Fey Me Twice
The Bound Wildwood is the primordial heart of the wilderness of Ver Veris. While fey, wild animals, and monsters reside everywhere humans do not, in the Bound Wildwood, they rule. The forest is home to fey, said to have been abandoned there when the Murus Animarum was erected during the Cogadh Dean Banrigh. It is also said that it is home to numerous enclaves of strange and powerful fey creatures banished from the First World by The Eldest. Portals and other entrances to the legendary First World are said to flicker within the woodlands’ tangled depths, and in other places the very trees themselves are said to move and speak in thunderous tones.
The Bound Wildwood spreads across the north and western parts of Ver Veris in a nearly unbroken mass, with only the River Beldam and a few roads providing a break in the eastern reaches. While humans engage in logging and trapping around the forest’s south-eastern outskirts, particularly in the vicinity of Brookglade, they are careful not to harvest too deeply into the woods—even for rare and valuable hardwoods, it’s generally not considered worth the risk to travel far enough in that you can’t see the forest’s edge. This same reluctance to explore does not apply to the numerous adventurers from across the world who have been drawn to the Bound Wildwood, eager to plumb its depths in the hunt for unique creatures or secret places of power. Yet despite the number of explorers, the Bound Wildwood has always proved more than their equal, and to date, it has kept the majority of its secrets quite well. Recently the nation of Engova has granted charters to many adventurers in hopes of acquiring a greater understanding of the woods and detailed maps as well.
They say the forest has eyes, and that it sees everything within its borders. That’s not true in a literal sense, but the fey of the forest are everywhere, and they are adept at goading and tricking both interlopers and local animals and monsters in such a way that unwanted visitors run into the most dangerous creatures of the forest with a regularity that belies the monsters’ rarity. While unusually aggressive and large animals, trolls, and other monsters stalk the forest, it is the fey and their kind who rule here.
It is said that no civilized person would make their homes within the Bound Wildwood. While true it is rumored that there are small groups of gnomes living in the forest—and even they avoid delving too deeply into the forest depths. Their close relationship with the woodland and their origins cause these gnomes to seek out dwellings near the First World. Anyone found living near or in the Bound Wildwood are often found wearing various charms and fetishes of magical value that they claim help to attune them to the forest. These charms are easily purchased at Riverbend the Engovan outpost near the southern border of the woods.
Creatures of the Bound Wildwood fall into three basic categories: wild animals, monsters, and fey. The first two categories of denizens tend to boast particularly large and healthy specimens, for the proximity of the First World does much to invigorate and bolster life. Many animals are so infused with this power that they become mutated or fey like themselves.