Friday, January 25, 2008

Magical Lands: Enchanted Forest

The lands where folklore and myth are just as (if not more so) interesting than the stories that take place in them.

Enchanted Forests are always huge, stretching far beyond possible geography, possibly slipping into other worlds. They are often large enough to hide lost cities, hidden villages and lonely towers of multiple species. These can all exist within a forest that in the Mortal World, could be walked around in a day (give or take).

This is more than likely due to the fact that mose Enchanted Forests are "trackless" that is the roads in these places tend to move around on the traveler, even disappearing altogether. Powerful magic, special training (by forest denizens or somesuch), divine intervention or the aid of a supernatural denizen of the forest itself is a mortals only hope.

The denizens of an Enchanted Forest often operate by rules mostly unknowable to humankind, but a certain theme to their behavior can be discerned. Even evil creatures in such places will have a way of doing things, and if approached with courtesy, can often be dealt with.

For a favorite tale of an Enchanted Forest, see Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock. He wrote other books along the same theme, but the first one was the best in my humble opinion.
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan