THE THEMED'LON FORESTS ("FORTIFIED WOODS")

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - PEOPLE - CLIMATE - FLORA
FAUNA - RESOURCES - MYTH/LORE - HISTORY

Known throughout the North as the home of the Kaaer’dár’shín half-orcs, the Themed'lon Forests are a territory rich in flora and fauna and steeped in ancient myth. The two forests are composed of two large regions of heavily wooded areas located in the southeastern part of the Northern Sarvonian peninsula of Caael'heroth. These woods are home to the Kaaer’dár’shín tribe and provide the half-orcs with a home, a hunting ground, and a center of worship. The woods' name stems from the Styrásh term "Themanhe'lón" lit. "Fortified Wood"), as it was home in ancient times for the Folkmore elves. Over time, the name was later shortened to "Themed'lon".

The forests are believed by the Kaaer’dár’shín to be a sacred area to the Beastlord and thus are fiercely protected by the tribe. There are many mysteries surrounding the Themed'lon Forests, according to the few researchers who have visited it, as the forests are so tranquil and lush and very much active with many varieties of plant and animal life. The forests' half-orc inhabitants, hold that the woods are also cared for by living tree spirits they call the "Pafalka" (lit. "Wood-like-man").


Description. There are two regions of forested areas that make up the Themed'lon - the northern and the southern. Both areas are similar in their flora and fauna but also hold more than a few special areas sacred to the Kaaer’dár’shín.

Location. The Themed'lon is located in the south eastern section of Caael'heroth in Northern Sarvonian. The Themed'lon and the Wood Forest to its south guard the entrance path up into the peninsula. The woods lie along a wide bridge of land between where the Kharim river splits and flows into the two gulfs to the east and west. To the north are the Heaths of Eph'denn, the Colony of Eph'denn, and to the west is the Kaaer’dár’shín fishing village of Anif. Surrounding the forest is flat tundra of brush grass and small trees. Return to the top

People. The forests' main inhabitants are the people of the Kaaer’dár’shín tribe. They were once a single large group of former Kuglimz exiles and criminals who were forced to march out of the main Kuglimz lands before the Third Sarvonian War. These exiles were threatened into never returning to their homeland or face death so they set out to find their own colony to settle. They ventured northeast, to Caael'heroth, where they first encountered a lush, dense forested region that was positioned between two rivers running southwest and southeast. By using the forests' natural resources and the rivers and gulfs for fishing, the former Kuglimz realized that they had found their new home.

The Kaaer’dár’shín live primarily along the eastern side of the southern forest and the southern side of the northern forest. Their main colony, Torik (lit. "Home") lies between the two areas of forest. The Kaaer’dár’shín use the woods for functional purposes - wood for homes and bromers; food, as there exists a large variety of boar and wolverines within, and as a spiritual center of nature where the tribe believes that the Great Spirit resides within the forest, watching and protecting.

The tribe knows the forest well, having lived and explored the area extensively over the years. Although most of the tribe's homes are along the forest borders, there are some living within the forest itself. Many areas within the woods have been opened up and spread out allowing many bromers to be erected under the canopy of trees. Hunters and loggers who have lived and worked within the forest for most of their lives are well skilled in tracking and forging new trails within the forest. Each day before a hunter embarks on a hunt for woolly boar or to fish in the streams and basins, the shamuts must perform a short ritual or blessing and protection, not for the hunters, but for the forest.

A long held and deeply respected belief holds that the forest is home to the Pafalka and that they must be appeased before anything within is killed or taken. Legends tell of an age old mystical connection between the half-orc shamuts and the forest; a sort of understanding between them. The exact nature of this connection is unknown, but failure to heed the words of the shamut will result in the death of the hunter, but not by the tribe’s hands, but by the Pafalka themselves. Return to the top

Climate. The climate in and around the forest is breezy and cold during the winter months but mild and warm during the spring and summer. Frequent rains in the spring are swept in from the gulfs and often in winter the forest is blanketed in snow.

Spring and summer are the best times to find the forest in all of its glory. The flora is alive and green making hiking throughout a pleasant and uplifting experience. Fall finds the forest a bit colder, with the trees' leaves turning many bright colours as the entire forest becomes littered with them. A near constant dropping of leaves makes the forest difficult to see through as usually one can see far inside the depths if at the right angle. Winter is quite cold with the forest under heavy snowfall and waterfalls and streams slowed with ice forming upon the surface. Return to the top

Flora. Deciduous trees, such as the tulmine, grow in abundance within the Themed'lon and make up the majority of the tree life. These trees function as the main source of wood making material for the Kaaer’dár’shín so logging is heavy in the eastern and northern areas nearest to the colony. Arvins cedar trees are the second most abundant tree type within the Themed'lon growing in dense groups mostly in the northern areas closer to where the Kharim river splits. The Arvins cedar is also found growing high around both of the forest's waterfalls.

