Dunklerwald Forest Geographic Location in Ulskandar | World Anvil

Dunklerwald Forest

Carpeting part of the valley floor of the central Tafelland Valley, the Dunklerwald Forest stretches across the north of the Earldom of Fürstenkreis up to the border with the Barony of Hohensten. The thick covering of trees and undergrowth makes the Dunklerwald very hard to navigate unless those travelling through it stick to the purpose built paths and roadways. Even then, many travellers will find part of the main road running through the forest has become overgrown, sometimes so badly that the way forward is almost completely incomprehensible. The difficult nature of passage through the Dunklerwald has allowed it to become the border between the Barony of Hohensten and Fürstenkreis, as the Barony had no intention of trying to dispute this impassable and fairly useless terrain anyway.   Once every five years, the Earldom of Fürstenkreis sends a large, well-armed detachment of troops to clear the roadway through the Dunklerwald, to better facilitate the movement of trade through the area, and to placate angry merchants who find their way forward up the Tafelland Valley blocked or hindered by thick vegetation invading the road. This twice a decade pruning exercise rarely provides relief for more than a single growing season, with the vegetation beginning to encroach on the roadway again almost as soon as it is cut back. It is also the only overt sign that Fürstenkreis claims dominion over the forest. The Earldom makes no effort to try to police activities within the Dunklerwald, as it is almost impossible to find those responsible for highway robbery within the dense mass of trees and undergrowth. As a result, it has become a hotbed of activity for brigands, and more worryingly tribes of Goblins and worse that come down from the mountains, seeking easy pickings.


The Dunklerwald is a coniferous forest, mostly made up of varieties of pine and fir trees. The trees themselves are actually reasonably well spaced out, which has allowed for the rampant growth of bushes and shrubs that have created a thick, and in many places impassable carpet of undergrowth, much of which has grown taller than the size of an average humanoid. Even though the whole of the forest is on a slope, growing in the ever ascending Tafelland Valley, it is easy to lose the perception of climbing up or down the valley, as the trees and undergrowth have warped the floor of the valley so much that it has created its own microcosm of hills and valleys with churned up soil, decayed vegetal matter and fallen pine needles.
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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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