Worm's Wood
Please disregard mileage

An ancient and dark place, Worm’s Wood was once a haven for dragons and other ancient creatures. Even today, there are those that believe that ancient monsters lurk in Worm’s Wood’s depths, awaiting the time that they can regain what they lost to the humen races thousands of years ago. Some fear that this is the time and that the current hegemony of mortals will soon and permanently come to an end.

Worm’s Wood is a medium-sized continental forest, larger than the Noon Woods and the forests of Bainland but much smaller than Agrabathor Jungle and the Eternal Forest. Worm’s Wood stretches from the south of the Wyrmspine Hills and merges into the Agrabathor Jungle to the south, just north of the Agragrabala River. Worm’s Wood’s western boundaries once stretched into the Bainland peninsula and some scholars believe that the Krine Forest and the Great Green Wood once constituted part of Worm’s Wood until the clearing of the land of Valdeze. Since Valdeze’s settlements, the official western boundary of Worm’s Wood is along the Wynding River, thereby including portions of Reddenwood Forest. The eastern boundary disperses into Jaegger’s Spine Mountains. There are many settlements and ancient ruins in Worm’s Wood. Most existing towns and cities lie on the northern and western perimeters of the Wood while most of the ruins are located in what is called the Boundary. Beyond the Boundary is the Heart of the Worm where many ancient and not-so-ancient sites can be found and where rumors persist about powerful and dreadful creatures.

Most of Worm’s Wood supports a temperate climate. In the height of summer, it is not unusual for Worm’s Wood’s temperatures to reach into the middle 80s and for the trees covered in dark green leaves. In the fall, the temperatures decline slowly, averaging in the mid 60s. Although some of the trees in Worm’s Wood are evergreen, the majority undergo dramatic and beautiful seasonal changes throughout autumn. By winter, Worm’s Wood appears to be a dreadful place; most of the trees are leafless and gray, and the winds cut through the woods freely, making it feel much colder than the average temperature of 40. As spring takes hold, Worm’s Wood slowly awakens with temperatures eventually rising to the mid 60s again. There is regular precipitation, although snow is limited to the late fall and winter in the northern regions of the Woods. The southern portions of the Wood, just north of the Agragrabala, are almost sub-tropical, experiencing little snow and the seasonal metamorphosis is not as noticeable.

Worm’s Wood is dominated by huge trees, the best known being the fabulous reddenwoods, massive pines that can grow well over 100 feet in the Heart of Worm’s Wood. Hickory, walnut, and elm challenge pines for dominance. In the past, there may have been sentient trees related to treants but these creatures are thought to no longer exist. The floor of the woods is covered in rich tree fall; very little grass grows in the heart of the Worm’s Wood but bushes and wildflowers are prevalent. Will o’wisps are a serious threat to towns that lie near the Boundary of the Wood and most people are wise enough to avoid groves in such areas at night. Special fungi and slimes abound, however, and on occasion are known to find their way into small cities and towns. A sentient race of fungi, myconids, are found throughout the Boundary. Numerous lakes, rivers, and streams flow throughout Worm’s Wood. Worm’s Bile Lake feeds the majority of these bodies. Lying at the far north of the Wood, Worm’s Bile is created from the ice flows from Wyrmspine Hills. It earns it name from the blackness of its fresh water, a color drawn from the soil and dirt in the crater that holds the lake.

