Lying under the town of Redwood an ancient series of tunnels and caves stretch for miles, enveloping the area with lush, exuberance plant life. Its properties while studied are widely unknown.
The full history of the cave is unknown however the archeologists and the scientists have been able to piece together parts of the past using the rocks and the mysterious paintings on the walls.
Founding of Redwood
Many years ago the cave was rediscovered after years of being dormant. Gummy and Fredrick quickly found the area after meeting up in the nearby town of Invictus. They immediately knew something about the area was different and set up a small campsite. A few days after the discovery of the area Fredrick noticed vines around the tents were growing extraordinarily quickly even after being cut. Gummy soon took a very keen interest to this phenomenon and decided to study it. In order to study these strange events a more permanent settlement was created and named Redwood.
Throughout the exploring of the Redwood caves multiple discoveries were made, including the findings of the old society that previously existed an unknown time ago. One of the first discoveries was the various mineshafts surrounding the area, often intersecting with the caves as streams and large reserves of water within them can be a clean freshwater source deep underground. Within the mineshaft's there have been roughly 30 rooms discovered so far, around ten of which were made by the first generation while the rest have been of the newer generation leading to a slight information imbalance between the two.
Carvings and Paintings.
One of the most important findings have been the paintings and carvings found on many second generation rooms. These were large works of art were meant to provide the long time miners with a distraction from the dark tunnels which they made their living in, as well as a chance for their wealthy contractors to show off to miners and peers alike. The more lavish paintings often meant a better life style and better food choices. The stories depicted within the carvings are thought to be events which happened with the first generation death fights. Some of theses stories depict fights between mortals, giants or a mix between the two.
Tools and Weapons
Tools which were made for the cramp spacing of the mine often differed from others of its like. For example the pickaxes relied on shorter handles to not hit the low hanging ceilings. Another tool, or weapons, was the dart spear which was used by guards in the first generation. This was a light weight spear made to have the point replaced. Around and beneath the point spikes were used to stop miners from grabbing it. The changeable point allowed for guards to endlessly attack the miners even if trapped in the back rooms which they stayed.
The only other art really found in theses rooms were the simple pottery sketches. Theses would showcase mundane acts such as mining, carrying items, farming, walking, fishing ect or religious works. Religious works such as the painted symbols could be found in rooms to be prayed at or all across items during the first generation with it being found less later on.
The culture, ways of life and events of the old society are a widely unknown mystery. Through historical artifacts and inferences historians and intellectuals have been able to piece together much of the basic life and hierarchy. This history is divided into two "generations", each further containing separate lifestyles, hierarchy and cultures. The generations are not actual generations but different periods of time.
The First Generation
The first generation is most commonly noted for its rigged hierarchy, strong religious beliefs and sacrifices/fights to the death. Most to all of the information on the first generation is found in the few remaining rooms and mineshafts lying beneath Redwood. Theses rooms were bear boned to the core, holding the larger yet still small room made to fit upwards to 20 people, then a guard room.
Guards and mining
From what has been discovered the guards also stored and passed out food/ supplies, directed the miners, and counted/keep safe any found minerals. Theses guards had private praying options in the backroom and would often force miners to pray to their chosen deity of the great four, almost always aligning with their benefactor, or ruling lord. Theses guards received their training and education within the temples and holy sects making it incredible important for a ruling lord to choose which of the four they will honor the most as that influences their candidates for various jobs.
The main and often forced religion among the first generation was the belief of the holy or great four. While it is believed each of the four have their own hierarchy it is important to know that they are as important as kings in politics. It is believed due to the caves properties this place was chosen for the harsh religious ceremonies which happened every few years. The four worshipped gods were as follows, Alo, Elo, Helean, Zexion. What they represent has yet to be discovered however their depicting symbols are in order, a circle with a squiggly line down it, a rounded edge diamond, a wide down facing half-circle, and finally a double ringed circle.
