The Dark Forest

Location: Outlands / Hinterlands

The Dark Forest bars the way to the Vyraj, Other World. To get to the Vyraj you must always pass through the Forest, no matter which direction you approach from. Just to complicate matters, the River Pyriphlegethon runs around the Forest. Here the river resembles a broad trench full of unquenchable crimson flames. In order to cross, one must have a means of flight, and preferably some protection against the intense heat.

The Forest itself is full of terrors. Why doesn’t it slip into a Lower Plane? Because all the terrors are natural: Dire wolves, dire bears, dire spiders and dire crawling things infest the woods, and the shades of mad Slav petitioners roam aimlessly. The principal danger is starvation however: The traveller must know of their destination, and even then the Forest takes 3-18 days to cross.

Vyraj, The Other World

The Other World is a famed spook-house of Slavic myth. Vyraj is full of steep mountains and deep valleys, and completely surrounded by the Dark Forest. No-one would normally come here, except for all the gold. Oh yes, the gold. No-one knows where it comes from, but the simple truth is that the jink is more free-flowing here than anywhere else in the land. Mind you, it’s not easy to get hold of. Dragons lair here, and rocs, who fiercely guard their treasure.

Also there are glorious gold and silver palaces here, home to enigmatic spirits that don’t take kindly to greedy visitors. In some places in the Other World the mountains rise so high that the only way to proceed is through deep tunnels. But the thing which most amazes people who come here is that as soon as you emerge from the Forest, you can no longer see the Spire! This phenomenon is unexplained, and likely to remain so.

Vyraj is also called the Thrice Tenth Kingdom. This name is of unknown origin, but bubbers in Crossed Roads’ll give a body seventy answers. It’s also rumoured that the land beneath the Other World harbours a sleeping god of enormous powers who cares nothing for good and evil, law or chaos, but seeks only to progress its alien plan.

Source: Alex and Margery Roberts

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