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Forests, Jungles, and Woodlands

 

Adri Forest

Amedio Jungle

Burneal Forest

Dreadwood

Fellreev Forest

Gamboge Forest

Gnarley Forest

Grandwood Forest

Hornwood

Suss Forest

Vesve Forest

Welkwood

Axewood

Bramblewood

Dim Forest

Forlorn Forest

Hraak Forest

Loftwood

Menowood

Nutherwood

Oytwood

Phostwood

Rieuwood

Sable Wood

Silverwood

Spikey Forest

Tangles

Timberway Forest

Udgru Forest


Adri Forest:

Some 25,000 people live within the forest, hunting its plentiful game and hewing the fine woods found there. This forest has historically been part of the North Province, with its western fringe beyond the Harp River part of Almor, but particularly since the War, the folk here have owed little allegiance to their imperial masters. They are now most preoccupied with the dual threats of the Bone March humanoids, who occupy an increasing swath of the northwestern forest, and North Province axemen out for a quick killing from destruction of the Adri. Previously, those from Aerdy were concerned with trade for the woods used for shipbuilding, spear shafts, bows, and arrows.

There is a significant number of nonevil humankind here, with druids of Obad-Hai among them, and some of the best of these folk seek alliance with Nyrond. But Adri woodsmen are still insular, not skilled in the ways of diplomacy, and ready to respond to failures and difficulties in the outside world by returning to the confines of their home.

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Amedio Jungle:

Only unreliable travelers' tales give any detail of the heartlands of Amedio. The inhabitants are said to be cannibal savages of Suel origin - tanskinned, feral folk who are skilled in the use of javelins, darts, spears, blowpipes, and poisons. However, some of their tribes are said to exploit mines and pan rivers and rocky-shored lake inlets for gems.

The unnamed central lake within Amedio is said to important site for gatherings of tribes, where ritual mock battles have replaced many of the old conflicts which led to great bloodshed and loss of life. Certainly, rare woods, spices, ivory, plant resins, and beans are all plentiful within these lands. A range of medicinal plants almost certainly exists here too, but exploration has been too infrequent to allow their discovery and enumeration.

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Burneal Forest:

The trackless wastes of this vast northern expanse, primarily comprised of pine and fir, stretch for over a thousand miles. It is said that degenerate descendants of the Flan, now little more than savages, dwell deep within the forest an live in small wooden huts in summer, retreating into underground burrows in the frozen winter months. Great northern elk, massive deer, and other game tempt the Wolf and Tiger Nomads into the Burneal from time to time, but trapping yields poor returns. The forest floor is bare, supporting little life below the trees.

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Dreadwood:

The Dreadwood is a great forested area separating southern Keoland from the Sea Princes' lands. It is primarily inhabited by wood elves, some 8,000 of them, with around half that number of humans and a thousand gnomes. There is a long history of struggle within the Dreadwood between these human and demihuman denizens and a variety of monsters (including kech, ettercaps, and owlbears) and humanoids (notably forest bugbears and ogres). There are sufficient dark, deep, and hidden places within this dense wood for it to be nigh impossible to weed out these monsters.

The Scarlet Brotherhood may well be capturing some of the more intelligent monsters here for use in its monster breeding experiments, but it shows no sign of wishing to enter the struggles that have gone on in the Dreadwood for so long.

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Fellreev Forest:

This forest is dominated by birch and scrub oak. A small number of bandits have escaped here from Iuz, propably about 3,000 strong. The Reyhu bandits are known to be the biggest single group, and their leader, Skannar Hendricks, is a wise and wily warrior. The bandits have made a determined effort to cultivate the small, family-dominated clans of wood elves and the few human woodsmen here. They are eager to learn the skills of fighting in and among the woodland from these indigenous people. Surprisingly, the bandits have maintained fair discipline, mainly due to Hendricks' executions of anyone raiding the elves (or handing them over to the elves to be executed). Of course, the beleaguered bandits here are short of weapons, clothes, food, and monies, but their trapping and hunting skills keep them alive, and it is rumored that they have at least two fairly experienced mages in their number, who assist them in keeping Iuz's humanoids at bay.

