Shady Grove, also called "Banditwoods" among the locals, is a forested area in the eastern Manthrian province of Santharia, west of the Propsper Mountain Range and north of the last part of the Mashdai River flowing into the Adanian Sea. The Shady Grove would be a quite idyllic place, if there weren't occasional raids on travellers by bandits, supposedly hailing from their hideout in the abandoned Deepgorge Mine. This earned the woods the name "Banditwoods", and many travellers shun passing through these woods therefore, except the Black Butterfly rovers, who are often seen camping in the southern woods regularly and don't seem to mind as there is not much to steal from them.

Shady Grove Idyll
View picture in full size Image description. A seemingly tranquil idyll in the central part of Shady Grove. However, traveller beware, because these "Banditwoods" bear their name for a reason... Picture drawn by Reegen.

Description. The Shady Grove is about sixty strals wide and about hundred strals long. So for the few days of travelling there is a slight chance of getting ambushed by bandits, that is, of course, if you can find a safe route other than the main path which is overgrown and abandoned, but still followable.

Location. As stated, Shady Grove is located in the eastern Manthrian province of Santharia, west of the Propsper Mountain Range and north of the last part of the Mashdai River flowing into the Adanian Sea. Return to the top

People. There are three different kinds of people you are likely to meet when travelling through Shady Grove, though, be it traders, commoners, Black Butterfly rovers, greylers or bandits you will always try to avoid any of those groups. Although you can get through Shady Grove without spotting anyone - or do they just let you pass...? - People you might encounter are of the follow kinds:

Climate. Due to its comfortable position in central Manthria and the gentle, warm and refreshing climate, Shady Grove is an excellent place for a picnic, rest or recreation although it is one of the best place for robbery too... Return to the top

Flora. Most plants that like moisture and light will be found in the Banditwoods. There are a variaetiy of trees like: ashwudes, sheen, silvery silkel trees, huge oaks and other. You can also find wild candlebushes, redberries and rare wild brisulivan. In areas where trees are dense, we can find some shade grass and in the more open areas lotann flowers often with sunflowers at their sides. In the southern parts of the Shady Gorve the kell herb is seen often. Return to the top

Fauna. A great lot of smaller animals made their home in the forested grounds of Shady Grove. They often develop hiding skills and are quite afraid of newcomers and humans so you will rarely see them. From the animals we do see there are: rolling hedgehogs, field mice and others. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. The most famous story about the Shady Grove is a story about the Battle of Nauthery and the death of a great bandit called Dragok Rodlery (1340-1387), who united all the bandit groups by promising them riches beyond their imagination. Dragok pillaged and ransacked the Marcogg and Parthanul fiefs, serving death wherever he found a honest life. From the report of Woson Anbend, a captain of the Marcogg militia:

"The Duke finally gave a permission to eradicate those bandits forever, so my unit and six other units will strike at them when they make camp in Nauthery. One of those blue guys said that to us and it looks like the commander believes him, and if the commander believes him so do I... The commander said that this mission is top secret and we spent the last night and day before the mission in the fields next to Nauthery, hiding."

Some say that when Dragok last made camp, a seer of Seyella approached him and stated that he will die this night. Dragok killed the seer for arrogance of talking about his death and the moments later attack started. When Dragok realised that the bandits weren't only overwhelmed but also betrayed, he tried to run. Next day he was found lying next to his horse with an arrow pierced through his vest. It is believed that he was betrayed and killed by a Blue Ripper.

A poem about the death of Dragok Rodlery, written by a poet of Marcogg who was impressed with the bandit, was put on Dragok Rodlery's tombstone:

A great bandit he was, tall and crude,
a loud bloke, strong, fierce and rude.
Dragok's fists hit quick and hard,
a blade he wore he called the "Shard".
From him man and woman ran in fear
a seer though warned: "Death is near!"
These words the bandit heard and roared,
he grabbed the man, then pulled his sword,
dead Seyella's servant kissed the ground.
At that same moment Dragok heard a sound,
a black feathered arrow trusted his vest
and he made a painful, final little jest.
He fell as the arrow pierced him through:
The old man's prophecy had thus come true.

Another notable event that took part in the Shady Grove after Dragok is the Great Cleaning (1445-1446), when all the bandit groups where so numerous that they started a small war inside the borders of the Banditwoods. Of course the authorities had to respond to such disturbances of peace and led an assault on Shady Grove. After they where pushed back, the bandits regrouped and united but they still couldn't win the much more organised and experienced Marcogg militia, so they retreated to Deepgorge Mine where they stood up for days until the militia got reinforcements consisting of siege weapons and broke through the Deepgorge Mine's gate and heavily defeated the bandit forces. Although the bandits' main force was defeated, another much smaller escaped through, some believe, a secret gate and dispersed around the forest. A couple of years passed until the Shady Grove became as unsafe as it was before the Great Cleaning. Return to the top

 Date of last edit 16th Awakening Earth 1667 a.S.

Information provided by Arceon Barrurbeleth View Profile