Moorich Woods
rating: +11+x

FIEFDOM INHABITANCE SCORE


Flora/Fauna Dangers 0.5/5 The forest is home to an array of Beasts, but few if any are predatory towards Humanoids.
Natural Awry Phenomena 1/5 Irregular amounts of rainfall plague the region and cause floods, but this is easily avoided by sticking to high ground.
Humanoid influences 2.5/5 Recent territorial struggles have made parts of this region active battlegrounds. Most combatants are Human, so travel with caution.
Ease of Traversal 4/5 The terrain is exceedingly difficult to properly navigate without any maps or other guidance. Don't lose yourself.

Moranoch-Shields Tally: 2/5


FIEFDOM BORDERS


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Borders of the Moorich Fiefdom. Courtesy of Lawrence & Sons Cartography, Bodia branch.


SUMMARY

From "A Traveler's Guide to the Half-Tamed Wilds", pg. 13


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The towering karst spires seen in this image are one of many formations that cover the forest.

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This cavernous opening leads into one of many roofed sections of the forest, where the rock and earth form ceilings above the foliage.

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Here we start to enter the cave systems of the forest, as formations start to pack tightly together and form narrow passageways through the earth.

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Once sunlight starts to fade, one will discover that the caves of the Moorich are illuminated by glowing molds and luminescent insects.

> The Labyrinthine Forest

An important thing to remember about this part of the Middenground, dear reader, is that the sights and sounds, while awe-inspiring for sure, are also your greatest enemy.

This region is infamous for the array of "geological lunacy" that comprises the natural terrain. Here, the land twists and turns everywhere you look: hills, valleys, mountains, karsts, mesas, arches, cliffs, bluffs, gorges, tunnels, canyons, pits, and vast cave networks are what makes up the forest, most of which seemingly stacked on top of each other. Navigating the boggling lands of the Moorich would be a difficult task all of its own, but then one must also factor in the disorientation of trying to traverse the dense foliage and canopies that cover the landscape.

Inhabitants past and present of the region are all too aware of this, and make use of the chaotic terrain in all manner of different ways. While there are plenty of well-traversed routes and roads that wind through the Moorich, these routes often have twists and turns built into them designed to throw off anyone the paths weren't intended for. Also found along these routes are points where such paths can be easily destroyed, such as tight passageways easily filled by rockfalls, or bridges spanning entire canyons that need only a single shot from a catapult to demolish entirely.

Apart from the ease of losing yourself, and the risks imposed by some of the less than welcoming locals, the region is rather breathtaking. Few predatory Beasts are present here, allowing for the more peaceful flora and fauna to develop in dazzling ways. Here one can see several species of bird with vibrant hues of plumage, small animals of all manner of shape running about underfoot, and schools of multicolored fish swimming to and fro. When night falls on the woods, or if one travels deep enough into the caves and crevases beneath the forest floor, a spectacle of glowing plants and fungi illuminate the Moorich when sunlight is nowhere to be found.

> Tips to Remember

- Never Travel Blindly

For those not from the Middenground, you'd likely not want to get yourself lost a second time around, so why take a chance? If you're planning on traversing the Moorich then prepare accordingly, stock up on food and supplies, and make sure you have at least one or two reliable means of finding your way around. Route maps can be found in most towns on the borders of the region or at hubs of travel, and some towns even have guides that can be hired to get to and from specific parts of the forest. Never pass up on obtaining a vital means of navigation.

- Avoid Dangerous Routes

Even when you know the quickest way from point A to point B, it may be better to take the long way rather than accept the risks. The region has a nasty reputation as being a hot spot for violent conflict between opposing settlements or kingdoms, and travelers regularly have to contend with bandits, traps, ambushes, and even snipers, all of which need only see visitors as potentially hostile forces to act. If that wasn't enough, the regular rainfall that plagues the region has been known to cause flooding in the lower parts of the forest that can shut off entire routes and leave travelers stranded. Remember to stick to high ground whenever possible, avoid routes with easy spots for ambushes, and don't put yourself wide out in the open.

