The Heartwood is one part of the greater forest known as the Wildwood. Deep within the shadowed trails, avoiding the more famous dangers which inhabit that land, the Heartwood is spoken of in hushed voices when it is spoken of at all. For some it is a place of great harmony, for others a nightmare. The forest here is said to be more alive, almost conscious of those who would walk beneath its leafy canopy. The one piece of advice which seems to be constant is, “Do not stray from the path!”
Level Range: 51-51
Walking route from Aelmon: 16e, [e], 2e, n, 2e, 3s, 3e, 3n, 2w, 3n, w, n, e, n, e, 3n, 2e, 2s, 3e, 2s, 2e, 3s, 3e, n, e s.
The only entrance to this area is guarded by Tinderhand. He will attack those players that don't match a certain race. The following have been observed:
- Safe: High Elf, Elf, Drow, Ent, Centaur, Sprite
- Aggied: Demonseed, Dragon, Gargoyle, Griffon, Halfling, Minotaur, Firedrake, Human, Lizard Man, Gnomes, Dwarves
Heartwood is roughly divided into four areas. The first is the path (A path through the forest). The path is unchanging and consistent and will lead to the elder ents. Finding the path takes work and is long. If you wander from the path then you will be in a random "near lost" area. This is the second area (Straying from the path). From each exit you could randomly get back onto the path, but you could also get lost. The third area is the "lost" area (Deep in the forest). If you make it to this area you have no way to get back to the "near lost" or "path" areas. The only exit is portal/teleporting. The fourth area is the Sacred Grove (The Sacred Glade) at the end of the path where the elder ents reside.
******In the Public House, Cathracharraig****** A hooded figure sitting in the shadows sips on a quart of some dark liquid and listens as a conversation rises in volume. "...and I say you're a liar," snarls a gravelly voice. "'An' what would you know 'bout it?" comes the sneering reply. "You greys ain't exactly famous for knowing much about what goes up top, 'specially out in the wilds where you ain't got a roof over your head to keep you safe from nasty ol' Pask." "Bah! The sun hasn't got anything to do with it, fool," snaps the duergar in reply. "I don't have to be some kind of sage to have heard of the Heartwood. That's the point isn't it? People have heard of it, because it's famous for them NEVER COMING BACK!" The hardened looking mercenary chuckles into his drink in his best patronising manner and takes a long sip. "Well now, it ain't no big thing really. It's just a forest like any other. People say the same stories 'bout the Wildwood and it's only greenhorns like yourself who have any trouble." "The dwarf's right," rumbles a new voice suddenly as one of Mistress Machadae's elite troll guards joins in the conversation. "I know, 'cos I once was fool enough to wander there and I barely made it back alive." "Yeah, but you made it back, obviously," objects the human, even as the duergar looks on expression torn between satisfaction at being backed up and by another braggart with false claims. "Only 'cos I hardly set more than a foot inside. Me and my troop were out to do some hunting in the Wildwood. We'd heard all about the trog hunting grounds and how the trogs like to hunt folk who wander in just as much as they do a stag or panther. That didn't worry us though. A trog's no match for a troll, there were four of us and to be honest a bit of trog bashing suited us just as much as anything else. We were working for the sorcerer Kheffin and needed some time off, so thought we'd go out and kick loose in the Wildwood. We'd just left the mountains when I suddenly realised I'd forgotten to fletch up arrows for the hunt, and that takes bloody ages to do and my troop weren't in any mood for waiting. So I told them to wait around for half a bit while I dashed off to buy some splints. I know a fletcher in a village deeper in the wood who wont turn his nose up selling some arrows to a troll if his gold is good. So I dash off, taking care to avoid the mess that's the seige at that stronghold and buy myself a couple of hundred splints and head on back double time." The troll pauses here, seeing he has an attentive audience and motions for the barkeep to draw him another pint of duergar stout and put it on the grey dwarf's tab. "Well, I get back and my troop are gone! Damn fools had headed off without me and expected me to catch them up. Now, I'm a better tracker than most. I'm no ranger, mind, but I can track some three sodding great impatient trolls in armour through a forest, alright. And they hadn't gone far... and it wasn't the trogs hunting ground they had found. Straight away I could see things were different there. Don't ask me how, but that forest was different. And of course, there were the signs of a fight. "I checked the signs and figured it was an ambush by a treant. Not something which would normally bother my boys, but it looked like the fight was a hard one, but seemed like they drove him off and then headed on deeper into the wood to finish him off. I had no idea which way though, the tracks just disappeared into the ground. I was just making up my mind which way to go when I heard the screams. First one... then another... then a last one. From somewhere deep in that forest. I took a look around, and then I can tell you I turned around and I got the Tarterus out of there. Never went back to the old job, either. I headed up to take service with Mistress Mach there and then, far, far away from any gods be damned forests and I've never looked back. No one makes it back from the Heartwood alive!" The listening figure slips out of the door, a smirk on his lips. He pauses for a moment outside to adjust his hood and for a moment a delicately pointed ear is revealed. "No one..." he chuckles. "Yeah, right." And then he is gone. **************************************
Area added on January 9th, 2015.