A Celestian of ages past, given form as a being of the deep woods, the Green Lady is worshipped as a goddess by the Druid Order, who lend their great power to her armies. Manifesting as a ghostly maid, tall as an oak and swift as a falcon, the Lady oft uses her powers to heal her loyal subjects. Yet her beautiful form belies the terrible ferocity that lies barely skin deep, waiting to be unleashed. Those who would defile the ancient realms of the Sylvan Kin must brave the wrath of the Green Lady. She is at once the warm summer sun and the howling winter gale; the giver of life and the reaper of souls.
The lore of the Sylvan Kin has it that the Celestian known as the Green Lady did not split into a Wicked and Shining aspect when the Fenulian Mirror broke. With a supreme effort of will, she called upon the spirits of the trees and the beasts of the forests and they lent her their strength, and thus she kept herself together. Yet with the Celestians’ power fragmented, she could not survive for long. To this end, she merged with Liliana, a Wicked One that had somehow retained a sense of morality and was tormented by it. The Lady of Nature then sought out Liliana’s Shining side, and subsumed her too, bringing an uneasy peace to both parts. Thus the Lady is a goddess of two souls, and three aspects: Celestian, Shining and Wicked, and this perhaps explains the fickle yet balanced nature of the natural world.
When her Shining Aspect surfaces, the Green Lady is a gentle being, an avatar of the soothing, healing aspects of nature. In this form, she is oft worshipped by the Elves, who see in her the divinity of the woodland realms. Yet as much as this aspect is benign, the Wicked One within her can surface unpredictably, and woe betide any who are near when it does.
Ruling over these conflicting aspects is the Green Lady’s Celestian heart, which strives for balance and equilibrium in all things. This, her aspect of The Preserver, is worshipped across Mantica by simple folk and nature spirits of the deep woodland, impenetrable marshes, vast prairies, icy tundra and scorched deserts. In this form, the Green Lady brings harmony to – and draws strength from – the four essential elements: earth, air, fire and water. She strives to use these elements to balance the struggle between good and evil, for her greatest fear is that one or the other will one day rule supreme over the world, and part of her own soul will be vanquished forever. If good were to prevail, the world would risk eternal stagnation. If evil reigned eternal, violence and destruction would tear Mantica apart.
With this sudden change comes the harsh, feral reality of nature, red in tooth and claw. The urge to hunt, and to kill, which lies within the heart of all living things, is embodied by the Green Lady’s Wicked Aspect. At her command, thorned elementals, monstrous beasts and spiteful creatures lope and slither from every forest, mountain-pass and seabound cove, intent on destruction of the Lady’s foes.
Thus, the Lady is torn between her own aspects, and constantly allies herself with the weakest side, in an attempt to bring balance to the course of the eternal war. In recent years, Mantica has seen the rise of evil, and as such the Lady’s Shining Aspect has dominated her own persona as she seeks to restore neutrality, and this stance has led to her forming great bonds with the Elves, who offer fealty in exchange for her sacred blessings.
Though the Elves of the Sylvan Kin worship the Green Lady as their goddess, they are too lost in their struggle for survival to be truly controlled by her. The Lady knows that her powers are limited to the wilds, and although she has eyes and ears everywhere in the form of fey creatures, birds, beasts and insects, she has long had need of servants capable of travelling the world independently, to warn her of coming dangers, to predict the movements of enemies, and to understand fully the hearts of conquering warlords and brutish despoilers. To this end, the Lady enraptured a traveller, long ago, and inducted him into the mysteries of nature. It is said that this traveller was a Man of noble birth, a great warrior, who was so enamoured by the Lady’s magic that he swore an oath to renounce his life of battle and serve the Green Lady for all eternity in peace. Thus was founded the ancient Order of Druids, and as their ranks have grown over the years, so has the Green Lady’s influence. Recruited largely from the lands of Men, who alone understand what it is to be possessed of both light and darkness, the Druids are solitary wanderers, who walk the length and breadth of Mantica, ever alert to threats against the balance of nature. If darkness threatens to overwhelm the forces of good in the world, the Druids summon the Lady’s power to quell it. Yet they are ever mindful that should evil be driven back too far, the Lady will adopt the aspect of Liliana, and turn on the forces of good just as surely. Druids must, therefore, remain impartial in all things, lest their meddling cause great harm.
When a Druid senses that the balance of power might be tipped –that a conquering army has grown too powerful, or a last bastion of one alignment is about to be overrun – they send word to the Green Lady, their goddess. Birds, Sylphs, insects, Naiads and sprites carry the Druid’s message across land, sea and air, until it reaches the sacred groves of Galahir, where the Lady’s power is strongest. Here, the Druid Elders assemble in the Greenmoot, and combine their power to awaken the Lady and send her forces into battle. Her reach is long indeed, and at her unspoken command an army of monstrous creatures, fiery elementals and sylvan kin can strike many hundreds of leagues away. The rise of the Lady’s forces in recent times has given pause to many a warlord, who know that to extend their reach is to anger the spirits of Mantica. Even the greatest warriors tremble when the forests around them start to shake with sentient malice, the ground beneath their feet cracks with grim purpose, unnatural stormclouds gather overhead, and creatures of fire burst to life in the midst of their army. When the sound of fey hunting horns hangs on the breeze, and chill winds blast the serried ranks of invading forces, all know that the spirits of the wild have come, and they will show no mercy.
All of nature yet untouched by evil magic in Mantica will respond to the Green Lady. The Sylvan Kin follow her unreservedly. Other, even more secretive creatures, serve her – centaurs, the eagles, and those wolves and bears that possess the power of reason. Elementals of the deep forest and stone are hers to command, the strange beings known as Tree Herders are among her most ardent servants. These creatures are locked in endless struggle against the despoliation of the natural world. Most often their foes are the Orcs and Goblins, but the logging camps of Men or the mines of the Dwarfs enrage them just as much.
When summoned to war, the Lady is wrathful, having little love for either the evils of the Abyss, or for the smothering rectitude of the Shining Ones. The Sylvan Kin hold a hope that the Lady will restore balance to the world, reuniting the Shining Ones with their Wicked halves, bringing peace for the first time in thousands of years. This peace is itself to be feared, for it is the peace of the unsullied glade, of the untamed river. Should it come to pass, no city will remain.