Saturday, 17 May 2014

The Howling Forest

The Howling Forest is a large stretch of deciduous forest south of the east side of the Godsblood Straits. It is mostly natural, but has a bad reputation since it was first investigated by the Toutus empire. Humans of the Toutus Empire have entered into it occasionally but never settled. Even woodcutters and hunters rarely venture more than a few hours inwards then retreating back out before sunset.
There are a number of inhabitants of the Howling Forest, few of whom are friendly.

There are substantial numbers of werewolves. These include more powerful leader-types that can fight most heroes and win. Other werewolves are clerics of chaotic gods when in human form, particularly Bhael, Skreech and Slargor. These werewolves gather into packs of about 2-20, but many packs are part of wider tribes. These include:
the Sly Stalkers (who sometimes visit human settlements outside the woods, either in human form in the day, or as wolves in the night), the Rabid Slayers (ferocious to the point of killing any creature not of their tribe) and the Midnight Singers  (who take glee in scaring prey witless with their howls before moving in for the kill)
There is the ruins of an elven culture that predates the Toutus Empire. The Citadel of Maeredoth has long been abandoned by the elves after foolish elven spellswords dabbled in magics that should have been left alone. Although there was no disaster on the scale of the Summoning, Mearedoth was still tainted with Chaos in such an indelible way that no amount of Remove Curse or Dispel Evil spells would remove. Chaotic monsters, including those from chaos portals, are attracted to the ruins of Maeredoth.
Some of the elves of Maeredoth moved north and joined their kin in the Talloak Forest while others fled west to Teiglin and the Shorgan Forest. There are now very few elves still staying in the Howling Forest, and they have to contend with the werewolves and other creatures.

The Lurggorkoth Orcs (translated: Bleeding Socket orcs) have been in this forest for hundreds of years - long before the Summoning and the chaos portals. They are immune to werewolf lycanthropy but can still be attacked and killed by the werewolves. As such, the Lurggorkoth orcs prize silver more than gold, and will fashion it into weapons, particularly daggers and arrowheads. Chiefs, shamans and leaders will be equipped with silver-headed spears and hand axes.
There is a small tribe of minotaurs led by a chief. They usually stay close to the centre, and are sometimes found investigating the elven ruins of Maeredoth. They dislike the werewolves and can hold their own against them. Although contemptuous of the orcs, they occasionally hire themselves out as mercenaries. Due to their great strength (and possible supernatural origins) minotaurs can damage werewolves. This makes them valuable allies to the orcs.

There is a small, scattered community of sylvan creatures, including treants, dryads, pixies, sprites and elves. They are very cautious of humans, as most werewolves appear human during the day. They hate the werewolves for hunting and killing all the centaurs that used to live in the Howling Forest. 

Random Encounters:
Roll D12+D8  Result
2Green Dragon
4Sprite or Pixie
6Giant Crab Spider
8Giant Carnivorous Beetle
10Wild Boar or Giant boar
11Stag (2HD herd animal) or Giant Stag
14Dire Wolf
17Bear, Grizzly
19Human or Demihuman NPC
20Treant or Dryad

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