The Earthmother

The Earthmother is the Moonshae Isles itself, a creature of limitless power and incredible size that was shattered into many pieces by the misguided actions of the “enlightened” elves of ages past.

The Earthmother exists in a state of perpetual slumber, attempting to repair the catastrophic damage visited upon her. She rouses (if it can be called that) only when the vermin that crawl upon her surface inflict yet more damage upon her fragile body, quickly destroying the humanoid infestation before returning to her eternal stupor.

The Earthmother is assisted by powerful servitors known as the “Children”, who help remove the humanoids and any threat to her person.

The elves worshipped the Earthmother as a goddess, and did their best to limit the damage they inflicted, helping life to grow and the Earthmother to heal. The humans revere the Earthmother as a force of nature and seek to preserve the Balance, assisted (or so they believe) by the Children and the Moonwells.

There are few alive today who realise that the Earthmother is dying, slowly being drained of life by those who seek to protect the Moonshae Isles (few have noticed the sinking islands over the millennia), and if the Earthmother were to wake one final time, it would probably be to perform one last final act of destruction in vengeance for an eternity of pain and suffering visited upon her by the humanoids.

Mythology

The elves inherited knowledge of the Earthmother from their enigmatic allies the LeShay. The elves’ imperfect understanding of these fey creatures and the powers involved led them to form a belief that the Earthmother was a goddess akin to the likes of Corellon Larethian and the other members of the Seldarine.

The elves formulated the idea that the Earthmother represented the Moonshae Isles and that they should take care to limit the effects that humanoids have upon the natural world of the islands. To help preserve the balance of nature and honour the Earthmother, the elves could call upon the power of the Children and the magic of the Moonwells.

The humans further corrupted the beliefs of the Earthmother and revere her only as an elemental force of nature that needed to remain in balance in order to continue to provide the magical and mystical qualities inherent in the Moonshae Isles. The druids of the Moonshaes are the guardians of the Balance and they believe that things become out of Balance then the Earthmother will perish. They believe that the Children are the servants of the Earthmother and will obey the commands of her guardians, the Moonwells are also manifestations of her power and exist to help the druids in their duties.

History

The Earthmother is akin to the likes of Maztica, Bhalla, and Othea; living landmasses linked to the very planet itself and able to spawn creatures of immense power in an effort to seed the surface of Toril with life.

Over the ages her kin have all vanished and only the Earthmother remains, but even she is facing death and the extinction of her “race” thanks to the actions of the elves in the far distant past.

The Earthmother spawned a variety of creatures that beget lesser versions to populate her surface with bears, wolves, stags, boars, and other wondrous creatures. Certain special creatures; known as the Children, were spawned to protect her from unnatural beings (humanoids) that arrived and despoiled her form.

The first of the Children to appear was the titanic creature known only as Leviathan; a great whale, followed by Kamerynn the unicorn, Darvyr the bear, the Shadowhunt, and Swyllai the eater of magic to name but a few. These Children appeared in response to threats from specific races or activities; for example Leviathan was spawned in response to the threat from the batrachi, Kamerynn was spawned in response to the LeShay, while Darvyr appears to be a counter to warfare and Swyllai was created to protect the Earthmother from magic.

These Children are seen as largely benign by the humanoids of the Moonshae Isles; their anger is aroused by rampant growth and destruction of nature (and therefore the Earthmother), but otherwise they are content to live in peace in the secret places of the islands. There is however one of the Children (although not recognised by humanoids as such) who is wholly bent upon the destruction of all humanoid life.

In -17600 DR the elves worked a great magic that spread backwards and forwards in time to create a homeland for themselves, in so doing they sundered apart the “one land” known as Faerun and split it into many large continents with Evermeet sat between them, wiping out several civilisations and empires that occupied the lands and seas now split by the Sundering.

The Moonshae Isles and the Earthmother were broken into many pieces and scattered across the Trackless Sea by the Sundering, one of the Children formed to counter the Sarrukh was savagely injured by the magic that spread back to the time of his formation, and he was trapped deep within the core of the Isle of Oman.