- Have a Plan

The Moorich is often seen as one of the most unpredictable and lively Fiefdoms within the Half-Tamed Wilds, and given the number of dangers, dense population, and list of things that could go wrong or awry, travelers should have a plan of emergency action before traversing the forest. Carrying a concealed weapon and/or emergency medical supplies, establishing what to do or where to run in the event of a dangerous encounter, and accounting for any known threats along the routes you know you'll be taking are some of the easiest and best ways to prepare yourself ahead of time, and have saved the lives of many a traveler. You never want to go into the forest without an emergency plan in place.

> Noteworthy Locales

The Valley of Belber-Droh

  • Consists of two city-states, Belber and Droh, both situated on opposite ends of one of the region's largest canyons.
  • Both cities have a total population of around 35,000.
  • Travel between each city is done with a system of sky trolleys, with boxcars suspended and carried over the canyon below by a network of cables and pulleys.
  • Travel between each city by trolley takes roughly an hour, while moving by foot takes just over a week.
  • The cities are seen as hubs of trade due to their position overlooking the canyon, where several high-traffic routes in the region converge.
  • Routes leading to the cities or through the canyon are heavily guarded by thousands of armed soldiers.

Reasons for visiting: Perfect spot for trade, can find all manner of things being bought and sold in the local markets.

Eckrath Spire

  • One of the largest karsts in the Moorich, famous for the Bodian city of the same name that winds its way up the entirety of the Spire.
  • Home to a densely-packed population of over 60,000.
  • The height of the karst and the lights from the city make it a veritable beacon rising above the forest, visible for hundreds of miles.
  • Serves as the unofficial capital city of Bodia, with most of the kingdom's trade with other nations occuring here.
  • One of the largest post offices in the Middenground is found here, with thousands of Firedarts roosted here to deliver messages as far away as Eagla Dun.

Reasons for visiting: Easy to spot safehaven, most roads leading to the karst are straightforward and not difficult to navigate, and a perfect place to go if you need a message sent anywhere in the Half-Tamed Wilds.

> Kingdoms Present (And How to Deal With Them)

The Sephredell Protectorate

  • Unless you are a Penumbra, steer clear at all costs.
  • If you come into contact with Sephredell forces, run. Do not engage whatsoever.
  • Avoid any persons claiming to be from Sephredell. As common knowledge in the Middenground, you will find no friends in Sephredell.

The Kingdom of Bodia

  • When dealing with Bodia, remember to remain civil and be careful not to commit any cultural fallacies. Bodians are vocal about their intolerance for percieved slights.
  • Don't stay on the kingdom's borders too long, as the Bodian borderlands are known for being riddled with violent conflict and guerilla fighting.
  • The kingdom will only accept their own minted currency, so remember to convert whatever coin you may have before crossing the border.

The Gwillithmire Dominion

  • Unless you are a Human, best to steer clear of this kingdom.
  • Be especially wary of Gwillithmire forces, as they operate with some of the strongest Human weapons throughout the Half-Tamed Wilds.
  • If you're not Human but find yourself inside the Dominion, keep your head down and get out as fast as possible.

The Duchy of Shatterstone

  • Have plenty of coin on you before entering. Everything in the Duchy has a price.
  • Avoid the Shatterstone-Gwillithmire borderlands, as the Duchy does not enforce their laws in the area, leaving the borderland rife with crime.
  • The Duchy is the only kingdom to have a relatively affordable system of transportation across the Moorich, so try to take advantage of this luxury.

> Neighboring Fiefdoms & Phase Points

The Moorich Woods borders the following Fiefdoms: The Sephre Isles to the Southwest, the Fields of Ill Omen to the Northwest, Fellerwrath Hurst to the North, and the Wailing Reach to the East.

There are three known Phase Points in the Moorich:

  • Towards the top of Eckrath Spire, there's a marble archway shrouded in a faint green mist. Walk through the archway and you'll successfully phase to the Sephre Isles.
  • Due thirty miles east of Belber-Droh is an abandoned mineshaft. Walk inside the doored entrance, close the door behind you, and snuff out all light sources. You should successfully phase to Kavragost Reach.
  • Around the northernmost point of the Gwillithmire-Bodia border is a patch of land about 1 square mile in size, where all foliage has a black hue. Wait here around 5-10 hours and your vision should temporarily go black. If so, you'll regain vision shortly and successfully phase to the Eterfol Mountains.

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