwarvish, though it is an older dialect and only one with a deep understanding of this language can fully understand the story.
 
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Photo by Tama66/Peter H.
 

Location

The document, as well as a transcript of it, both reside within the Library section of the Legal High Court, in Pla'aron. It is a mystery where the document was first located and how exactly it had come to the hands of the Library's scholars. It is said that it had passed through generations and generations of dwarves until the Dwarf-Union Wars, after which the person or persons which owned it had it migrated to Pla'aron, it is presumed, joining the Union.  

Significance

Though the journal is but one piece of writing, it is of great importance. Not only does it cover several centuries, but it also covers an extended time period from which few records of any kind survive. In fact, a cult following of a sort has formed around this piece of writing. While there are some active arguments amongst scholars, it is generally agreed upon that the journal can be divided into three main parts: The Youth, which covers the author's experiences from mid-puberty to circa age 250, the Wartime, and, finally, the Old Age. The second speaks of a War not recorded in history and very vague in position, though perhaps that is due to any changes, either political or geographical, which have occurred over time. Others, meanwhile, suggest that this had not happened on Terra at all, but either on a different landmass or a different realm.

Background

The story written down between the leather covers of this particular journal is most probably not fiction, though the facts which it presents are hard to prove or disprove. The records suggest that within the vast and mysterious woods which lay to the South of The Aasaron Union a structure of sorts can be located which is most probably some sort of an even older temple, to two gods, similar in nature. The journal was kept by a seemingly young Dwarf who went by the name of Hagarto, who, with the help of several others, went to explore the woods at the behest of his people. The following excerpt mainly focuses on his travels into the woods, although the full copy of the journal does speak of his life amongst his own, as well as later events which might bear some historical significance.

A Sketch Found Within

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Art by PoseMuse/Justin Martin
Type
Journal, Personal
Medium
Paper
Knowledge Unknown
The journal actually speaks of The Underground Sacred Ruin, found within the The Glowing Forest, which is a temple devoted to The Twins, gods of a forgotten, ancient race.
 
The above spoiler is meant to hide the knowledge which is not open to the public and is known by only one or a couple of characters.

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Cover image: by Monica Volpin

Comments

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24 May, 2019 17:35

This article is great, right off the bat I was interested in it. Actually I really like the first paragraph, from the first sentence "The yellowed paper, coloured by time, weather, and dust, weakly bends as your gloved hands turn the pages. " is fantastic. It makes me wonder what it'd be like if the entire description page was written like that -- as if the reader was the subject "you" in the writing.   I don't know if Hagarto is someone who'd sketch things, but I think a hand drawn sketch or two in his log would really go a long way! I really enjoy the descriptions in his log, and mostly just want more haha. I like the mystery around what actually happened at the end of the journey.   Just on the formatting side, it might be nice to add a bit more separation between the days of the log entries. I'm not an expert on formatting myself, so it might just be personal preference, but I like to have either a horizontal line, or maybe make the "29th day of the 2nd season of Circle 149" as a smaller header or something like that.   Great job, and I look forward to reading more of your work!

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Wolfient
Vuk R. V.
27 May, 2019 13:41

Thank you for the feedback! I can't really find any royalty-free images of runes, but I've taken the latter part into consideration and it does look better w/ the date as a header!

25 May, 2019 10:18

While I like the first-person in-character account at the beginning, it isn't clear what the document is about until pretty much the end of the article, where it mentions "The records suggest that within the vast and mysterious woods which lay to the South of The Aasaron Union a structure of sorts can be located which is most probably some sort of an even older temple, to two gods, similar in nature".   It's a little vague as well. I'd suggest putting something closer to the top of the article that tells us what the article is about in such a way to hook the player. What is it about, and what makes it interesting?  

