The Barony of Fangwood is one of the two more heavily forested regions of Westridge, though not nearly to the extent and breadth that is Mirwood itself. Fangwood is full of thick tree growth, numerous streams, and rocky soil. Large fauna heavily populate the forest such as elk and caribou, making it a significant exporter of venison. Boar and wild poultry also roam the area especially during summer months. The barony tolerates a milder climate than those seen at higher elevations, with less snow during the winter that quickly melts off early into spring.
Fangwood is sparsely populated. Those that do choose to live in the thick forests tend to be of a reclusive sort. Isolated cabins and hunter camps are the predominant features of human settlement, although the occasional occupied cave or bandit hideout can still be found. Despite this, the roads that lead through the forest are patrolled regularly by ranger Sheriffs; and one wouldn’t need to wait for long at the side of those cobblestone highways for a merchant’s cart to come passing by either.
The only major structure in Fangwood is Bitterhall. When the Fairpeak Rangers ruled over the region with an iron fist, Hunter’s Helm was their lair. An old timber-and-stone manor nestled in the great forest, it is by now overgrown with ivy. Originally built as the summer residence of the Lord of Fairpeak, the manor offered a warmer home during the bitter winters that was well
The Gift, a darkly ironic name, is the designation for a clearing deep within the forest. An early lord made first use of the site as an execution ground, erecting gallows and pillories for the purpose. A ring of pikes encircle the clearing, stained with blood from use. More recently, the Fairpeak Rangers used the site as a grounds for dealing with poachers and thieves quietly. Those trespassers who ignored written and verbal warnings to turn back and leave Fairpeak found themselves granted ‘the gift’ once caught taking meat or timber illicitly. Touched by darker forces than men however, The Gift is known as a cursed location where souls do not rest easily. Villagers and deputies alike speak in hushed tones of grisly rituals held by beasts deep in the cover of night when none dare approach the site. Howls of manic slaughter and the screams of woodland creatures can be heard during the darkest months of winter. Sometimes, those screams sound awfully human.
Unlike the carefully cultivated and maintained forests of Mirwood, the deeper parts of Fangwood are wild, overgrown, and dangerous. Thick underbrush and darkening canopies discourage most exploration. The well-lit roads do not lead here for a reason, and those with the hubris or foolishness to find themselves out there after sundown rarely make it back. Something more than mere wolves lay claim, driving even the bloodthirsty packs away. Regular patrols may have kept the roads and hunter’s camps safe enough, but whispers and sightings of terrible man-like creatures deeper in the forest still persist. Perhaps not without warrant, for even the Rangers don’t venture too hastily into the wood without good cause.