Post Greyhawk Wars: 585 CY
The Gnarley Forest
Parts of this legendary forest are claimed by Celene, Greyhawk (increasingly), Dyers, and Verbobonc (decreasingly so).
The Gnarley Forest is an ancient forest full of immense trees. In most places, the tree canopy blocks out most light, resulting in little ground vegetation, making the forest floor easy to walk. These areas are almost like parkland, save for the presence of much rotted timber and trees felled by age or storm scattered across the ground.
Only a small portion of the Gnarley is claimed by Greyhawk. The great bulk of the forest, lying westward, is claimed by Celene, although Dyvers lays claim to some northern fringes of the forest as does Verbobonc to the west. Celene protects its borders fairly zealously and lays claim to virtually all of the Welkwood to the south (all land west of the Jewel river). There is no formal boundary between the lands of Dyvers and those of Greyhawk.
Greyhawk extracts little in the way of tax or tithe from the Gnarley, save from the frontier villages close to the Plains of Greyhawk and the Wild Coast. Rather, its militias patrol in order to make friends among the folk of the forest and to watch for Pomarj invaders heading northward. To the west, a great central swath of the forest consists of wooded hill land, where the eastern spur of the Kron Hills enters the Gnarley. Tree cover here is rather less dense and there are many secluded, fertile glades and valleys. The hills rise gently, with long, stretching undulations growing steeper as they rise to the west.
The Gnarley hills have fairly poor mineral resources in some areas, although a handful of mines within 20 miles or so of Namburil yield chrysoberyls and peridots, together with some fine quartz and tiger eye agates. Most of the superior gems are found to the west.
The Gnarley is surpassingly old. In its deepest recesses, treants and hostile lyrannikin repel those not of the forest themselves. There is an almost tangible aura of magic in such places, and the faerie folk and elves here do not welcome intruders, no matter what their intentions. Likewise, some buried secrets in the Gnarley are of great antiquity, and rich with the history of Oerik-and, not rarely, redolent of its greatest evils to boot.
Tales and Whispers:
Near or in the Gnarley Forest:
1. Two young rangers have disappeared in the western Gnarley, leaving no sign of any struggle. Ranger Knights will pay a reward for information about them
2. An albino Suloise man, naked and tattooed with sigils of Nerull, was found dead three miles east of Tricaster. The body may have been dumped there, possibly as some kind of warning; the villagers fear that a cult of Nerull may be active in the area, and the killing was due to cult dissensions
3. Huge beetles have been seen along the banks of the upper Jewel river; they are said to radiate a terrible, rotten stench and to have ghastly, skeletal heads
4. Unusual monsters have been seen, roaming almost mindlessly, spreading north and east from the fork of the Jewel river. Sighting include rakshasas, umber hulks, and even a great behir. None of these creatures has been captured, and they seem to be able to disappear into thin air, although half a dozen woodsmen and gnomes have been slain.
5. Eight elves have died in Shelleton, and it is rumored that they were poisoned by a rare elfbane introduced into their food. They shared their repast with humans unaffected by the drug, and were killed unsuspectingly. Some humans in Shelleton are proclaiming self-government and asking for alliance with Greyhawk; Celene has not yet reacted to these events
6. Wood elves in the northern Welkwood Forest are said to have turned back a group of adventurers feigning origins from Dyvers who were actually agents of one of Aerdi’s fractured fiefdoms. It is thought they traveled the Nyr Dyv to Caltaran and headed through the Gnarley, and declined to fight the elves since they had been beset by a nest of owlbears.
7. Fern Groves was covered by a shroud of magical darkness for a week recently; druidic magic was used to dispel it. The dryads of the groves appear completely amnesic for what happened during this time. The darkness is said to have spread from a very deep dungeon below the groves, where powerful elemental magic is stirring to life. Dryads, druids, and rangers are all worried about the intrusion of this magic, and fear further outbreaks of more dangerous dweomers