Other flora includes the blackmoss, known to grow along the forest borders. The blackmoss ink is used as body paint when mixed with a thin layer of sap. The tribe makes use of the mutnut and redberry bushes as food. Although they are primarily meat eaters, the tribe harvests the mutnut and berries year-round.

Surrounding the forest in the hilly plains is alth'ho grass. This grass provides excellent grazing for the tribe's Landesh ponies and woolly boar. The grass grows all the way up to the forest borders and beyond south to the Imlith Mountain range and north to the heaths.

The people of the Kaaer’dár’shín make use of the wolf willow that grows in several smaller clusters in the area of land between the north and south sections of the Themed'lon. The willows also take advantage of the small tributaries from the Kharim. The willow's branches provide a stable type of rope used in the making of the bromers.

One important bush that grows in certain areas of the western edge of the Themed'lon is the juk'lan. The leaves, when mixed with waterberries, provide a means of controlling the symptoms of ghun'tlor disease by helping keep the fatigue at bay. The mixture, known as juk'lan tea, helps control the fatigue and hallucinations associated with the orcen disease. Return to the top

Fauna. The Themed'lon is alive with many types of animals. The Kaaer’dár’shín have come to rely on the forest as an ample hunting area where they can hunt woolly boar and catch fish from the rivers and basins. The woolly boar has found a home within the forest borders often grazing on the alth'ho grass and waterberry bushes.

The wolverine makes a home here and is hunted by the Kaaer’dár’shín for its thick and rich pelts. Wolverine dens are found all over the western and southern sides of both regions, where the wolverines themselves can be found hunting and feeding on the mice and leveret rabbits.

The Kaaer’dár’shín revere other certain animals within the forest and consider them unique in that they believe certain powerful guardian spirits dwell within them. The wood owl, for example, is believed to be a spirit of watchfulness, all seeing with their large eyes. The nue'mon bird makes several roosts along the northern edge of the forest preferring the slightly colder winds that blow in from the gulf. Only recently has the mathmoor ground bird been seen around the northern waterfall. The mathmoor arrive in late spring to mate and disappear north again before winter.

Other small birds and furred beasts inhabit the forest, from deer to the prickly pig. Hargive deer roam the plains around the forest sometimes coming within the borders to drink from the cool flowing creeks. A pair of toran eagles have made the forest their home and can be seen frequently flying high above the tallest tulmine trees searching for scuttling prey upon the ground.

Fish include the Northern lysh and the mithralfish. Both fish serve as food for the Kaaer’dár’shín and for the other predators of the region. The southern waterfall and basin are the lysh's spawning area and every year a large amount of the fish can be found there. Return to the top

Resources. The forest contains many resources, all of which have been taken advantage of by the local Kaaer’dár’shín, for food and building materials. The tulmine trees, mutnut and redberry bushes are all essential to the tribe's well being. The fresh water that runs all through the forests is used by the fauna as well as the fish therein.

The forest contains few mineral resources. Ore and coal deposits are non-existent and sources of large stone can be found in only a few areas around the waterfalls while settling underneath the water is a thick bed of gravel and smaller stones. Some of the more illustrious stones are often used as clothing decorations by the Kaaer’dár’shín women. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. The Kaaer’dár’shín are a nature-centric people and know that their forest home is not only alive, but it watches and protects itself. To an outsider, these stories of walking trees and bushes that watch every move made within sound like stories told to children. However, the half-orcs know from long experience that the Themed'lon really is home to many plants whose desire is to protect their home. Stories abound within the tribe that several of the tallest, oldest tulmine trees are capable of literally walking about the forest looking for and healing sick plants and animals. On more than one occasion has a wounded warrior emerged from a hunt to proclaim that he was near death only to be healed by a magical bush or be taken into a secret grove by trees to recover. Many researchers believe that these guardians are in fact the mystical pendrowe. The Kaaer’dár’shín call these beings the "Pafalka" (lit. "Wood-like-man") and recognize them for what they are - living guardians of the forest to be respected, revered and even feared.