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Gamboge Forest:

The Gamboge is an old and especially dense forest lying between the Theocracy of the Pale and Nyrond. Its inhabitants (some 6,000 humans, 10,500 wood elves, 1,300 high elves, and 2,800 gnomes) give fealty to neither state, though they prefer the tolerance of Nyrond.

Volunteer brigades from the Gamboge fought with Nyrondese troops in Almor against the Great Kingdom armies, but the Gambogers always keep an eye on the Bone March humanoids raiding across the Rakers, and are strongly protective of the demihumans of the Flinty Hills. The sylvan and high elves are considering the efforts of the wood gnomes to establish a formal alliance with the Flinty Hills folk, but there is some reluctance so to do, since in the alliance with Nyrond, the Gambogers lost troops and received nothing in return. There is a feeling in certain quarters that the same might happen if a formal alliance were forged with the hillfolk.

The Gamboge is a dangerous enough place, with marauding ogres and hobgoblins living there, in addition to invaders from the Bone March. Gamboge elven bowmen are superb at the use of bows in woodland, however, with deadly accuracy and excellent tactics in groups. This remains a relatively peaceful enclave, ready to trade wood, fruits, nuts, tubers, and the like with Nyrond on terms highly favorable to that impoverished nation.

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Gnarley Forest:

Parts of this legendary forest are claimed by Celene, Greyhawk (increasingly), Dyvers, and Verbobonc (decreasingly so). However, the inhabitants of these woodlands are free-spirited folk, so no formal government is ever likely to hold sway as long as there are deep woods to shelter resisters. The Viscount of Verbobonc is well liked by the folk dwelling in northeastern portions of the Gnarley, while the Queen of Celene is favored by those in the south. The forest is home to many fierce creatures as well, and many humanoid bands rove about seeking to murder and loot. These invaders work their way up from the Pomarj, through the Suss and Welkwood. Some come via the mountains and hills from the north.

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Grandwood Forest:

The Grandwood is perhaps the only part of the old Great Kingdom with some claim to being an enclave of the fair and good. It has been for over a century the refuge for those fleeing the cruelties of the Overking or the Herzog of North Province. The wood elves of this forest, some 7,000 in number, take care to establish the credentials of those who seek refuge here, challenging them to swear oaths by the gods of good, and magically testing their alignments.

Historically, Medegia and men from Rel Astra have laid formal claim to this forest, but their opposition to each other prevented either from mountain a concerted assault on the great swathes of land covered by the Grandwood. Now that Medegia is a ruined land, and the ruler of Rel Astra is concerned with revenge on his Overking, the Grandwood folk are arguably more secure than ever before. Certainly, the natural defenses of the Grandwood are formidable, with great tangles and thickets of vegetation and excellent branch perches for elven archers.

Grandwood people are cunning and cautious. Historically, they have often dressed as soldiers of the Great Kingdom, making it easier to infiltrate troops seeking entry into the Grandwood and preventing them from knowing friend from foe. To counter this, the Overking began to employ humanoid troops, and some of the creatures (notably orcs) have managed to survive, though they are ruthlessly hunted by the elves and woodsmen, as are the few bandits and brigands fled here from old Aerdy.

The Grandwood folk now trade more with Rel Astra than previously, since it seems plain that they have little to fear from that quarter. They do not trust those they do not know, and they continue to buy weapons and resources to defend themselves.

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The Hornwood:

This modestly-sized forest in the former Duchy of Geoff would not merit much discussion here if it were still in its pre-war state. In those days, it yielded hornwood of moderate quality and was home to a thousand or so sylvan elves, but was avoided by many due to the presence of lurking giants and humanoids from the Crystalmists. However, over a thousand human soldiers and a like number of peasants were driven into its depths during the giant troubles. They were largely saved by elven bowmen, druids, and mages, and now there is a sizeable enclave of Geoff folk here, surrounded by humanoids.

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Suss Forest:

The Suss has always been a dark, dreary, dangerous place, full of thorn trees, brambles, briars, and thickets - and worse, for there are very old hangman trees and other horrors within its confines. Its massive trees are black with age, and seem to whisper and talk amongst themselves when an interloper dares to walk beneath. Some claim that ripples of waving leaves and moving branches can be seen in the path of those entering the Suss.

