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The High Forest

The Legend of Rameth
Population Centers
Important Sites

 

THE HIGH FOREST

Capital: n/a
Population: unknown
Government: various
Religions: various
Imports: n/a
Exports: n/a

The High Forest is a vast area of dense woods lying in the great saddle of land between the Worldspine Mountains and the Edgemoor Mountains. Covering an area of nearly 100,000 square miles, whole nations could be lost within this great wood. As indeed, there are.

The vast forest is actually many different regions. The northwest is a land of mighty redwoods and tall pines that is home to many dragons. In the northeast, small tribes of elves struggle with orcs and intelligent fungus creatures amidst the fog-bound stands of oak and elm. South of the river Phaedon the land rises up in rocky spires beloved by both pine and dragon alike. Somewhere in the east, among the stands of ash and poplar lies the home of the great treant known as Shadowmoss.

Nearly every part of the forest is home to trolls, and those not home to dragons are likely to shelter evil beholders.

THE LEGEND OF RAMETH

In ancient days, the High Forest was home to the fey races and held in high regard by the men of Iridian and Numanthaur. It was a place apart, and lay long untouched by the hands of mortals, who held it to be a sacred place. When the Wrath of the Gods came upon those doomed nations, the evil god Malbor fled from his temple in Iridian and sought to escape the ruin he had brought on his followers. It was here, in the forest sacred to the goddess who had spurned him, that he sought to hide. But Rameth, prince of those Iridians who had kept faith with the gods, pursued him and found out his refuge.

Then the fearsome god and the mortal prince did battle, and Malbor grew hot with fury so that the rain which fell upon him smoked and spattered as upon a great bonfire and, indeed, his huge warhammer was ablaze with unholy flames. Rameth was a small figure on the field, yet as sharp and terrible to behold as a star which blazes in its final throes. Terrible oaths did the god of darkness swear, and great rents did his hammer create upon the earth, yet his foe eluded him. Five times did Rameth wound the god with his spear, which he had washed in the living blood of Theeurth, and five times did Malbor scream in pain. The echoes of those screams are still heard, it is said, amidst the tall mountain walls which surround the forest.

Yet, despite the valor of the faithful prince, the contest ended in the only way it could. Malbor slew Rameth in that place, and howled his fury at the heavens. Yet in the moment of his triumph, the dark god was forced to flee, for he perceived the coming of the hosts of Heaven and knew he was not prepared to meet them. He fled the High Forest, but as he went, he dripped dark blood upon the ground. Each drop that fell turned into dark stones which burrowed into the earth and there slept, awaiting another day to release their hidden evil. It is from these stones that the many monsters of the High Forest rise, the curse of Malbor on the place of his greatest wounding.

MAJOR POPULATION CENTERS

Osaval (Village; population 820) This tiny forest community on the northern eaves of the forest has escaped the evil embrace of the lords of Ascarlon only by agreeing to serve an equally terrible master. A being called Katerrilax lives in an ancient citadel above the town and requires that the townspeople worship it as a god, offering up one of their sons or daughters each year for sacrifice. The people of the town have lived under Katerrilax’ brutal but safe and prosperous rule for twenty years.

The Marrodh (Fortress; population 160) The famous half-orc druid Ulgash of the Seven Hands makes her home in this hidden fortress somewhere in the eastern uplands of the High Forest. Here, she trains those who seek her knowledge and who have the skill to find her.

IMPORTANT LOCAL SITES

The Tomb of Rameth - Legend has it that somewhere in the High Forest lies a sunny green hill within which the Iridian hero Rameth was buried after his battle with Malbor. The legend says that on stormy days, the ghost of Rameth sometimes comes forth, driving off the evil creatures born of his ancient enemy.

The Black Spike - There is a wooden temple in the western forest which is said to be tended by servants of the god Malbor. There, they tend a great black spike of stone which is said to be the largest drop of blood which the god shed in his battle with the hero Rameth. This unholy relic is thought to empower the region with the vile power of undeath.

The Well of Worlds - At the exact center of Vatheria, there is said to be a temple which contains one thousand and one doors, each of which opens on to another world or time.

 
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