|Official Name||Wyld Wood|
|Common Name||Arcane Trees, Dream-Scream Wood, Warpwood|
|Common Use||Artistic, Utility|
|Origins||The Far West|
|Habitat||The Far West, southern Daen|
Wyld Wood is an arcane enigma that prompts caution from even the Kathar of the Dread Empire, as the vast Warpwood Forests are notorious for swallowing up anyone foolish enough to enter. As the result of centuries of magical corruption and Void Storms, Wyld Wood has a reputation for being both whimsical and uncanny to behold, its forests not necessarily evil but certainly unpredictable, becoming a twisted home for some among the Kathar. Fascination and fear spread of this tree among both the Kathar and Altalar, with only the more eccentric collectors willing to risk themselves to acquire this magnificent tree.
When the Allorn Empire expanded into southern Daen and the continent of Rokhara, records from the time spoke of “massive trees whose great branches spread outward and arced like bolts of lightning.” What became known as ‘Wyld Wood’ only came into existence later on, as centuries of dimensional exposure seeped into these trees as a side effect of intense Allorn Magic usage. Sudden and drastic saturation, however, occurred when the Cataclysm and Wildering caused magical wells to appear in these already arcane-concentrated southern forests, turning the landscape into a mutated place of mystery and nightmare. In The Far West, the same process took hold at an even greater level. Whether the modern species of Wyld Wood was the same tree warped the same way into two disparate locales, or whether different species twisted into the same final form, is unknown. But it was soon after this time that the Kathar found the first of the Wyld Woods. These trees were revered as examples of the power of the Void, enhancing an existing plant into a true titan with unique features, but it was only later when the Dread Empire emerged and began to seek resources that the plant unveiled its unique attributes. Kathar artisans embraced the plant to use for their carvings, and on mainland Daen as more time passed, Altalar came to find the same uses for the tree. However, the plant’s ties to the Kathar have never gone away, and to this day, many in the art world disdain the use of Wyld Wood because of this. On the other hand, some more open and eccentric minds, especially in recent decades, have viewed the wood as merely another tool in the arsenal of creation to be manipulated like any other. Still, it does not help that most who sell the substance have ties to, or are themselves, Kathar.
The Wyld Wood is a thick, expansive tree that can range from sixty to eighty feet tall depending on how deep into the forests it grows. Its leaves are leathery with a thick bark along the trunk. The branches spread out and curve in all directions, with lower limbs typically sloping downwards and then upwards again. The most eye-catching property is that the Wyld Wood’s leaves and moss come in strange colors that come with a luminescent glow, with the bark being similar in having a variety of exotic tints.
Uses and Abilities
Kathar use the forests of Wyld Wood as a place to live, becoming adapted to their volatile arcane nature in a way that almost no other Race could. Daring adventurers among the Altalar and Dread Kathar may attempt to collect the bark and leaves to use in exotic artwork, with the luminescence and unnatural colors remaining even after these parts are removed from the tree. However, the tree’s processed wood is what most people want.
- Attempts to create a synthetic and safe alternative to Wyld Wood on a large scale have so far failed, as the tree’s intense coloration was tempered over centuries of gradual magical absorption.
- The novel “Dreams in the Maddening Wyld” is a fictional account of an explorer who delves into the Wyld Wood forests in an attempt to learn its secrets, coming across all manner of unspeakable horrors that drive them insane. Scholars speculate that what was presented in the book might not be completely fiction.