Jotun Forest
“Big tree guys eat plants, yeah. But dey still hit plenty hard. Mebbe orcs try plants sometime…”–Derpen Bloodmoon, Kurgan’s Fool

Capital: Ironbough
Settlements: Ashfield (500), Bloodmoon (650+), Ironbough (1,200), Lathe (450), Razorback Ridge (300+), Sequoia (400+), Woodcutter’s Axe (250, seasonal)
Ruler: Dacisandero, Chief of Chiefs of the Wood Giants
Government: Tribal confederation
Races: Anumus, Elf, Half-Orc, Oakling, Orc
Faiths: Drothos, Druidism, Enor Ashlord, Ice Tyrant, Lord Grunzol Firestorm, Poison Wave, Saren
Resources: Furs, herbs, lumber
Languages: Elven, Giant, Orc, Treant
Border Conditions: None

History
The Jotun Forest is an ancient forest of Old Porphyra that lies between the frosty waves of the Western Cold Sea and the wind-stripped plains of Parl Pordesh—cool and mountainous and lorded over by the Jotund trolls, for whom the forest was named. Predatory, cruel, and constantly hungry, the trolls treated all other races in the forest as prey. With the world-changing effect of The Calling, the lands and weather altered, and the forest grew warmer. The orcs, elves, and wood giants adopted the worship of Saren and, aided by the Untamed God, overthrew the Jotund, exterminating those that were not driven out at the battle of Ashfield, where they burned that part of the forest to the ground. The wood giants are the nominal power of the region, but they are mostly content to live in isolation. Most other racial groups live as scattered tribes in the region, with an informal truce to leave each other’s’ hunting grounds alone. Covens of druids are allowed to worship nature in the woods, and the residents make a living as hunters, trappers, and woodsmen. Each summer, woodcutters are allowed to cut selected and marked areas of forest, controlling growth to prevent the sort of excessive buildup that can lead to uncontrollable forest fires.

Current Events
The apparent façade of stability in the Jotun Forest is beginning to crack. The arrival of oaklings, unhappy in the Great Green, has upset the balance of power in the woods, stripping old growth to replace it with their own. Moss trolls stalk the canopy, feasting on the weaker races, and marsh giants infiltrate the forest’s wetlands, ambushing woodsmen and fellow giants alike. The waters of Troll Bay are increasingly crossed by scrags or other troll-kin, in violent punitive raids, seemingly heedless of the troll-kin’s survival—possibly at the behest of the elemental lords like Poison Wave.

The Bloodmoon orcs and Bleeding Moon wereboars, once close allies, have turned on each other, each accusing the other of treachery, and have begun to raid each other’s territory with increasing frequency. The wood giants lack the numbers and interest in restoring order, and the whole region threatens to tumble into chaos. Adding fuel to the fire, lone woodcutters, or even small parties of foresters are being ambushed and brutally murdered by unknown assailants, leading to cries for retribution against the region’s humanoids.

Settlements
The major settlements of the Jotun Forest are:

  • Ashfield is settled on the site of the extermination of the Jotund trolls, where the ancient forest was burned for their pyres. Ashfield remains the only permanent large clearing in the Jotund Forest. As such, it is now the home of refugees from other areas, a home to smugglers and outlanders, rather than local tribes. Located along one of the only roads in the forest, Ashfield is likely considered to be the main settlement by outsiders.
  • Bloodmoon is less of a settlement than a permanent warcamp, where the barbaric Bloodmoon Orcs gravitate, the central location in their territories. It is little more than a tent city surrounded by various crude fortifications, and is usually only half-occupied, as various clans leave to hunt or raid or ravage. The chieftain, Kurgan Bloodmoon, and his harem have the only permanent structure in the encampment, an ironwood cabin notable for the skulls of boars and wereboars decorating it, as well as the acid-bleached skull of a troll mounted over the door.
  • Ironbough is the seat of the wood giant’s tribal lands, in a dense grove of ironwood. While usually scattered, each season and in times of emergency, the entire race gathers in Ironbough, and several hundred live there permanently. It isn’t a real city or town, but rather a collection of clan villages with a series of longhouses around a massive central fire-pit altar. The Chief of Chiefs, Dacisandero, resides here and both listens to and receives council from the individual clan leaders. If the tribe decides to go to war, the Chief of Chiefs is their sole leader; otherwise he is merely an arbitrator among the clans.
  • Lathe, on the Trollwater river, uses a natural waterfall to power a huge, gnome-designed sawmill. Lathe is a vital component to the lumber industry in the Jotun Forest. Here, logs are brought and cut into beams, boards, and other components. Merchants pay off the loggers here, and the Trollwater gives access to the sea and foreign markets.
  • Razorback Ridge is on the height of land in the Jotun Forest, home to the Bleeding Moon wereboars. Most of the time, they live off the land and keep to themselves. During their full moon transformations, however, they are prone to violence, and are known to raid other parts of the forest. As such, their settlement is heavily defended, from its hill-top vantage.
  • Sequoia is the primary elven settlement, notable for being built high in the canopy of the tallest trees in the Jotun Forest. They live in harmony with nature, and worship Saren and their own ancestral spirits. As they live in the forest canopy, much of their food must be cultivated elsewhere, which makes them somewhat vulnerable.

Intrigues

  • After the last full moon, the area of cultivated land used by the Sequoia elves for cultivation has been decimated, the torn earth covered with hoofed tracks, and dung fouling the water. The Bleeding Moon wereboars claim innocence in the spiteful attack. The elves do not believe them, and they are ready to go to war against the wereboars if it happens again. Elves and orcs of Porphyra have not drawn arms against each other since before The Calling.
  • The wood giants have never denied their elementalistic origins, as they rejected control of the human wizards almost from their inception. Stories from visitors to Ironbough tell of increasingly ‘elemental’ worship being carried out by the usually mildtempered wood giants. Is there something they’re not telling the rest of the world?
  • Recently a clan of sasquatch have been sighted in the Jotun Forest. While most races consider the large, hairy creatures to be a myth, the druids have made contact with the mysterious beings. Rumors at Lathe and Ashfield say that the sasquatch have either warned the druids of an impending doom, or that they are planning to attack the camps of the woodcutters and wipe them out.
  • The seasonal logging village of Woodcutter’s Axe is filled with rumors about a series of woodcutters who have gone missing. Their bodies haven’t been found, and the only eyewitness is an old werewolf. According to him, one of the victims was talking with a young girl wearing a red cape, telling the woodsman that she had lost her way and was looking for her grandmother.

See Also