"The dark, mutant forest of Celene..."
Once a beautiful and lush northern forest known as Lorian, the Dullwood was corrupted by the influence of Celene and the tainted waters of the Churn, which fed the woods through several estuaries connected to it. The denizens of the Dullwood include mutant animals and plants, things made more powerful (yet unstable) by the wild magic of the Churn. These beings are incredibly territorial, and hostile to anyone foolish enough to enter their domain. It is largely avoided, even by the rough and tumble people of the Blight. It is said that if a practitioner of the Art stays amongst the trees of the Dullwood long enough, their very spells become mutated and corrupt, acting unpredictably. Few have stayed in the woods long enough to test this theory.
Located north of The Thaw in the heartlands of Hariel Majour, the Dullwood spans hundreds of miles, east-west across the northern parameter of the continent.
Fauna & Flora
The woods feature a unique mix of conifers and deciduous trees, however even these have been altered by the corrupting and "sour" magic of the Churn. Most trees now have nearly black bark, and seem to exude a layer of some unknown, glistening plasm. Many are deadly to the touch, and some are believed to even be ambulatory, as if they were related to the Fortreal. Unpredictable mutations run rampant throughout the woods, along with a variety of aberrations released from Celene during the Sundering. Never have the contents of the Dullwood been accurately documented, as all who've attempted never returned. EXAMPLE MUTANT TEMPLATE The following creature is a mutant hybrid of a large black bear and several other creatures fused to it on the molecular level... Mutant Behemoth Large abomination, chaotic neutral Armor Class 17 Hit Points 168(16d12 + 64) Speed 40ft., climb 20ft. STR 19 (+4), DEX 16 (+3), CON 18(+4), INT 3(-4), WIS 14(+2), CHA 10(+0) Skills Perception+6, Stealth+7 Senses Darkvision 90ft., passive Perception 16 Languages None Challenge 12 (8,400 XP) Standing Leap. Long jump up to 30ft, and high jump up to 15ft, with or without a running start. Actions Multiattack. The mutant makes three attacks: one with its bite, one with its horns, and one with its claws. In place of bite or horns may instead constrict or use fire breath (if available). Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage. Horns. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit 10 (1d12 + 4) bludgeoning damage. Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage. Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit 15 (2d10 + 4) bludgeoning damage plus 15 (2d10+4) slashing damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 14) if not already constricting a creature, and the target is restrained until this grapple ends. Fire Breath (Recharge 5-6). One mutant head (multiheaded) exhales fire in a 15ft. cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC15 DEX saving throw, taking 54 (12d8) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
The Dullwood began as a lovely woods of great span, known as the Lorian Woods. It is believed to be as ancient as the land, and a source of great magical energy. At least, after the coming of Mount Celene and the Churn. Everything changed the day that the holy mountain touched down and reshaped the geography of the west. It brought along with it, the corrupting waters of the Churn, however the influence of the blasted lake didn't fully take hold until after The Sundering. The Sundering brought a level of magical "pollution" to the woods (via the Churn) previously unknown. Colonies that had been established int he woods, including a number of Abbeys dedicated to the Faith Zenithal, had to be quickly abandoned in the wake of the cataclysm. Since that epic and tragic event, two thousand years past, the woods have been on a downward spiral towards utter desolation. It's a miracle of sorts that life can even be sustained within its boundaries, however the creatures of the Dullwood are more resilient than one might initially expect. Beneficial mutations are as numerous as those foul, and new breeds of beast and plant emerge seemingly daily from the "haunted" woods. Some species still find the woods to their liking. Some of the "darker" fey creatures, including Fauns, tend to like the isolation the Dullwood provides them. Visitors are rather rare, it seems. At the border crossing, where the Dullwood transforms into the Feywood, Kelti protectors keep a constant vigil, holding back the mutant forces of their neighbor to the west.
Only the foolish or those with a death wish enter the Dullwood for any reason other than to visit Mount Celene. On that front, however, the woods have been quite popular. At least, during the many pilgrimages that took place before and up to the Sundering.
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