The Wyld Woods
Nestled between the southern slopes of the Dragons' Tears Mountains and the Centric Sea, the Wyld Woods are a mysterious place regarded by those who live near its environs as being a weird and dangerous place. Many have tales of people entering the woods, straying off the paths and not being seen again for many years later, even though they act as if they have only been gone for a single day. Part of what contributes to the Wyld Woods’ mystique is the fact that they are claimed as the dominion of Thaleros, a Woodelf kingdom which tends towards isolationism, with the Woodelves themselves not being overly fond of interlopers within their borders.
Geographically, the Wyld Woods stretches from the western edge of the Relialo Plains to the eastern edge of the Wresmella and from the southern foothills of the Dragons' Tears Mountains to the northern shore of the Centric Sea. Around sixty percent of this area is covered in dense deciduous forest, which is separated by stretches of lush meadows, which divide the region into distinct woods – hence its name the Wyld Woods, rather than the Wyld Wood. Whilst there are no major water courses that flow through the area from the mountains to the sea, there are numerous lakes and small rivers to be found across the Wyld Woods, providing ample water supplies for the humanoids, animals and plants alike that call the area home.
Many have reported that it is easy to lose track of time whilst within the borders of the Wyld Wood and this phenomenon ranges from people believing they have been there for minutes, when it is in fact hours, to the much more extreme end where people believe that they have been within the woods for a matter of hours, only to emerge many days, weeks or even years later. Exactly what causes this phenomenon is a matter of continuing scholarly debate, with some hypothesising that the region has a strong connection to the Feywild, and is therefore susceptible to the weird passage and distortion of time present there, whilst some have even suggested that it is due to an enchantment placed upon the woods by the Woodelves of Thaleros to deter interlopers and to especially deter the populace of Pellingham, a town on its eastern border from engaging in forestry too vigorously. Those who suffer from this strange warping of time are, anecdotally at least, said to be people who either deliberately intended to harm the forest or its inhabitants, or who were engaged in a trade that inevitably does this, lumberjacks and hunters for the most part. It is unclear whether this focus is real, or whether it is the product of local superstition.
Fauna & Flora
All manner of plant and animal life can be found within the Wyld Woods, but what dominates the landscape the most are the many majestic oak trees that are the predominant species in the forest. Interspersed between the oak woods are meadows full of lush grass and in the spring and early summer they are ornamented with the blooms of wild flowers, which produce a riot of colour.
For those who live in harmony with the forest, the Wyld Woods provides all that one needs to not just survive, but thrive. For the Woodelves of Thaleros, their homeland gives them food, building materials, crafting materials and even deposits of metals that they can use to fashion tools and weapons. For outsiders, however, it is something of a different story, with those who come to the woods’ borders seeking to turn its trees into timber and hunt its animals without regard for keeping the natural balance in order, being afflicted by the warping of time around them, or being attacked by hostile animal and Woodelf alike.