The Dead Forest

An area found to the north-east of Kreshtokk’s borders, nestled in a small valley along the Deshfynger mountain range – The Dead Forest is a curious sight. Once a vast woodland of pine trees, the entire expanse now consists of tall, jet-black monoliths; charcoal towers where the trees once stood.

The desecration of the forest occurred within the fifth year of Vinlaris’ Incursion and proved to be one of the most decisive incidents to take place during the conflicts.

Having been pushed back to the southern nation of Kreshtokk by Vinlaris’ northern invaders, the dwindling forces of the former Brakvaern/Gurharan Military (now under the name ‘The Takborren’) had taken to guerilla warfare tactics, earning small but definite victories with deftly executed surprise attacks, raids and assaults on the over-confident enemy. One of the largest and most successful of their forces had made the forest, at that time called simply ‘Deep Wood’, their home, able to keep hidden primarily due to the sheer size of the area, within which they could quickly lose pursuers amongst the dense trees and pick them off one by one.

This approach proved greatly successful, and this group alone, now known to Vinlaris’ soldiers through camp fire tales as ’Bilvak’s Bastards’, held off the invading forces for near on half a year, forcing them to inhabit the treacherous terrain of the Deshfynger slopes, unable to advance or fall back – their orders being to wipe out The Takborren entirely.

Greigaer Pellaeo, a former noble and commanding officer of the unit pinned on the mountainside, had reached a point of desperation, trapped between death via the enemy or execution by Vilaris’ hand. The mounting pressure lead him to seek advice from wider sources, even regarding opinions from the lowest rank – coincidentally, it was from one of the newest and youngest recruits that a winning strategy emerged.

Though there had been suggestions early on to start a forest fire, the idea had been cast aside quickly, due to the snowy, moist environment of the area, as well as the simply inhumane nature of the possible outcome, but the young recruit, a Takborren deserter by the name of Vrik, made Greigaer aware of the flammable nature of the pine needles which coated the woodland ground, nestled away from the snow – confined as it was to the thick canopy. The moral objections were never raised again; too many had been lost to Bilvak’s Bastards.

The flames spread rapidly and without mercy, enveloping the entire forest in a matter of hours, trapping the former soldiers of Brakvaern and burning them all alive – the dense trees that once gave them the upper hand in combat, now proving to be their downfall. Greigaer, Vrik and the rest of the invaders watched for the several weeks it took for the fire to burn itself out; the entirety of the Deep Woods now nought but charred ground and black, poignant towers of ash where once the trees stood – natural burial markers for the lives so callously destroyed.

Excerpt from the “Damna-Tibi Encyclopaedia of The Sphere”

The Dead Forest

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