In recognizing the forest's need to regrow as the tribe makes use of it, the shamuts are believed to have entered a sacred pact beginning with the shamut Kulk'bek in 1200 a.S. According to the stories passed down over the generations, Kulk'bek discovered a group of pendrowe and claimed to have communicated with it. It is said that he promised the tree guardians that his people would re-plant every year to replenish the trees cut down for the people's use. Ever since, the Kaaer’dár’shín regularly replant and tend to groves of new trees. Every Kaaer’dár’shín child born is taught to respect the forest and its ways. Return to the top

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THE ERA OF CONSOLIDATION
(YEARS 8.500 B.S. - 3.400 B.S.)
ca. 8500 b.S. Elven Survivors of the Injerín settle in the Themed'lon
Shortly after the War of the Chosen, several surviving Injerín elves make a home for themselves in the Themed'lon Forests in hopes of rebuilding after the war. They make peace with the pendrowe living within the woods and found a small settlement.
The Singing Glade is Discovered
The Singing Glade is revealed to the elves through a gifted blind child that accompanies the group. The pendrowe reveal themselves along with the drasil tree and the elves learn much from the forests, including strange divine magic never before experienced by the elves.
  

ca. 7000 b.S. The Drasil are born in the Themed'lon
The Lost Ones within the Themed'lon Forests become powerful and learn to influence the natural world around them. They create groves and temples under the waterfalls and come to regard the pendrowe as their own family. One myth tells that about this time, a special tree, believed to be what is known as a drasil tree, becomes seeded within the woods. It possesses the power to record memories of events, places and people long past.
  

ca. 6000 b.S. The Mask of the Tree Cousin is Created
The Lost Ones create a powerful mask believed to be made from the bark of an ancient pendrowe. The elves call this mask "Quelth'ananuá Modiás" (lit. "Mask of the Earth"). The mask is believed to have special powers to give the wielder unique communion with nature and to grant the wielder the ability to share the thoughts of the memory tree. In addition, the mask is believed to have a special connection with the forest and must never leave it. The elves give the forest its name - the "Themanhe'lón" (lit. "Fortified Wood", over time, the name is later shortened to Themed'lon).

THE AGE OF MYTHS
(YEARS 3.400 B.S. - 1.655 B.S.)
ca. 2980 b.S. The Coming of the Orcs to the Themed'lon
Orcs become more prevalent in the Themed'lon region and begin to make contact with the Lost Ones living within the woods. It is not long before open conflict begins between the two races and the small number of elves are forced to retreat elsewhere, possibly to the islands of the Eight Winds Bay. Only with the help of the pendrowe are the elves able to keep the orcs at bay long enough for the elves to retreat.
  

ca. 2900 b.S. The War with the Orcs Begins between the Lost Ones and the Osther-Oc
The first large clashes between the druids and the orcs begin. The hostilities begin as small raids and skirmishes in the Heaths of Eph'denn. They progress to bloodier battles over time.
  

ca. 2800 b.S. The Final Battle at the Themed'lon and the Loss of the Mask of the Tree Cousin
The final battle takes place in the northern outskirts of the Themed'lon. The druids repel the invaders using the pendrowe and divine magic. The orcs flee, never to return to the forest for a long time to come. About this time, the druids are thought to have abandoned the forest for unknown reasons. No recorded history concerning the forest is made until the Third Sarvonian War in 298 b.S. Sadly, during this time, the Mask of the Tree Cousin is lost in the forest to later be discovered by the Kaaer'dar'shin.
  

ca. 1980 b.S. The Hiding of the Mask of the Tree Cousin
As the Folkomore elves scatter to far off lands, chased away from the Osther-Oc orcs, they leave behind a powerful artifact; a mask believed to be made from the bark of an ancient pendrowe. The elves called this mask "Quelth'ananuá Modiás" (lit. "Mask of the Earth"). The departing elves ensure that the mask is hidden deep within the woods in the center of a grove guarded by powerful pendrowe.

The mask is believed to have special powers to give the wielder unique communion with nature and to grant the wielder the ability to share the thoughts of the memory tree. In addition, the mask is believed to have a special connection with the forest and must never leave it. The elves give the forest its name - the "Themanhe'lón" (lit. "Fortified Wood", over time, the name was later shortened to Themed'lon). The forest was now alone to protect itself and the artifact.

THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
ca. 310 b.S. Founding of the ex-Kuglimz settlement of Torik
The first recorded history of the Themed'lon involving the Kaaer'dar'shin takes place before the Third Sarvonian Wars when a large group of exiled Kuglimz wayfarers discover the forest and found a permanent settlement there. They call it Torik (lit. "Home"). For the next twenty years, the Kuglimz live off of the forest's resources and grow in population.
  

298 b.S.
to 291 b.S.
The Osther-Oc Invade the Themed'lon
The Themed'lon is invaded by the Osther-Oc mercenaries descending from northern Caael'heroth. The settlers engage in a courageous defense of their new home but within a few months are overrun by the orcen armies. The orcs' dark elven masters order that the humans be subjugated and enslaved in service to the dark armies during the war.
  

291 b.S.
to 287 b.S.
The Fortifications of Eph'denn and Anif
Heavy logging is done as the ex-Kuglimz are made to build fortifications and barracks for the orcen armies as they descend further south into Northern Sarvonia. The largest fort is built north of the Themed'lon Forests and is called "Eph'denn". The fort functions as a human slave encampment, orcen training grounds, barracks and watchtowers.

