I’ve been working away at my current work-in-progress – Salt and Lyte – this week, and it seems to be coming along a lot smoother now that I’ve started sketching out character and environment profiles. Even though I had already written out a ton of character profiles and background on the world the story takes place in during NaNoWriMo, I still have numerous holes in the story and even more holes in the details of the story.
One of the big profiles that I recently wrote out is for Ra’f, the Great Oak, a centerpiece to the story and an essential plot element. If some of you recognize the name, Ra’f, it’s because the Codex of Ra’f is a tome that the main characters in my Expired Reality series have sought to find for some time. I won’t spoil things by exposing the connection between the Great Oak and the book, but I will give you all a bit of a background on the Oak:
Ra’f, the Great Oak
After Veleriu (the planet my story takes place on) came into creation by the hand of the God of Lyte, the Void (a supernatural antagonist) moved across the planet, wrapping it in darkness. Before the planet succumbed to the terrible force of the Void, a mysterious woman – the Lady of the Forest (this is a placeholder title until I can create a name for her) – took a mystical acorn and planted it in a spot safe from the Void’s dark energy. She tended to the acorn. She watered it with the Brook of Haven’s fresh water supply, and she cast beautiful Lyte upon the seed until it eventually grew into an oak tree.
As the oak tree grew, the woman sang songs of worship to the God of Lyte for the wonderful miracle of nature that had grown before her very eyes. The Oak was unlike any other oak, in that it sang the same songs it heard the woman sing. The Oak also spoke wisdom to the Lady of the Forest, which she transcribed upon sheets of bark the tree shed for such a purpose. The Lady of the Forest gave the oak the name Ra’f, which means “Wise Teller”.
As the Oak grew, a lush forest grew around it. Soon, the Crimson Forest covered thousands of acres of land, pushing back the Void and scattering it to the edges of the planet where it took refuge within the Teel walls.
Many years after the Great Oak had grown hundreds of feet, people from elsewhere in the galaxy landed on the planet looking to colonize. The first expeditionary group found the Great Oak and were so astonished by the Oak’s singing and the wisdom which the Oak spoke that they began to worship it. The Lady of the Forest appeared and warned the group in doing so. She told them about the Great Oak, about the Void, and told them that it had been prophesied that they would arrive on Veleriu – as would others – and would establish the Kingdom of Lyte.
Eventually, the Kingdom of Lyte was built around the mighty tree.