Legends and Myths of a Forgotten Realm
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Darkwood Forest

February 3rd, 2020 by

Beyond the farms to the south and east of Silvermere, a vast forest of darkwood oaks covers the land. Darkwood oaks grow tall – as high as 100 feet. They also grow closely to each other, making navigation through the forest difficult.

An old and broken path remains where there was once a busy road to the distant east. Traders from the Dwarven city of Khazarad would haul precious cargoes of whiskey, gems, and rare metals in exchange for a small share of Silvermere’s agricultural harvest. Crops that must be grown above-ground are considered luxuries to the dwarves who build their cities deep inside the heart of mountains.

Over the centuries, as the humans and dwarves became more insular and vulnerable to the dangers of the world, the old road would fall in to disrepair. Goblin and troll raids became more common and travelers had to adapt by raising prices to hire increased security. Unwilling to form formal alliance to rid the settlements of these nefarious tribes, the raids only grew stronger over time. Eventually, the voyage would require a small army and neither kingdom was prepared to provide it.

Darkwood roots slowly grew to engulf the bricks of the road, covered thickly in some areas with the dense moss and underbrush that is common within these woods.

Explorers identified a few consistent sources of threats within their travels:

  • Goblin Raids – The Silver River cuts through the heart of Darkwood forest, and the old bridge has long since collapsed. Goblins are known to congregate at the locations near the bridge to ambush those attempting to cross at the ford. It is suspected that their primary settlement is in the cliffs and caves north of that location, but none who have ventured to find it have returned.
  • Darkwood Grove Druids – A banished tribe of drow elves once sought refuge in the shaded cover of Darkwood Forest. Over time, their society, led by an elder druid council, would accept outcasts from other tribes and races who showed talents in dark magic and druidic prowess. While the Darkwood Grove Druids revere all forms of life, they do not have particularly high regard for those among the humanoid races who do not follow their ways.
  • Misty Valley Trolls – Well east of the Silver River, the forest begins to slope downward and in to a second water basin where the excess rains form a stagnant and perpetually misty valley. The road to Khazarad briefly follows the edge of this valley, and many trading parties met their doom from the hungry trolls that inhabit it. Rumors of larger and even more dangerous creatures were always common among those who spoke of the Misty Valley.

Terrified legends also speak of dragon settlements throughout the Darkwood Forest and Misty Valley, but these stories are mostly told to frighten little children in to doing their chores or behaving well. While the existence of dragons is widely acknowledged, they have been rarely sighted since the great cataclysm war.

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