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Grass Forest (Grass Forest)

Legends of the lands
By: Merkwerkee (2017 Legend Contest Winner)

Tell me about the Grass Forest."
      "Are you certain? People so very rarely listen, these days..."

      The deep grass waves peacefully, the top swaying with the breeze and bowing beneath the wind. Near the edges light still filters down from above, and the green is warm and welcoming. Sometimes you'll find the grass twisted as if in a nest of some long-forgotten creature, but these are rarely found twice.
      It is going deeper that is fearsome.
      The locals will not go beyond a certain point, marked by where the white mushrooms grow. Beyond that point lay the Deeps.
      It is dark, in the deeps. The grass closes overhead and the air grows still and suffocating. Things that glisten in whatever light is brought, that reflect for an instant before vanishing. Eyes glow softly but no matter how they are pursued, they never grow closer. Motions flicker at the corner of the eye but vanish when looked at directly. Lights here are an invitation to see and be seen, and the hunter who keeps one might very well find themselves to be the hunted.
      The smell of damp greenery is overwhelming. The smell of things rotting underlies everything, but only occasionally will a skeleton be found. The bones will be bleached white without light to do so, twisted and marked beyond recognition. There are suspicions, rumors - people have gone in without coming out - but there can be no way to tell for sure.
      There are sounds - the rustle of grass on grass is ever present, hushing in a subtle susurrus that almost sounds like words. It's secrets, whispered on the wind and caught in the grass - or so they say. In the darkness of Deep, the tale becomes real. Things sing in the Deeps, long and lonely notes echoing from one edge to another but never, somehow, making it past where the white mushrooms grow. Footsteps - hoofbeats? pawsteps? - echo through the very ground, felt more than heard. The shaking, trembling of the earth quiets all but the whisper of the grass, the constant stream of secrets not meant to be heard, that should not be listened to.
      Things live in the Deep. Vast, unknowable things; their passage is marked only by the ground itself and the brief halls they make in the grass itself. These do not last, and should not be followed, for to follow them is to invite the notice of that which made them. Their prints do not last upon the ground, for the grass roots that floor the forest actively resist holding them. Their traces are as ephemeral as they themselves are eternal, for they have always lived in the Deep for time out of mind, it is said that the knowing of them would be death as surely as poison.
      These are the Deeps of the Grass Forest. Tread carefully or not at all.
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