Fights and Sacrificesmount Xeno and central Arith. Fights against giants always led to the mortal dying, never in the known history was a giant beaten. Giant vs Giant fights also happened, ending with the victor giant being released. For mortal giant's a poison called Giant's Fall was used to kill any troublesome Giant's or the winners should the crowds not be happy with the fight. Wars or large scale sacrifices would often lead to overload in the caves output which could result changes in plant life, mining and terrain above and below ground. All of this is known due to the paintings of giant fights that have been found in the different rooms.
The Second Generation
The second generation is seen loosening their strict hierarchies, religious standards and death fights / sacrifices. The religious institutions comparable or above kings was slowly weakened as a few ruling lords took over. With the weakening of the religious practices theses institutions turned away from blood and turned to the people.
As religion weakened it started gathering more support for the people, and in turn was able to bring more change for the lower classes in society. Rooms of miners got nicer and conditions of mining got safer as well as general life styles started to go up.
The Strict hierarchy experienced by the previous "generation" was faded away as possibilities expanded leading to better life styles of all parties involved.
Miners life's got considerably better. Bigger rooms, safer tunnels and other small quality of life improvements such as better food and art taking away from the endless dark tunnels which they were used to. They no longer had guards, instead just one person in charge who knew basic mathematics and writing.
While it is not quite known how it happened sometime in the Second Generation the culture and the people here died off. After studying terrain, old paintings and artifacts, as well as the mindeshafts and cave itself historians in Redwood believe that the most likely occurrence was the sea level raising, flooding the area for a prolonged period of time.
The Redwood cave contains crystals that have mysterious powers when harnessed correctly, while the exact formation patterns of these crystals are unknown the reason the crystals have the powers and properties is known. Once a crystal is formed it is a blank crystal, as it gets older and the surrounding area changes around the crystal, the crystal will take properties from the surrounding area. The properties taken from the area are what end up being the crystals magic that can be harnessed. When put into a weapon the weapon grows incredibly powerful, however the power of the crystals can only be used when they are in the vicinity of the cave.
The cycle of magic
The magic of the Redwood cave is not limitless, it is impossible for the cave to create new energy or lose old energy. The cycle of magic is how the cave is able to maintain the flow of magic despite it being used through the crystals. In the cycle the cave puts its life energy into the plants of Redwood to cause them to grow uncontrollably, the energy of these plants is then recycled back into the cave once they die. This process is not only applied to plants but all life near Redwood, if an animal dies its life energy is then recycled into the plants or other animals and life. When a plant is not fully connected to the ground is in Redwood it is almost impossible for that plant to use any of the caves magic for its properties.
In one case a crystal retrieved from the cave was transported to the north of Moria, here it was exposed deeply to the void. In this experiment with a being named Kangy the energy in the crystal was warped and the crystal was flooded with the power from the void. This "experiment" confirmed the researchers assumptions on outside influences. Due to the violent way it was expelled from the void it is believed that another such experiment could result in much more dangerous outcomes for all parties. Currently this crystal is help in redwood, secured in a specially prepped hog skin casing. Theses experiments as well as a few less notable ones have lead to the understand and limits with outside influence on the cave.
Unique Plant Life
Glowing Green Anemone
Found In the deepest, darkest part of the caves this green underwater plant admits small amount of luminescent light, attracting small fish to swim around it. As the fish are attracted to the lights a soothing chemical is released into the water, slowly making the fish sluggish and eventually completely brain dead. Larger fish will pray on the sluggish fish, the scraps of which are fed on by the plant.
Growing in the larger cave caverns this tree evolved from live oaks long ago. Under the pressure of the rock face it's branches expand outward along the top and sides of the cave. Moss and leaves hang from the branches and rock faces with flowers blooming during spring and fall. It's name is a misnomer as the cavern is not supported by the tree.
The bulb plant is a brightly colored bulb, surrounded by translucent leaves. Its roots can stretch miles for through soil, rock and water. All nutrients taken from the roots are brought up to the bulb where its "offspring" is growing. This seed is surrounded in a poisonous, reeking jello which is the source of its characteristic bright colors. Should the bulb get broken into the new plant will take over the old root system and expand it, starting a new bulb at the same time.
