Not even in Winter deep.
--Amalthea of the Children of Twilight
Welcome to the Enchanted Forest. It is here, in the mire of branches
and softness of moss where the most secretive of the Elfin live.
Many things may
lie in the turn of the path. Perhaps a cottage awaits where a wise woman will show
you the secrets of her garden. Or perhaps you will find a maiden enclosed within a
coffin of crystal, waiting in tranquility for the touch of lips upon her own. Or perhaps
you will find a castle surrounded by briar.
It is within the forest that many adventures of Elfin begin. The strange mists that
filter through the stillness often form into vague shapes of beasts and monsters,
confusing and frightening the mortal traveler.
This place is a place of illusions, of voices and sounds and seeings that will try
to take the traveler from off her path, lead her into the forest, and make her forever
lost within. Perhaps she will remember to gather pebbles to drop behind her as she
investigates the strange and beautiful music that floats through the air with the mist.
Hunting is a favored sport of the Elfin Nobility, who will often leave their castles'
halls of gold and crystal to hunt in the woods. Sometimes humans will catch a glimpse
of the Elfin Hunters' prey.
One of the most magical and coveted beasts within the
forest is the Elfin creature known as the White Hart.
The creature has the magical ability to lead all that see it on a chase, no matter what
other quest they were on at the time. However, no marksman or huntsman, no matter how
clever, could wound the magical beast. The White Hart became an obsession with King Arthur.
The stag itself is known for being the King of the forest.
This is yet another way for the mortal to step from the path and into the enchanting powers
of the Elfin.
-The Elfin Dance-
By the moone we sport and play,
With the night begins our day;
As we daunce, the dew doth fall;
Trip it little urchins all,
Lightly as the little Bee,
Two by two and three by three:
And about go wee, and about go wee.
--William Shakespeare: Midsummer's Night Dream
Perhaps the one experience that is common to all Elfins is the love of dancing. The
most common form the dance takes in within a ring or circle. It is the dancing of the
Fairies which leads to rings of toadstools and dark rings of grass.
If a human steps
withing the Elfin Round he is compelled to dance with them for as long as the dance
lasts. As with any journey into the Land of Elfin, he may not return for many years
and find his children grown and his friends unable to recognize him.
Many poor souls spend their time wandering in a listless, half-aware state, seaching
for ways to return to Elfin where they may drink of the Elfin wine and feel the
ecstacy of the Dance once more.
Out in the woods is a band of some faeries
go singing and dancing at night.
They're laughing and drinking,
and soon you'll be thinking,
that you'd come to join in their rite.
If they see you, know they'll entreat you
to come and join in their small friendly dance.
If you do then your soul will go too;
You will lose it with no second chance.
But please come, join, dance in our Circle,
Our voices will make your heart yearn,
To please come, join, dance in our Circle,
But know that you'll never return.
Meg Davis, "Dance in The Circle"
-Stepping Into The Shadows-
We have traveled upon the more regal and fanciful paths of the Elfin. The creatures
have seemed more of fancy than of nightmare. Yet the Shadows remain within the deepest
part of the Forest. There things take on a picture of horror. But as with everything
of Elfin, these creatures of terror and death still holds a deep beauty that most of
us cannot deny, though it may be our doom.
They are the ones that sing the Song of the Siren, seducing us into an embrace which
may be our doom.
We may never pass through the gate into our own world ever again.