There are many pockets of nature in the world that still remain untouched after the calamity. Though humans have attempted to retake the world, those of the Eagle Empire being a shining example, much of the world finds itself reset into a state of calm neutrality. One such place could once be found in the eastern part of the world, past a desert known as the Sarasa and shielded by a mountain range called Silver Pass. There was a time not too long ago when many beings of magic made the trek through the desert to reach this land and immerse themselves in its peacefulness. This place, defined by its vast and lush forests, is what we now know as Moonveil.
Back then, before Moonveil became a place of refuge for the magic-afflicted, it would have been arbitrary to separate the land from its wilderness. Even after the first wave of magic society found themselves drawn to the land, they respected their new home and did their best to not disturb its order. Things only began to change once Dracula came and his spiteful magic cursed the soil around his moving castle. Now, those who make the journey through Silver Pass are greeted to rotting soil which is guarded by enslaved corpses.
Moonveil’s wilderness only shrunk further once the Fourshire settlers came. Knights and Templars banded together in a mass slaughter and deforestation effort so as to make way for the new kingdom. Any life, afflicted by magic or otherwise, was pushed further inland as the humans asserted themselves. The first docking was by far the most bloody but that doesn’t mean the Templars have stopped. To this day, they continue to push out and kill any life they believe has been touched by magic.
The Moonveil Wilds refers to what’s left of the original nature which defined these lands. The stretch of land between Dracula’s territory and Fourshire’s border, covered by a looming shadow of war. Yet, despite how the land has been slighted, it remains a virtuous place of life for those who know how to avoid the perils.
There is no single culture which defines those who live in the wilds. Upon coming to Moonveil, the scattered tribes of magic society all found their own ways to live off of the land. Moonveil suffers no shortage of resources and the earth is exceptionally fertile, which is thought to be an effect of the magic in the soil. Access to water isn’t limited either thanks to the expansive river which runs through the region. Due to these factors, the various clans have never really had any reason to come into conflict with each other.
Yet, this does not mean the tribes have faced no resistance over the years. While a majority of monsters had been slaughtered thanks to the crusades, there were still survivors who managed to make the trip to Moonveil. These monsters do not discriminate between magic society and humans, intent only on establishing themselves as top of the natural hierarchy. Their presence has made life in Moonveil far more dangerous for any who tried to settle and the tribes have to determine ways of dealing with them if they want to survive.
There is one place in Moonveil where this is an exception. A gargantuan tree known to the tribes as the ‘tree of life’ which is popularly theorized to be the land’s source of magic. This tree is also well-known for regrowing its fruits at an extraordinary rate, defining it as an endless food source. Monsters have been noted to be more passive around the tree, to the point where they can be safely approached. This calming effect extends to any who come within the tree’s proximity, though that has not stopped some from claiming the tree for themselves.
The safety the tree offers in pacifying the monsters, as well as its endless supply of fruit and a position near one of the river’s tributaries, has made it the primary source of conflict between the tribes. With Lumine Haven being the obvious exception, the clans in Moonveil tend to keep separate so as to continue their unique ways of living. However, many of them want the safety the tree provides, leading to conflicts between previous tribes who have settled and invaders. While many clans in Moonveil refuse to engage in conflict, this greedy handful has made the area around the tree of life regrettably dangerous to tread.
This danger is only heightened by the fact that lesser nature spirits have been born through these conflicts between tribes. These Fae have spread all around Moonveil, making trips throughout the forests even more dangerous for the underprepared. Between monsters and Fae, even tribes who would otherwise band and work together are unable to safely interact. These factors are what kept the clans separate before the founding of Lumine.
Rio de Mia
Like Amaterasu, Rio de Mia is a greater nature spirit who presides over the lands of Moonveil. Specifically, she is bound to the vast river of the same name which stretches and splits all throughout the region. Her role is to ensure that the river remains as a pure, safe water source for the residents of the land to drawn from. She exists to protect life and loves life to her core, though her personality doesn’t often reflect that fact.
Mia was originally born from the thankfulness and relief of the magic society clans who were drawn to Moonveil. The ones who avoided the crusades and made the trek through the Sarasa to be rewarded with a safe and bountiful home. Much of this positive energy was drawn into the river as desert-dried bodies were hydrated by the sparkling stream. Mia manifested in response to this, at first as a positive and outgoing figure. She would protect the tribes from monsters and help new settlers as they found their bearings, quickly becoming a revered figure with several shrines dedicated to her.
Nowadays, Mia is far more recluse and aggressive towards those she comes across. This change in her personality came about for several reasons, with Dracula’s appearance and the tribal conflict for the tree of life paving the way. The true turning point, however, was the slaughter caused by the initial wave of Fourshire settlers. This disrespectful, seemingly pointless disregard for life was unlike anything Mia had ever experienced before. She was torn, she wanted to protect the residents of Moonveil but could not bring herself to take away the lives possessed by the humans of Fourshire. In the end, she chose to allow these settlers to draw from her river, though the Djinn who presides over the land had a different plan.
This Djinn attacked the settlers and nearly brought them to complete ruin before he was restrained by others of his kin. Mia scolded the Djinn for his foolish actions in an attempt to separate herself from the thoughts of her doing the exact same thing. She wanted to hold on to her love for all life but it was all thrown into question and she wasn’t certain if she could even trust her most core feelings any more. It tore her up inside, so she started to push people away. It is now difficult to engage with the spirit of Rio de Mia, however those who show her kindness may get a glimpse of the gentle spirit she was born to be.
