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The Eldenwood

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1The Eldenwood Empty The Eldenwood on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:09 pm


"What? Aye, I've been down on the Coast Road. Nigh on to Eldenwood, 'tis. Mind you, I didn't stray off the Coast Road. I'd not do that for any coin. I may be many things, but a fool isn't one of them."

The Eldenwood is a massive expanse of heavily forested land located to the southwest of Aranorn and the nation of E'lene. It is bordered on the southern side by the Azure Sea and the northern side by the inland Brightsea. The Eldenwood continues further south and west until it meets the rise of the mountains of Eloruin. The woods of the Eldenwood are thick with Emberwood trees - gigantic white-boled trees with red and golden leaves. Emberwood trees keep their leaves all year, save for the first two weeks of spring.

This time of falling leaves is sacred to the Elden tribes, for their legends tell that Emberwood trees are actually the children of Eluine, the prophetess who led them out of the ruins of the Great Darkness. The falling leaves are the memory of those lost during the great Cataclysm and just as new life replaces the old, the Emberwood leaves return to their trees within a few weeks. Emberwood is highly prized and sought after as it is beautiful and amazingly lightweight and strong. The Emberwood bows used by the Elden tribes are legendary. Emberwood, however, is extremely difficult to obtain, save by the Elden.

The Coast Road that follows the edge of the Azure Sea from northeast to southwest is the only known safe passage through the forest, and it is this road that travelers and traders take to reach the lands to the west. Aside from this, most of the Eldenwood has not been reliably explored, though some reports do seem to agree with each other upon certain regions. It should be noted, however, that most who claim to have explored the Eldenwood have appeared quite mad when relating their tales.

The Greenswards

The Greenswards represent the easternmost reaches of the Eldenwood, beginning just west of the Twin Lakes, and it is here that the great forest is the most hospitable (though most folk still tend to shun it whenever possible). Though still plentiful, the woods are not as thick in the Greenswards. The ground is covered with a luscious carpet of thick green grass here, and the less dangerous wildlife is in abundance. The more courageous hunters come here from time to time and most have returned unscathed, though they are quick to tell all that they killed and took no more than they needed to feed themselves or their families.

The Leaf Gates

It is unknown whom or what fashioned the great stone edifices known as the Leaf Gates, but the great harpstone archway with gigantic doors carved in the likeness of two massive leaves standing ajar has stood here for thousands of years. The Coast road runs through this gate and hugs the edge of the Azure Sea. Overhanging the Coast Road, the thick white boughs of Emberwood trees and their fiery leaves begin here. Looking north, one sees the impenetrable forest just to the other side of the roadway. Worn stone steps and several trails branch off from the Coast Road just on the other side of the Leaf Gates, but the Coast Road is by far the most frequently traveled.

The Vale Of The Lady

Somewhere in the deep timber of the Eldenwood lies a wide clearing beside a still lake of deepest blue water. The ruins of several stone buildings surround the lake, from which rises a large harpstone statue of a beautiful naked Elden maiden, her hand upraised to the heavens. Tiny bells and chimes have been hung about the ruins here that fill the air with soft chiming music. Several reports have suggested that the Lady of the vale will 'speak' to those who spend a night among the ruins under the full moon and live until the dawn.

Spire Of The Pale King

There is a large hill upon which an ancient henge of stone sits, surrounding a throne of thorns with a great black spire rising behind. Beneath the hill, lies an ancient stone door that will not open. Upon the throne sits the Pale King, a ghostly knight in white armor who rises when the first star is kindled in the evening. He wanders the wood searching for his lost love, and will open the door in the hill for anyone who will tell him where his love may be found.

The Willow Medes

Said to be located somewhere near the northern edge of the Eldenwood and the Brightsea, the Emberwood trees give way to large spreading willows and marshy terrain. Unbelievably beautiful swamp flowers grow here to gigantic sizes and it is reported that the ruins of an ancient city lie half-submerged here. At night, pale lights can be seen in the windows and doorways.

The Grove Of Voices

Here, the boles of Emberwood trees are ten to twenty feet in width. The canopy overhead is thick and the air is still and quiet save for the occasional breeze that wafts it's way through. If one listens closely enough, one might fancy they hear voices lifted in song. The grove has a warm feel to it, as though the forest were welcoming one here, unlike other places in the Eldenwood. One could sleep here, and not fear for their life. One also gets the feeling that there is much one could learn here. If one could be trusted with the forest's secrets.

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