The Flora and Fauna of Galen

Author: Elise Aglilmir
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From the Journal of Elise Aglilmir, Traveling Naturalist

The Isle of Galen provides a fascinating case study in the duality of nature. On one hand we have a verdant paradise, overflowing with fields of sunflowers that spill into rich, deciduous forests. It is a destination that any traveler would be blessed to visit. On the other hand, ever looming, is the unforgiving fury of a lava infested rainforest, waiting to prey upon any unsuspecting victim who happens to venture in. I only entered it briefly, but what I saw was enough to chill my heart. I took as many notes as I could. I believe there is knowledge to be gained by studying this island. The flora and fauna are unlike any place I have seen, and they may hold clues to secrets that have yet to be discovered. Let me first describe the temperate, welcoming side of the island.


I spent most of my time on this island exploring the lush planes of Southern Galen. Here, a sprawling, serene landscape unfolds that I could easily see as a retirement destination. Butterflies and various wild beasts inhabit open, rolling fields. A particular favorite of mine was a group of seemingly sentient creatures the locals refer to as "Fauns." Nowhere else in my travels across Tamriel have I seen these creatures except here in the archipelago. They stand on their two hind legs, slightly hunched over. They have the body of tall, slender Mer, but covered in fur. A large rack of antlers, like that of a deer, adorns their head.

In fact, if you stood a deer up on their back legs and gave them arms, you'd have a Faun. I was not able to get close enough to understand their behavior, but they seem to have a rudimentary culture. They appear to be strongly tied to nature and will defend it if threatened. I have witnessed them use tools, dance, and even play instruments. I wish I could communicate with them, but the most I heard them utter were simple grunts and chirps. Possibly most curious of all was the utter lack of female Fauns. They may be more magical than I initially thought, or they have a way of reproducing that differs from the traditional process,or perhaps they keep their females well hidden from prying eyes.


As I ventured farther north and west, the rolling planes slowly turned into a deciduous forest. While less temperate, the forest contained a breathtaking amount of natural beauty. Wandering the area, I felt truly connected to nature. I suspect that the wildlife sense that connection as well. I witnessed numerous sentient plant-based creatures referred to as "spriggans." I have encountered them before in multiple regions of Tamriel, but never have I seen them behave as they do here. Normally, spriggans are treelike. They have roots that twist into a single column which they use to creep along the ground, attacking anything that threatens to harm their forests. The spriggans found here behaved differently. They appear more like people. The twisted roots that formed their trunk have separated and broken into two legs. Perhaps they are responding to recent intrusions of their territory by adapting and growing more aggressive. I have even heard rumors of colossal spriggans the size of the Giants of Skyrim. I have not witnessed such a creature personally, but I suspect their fury will be even greater than that of their smaller counterparts.


However terrifying the thought of a giant spriggan may be, it was nothing compared to what I glimpsed in the northeastern corner of the island. The deciduous woods quickly became an entangled jungle of vines intersected by rivers of lava. I have never seen such an inhospitable place. Wasps the size of horses. Giant lizards seemingly birthed from the magma itself. While this island is volcanic in nature, and each region has its share of volcanic activity, the jungle appeared to be an extension of the volcano.

It astonishes me that the local druids inhabit such a place. I admit my morbid curiosity did almost get the better of me. I was trying to locate a druid settlement nestled in this dangerous region, but on my journey, I saw something. Something I will carry with me to my last day. It was a monstrous beast, built from vines. It dragged a club and looked at me with its glowing eyes. I could feel them burning into my soul. The hatred to outsiders was clear. I was an invader, and it was going to defend its domain. It let out a deafening shriek and approached me with a speed much greater than any beast that size should have. I ran. I will never return to this place. Never!

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