Long a home of horrid monsters and vicious raiders, the Darwood (also known as Dark Wood) hides within its borders a multitude of terrors.   The huge forest covers some 10,000 square miles, making it hard for the ranger patrols from Silverstand to do anything other than sweep through the outer reaches of the forest periodically. Several Eldgach clans dwell at the forest's edge.   Between the rangers of Silverstand and the Elves, the worst of the monsters of the Darwood are generally kept in check and rarely stray out from beneath the boughs into civilised lands. At times however a threat that avoids them or overcomes them emerges to wreak havoc across the land about.   Years ago, the guards of Burle helped the denizens of the forest defeat an incursion by cultists worshiping elemental evil fire. Since then, the Elves, the towns of Burle and Silverstand have observed the Wild Flame Pact - a treaty that calls for mutual defence against the Darwood's horrors.   The outermost reaches of the Darwood are as lightly wooded as those of any other forest and extend five to ten miles into the woods. This part of the forest is as safe as any other woodland, thanks to frequent ranger and elf patrols that keep the denizens of the deeper forest at bay if they try to encroach here.   Inside the outer fringe, the forest takes on an increasingly sinister character. Even on the brightest days, the thick canopy of greenery threatens to devour the sunlight. Those few brave souls who have travelled here have said that without a source of light during the day, they found that the thick canopy cast everything in dim light, and in some areas the growth overhead was so thick that the area below was completely dark.   In the heart of the forest, referred to as the Dreaded Deeps, natural light is rumoured to be unknown. No-one knows of anybody who has lived to confirm if this rumour is true however.   Tales tell of a once-proud fortress that stood several miles north of Silverstand, but fell into the earth in an age long past. Little of it is now known other than the occasional relic sold by explorers in the markets of Silverstand.

The Darwood by Sven Bybee

Alternative Name(s)
Dark Wood
Forest, Boreal (Coniferous)
Location under

Cover image: Forest by Unknown


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