For more backstory fun and a little background on this project and what it’s all about, be sure to read previous posts. (Rosenwood Pitch, Joe, Kathy, and Jude & Mason)
Rosenwood is a place of many tribes and creature groups, a land in appearance much like the foothills of Montana with sprawling vistas, plains, hills, rivers, and mountains. The general air about the place is one of freedom and discovery, hope and potential. There are dangers, just as in any natural environment. But those dangers lend themselves to a more adventuresome attitude. Rosenwood herself “plays” through her natural interaction with the inhabitants, sometimes emitting a childish quality. Though she’s existed for a couple millennia, her inhabitants largely exist so completely in rhythm with their environment that Rosenwood has remained untouched and unaffected, on one hand wild and on the other, pristine and beautiful.
Further back than anyone can remember, two human children visited, a boy and a girl. They were friends and decided to stay in Rosenwood. They grew up, married, and had children. From that point on, they weren’t fully human anymore, but a strange hybrid of human and spirit (since their parents were essentially avatars for spirit astral projections where their bodies were still left on earth). As humans, they had a connection to the life-force of Rosenwood and were capable of great things. They used their abilities to build a home for themselves since one did not naturally exist as it did for the creatures native to Rosenwood. The first few generations studied Rosenwood and its inhabitants, learning from them and working with them. Quite naturally, the family slipped into a caretaker role and gave themselves royal titles. They became the monarchy of Rosenwood whose purpose was to care for Rosenwood and her inhabitants. But again, generations later, they had adopted a different perspective on their role. They began to not only care for Rosenwood, but use her as they needed with less caution and thoughtfulness than they once had. They expanded their royal lands and certain tribes came to serve them.
The Thaturs became their royal guard should any creatures oppose or try to harm them. It’s said that relationship began when one of the royals, a young boy named Owen, linked with a Thatur.
Later, the Scootoo bird tribe evolved as the historians and spiritualists of the realm, developing myths surrounding the royal family, their origins, and their lineage. It began when a single royal, a little girl named Fannie, ventured out of the palace and visited the large birds. While the royals left their palace and often traversed Rosenwood, they rarely met with tribes anymore. They had developed a reputation for mystery and rumors were whispered all around the land about their appearance, their personalities, and their place in Rosenwood. Fannie approaching one tribe on her own with no escort or guard seemed incredibly gracious to the point of being ethereal. And on that day, the Scootoo became devoted followers. Their entire tribe had purpose and life in the royals and the histories and myths of Rosenwood.
Rosenwood (the spirit)
The royals weren’t actually necessary as caretakers. They were guests and children of Rosenwood, just like all the other creatures and tribes. Rosenwood was a being, a spirit inhabiting the world itself. She served those she called and hosted. But for an entire world, she had an unusually playful, sometimes childish sense of humor. She wasn’t as some would picture a spirit, calm, zen, always in harmonious peace, sitting still, carefully unmoving. Rosenwood moved and played and prodded her children with life and laughter. She thrived on the relationship she had with her peoples and the humans she invited for adventures and encounters. Why would she invite humans? A couple reasons… she seemed to have a special connection with their world. When she was young and reaching out to worlds around her, she connected with a spirit there and it gave her the ability to transport humans. So she had access. But she continued to invite them because they injected new life in her own children, her own world. They brought mischief and play and they pushed her children to grow and think and consider new things. Their presence, both as royal inhabitants and as seasonal visitors, became an integral part of the evolution of Rosenwood. And Rosenwood, it seemed, became a part of the human story as well as they matured as creatures. Rosenwood saw their minds and hearts blossom alongside her own children.
There was a group of creatures, the Iaoth, who dedicated themselves to serving the humans on behalf of Rosenwood herself, acting as guides and guardians, ambassadors of Rosenwood. She granted them special abilities, a connection with her own life-force that the humans seemed to pick up in their travel to her world, so they could walk with and guide the humans as she might. They weren’t the same kind of creatures but a tribe that had formed in their devotion to Rosenwood. And as each new human was introduced to the world, one of them was chosen to befriend that human and guide them in their times in Rosenwood. Some waited centuries. So when they formed their bond, they became practically physically dependent on it. Their whole being was focused on the single task. And often, they would pass away when the human stopped visiting. Rosenwood gathered their spirits and held them close to her heart so they would be eternally honored.
Squonk was one of those guardians.