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The Dire Wood, also known as the Enchanted Wood,[1] was an ancient and supernatural area within the High Forest found in the North.[3][4]

It is not cold you are feeling, it is death. Death ancient and mad and mighty, death sorrowful and ashamed.
— Melegaunt Tanthul on the Dire Wood.[8]

Description[]

The Dire Wood was made of black, petrified trees that appeared to be dead,[9] but were actually entirely unkillable.[1] The soil of the forest floor was red in hue,[4] and gave way to uneven hills and peaty bogs. Much of the landscape was covered in wild and decaying overgrowth.[2] While it appeared normal from outside its borders, once within the woods became freezing cold[8] and began to reek of death and decay.[10]

Wild magic permeated the woods, emanating from the arcane landmark within its center.[2][3] The geographically-morphic traits of its existence within the surrounding forest[1] played tricks on the senses of anyone that dared travel within.[11]

Climate[]

Strange weather patterns including "wizard weather" were reported throughout the Dire Wood. These phenomena included falling snow the color and smell of blood, rain as hot as boiling water, and hail that would explode when striking the earth.[1][2][3][12]

Geography[]

The Dire Wood was situated in the eastern reaches of the High Forest,[2] surrounding the source of the Heartblood River.[1]

The space it occupied within changed depending on the observer. Anyone walking the circumfrence of the woods outside its border would continue for approximatley 4 mi (6.4 km),[3] whereas someone doing the same from within would go on for 60 mi (97 km).[4] Essentially the Dire Wood was similar to a bag of holding, the space within the woods were much larger than it was from outside.[1]

Geographical Features[]

The outer border of the woods that designated its change of dimensions were marked by a ring of massive albino oak trees[9] known as the Pale Ring.[2][10]

History[]

Cultists founded the city of Karse at this location after Karsus's Folly in Year of Sundered Webs, −339 DR, but it fell into ruin shortly thereafter due to internal religious strife.[13]

Around a thousand years later in the Year of the Giant's Oath, 883 DR,[6][7] a wizard from Ascalhorn named Wulgreth came to the ruins to raise an undead army using epic magic. His spell was interrupted however by his henchman, Jhingleshod the Axeman. The release of the necromantic energy caused Wulgreth to become a lich and the nearby forest was transformed into the Dire Wood.[13]

For centuries after its formation, the Dire Wood continued to expand at a rate of approximately 80 ft (24 m) each year.[1] This growth stopped during the Time of Troubles in the Year of Shadows, 1358 DR, when magic across the Realms ceased functioning as expected.[2]

Just prior to the Rage of Dragons in the Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373 DR, the gold dragon Aerosclughpalar retired to the Dire Wood to prepare for the madness that would inevitibly consume him. When he succummbed to the King-Killer Star's magical effects, he annihilated much of the petrified woods and the monstrosities that dwelled within.[14]

Rumors & Legends[]

Legend said that the Dire Wood was so named for a horrific massacre of humans many years before the age of ancient Netheril. It was said this mass-killing led to the red soil that covered the forest floor.[2] Yet others believe it was the actions of Karsus that imbued the wood with its eldritch evil.[8]

Stories of the Dire Wood's peculiar nature spread as far away as Loudwater.[15]

It was speculated by some sages that the woods could be a point from which travel to an alternate Prime Material plane was possible.[1]

Notable Locations[]

Inhabitants[]

Due to its supernatural origins and nature, the Dire Wood was home to many aberrations,[9] such as deepspawn,[2] long-lost creatures that were believed to have been extinct,[1][2] along with some demons such as manes and barlgura that migrated from Hellgate Keep.[18]

The evil and strange goings-on of the forest were closely monitored by the elves of Reitheillaethor.[19]

Notable Inhabitants[]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. The discrepancy between these seeminhly impossible dimensions can be attributed to the information being provided over the span of several editions of Dungeons & Dragons or the overall peculiar nature of the location.

Appearances[]

Novels
The Summoning

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 50. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 slade, et al. (April 1996). “The Wilderness”. In James Butler ed. The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (TSR, Inc.), p. 53. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 166. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  5. Eric L. Boyd (September 1997). Powers & Pantheons. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 36. ISBN 978-0786906574.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Troy Denning (December 2009). “The Summoning”. Return of the Archwizards (Wizards of the Coast), p. 169. ISBN 978-0-7869-5365-3.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 79. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Troy Denning (December 2009). “The Summoning”. Return of the Archwizards (Wizards of the Coast), p. 167. ISBN 978-0-7869-5365-3.
  11. Troy Denning (December 2009). “The Summoning”. Return of the Archwizards (Wizards of the Coast), p. 209. ISBN 978-0-7869-5365-3.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 113. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  14. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  15. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  16. Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  17. Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
  18. Steven E. Schend (March 1998). Hellgate Keep. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 978-0786907861.
  19. Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
  20. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  21. Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
  22. Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 49. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
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