Jord: Dawn of a World
On the road to Jatul’s Shadow.
West of the Plains of Gurgaron lie the Spires of Gannock, and at their feet lies Gannock’s Weald. This immense redwood forest stretches almost all the way to Jatul’s Shadow. Perpetually shrouded in fog, the area is dangerous to traverse without skilled guides— a service the Seekers gladly perform (for a small fee). Despite the dangers, it is one of the most frequently traveled land trade routes, providing goods from the Vvaroh Dominion in the far south to the Spires and the inhabitants of Jatul’s Shadow. While trade caravans must take the ground route, Seekers advise less burdened travelers to take the extensive networks of treetop bridges leading from the Spires to the edges of the Weald. This is one of the few places where one is guaranteed a chance to spot the Order’s White Tower high atop Jatul.
The main danger of the Weald is the fog itself— named the Ettin Fog by travelers, it is no ordinary cloud. Atloth are a top-tier predator in the forest, though they suffer from poor vision and can be avoided by careful travelers. Frequent are tales of the forest itself seeking to kill— branches and vines have a mind of their own, and reach to strangle unsuspecting travelers. Such patches of vegetation are simply called “tangles”, and do not attack unless someone touches or irritates them; the overgrown nature of many forest paths can make this difficult to avoid, however.
Unfortunately, some hazards are no longer restricted to the Weald. The Ettin Fog has begun spreading in recent years, and now stretches all the way to Jatul’s Shadow. This, combined with tangles, atloth, and those unlawfuls foolish enough to make their home in the Weald, has reduced the frequency of caravan trips through the area. Merchants still have to move their goods, however, and some have turned to Voski Windwhale Caravans as an expensive alternative. Merchants without deep enough pockets, or those who cannot afford the markup to their goods such travel would require, must continue to brave the land route, and employment for caravan guards is never lacking.
Though tangles are capable of downing a sturdy horse, a traveler’s fate is often met at the hands of the other predators who lurk nearby.