The Rise of Hawthorne

The elven kingdom of Hawthorne begins as a tale of fate that evolved steadily into an account of nobility. That a single person could invoke the desire of an entire race to band together for a common drive, a common person is a legend unto itself. This is the story of such an event, where a child with a dream big enough to span the farthest reaches of this land, helped to create a home in a place far from her own. This is the recounting of the elven princess Nozomi and the Order of the White Rose.

Princess Nozomi of the land of Fawley arrived in the land of Hollow at a time of great despair, when the immortals Khasad and Elazul devastated the townships and destroyed whatever pleased them. This was a time when heroes were needed, yet hard to find except for a few valiant warriors that fought bravely against overwhelming odds. These leaders of the clans of Hollow banded together, hoping to drive these brothers back into the depths from whence they came. One of these fortunate days in this warring time brought Nozomi to cross paths with another great leader of ole, the one known as Syadon.

Through a sparring battle, Syadon and Nozomi fought, both very talented and skilled warriors displaying their true abilities to each other. At the conclusion of the match, Nozomi asked Syadon if it would be possible for her to lead the Order of the White Rose back to glory, as it had been for so long. Syadon gave her a quest, and in the end, Nozomi passed it and was given the rights to lead the clan. She has since added some new members to increase the ranks and establish itself as once again a policing force for all of Hollow, seeking to protect its citizens, preventing harm from coming to the land, or seeking personal gain from admission into this sacred brotherhood.

As the ranks of the Order grew, Nozomi had a vision one night as she lay down for a rest after a battle with Demont, whose tongue she had removed with her victory. During this dream, she imagined a castle of ivory, much like her own. Though, this one dwelled nearby, overlooking the forests which she had been exploring that day. The palace of ivory resided over a great elven village below, bustling with elves and foreign traders, warriors and mages, men, women, and children playing in the streets.

Within this dream-like trance, the child rushed into the throne room, seeing it filled with golden threaded curtains, rugs made of beasts that inhabited the lands, and cheerful music that resonated throughout this mighty hall. At the front of the great throne room was placed a single throne, vacant, as if it was awaiting the leader of this thriving kingdom to seat his or herself. Suddenly, La’Vion, the pixie whom had transported her mystically to Hollow appeared and spoke.

“This grand kingdom, which I have shown you, is your destiny. You, Princess Nozomi, are destined for great things in your pathway of life. Use your intelligent mind and bring together the elves of this land, which yearn for a place to call their home. With this band, you will take Hollow to new heights, reaching for the stars and ensuring peace in a time where that word is only mentioned as a whisper and as a dream. You have a chance to make peace a word spoken on each lip of each child who plays in the streets, each parent who watches over that child, and every dweller in this vast land. This is why I brought you here, because I have brought you here for greatness and to achieve this dream, wanted by many. Now, awaken, and arise to begin the journey which will transform every elf in this war-tainted land.”

With the last words still reverberating in her mind, the princess awoke, refreshed and filled with vigor to complete the task assigned to her by Va’Lion. The child now actively seeks others that want this dream to become a reality. She has named this dream of hers…Hawthorne, meaning “land risen from the thorns”. Nozomi found this name to be appropriate, for as this world of Hollow has become a place of hardships (thorns), Hawthorne will be a land of serenity.

A Stranger in the Woods

Nozomi began to contemplate how Hawthorne was going to become a reality. She continually thought about this, almost to the point of it distracting her from all other responsibilities and matters at hand. Days on end, the princess considered many possible ideas, but nothing ever came to fruition with the dealings of this elven kingdom in her future. Then, one day, something did happen…

The elven princess was at the archery range, honing her abilities with True Memories when something mysterious began to play out in this setting. As she was finishing her unique attack of splitting three apples simultaneously with three separate arrows, a trick she worked on for many days, the child heard clapping in the background, yet no signs of a visitor or watcher were imminent. The keen hearing of the girl had trouble pinpointing the epicenter of this display as her ears perked up and the child’s head canted from side to side. Suddenly, the girl loses conscience and lands with a gentle thud upon the grass of the range, arm clutching something protruding from the side of her fragile neck.

When Nozomi awoke, she found herself lying in a massive bed, its silk sheets pulled up over her as if someone took great care to put her here. The child shook her head from left to right, trying to clear up the slight headache which raced through her mind. Not long after she placed her left hand upon her temple did the door abruptly swing open, with a mysterious, robed figure standing in the doorway, head tilted down, black hood covering its face.

“The effects of the sedative will wear off shortly, and then we can answer the questions racing through your thoughts.”

The figure did not show any movement, rather stood there, almost menacingly, void of any signs of descriptors to recognize him, since the voice boomed in a low, bass tone. The figure then placed a clothed right hand upon the golden door knob, gently closing it and ending the brief encounter.

The child’s thoughts raced through her mind, until she passed out, either from fatigue or the sedative.

When she awoke for the second time, a maid was at her side. This elderly lady was elven, for she could tell that from her pointy ears. This woman had saggy skin, like that of tanned leather cracking in the sun on a hot day, but had wonderfully blue eyes encased within that olden face. She wore a plain garment of green and white, a robe from what Nozomi could see from her lying down.

“Are you better now?” the elderly maid asked, a tenderness and warmth to her voice as the words danced into Nozomi’s ears.

