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Jessica's 'The Tolthian Creature Tales: Book One' - Posted Wednesday, 2nd November 2011 by Laura

The Tolthian Creature Tales Book One:
A World Divided


Prologue


The world of Tolth was first inhabited by Norns hundreds of years ago. History has been erased by time, and it is unknown how the creatures traveled from their original world of Albia. The species has evolved throughout the ages, allowing intelligence and longevity to flourish in the current population. With their newly awakened knowledge, the Norns built and created nearly everything that appeared in their minds. Tolth retained its natural environment, while the Norns found ways to integrate their society. Rather than clearing away vast areas, homes and cities were constructed vertically among the trees and hills. In many ways, Tolth somewhat resembles the long lost Albia and the forgotten Shee.

Naturally, a higher intelligence also divided the Norns on many fronts. Tolth was not a small planet, yet it took very little time before borders were formed and lands snatched up. In the end, the world was split into four distinctive regions controlled by unique Norn subsets.

The eastern lands are home to the vast mountains and hills of Tolth: Legend has it that it is virtually impossible to find a flat piece of ground larger than a footprint. Its towering vistas and peaks bring piercing winds and unsettling weather. Although it is not a particularly hospitable region for Norns, the topography makes an ideal defensive location for homes carved into the cliffs and hills. The creatures that now inhabit this region are known as the Klemm Norns. They are renowned for their long, insulated hair and sheer climbing strength: A Klemm Norn can reach the summit of Tolth's highest peak in half a day without much effort. This group is not territorial, as they prefer to show off their impressive dwellings and skills to the occasional traveler. Any enemy would soon perish in the unforgiving storms.

Just to the west of the Klemm Norn border, marked by a small mountain range, lies the beginning of the Tolth forest. This massive region covers nearly half of the world with trees that sometimes touch the clouds. The leafy treetops soar to the heavens above, yet the ground is always shrouded in a spooky, foggy darkness. Aside from the nearly uninhabitable ground, the forest appears to be the most desirable location with its abundant food sources and temperate climate. That is, until one is attacked by the native Norns. These vicious creatures are the Lacc-Gool Norns: They attack any non-native Norn who might be foolish enough to venture into the forest. It is nearly impossible to spot one: The Lacc-Gool Norn is naturally camouflaged and a master of stealth. Their homes are built in the treetops, with rope ladders and bridges connecting all. The culture is mostly a mystery to outsiders, owing to the Lacc-Gool Norn's intolerance of every outsider. Some believe the forest to be safe, yet none have ever returned home.

Beyond the forest of Tolth are the flatlands and rolling plains. Outcroppings of trees create necessary landmarks, for the tall grasses can disorient even the most skilled travelers. Where the grass is not so wild, one can glimpse the farming communities of the Sedranna Norns. They are of the working class, with an obsessive attachment to farming. It has paid off well, for their stockpiles are always high and their determination ensures that each year will be a fruitful one. Sedranna Norns are highly sociable among their own kind. The Tolth forest creates a natural barrier with the eastern part of the world, and the plains abruptly meet the ocean over the endless bluffs to the west. In many ways, these creatures have been isolated from the rest of the Norns for nearly one hundred years. However, this has merely strengthened their closeness with each other and allowed them to perfect their farming techniques. Still, a small group of Sedranna Norns often heads off into the forest every so often in the hopes of creating a route to the eastern lands of Tolth. None has succeeded thus far.

The final region of Tolth lies off the shores of the mountains in the east and the plains in the west. Across the water, a small desert island can be spotted every now and then on the clearest of days. The Norns on the mainland know of a strange species called the Imritios Norns. These creatures trace their roots back to the original Norns on Tolth, and stories tell of their mystical powers. The island is nothing more than a desert with several palm trees, and the sun beats down upon the sand in blistering waves. It is a mystery how a Norn could withstand the harsh conditions. No Norn has ever ventured across, as most have a natural aversion to water. The Imritios Norns of the island often go unnoticed or ignored for generations.

It is with this final subset of Norns that the power of peace resides. In the midst of every major conflict, a group of the Imritios Norns has appeared to restore order. Even the aggressive Lacc-Gool Norns find no cause to harm them, for reasons unknown. It is simply the custom of Tolth, although there is clearly something else at work than mere compromise. The last border war took place scant years ago, and the Imritios Norns restored order in the usual fashion.

Yet tension has risen between the Lacc-Gool and Sedranna Norns, with deaths beginning to occur on an almost daily basis. The Imritios Norns have not appeared, and many feel that something is terribly wrong. Death is something that all Norns are accustomed to, but the number of deaths should have ushered in their saviors long ago. Some Sedranna Norns have become desperate: Large groups have attempted to make contact with the Klemm Norns of the east, but to no avail. Some have proposed a voyage to the island of the Imritios Norns, yet there is no hope of reaching the water from the precarious bluffs.

Although the greatest danger is for the Sedranna Norns, the Lacc-Gool Norns have also been losing ground in parts of the forest. There appears to be no end to the conflict, and the anger continues to spiral out of control. The once peaceful farmers of the plains have traded their shovels for spears. Tolth itself has suffered, with downed trees and ravaged fields. Amongst the chaos, the Sedranna Norn leaders must devise a plan to settle this dispute, or discover what has happened to the Imritios Norns. The future of every Norn is in grave peril.

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