From the outside the Shadow Wood appears to be nothing more than a three or four mile wide patch of woods, perhaps a bit denser and more overgrown than most. Appearances are deceiving however, as those that enter the Shadow Wood quickly discover. Under the sky-obscuring leaves and branches of the Wood shadows gather, obscuring the faint, directionless paths that wind through its depths. Vines, undergrowth and limbs shift and rustle with hidden life, the close and heavy air seems to muffle sound and light, and briars and thorns catch and drag at gear and garb.
The Shadow Wood has the following characteristics:
- Movement - The Shadow Wood can move up to ten miles per day through wilderness areas, half that through developed lands.
- Disorientation - Those within the Shadow Wood face a Superb penalty to any tracking, observation, spotting or direction sense tests. Those that fail a test will believe they have succeeded.
- Distortion - Divination magic suffers a Great penalty when used within the Shadow Wood, and if it fails, gives false results to the caster.
- Obscuring - Vision is reduced to 25 yards or less by shadows, underbrush, and leaves. At night this is reduced to five yards or less.
- Fading - Blazes, markers or flags left to mark a trail or route vanish within a few minutes.
- Fireproof - The trees and underbrush within the Shadow Wood is fire resistant, applying a Good penalty to any attempt to burn it. Any burning material placed on the ground will sink beneath the earth and be extinguished within five rounds.
- Ire of the Wood - Anyone entering the Wood with hostile intent, or attempting to cut down any plant within its bounds will suffer the Ire of the Wood. Shadows will reduce vision to a few feet, strange creaking, whispering, grinding noises will fill the air, and a silent, directionless wind will set branches in motion. Anyone within the Wood while the Ire is active will suffer a Mediocre physical attack from thrashing branches and brambles. Each creature has a Fair chance of becoming separated from their companions during the Ire. The Ire of the Wood lasts so long as anyone attacks the Wood, plus 2-8 rounds thereafter.