Erast Forest

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The northern most of the great forests. Spanning many days travel in all directions, until it reaches the mountains to the West and the grasslands to the East a few weeks travel in either direction. Once a small remnant of the woods that were before the Peace of Ages it has grown under the protection of The Kraul and those that live within the woods have pledged to tend them and care of his trees. In exchange when a tree is nearing an end, he allows it to be taken, provided that homage is paid to his protection and the mistakes of old.

The woods directly around Whiteridge itself is calm and game is plentiful. The townsfolk pay their homage to The Kraul and the forest and in exchange it is said he protects them with his trees and will guide them home should they get lost. However, it is also said that going too deep into the woods will anger The Kraul and if night descends and one is not where they should be, they may be taken as payment for debts of the past.

Within the forest there is a large river, the Savage River, it is about an hour or so from Whiteridge and fairly easy to find. Hunting is good there as the river widens and slows near the town providing for ample clean water and fishing. It is a favorite place among townsfolk to visit and take ease during the rare days where chores are done. At night, it is not uncommon to find a young couple reveling in youth there, enjoying each other beyond what their parents would approve of.

Radiant Spring

Further into the woods, on the edge of where people belong, there is a clearing around a natural spring, where the sun will break through the canopy. It is said to be a mystical place where the veil between worlds is at its weakest. Once, before it was anything other than a clearing in the woods, a man named Odalric is said to have camped there with his wife and child while hunting, when he awoke his wife and child were missing. He stayed there night after night searching the woods every waking hour. Whiteridge knew little of him but the town began to help him in the search, sending search parties every day for weeks on end to no avail. As the first frosts of winter came the mayor begged the man to come to the town and stay with him, he would be safe there and that Odalric would be welcome to stay however long it took to find his wife and child.

Odalric refused and the town banded together and brought the man fresh hot meals in the morning and made sure he had dry firewood at night. As the winter came and the snows began, the mayor made a final plea with him. Begging Odalric again to come into the town and not risk his life, but he refused again praying to the god Onos to be kept safe from the winter cold and for his family to return. The man survived the first full freeze of the winter, but one day on an unusually bright and warm day the elder Alister patriarch send his young son and daughter to bring Odalric fresh supplies that morning. When the brother and sister arrived at the clearing it was much changed, the sun was breaking through the canopy shining a shaft of sunlight onto the center of the clearing, where jagged stone had come from the earth in the night. The stone comes to the chest of the average man and water springs forth from the apex of the rocks flowing down its edges and into the air a few inches.

The light from the sun shines upon the water shines dancing sparkles along those near the spring. The two young Alister children stood there in wonder watching it, describing it as if the goddess Udona was sining to them as the water bubbled and flowed down the rocks while the light of Onos himself danced from the water as it came out of the still stones. They felt as if The Old Gods had smiled upon the lost and tired Odalric, and gave his family a home in the heavens.

The two young children are now long since gone, the Alister family still owns the farm and every year at the onset of winter they bring fresh blankets and hot food to the base of the spring in honor of the man Odalric whose urgent hope brought the gods themselves to help him ascend to see his wife and child again. The elder Alister is the great great great grandson of the young boy who found the spring and swears it is true, and will have words with anyone who says otherwise.

Now the spring is known to be a place where the vale between the heavens and the earth is thin and the gods can sometimes hear the pleas of those who drink from the spring. Everyone in town has been to the spring in times of the deepest trouble and everyone has a story to tell of a message from the heavens, from their dead loved ones, the gods themselves, even pixies and fairies have been said to be waiting at the spring for someone in need. While it isn't a holy sight exactly, it is one that the locals know well and feel one should have a deep respect for.