Xorgana the Unicorn

Xorgana the Unicorn is the chosen guardian of the Grimly Wood. Among the Faerie folk, her title bestowed is Warden of the Wood, and she commands great respect. Xorgana’s ascendance to this role, however, is a harrowing story of mysticism and wonder, recorded only by birdsongs and cricket symphonies. For average folk, or even Faerie folk for that matter, the tale of Xorgana is a loose fable and campfire tradition that begins at the Gates of Thalatos, beyond the western seas and the forgotten stairs of Therafin.

The legend of Thalatos is an old one. Many eons ago, it is said a star plummeted from the heavens and split the mountain of Thalatos in two, carving a tremendous valley at the western edge of an island called Therafin–a valley called the Gates of Thalatos. On the western side of the valley lies the home of all unicorns, and to the east the world of Eem.

The gates were beautiful, a natural wonder of ancient stone, torn earth, reaching trees, blooming flowers, and glittering star dust. But a powerful spell from the sky hangs over the gates like a great and angry cloud. For though Thalatos is beautiful, it is deadly–for no creature could pass into the valley lest their spirits were pure and their hearts devoted to preserving the natural world.

So came Xorgana, born of a unicorn warrior tribe and one of several mystic ponies, chosen amongst the herd to venture into the world wide and claim their mighty birthrights as Defenders of the Sprouting Seed and Wardens of the Wood.

The first unicorn to pass into the gates was Kreldar the Ironhoof with his fiery stamp. Proud, bold, true were his thoughts as he traversed into the valley ever-green. Kreldar came to a trickling rill, lush with lily pads and rife with fish, and passed through it without a thought. Then suddenly, a crack and whistle and burning light! Kreldar was struck by a meteor, pulled from the sky by the trial of deadly Thalatos. Kreldar the Ironhoof was pulverized.

The second unicorn was Shara the Nimbletail, lithe as a leaf on the wind. Cunning, she pranced to the rill’s edge and leapt over it and the fish smiled as she did. Shara then ventured further into Thalatos, flowers bursting from hanging vines as she passed under a stony outcrop which lead to the tallest peak of Thalatos, whereon she beheld the world beyond the valley, the harrowing prize. But the outcrop darkened and venomous glowworms blinked in the dark as they descended upon her, hungry and terrible. Shara the Nimble suffered their bites and turned instantly to dust.

Last came Xorgana who thanked the fish for their smiles and passed into the darkened outcrop wherein the hungry glow worms cleaned their gooey mandibles. Xorgana plucked the hanging flowers and gifted them to the glow worms, who gladly accepted. In their joy and relief, the glow worms spun a tremendous silk bridge that lead from the tallest peak, and to the edge of the deadly valley.

And so Xorgana passed through the Gates of Thalatos and came at last to the world of Eem. There she encountered many dangers. Glory and legend were heaped upon her name, until she came at last to a grim forest, where she is now the stalwart ward.

Wally Purvis Dunkwhiffle

Wally Purvis Dunkwhiffle was born a dwarf. Not a Dweorg. He is a man who is a dwarf. Call him a Dweorg and risk the consequences. Swarthy, sullen-eyed, with forearms like a bear, Wally is the founder of Wally’s Waffles and Weorgs, the famed restaurant built in the Used T’be Forest with the stolen treasure hoard of Ulfrex the Cruel, Lord Marshal of Maax and Champion of the Second Order of the Iron Sun.

How all that came to pass is another tale entirely, but suffice it to say that Wally spent his younger days on the high seas as Wallace the Freebooter King of the Panthynor Straights. When he finally settled down, Wally embarked on a dream. A dream of piping hot waffles, ice cold grog, and freshly sliced substitute Weorg meat (he tried early on to raise Weorgs for meat, but it’s a hell of a thing to do, as you can imagine).

For nigh on thirty years, along with his wife Loretta and son Wally Jr., Wally has fished his own beard from the gravy bar and unplugged the syrup dispenser nozzles in the name of home-style cooking and entrepreneurship. But every so often, when the night’s sky is red as blood, he looks out over the Muckland’s felled trees and sinkholes, his steely gaze reaching as far as the western waters. In those moments he remembers his youth. Remembers his ship, his crew, and the dizzying perils of the high and treacherous seas.

The Junk Monger

If you ask him his name he will simply disregard the question as if you never asked it, and proceed to sell you a used spatula. His breath smells of rank, aged Bogril cheese. He is known by sight only (his mountain of junk, so effortlessly stacked with reckless precision, is unmistakable) in over twelve different counties. They simply call him: The Junk Monger.

 Little is known about the fellow beyond what you see in front of you. His strange, unplaceable accent, his ramshackle clothing. But perhaps the key to understanding this odd Bogril lies in the conglomeration of odds and ends that sits atop his back. A fine rug of Shrym design, woven from the thread of glowworms, now soiled and wet and worn. A coat hanger, stolen from the wardrobe of a fabled Bogril prince. A weird ball of crystal, that if caressed with a specific succession of finger taps, would scry the edge of the world. An old pot. A dirty old boot. What is that, a bear trap?

Actually, this really tells us nothing about the man. He is simply a hoarder of the highest degree, and a nomad. Don’t ask him for favors. Don’t ask him for help. The Junk Monger is a nigh elemental force, a living metaphor for the lost things in your life that will be gone from it as quickly as they arrived.