4. Healer's Woods, Home of the Gods
"Not only mere mortals walk in places touched by the Gods."
Healer's Woods is the largest forest of Twistroot trees - or of any trees for that matter - in the Lands. Twistroot trees grow very quickly with their trunks reaching three feet wide in a year. The leaves are large, emerald green and bloom all year round. Because of this, a carpet of leaves consistently covers the forest floor while a green canopy stretches above. A dead Twistroot tree has yet to be discovered so their lifespan is not known. They keep growing throughout their life so there can some truly enormous trees. Twistroot trees are incredibly hard to fell. Only 56 have ever been recorded to be destroyed by either nature of man.
At the centre of the forest towers the tallest mountain in the Lands. It is said that when you stand in Healer's Woods you cannot see the sky, so vast is the mountain. At the peak of the mountain sits a golden alter next to the largest and oldest Twistroot tree on record. It is said that the Gods created life at the top of the mountain and crafted humans upon this alter, whereupon they wondered down and spread over the land. However soon the humans forgot their Gods and so the Gods forbade them from the alter for a thousand years. Or that's the story anyway.
A holy pilgrimage may be taken by the worthy to the top of the mountain, although the alter is guarded thoroughly. There are monks who live their entire lives at the peak of the mountain. The most revered and holy monasteries lie in woods at the base of the mountain, as well as the best healing schools, which is what gives Healer's Woods it's name.
Healer's Woods is the most bio diverse area in the Lands. There are many creatures and plants that are unique to the woods. The monks believe that this is because the Gods once walked the ground here.
However monks and healers are not the only people to live in Healer's Woods. A group of young students from the Great Library disbelieve the teachings about the Gods and are attempting to use things found in the woods to prove it. Their actions are driving the ever peaceful monks to near violence.
But it is not only humans who call the forest home. In the places where the trees block out the sun and men do not tread, ancient creatures are awakening.