There are several strange stories associated with The Wood - tales of strange beasts and stranger people living there. Sometimes the animals escape and are seen by locals.
None of the locals dare enter The Wood and only talk of it in hushed voices around frothy pints in the local public houses. It is regarded with some suspicion, as are those that seem interested in it. Nothing good ever came out of The Wood.
The Wood barely appears on any map and can be walked around in three hours or so. However, attempts to explore The Wood are usually frustrated, and the curious usually find themselves at the edge again without having penetrated very far.
From a nearby hill, several tantalising views can be seen. Somewhere in The Wood there is a clearing with a tower in the centre. However, reaching the tower is almost impossible as The Wood jealously guards its secrets.
There are several nearby farms and some of these have witnessed some of the things that came out of The Wood. When they hear the strange growlings and snortings they simply close their windows and wait. Eventually the beasts always return to their home in The Wood.
People have also been sighted coming from The Wood, although their manner of speech is always strange and their clothes even stranger.
Occasionally an ‘Outsider’ will move into a nearby farm and take an unusual amount of interest in The Wood. Such people are avoided by locals, considered troublemakers. The Wood is ancient, proud and should be left undisturbed. Stories of ‘Outsiders’ vanishing into The Wood never to return are quite common.
1 The Wood is a gateway to the Dreamlands. It is where the two realities intersect and travellers can cross. However, the gateway is protected and only the very determined can make their way through. Travel is possible in both directions, and the sightings of people and beasts are those that have stumbled through from the Dreamlands.
2 The Wood is haunted by a ghost of a woodsman who lost his girl. She is buried at the tower and he guards her grave jealously. He will try to prevent anyone from reaching her grave, and has strength enough to form long dead beasts from sticks and stones to frighten the curious. His last resort is his unparalleled skill with bow and arrow.
3 This is one of several special places. Dragons, unicorns, elves and the like all live in The Wood protected from outside interference by powerful magics.
© Steve Hatherley