Shal'Hai - The People from the Acorns
An excerpt from the Tome of Nature. A literary guide to the Rangers’ past in Majeria. No original book in its entirety is in existence. The most recent Tome was put together from excerpts and dictation 450 years ago.
In the beginning there was Majeria; Mother Earth. On Mother Earth, some say even before Mother Earth there was She.
We believe the earth came from She (or Hai). She was the most beautiful tree, the true Mother, and Earth was the First Daughter (Terra’ Hai). All the soil and rocks from the airless void became wrapped up in her beautiful roots. From that soil came the water and the rivers and the lakes. When enough soil and rocks and rivers were formed, Majeria was born of her rooted womb. The gods smiled on She and gave her light to grow and wind to carry her seeds throughout the land. They loved the smell of her flowers and wanted her children to flourish so they could imbibe the beautiful aroma of her childrens’ petals.
Anxious became She. She saw what man did to her Children (Kinder’ Hai) across the land and knew their violence was born of ignorance. Felled and burned were her Children to make room to grow food and shelter, food and shelter the First Daughter and Children could have provided for all time. Throughout her Children coursed animals, plants and vegetation all of which, with a little care and consideration, could provide for Majeria for all eternity.
Useless, selfish Gods appeared and furthered the exploits of men. She had to do something to preserve her First Daughter and Children lest the ignorance of men be the undoing of all.
She slept for 100 years, conserving her energy. When she awoke, two small seeds – acorns – hung from the farthest point of her farthest branch. When they were plump and ready, she beckoned to the two largest and most beautiful hawks of the land to pluck them gently from amongst her leaves and deliver them unto the ground. These Bal’had (Great Preservers) brought the acorns to the earth and planted them just beneath the surface inside the First Daughter. They were deep enough so that she could protect them and keep them safe, feed them and give them water but shallow enough so the light of the Gods could still be felt. The acorns lay dormant, absorbing the Essence that flowed through the soil around them and they grew. They changed and took form and in 12 months time – one human year (“Terr’kilai” or “The First Year”) two human babies were born; a boy and a girl. They were magical beings, a slight brown hue to their skin, like their mother’s. Their eyes were emerald green like the grass that served as their baby blanket. Their voices were as sweet and elegant as the songs of the birds that nestled in the branches of She. They emerged from the earth and crawled to the trunk of She. These Shal’Hai were to grow to be the protectors of all of the Children of She and of the First Daughter. While nestled within the crags and nooks of the trunk of She, the children frolicked, ate, grew and learned all that She could teach them. She taught them the ways of the forest. She taught them how to forage, hunt and defend themselves. She taught them how to speak, read and use magic. She taught them how to wield Essence, how to climb, run and fight. She taught them how to walk on the air as to move without detection. She taught them how to see beyond what their eyes showed them, to see beneath the sight. She taught them how to talk to the plants, the animals, how to read the stars and follow the sun. She taught them how to speak to her Children and the First Daughter. These two humans, the Shal’Hai – The People from the Acorns were her most prized possessions. They were equally loved by all of her Children and by the First Daughter.
She knew though, that someday she would have to say goodbye to the Shal’Hai as they had a job to do. A job that was the very purpose of their existence, the reason they were born. When that day came, the Shal’Hai said goodbye to She and to one another. Off into Majeria they went to establish a lineage of Shal’ Hai – protectors of The Great Triad (She, The First Daughter and The Children of She).
As time went on and as the original Shal’Hai birthed children with the other races, and those generations birthed more and so on, the lineage became more human. After some time, as they grew farther from the protection of She, it no longer took 12 months for new Shal’Hai to be born, now only 9. They looked more like their relative races, and less like the original Shal’Hai. They were subject to the same fears, shortcomings, anger and torment as those in the world around them.
One thing remains though, in every new Shal’Hai that is born: The Ksai (or The Task). The undying dedication to preserve The Great Triad at any cost.
The beauty of this story being of course that every Shal’Hai is related, through blood to She. She is Mother to us all. Some say they have found She, stood at her base, slept amongst her roots and leaned against her trunk. Some say she died long ago, of sadness from what man did to her Children and her beloved First Daughter. Whether or not she is still here on Majeria may remain elusive, but it is the dream of all People from the Acorns to return to her and climb amongst her beautiful branches.
The page is ripped at this point and no further text is discernible.