((A short history of the ancient blackwald in visions.))
The visions had since shifted, seeming to whirl back in time to where a small group of peoples sat outside the Blackwald. The oldest of which was a man with a hooded cloak of rags, who carried a staff of oak.
"This is the place they impelled us to go. They have decided to stay behind, to the North, to the North, but we have gone where they told us to go, where they gave us the message in Arathor."
And thence arose another man of smaller stature, who spoke.
"This cannot be what they spoke of. They feast upon the ample game to the North and we are here: a place that is desolate and lacking of all life."
The visions had not completely o'er-taken the forest, and hence the mind. The older figure shook his head. "This is. I know it is." To which he was responded.
"The seers lost their sight in Silverpine when the curse was laid upon them. I say we head back north, and become re-united with our kinsmen."
To which their was great agreement, yet the old man spoke, his voice growing in power.
"Nay', nay', look at this place. I feel as if the spirits have once more been restored, yet with newfound profoundity. It was not a curse but a blessing we received in Silverpine."
Thus great applause was sounded, and thus the people were absorbed into the void-blessed forest.
The visions were rushed forth once more to the image of the two black-hooded figures standing within the Blackwald. Just moments thereafter their hoods had fallen, revealing two countenances bearing the same un-tamed, grizzly features.
"The times are uncertain, and the omens black."
The first stated, looking towards the second, whom responded in kind.
"Yet we ought whether the North and never turn back." He replied astutely, going on. "We may not bargain with those of corrupted teachings. We will not bend to those tainted words."
A pause, and the other man grimaced.
"We must, lest those we know starve and wither."
But then the forest swayed once more, and the Blackwald rejoiced at the man's words. "And yet trust in these ancient woods alone, and food will come hither."
And thus the visions did shift again, and now there was a magnificent structure carved, the likes of which were not grand in size nor the effort imparted into it, but rather in the structure, that was completely peculiar to the region. It was as if all laws of order had been but temporarily suspended, the green and black husk of the building set upon a lake of glimmering waters inside the black forest. And inside the building lied rivers, and ten men all garbed in robes, men that stood taut, appearing to be of very high esteem in whatever civilization they dwelt upon.
Speaking first was a man with the image of a white sepulcher branded into his rode. "I do say that we flee to the lands of Tempest's Reach, where our allies do dwell, and it- is there that we may hide our civilians."
To which responded another man ,this one younger. "If your soldiers are to die, then let all of us pass as well. Our children have fed upon the roots of this place." There was a great and rousing clap that several men gave in support of this idea.
"No, no, I will not leave my children at the savagery of those beasts."
A short pause, and a small man in a black shroud spoke. "I say that we invoke the rites of silverpine."
And thereafter a silence came over the entirety of them, until the first man spoke. "Will the blackwald favor such things? They have indeed allow'd the ancient and most venerated arts of Silverpine, but at such a large measures?"
And then the other men responded, the full lot of them. "There is no choice. Let us invoke the rites, and thus save the blackwald."
And now the Blackwald stood upon a great precipice, the forest elevated. Therein now stood dozens of figures, many bearing clubs and bearing staves, all bearing the uniquely dark patterns of garb. There stood two men whom were younger, both appearing to be but soldiers, hair black and eyes both of blue.
"I have heard of fearsome things, that Arathians are coming to this land. "The other man's eyes narrowed.
"Arathians! What say you? Do they come in terrible armies, with their order'd swords? What of the Headlands? Have they at last met their end, and shall we be singing praises to Arathians?"
The other man shook his head a great deal, frowning. "No, no, they say that they have allied with the headlands."
"The headlanders ally with Arathians? Have they forgotten all honour of warfare?" A sigh.
"Yet do not worry, my brother. We invoke the rite of Silverpine. The old masters of the forests shall surely impede their heathen magicks."