Burning Wood

Smoke wafts above the canopy of the great forest, lit faintly red underneath by a distant fire, a sign the Burning Hills lie ahead.

Miles of forest lie burned to the ground, and now you can see the flames licking a thousand feet in the air in the hills beyond, darkening the skies with it’s smoke. The breeze at your back and the forest consumed, it seems safe enough to approach.

Cresting a small rise you see the fire’s heart, burning atop a thousand acres or more of unaffected trees at the center of this desolation. The land, hidden from the sun by smoke is visible in the orange glow of the great fire, it’s heat uncomfortably warm on your face even a mile away.

A small part of a great forest, full of smoke and heat, with trees crowned with flame.

Geography

The Burning Wood is located in an evergreen forest, with a buffer of several miles of burned-out forest between the Wood and the surrounding forest. The area is only a few miles across, but arid and hot. The trees are unusually tall, considering how dry everything is, and crowned with flame.

Game Mechanics

  • The fire is largely restricted to the canopy of the Wood and does not consume the trees. Treat the area as being always in daylight.
  • For the most part the air is clear, but a change in the wind or some other vagary can cause a downdraft of smoke to fill an area.
    • Visibility is very poor (treat as the fog cloud spell with a 50′ radius).
    • Sometimes it’s even worse; treat as a fog cloud spell with a 50′ radius, and each round must make a Fortitude save (DC 15 + 1 per previous check) or choke; a creature that chokes two consecutive rounds takes 1d6 nonlethal damage).
  • Treat the region as a hot, rocky desert (good chance of light rubble or dense rubble).
  • Most areas are treated as ‘very hot’ (above 90 degrees F), there are hot spots that are hotter (‘severe heat’, above 110 degrees F), and some that qualify as ‘extreme heat’ (more than 140 degrees F).
    • The center of the Burning Wood is even hotter; treat everything within one mile of the center of the wood as having a mild fire-dominant trait (d10 points of fire damage per round, unless protected, and unprotected flammable materials smoke, smolder, and catch fire in three rounds).
  • The trees of the area are infused with fire and take readily to fire-related magics. If good enough pieces can be found (which is somewhat difficult, most of the wood here is too hard and brittle) it can be treated as Darkwood, and magic items created from this would have their XP cost halved if the enchantment is primarily fire-related.

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