World:Loquitur/Fogbank Jungle

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Standing between the civilizations and societies at the center of the continent, and the Eastern Bowels on the edge, the Fogbank Jungle serves as a buffer zone between the two, an extraordinary bounty of lushness in stark contrast to the empty expanses beyond. The Jungle used to be known by another name, Medallion Forest, back when it was significantly smaller, and the world not-yet fully explored. At the time when the Bowels were just whispers on the tongues of strange nomadic travelers, the Forest was the most fearsome thing around, its dark expanses and thick foliage providing plenty of late-night horror stories. Rumors abounded of bandits and brigands making their home in the Forest, of harrassing passing Merchant caravans, and of the wild Elf tribes of the forest, who alternately supported or opposed the bandit hordes, depending on the immediate needs of its peoples.

As time went on, however, exploration of the land increased dramatically, and soon expeditions were sent into the Forest, both to catalog and to claim, neither of which went over well with its inhabitants. A series of bloody conflicts erupted out of the chaos - The Galandrea Wars - named for the High Elven Priest at the time, Galandra Silksheen. The Galandrea Wars lasted many years, and at the conclusion both sides were ravaged. Though the human civilizations decided to abandon their colonization attempts, so too did the Elves decide to seek an alternative. Whatever they decided, they were rarely heard from again, the only sightings or news an occasional Elf turning up in the forest, dead of unknown causes, laying beneath a Willow tree.

Fed by the heat of the Bowels, the Forest has expanded both outwards and upwards over the ages, the traditional trees soon overtaken by exotic plants and growths, such that it no longer resembled a forest much at all. Eventually, even the ground itself couldn't hold on, and gave way to bubbles of steam and boiling water. Hot springs formed in the heart of the forest, an endless waft of steam rising off their torrid surface. With the somewhat-recent arrival of rolling banks of fog, coming in from the Bowels and settling in the Forest, the area soon became known as the Fogbank Jungle, once again a place of fear and mystery...

Though the Fogbank Jungle is a foreboding place, it is not without its positives. As is true with any forest in the world, or former forest for that matter, the Jungle is teeming with life, thousands of diverse plants and animals calling it home, their environment warm and comfortable thanks to the Jungle's native heat. Though rarely seen by outsiders, the Fogbank Jungle is pockmarked with areas of lush growth, fields of flowers splayed with all the colors of the rainbow.

But as with all things beautiful, there is always a dark side - in the Fogbank Jungle, nothing is for show. Bright red blooms across the trunk of a thick tree might look appealing, but their flesh is coated in clingy poison-filled sacs. Providing a natural defense mechanism against the tree's enemies, they seep nutrients from the bark. A symbiotic relationship, one that benefits both blossom and tree...but no-one else. The Jungle is not a place for foreigners, wanderers, or fools...

There are, however, legends that speak of other things. All know that the Fogbank Jungle is a deadly place, filled with monsters and creatures out of pure nightmare - that's just common knowledge! But there is also light amidst the darkness, stories of soft grasses and cool streams, friendly birds and a warm breeze. To be sure, not every part of the forest is a deathtrap, but such stories are usually laughed at by all who hear them. After all, what would such a place be doing in the Jungle?

Most likely some tired, half-crazed traveller's tale, and nothing more...