Worm’s Wood is home to wide variety of forest creatures. Bats, bears, cougars, deer, doves, foxes, geese, hawks, possum, quail, rabbit, all manner of rodent, turkey, and wildcats are very common. Wolves are by far the most prevalent predator species in the Wood. There are numerous subspecies, the most common being gray wolves, followed closely by the dire variety. Other, supernatural wolf species tend to keep near the Boundary of the Wood and into the Heart along with most of the more dangerous monstrous beasts. Snakes and lizards are the primary reptile species, although alligators are found in the larger streams and small lakes in the southern reaches of the Wood. Trout, carp, and cod are the fish most likely found in Worm’s Wood’s streams and rivers. Monstrous beasts include ankhegs, basilisks, blink dogs, drakes, carrion crawlers, cockatrice, displacer beasts, drakes, giant eagles and owls, owlbears, varieties of giant insects, wyvern, yeth hounds. Over the years, there have been more and more sightings and deaths from giant spiders, suggesting that there may be some kind of infestation occurring. Although not entirely common, stirge swarms are known to form every six years or so, spilling from the Heart of the Worm and randomly assaulting nearby towns and settlements. There are persistent rumors that more powerful creatures like basilisks, dragonne, and manticores as well.

Although they are rarely seen, fairies and other sentient beings are said to dwell within and below the depths of the Wood. Sylvan creatures, particularly dryads, haunt the interior of Worms Wood, protecting the trees. Many of these spirits are said to be allied to the worshippers of Aurlarist and Ganlarid. Other fairy like, gremlins, sprites, and sylphs are sometimes encountered near the southern reaches of the Wood. Aside from humen, the Woods have been the historical home of goblins, hill giants, ogres, and trolls. In the past, these creatures controlled much of the Wood despite the efforts of duruban and elves. It was not until the Sixth Age that elves and sapien began to assume a dominant position at the expense of these creatures. To this day, goblin tribes in Worm’s Wood continue to be a persistent threat and a few towns and settlements have found it to their benefit to work with, rather than against, the more cosmopolitan tribes. Many of the tribes have found the means to manipulate some ogre and troll groups, although the vast majority of ogres and trolls roam the Boundary freely, hoping to chance upon foolish and unsuspecting humen. Hill giants are the other prevalent non-humen race in the Wood. These giants once controlled most of the Wyrmspine Hills were in perpetual war with the ancient aulspawn until duruban, elven, and sapien invaders drove them out. They now dwell in small enclaves throughout the Wood. Other monstrous races common to Worm’s Wood include bugbears, kobolds.

Although there is little evidence of their continued existence in Worm’s Wood, many people continue to tell tales of powerful aulspawn that live in the Heart of the Worm. In the past, Worm’s Wood was known to be a haven of alnoidials, black dragons, copper dragons, and green dragons. Alnoidials, allied to duruban cultists of Arcanu, were said to have participated in the construction of a number of currently ruined sites in the Weeping Fens of Uruba. When the Demon Wars erupted, many of these alnoidials were killed. Two dragons, the Named One Jaeggertooth Redspine and his mate, Chorisalis, ruled much of Worm’s Wood for a number of Ages. Most of the true dragons were annihilated during the Dragonhold. Regardless, there are many who still believe that both alnoidials and dragons still live deep in the Woods, awaiting an opportunity to return to power. It is known that Named Ones like Hallucimain the Deceiver and Staunch the Covetous have roamed Worm’s Wood in the past and that the Heroes of Noon battled a contingency of alnoidials during The Darkhold. Many hope that these rumors are nothing more.

What are not rumors are the tales of lycanthropes and undead in Worm’s Wood. For millennia, these two cursed groups have threatened all of the humen and monstrous humanoid races in the Wood. While skeletons and zombies are encountered with alarming regularity in towns near the Boundary, werewolf attacks have occurred in towns and cities throughout Worm’s Wood for centuries. Indeed, wolves are attacked on sight for fear that they may be in truth be werewolves.

Important Locations

The Bloody Heart

Cavern of Eyes

Chariel's Snarl

Chorisalis' Lair

The Covered Hovel

Den of Darshto

Field of Scales

Hearth of Summer

The Moaning Trees

Ridgeback’s Pass

The Silent Groves

Weeping Fens of Uruba

Wormbile Lake

Wyrmspine Hills

Wyrmspine Valley

Religions and Organizations of the Wood

Aurlarist in Worm's Wood

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