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The Wild is the name given by the Great Forest Tribes to the latent Wild Magic that exists within the Great Forest. The people of the clans believe The Wild to be an actual entity of nature, almost a God of sorts. They believe The Wild is a spirit which controls the fertility of the forest and also the forces of nature. The Wild is both the mother of all life while also an uncontrollable force of will. The Wild provides the pseudo-religious basis for the Druids and Shamans of the Tribes. They worship The Wild, drawing their magical strength from Wild Magic. Further, the effects of Wild Magic in the Great Forest are many, sometimes warping the minds of those that live there or even their bodies. Thus, while being the giver of life, The Wild also harbors the darkness of nature.

The Real Wild[]

Nothing about magic is truly understood by the people within the realm of Indagar. Many see magic as coming from the power of a deity. Others see it as simply a part of the natural world. Still others even believe that those that control magic are somehow something more than human. Thus, the Real Wild is also viewed with great misconception by the people of the Great Forest. However, as a scholar of Chronicles, you are privy to more knowledge about the nature of magic than the fictional inhabitants of Indagar. For a primer on just magic within the world of Chronicles, see Magic Lore.

As detailed in the Origins of the Great Forest, the Real Wild comes from a time in pre-history when a great imbalance in the natural flow of energy from the Spirit was stalled. The world started to become devoid of magic, and energy within the Spirit became pent up. As such, the Reaper manifested, and to restore that balance, an area of Indagar that was once the caldera of a super volcano became a major outlet for that pent up energy. To infuse magic into the world in a lasting way requires living material to house it in. As such, the Reaper began infusing what was a sparse, scrubby landscape with so much magic that it began to seep into the ground, the plants, and even permeate the air. In such a global amount, this magic literally began to change the climate of the area, bringing rains, warm weather, and the perfect conditions for life. Thus, the Great Forest, over hundreds of years, grew to its current stature, and the latent energy released by the Reaper infused itself within the entire area. Its work complete, the Reaper returned to the Spirit and ever since, the Great Forest has stood as a boon granted to the world. The latent magic and Wells in the area continues to sustain it.

Thus, the Real Wild is in fact this latent magical energy left over form a time even before humans walked the world. It continues to sustain life in the Great Forest to a high degree, as the life giving and sustaining mutation properties of magic continue to provide an excellent climate and rains. The very air above the forest still contains traces of Reaper Energy and Life Energy. Further, the magic in the area sustains the plant life, causing the trees and other plants to grow taller, faster, and more wildly than you would find elsewhere on Indagar. As a plant or animal decays, some of the magic is returned to the Spirit, but a large portion of it is simply picked up in the soil by the next creature, insect, or root which happens to absorb it. Thus, this magic maintains a foot hold in the world and keeps the balance between the world and the Spirit.

Further, as some magic is lost in the process of decay, several Wells exist inside the Great Forest as outlets of pure energy from the Spirit. These Wells have been long ago discovered by the Tribes, but as they are so secluded and deep within the Great Forest, outsiders do not know about them. Bear Shamans are drawn to these Wells, and know of their locations. They have set-up shrines around them and indeed tap into the waters of the Wells as a source of magic to sustain them and grant them power. The Tribes, however, do not visit these places as they would view them more as a connection to the darker side of the Wild than as places of power.

Because it is magic and in abundance, the energy of the Wild is chaotic, and when tapped for any purpose, can always go astray, warping its intended purpose or perhaps simply acting in a natural manner that is perfectly random yet unfathomable to our minds. Thus, when the Tribes refer to the darker side of The Wild, what they are actually experiencing is this chaotic nature. Since every living thing in the Great Forest is so inundated with magic, the odds of chaos taking a toll on the minds and bodies of the living are relatively high as compared to those outside of the forest. This toll can also be seen on the animals and even plant life of the forest. Some trees grow to absurd heights or create unimaginable spirals with their trunks. A simple thorn bush may grow uncontrollably, producing thorns the size of sword blades. These events are rare, and it is unlikely that any given person of the Tribes may actually witness such a mutation. However, more commonly known to the Tribes is that the Real Wild can posses the creates of the woods, sometimes causing them to grow into horrible monsters and warping their minds. This isn't necessitated by the warping mutation of magic as just as many creatures may simply die or perhaps show no signs of mutation at all. However, since wild animals, already aggressive by nature, may be warped into huge beasts by the Real Wild, it is well known that they exist because they have been known to attack humans or even entire villages.

Human bodies are also not immune to the warping effects of magic, and as such, also being so greatly infused with magic, the people of the Tribes are also mutated by it to one small degree or another. Sometimes, this mutating effect can posses their mind just as Reaper Energy or other forms of magic energy do, and it is through this that a person may experience what is known as possession by The Wild. The mutative nature of the energy changes the chemistry of their body and brain, and can also mutate their bodies. What then drives a person to leave a village and enter the Great Forest as a result of this is actually a combination of two factors. The first is that it is generally what has become the accepted behavior when someone feels the mutation. Simply put, they do it because they are taught that that's what happens to people. The second is actually that a more natural and animal instinct typically takes hold in their haze, and they are drawn closer towards more and more magic as they begin to feel the sensations of magic's attractive nature. Since villages are often cleared of trees and life, other than humans, there is simply less magic there than in the nearby forest. As is experienced by all people who are greatly in tune with magic through mutation, they can detect and are drawn to others like them which is why Wilders often end up in packs.

