Into the Wild (KingMaker AP)
The vast, primeval expanse of the Narlmarches is the largest continuous forested area north of the Verduran Forest in Taldor. Larger than Kyonin or the Fangwood, only the Shudderwood, haunted by werewolves in Ustalav and demonic invaders nearer the Worldwound, is a rival to the Narlmarches in either size or hostility to outsiders.
Known to locals as the Old Margreve, the gnarled roots and close grown trunks of the forest defeated the legendary Taldan legions, defying the efforts of thousands of disciplined and well equipped soldiers at the height of Taldor’s expansionist strength. The soldiers dubbed the dark forest the Narlmarches for the way the trees seemed to actively pull at their boots and catch at their cloaks and the Black Forest for the way the branches turned full day into night. All official Taldan maps name the forest the Narlmarches, and as a result so do most maps made in the last thousand years.
The forest bifurcates the Stolen Lands and extend down into the River Kingdoms where they are known as the Embeth Forest. The dark forest spreads across the lowlands of the region and feature craggy hills, lazy streams, deep ravines, and a great variety of trees, including oak, beech, and rushleaf.
The region hosts a rich variety of wildlife as well, with elk, rivercats (a cousin to the bobcat, with a strange sort of mossy-fur), black bears, many large rodents, boars, and brush thyclacines. Stranger still are the giant owls, will-o’-wisps, owlbears, and aggressive vegetation. Gangs of trolls range the southern edge of the forest, closer to Lake Candlemere, and the ruins of many bandit hideouts dot the landscape as well, leading to rumors of long lost riches and fantastic treasures.
Travelers are advised not to delve too deeply into the Narlmarches, as odd things happen in the deep forest and locals contend that the Old Margreve doesn’t like outsiders.