Sylvan Stories: Oath of Druids


A large group of druids, mystics, and magic users congregated around a sacred elm tree. Today was an important day, it was the day the fighting would finally cease after centuries of bloodshed. Today was the day children could walk outside and not have to worry about getting attacked by lumbering elementals, or having their guts pierced by stray arrows. Village and community leaders could finally rest easily, knowing that their people would at last be safe from the constant violence that had permeated the land for so long.

On this day a light breeze blew through the forest and the sun shown brightly upon the horizon. Bird song filled the ears of all who gathered, and the forest seemed to glow with a certain charm. Subtle yellow and orange light filtered through the canopies translucent leaves, and deer could be heard munching in the background. Suddenly a loud voice near the congregation broke the serenity of the scene.

“Elzeth, Guardian of Alta, do you heed your loyalty to our sacred oath, now and forever?” The voice echoed through the forest with a powerful thump. It bounced off of trees and rang throughout the land until an equally powerful response was returned.

“Yes, I do!”

“Hilden, Keeper of the Dryad, do you heed your loyalty to our sacred oath now and forever?”

“I will never break the pact!”

The proceedings went on for quite some time, person after person from all walks of life were asked to pledge their loyalty to the now sacred oath. Everyone seemingly had the same goal in mind. They were done with the fighting, the bloodshed, the torment of the centuries long conflict.  No body could even recall how it started or why they were fighting. But now all they wanted was peace and serenity. For the land’s people to live out their lives to the fullest they could. However, some had different ambitions.

By the time the meeting began to come to a close the sun had almost entirely set below the horizon. The forest and sacred elm were now shrouded in deep blues and subtle purples, a single candle lay lit in the elected priest’s hand. Almost everyone had given their word by this time, however a few still had to go. Clearing his throat the pact maker named out the final name.

“Unzi, Beast Master, do you heed your loyalty to-”

“Yeah, yeah, get on with it. I want to go home.” Unzi interrupted. “It is late, haven’t we done enough?” The rest of the gathered people began stirring about. “I mean come on? How long do we have to wait around here? It has been all day!”

The pact maker raised his hand to silence the now agitated crowd, he then continued the final portions of his ritual and the crowd swiftly dispersed. Laying his hand down on the sacred book that contained the signatures of every being in the forest, he lay an indestructibility charm on it.  Dubbing it the Oath of Druids, he placed the book carefully on the sacred elm tree, its contents now safely protected for eternity.

However there was a fatal error in the oath that everyone so dearly held. Eventually an ambitious group of individuals decided to take it upon themselves to exploit this loop hole. Unzi was one such of these individuals. He had always strove for something greater, and over time his hounding ambition began to take over his actions in spite of his better judgement. So he set to work, he carefully devised a plan, read over every page of the pact, and found an elegant exploitation he would partake in.

The pact stated that no one person may have more “beasts” – referring to any number of magical and mythical creatures-  than another, however it did not specify whether physical might nor magical prowess was considered in this balance, and thus Unzi began his plan. He had heard of an exotic plant that attracted physically weak, but very magically grounded spirits to wherever the plant flourish. He had figured if he could get enough of these plants to attract many spirits, then he could force the spirits onto the territories of others and use that as leverage to summon mass amounts of his own beings. In theory everything would balance out and the pact would not be broken. Since he did not own nor control the spirits entirely, they would not be considered his, and he figured he could use his beast master’s magic to force them onto others as secret companion entities.

Eventually he did manage to cultivate his exotic orchards, and sure enough spirits flocked like wildfire to the location. He then utilized his powerful magics to force them onto other’s land. As he did so his own leverage grew ever more, and his available summoning resources continued to grow. The pact forced everything to be equal, and oh would he make it so.

Eventually the time came where he had to summon his own beings in order to even things out in accordance with the oath. So he did just that. But he did not summon any normal forest being, no he summoned something far more sinister. No one had ever thought that someone would utilize the pact in such a way. But thus it did happen. Unzi chuckled deeply under his breath as his summoning went underway. “Yes, yes, yes!” He screamed out under his twisted magical movements.

Suddenly the sky turned black all around him, and his beast was finally brought to fruition. For Unzi now controlled one of the most powerful beings in existence.

“Thanks gramps.” Unzi laughed as he marveled in awe at the beast’s might. “I guess this oath was a good idea after all. No wonder everyone wanted it so badly!”

Unzi continued to laugh and laugh, until finally he could laugh no more. But then something happened. The beast slowly lifted its massive arm and struck Unzi in retaliation. For he had summoned a powerful entity that was far beyond his current level of mastery. Strike after strike was dealt to Unzi, he felt his ribs crack under the pressure, and he began coughing up blood. He beast’s eyes glared at him coolly, but with a mysteriously evil intent that sent waves of fear down Unzi’s spine.

An ancient pact maker abruptly appeared on the scene. In one fell swoop of her hand she dissipated the summoned beast. She then grabbed Unzi by the collar and healed his wounds with a swipe of her arm.

“My dear friend, why you have been up to no good haven’t you?” Blasted the women’s voice. “It is time to stop this foolishness, what in the world were you thinking you would do? Only the most experienced of summoners could ever dream of controlling such a beast. You will be tried upon the council for your actions against the peace of this land.” The lady then dropped Unzi to the ground and slowly walked away.

“Oh and the loop hole in the oath you thought you found. It is supposed to be there. We added it on purpose so that experienced summoners would be able to summon what they wished as long as they do not wreak havoc upon the land.” She paused for a second as Unzi stared in astonishment before she continued. “But it seems your goal was malicious in intent. Good day now. We’ll be seeing you in the council room.”

 

Thanks for reading! Sylvan Stories is a weekly series, be sure to check back in a week for the next addition. If you have any questions, comments of concerns feel free to leave them in the section below.

And as always, happy gaming!

 

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