Stretching across the entirety of the Province of Langstrom, the Grunwald Forest is an enormous expanse of coniferous trees that can easily make those who are not used to traversing its needle lined ways lose all sense of bearing in a moment.
The area of the Grunwald Forest stretches along the whole of the north-eastern peninsula that reaches out from the Continent of Hunar, and the forest extends pretty much down to the sands of the peninsula’s beaches along every coast. Though it is hard to tell from above because of the thick tree cover, the Grunwald is actually covered in hills that undulate across the entirety of the space, making the landscape particularly tricky to navigate when one is amongst the mass of the Grunwald’s trees. In the far west of the Grunwald, is an area of small mountains that rises up from the canopy, the Jern Peaks.
Fauna & Flora
As a forest, the Grunwald is composed of an endless sea of almost exclusively coniferous trees, predominantly species of pine who are hardy enough to survive the ice weather fronts that roll in off the The Frost Sea in the winter months. The tree cover of the Grunwald is characterised by the trees being incredibly close, leaving little or no room for underbrush to naturally grow. Instead, other plants must rely on areas where the tree cover has been cleared, either naturally or though design and clearings in the Grunwald burst into a flurry of life as grasses and wildflowers burst into existence and try to establish themselves before the trees reassert their dominance. These clearings will tend to attract all manner of creatures, the herbivores to feast on the more delectable vegetation, and the carnivores to prey upon them. The Grunwald has an enormous amount of biodiversity amongst its population of fauna, but one thing that binds them is the need to be cold tolerant, as winters in the forest can be incredibly fierce, with even the dense tree cover giving little shelter against the snow and ice that blows in from the Frost Sea. Herbivorous animals are further linked by a need to be able to digest the needles of coniferous trees, which are the most plentiful food source. Species of deer, caribou and elk can all be found in the forest, along with smaller beasts, and there is a large population of wolves and brown bears that feed upon them. The Grunwald is also one of the hotbeds for much larger, more monstrous creatures that can pose a significant threat to the villages and towns in the province, which means that the Lodge of Imperial Hunters have a strong presence in the area.
Whilst the Grunwald has abundant stocks of timber that could be exploited, for the most part little of this wood is actually harvested for commercial purposes, as the hardwoods of the Yimawas and the luxury decorative woods of the Yalthar Jungle are in far higher demand. All of the limited wood that is cut down from the Grunwald is used for domestic purposes, for building uses and as fuel. However, beneath the roots of the Grunwald’s trees are rich veins of iron, which are heavily mined across the region and either shipped out to the other provinces of the Empire as ingot of raw metal, or which fuel the vibrant metal working industry that has flourished in Langstrom Province for centuries.