The Wild Woods
The Wild Woods

The Wild Woods

The Wild Woods

The Realm of the ‘Gaulish Pantheon’

Location: Outlands / Hinterlands

If the Beastlands represent nature as idealised by people, then it’s areas like the Wild Woods that represent it as left to its own devices. Hidden in this endless tract of dense woodland are many sacred druidical groves, and if you look hard enough, you may find the realms of druidical powers, although they’re mighty secretive. But probably the best-known realm in the Wild Woods (which ain’t saying an awful lot) is the Eternal Carnutes, held by many to be the realm of the Gaulish powers. Those who think they understand say that the Gaulish pantheon includes Toutatis, Belisama, Belenos and Lugus.

But in fact, there ain’t no such powers. The whole thing’s a scam. But it has in mind a just purpose. See, Dispater, Lord of the Second Hell, had an ancient claim on the Gauls. In order to stop him from converting them all to his worship, an act which would put Dispater in good form to challenge the other Lords of the Nine, the Celtic and Greek powers got together, with a little help from the Norse, and created a sneaky way of diverting all that belief energy to themselves.

Dispater was livid, but the number of greater powers in on the deal prevented him from doing anything. And so the big secret of the Gauls is kept. Toutatis is a compound of Zeus and Thor, Belisama is probably Minerva, Belenos is Belenus (it’s amazing no-one’s twigged that one) and Lugus is Lugh. Even those Gauls who honour Dispater still are not getting what they expect because Hades and Arawn are siphoning off most of that worship. Major proxies in the realm include Glaritix (human druid proxy [he/him] / N) and Concuria (human druid proxy [she/her] / N).

There are some powers who the Gaulish Celts worship that aren’t part of this cross-trade, but they’re technically part of the Celtic Pantheon, and were therefore excluded from Dispater’s contract.

Travel in the Wild Woods is difficult. Although it’s no slower than anywhere else in the Hinterlands, it’s much more uncomfortable, because of the sharp thorns that lash a body cutting through the woods, and the somewhat ferocious local wildlife, which includes fhorges (roast fhorge is considered a delicacy by Gaulish petitioners, who think the Celts have no idea how to cook), lots of spiders, and at least a few shambling mounds and sussuri. Packs of wolves roam here too, especially on the slopes of the Mountains of Midgard.

Getting to the Wild Woods from the Ringlands is easy, if you know what you’re doing. Just walk away from the Spire, starting at Sylvania or Faunel. But if you don’t know they’re there, you’ll simply get bashed about a lot in the woods, and be about a day’s walk from the gate-towns still.

Source: Alex and Margery Roberts

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