The humans are also made to build a small port fortification on the Shadow Coast called Anif. Some of the human slaves die during the construction of the fort as many of them are beaten or tortured for such simple slights as being too slow, too tired, too old or too young. It is during this interaction that the first half-orc children are conceived.
  

ca. 288 b.S.
to 1.000
The Orcs Retreat and the Kaaer'dar'shin Rebuild
The orcs retreat from the Themed'lon leaving the humans, now known as the Kaaer'dar'shin, with a war torn forest and home. The Kaaer'dar'shin, still under a weakened Osther-Oc subjugation, are allowed to rebuild Torik. The tribe rebuilds the forest's hunting grounds and they come to make the forest their own once more.

THE ERA OF THE SOUTHERN WARS
(YEARS 825 A.S. - 1.062 A.S.)
ca. 1.000
to 1.055
The Beginning of the Fight for Kaaer'dár'shín Independence: Temejin Tartar
Temejin Tartar, a Kaaer'dar'shin revolutionary, introduces the concept of quick, stealthy warfare against the orcs and devises methods of ambush and sneak attacks against their larger, brutish cousins. By using Landesh ponies for speed along the Hearths and the cover of the Themed'lon for ambushes, the orcs are faced with a new formidable people of their own creation fighting for independence.
  

1.055 Kaaer'dár'shín Independence Is Won
The Kaaer'dar'shin revolution is a success and after 55 bloody years of fighting a progressively weakened Osther-Oc army, the half-orc tribe finally wins the right to call the Themed'lon their home. The fortifications of Eph'denn and Anif are rebuilt into watchtowers against future orc incursions.

THE AGE OF DISCOVERY
(YEARS 1.144 A.S. - 1.440 A.S.)
ca. 1.200 The Pendrowe Are Discovered
A Kaaer'dar'shin shamut named Kulk'bek claims to have been spoken to by the Earth Brother himself through a group of very old trees within the forest and he proclaims the entire wood sacred. He begins to live exclusively within the forest and soon forsakes the company of his people. Further stories are told of living guardian trees and plants within the forest and the Kaaer'dar'shin regard the Themed'lon as a sacred area and come to believe that the Earth Brother in mortal form lives within the woods.
  

ca. 1.250
to 1.300
The Kaaer'dár'shín Beastlord Worship Falls Away
After the disappearance of the shamut Kulk'bek, the Kaaer'dár'shín fall away from the Beastlord faith and embrace a violent, unstable lifestyle where the Hunt ceases to become important and the worship of the beast guardians is deemed irrelevant. With the revered Kulk'bek gone, the selection of a new shamut is decided through a bitter civil war lasting fifty years.
  

ca. 1.290 Saryas Kelweather Hears the Drasil Tree
Saryas Kelweather is trusted to wield the Mask of the Tree Cousin to find the truth of the Lost Ones according to the drasil memory tree. What he sees is later revealed in a journal and tells the story of the elves and their life after the split from the tribe long ago. Much more is revealed to him, but he refuses to speak of it, promising the Kaaer'dar'shin chieftain not to.
  

ca. 1.300 The Mask of the Earth is Discovered
One hundred years after the disappearance of the Kaeer'dár'shín shamut Kulk'bek, one of his ancestors, a half-orc named Krull'mor, becomes the shamut of his people and ends the civil war by declaring a new beginning for the Beastlord faith. To prove it, he embarks on a journey alone in the Themed'lon to find and bring back his ancestor Kulk'bek's bones as he believes that the people will once again come together if the bones of Kulk'bek can be seen.

Krull'mor finds a hidden grove within the woods and discovers his ancestor's bones beneath a thick, ancient looking tree. He reveals a mask made of bark that covers the skeleton's skull. He calls the mask "A'ng'erg Pafalka" (lit. "Mask of the Tree Cousin"), then buries the skeleton in the grove but keeps the corpse's partially decomposed clothing and bone totem. He stays there for many days. Upon his return, he shows the people his findings and takes several of them into the grove to experience the wonders of the Earth Brother.
  

1.400 Injerin Explorer Saryas Kelweather Discovers the Lost Ones Relics
Saryas Kelweather, the famed Injerín explorer, discovers the Themed'lon and discovers ruins left behind by the Lost Ones. He theorizes, based on the writings and language of stone tablets and the art work and architecture of stone temples that the Lost Ones settled there in ages past. A civil war erupts in the tribe and Saryas plays a vital role in negotiating peace for the people. In return, they allow him access to the tribe's holy places in the forest where he finds more evidence of the Lost Ones.

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 Date of last edit 2nd Sleeping Dreameress 1668 a.S.

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