The Dark Forest, Part One
March for Dopemystic is all about the brand new ongoing collection, The Dark Forest! Read on for a very special story to tie in the pieces of the collection!
The Dark Forest ©Dopemystic 2018
Many of us, when we are little, are told stories of tiny creatures and their radiant, fantastical world...from sentimental or cruel fae, to Brownies and siths both sweet and impish, for it is well known that the best stories contain a hint of the darker side of nature. And while these stories may make us tremble with fear in the night, covers thrown haphazardly over our heads as our breath comes out in shaky half-moans, and we're too scared to peek under the bed, or behind the closet door, or get a glass of water from the kitchen in the dark...while this all may be quite true...we cannot help but to feel that this magical realm, unseen to our mortal eyes, is compellingly beautiful in its twisted complexity and oddity. We are drawn to the stories of the fae and their world, perhaps much as they are drawn to us and ours. Or at least, this is what my mother tells me when we sit together in the garden, picking buttercups and stringing crowns of clover beneath an old oak tree. In fact, my mother has much to say about the fae and their world, which she calls "The Dark Forest."
Mother says The Dark Forest exists right in front of us, but our senses are too dulled to ever see it. When we step into a room, we enter unmarked trails within this realm. At the grocery store, as you're choosing which brand of canned soup to make for dinner, you could be standing right next to a troll or a sprite! The closest we ever get to experiencing the magic of this world is when we glimpse things like butterflies, fireflies, dragonflies...for Mother says they're all faeries caught between both realms, their magic slowly fading. These are the ones drawn like moths to our plane, in spite of the inevitable fate that awaits them here. But Mother says that when she was just a little girl like me, she stepped into The Dark Forest for what may have been only hours, but felt like years. And if you'll pinkie swear not to tell Mother- go ahead, stick out your pinky, and pinky swear to me- I'll tell you all about this magical world, and how you might just be able to someday see them too..
Did you pinky swear?
Alright then...I'll tell you first about the enchanted Crystal Tower, with its creeping black vines and Elegant Brodiaea sweeping its fields, the same black vines and dark flora that grace all of The Dark Forest. Mother insists that only the forest pixies know what lies within this crystal tower's halls, but she also says she was permitted to enter a single room...the dark ballroom, where a tiny, young elven princess dances with her lover endlessly. The princess wears a shimmering white gown and a crown upon her head fashioned with pink stones and black vines. Her lover is the dark wizard, a Druid who once tamed the forces of nature and healed all the fae, big and small, throughout the realm. He is a tall and magnificent creature, dressed in green speckled fabric that hangs to the floor as he twirls the tiny princess 'round and 'round and 'round...Because the Crystal Tower is hidden and locked up tight by a powerful spell cast by a majestic dragon, the wizard and his princess are imprisoned in its vibrant purple walls.
The Asrais are a frail female species who have taken over the realm. They look much like butterflies, but their wings are made of colored Jasper. It's because of this that Mother says she collects this stone, as it reminds her of their colorful wings brushing against her face while she traveled through The Dark Forest.
The only place The Dark Forest seems to be free of the Asrais is the bat cave, but please believe these bats are quite unlike any bats you or I have ever seen! They are small green-blue creatures with spiky wings, bright silver bodies, and glowing eyes. My Mother is indeed brave; were I given the chance to walk through this rocky dwelling, I dare say I would flee in terror rather than approach! Yet, Mother was rewarded for her bravery when the cave gave way to a pool of shimmering amethyst waters and twinkling lights- pixies at play! They were far too small to properly distinguish their features, but they glimmered and flitted about the amethyst pool like little flecks of opalescent glitter tossed into the air. Mother says there was an opening in the top of the cave that let her look up into the starry sky, and she says no sky has ever looked so beautiful as the sky in The Dark Forest, clear like glass with deep purple stars that seemed to pierce through the night.
Past the Pixie Playground, beyond the bat cave, is a dark cave filled with sharp daggers of multiplying Gypsum, with walls of reflective quartz and jagged black rock that Mother calls Tourmaline. She says this Tourmaline's energy seemed to penetrate her entire body, rejuvenating her completely. And walking, walking still, the cave gave way to the Dragon's Lair, a large calcite and quartz dwelling where she claims the dragon lay sleeping with only his one talon visible from the Lair's walls, clutching a giant prismatic crystal ball. Mother tells me that one day, the spell on the Crystal Tower will be lifted by someone who can steal this crystal ball from the mighty beast and the Druid Wizard will return, and when this day comes, the fierce dragon sleeping within the Lair will rise to fight an epic duel to the death with the mage.
But the most captivating of all her stories of The Dark Forest are her stories of its large moon, Mani, the brother of the Sun. He rests upon a celestial blue cloud, surrounded by crystal points that are used by the fae to send him their prayers and dreams. Beneath his beams, the fae dance and the elves sing their musical offerings to the Divine.
Hope you all enjoyed! And stay tuned!