The forest has its internal divisions; to the west, where it grows close to the Lortmils, the forest is open and clean, but east of the Jewel River, the forest becomes more forbidding and dangerous. The farther south one goes, the worse the forest becomes, until it is filled with an oppressive and evil atmosphere where it climbs the Drachensgrab hills. In these southern regions, the humanoids of the Pomarj hold sway, and they actually seem to love this part of the forest, sharing it with ettercaps and kech. Of course, they also use it as a base from which to foray north into the Welkwood and the Pass of Celene.

Few demihumans dare to eke out an existence within the confines of the Suss, save for the western edges, but it is said that a lost and ruined city of the old Suloise is hidden somewhere within this forbidding forest. Few dare to venture on any quest to find it.

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Vesve Forest:

The Vesve forest is of critical importance in the future of the Flanaess. Iuz refuses to yield any claim to it, while Furyondy and the Highfolk support those within it who try to fend off evil forces. Some 15,000 human woodsmen dwell here, a number diminished from prewar days, due both to casualties among volunteers supporting Furyondy and migration to safer lands. The elves stand firm here, though, with over 10,000 wood elves and a third this number of high elves. They are supported by some 6,000 gnomes and perghaps half that number of halflings.

In addition, 15-20 tribes of Beastmen, perhaps a thousand in number, dwell within the Vesve. Their origins are a matter of some curiousity; this region is farther north than they would usually inhabit, and their fur is darker and browner than most.

Currently, the western and southern Vesve are within the sway of the elves and their allies, while the northeastern quadrant is controlled by humanoids in the service of Iuz. There is also an overlap in both areas, with roaming tribes of humanoids who owe no allegiance to anyone. The marauding humanoids continues relentless forays against the Vesve folk, and are slowly gaining ground against them.

The excellent resources of this hardwood forest would be sorely missed by the Highfolk and the good alliance of Veluna and Furyondy should they be lost. The Vesve yields a variety of excellent woods, plant resins used for waterproofing, incenses, preservatives, insect-repelling creams and tinctures, and a variety of medicinal berries and herbs. Particularly noteworthy are the sticky secretions of fungi unique to the Vesve used in magical oils.

It is said, however, that Philidor the Blue Wizard has a fondness for the Vesve and its folk, and that his magical alarm systems give them forewarning of the approach of humanoids and other enemies over considerable distances. Whether this will prevent or merely slow the advance of Iuz into this great forest remains to be seen.

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Welkwood:

The Welkwood is distinguished from the Gnarley forest to the north and the Suss to the south by the majesty of its trees. Ipt trees grow to well over 100 feet here, while the great roanwoods grow taller still. Other trees grow to their normal maximums and beyond; there may well be powerful druidic or other nature magic at work within the Welkwood.

The eastern fringes of the Welkwood are close to the remnants of the Wild Coast and the northern limit of the Pomarj, and many folk have taken refuge here from both those chaotic and troubled lands for many years. The western glades border Celene, and are home to wood and high elves, faerie folk, unicorns, and a few treants. Celene lays claim to the entire Welkwood, but this is only a nominal claim for the mort part. The woodsmen of the Welkwood are especially strong and hardy folk, renowned throughout the land as huntsmen, trackers, and adventurers. The total human population of the Welkwood is around 12,000; the elven population is perhaps one-third that.

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Axewood:

This small wood lies on the border of Keoland and the Duchy of Ulek. Wood elves and treants dwell here, as well as number of small sprites (atomies and grigs).

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Bramblewood Forest:

A large, dense forest that lies within Ket, the Bramblewood has only one well-kept main road and a few secondary tracks. Its southern edge is warded by the walled city and castle of Thornward, now occupied by Ket, which controls all trade through the strategic Bramblewood Gap. The road itself is heavily patrolled by Ketite soldiery, but the dense forest is home to dangerous creatures - ettercaps, kech, and losels (the orc/baboon cross).

