The Cerulean Forest
The Cerulean Forest is a lush thicket of coniferous and deciduous trees located just north of the Taciturn Tower in Shenar, Naea (or southeast of Birchdale). Where the forest gets its name comes from five species of grasses that grow on the forest floor; their leaves and stems colored a vibrant blue. This forest is a common attraction for people of Westmarch to visit, and as such, small cabins available to rent have started to pop up inside the thicket. In addition to the blue plant life on the forest floor, there are also a collection of naturally-occurring hot springs that dot the southeast side, just at the base of the mountains. Of course, the hot springs only add more to the tourist-gathering ability of the forest.
The forest itself is nestled in an area near roughly the middle of the Keldaro mountain range on it's eastern side (facing the east). Several hot springs have formed from geothermal vents deep within the mountains, and as such, it brings both animal visitors as well as human tourists. The forest itself is an oval shaped-growth, roughly two miles wide and one mile long. On the eastern side however, much of the blue plant life has been overrun by tanglevines at the forest floor.
Fauna & Flora
There are five species of blue grasses that cover the forest floor, giving the area it's name. Each of these grasses belong to the same genus, and as such, are each a subspecies of that original genus. From here, a multitude of flora grow, including; pine trees, aspen trees, the Naean birch tree, bloodberry bushes, blueberry bushes, greenbulb trees, boreal carrots, barbspine bushes, two major species of mosses, and tanglevines have all been documented as naturally occurring species in this area. Beyond that, tourists have impacted the flora, most notably of which was introducing Plenn's titan carrots to the environment. As for fauna, the species are about what you'd expect for a boreal forest. Naean deer, Naean dwarf bears, wolves, rabbits, owls, Naean gyrfalcons, mice, white stoats, and several fish species are very commonly seen in the area. The dwarf bears especially, should one travel to the hot springs, where the bears also dip into the waters. Fear not, these bears are very non-aggressive or threatened by humans, in addition to being much smaller than their northern counterpart, the Bernall black bear (which has not been seen in the Cerulean Forest in over two decades), or any other standard black bear.
As previously mentioned, some of the townspeople of Birchdale venture out into the Cerulean Forest to gather some of the local fruits and vegetables to later plant on their own farms. Bloodberries (Rubus hemochroma) are a notable fruit commonly grown in the area, which are often eaten plain, or added to cereals, oat meals, or dried. They roughly the size of a typical raspberry, are very sweet, and taste most similarly to cherries. Greenbulb (Citrus vertransi) fruits are a denser-fleshed citrus fruit, typically the size of a standard grapefruit, but not as sweet. Because of their dense flesh, the Greenbulb fruit were often kept by travelers. Lastly, boreal carrots (Daucus carota s. sativus-borallia) are a mainstay of the local deer population, as well as a commonly cultivated vegetable of the neighboring regions that originate from this forest. They are much like their cousins, the typical orange carrot, but differ in their color (a dark purple), and are slightly more bitter and earthy, as well as being slightly larger. Outside of edibles, pockets of iron and copper have been found in the hills north of the forest, and even close to the hot springs. Some have even claimed to see gold, which is much more common on Folterra than Earth, floating in the rivers nearby. Additionally, wood from the surrounding trees is cut down for use in lumber mills, as well as some of the tanglevines still being used for baskets and other woven goods by tradition-keeping villages and towns in the greater area adjacent to the forest.
The Blue Carpeted Wood, Seafloor Forest, Towerwatch Wood
Forest, Boreal (Coniferous)
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