The Landscapes of my Youth

I had an active imagination when I was younger – I dreamed up elaborate histories for the fictional worlds that inhabited the landscapes around my childhood home.

This is sort of a “description” of the world I’d imagined around my home, but it’s also partly a story of a single day – or maybe a single year.

This is typed up from a notebook where I jotted them down, so it’s a little rough. But it’s interesting, so I thought it might be worth sharing.


Gomez: The Kingdom of the Elves, perched high atop a forested hillside – jutting out into the swamp.

With its flat top and steep sides, and the deep forest perched atop it – a reminder of the elder days where the elves lived in safety, hidden away from the prying eyes of men.

The Valley of the Pines – cut by the Great River – divides the elder forest from the younger forests to the north.

The Great River, which feeds into the swamp, which stretches for miles, eventually turning into a marsh of salt waters where it meets the sea.

The Great River tumbles its way down the valley from the mountains to the west, carving its way among the ancient stones, moss-grown pools where some say you can still see fairies playing in the summertime.

Deeper to the south, the forest continues to stretch through great folds in the land, carved east to west by some long-dry river – or perhaps by the rays of the very first sunrise.

Far to the southwest, the ruins of an ancient civilization. Overgrown now with trees, save for the few stone-paved areas that still stand warm in the sun, through time is wearing them thinner and thinner. Silt covers the once shiny stones, and grasses and small shrubs grow in what was once a bustling square.

The ruins are empty now, all but forgotten, even by the trees.

Further south – the great wasteland of the southern desert stretches across endless miles – impassible to all save the wind.

Pine trees and dense groves of pines mark holy places in the world – even if elves and men have forgotten them and no longer worship in the old ways.

To the West – the once great Western Forest now stands in ruin – an open plain of scrub grass and bushes. A blight years ago wiped out all the trees here. In between scraggly & thorny bushes, the remains of ancient forest temples still stand.

To the North – a younger forest grows, thin in places, for this is the home of men. In places there are great clearings – fields for the food of men.

Further north, the Icy Mountains – the White Mountains loom. Here is a land of ice and snow. Nothing lives here for long. Even the Sun seems somehow weaker the higher into the mountains one goes.

In the morning, at sunrise, the mountains in the West glow blood red in the summer… and sparkle like pearls in the winter.

Deep in the valleys a thick mist clings to the trees and the rocks, still whispering its sorrowful song.

The leaves – Golden in the Sunrise.

The air – the breeze from the Sea to the East: the Breath of the Sun.

The Midday sun bears down in summertime, but the forest remains dark and still and cool.

Evening is falling and the mountains in the West are a black silhouette against a deep red sky. The chill wind comes down from the mountains and twists its way among the trees and rocks – the rocks, now cold in shadow – the trees, now long shadows crisscrossing on the ground. The silence that falls upon the forest is so intense – none dare break it.

Night falls on the Deep Forest.

The elves move now in the moonlight – nothing more than the flickers of shadows to the eyes of men. Little else stirs – the forest at night is no place for mortals.

Even the rocks and trees seem filled with malice to the eyes of anyone brave – or foolish – enough to venture out into this deep dark.

This is the Landscape of my Youth.

In the middle of it all is the Green Tower, the meeting place of all the good peoples of the world – elves, men, and dwarves. An ancient structure, full of mystery – none know all its secrets. Whole sections of the tower – including the uppermost floors – remain sealed forever, their keys lost in the depths of time, but their doors built to outlast the ages.

As of late, the elves have retreated deeper into the Southern Forest. The swamp has grown, pushed by the force of the sea deeper inland. Soon, the Kingdom of Gomez may become an island among the swamp – which itself may become a great lake, as the land continues to sink.

The Great Waste to the South continues to move and shift its ever changing sands.

The fields of men seem ever more common.

And somewhere, hidden amongst it all, lies the secret to the Green Tower and the ruins of the world…

By Keith Survell

Geek, professional programmer, amateur photographer, crazy rabbit guy, only slightly obsessed with cute things.