Morghrim, from Ultima VII Part Two
A native of Pagan, Morghrim had been once been the keeper of the great Tree of Life, Elerion, which had stood over the then vibrant world as a symbol of peace and prosperity for near to a millennium. When the realm fell under siege by the Guardian, those in service to the Destroyer of Worlds set fire to this mystic treasure, and it fell to Morghrim to attempt to preserve one of its seeds. Blinded and disfigured by the heat of the flames through which he fought, the man lived through the ordeal only with the aid of his companion, Windrunner, a great gray timberwolf who had long been his friend and ally.
With the forces of the Guardian seemingly victorious, Morghrim used his last strength in this calamity to weave the magic of his escape, bringing himself and Windrunner to the realm of Serpent Isle. Tragically, during this flight from the ruined Pagan, his body crushed the Silver Seed which he had plucked, allowing its magic to seep from it and die. Despite the best efforts of the Xenkan Monks, Elerion's progeny could not be revived, and the task accorded him - to plant the seed on a new world - could never be fulfilled.
Despite this, the powerful magic-user took it upon himself to act as protector of the forests of his new home, using his supernatural abilities to speak to the beasts and trees that he might keep his domains in a natural balance. Frustrated, however, by the foreign magics of the realm, the newly made Forest Master sought to circumvent the tedious readjustment of his spells by imbuing a mystic phylactery with all of his power. This artifact, the Heart of Elerion came to be inextricably fused to Morghrim's consciousness, soul and emotions - allowing him a deep union with the environment surrounding him and access to near deistic powers. Fortified by this talisman, and accorded an unnatural longevity due to the space-time differences between worlds in the multiverse, Morghrim came to protect the forests of the north for centuries.
At some point, however, prospectors and huntsman from Serpent Isle's mainland came to the Forest Master's territories, seeking wealth and prey. Disgusted with the sadistic tactics of Hazard, a fur trapper who delighted in the pain of his catch, Morghrim made the near lethal mistake of leaving his "heart" unguarded, while he left to deal with the hunter. In his absence, Draygan, the leader of a small group of gold-hunters, came upon the artifact and took it, seizing its power for himself. Bereft of the orb, the once godlike forest guardian was stripped of his abilities, rendering him unable to heal the increasingly defiled land. While Windrunner and his kin went on to slaughter much of Draygan's company, Morghrim hadn't the strength to combat the man who now held his heart, knowing that he should die were the orb ever destroyed.
It was in this fallen state that the Avatar first met the Forest Master, seeking his powers that they might meet one of the legendary Hounds of Doskar. Eventually, with the assistance of the slave woman, Beryl, the hero managed to drug the cruel Draygan with the sedative plant, King's Savior - and thereafter dispatch him. With the Heart of Elerion returned to him, the revivified Morghrim was once more able to access his power, and in gratitude to the foreign hero gave them a whistle which would enable them to summon one of the hounds they required. Beryl, now free of her captors, came to live under the the old man's protection, having been robbed of her family by Draygan's past cruelties.
Within the great wide forest,
Hard on the snow and ice,
There swells a man called the Forest Master,
Who rules both plant and beast.
His power by cruel thieves,
One day from him was stolen,
And now the once great tree doth wilt,
Without his tender care.
So if thou dost seek favors,
From the Forest Master fierce,
Thou shouldst be prepared to return him,
The Orb of Elerion.
- Byrin's Song (Ultima VII Part Two)