The Great Forest Edit
"Most of that world is a forest full of spirits, nymphs, and hamadryads the likes of which this world has lost, or retained only glimpses of deep within its North Woods. To the east lies a ruined village. That is where the Tarnished live, those that follow the Black Hart and her Lock, the divine pair whose peace numbs the mind and relieves the soul of any cares, including love. It is said that the Hart was so besotted after a single glimpse of her Lock that she abandoned her true, first, lover, condemning him to eternal torture. And it is also said that while the Hart was once kind and gentle, that betrayal drove her well mad, and that her madness was as deserved as the darkness which followed soon after."
Almost all of Sihiri is covered by woodlands, but the densest and deepest lie in the heart of the continent where civilisation has yet to touch them. This area is called the Great Forest. It spans almost the whole continent from the dwarven mountain holds to Lefko's territory in the Southwest. Most of it is uncharted on any map, and parts are too dense for normal travelers to pass through. The local faelife use this to their advantage.
The Great Forest is considered the territory of the Forest Beast (currently dead). Native races include nymphs, dryads, shades, gnomes, redcaps, centaurs, and wood elves. Many plants are linked to spirits which may become vengeful if the plants are harmed.
Cethern is the city which has sprung up around the base of the Rodis Council. It is located in the heart of the Great Forest, and is said to be the most peaceful city in all of Sihiri. The people here do not live in fear, for they are constantly protected and guarded by the most powerful Magi in all of Sihiri, which make up the Rodis Council. On top of that, a number of nearly impregnable magical barriers, fueled and maintained by the thirteen Elite Rodis Magi, guard the city against any and all malefic forces. ((Attacking Cethern is the epitome of suicide. It is HIGHLY recommended that you do not attack Cethern. Unless you want to die.)) Any and all races are welcome to live in Cethern, so long as they follow the Rodis Council's guidelines.
It is also home to the prestigious Academy, which is said to rival the University in it's quality of education and studies. Those who enter into the Academy, typically do so with the intent to begin a career working for the Rodis Council. The streets of Cethern are lined with houses, shops, Inn's and buildings of all kinds; filled with bright and happy people, living their day-to-day lives however they wish.
It is a true community, with everyone working together, to better the whole. There is no poverty here. No hunger, no pain, and no suffering. And those that may have fallen on hard times, need merely ask, and the Rodis Council will assist them however they can. There are no end to the job requests that are sent to the Rodis Council, seeing as they are the "Police" of Sihiri, and as such, they are always expanding and recruiting for positions.
Village of the Tarnished Edit
A cult has sprung up in the northeastern forest, up against the seaward cliffs. Locally its members are called Tars, short for the Tarnished. They follow the teachings of a pseudo-goddess called the Black Hart and of her lover, who they simply call her Lock. The Tars reject all other Deities.
Their village is a ruined, smouldering heap of wrecks about a mile away from the Black Hart's court. Even from that distance the people are affected by the pseudo-gods' powers: they seem to care about nothing at all, including each other. People who enter the Black Hart's court rarely come back out. It's said they simply stop caring to breathe.
Emerald Pools Edit
A slew of streams race through the Great Forest, all clear and sweet except where magics have darkened them. They begin joining up at about the middle of the continent, then sweep down to the Southwest as the mighty Green River. A system of swimming holes has formed at the place where they meet. The holes are seemingly bottomless. Many are perfectly round. Most interestingly, the water in each hole is a perfect shimmering green the colour of an emerald in the sun.
Swimmers who explore these pools will feel refreshed and revitalised and their wounds will heal within a day, no matter how grave. However, the pools are extremely dangerous. About forty feet down the pools are joined by a single underground river, from which a leviathan supposedly comes up to feed every now and again. There are also any number of sylphs, kelpies, selkies, nami, kappa, and other fae who live near the borders of the pools, not all of whom are friendly. Non-locals would have to be pretty desperate to take a swim.
Ipotane Hall Edit
Ipotane Hall is a massive gathering place for all kinds of Fair Folk. It has no proper walls or ceiling: instead it's built of tall, whippy trees thatched together in intricate patterns, forming pillars that hold up a thirty-foot-high ceiling of foliage. There is no undergrowth here, just a broad flat space for gathering, dancing, fighting, or whatever else any group of the Fair might choose to do.
It's said the place was built by the high elves, not that any of them will confirm the rumour. Ipotane Hall is considered neutral ground by all races of Fair Folk. It is the go-to spot for forming treaties or declaring war. A charm prevents the structure from being destroyed by any means.
The Fourth Deity holds court here from time to time, when the whim seizes him.
The Debrens Edit
The Debrens are a haunted section of forest in the far north. Altogether the Debrens are not very large, comprising perhaps two hundred square acres of woodland at the base of the dwarven mountains. The trees are barren, deadened-looking grey relics that stretch from snow to sky. All sounds are strangely muffled, as if the air lacked the vitality to carry them. There are no animals.
It's said that if a person cuts anything in the Debrens, including firing arrows into trees or harming people or animals, they'll go insane -- they'll hear the voices of deceased loved ones whispering from the branches whenever the wind blows, until finally they kill themselves.
In one place there is a circle made of six large black stones. The Thirteenth Deity holds power here. Anyone who steps into the circle falls under the Deity's mercy and can be killed in an instant at the Deity's whim. For this reason the site is revered as a holy place, especially by the older generations, and is treated with the utmost respect.
Travelers do pass through here occasionally (because it's the only way to access the Northern Pass) but they move quickly and quietly, resisting the urge to look back over their shoulders.