Palladium: Reason and Existence
Gaia, Mother of Trees
Gaia, Mother of Trees, is one of the great anomalies of the faerie world. When Ell-maine came to Palladium, Gaia was amongst those that abandoned the Angel cause. Gaia sought the guardianship of the earth itself, and this quest culminated in her floral form.
Gaia was, until very recently, the only known passenger of the sphere of cloud to have reproduced. The extent of her commitment to the earth deprived her of her mobility (though this may be a matter of choice), but as recompense she has been blessed with fertility.
In the last years of the war of the Gods against the Old Ones, a valley adjoining the Old Kingdom battlefield was decimated by the powers brought to bear. In the resulting underground cavern, Gaia was cut off from the world.
But a river meandering through the mountains smoothed and joined the rock over the years, some of the river runs through a gap between the rocky roof and pours into the huge underground lake below. The river above is shallow and refracts the light through the waterfall into a brilliant pillar that brightens much of the cavern. The isolated valley is picturesquely beautiful and houses the most remarkable tree that mortal eyes could ever behold.
Thousands of years after that war, humans discovered Gaia’s valley, and were awed by the Mother of Trees. It is they, the first druids (dubbed so by the mother herself), that carried her influence back into the world in the form of pods that would later grow into the forest guardians.
The druids have long since forgotten the place where the mother rests, and she has been relegated to a passage in history and legend. The mother is alone, and hoping against all evils, that trees remain above ground.
The forest guardians are a faerie breed of animated trees. They walk on their root systems and protect/rule their respective forests. One of their number (Narcreon) has strayed from the forest to vent his hate for human kind in retaliation for the murder of his druid lover as a witch.