The Enchanted Culverwood
At the heart of the Elennian Peninsula is one of the seven magical forests of Yrth: the Culverwood. Many say this area is the single most dangerous location on the peninsula. Declared by the FreeStaters to be a Monster Preserve, it is home to isolationist Elves, Drow, and magical creatures of all kinds. This wood tends to capture travelers by magically altering the landscape to appear that it goes on forever. The unwary traveler will usually disappear never to be seen again (or see again for that matter.) But those who honor the Culverwood and treat it with love and respect can find it to be the most beautiful and wonderful places in the Wold. But the forest has ever been tricky and willful, and even its most devoted followers never know exactly where its trails will take them. It is more chaotic than good, but good and evil dwell under its eaves.
There is an old poem telling of the Culverwood -- none can agree on the exact words, but it says the forest can feel, and act, that the routes through it seem to change, that some folks wander for days only to end up where they started without ever getting where they wanted to go, and some folk who enter never come out!
[The words of this poem may be inserted here.]
This forest is bordered on the west by Aisildur and Shadow Mountain, on the north by the Windborn Hills and the Scab, on the East by the Red Hills, and on the south by the badlands of Izen. The northeastern corner touches the Crescent Valley, and the southeastern corner touches New Elenna. In the southwest, an offshoot called the Blackbird Forest grows next to a great lake and draws near to the sea. The green dragon Parnoth once laid claim to the southern reaches of Culverwood and called his domain the Emerald Kingdom.
The Culverwood itself has always slept lightly, and when the Fey King awoke, the forest woke with him. Now the mind and soul of the forest plays and roams its length and breadth. So far, the Culverwood has not acted consciously as an Immortal Power, but soon it will come into its new strength, and that will be a remarkable day.
At the heart of the forest in a place not on any map are the Ancient Trees of Culver. The secrets they hold are not commonly known, but most agree that the essential heart of the Culverwood is there.
One group of druids has formed a holy organization devoted to the care and protection of the Culverwood. This is the Sacred Circle of the Culverwood. and its druids are pledged to fight the encroachment of civilization within its boundaries. The Sacred Circle consists of druids in addition to witches and votary clerics -- all offer the Culverwood veneration and prayer, and some receive special powers and blessings from the forest. Many members of the sacred circle have taken the Woldian Natural Spell Specialization Feats that make their spells more potent in the Culverwood. And many, especially of the Forest-Born, benefit from the Woldian Forest Walking feat.
A splinter group of the Sacred Circle shares its goals but adopts harsher means. The Yoke of Culver believes in keeping the forest "pure" in every respect. Some are Monstrologers, while some have ranger training and work to hide trails and remove signs of civilization. The Yoke is not gentle with those who they perceive as intruders.
Both groups depend on rangers and the new Defenders of the Awakened as protectors and holy warriors.
Legend says it may be possible to travel from some parts of the Culverwood to the magical forests of the Valleys of Twilight where Queen Maab rules. And in other areas, the wall between the Wold and its Cradle are very thin in the Culverwood.
Outposts of "civilization" are very rare in the forest, but the Culverwood does seem to tolerate the village and trading outpost of Troll in the far east, and the Inn at Pullman's Crossing in the west. Many folks passing through the forest spend a night or two at Pullman's Crossing, a "roadhouse" on the Peaseblossom . The innkeeper, a human named Luther, often seems to know about things that are happening in the area. He operates a ferry as well, for those who want to cross the river.
One of the forest's few defenders who is known by name is the Greenmage of Culverwood, Grynntymm Deeproot. He is served by two brother satyrs, Thadius and Thalpius, who are as infamous for their love of wine and women as for their somewhat disrespectful service to the Greenmage. Deeproot is a huge man, and he wears a long dark cloak, the color of forest shadows.
Several well-known heroes are natives of the Culverwood, including the Wold-famous Dragon, Joe Of the Hand; the always entertaining Kendry Leafwin Pipewood of the Crescent Valley; and the wily Renik D'Acour, once of the Windhorn Hamlet, but now in parts unknown.
[This document was compiled by Cayzle from numerous sources in October 2007. Approved by Jerry on December 27, 2007]
- The forest is protected by the Sacred Circle of the Culverwood
- [link to http://www.woldiangames.com/cathedral/druidcircles.htm]
- The Sacred Circle is protected by a small order of Rangers and Defenders of the Awakened
- [link to http://www.woldiangames.com/oshirr/classes/defender.htm]
- Some use the Woldian Natural Spell Specialization Feats that make their spells more potent in the Culverwood.
- [link to http://www.woldiangames.com/cathedral/druidrules.htm]
- Most natives to the Culverwood have the Forest Walking Feat
- [link to http://www.woldiangames.com/oshirr/Feats/forest_walk.htm]