Forest Roads | Technology of the Anhult

Forest Roads

My 1st Wildlands one-shot is published! Check Out Mystery of Thorngage Manor

Written by George Sanders

The dirt on the road had gathered the rain.


The mud was soft and slid with every step.


Every step took more energy than the last...


A well-known poem starts off with the problem many roads had in the North. It rained a lot in the spring. The roads were muddy paths at best. Wildlife trails were better than the roads. The road faired better under the trees in the places where the road navigated through the forest. It was significant enough that it caught the eye of one of the sages from the Avast Library. The Etonia Council had a deep belief that magic should benefit everyday life and not be locked away in libraries, repositories, or the homes of nobles and kings. The sage, named Antum, proposed a way to use magic to improve the road and drew up plans for a Road Maker vehicle.


Living Up to Their Word

This launched one of the early initiatives of the Etonia Council. After a survey of the forest was completed by Devin, the council planned a network of regional roads. The majority of the roads would be underneath the trees. In addition, Sages from the Avast Library enchanted the roadbeds. Antum led the project. He hand-selected a crew to walk the forest paths that would become the roads. Along each section of the road, the sages molded the earth to hold a specific shape. Stones were pulled to the surface and fit together. They used a customized cart to position themselves above the road and cast their spells the entire length of the road. It took two years to complete the network.


Including the Community

Additional crews were set up after the first month to speed up progress. A spiritual leader from the forest's indigenous people, Cice Hazan, joined one of the crews. She had lived in the forest her entire life. Many thought she could talk to the trees. She suggested asking the trees to fill in the space over the road with their leaves. To accomplish this, she made a fertilizer to apply to the sides of the road. It also had the effect that it would promote tree growth but not grasses and understory growth. The people of the forest had used this mixture to make spaces under the trees for rituals and gatherings. The fertilizer made the full canopy over the roads and kept the roads clear of weeds, but some still believe she asked the trees to move, and they listened.


I continued on, home was not far.


The trees stepped up to the road,


getting larger the further I went.


The trees soon blocked the rain from the road.


The water dripped softly down the leaves.


My resolve hardened with the ground.




The Result

The roads coming out of Etonia have become a part of the forest using stone pulled up from the earth, winding around trees that are like cathedral pillars, maximizing the forest canopy cover to keep maintenance at a minimum. Etonia sent settlers to new villages as the crews extended the roads. Etonia's influence spread over the forest with the roads.

Cover image: Muddy Lane by\stux


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Jan 2, 2022 02:41 by Desdemona Rose

I really like this, focusing on something that's more mundane, but adding a fun magical twist to it. Not everyone thinks of dirt roads as important world building, but it is. I also like the little writing blurbs on the page.

Jan 17, 2022 01:45 by George Sanders


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