Tortured for millennia by his own pain and imprisonment, as well as the pain the Earthmother experienced (through an empathic link all the Children share), this being has become almost insane in his dedication to destroy the humanoids infesting the Moonshae Isles to allow the Earthmother to heal and hopefully himself.

The Earthmother meanwhile is in a state of constant repair, attempting to draw the islands back into a single whole, while the magic of the LeShay stop this from happening and the humanoids constantly damage the islands by chopping down trees, gouging rock from the earth, and spoiling the rivers and lakes.

The actions of the druids and elves in using the Moonwells to boost their own abilities (in an attempt to preserve nature and the Balance) are further draining the Earthmother of energy, life, and magic, and tipping the balance of damage and repair towards her demise.

Within the past few millennia several of the smaller islets around the Moonshae Isles have collapsed into the waters, unconnected by the short-lived humanoids to their own use of the Earthmother’s power. Eventually the Earthmother will rouse for one final act of vengeance and animate the very islands against their inhabitants. The elves have have in the past encountered these living islands and named them Ityak Ortheel, not truly understanding their purpose or origin, and believing them sent by the enemies of the Seldarine.

Allies

There are few who understand the nature of the Moonshae Isles and the Earthmother. Both the elves and the druids profess to be servants of the Earthmother, attempting to assist her by preserving the balance of nature. In performing their “duty” the elves and druids unknowingly make themselves enemies of the Earthmother and the target of her Children by using ancient magics they do not understand that weaken the Earthmother.

The Earthmother’s true allies are her Children and the LeShay. Although the LeShay created the magic that now weakens the Earthmother, they did so to contain Kazgoroth and prevent his genocidal rage from destroying all humanoid life (including their own). It was never intended that the caretakers of the Moonwells would use that power to augment their own in a misguided attempt to preserve the Balance.

Many of the LeShay seek to return to the Material Plane; for they are trapped on the Faeree Plane, and attempt to undo the damage they have caused to the Earthmother and their own homeland.

Amarok the Dire Wolf: The Pack is among the most infamous of the Earthmorther’s Children; known to scour entire settlements clean of life. The first pack was led by an enormous brown wolf known as Amarok, every so often another of his likeness will appear among a wolf pack as if from nowhere and unite all the wolves on the island into The Pack once more.

Ceirmac the Stone Stag: The great skeletal stag of the Moonshae Isles is one of the lesser known of the Earthmother’s Children, for it is rarely seen in the isles except when the humanoid population grows out of control. Ceirmac leads the Shadowhunt and charms onlookers into joining the Dance of the Shadowhunt whereupon they vanish into the forest.

Hubwyth: The magic eater is a recent addition to the Earthmother’s Children, although only the wisest of sages (Flamsterd included) understand this creature’s true nature and relation to the Earthmother. Created in response to the ffolk’s growing reliance upon magic, Hubwyth actively seeks out and devours magical energies.

Appearing as an opalescent mist, Hubwyth turns a blood red after gorging upon a meal of magical energy. He is able to manifest misty hands, eyes, and mouths in order to manifest those spells he has absorbed. Hubwyth is immune to all magic, absorbing anything magical used against him, physical attacks have little effect against his insubstantial form unless he has recently consumed magic, however, he is very vulnerable to salt.

Kamerynn: Kamerynn the Unicorn is a known elf-friend, having lived among the elves on every island of the Moonshae Isles, and now resides in the Vale of the Synnoria with the llewyrr. Kamerynn is a foil to the LeShay, and spends his time among their closest relatives – the elves – who are equally vulnerable to his powers. Kamerynn’s magic enchants those nearby, isolating them from the rest of the world, making them vulnerable to sudden pressures.

Enemies

To the Earthmother, humanoids are nothing more than vermin, lice that infest her body and drain her of energy. The Children are her body’s way of removing that infestation like antibodies attacking bacteria and viruses.

If the Earthmother were whole and undamaged, it is likely she would not notice the activities of the humans, dwarves, and elves, who thus far have been very controlled in how they utilise the natural resources of the Moonshae Isles. 

In her severely injured state the Earthmother’s body is reacting to ever smaller infestations that grow out of control. As it approaches a critical point, all her Children may be mobilised to remove the infection that plagues her, and should that fail then the Earthmother may awake and attempt to personally devour her attackers.

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