It is written in Dwarvish, though it is an older dialect and only one with a deep understanding of this language, and perhaps some others, can fully understand the story.
  This sentence is a bit on the long side, clocking in at 30 words. The middle part ", and perhaps some others, " doesn't really add anything to the piece besides adding words and a bit of a stumble in the middle with the commas. Consider trimming the sentence :)  
Though the journal is but one piece of writing, it is special due to the time which is covers; it does not cover only a couple of centuries but also happens to cover the time period from which few records of any kind survive.
  Another long sentence (this time, 44 words). This one could also do with some tightening up. You can relay the same information by stating something along the lines of: "This journal is one of the few surviving records of this period." - or something like that!  
A cult has formed around this piece of writing and, while there are some active arguments amongst scholars it is generally agreed upon that it can be divided into three main parts: The Youth, which covers the author's experiences from mid-puberty to circa age 250, the Wartime, and, finally, the Old Age.
  This time, 52 words. It isn't clear why a cult has centered around this piece of writing either. I like cults, so maybe expand on that and put something more about them in the side panel. Besides that, consider chopping this sentence up into some shorter ones.  
The second speaks of a War not recorded in history and vague in position, though perhaps that is due to any changes, either political or geographical, which had occurred over time.
  Also a bit on the long side and a bit chopped up by commas. Consider giving this one a rewrite, too. :)  
Others, meanwhile, suggest that this had not happened on Terra at all, but either on a different landmass or a different realm.
  Nothing in the journal that I could see really suggests that: is there a part of the journal that does? If so, I would consider including it. (Also, another bit with a few too many commas for me. The ", meanwhile," could probably be removed by some rephrasing.)  
The story written down between the leather covers of this particular journal is most probably not fiction, though the facts which it presents are hard to prove or disprove.
  A bit less 'too long', but still worth shortening. It also contains some information that seems out of place:"between the leather covers of this particular journal" specifically.  
The records suggest that within the vast and mysterious woods which lay to the South of The Aasaron Union a structure of sorts can be located which is most probably some sort of an even older temple, to two gods, similar in nature.
  Also a bit long at 43 words. "The Aasaron Union" - the "the" shouldn't be capitalized and this sentence could do with a comma after it. I'd suggest ending the sentence after "located" and split the rest into its own sentence.  
The journal was kept by a seemingly young Dwarf who went by the name of Hagarto, who, with the help of several others, went to explore the woods at the behest of his people.
  Also a bit long and there's a bit of a stumble in the middle with three commas in pretty rapid succession.  
The following excerpt mainly focuses on his travels into the woods, although the full copy of the journal does speak of his life amongst his own, as well as later events which might bear some historical significance.
  This one is 37 words. Also not sure what exactly you mean by "his life amongst his own", which could use some clarification.   The journal itself is neat, but a little sudden. It feels like there could be some more build up and some more exploration. Something to give us more of a taste of what makes that place so strange and interesting (my vote is on crashed alien spaceship, which I like) :D   Hope it's useful!


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: Corporate Mascot Costumes!
7 Jun, 2019 01:49

Wowzers, this certainly was an adventure. It reminds me of the glowing blackreach of Skyrim except for the temple bit! I love the visuals you played on here and the mystery you leave in the end!   Fantastic writing and great entry!


explore-ethnis.png

Check out my worldbuilding in the Ethnis Universe!
Wolfient
Vuk R. V.
9 Jun, 2019 20:31

I'm afraid I've never played Skyrim and don't know a lot about it but thank you so much for the compliment nonetheless.

yeslittlehummingbird-deleted
Anna Elizabeth Boyett
19 Jun, 2019 04:08

Hi, love! This is your friendly neighborhood Forge Mother here to let you know that we Enchanters would absolutely love to feature this article in one of our community's daily features! Unfortunately it appears you've neglected to credit some of your artists.   If you could, we'd love to have you credit them! And if / when you've corrected this issue, please respond to this comment to let us know- that way we can show your article off to the lovely users in our community   For more information about our feature requirements, please see our codex entry:
How to have your article featured
Generic article | Sep 14, 2020

Wolfient
Vuk R. V.
4 Aug, 2019 15:11

: o Oh, so sorry about that! I've forgotten all about the credits, must have slipped my mind. Thank you for reminding me. Let me know if I can do anything else to improve this article. Thank you for the compliment though, means a lot coming from a community member like you.