A place of purgatory. Sage Fergus's Domain.
There are many different kinds of forest in the inner world but the main one that is most referred to and feared is simply called "The Forest".
This forest has no sense of time or place. Communication can still be kept with the outside world but any sense of location or time of day will be warped. Entire days can go by in the outside world but only a few minutes in the inner world of the Forest and vise versa. These time-lapses are mostly called by the person(s) themselves.
Upon entering, there will be a heightened sense of a person's inner thoughts and trials. Unfinished business, burdening memories, negative feelings - these things determine a person's journey in the forest. It is a person's inner self they face, wandering around the forest like they are searching for thoughts and answers.
Escaping the forest is possible by finding inner peace, and in doing that, a person will simply be able to walk out of the forest or find a way to float to the islands hovering above it.
Letting the inner thoughts get to them though, a person will slowly merge with the forest in a way that reflected their character. Those who grew to be cold and hard in their personality and attitude towards others will turn to stone. Others who let grief consume them will turn to quicksand or water.
The forest does have evil creatures that roam around looking for prey.
For example, the Fire, an evil Ent that lures those with promises of fulfilling their dreams, will use people to kindle the flames that burn inside of it.
There is also aid in the forest. Arachnia, the spider girl, lives in a cave full of arachnids and is helpful. WitchPoint also exists within the forest somewhere - they try to make themselves appear to those who wander into the forest as much as possible. Ectobabble recently moved into the forest, a temporary home build from yarn and wool and recycled/upcycled materials.
While the forest is a terrifying place, there are pockets of positive folks living in it that will help strangers in need.
Hootshrooms are little forest spirits that come out when they think no one is looking. They like to cause mischief and are generally very curious.
They can fly a bit, but mostly walk.
When they go to sleep they sit on the
ground and bury their feet into the
dirt and snuggle their head down into
their shoulders making them look like
Meet Sage, also known as Fergus, the defender of the forest and protector of those who fall victim to the evils inside of it. She lives throughout the entire forest without an actual 'home base' - rather as a hobo seeking opportunities as they present themselves and bumming off of friend's couches and 'IOU's from previous jobs.
Fergus's power is that she is very cold and can control ice. She can suck the heat from anything - rendering it either ice, freezer burned, or frost bitten - and form ice around it sucking water droplets from the air. Sage Fergus is probably the most badass hobo existing on hobo haus for her altruistic nature and willing to combat the demons that haunt the other folks in the system.
She wasn't always so badass though. Starting as a child, Fergus was always left to her own devices and was different from the other children - hiding in a cave away from the town to practice her magic. However, while Fergus recalls that the town drove her off a cliff to her death - Sage Fergus actually was so devastated from being a disappointment to her family and SHUNNED by the town (not brutally murdered) that she hung herself.
This makes it all the worse that, in her retelling, she felt FORCED to accept a demon's offer of life because the others killed her - whereas what actually happened was Sage changed her mind and begged for help and the demon answered her.
Fergus desperately wanted her death to be someone else's fault and wrote her story that way for over a decade in her mind - hopelessly wandering the Purgatory Forest in search of clarity in her life - terrified the forest would take her as it did many others.
Fergus Sage spent over a decade travelling through the forest in search of answers. She met very many folks who all had wildly different stories - and unfortunately a lot of them had the same fate - not resolving their troubles and the forest eventually easing its way into their souls and claiming them - turning them into either a waterfall, tree, mud puddle, etc...
Sage always seemed to escape this in one way or another, perhaps because she met often with the residents of WitchPoint and worked with others to try and better not only herself but the lives of others - or perhaps because she was already claimed by the demon living in her.
The demon living within Sage Fergus is an interesting one. While it clearly appears evil - battling her, mocking her, making her appear insane and eating away at her sanity and will to live - there were always times where it expressed great sadness and almost appeared to be 'child-like'. This relationship between them remained abusive and strained until Sage fell into a deep sleep that seemed to last forever. Both Sage and her shadow appeared to be dead, but inside Sage was dreaming and finally having a minute to relax as the demon's interest in her lessoned as she was no longer so active.
Believing the forest would take her finally, the demon began to release its hold on her. However, in doing so, and because Sage was finally given the mental break she needed, she realized that this demonic entity WAS actually the remains of a child's guilt physically manifested into its own being. Some child's grief had been so strong - their guilt over something outside of their control was so strong - that it manifested this demonic creature that tore them apart and now it was Sage's demon trying to tear her apart.
When Sage woke up the demon was out trying to find a new target - and yet Sage brought him back. They angrily fought Sage Fergus, but she fought defensively back and continuously repeated that the demon was forgiven. The hardships of that child were not their fault - what happened was an accident and was not their fault.
The anger of the demon seemed to lessen drastically and quickly - after years of scorn and hatred it finally was receiving forgiveness and the burden that created them was lifted.
Knowing there were other demons thriving in the forest such as thing one, Sage renamed herself to Fergus officially and asked the demon to accompany her (as well as give her a reason to watch over it in case it turned back into an 'evil being' again). The demon now lives in a quartz rock Fergus found and is happily living its life with her.
Sage actually started off as a little punk, eagerly fighting the Shadow inside her and in the forest - however she could never find a happy ending for herself until she forgave Shadow as well as herself and owning up to past mistakes.
Now she's still a punk but she's more chill about it.
Once a woman hurt by the trials of her life, the waterfall is a victim of the Forest.
She was left wandering the Forest, long before Sage, and sought comfort from those around her - yet would also lash out and hurt them seemingly at random due to her highly stressed state. Though many saw her as compassionate, no one got too close to her (something she greatly desired) because they were afraid of the consequences.
Over time she began to turn to stone and eventually became stuck in the ground. She tried to get up but ended up falling to pieces as she self-victimized and rewrote the story of her life in her head.
Her chest hollowed and water began pouring out, creating a waterfall. Lost souls began to find and interact with the waterfall, and the Waterfall began to try to lure them into staying with her. She gaslit them into pitying her, made them question their choices and life and sense of self, and many fell victim to her stories for many years. Sage was one of these lost souls.
When Sage first fell into the Forest, the waterfall was the first being that she met. There was a comfort there at first but it turned to that same gaslighting and manipulation that led Sage to become a willing prisoner for many years until her mind finally snapped and she was able to break free. However, it would take years for her mind to heal from the emotional scarring and she never truly trusted her reality again.
To read a brief story of Sage's experiences: HERE.
Sage's Witch Hut
(To Be Written)
Being alone in the forest for so long, Sage made many houses and structures to keep herself occupied and even made up her own constellations and folktales as she had no one else to keep her company but herself. The few people she did meet, she refused to trust.
(not pictured is Charlie's pumpkin patch that he started when Sage first started babysitting him for the Warden)
A group of witches who started a village in the middle of the forest to provide aid with their magic to those in need.
Keeper of the spiders.
A forest guide, and very brave.
Protects the good, yet scary, forces of the forest.