Far within the shadowy depths of the Solelendar Forest dwells a creature so secretive, so solitary, that even the mere mention of his existence is regarded by most as nothing but a myth. This is Grayslake the ForestKeeper, Guardian of the Wildwood, and the reason for his existence being taken for myth is simple… This Dragon’s presence is next to impossible to discover, unless Grayslake himself wishes it to be unveiled. Despite his immense size, he moves silently through the forest without disturbing a twig or leaving a trace of his passing, and blends in to his environments by standing as still as a tree. This great Dragon holds dominion over the entire Solelendar Forest in the realm of Laurenestia, origin of the people of Elcriss known as the Sylvaan – the race of beings who are children of the Forest God ORZA. Grayslake’s power courses through the forest, and for that reason it is always summer near his lair… the trees are always green and the plants lush, the flowers ever blooming.

The source of the Dragon's great power lies within one of the wonders of the world, the colossal World Tree that houses the sleeping essence of ORZA. At the climax of the War of the Dragons, ORZA spilt his spirit into many parts, some of it joining the spirits of the other Children of AOZ to produce the Dragons of Harmony, and the rest of it spreading across Laurenestia to reside within the plants and animals that exist there. The greatest part of ORZA that remained came to dwell within an emerald formation wrapped in the roots of the most ancient oak in the forest, which grew and grew and became the World Tree. The Tree is hundreds of feet tall and as wide at the base as a mountain, and it provides shelter and homes to countless wild creatures. Grayslake, the greatest Forest Dragon that has ever existed, makes his lair in the cavern at the foot of the Tree, and guards the great emerald crystal in which the Forest God slumbers until the Last Day.

Grayslake is an enormous creature, and his great powers are many. He holds dominion over all forest dwelling creatures, whether they crawl, fly, walk, or swim. At a thought he can summon the creatures of the forest to him, and they will obey him as a loyal knight obeys his king. The ForestKeeper holds the same dominion over all plants as he does animals, and can command the plants and trees themselves to rise up and ensnare trespassers with their roots, limbs, vines and thorns. The Dragon’s eyes are mesmerizing pools of gold, and those who meet his gaze become spellbound, falling under the Dragon’s sway and following his every command. Grayslake’s voice is like water falling over rocks in a pristine stream. Those who hear his voice become confused and helpless, often wandering long distances before regaining their wits only to find themselves hopelessly lost. Finally, the great Wyrm’s breath carries the scent of flowers drenched in morning dew, any who are caught in it fall into a deep slumber from which few ever wake, but when they do they are unable to recall anything they saw or heard before succumbing to the Dragon’s breath.

Solitary, secretive, calculating and deliberative, yet wise beyond words as a thousand lifetimes have passed and still he remains, having seen all through the eyes of the forest creatures and the long memories of the trees… Perhaps a thousand more shall pass before anyone can say for certain whether the Dragon truly exists or has faded into legend, never to be seen again…

This piece has been revisited in the 2021 version, which you can view by clicking HERE