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Lurking in the strange, Black Forest that circles the entire perimeter of the Obsidian Grove live the Guardians. Coming in many peculiar shapes and sizes, it is rumored that they are conscious embodiments of nature itself. Aside from this, very little is known about these mysterious, ancient beings, as it is impossible for anyone to enter the Black Forest without having their grip on reality start to slip away from them. Those who have managed to make brief contact leave with the impression that the Guardians aren’t keen on having anyone wander into their territory, but at least they are usually kind enough to send the poor souls back alive, even if their minds may never be the same again.

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Though all guardians are unique, there are certain traits that apply to the majority of guardians and define the type of experience one has with them:











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Amsu, the Warden

Along the edges of the Obsidian Grove grows the impenetrable Black Forest - an endless expanse of dark, twisting trees that few dare to even set foot in. For if you do, something inexplicable takes hold in your mind, eroding your grip on reality. Still, some try to find a way inside, chasing rumours of secret corridors where this force has less power. It is in one of these weakened pathways that Amsu stands guard. His towering, foreboding presence and piercing gaze are usually enough to send even the most dauntless adventurers back from whence they came. But if that is not enough to deter them, he often leaves it to his brother, Bahmit, to deal with. For if Amsu should ever feel the need to move from his post, he will make sure the interloper realizes that the risks of satisfying their curiosity far outweigh the rewards.


Bahmit, the Shepherd

Along the edges of the Obsidian Grove grows the impenetrable Black Forest - an endless expanse of dark, twisting trees that few dare to even set foot in. For if you do, something inexplicable takes hold in your mind, eroding your grip on reality. Still, some try to find a way inside, chasing rumours of secret corridors where this force has less power. It is in one of those weakened pathways that Bahmit patrols. Nimbly he navigates the gnarled trees searching for those who foolishly enter his territory, his massive frame never hindering his frightening speed. Though most flee at the sight of his brother, Amsu, some find the nerve to sneak past him. It is those that Bahmit takes great delight in chasing down and putting the fear of the Forest into them.


Helioz, the Undying Blade

Roaming along the edges of the Black Forest is a colossal figure of twisted bones, adorned in withered armor that has seen both battle and the passage of time. Helioz, the Undying Blade, was rumoured to have once been a human warrior of magnificent skill and a will so strong that he was able travel deeper into the Black Forest than any ordinary creature had gone before. Though his mind and body eventually succumbed to the Forest's strange magic, his fighting spirit was never defeated. Driven by this lone instinct, Helioz returned to the edge of the Forest and looks into the Grove, waiting for worthy opponents to accept his silent challenge. None have yet managed to free Helioz from his mortal coil, but he honours the best, subsuming their body and soul and carrying them onto the next battle.


Molai, the Fungal Shield

It is said that the Obsidian Grove has a distinct pulse; a unique, organic rhythm only felt and understood by nature itself. This harmonious song remained unchanged for thousands of years, but then the soft rumblings of a discordant sound began to play, indicating a subtle shift in this delicate balance. At first, nothing was done. Nature usually has a way of self-correcting disharmony. However, this dark, alien melody continued to grow, becoming too loud to simply ignore. And so, the Black Forest responded. Its answer was Molai, the Fungal Shield. A champion forged by the will of the Forest and given a form more akin to man than any other Guardian before him. His purpose was simple - investigate, and if necessary, exterminate the foreign threat. With his commands set he left his birthplace, embarking on a mission that few would ever know was happening, but would leave a lasting impact on every single creature of the Grove should he fail.


Ysala, Queen of the Hunt

Like an island in the sea, the Obsidian Grove is surrounded by the strange and mysterious Black Forest. Two distinct environments whose harmony is only preserved through careful separation. Assisting the Guardians in this cause is Ysala - a very special Elderbeast who boasts a sentience beyond mere animalistic cunning. Tasked with keeping her brethren within the Black Forest, she tirelessly patrols the edges of the Grove with her three skeletal wolves, using whatever means necessary to achieve her ends. Whether she is driven by duty or simply an unwavering addiction to the thrill of the hunt is unknown, but there is no doubt of her efficacy. In exchange for her assistance the Guardians turn a blind eye to her occasional foray into the Grove to hunt the incredible magical beasts at the heart of the demon and faerie territories. Though if she catches the scent of a kindred soul, another who embodies the hunter's spirit, she will take a moment and beckon them to join her for an exhilarating and dreamlike hunt of a lifetime.

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Rumors of sapling sightings are common in villages close to the Black Forest. Playful and curious, to witness a sapling is like watching the soul of a young tree enjoying the wonder of simply being alive. But while they may appear harmless on the surface, many humans view them as an ill omen. Their mimicry of childlike behaviours is not always perfect, and in those faltering moments, one is reminded very keenly that they are offspring of the darkly mysterious Black Forest.

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Marrow Beetle

Using their imposing, antler-shaped pincers, the Marrow Beetle will break apart the bones of the dead in order to gain access to the delicious marrow within. Though typically docile, it is unwise to get in the way of a Marrow Beetle and their meal. If threatened or disturbed during eating, they will turn their pincers on the offending party with terrifying speed.

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Flesher Moth

In order for the Flesher Moth to digest decomposing remains they must first coat it with a thick, black liquid secreted from their abdomen. Unfortunately for other scavengers, if they try to eat what the Flesher Moth has already claimed, that strange black liquid will act as a paralyzing poison, making them easy targets for predators and another meal for the Flesher Moth.

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Lamentum Cicada

In its search for sustenance, the Lamentum Cicada will travel alone under the darkness of night. When it finds a suitable carcass, it will let out a strange, high picked hum to alert others in the area that food has been found. It is then the hum begins to sound more like a cacophony of screams, as hundreds of Cicadas descend on what remains of the dead.

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