Reign of Winter
Once part of the Djurstor Confederacy and home to a thriving forest culture, the Hoarwood Forest changed dramatically with the coming of Baba Yaga and the cruelty of Irrisen’s eternal winter.
With the cycle of seasons broken, every deciduous tree in the forest either perished or went dormant, leaving only evergreens. Within a generation, the spread of Baba Yaga’s winteryew trees provided enough of a foundation for some of the wildlife to rebound, but the forest was never the same again. Since the reign of Queen Jadwiga, logging in the forest is strictly regulated, and woodcutters or lumberjacks must be licensed in the city of Hoarwood before they can cut even a single branch or face a death sentence if caught. Beyond these few woodspeople, the wild reaches of the forest are home to asocial fur trappers and multiple tribes of boreal ogres, snow goblins, and taiga giants, who are often too busy fighting one another to make trouble for the small settlements sheltering under the forest’s eaves . Many stories of wandering, restless spirits are told across the province-tales of ghostly parties of mounted huntsmen, lone weeping women, and incorporeal wolves hungry for the flesh of the living.
Traveling in the Hoarwood off one of the established trails is an endeavor that should not be undertaken lightly.