| Dynestra Wood|
|Rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a long dead witch.|
Located just to the east of the mountains which separate Sellador from Gideon, Dynestra wood has been the object of legend for many generations. In fact, the legend of the woods is so strong that many will not dare enter them, for fear of losing their lives. Those who do so, surround themselves with heavy guard and move dare not sleep while in the woods themselves. Tales of voices and mysterious noises still flood taverns throughout Sellador. Some even say they've seen the ghost of the vile witch Dynestra herself. The story of the Dynestra woods goes as follows:|
"Long ago during the time when the Church of Aesia first began to take hold of the land of Sellador there were many who opposed their rule. Among them was a sorceress by the name of Dynestra. Refusing to renounce her ways and swear oath to the then Archbishop Tolenway, she became hunted. The church declared her a witch, a heretic, denouncing her and all who use magic for any good other than that of the church. Dynestra saw things differently however and fled.
"The church, seeing her still as a threat sought a means to flush her out of hiding and took her younger sister, Riviana, declaring her to be of the devil’s blood; the Archbishop ordering her to be publicly tortured, defiled and than executed. When Dynestra heard of this she was enraged, vowing to take revenge against Tolenway and his kin.
"Over the next several months Dynestra’s name could be heard all across Sellador. Tales of her making pacts with demons and with the god of terror and chaos, Azatoth, to gain power, could be heard at taverns in any town. Bards spread stories of how Tolenway’s mother and father disappeared only to be found days later, mutilated. His brother, Elijah, was found hanging upside, gutted, from the rafters of the Citadel of Dresdel in Lloleyn. All feared her and no one knew what would come next.
"Tolenway held his wife and three children under the lookout of his most powerful clerics and sent the rest to hunt down and destroy the witch. Rewards were set for her capture, dead or alive, so high that even the richest lusted over the promise of such fortunes. Everywhere in Sellador, Dynestra was hunted.
"Finally Tolenway caught wind that Dynestra had been seen in the vicinity of the forests several days northwest of Lloleyn. Tolenway sent a full army of soldiers and clerics to find and destroy her. Dynestra however was not caught unprepared. She was expecting them. And to her delight, Tolenway had accompanied his clerics so as to see her die with his own eyes.
"What happened next only the gods can say. Tolenway and every soldier who entered the wood disappeared on that day. It is said that in every church, in every town, their screams could be heard. What is for sure though is that after that day no one dared entered those woods. The clerics sent to investigate returned screaming for her to leave them alone. All who entered the woods went mad. The church itself declared that none shall enter what was then known as Dynestra Woods."
The truth of the Dynestra Woods remains hidden to all but the few remaining rangers of Sellador and Gideon, for those woods were the home and the base of operations of the rangers for even longer generations than the tales of the witch. What they know, is that in order to keep travellers and those who might harm the forests away, the tale of Dynestra, while true in many ways has been exagurated in many ways. High in the tallest of trees there are metal sheets and bands, wooden chimes and all sorts of instruments, to turn the wind into a weapon of fear. In fact, the woods themselves are rather harmless and quite beautiful.
Today the woods remain empty of most all human life. The rangers are now too few and far between to maintain the woods themselves and rarely travel there for more than a reprieve.
|Dynestra Wood is located in Midland|
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Contributor: Drew Butler