Forest of Gora
The Forest of Gora sits between the kingdoms of Illaya and Grismor and serves as their border. Trade routes circle either side of the far stretching forest. Outposts can even be seen within sight of the forest, but none are ever directly next to it. Both kingdoms have learned nothing built near Gora will last the season without being ransacked or razed by those living in it.
Both nations have tried on numerous occasions through the generations to lay claim to the land, either by force or in cooperation. Ill prepared for the guerrilla tactics of those that reside in it, they were held back every time. When the native occupants took out their building hostility on the private trade caravans that passed near their borders a quick, unofficial truce was quickly made with the impending threat of economic collapse a lack of trade would cause.
Much of the flora and fauna of Gora is what one would expect from a temperate forest. A mix of broadleaf and evergreens provide a balance of waxing and waning life in fall and winter while summer and spring are refreshing and bright.
All manner of animals and plants can be found. Wolves, foxes, rabbits, deer, bears, rodents, and various birds are among the most prolific. Wild berries and other edible plants can be found nearly everywhere. Elves, fae, and centaur are among the few intelligent beings that call Gora home, and they constantly take measures to insure it remains that way.
Rarely, some mutated plant, and possibly an animal that's been feeding on it exclusively, is crossed. When a meteorite fell into the forest generations ago smaller chunks peppered the landscape, forever changing where they hit in more subtle ways than the main lump of ore.
Sites of Interest
Despite how expansive the Forest of Gora is few settlements can be found along it's borders or within it. Most attribute this to the 'ghosts of the forest' while others claim elves and other denizens harry any who try to build too close.
Elves, fae, centaurs, and other denizens of the forest have small communities spread throughout the forest. Most are concentrated around the Heart of Gora, where a massive meteorite easily the size of a wagon fell to the land. So long ago did this happen that even the elves have forgotten the true story. Moving and mining the ore have proven all but impossible
The Heart of Gora has become the site of festivals and seen as an icon of all the denizens of the forest. It sits in the center of a crater with a single, frail looking oak growing through the center of it. The bark, wood, and leaves of this tree look like lead replicas but have the strength of any forged metal; making them quite coveted. Elves and fae go to great lengths to confuse would-be discoverers and lead them through the forest without taking them close to the Heart.
By JL Coburn