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Friday, August 24, 2012

A bit of Arduin from the World Book

Dark Wood [Arduin Map Location: C7] - Few can note the transition from the Bone Wood to the Dark Wood. Ask those who live there, however, and they can tell definitively where that boundary lies. A sense of danger lingers in the background, becoming a living, hungering menace that permeates every shadow of the wood. The change is tangible and hangs like a heavy mist that sinks into the bones, weakening the body with fear. Locals know the boundaries well. Just as they learn to understand the uneasiness of the land and the things that dream restlessly in the nurturing darkness of the forest. To not learn means to end up devoured by what lurks there; hidden out of sight and on the edge of mind. Only from the air would a stranger know the transition from wood to wood, as the odd clinging vines that weave through the tall trees of the forest are easily visible and populate both. Violet and deep red in hue, these parasites have much to do with the strangling of light to the lower reaches.

The Dark Wood is only 18 miles by 13 miles but throngs with tall and mighty trees, dark foliage and heavy mud that cling heavy and sodden to the foot. The canopy is multi layered and dense, choking light at every opportunity but the forest is still thick with shadow bough, fey fingers, horse birch, hawthorn and holly. Scattered among the bracken filled glades of the forest are thousands of ancient oaks. In the sun-choked recesses, wildlife flourishes on an exceptional bounty of rotten wood, hollowed trunks and decay of the forest. Ground hugging fog lurks constantly in the wood and animals, beasts and creatures of all types abound along side rich communities of fungi, beetles, bugs, insects and arachnids of all types.

Within the boundaries of the forest, civilization still survives, even with the darkly spiritual menace of this brooding wood. Two villages survive, one on the edge of the Darkwater (whose wet expanse is forever shadowed by the steep heights of Boring Mountain) and the other not far from Tall Fang Mountain.

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