When the mutating effects of magic assume too much control of a person's mind or body, they may completely lose their mind, reverting to a more feral or carnal state. Their bodies may warp into full blown monsters. See Monsters of the Forest.

Because anyone who is born or lives for any length of time in the Great Forest is bound to become over-dosed on the magic energy there, the people of the Tribes carry this with them even when they leave. As if radiation, it becomes stuck in their literal cells, changing and charging them. Thus, the Real Wild as it manifests especially when the Tribes find reason to march to war, is actually that latent magic being harnessed through adrenaline and natural action. Just like how people who have learned to control magic can use it to manifest fantastic things, the magic leaving the bodies of many Tribesfolk all together, and under duress, manifests into a chaotic magic spell that surrounds them.

Druids and Shamans both are natural magic users. They have the ability to detect and control magic within their bodies and nearby surroundings to manifest powers. Being able to detect it means that they can also store it within their own bodies or within vessels, typically living or once living material, by using some of their own magic to direct its flow. Thus, the role of Druids is quite literally to trap and redirect magic within a village so as not to over-expose the people within it as well as keep the growth of the forest at bay so that it does not overwhelm the village over time. Thus, Druids are the protectors of their people, and without a Druid, over-dosing on magic would be far more common and lead to far more mutations and possessions.

In summary, the Real Wild is simply a manifestation of the natural reality of magic. However, to the Tribesfolk who do not understand the basic natural laws of magic, the Real Wild becomes personified as The Wild, a natural deity that sustains the great growth of the forest while harboring the chaotic, feral will of nature.

The Wild as a Pseudo-Deity[]

Simply because the people of the Great Forest do not understand the nature of magic, the forces of magic energy within the forest appear to them as a natural phenom which can only be explained as a greater being or intelligence. They refer to The Wild then as the personification of the manifestation of magic energy. Not a full religion by any means, and without dogma, the Tribesfolk refer to The Wild as we would Mother Nature. It is simply a force that is beyond understanding, so powerful and so chaotic that it is beyond the reach and understanding of mere humans.

As The Wild sustains the forest, it is seen as a great protector and bringer of life among the Tribes. Without The Wild to sustain the growth and climate of the Great Forest, their homes and way of life would be defunct. Although they do not understand the how or why of how The Wild sustains the forest, they are keenly aware that without The Wild, the forest dies. This is evidenced by areas of the forest which experience lesser exposure to magic energy or have been relatively drained of magic probably due to the elevated presence of magic in a nearby area causing it to dissipate to the Spirit. As one walks through the forest, one may stumble upon a Dead Clearing, an area of the forest where the trees are small or dying, shrubbery is gone, and the ground is dry. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the Great Forest which is otherwise teeming with life and growth.

But because of mutation and possession, The Wild is also seen as a dark force. The Tribes believe that the pseudo-deity that is The Wild is perhaps exacting a price for its bounty or perhaps is just as feral as the animals in the forest. To see plants or animals or even humans mutated by The Wild then is the manifestation of this persona and is explained as such. The average Tribesfolk do not even wager a guess as to the nature of this chaos but simply assumes it as part of the day to day chaotic nature of the forest they are surrounded by. They simply refer to it as the "will of The Wild" or just "The Wild".

Druids and Bear Shamans, as magic adepts, can sense magic energy. However, they as well do not have scientific knowledge of magic, and as such, although able to sense and direct magic, still view it as the personification of some sort of natural, divine, power. Able to control it, they are much less mystified by the presence of The Wild, and simultaneously, they also have a much deeper understanding of how magic becomes locked in a body and the outcomes of the resultant mutation. Equipped with this, they are therefore much less afraid of The Wild, but simultaneously, they also respect the power of magic and the pockets of energy that they can detect in the forest since they are in tune with just how powerful it can be. Bear Shamans and Druids, because of their deeper connection to magic and thereby the seemingly random and chaotic nature that it can produce, are much more inclined to believe that The Wild is a manifestation of a more collective, universal, divine presence that all beings share rather than as a single, chaotic, divine, intelligence. This concept is very difficult to translate for those who cannot sense magic. Druids do try to educate the Tribesfolk that there is no divine entity known as The Wild per say, but this teaching is often mistranslated and lost.

Controlling The Wild[]

Druids are perhaps the most critical people within the Tribes because they control The Wild and protect villagers from its mutative effects. As users of magic, Druids can detect the presence of high amounts of magic energy and also have the ability to draw it together to dissipate it, although not fully understanding how such dissipation actually works. Since the entire Great Forest is inundated in high levels of magic energy, Druids serve a daily role of collecting and dissipating energy that enters their village to prevent it from festering and then likely causing an overdose to the village inhabitants. Druids regularly walk the village, using this as a time to interact with and teach the Tribesfolk but also as a time to draw magic energy together to allow for it to dissipate. Therefore, when a Tribe loses its Druid, they are at grave risk of succumbing to The Wild in the form of overdose to magic energy which can thereby render the entire village possessed by The Wild. As such, if a Tribe loses its Druid, it is well understood that they must find another or perhaps abandon their village in favor of finding another village which has a Druid.

Back to Forest Tribes Back Story

--Neil (talk) 16:36, 25 October 2016 (AST)