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Dim Forest:

The bulk of this forest lies within the Lost Lands, with Bissel's boundary just clipping the northeastern portion, and the Gran March laying claim to an eastern fringe. The forest itself has huge old trees so broad and leafy that virtually no sunlight passes to the soil below. This makes the forest ideal for orcs, goblins, and other nocturnal and light-hating creatures, but an unknown number of wood elves live within the forest's confines. They are said to be slowly overcome by humanoids marauding from the Lost Lands, and the Dim forest has more than its fair share of legends of terrible monsters, including tenebrous worms, slow shadows, and worse.

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Forlorn Forest:

This subarctic forest has long been avoided by the Rovers of the Barrens due to the presence of many savage kech, timber wolves, and like hazards. The invading Fists likewise give it a wide berth.

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Hraak Forest:

This pine forest is exploited by the Fists purely for fuel, trapping, and hunting. Great bears and wolves roam its depths and, most unusually, a fair number of white dragons lair within it.

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Loftwood:

The fine timbers of this wood were once prized for shipbuilding, especially masts, from the tall, straight trees here. The Bone March humanoids have despoiled the wood and burned great swatches of it for sport and to drive out game and animals within for food. Great palls of smoke can be seen over the Loftwood for many leagues out to sea.

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Menowood:

This wood lies within Idee, and is thus under the sway of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Elves and rangers from Sunndi have infiltrated its eastern half and keep a vigilant watch to the west and south. This undespoiled wood is home to ancient treants and some dangerous faerie folk - spriggans and quicklings among them.

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Nutherwood:

This is separated from the northern Phostwood by the Yol River, and has a quite different ecology, with phosts only along its northern edge. It lies within the Theocracy of the Pale, and the Fists who have wholly occupied the Phostwood have not yet dared to venture here. The Pale keeps a careful watch over the heretic-bandits to the north, but there are also renegades from the Pale (by no means all evil) within this wood. Many monsters, notably ogres, ankheg, and great beetles, pose a threat, as do carnivorous plants.

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Oytwood:

This small woodland within Geoff has been almost wholly overrun by humanoids from the Crystalmists. The humanoids have slain many of the wood elves who once lived here. The Oytwood is rich with fruit trees and edible fungi, but will surely be pillaged by the invaders.

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Phostwood:

This eerie forest seems to be lit with a ghastly radiance at night, due to rotting phosphorescent phost wood. During the Wars, Fists wholly penetrated this wood and pursued Tenhas deep within it. Only a handful of renegades, aided by some Nyrondese, remain within this wood, although the Fists have withdrawn much of their strength in lieu of bullying Tenh towns and villages now. A ragtag of exiles from the Bandit Kingdoms also ekes out an existence here.

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Rieuwood:

This Sunndi forest is heavily spied, patrolledm and defended by elven bowmen and rangers, who watch for spies from the South Province and Idee. Aided by spellcasters, the elves favor illusionary camourflage and terrain- changing magic if faced with any incursions.

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Sable Wood:

This evergreen forest within the Ice Barbarian lands is dominated by the rare sable firs that yield their famous wood, black when oiled, which the Barbarians refuse to export. It is a hazardous region, for winter wolves prowl its western half.

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Silverwood:

Lying between the Sheldomar and Kewl rivers, this wood is home to some 3,000 wood elved and other demihumans (gnomes and a few halflings). The elves are said to nurture trees in unique ways, so that they take exquisite forms and are wholly disease-free.

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Spikey Forest:

The tall pines of this wood are used by both the Frost and Snow Barbarians for use as ship masts and spars. Mist wolves are said to roam here, rumored to lead travelers away from dangerous, ancient Suel ruins.

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Tangles:

This small woodland bordering the Rift Canyon is said to have vegetation as thick as any jungle. Bandits escaping the humanoids of Iuz have taken refuge here, but are a disorganized bunch and prone to fractious squabbles and violence among themselves.

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Timberway Forest:

This forest divides the Frost Barbarians from the land of Ratik, although both nations are constructing a broad road through it not far from the sealine. The trees here are not as fine as those of Loftwood, but are used in shipbuilding and, of course, for fuel and housebuilding.

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Udgru Forest:

The Udgru is a dense forest within the realms of Ekbir and Tusmit. It is filled with game, so the humting is excellent, but monsters from the Yatils and renegades from both Baklunish states are ready to ensnare the unwary or unprepared intruder here.

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