Yeyo Meno(Pink Roots)
The "Yeyo Meno" was dubbed by the moss folk explorers whom took quickly to the cave. Meaning pink roots in Min-Mo it caught on due to its vein like pink and green roots aswell as the seemingly crazy pronouncement. The Yeyo Meno grows in moss and delvers a flower both in the spring as in the fall. The roots when prepared popularly have been shown to have healing properties, this is most effectively used by Alchemist Gummy in scenarios such as the healing of Theodmer after the battle with Keyral.
A mushroom that completely blends in to the stone and rock to camouflage from dangerous predators. The mushrooms filter out stone dust from the miners in the cave and other plant particles. The outside of the mushroom eventually hardens over time requiring new fruits to be grown.
Leum is a reed which grows a hard outer shell as it grows out of the water. the protected seeds will flow down river with the reed after it gets broken off by the rivers current. Theses Reeds were introduced to the cave through the moss folk and Fredrick due to their utility purpose of writing and quick growth. Throughout the history of the moss folk and Wondering Trees Leum has been crucial to the growing of the specials as a whole. Special preparation is needed to turn the reeds to something which can be used for writing.
Forging of weapons
The power of the crystals in the cave are only fully harnessed when the correct kind of weapon is forged. Making this weapon is an extremely complicated process and has only been done twice in the history of the cave. In order to create this the blacksmith must first find a completely blank crystal one that has not been influenced by any outside surroundings, once this crystal in located the blank crystal is crushed and the powder is put into the molten steel. That steel-crystal alloy is then casted into the weapon of choice. Once the steel has cooled the fully influenced crystal is then inserted into the hilt of the weapon for its power to be used.
First Blood is a crystal forged weapon that is used by Fredrick this is a weapon that uses a crystal that was influenced by blood. This sword was originally built for captain of the Redwood garrison, an ultimate war machine for the defense of Redwood, however due to his untimely death it went into the hands of Fredrick. When this sword cuts someone the wound opens up bigger then any normal sword strike allowing more blood to flow from the wound. It is rumored the crystal that this sword uses was made because a miner somehow got hurt and the blood was absorbed.
Val Vinea is another crystal forged weapon that is in the hands of Gummy. This weapon harnesses the power of vines based off the users emotions when using it. This was the first modern crystal forged weapon to be created causing its look to be more messy then First blood. This weapon uses the energy of the cave to create plants to help the user in different situations. The crystal was found when Gummy was going on an expedition of the cave to look for the magic energy he and Fredrick could sense.
In the cave seemingly normal metals were discovered to have special properties. After months of studying this strange occurrence it was boiled down to being caused by a completely untouched crystal forming inside the pocket of metal. Despite this research it is unknown how the crystal infused bronze was created as there was no logical reason for this unnatural metal to be found in the cave. With current technology in Redwood it is completely impossible to figure out how the strange metal occurred.
The Bronze Blade is an ancient weapon found in one of the first generation rooms, completely buried and blocked off in stone. The bronze blade is made out of metal that is seemingly much stronger then the average bronze. It is assumed to be made by a skilled craftsmen long ago however all of the details on how it was made are unknown. While trying to replicate this weapon metallurgies in Redwood discovered the base material, a bronze pocket which had a completely untouched crystal grow inside of it. The sword while seemingly weak strengthens it's wielder considerably, allowing them to dual wield another sword making a terrifying combo. Due to the cave's connection to the blade it can not be effectively used away from Redwood for any long period of time.
The Battle of Redwood
As the first great war came to a close one of the last major battles took place in Redwood. Elyrian forces gathered around the surrounding area before the fighting began. Redwood and Lethonian fighters defended Redwood best they could, the death toll was huge on both sides of the war and due to the caves interesting properties, as well as the large scale explosive warfare, lead to massive changes in redwood terrain and the power output of the cave. Surrounding some of outer Redwood springs and new, lush plant life appeared, smaller streams and rivers lead to the northern lake, the red lake, and the sea to the south. Inside the cave massive changes took place do to explosives and the new energy increase which also led to new rooms and mineshafts being discovered.