Thanks to the hold Dracula has over the territory around Silver Pass, it has become nearly impossible for travellers to enter Moonveil in the most conventional way. Those who do are likely to be attacked by undead and, if they survive that, they have to hope they aren’t bleeding enough to attract the hungry monsters of the forest. The perils that journeyfolk face are numerous, though one figure has appeared to aid such people. Known by the people of Lumine Haven as simply ‘the guardian’, this individual keeps those in the wilds safe from things like monsters and Fae.
Though the tribes have become quite used to their lives in Moonveil, it still isn’t uncommon for children or perhaps an unprepared adult to get lost in the forests. Even for one who is prepared, becoming lost in the wilderness of Moonveil is a good way to get killed. The guardian takes it upon himself to guide these wayward wanderers back to their homes before they find themselves in the jaws of an opportunistic beast. He has also been known to risk entering Dracula’s territory so as to aid any who are trying to come through Silver Pass.
More recently, the guardian has taken to hanging around near Lumine Haven more often. The founding of the Haven has sparked an influx of people, both from Fourshire and the tribes, risking the wilds to see this progressive settlement. Often these individuals aren’t ready for the journeys on which they partake, a fact which is especially prevalent with regards to the humans of Fourshire. The guardian ensures that they actually reach their destination and have a chance to see the Haven while they still breath.
Born from the negativity of the tribes who shed each other’s blood over the tree of life and further fuelled by the tensions between Fourshire and Dracula, the Fae are agents of chaos who have the singular aim of tricking unaware travellers. These Fae take pleasure in the harming of others, though it’s hardly interesting for them to do this directly. Instead of using raw power like the mindless monsters around them, the Fae use their intelligent to manipulate the naive into undoing themselves. A slow descent to madness serves as a much better show than a straightforward slashing.
The Fae don’t care who their victims are, whether they be children or uninitiated humans is of no concern to them. They believe that any successful trickery is a sign of their superior intelligence. While they are certainly very narcissistic, it is generally an unwise idea to try engaging a Fae in a battle of wits. They aren’t all talk, it’s much more effective to ward them away with man-made metals. Such materials are anathema to the Fae and even burn them upon touch. Silver has been proven to be very effective against the Fae in Moonveil, though most man-made metals will have some level of effet.
The Lamia Tribe
The Lamias are the tribe who currently have dominion over the area around the tree of life. They have humanoid torsos and serpentine lower-halves and, due to this unique physiology, the Lamia are unable to conventionally breed. Instead, they have the unique ability to force their particular mutation upon humans and other magic society tribes. Lamia are known to steal the newborns of other tribes so as to turn the children into Lamias and raise them as such.
Their physiology also allows them to live on the tree’s branches without much issue, whereas many of the previous dominant tribes only lived at the base. This allows them to more easily harvest the tree’s fruits and gives them a dominant position over any would-be invaders. Though their military strength may not match up to other tribes in a direct conflict, this factor alone is enough for them to maintain their position well.
The Kitsune Tribe
A particularly powerful clan who uses their exceptional magical abilities to stay hidden from the world around them. The Kitsune tribe is mythical in nature, only told of in stories regarding a great battle that one of them supposedly partook in. This battle saw one of Dracula’s powerful commanders defeated by a member of the Kitsune tribe, an event which incited hope in those who attempt to resist the Vampire’s influence. Whether the tale is believed true or not, it continues to be told as a means of raising morale within the rebellious tribes.
This battle was no mere story, however. The current elder of the Kitsune village did indeed do battle with one of Dracula’s commanders and, against the odds, achieved an underdog victory. This speaks to the potential of the Kitsune, who have otherwise used their magic to keep themselves hidden since the earliest days. At first it was simply to avoid dealing with monsters, now their veil is a shelter from the influence of Dracula and the oncoming war against Fourshire.
Though the Kitsune have done their best to avoid detection from the world around them, they aren’t as xenophobic as one might imagine. Their first response to someone finding them is not aggression but rather an offer. The Kitsune have no issue in allowing those with the potential to see past the veil into their village. They offer protection to these people, though surprisingly not many find themselves staying in the village for too long. Not due to any hostility but rather because of how small it feels. The younger Kitsune have felt this claustrophobia as well and have been more prone to disguising themselves and branching out, away from the village’s traditions.
A Drider who lives in an isolated home deep in the wilds. Mimi is a retired adventurer turned freelance writer and stocks a newspaper stand in Lumine Haven. Back in her glory days, she and her party of pals journeyed the lands and solved various incidents caused by the residual effects of magic after the calamity. They also harassed the Templars countless times during the crusades, drawing attention to themselves to give other magic folks the chance to hide or escape. This party gained more than a few treasures for their troubles. A writer at heart, Mimi recorded everything about these adventures in a book she titled Prognosticus.
Nowadays, she puts her calligraphy to use by writing articles which range from special reports on major events to scenic descriptions of locations throughout the land to gossip about the personal lives and relationships of the forest dwellers. To get the juiciest stories, she also goes to great lengths to circulate rumors and pry into people’s business.
While the public don’t know anything about her adventuring life, it’s understood that she’s a huge advocate for Lumine Haven. She’s very bitter towards those who look down on the Haven and just boastful people in general. Though she cannot enter Fourshire, she has on many occasion attempted to get copies of her newspaper into the settlement as a form of propaganda. Mimi is very possibly the single most knowledgeable person one could find in the wilds, though don’t expect her to let you be the one asking questions.