“Yes. Where am I?”

“You are in Hawthorne, land of the wood elves, sanctuary to the high elves, and retreat for the sea elves, Princess Nozomi.”

The child sat up, as if something had pushed her forward suddenly. She spoke, “You know my name?”

The elder laughed lightly, the sweetness coming once again. “Why, everyone here does. La’Vion has been telling us of your kindness and destiny for greatness.”

With that, the maid walked over to a dresser and dipped a rag into a dish. She then tightly squeezed it, letting the loose liquid flow back into its container. The woman quietly walks back over to Nozomi and places the washcloth upon her forehead, urging her to lie back down.

“Yes, La’Vion brought you to Hollow for a purpose, and while we do not know what she has in place, she is quite insistent that you are the one to lead us. We have been without a leader for some time, ever since the assassination of the last queen… You have been placed here to lead Hawthorne, and we need you now, more than ever, with the battles raging on around.

“We are a land of peace dwellers, yet peace hardly seems to be a word spoken of often in the surrounding countryside. Hawthorne is a safe haven, its walls impenetrable through fine architecture and great battle defenses. Even now, we reside within the land, yet no one knows where we are, nor have we had contact with any outsider, until now.

“Princess Nozomi, you are destined to be our queen. You alone can help us, and Hollow, in its time of dire need. Khasad and Elazul are two terrible beings, and we have had the fortune that they have never found this place. If they did, Hawthorne might lie in a pile of burning ash and stone, its walls broken, and people slaughtered helplessly. Only you, Princess, can make Hawthorne the beacon of hope to a land where hope is almost lost.”

A tear rolls down the cheek of the woman, the drop following a line upon her face before finally coming to the end of it and landing upon the floor in a small puddle with the others. The maid brings up her right hand and wipes her face with the sleeve of her robe, drying her eyes.

“If what you say is true, then, a queen’s place is not in bed, but at the throne of her people.” With these words, the child rises from her place of slumber, the silken sheets land upon the bed in a mess, though the girl not seeming to care as she stands firmly before the elven woman, shoulders back, hair dangling down to her mid-back. “Take me to my people.”

An Awakening of a Giant

The next few days were a blur of hurried appointments, meetings, and gatherings of the leaders of the kingdom. Nozomi became familiar with the history of how such a place was born as well as how the ancient leaders of legend handled the political atmosphere of the land. She also learned of the old leaders, and how they were all women. However, the thing that intrigued the child the most was how such a kingdom, along with a towering ivory castle, were hidden from sight.

This story began with reference to a mage who once became the lead advisor to the queen. This wizard convinced the queen that it was in their best interest to place a magical barrier around the kingdom. The queen agreed, but what she did not know was that the mage had also something else in mind.

Upon hiding the kingdom for the first time, a massive orb of light encircled Hawthorne, and collapsed down upon it. Instead of just hiding the kingdom from sight, it also shrunk it. An enchantment was placed on the realm that caused the entire kingdom to shrink to the size of a walnut. Those trapped within the region were imprisoned, though none of them realized such a thing until the flow of travelers and foreign merchants quit entering the land. The queen became concerned, and spoke to this mage.

The man explained what he had done, but also why he had done such a thing. He believed that to be totally concealed from Hollow, this was a necessary evil. Outsiders had to believe that something sinister had happened to Hawthorne and that it had been destroyed. Once they believed that, then no one would come searching for them.

The queen was quite disturbed, but understood the intentions of the wizard. Slowly, the populace of Hawthorne accepted their fate, and the kingdom went on, isolated for centuries, until now.

The entrance of Nozomi into the land brought about the first foreigner to enter the gates of Hawthorne in nearly 700 years. The leaders of that time were all but a story, and a new generation embodied the very essence of this land. Isolationism, to them, was no longer a viable option. Rather the power and willingness to stand united would be a sign of new hope as destruction rumbled about Hollow. Cautiously, a few of the brave warriors ventured out of the miniature city-state, gathering information about the atmosphere of the land.

During this time, a small faction of isolationist plotted against the new queen and the other leaders of the kingdom. They managed to obtain several high positions within the cabinets and various councils. It was a fateful day when the assassin known as Ruel descended upon the innocent queen and slain her while she slept. That, was merely two weeks ago.

Mourning overcame the kingdom as the population grieved for their fallen leader. She had never married, so no heir was apparent to the throne. A backlash went against the isolationist, and Ruel and his band of misfits were banished from the lands, remaining in their tiny forms and plagued to roam the land outside of Hawthorne. This was when Va’Lion appeared to the Head Council and began the tale of Nozomi and her future destiny.

Nozomi learned, one day, that the wizard who placed the spell on the kingdom was still alive, though some believed he now had made a pact with an evil power to stay alive. She met with him, and through her unbridled passion to protect the land from the immortal brothers, the mage’s heart swelled for the last time, and he spoke a single word before collapsing, dying from his final act of kindness.

Hawthorne was surrounded by a bright light, its intensity like that of a bolt of lightning, though millions sparking at once. Instantly, the kingdom began to grow and a green mist fell upon the land. Queen Nozomi went into her tower within the great ivory castle, and peered out into Hollow. She saw the tavern not far away and the cities of Cenril and Larket in the distance. Feeling a sense of reverence, the child ruler went down into her throne room and began her destiny.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.