The Mistral Woods are located to the southwest of Rharne. Nestled in a verdant corner of the Stormlands, this sprawling woodland serves as a tamer cousin of the Ywyngyll Forest to the west. The Mistral Woods are filled with gurgling streams and quiet ponds which support a variety of wildlife. The trees are mostly of oak, maple and the occasional willow. During the warmer cycles the Woods are flush with life and greenery. Meadows and small clearings are often covered in a carpet of lovely violet stormflowers. The trees themselves are not terribly dense, allowing for well-worn hunting paths to develop through the undergrowth. More recently, logging roads have been seen crisscrossing through the forest as loggers from a nearby village have begun utilizing the Mistral Woods as a source of lumber.
The Woods are not completely mundane as there are tales of children becoming lost in the forest before being guided home by mysterious footpaths that appear out of thin air. There have even been stories of creatures that escort the lost and helpless to the borders of the Wood before vanishing from sight. While the Wood is kind enough to children and travelers, it has been known to become hostile to those who cut down its trees or hunt its game too frequently. Firsthand accounts of loggers and hunters suggest that the Mistral Woods holds more danger than the other tales would suggest. Just as the Woods seem to guide the lost safely home, it has also led woodsmen and hunters into its depths to wander endlessly for trials before releasing them from its grasp. Well documented footpaths are known to shift and move, seemingly at the whim of the forest. Landmarks will disappear and reappear depending on the individual that sees it. Although the Mistral Woods have frightened a fair amount of greedy men, the woods have rarely claimed a life. Seeking instead to frighten off poachers and loggers rather than do them lasting harm.
Over time the Woods have become a favorite spot for children to play as many mothers of the local villages understand that the forest would never knowingly harm their child. Children are often seen around the edges of the Mistral Woods, picking stormflowers and weaving them into crowns to leave as gifts for the forest and its guardians. However, those that use the forest as a source for game and lumber are always wary of the Wood’s wrath. The wise woodsman will always bring gifts for the forest before taking something in return. Trinkets and locally grown fruit are often seen left lying on roughly carved stone alters anywhere near where trees are felled or a kill was made during a hunt. Less superstitious folk believe that a colony of Tunäwä might be responsible for the mysterious nature of the Wood, but they leave gifts all the same.
In the northern corner of the Mistral Woods is the opening to a large cave system that sits on the western bank of a forest creek. The creek widens near the mouth of the cavern to form a shallow pool filled with delicate eddies and ripples. A small waterfall churns nearby, dumping the stream into the pool before passing by the cavern. The sound of the waterfall paired with the acoustic nature of the cave mouth has caused a curious phenomenon that produces a whispering song that reverberates around the area. The Creeksong is a low humming melody that wavers from time to time as the waterfall experiences shifts in water volume. The entrance to the cavern is filled with various carvings that bear a striking resemblance to the symbols carved on the altars used by locals to appease the forest. The cave system extends far below Mistral Wood, leading to untold dangers and mysteries.
Deep within Mistral Wood lies a small colony of Tunäwä. The Fenvani Tunäwä are a peaceful group, although they do enjoy exacting a bit of mischief on the locals, they greatly appreciate the gifts of food and trinkets left in the forest by the nearby village. The mysterious nature of the Wood has little to do with these creatures, although they often take credit for saving children and harassing hunters when it will earn them more gifts in return. The Fenvani Colony is situated in a narrow glen that is surrounded by trickling streams. A single twisted oak tree serves as the home for many of the Tunäwä, although some are known to take up residence in other trees if they prefer more privacy.
Notable Forest Flora & Fauna: