At first, I thought my writing project was about a halfling. A brilliant and talented wizard, rejected from the "civilized" world of the South.
He loved the remote forests of the North, but became driven to control the world. Power to him wasn't built but taken and consolidated. Disappearances, deceit, and his escalating threat from the shadows demanded a response.
A unique and scrappy council was ready to stand against him. They were in fact a retired group of adventurers who had lost their epic battle in the South and retreated to the Anhult Wildlands. The beauty of the space inspired them to build a new inclusive community. Even with their best effort, some of the place they left slipped in. Plus now, the threat from the shadows loomed.
As I started writing, I got to know the people and places in my world. Unexpected events happened, more heroes appeared, and whenever I focused into any corner of the world interconnected details emerged. It was surprising and magical. I found myself drawn into the forest as much as the characters were.
Exploring the Wildlands
Through that process, I met Lavani. She needed to heal. Her backstory had sadness; it was difficult. Still, she fullfilled her part in the play. Her story was complete in a few scenes, or so I thought. A simple wooden door opened. I watched as she chose to walk through, escape her fate, and become something more.
Counter to the halfling, what drove her was not a need to control, but to love. The challenges she faced, the choice she made, and what she reached for were what I really wanted to write about. That theme repeats in the council and other characters as well - many of whom are drawn to Lavani. Several of my short stories and poetry included snapshots of her interactions with the world. Other stories share the journeys of other characters, inspired to fight for their home.
Walking through the forest you can't help but uncover a place of magic, mystery, and wonder. However, this special place is not immune from danger. Darkness hovers at the edge of your vision. It would like to get in. I invite you to read along, play along, and to protect this place.
In a moment where greed, corruption, deceit, and lack of values define the leaders of our day, I hope to make a brighter world to imagine how people and places could work together to overcome the darkness. Where community heals and is the place worth fighting for.
Read about people & places
Play 5e in the Wildlands