One of the dragon gods of the Blood Storm, who is related to the Plane of Life. The arrival of Greenscale and his faerie minions broke the mystical bond that the Elves shared with the beasts of Telara, although the bond has been repaired to some degree since then. His Dragon Cult is House Aelfwar.
Greenscale the Primeval is the relentless enemy of civilization, hating any structure that coddles the weak or hobbles the strong. His ideal is constant, shifting struggle, where species of every sort live and die at each others’ throats, till only the most vicious survive—or something stronger comes along.
For centuries, Greenscale has raged against his sterile, lifeless prison, as his faerie servitors leech off his power to fuel their wicked games. If freed, he may crush them for their impudence or reward their ruthless drive. Greenscale yearns to level Sanctum, Meridian, and every bastion of order and progress until Telara is covered in writhing, biting wilderness.
“Do not go into the woods”
During the Age of Dragons, there was a brave Elf girl named Arissia who wanted to go out into the forest. The forest had surrounded Arissia’s village since long before she was born, and no Elf was allowed to step beyond the clearing and into the writhing wood.
For this was no wholesome forest, full of piney scents, chattering squirrels and, at worst, the lonesome howl of a wolf. This was an alien forest of hungry vines that pushed at each other like bulls in a corral, suspended between sky-scraping trees with black, slick bark. Sometimes, clouds of sweet pollen would waft from between the trees and make Arissia’s people sick.
Every year, the forest tightened like a noose around the Elves, stealing from the soil until the dusty farms around the village grew only a few wisps of grain. Every year, the cries of unimagined beasts grew closer, and the people could see eyes glowing from between the boughs by night.
But Arissia read the old tales, where the Elves ruled the forests, living high in the highest trees, culling the beasts, and protecting travelers. Yearning for this golden age, she would wander the edges of the wood at night. One day, her father laid a hand on her shoulder and said, “Once, a girl could go into the deep, dark woods and have adventures. But this is not that time, and this is not that forest. Do not go into the woods, daughter. You will never return.”
But as her father walked away, he coughed and scraped at his jutting ribs. Arissia saw that, like her village, he was starved and sick and dying. That very night, she took her bow and dagger, and a backpack full of supplies, then set off into the woods to seek help.
“You will never return”
There was no trail through the forest, so Arissia found her way along the pulsating vines, avoiding the snapping jaws of carnivorous plants. The vines wound like a maze, sometimes zigzagging, sometimes doubling back or forcing Arissia to climb and descend for miles. She was chased by horrible lizards that stood on two legs, taller than a man. She was captured by trolls and bound hand and foot with vines that stung, but before the trolls could eat her, they themselves were devoured by an enormous snake.
The Elf girl lost all track of time and direction. One day, Arissia had to fight off a swarm of giant wasps. She ran them into a village of Faeries who had hunted her before. The Faeries tricked the wasps into flying in circles until they died, and then made weapons from their stingers… only moments before the mountainous shambler they had mistakenly built their huts upon shook its shaggy shoulders, sending the faeries tumbling into the arms of the ravenous trees.
Another time—before the wasps, or maybe after—Arissia entered a clearing only to find the ground shaking beneath her. A herd of sicklehorns stampeded through the plain, forcing Arissia to hide under a rock. She hid for days and days, but the herd never stopped coming. At last, she heard the thunder of wings that stretched the sky, and a great green shape came down and feasted on the sicklehorns. She heard a laugh as deep as the hollows between the deepest roots, over the crunching of bones and bleating of doomed animals, and she forgot why she ever left home.
She learned to hide in the forest, to slice boltholes into the trunks of trees, where different species of moss waged war, their colored borders swelling and shrinking with the hours. She learned to creep quietly through the hollows and hunt prey, and when her knife finally broke, she grew her nails to iron sharpness and filed her teeth to points.
She came to live high in the highest trees, killing the beasts, and fooling travelers to their doom. She believed herself to be like the ancient Elves of the stories, and skittered around the forest hoping that no bigger predator found her. When the woods swallowed her village, she was one of the first to the slaughter, and did not recognize anyone from her life before.
She lived her new life for a long, long time and became one best reasons to never ever go into Greenscale’s woods.
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