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The Multiverse

Setting

A grove with a powerful presence about it. In the center a great gnarling tree rises. It seems to be not one tree, but many trees all wound and grown into each other. The grass here is soft, the ground healthy.
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Grove of Yggdrasill

A grove with a powerful presence about it. In the center a great gnarling tree rises. It seems to be not one tree, but many trees all wound and grown into each other. The grass here is soft, the ground healthy.

Minimap

Grove of Yggdrasill is a part of Viridescent Woodlands.

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David Baxter [3] "I believe in a non-aggression policy. So please, for my sake and yours, STEP OFF."

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Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: David Baxter
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#, as written by Sigurd
Arriving from the Great Ellarian Forest...

Lord Bruce of Essex, or what was formerly Essex in a past life, used his walking stick to clear the branches in his path as he led ahead of David Baxter, heading deeper into the forest. As he left the main portion of the Great Ellarian Forest and traveled through the Viridescent Woodlands, going deeper and deeper, the trees and bushes began to get clustered, being closer and closer together. The forest slowly became darker and darker, with more and more overgrowth and untouched wilds creating a dense canopy. The duo would find less rocks and gravel, less dirt beneath their feet as they traveled further in through the thick bushes and unkempt grasses, stepping over moss covered rotten logs and fallen trees where lichen and fungus grew wildly in different colors of orange, green, red, white, brown, black and yellow.

It didn't make sense at first why Bruce had chosen to go deeper into the forest rather than trying to flee away from it, with the Great Ellarian Forest now ablaze and burning like a wall of incinerating fire and flames behind them. It seemed that going into the Viridescent Woodlands was actually not a good idea, but a very bad idea, as the thick canopy was sure to create a trap from which Bruce and David could not escape. But the 70-year-old man with the long uncombed wildly frazzled white and grey hair just kept walking at a slightly hastened pace, neither running or jogging, nor even taking his time, but pacing rather quickly into the woods until finally, Bruce pushed through the network of vines, palm branches and broadly large leaves, entering the Grove of Yggdrasil, a place where the forest seemed to open up into a circle apart from the huge canopy overhead, which continued to linger and block the sun's view. The grass in the open grove was not only smaller but softer, and the soil itself appeared to be richer, blacker and more fertile than it had been before.

In the center of the grove, the ground seemed to raise up, producing a brownish green web of roots which formed a sort of small earth mound, on top of which stood a massive tree with roots and branches twisting and tangling up the side of it. The tree itself appeared to be not just one tree, but rather a network of trees all growing together as one. That one tree appeared taller, thicker and more robust than all the other trees in the forest around it, towering above Bruce and David as they entered the Grove of Yggdrasil, the place where Lord Bruce had spent many many years living in solitude as a hermit. Despite his past life, his hidden wealth and the legends or stories that surrounded him, the once awesome, strong and handsome warrior was now skinny and living humbly, not in a fine palace drinking expensive wines, but in the deepest depths of the forest, in a makeshift pup tent crafted from a torn ship sail and boat lines, living off of berries, nuts and wild mushrooms, drinking rainwater he had collected from the broad leaves in his campsite.

As he entered the majestic grove, which seemed to glow or sparkle with a sort of shining light that came not from the heavens above, but from the magical air itself surrounding the great tree, Bruce of Essex, or Bruce the Elder as he was now probably more fit to be called, set his walking stick down, standing it up against the massive tree before sitting on one of the giant roots that bowed out of the ground like a large wooden snake-like bench next to what appeared to be an open firepit he had once fashioned from a small circle of smooth river stones. The firepit wasn't burning, but the charcoal and ashes inside of it suggested that Bruce had used the shallow pit several times to lite his own fires. Next to the firepit was a makeshift clothesline which ran diagonally down from one of the branches all the way to his small tent post, next to which sat what appeared to be a knight's metal breastplate of some kind bearing the crest of a wolf with a long forked tongue. This breastplate of course was crafted near the River Thames in East Albion, and was not from the Ellarian continent at all, but from another parallel universe altogether. Next to the armor appeared to be a stack of leather bound books mostly pertaining to different languages. On top of the stack of books was what looked like some kind of rosary necklace with black and white beads.

David Baxter has arrived, coming from Weargtooth Mountains.

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Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: David Baxter
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David stops as the man starts to sit down, his rifle and pack over his shoulder. He checks the nozzle on his oxygen tank, checking the flow to make sure it's constant from him running, as it may have been jostled around. He notices, much to his surprise, that the tube connecting his mask to the maybe 14-pound tank had been severed, and he wasn't dead yet. He removes his mask from his face, showing a rather average composition, with brown hair and blue eyes. He slowly removes his pack, and smelling smoke, asks Lord Bruce, "Are you sure it's safe to stop here? There seems to be a fire, and I don't know about staying here." He calmly removes the carbine from his shoulder, takes out the magazine and puts it away, and then straps the carbine to the side of his backpack. "I may not know much about this place, but it seems like there's a lot of vegetation to burn." He finishes strapping it to the side of his backpack, and then looks questioningly at Lord Bruce. "And it's occurred to me that I haven't even asked for your name. I'm David."

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Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: David Baxter
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"Are you sure it's safe to stop here? There seems to be a fire, and I don't know about staying here.. I may not know much about this place, but it seems like there's a lot of vegetation to burn... And it's occurred to me that I haven't even asked for your name. I'm David." the young man said, looking at the old man questioningly.

"The ancient ones call this the Grove of Yggdrasil," Bruce the Elder said quietly. "It's magic will protect us... for now." he said lowly as he picked up a handful of ashes from the fire pit and began rubbing it on his skin to mask his scent. Suddenly he thought he heard a branch break in the dense forest, and quickly grabbed his walking stick, pointing it at the trees while looking up.

"Wait, listen... you hear that?" Lord Bruce listened silently for a minute, looking at Baxter quietly and motioning for him to be still before gazing for what seemed like forever at the surrounding forest beyond the massive tree's great canopy. After a minute, Bruce relaxed and let his guard down again, spitting into the fire pit. " Ack! Must be the wind" Bruce said calmly.

There was a slight thwip, and as Lord Bruce placed his hand on the side of his neck to catch the mosquito that bit him, he felt a very thin needle-like dart with his fingers. He looked confused as he casually pulled out the relatively painless needle and looked at it before slumping over. Before he could even react, Bruce the Elder was passed out, or at the very least, temporarily paralyzed by whatever neurotoxin that the dart had been laced with.

Thwip! Thwip! Thwip! Thwip! Several more needles darted through the trees from a greater distance. Although they were stealthy, very quick and silent, being virtually invisible to the normal naked eye, David Baxter suddenly got the feeling that he was the one they were aiming at, as the small darts began whizzing past him from somewhere in the dense forest in front of him.