Dark Forest Coven
From Labyrinthe Wiki
A disparate collection of creatures who serve the Brochan, the great spirit of the Dark Forest.
The Dark Forest
The Dark Forest is incredibly old; presenting an impenetrable domain from at least the First Age effectively forming an age of the known world much like the Brandin Mountains to the south.
It is called variously the Thrice Wood, the Three Held, the Beholden Forest or just ‘Thrice’ by the people that live there. The term ‘Dark Forest’ is a purely civilised and typically unimaginative name used by the more civilised peoples without.
It is a dark primeval place. It is not some pleasant wood or jolly forest like Trollsville – and it is vast. The map does not do it justice as this gives its boundaries in comparison to the rest of the land
Whole tribes can rise, thrive and then fall within and never be heard of at any point. Creatures live their whole lives (sometimes very long lives) within the Dark Forest and never know about any world beyond.
It is entirely self contained and needs nothing from the outside lands. In many ways it is a world in and of itself.
It is of course strong in Earthpower – but very much dark and Hostile. For the most part this manifests in the form of fetid pools, dark and twisted groves and of course mysterious stones and curious monoliths which could well be attributed to the race of giants which one resided within it’s heart.
Creatures lurk here, beasts and monsters of which trolls are just the most recognisable. There is balance though – herbivores are either well armoured or poisonous, carnivores are typically loners and specific hunters of certain creatures (men and other character races being easier prey than normal but more rare).
Factions within the Dark Forest
Mostly found in the south of the Forest and comprising of Werewoves, Wolfweres and other such Lycanthropes they live in Packs and are fiercely territorial.
An example of their kind would be the Red Branch lead by The Ruad; they are a relatively well known wolfpack which make their home in this area of the forest. The name derives from the dried blood they use to stain their fur. It is known that a number of them can take on human form.
Broadly the Fae of the Forest are closer to the Fae of the Dark Baronies rather than the Elves and Faeries of the more civilised Empire. Normally closely tied to the land they are generally of the Unseelie Court flavour and very much not associated with the Mittlenacht, which doesn't touch the Forest due to it being so strongly rooted in Primus.
There are dotted tribes, almost all settled. Mostly very small they live not so much in harmony with the Forest but with the skills and knowledge to win the constant fight against it. Many worship various manifestation of nature and being a very Primal sort of place these tend to be very much of the ‘walking gods’ variety. The people are suspicious of outsiders, many would eat such, and are the descendants of those driven into the Forest by the expanding Principalities so have no great love for this new Empire either. The people are of course varied – some being skulking cannibals, others rather proud, noble warriors with complicated rites of passage.
Kasnia and the Southern Reachs
Kasnia tends to avoid the Dark Forest. Its marshes and fens are curiously resistant to the Dark Forest, almost possessing a separate ‘domain’ to that of the Forest. This of course rankles certain forces in the Dark Forest and the Kasnian barons are forever hunting down one beastie or another in the swamps and fens in a very Grendel style.
An example of such a group would be Vor and his tribe of Marsh Trolls who stood against the will of the Brochan and paid for it with their lives.
The Druids are nothing to do with druids in the Empire/Trollsville. When most of their brethren took the early tribes to the High North they remained behind, never admitting defeat. Now they are very much subverted by the still surviving Spirit, that which was the ‘city’ Spirit of the forest but with the fall of the old city is now very dark, twisted and insane in a cold, calculating sort of way. They mostly ferment trouble and to some degree have been successful as the villages that lie closer to the Forest than to the city of The Rest act very tribally, don’t acknowledge the Empire and so forth.
The druids do vary but the most prevalent are dark men with blackened hearts. They do not ‘do evil’ because this is what their society is like. They offer sacrifice to the Brochan (the Spirit in the Forest) and use signs and portents to divine his will. They do not have a kingdom, or land, or any of that. They roam the forest as they wish. They are people of nature and as such do not have homes for the most part. They use the tribes as their tools and spread discord in the lands outside of the forest. Not for conquest but simply because it is what they do – they believe in freedom but also domination. Simply put they like villages that do what they will but bow down when a druid walks in. They don’t take tithes but do accept sacrifice – such often being gold cast into bogs or river rather than blood. But blood will do. Some have warbands made up of people taken from selective tribes. Some are ritualists. Some are thieves. They vary as much as do any men.