Rise of the Eldrosk
Region - Filo Forest
An eternally green forest with an eerie mystical pressence
Filo Forest – South Western Lagia
Just west of the Radadune Steppes lies the Filo Forest. Hundreds of miles of densely packed woods with a climate all its own, the forest seems a living thing. Everything about the forest gives off the feeling a majesty, even death in the Filo Forest is a thing of beauty. One will never see a rotting carcass, or rotting leaves, or smell the foul odor of decay.
Filo is full of deciduous trees, and though the leaves do fall off the trees, they never change with the season, nor fall in winter. There may be snow on the ground, but all trees remain green as in late spring. Every once in a while there may be a beam of sunlight that sneaks through, but otherwise the tree canopy is so thick that no natural light passes through. Regardless of this fact, there is always a pleasant ambient light under the canopy. It does change by location and with the daily sun cycle, growing dimmer and darker (more purplish/twilight light at night), but it never gets fully dark.
There is all manner of plant and animal life in the forest; however, insects and smaller life forms seem to be missing completely from the ecosystem. How it functions or continues to exist without these populations is a mystery, but nothing seems to die from disease or bacterial infections of any kind within the borders. It would be an ideal place to live, if it weren’t for the natural predators and plant like creatures called the Golthiar that make their home here.
There is a single known settlement in Filo Forest, and it is housed completely in structures that have existed as a part of the forest for longer than anyone knows. The re-purposed settlement sits atop the only significant variation in the terrain and is built right out of the rock that makes up the highest vantage piont in Filo Forest. Any other structure that gets built gets torn to pieces by pods of Golthiar. These plant-like creatures move like humans move, but are made entirely from plant matter. There are many natural things that are very hard, tough, resistant and sharp, so these creatures have long since stopped being underestimated. They move with a flowing like grace and coordinate incredibly well with each other. How they communicate is largely unknown, but it is clear by the use of their tactics that they do communicate. They patrol the forests in many places, but are not immediately hostile to all those that enter. Sometimes they are though. Their motives are seemingly random.
No matter how many Golthiar are killed in the attempt to create another permanent settlement, more always come, and the war of attrition has always been lost by mankind. Humans have been resigned to the single settlement, and hunters/gatherers living off the land in their pursuit for the treasures the forest holds. Everything in the forest seems to be fire resistant; things will char and be destroyed, but will not burn and catch fire. As such, cooking fires are impossible to get started without bringing in the fuel from outside.
The single settlement in Filo Forest is known as Otusvapaa (called “Vay – Pa” by locals). Here they work at processing a number of the natural exotic things for trade that can be harvested (reasonably safely) from the forest. The most prolific trade comes from vials created out of the sap of the Bloodthorn tree. This is a behemoth of a tree, over six hundred feet tall and 75 feet in diameter at its base. Its leaves are a deep red color, with blue undertones. It does not feed on sunshine like all other plant life, but instead is sustained through blood. The tree has spiked, lash like tendrils that grab prey and bring it up into the tree canopy, where it disappears forever. As part of the reaction of feeding, the trunk of the Bloodthorn weeps a crimson tinted clear liquid that can be processed into a glass that is impervious to any form of acid. The Bloodthorn tree seems only to prefer recently deceased mammals (not living things). In order to increase the weeping, humans have been known to feed tree. Otherwise, carcasses are brought from the forest by way of the Gurpods, a large shuffling plant like creatures shaped like a round bell with the open end up and a flap over the top. They move around the forest, hundreds of them, collecting food for the Bloodthorn tree. They never interact with living things and if attacked simply stop moving and over the course of the next few minutes degrade, turn to ash and float away on the wind.
From what seemingly comes right out of the hill under Vaypa is a constant, never changing waterfall that feeds the largest lake in Lagia, Lake Villren. The fresh water from this lake has a tang to it and is ever so slightly less viscous than regular water. It is packed with nutrients and will sustain a person’s health indefinitely without the need to eat. This also effectively stops the person’s need to dispose of solid waste. The water is incredibly addicting, and once a person has it, to not for even a single day causes intense withdrawal symptoms that can lay a person out for a week or more. There is an allure of the water, and to resist it takes great conscious willpower that is often subverted on a subconscious level by some unknown factor. Water must be drunk from the lake itself, for as soon as it enters the river mouth it quickly loses these properties. Also, the only way to transport the lake water, without also losing these incredible properties, is to transport it in containers made from bloodthorn sap. The lake is huge and full of life, just as the forest is, with its own set of mysteries and dangers.
Recently, pods (5-7 strong) of Galthiar have been seen outside the forest, traveling east. Sometimes they are hostile, sometimes not, their purpose remains unknown.