A New Wolf Times article recently highlighted the Forbidden Garden at Daegon Academy, declaring it “a place shrouded in great mystery and significance for the future of the shifter communities all around the world.” But what makes it so mysterious? And why is it so forbidden?
The story of the Forbidden Garden goes back further than the longest-living shifter legacy families, so there is much about it that is unknown. Many of the myths I uncovered about this legendary garden of magic, mayhem, and ancient knowledge can’t be proven or disproven, but I think they’re worth exploring to gain some insight.
1—Legends for centuries tell us the Forbidden Garden served as a model for the story of the Garden of Eden in the Bible the manderes hold so sacred.1
And with this myth comes the heavy burden of the creation of knowledge. Unlike Eve, Adam, the serpent, and the apple, true knowledge of great significance doesn’t pop into someone’s mind out of nowhere. Knowledge—real universal knowledge—is hard-won and painful. And nobody knows this more than a reporter who tries to gain access to the Forbidden Garden without permission.
Upon my attempt to enter, I was greeted by the Winged Fleuronnieua, who look suspiciously like harmless butterflies. I give you exhibit A:
Looks harmless, right? Now, imagine you were standing in front of an entire wall of these guys, and they all descended on you like mad hornets. As soon as they touch you, your skin boils and stings, and if they linger too long, they’ll inject their painful poison in your skin.
So, there I was about to be attacked just for trying to get a good look at the Forbidden Garden. (I think I found reason #1 why it’s so forbidden. Ouch.) Their security system is no joke. And this wall of creatures extends around the entire area, so there is absolutely no way to see what it looks like unless you get inside.
But what I can tell you is that there is an expansive pillar of light that seems to extend into the heavens.
2—Rumor has it that the High Council of Daegon meets in the Forbidden Garden once a year to decide the fate of the shifter communities around the world.
You might be wondering what the High Council of Daegon is, and that’s a great question! Like the Forbidden Garden, the identity of the council members is a well-guarded secret, but I did find out that they come together once a year to enact laws, discuss politics, and rule on the most important issues for the shifters of our generation.
For instance, about 50 years ago, they lifted the ban on shifters breeding with manderes because the prisons were full of shifters who refused to follow this law. But don’t let that excite you too much! This is the first and only time in history they’ve ever abolished a law because it was rebelled against. It’s not likely to ever happen again.
I figure this is one of the many reasons why we’re not allowed to go there—the High Council of Daegon can meet any time during the year, day or night. They probably wouldn’t like it very much if students could walk right in there any time they wanted.
3—There are ancient magical creatures who care for the garden known as Forbidden Faeries.
Headmistress Callista London, the unicorn shifter near and dear to our hearts, says she’s never seen one, but she has always believed they exist.
Even when I was a child, I heard stories about the Forbidden Faeries who watered magical flowers with their own tears. Legend has it that this is where all the light in the garden comes from—that their tears have magical healing powers that give the garden eternal nourishment.Headmistress Callista London
Nobody on campus has ever seen a Forbidden Faery, but I want to believe they exist too. I waited in the forest for several hours on different occasions, yet I never saw a sign of any faeries. (It should go without saying that if any of our readers see a Forbidden Fairy out in the forest, please contact me directly. I would love to interview you for a follow-up story.)
4—The Nebula Goddess exists, and she lives in the Forbidden Garden!
The shifter community, as you may well know, doesn’t recognize the gods and goddesses of the outside world. We believe the sky gods and goddesses hold the keys to unlocking all the mysteries of the universe. In the library, you will find many stories about the following deities:
- The Moon Goddess
- The God of the Sun
- The Nebula Goddess
- The God of Marsonne
- Andromeda, the Goddess of Beauty
- Queen Asterria
While we no longer have a Moon Goddess, there is a legend passed from generation to generation that tells us the Nebula Goddess is very much alive and well, and she can be visited in the Forbidden Garden.
Except for the fact that the Forbidden Garden is . . . well . . . forbidden. So, it’s not likely you’ll ever meet her if she exists.
5—Ancient archaeologists reported the Forbidden Garden as smaller than it actually is today.
When I was researching this article, I went to the library to see what I could recover about the old data, but as you probably already know, all those old manuscripts can only be touched by head librarian at Daegon Academy because of how delicate and sacred these texts are. I did, however, talk her into taking a few pictures of the pages.
They are written in an ancient language that is no longer taught here at Daegon Academy, so I wasn’t able to translate them before this issue went to press. However, I will keep hunting for someone who can help me decipher what those ancient archaeologists had to say about our garden. And if what I’ve heard is true, then maybe the Forbidden Garden actually gets larger the older it gets.
Could it ever take over Daegon Academy?
I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
- MANDERES: Pronounced man-deers. Term for non-shifting humans.