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Lore Article: The Ellwood Forest

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[B]Description:[/B] A place of mixed and diverse foliage, the Ellwood Forest boasts a lush canopy of greens at its heights, and a rich carpet of ferns, moss, and sweet smelling grasses along its floors. There are many different kinds of trees, from a variety of pines up in the higher altitudes, growing along and upon the southern range of the Sierra Madre mountain range, to tall and slender eucalyptus’ that make up a majority of the forest near the coasts—and almost everything and anything in between in the central land. In some areas the forest is so dense that no true exploration has been made, keeping a good many square miles of Ellwood as virgin woods, something that the ruling government strives to protect. Other areas are somewhat inhabited with small villages or larger towns, most of which can be found along the main roads and trails.

[B]Animals:[/B] The Ellwood Forest is home to equally diverse fauna. Here is a small sampling of some creatures you are likely to encounter if you venture into the forest:

One of the Black Queen’s favorites, the King Stag is by far one of the most beautiful creatures to roam the Ellwood Forest. It is said that the Black Queen often feeds these noble stags when she goes hunting. Bigger, stronger, and much faster than common stags, the King Stag can weigh nearly two thousand pounds of pure muscle and is intensely territorial and aggressive when cornered.

Black Wolves, said to be another of the creatures the Black Queen often hunts, are again much larger than normal wolves and also more intelligent. Fiercely loyal to its packs, the Black Wolf is well known for its elegance in the hunt and its seeming militaristic strategies when bringing down big prey. It is difficult to handle one of these creatures alone, and near impossible to separate it from its pack. If you have the misfortune of being trailed by one of these beasts, chances are there’s a whole pack coming after you.

The Unicorn, a creature of myth, comes to life in the Ellwood Forest. Not the pure white creature of fairytales, however, the Ellwood Unicorn boasts a rich blue coat with peacock like colors along its mane and tail. Well known for its magical abilities, this creature is often hunted. What is not so well known about this creature is its aggression when cornered and its ability and near glee in utilizing that horn atop its head to gauge would be attackers. Solitary creatures, these horned horses are not as readily found and require deeper trekking through the forest to be seen. It is said that they may be somewhat pacified by the gentle touch of a virgin hand.

The dreaded Red Bull, a known hunter of the Unicorn, is a vicious creature that should be avoided at all costs. Legend holds that while the Unicorns of Ellwood bring renewed life to the forests come spring, the Red Bull brings the scorching flames of summers fire when the forest beings to dry up. It is believed that this creature has some strange ability to conjure and control fire and will often try to burn living creatures alive if he is so inclined. It is best to stay very far away from this creature. [/spoiler]

[B]Climate:[/B] Depending on the time of year, the climate can fluctuate, but never too drastically. Summer brings warm breezes, and winter a crisp chill that never quite causes snow. Being close to two major bodies of water makes for the Ellwood Forest nearly always appear to be draped in dense heavy fogs, which always melt away near midday. These fogs last significantly longer during fall, and are a constant during winter along with heavy rains.

[B]Travel:[/B] There are a number of well known roads that travel along the Ellwood Forest. Only one is maintained by the government with cobble stone to allow for easier travel between the Capital and the main villages, towns, and Keeps located in the forest. This road is known as the Freedom Pass because it is guarded and kept under the protection of the Free Legion. Travel by carriage is recommended only upon the Freedom Pass, due to the questionable state of many of the other dirty paths—which are often affected by the whims of nature. Horseback is the preferred method of travel.

[B]Places of Interest:[/B]

1. The lost Village of La Cierra--The one and only populated area lost to the undead during the Zombie-Outbreak. La Cierra is with a dangerously concentrated amount of deadly poppies. Many of La Cierra's fallen citizens were still roaming about the village's streets and boarders when the Megastorm hit. It is advised that people seer clear of this place, for even with the added protection of specially crafted masks, the amount of poison pollen in the air might be too much.

[spoiler] The photographs and artwork used in this Lore Article are not of my own creation.
These were found while I browsed the web, others were directly sought after in deviantart.
The "Red Bull" is a direct creation of Peter S. Beagle and a character in his book "The Last Unicorn"--really good movie too! [/spoiler]
[/FONT] Edited by -Hopelessly HopeÆ’ul-

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