County of Sky Forest
Peles Castle
Peles Castle as County of Sky Forest
REGION INFORMATION
Region: County of Sky Forest
Kingdom: Mobrin
Rulers: Forrester
Wealth: Small
Population: 512,000
Language: Daereni (Common)
Religion: The Light
Demonym: Skyman/Skymen
Primary Revenue: Wood, nuts, medicines, herbs, spices, bowmen for hire.
Cultural Niche: Nature
Weakness: low numbers
MILITARY INFORMATION
Fortification: Forest Hall
Specialization: Rangers and Scouts
Knights: 600 Heavy Cavalry(including knights), 2,000 Light Cavalry, 400 Siege Specialists(weapon crew and sappers), 300 Navy
Soldiers: 2,000 Heavy Infantry, 7,000 Rangers, 3,000 Archers, 400 Crossbowmen, 200 Mounted Archers

Overview

Sky Forest is located in the far south, nestled between Greenshire to the west, Lakeshire to the north and Sutherland to the east. Sky Forest is best known for their vast woodlands, tropical along the southern periphery shifting to sub-tropical as the land rises towards the center of the forest which has overgrown a collapsed mountain range. The northern edge of the forest is cooler with a temperate clime. The skymen who call the forest home are a rugged people, reputed to be the best hunters and rangers in Mobrin.

The people of Sky Forest have begun to look to the Eight for guidance, but the old faiths have deep roots. Pebbles and amulets carved with strange lines and runes are often carried to ward off evil spirits and as proof against witchcraft as the Forest is whispered to produce more witches and folk of magic than any other part of Mobrin. Many of the protective rites and rituals of the old faiths have been absorbed into the worship of the Eight to make it more palatable to the skymen.

The County is the poorest in Mobrin, what coin is generated through the sale of herbs, spices, hard woods and services is quickly lost to taxes or investment in infrastructure which is centuries behind the other developed lands. In the last 100 years the noble families have worked diligently to begin cultivating crops in the arable lands by Rivermist and along the edges of the Forest, increasing trade from Horizon port and to make the rangers in service of house Forrester the most sought after scouts and hunters in the kingdom.

++The People of Sky Forest

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The People of Sky Forest

Men and women of Sky Forest become hunters and gatherers as youngsters, traveling into the Forest with their family members from an early age. Moving quiet as a mice, the people of the Forest are able to approach their quarry with relative ease. As a result of their natural stealth and hunting abilities, the people of the Forest often make great scouts and the best Rangers.

The suggested minimum skills to represent these cultural traits are:
Stealth: 3
Survival: 3
Apothecary: 2
Archery: 2

The Lands of Sky Forest

The earliest accounts of Sky Forest claim that the deep woods were inhabited by the Fae and dark creatures of magic. For many long centuries after the surrounding lands were settled, it was said that only witches and the most daring of bandits would find sanctuary in Sky Forest where the trees had no end and the sky oft could not be seen. While Greenshire, Lakeshore, and Sutherland thrived all around with their own peoples, few lived in Sky Forest except the trees, spirits, and some of the Gods.

In the later days of the Empire a House arose within Sky Forest among those woodsmen who had dwelled there for centuries uncounted. Long fringe associated to be a part of Greenshire, Sky Forest slowly took on an identity of it's own under House Forrester. Timber, medicinal herbs, healers, and the finest Scouts and Rangers in all the land began to set them apart. While Greenshire produced the best distance shooting longbow men, Sky Forest produced the best stealthy hunters and men and women of woodcraft cunning.

No one is certain when Sky Forest keep was built. It is said to have been erected early in the empire and abandoned more than once. It has been rebuilt or added onto several times and yet is no great fortification. There is no major city associated with it, only a village where the people of Sky Forest come together with outsiders for trade. Though often conflicting stories abound, few actual records remain of Sky Forest's history as it has belonged to one county after another, or ignored entirely. It is much shrouded in mystery and rumor.

In the past 200 years Sky Forest has begun to thrive compared to past accounts. Some agriculture is now practiced along the fringes of the wood as well as within the forest itself. Small temples have been built at various villages that draw the scattered people together.

Revenue

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The wealth of Sky Forest is very low with most of their revenue coming from a few select cash crops such as hard woods, nuts, furs, as well as apothecary supplies like as ginger and rare herbs. Other crops include medicines, dyes, brightly colored bird feathers, fine leathers, bows and arrows, and of course Rangers and scouts for hire.

Also, a few kinds of 'tobacco' come from Sky Forest for smoking in pipes. One /particular/ herb is sought after for smoking that isn't a tobacco at all. It has very relaxing properties and can cause the user to have the most pleasant hallucinations. Some say this is what really gives 'Sky Forest' it's name.

Beliefs and Traditions

Sky Foresters are a shy, clannish people descended from the unwanted remnants who fled other counties and eventually formed their own small tribes. This area was rumored to produce more witches and folk of magic than any other part of Mobrin for centuries and was long avoided. Many times persecuted, Sky Foresters became very distrusting of outsiders. Bandits thrived in the forest and the people were poor, backwards by most accounts.

In recent times the religion of the Eight has taken firm root, especially among House Forester itself. Yet their beliefs in the Fae is very strong. Much like Greenshire to their west, Sky Foresters are superstitious and observe many strange customs. Milk or honey is often left out for the spirits, newborn animals may be sacrificed on a full moon in spring, offerings are regularly left at large standing stones carved with many strange runes where it is rumored human sacrifices were once made, and children yet are said to be stolen in the night never to be found again.

These are things Sky Foresters are careful not to mention to outsiders, instead quick to give service to Cri, Umbra, Lughon, Kallishar, or Inouv whom they also believe in. Bogs are particularly strange places as many Sky Foresters yet inter their dead within them, staked down beneath the water so that their spirits may not return to stalk the unwary.

People of Sky Forest frequently carry carved pebbles or wear amulets carved with strange lines and runes to ward off evil spirits.

Legends

There are legends in Sky Forest about the spirits of the wood that predate the coming of the Gods. Some of these have ancient standing stones erected to their honor carved with old runes. It is said in ages past that men, women, and even children were sacrificed to appease these powerful spirits. The bones of such souls were collected and set into dolmen chambers made of stone beneath the earth and all manner of rich offerings were left with them in these now long hidden barrows.

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Folk of Sky Forest say that to enter such dolmen barrows will anger the Gods and spirits in these days and yet there are whispers of treasures and ancient forest kings. No more human sacrifices are made but small offerings are still given at the standing stones. It is said that those who dare trespass within the dolmens will be sought by the dead of the bogs and dragged to a watery death.

There is a story of a great white stag that will lure the hunter and loose him in the bogs. The stag is a great forest spirit of old that can not be killed. There are also stories of lovely tree nymphs, spirits that seduce men and copulate with them, entrapping them in the roots of ancient trees and feeding from their bodies. Stories also of laughing children, voices of the taken who can not be found but who make and leave tiny wooden houses at the base of old trees for the wee folk that should not be disturbed.

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