A forest that has no end. In fact, the whole planet is a forest. The entire globe is covered in a heavy carpet of green. From dense and dark rainforests of the north-west to the vast windswept grasslands of the south-east. This is Brackenwood. A forest planet that is so tiny, you could walk from one pole to the other in about a month.
Nobody knows how Brackenwood and her inhabitants came to be. It is clear that the abundance of nature could support many, but civilized inhabitants are very few. Those few take so little from nature and give so much that they may be likened to greenkeepers. For this reason Brackenwood flourishes, virtually untouched, unrestrained and dominated by no one.
There is no shortage of water on Brackenwood. Everything is so lush and green for the simple reason that the world is a globe of water. Nobody knows what dwells in the heated depths under the forests, but on occasion pale faces with wide black eyes have been glimpsed staring out from below pond and lake surfaces. It may be that Brackenwood carries a thriving civilization at her heart, but until those depths are explored, nobody could know for sure.
One particular characteristic of the Brackenwood weather is the musical breeze. The origins of the music are another of Brackenwood’s perfect mysteries, known only by the Auld Sage who drops tantalizing hints now and then in conversation, but usually stops short of revealing too much.
The music doesn’t always accompany the winds which are mostly gentle, silent and warm. Then one day you’ll hear something like the tinkling of a bell or the trill of a tiny bird, and gradually the strange, sometimes haunting melody builds.
Musical breezes may sound wonderful, but when a musical storm hits, the Brackenwood inhabitants go for cover. The deafening cacophony of a howling gale does nothing to damage the ears, but instead sends one insane. The only one known to be immune to musical storms is Bingbong, a curious wandering elf-like creature who is probably too stupid to be driven insane anyway. While others run for cover at the onset of a musical storm, he has been seen running at full speed into the face of it, whirling and giggling manically.
The plant life on this tiny world is the most diverse and varied life-form. Any tree you can imagine, there exists somewhere in the forest. Any shrub, moss, algae or fungus you can invent in your mind exists somewhere on Brackenwood and many are yet to be discovered.
Some common and notable species of tree include:
The whispering tree – The surface of its smooth but crooked trunk and limbs is peppered with little holes that cause the tree to moan softly, even when there is no breeze. If you are frightened of the yu-yu’s, you should sleep under a whispering tree not only because it is a soothing sound that sings you to sleep, but also because the yu-yu’s are repelled by the voice of the tree. Be very careful though, because in a musical storm, whispering trees literally scream and are very dangerous places to be. Image coming soon.
The stairway tree – The way the limbs of this tree are arranged about its trunk is reminiscent of a spiral staircase, and so it is possible to climb to the top very easily. They are also some of the tallest trees in the forest, and so they make excellent vantage points from which to gain one’s bearings. Image coming soon.
The globe tree – Often punctuating the grasslands of Brackenwood, these trees grow in all sizes and are home to many creatures due to their hollow dome shapes and very spacious interior. Their shape also reflects most sound, so they are very quiet inside and the obvious places to take shelter from musical storms. One particularly great thing about globe trees is that they grow in full sunlight and their wood is slightly translucent. For these reasons the interior is always well lit. At night time, a soft phosphorescence within the walls is quite bright just after sunset and fades gradually throughout the night. On the nights of the full-moon the glow does not fade. Images coming soon.