The Ardeep Forest (also known as the Faraway Forest) is a forest located in the southern Sword Coast North, east of Waterdeep and north of Nightstone. It is inhabited by a group of wood elf, who occasionally come into conflict with human farmers from the adjacent town of Nightstone. However, such conflict has decreased since the early 1490s DR, when the Baron of Nightstone came to an agreement with the elves over the use of the forest.
For the first few miles one ventures into the Ardeep Forest, they will find relaxing, sun-dappled paths. However, these quickly give way to rough terrain filled with ridges, gullies, thick vines, and shrubbery everywhere. There are also a number of caves in the forest, some of which connect to the Underdark. Many of these caves are not natural formations, having been carved out by the dwarves of the old realm of Dardath. The Ardeep is bordered by the Dessarin River and the Stump Bog to the north, and the Forlorn Hills to the east. To the south lies the Ardeep and South Ardeep Rivers, both of which originate deep within the forest.
Of the flora present in the Ardeep Forest, a few species of tree stand out for the usage as resources. While common in the North, blueleaf is valuable for its durability and flexibility, as well as the strong blue dyes that its leaves produce. Duskwoods are taller than blueleaf trees and even sturdier. They are as hard as iron, and their fire resistance makes them valuable for construction. Like many other forests, the Ardeep contains cedar and elm trees. The forest also contains the rare weirwood tree, often thought linked to fey. Weirwood does not burn in non-magical fire, and is especially favoured to the beautiful sounds produced by instruments made from it.
Historically, the Ardeep Forest has been part of several elven realms, such as the realm of Ardeep and the empire of Illefarn. Ardeep regained its independence around -1100 DR and continued to exist for over a millenium. During this period, the forest extended much further than it does in the 15th century DR. During this time, Ardeep was ruled by various elven kings and queens. In 342 DR, the elves of Ardeep, following a destructive war against an orc horde fought alongside allied the dwarven realm of Dardath (located in the modern day Forlorn Hills), joined the Council of Illefarn. The alliance was hoped to create a new era of peace and prosperity. By 523 DR, attacks by orc hordes had forced the Council to unite formally into the Realm of Three Crowns, also known as Phalorm. However, in 615 DR, Phalorm's armies collapsed, and the elves of Ardeep fled across the Trackless Sea to the island of Evermeet. The realm of Ardeep was reestablished in 882 DR by elves fleeing from the collapsed Eaerlann in the High Forest. This new realm continued to exist until 1344 DR when the Retreat occurred and elves across the continent departed for Evermeet. In the following years, a small band of moon elves that remained behind ensured monster populations remained low. They were joined some years later by two cells of the Eldreth Veluuthra - elven supremacists who had decided to ensure the safety of elven artifacts within the forest. In the late 14th century, Lord Drezlin Nandar of Nightstone attempted to reclaim his family's hunting lodge in the forest. After the town was raided and the Lord killed, his wife made an agreement with the elves to refrain from entering the forest. The moon elves were last heard from decades ago, and the Eldreth Veluuthra were wiped out in a confrontation with loggers in the western forest several years later. Despite this, Nightstone continued to respect its agreement to stay out of the forest. Recently, a small group of wood elves from Evermeet arrived to continue the protection of relics and locations within the forest. In 1492 DR, the current Baron of Nightstone made an agreement with the wood elf protectors of the Ardeep that permitted outsiders access to the forest, travel, and limited, supervised usage of the resources within.