Post Greyhawk Wars: 585 CY
The Bramblewood is a huge, primeval forest. The creatures within it are dangerous to encounter, with little or no caution nor fear of humans or other humanoids. Ket claims control over the outer edges and the Irafa Road that cuts through the heart of the Forest, but constant military attention and power are just enough to maintain even this tenuous control.
All travelers into the Bramblewood quickly become aware of the dangers: wyverns, wild and wood elves, behir, ogres, androsphinxes, ettercaps, dire creatures of all types, and giant vermin of many species—all of these creatures exist in huge quantities. Staying outside overnight is mortally dangerous.
The military divides the Bramblewood into three zones:
1.areas controlled by Ket: anywhere up to five miles from the edge of the forest, as well as the Irafa Road. Travel in this area is still dangerous for the average traveler, but usually is without incident for heavily armed adventurers or a military squadron.
2.the Near Bramblewood: anywhere from five to seven miles from the edge. Extremely dangerous for the average traveller—not many survive. A well-armed party can expect caution on the part of creatures and Forest inhabitants, at least in the daytime.
3.the Deep Bramblewood: Even well-armed parties will be hard-pressed by constant attacks from monsters, both day and night.
These zones are only approximations—very dangerous areas can be found near the edges of the forest, while some travellers report areas of benign activity well within the Deep Bramblewood. Maps of the Forest are largely useless, since game trails and even riverbeds seem to change with the season. All sages agree that the Forest itself is slowly growing, despite the work of numerous Ketite woodcutters on its periphery, and several small hamlets have been overtaken by the Forest in recent years. Whether this is the work of some dark intelligence or just a natural cause is unknown.
The Irafa Road
The Irafa Road was actually built some 300 years ago by Keoish invaders when Keoland invaded Ket. The harrying attacks by the Ket resistance convinced the Keoish leadership that a faster route was needed for moving troops into northern Ket. (At the time, troops needed to march around the entire periphery of the Bramblewood.
To this end, the Keoish soldiers, with great loss of life from elves and other predators, hacked a road straight through the narrowest part of the Forest from north to south. Discovering that to stay outside overnight was to die, the army also built seven forts along its length, each a day’s march apart. The Irafa Road actually entered one side of the fort and left through the other side.
When the Ketite fighters finally succeeded in driving the Keoish troops out of Ket, they set about converting the forts of the Irafa Road to their own use. Today, the forts feature all the latest in tactical and magical defenses, including a kill zone around each fort of 750 feet, anti-teleportation magic and other defenses that are listed as state secrets.
The forts of the Irafa Road (from south to north) are Avernand, Daris, Monochehr, Stivang, Mahboud, Maldonius and Nesser. Fort Avernand and Fort Nesser are actually large fortified towns with huge defensive walls and larger garrisons. The remaining forts are smaller keeps with high walls. Patrols of Kaman constantly move up and down the Road, ensuring that it is kept free of obstacles, elves and other monsters.