Mirkwood Forest Hooligans

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The History of Myrkviðr (Mirkwood)

Myrk means "Murky" or "Dark" and viðr means "wood" or "forest." Myrkviðr is a name for many of the ancient forests of Earth most notably the Black Forest. Many Norse men and women were brought to Gor. They named the darkest part of the northern forests "Myrkviðr," due to the dense tree canopy that blocks much of the sunlight from the forest floor, along with the seemingly constant billowing mist that thickens the air. Over time, it became known as Mirkwood.

Situated between the Hrmigar mountains and the Laurius River, Mirkwood is the western most section of the Northern Forests. Most travel to Mirkwood by ship, docking at the small trading port known as Arainn Seidr, often called just Mirkwood Village.

The village began long ago as a single trading outpost built next to a hastily constructed wooden dock but quickly grew. Many low Caste, such as merchants, found the area moderately profitable through their secret dealings with the outlaws and panther girls that frequent the surrounding area. Slavers have often used the village as a staging area for hunting in the Mirkwood area for wild slave flesh, and it is not unheard of for a slaver to follow a panther girl after she made a trade, capture her, and carry her off to be sold. Yet even for a slaver, venturing far from the village can be hazardous. Wild beasts live and hunt prey within the dark wilds, and pirates as well as fierce bands of panther girls keep hidden camps, surviving at least In part, by trade in captives they take from the forest pathways.

Depending which direction travelers venture from the village, they might find themselves entering a dense portion of the forest. The ground here is marshy and tangled, and travel by foot can be quite difficult. Following the river through these lands will eventually lead to a small estuary. If one dares to hazard the perils of this region they may come to a set of naturally formed arches, situated on either side of the river as it empties into the sea. Over the years storm and tide have carved the cliffs into beautiful contorted figures. They stand as a testament to the power of wind, water, and time. Wandering these regions alone is risky, however, as several panther bands have constructed camps on the surrounding hills.

Further inland in this region there is a Kataii wagon camp which has situated itself near an abandoned mine. Travelers are often drawn to the inviting covered wagon, hoping for shelter, but one should exercise caution. Shelter and provisions so boldly displayed are almost always fiercely guarded. The mine itself was once used to delve deep in search of all sorts of minerals and jewels, but was most successful in providing galena. Mining for galena is a dangerous occupation. The tunnels are always in danger of collapse, and the dust from the lead that the rock contains has led to the crazed demise of many miners. In recent times a small group of outlaws has taken to frequenting these abandoned tunnels. They defend the area fiercely and their brazen activities and sometimes wild cackles have left some of the region wondering if the lead dust still fills the air in the deepest chambers of this abandoned place.

Traveling in the other direction from the village leads deep into the darkest portion of Mirkwood. This is home to panther girls, pirates, and outlaws alike. Most that live here remain hidden among the cliffs and caverns, but a brave Kataii camp has situated themselves prominently in the forest. This Kataii camp is conspicuous, the wagons covered in a deep crimson cloth that stands out strikingly even in the depths of the forest canopy. Mirkwood Forest is fed by a river system that flows from the mountainous regions in the north down to the sea. These rivers, though gentle in appearance as they babble merrily over pebbled rock, move with enough force to stay fresh, and the plants and animals of the region grow lush and fat from their sustenance. Large cliffs jut skyward, almost as if the fingers of some long-buried giant had broken the surface just as he took his final breath. Moss and lichen blotch his skin, and spring-fed cave systems send glorious cascades of falling water over the tortured remnants.

The climate is such that the forest experiences all four seasons. Each change is seemingly more spectacular than the last. In the spring small flowers lift their heads from the warming soil, turning their faces to the sun and glistening in the morning mists. As the days grow warmer the foliage grows thick and lush, the atmosphere foreboding as the trees fill out and block the sun.

Occasional sun rays streak toward the ground, filled with dancing gnats and gloriously colored butterflies. These oases of light are bejeweled princesses adorned with little more than the precious stones of their inheritance. It is during this time that the panther girls and outlaws of the forest are most active. Doing their best to store all manner of provisions, for it is not long before the leaves begin to change, and cool winds begin to blow harder from the north.

The few that have dared to trod upon the cliffs of Mirkwood as the vicissitude of Fall is in its fullest did not return unchanged. The landscape is a kaleidoscope of brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds... trees waving their arms in jovial bliss as the cool autumn breezes tickle and tease... the colors shifting in a myriad that can leave one transfixed. There has been more than one unwary traveler that has fallen prey to the dangers that reside hidden on these cliffs and deep caverns as they stood slack-jawed in awe.

And as winds swirl and the leaves gather in growing dunes of fragrant decay, the first snow inevitably begins to fall. One can awaken to a transformed landscape. What once was dark and foreboding is suddenly filled with an almost alien light. The mornings so still, that a single misstep can bring all of the eyes of the forest upon the wanderer that so foolishly trod upon the broken twig. The rivers creak and crack, ice expanding and contracting to the whims of the more distant sun. This is a time for humans and beasts to huddle in close... stay near to kin and fire, and wait for the day when the long blankets of ice on the cliffs begin to flow free again.

When Spring does arrive, those that hazard to travel through the forest may eventually arrive at Mirkwood Bay, a small inlet from Thassa with rolling hills and wonderful fishing. It lies just to the north of Mirkwood Forest, and its landscape is broken and jutted with steep mountains and deep ravines. The westerly breezes fill this area with the fragrance of the sea. This is a more peaceful place than many, and travelers weary from the arduous journey through the forest, or taking one last breath before entering, have been known to stop and reflect. Looking far out to sea as gulls cry and waves lap at their feet. Many loners have made their home in and around the bay and while not nearly as dangerous as the panther girls and outlaws living deeper within the forest, they are known to savagely protect their homes.

Welcome to Mirkwood, may your visit and travels be peaceful and, Goddess willing, may you leave with the freedom and life you came with.

Mirkwood Forest in Secondlife - Mirkwood Bay in Secondlife - The Ruins of Mirkwood in Secondlife