Far northwest of the hustle and bustle of the world of selfish men, politics and Gods lies The Olde Forest. Untouched, nay… undiscovered, by human hands for countless thousands of millennia, it spans a hundred continents; swallowing mountains, lakes, deserts and even artic bits. An untouched utopia for a million different plant types, a billion species of animals, and a trillion types of insect. It’s massive. Some say it is the last untamed place on the planet, but sadly as with all things, all things must come to an end…
In a meadow near the outskirts of the wood, butterflies play over gently billowing plants while birds cheep in the branches of green-leafed trees. A herd of deer-like creatures gamble and fish jump playfully out of the crystal clear pond. A young deerling raises its head from the water and spots a new creature coming out of the trees to the southeast. It is like a deer, but on its hind legs, and instead of lovely brown fur it’s got slightly olive skin and a short dark beard. Its shirt is open and you can see a hairy chest with a gold medallion nestled in there. “Great! A new species of animal to play with!” it thinks in its rudimentary deer-language, and gambles over to the other side of the meadow where the three men are. “Be careful son!” his mother bleats, “we’ve never seen that species before! They might be trouble!“, but the young deer is out of earshot. It sees the foremost man bring a toy up and pull a string back “oh great a new toy!” it thinks. It is it’s last thought. It’s brains are splattered all over the lovely green of the plant as a rusty iron arrow flies through its skull, bursting it into a million pieces, spilling it’s contents, its arteries pumping gallon after gallon of deep red crimson. It goes all over the butterflies, who get bogged down in the think red viscous liquid and they fall struggling to the ground, their wings snapping under the weight, suffocating and entombed forever in the thick, rapidly drying blood. The deer mother cries out a heart-breaking bellow and the other deerling run back to her, but it is too late. This new creature with its infernal technology doesn’t need to run to catch it. Arrows fly. The mother gets punctured deep in both her eyes, exploding viscera all over her children. It vomits blood and brain matter all over the youngest, nary a week old, who chokes on its mothers burning stomach juices. The mother collapses on top of it, crushing the last of the life out of the youngling. The last thing she sees is deep into the eyes of her baby as it looks up, betrayed and uncomprehending as they both painfully die. The other two kids turn and flee, but both get arrows up their backsides, digging deep into their guts, piercing and ripping through organs. They escape, only to die in horrible agony days later as the acids from their digestive systems plus shit slowly eat away at their vital organs.
The meadow is silent again. The three men walk to the scene of devastation, laughing. “We’ll eat well tonight boys!” cries the leader, “Then we’ll get to work chopping down these trees, filling the river with earth to build buildings, and hunting more animals, all for short-term profit”. The explorers laugh and pat each other on the back. But as they look back to where the dead mother lays (still gushing blood into her childs open, dead mouth), there stands a man. He is old, ancient, and wearing only a fur loincloth. He has a long whispy beard and one of those haircuts where he’s bald on top but it’s long at the sides. He is dead sinewy and has a tight little six-pack. You’d think the three poachers would laugh, and cock their bows at this new stranger. But no, they know this man, called “Al Daiblo di Nature” in their tongue, the Nature Devil. They thought the man a myth, but they can see he is real. For he carries the mythical Lord Natures Ward.
Al Daiblo wasn’t always called that of course. He was born Thon, only son to a wealthy merchant, Lord Falsindon Rikmyth, a wealthy slave owner. When his young wife died in suddenly and tragically, the evil pompous fat lord abandoned his only son at the forests edge as a 4 month old, determined that he would live forever and never give up his land and title to his son. For days the poor infant lay bewildered in his swaddling nest, until one night a vision appeared in the sky. An old man, all serious but a bit camp. Lord Nature himself. “Awake thine child, become mine champion. Save mine Forest. Make thee a sword”. The baby didn’t understand a word of course, he was four months old. But somehow… he knew.
Al Daiblo spent his whole life creating this blade, and in a way it tells the story of his life- each component a new chapter:
The Crossguard (right): This was the head of the first creature he killed. The the last of it’s kind Gull of Mantiiis, a majestic creature that once ruled the air. The young boy stalked the bird for three days, finally tiring it out. It fell to the ground exhausted. He rung its neck until the head snapped off. With no servants to cook for him, he just left the rest of the corpse there to rot. “I have a lot to learn!” he thought to himself.
The Crossguard (left): The second part of the blade was attained when the lad was seven. Now a seasoned scavenger, young Thon had been living off the fruits and berries of the forest floor. However he realised he was a little deficient in iron, and remembered a travelling physician telling him in his grand hall that meat was a great source of the mysterious nutrient. The majestic highstag was the king of the high lands of the forest, and often he heard its ecstatic bellowing through the night as it took yet another mate. He would look up to a see the majestic beast whinnying in sillouhette against the background of one of Shagina’s moons as its partner was on all fours getting drilled. He finally bested the beast by tying down a sexy young female highstag (which he lured by rubbing stag hormone all over himself). As the beast approached in a state of arousal, he leapt from overhead and yanked off it’s antlers. The once proud beast, shorn of it’s weapons, was soon set upon by jealous woodland creatures and it died a bloody death. Poor Thon wasn’t able to get a bite of meat as all the wolves etc got their first.
The Blade: There was but one unicorn left in the world at this point. Thon was fourteen when he slayed it. This meeting was actually an accident- Thon was a teenager, suffering all the homonal angst teenagers face. He succumbed to self-relief on an almost hourly basis. Right after one bout, he looked up in post-defilement shame and saw that the unicorn had trotted aimlessly into the clearing. In a fit of embarrasment and shame he threw a rock at the proud beast and hit it squarely in the skull. Killing it instantly. He immeadiately felt a pang of regret as sense restored itself, but he took the Horn anyway.
The Handle: also from the unicorn.
And so with that, Lord Nature’s champion was born. A lifetime dedicated to saving the forest awaited him. And he had his work cut out! By kiling the three legendary creatures of the forest, he set off a chain reaction which abosultely fucked the ecosystem. He spent most of his life trying to irrigate dried up river beds and planting seedlings. In fact he never really used the sword and just left it in his treetop lair most of the time as it got in the way.
And whatever happened to Thon’s father you ask? Well, he still lives. In fact, the whole of the forest is within the grounds of his castle! (Told you he was rich!). He often looks out from his balcony at breakfast and spots his son, playing with his sword, swinging in the trees and mucking about with his pet animals. He has mellowed in his later years and is known to sigh wistfully and consider calling Thon in for his tea. But then he looks around at his massive house, big banquet always set out, and all his sexy servants, and sighs again. “maybe tomorrow” he sighs.
Maybe tomorrow, father.
(A little post script on the nature of Lord Nature. The more astute reader will probably notice that He’s basically exactly the same as our own Mother Earth except male. I accept that a major problem within contemporary fantasy is a lack of well written “strong female characters”. A proper dicussion on the matter is long overdue. Personally, I think it we writers stuggle with them because there are none really in real life that we can look to for inspiration. I’m not saying they don’t exist. I just literally cant think of any.)