Friday, March 23, 2012

Purple Forest (Paraversal Planes)

The Purple Forest is mentioned in numerous sources available to the majority of scholars, students or sorcerers. Indeed it is one of the most well-documented and often visited Planar Realms known to nearly all reputable modern practitioners of those transgressive arts that delve into the mysteries of the Paraversal Planes and all such strange spaces.

Getting There
One could attempt to warp a free-floating Weak Point into temporary alignment with other spaces, including the Purple Forest, but the abuse of Violet Polyhedrae in such a manner is frowned upon by the authorities as it can lead to spill-overs, leaks and energetic bleeds that can often prove quite problematic. Attempting such a stunt is an offense leading to almost certain expulsion from the Academy. So, of course, those inclined to dabble in such proscribed things tend to go out into one of the Abandoned Properties and do it in secret. Black Trapezoids are also rumored to be useful in this context, but useful details are scant.

There is also Jakub's Door, a static portal anchored within a lop-sided door-frame on the third floor of a half-collapsed tenement deep within the Burned Over District. The location of Jakub's Door is only shared via word of mouth among those who have worked their way up the ranks as a Forager. It is a secret only revealed to those who have proven themselves to one who already knows the secret.

The most common way to get to the Purple Forest is to make use of the Triple Circle spell. It is not at all uncommon for mentors, patrons or employers to cast this spell and send parties of expendable cheap gullible  dedicated explorers through to collect purple amber, various exotic herbs, peculiar pollen, and other such things that have numerous uses and applications, especially to Fantomists, Oneirists, Somnambulists and some of the more obscure Teratosophists.

What's It Like?
Purple. Very, very purple. As far as anyone has ever explored or claimed to have gone, this whole realm is one vast, multi-continental lushly overgrown old-growth forest that seemingly extends onward and outward forever. There are few roads, and what trails there are tend to get overgrown by thorns and other brush fairly quick. The skies are perpetually overcast, gloomy and drizzle cold rain far too often. There are parts of the Purple Forest that do experience a type of winter, but overall the place seems to remain fairly even and stable when it comes to temperature.

A Dozen Fairly Common Encounters
  1. (2d4) Deer or (1) really big porcupine with an attitude (30% chance of distemper or rabies).
  2. (1d4) Koponu (Non-Union, and with a 40% chance of being drunk on fermented sap).
  3. (1d4) Horned Bear (anything over the first one is a cub), they have 1d6 horns & the horns are worth a fair bit to a carver or horn-worker.
  4. (1d2) Two-headed Boar or (1d4) Harpies scouting-out a potential new nest-site for their Tormenter Mistress.
  5. (3d6) Woodsfolk or (1d4) dwarf-Molg.
  6. (1d4) Hunters (Either Bows or spears; not many carry gonnes over here--the noise tends to rile-up and attract Big Nasty Things, like Huge Unseen Beasts or worse.)
  7. (1d2) Gloomswallow
  8. (1d4) Arborial Centipedes; these things have a distressing tendency to drop down from overhanging limbs and then curl tightly around their victim's heads/necks like living nooses. Maybe there is something to the old wives' tales about some renegade Midwives who ran off to the Purple Forest to avoid getting tossed into the asylum camps back during the Rebellion...
  9. (1d4) Amber-Gatherers.
  10. (2d6) Brigands who've managed to get themselves lost or (1) Midwife gathering herbs.
  11. (1d20) Blue Zoogs or (1d4) Grikflits.
  12. (1d4) Crudiv lurking in the thickets, scanning for opportunities.
There are rumors of peryton, man-sized bats, giant owls, and tribes of barbaric blue jay theriocephs out past the perimeter of the established enclaves.

Why Go There?
Foragers, foreigners and mercenaries are hired to go scrounge-up various things from the Purple Forest, as noted above, but the main attraction of this place is as a source of game during the harsh winters in Wermspittle; this is one of the ways that the Academy manages to feed its people during the worst of times. There are also several camps of lumberjacks and woodsfolk who have set themselves up to harvest, process and deliver a wide selection of choice woods especially useful in the creation of cabinets, ritual furniture, and other such applications, wood that is unique to this place. The huge bees that buzz across the scattered glades and hidden meadows are famous for the honey they produce, and that honey is greedily gathered for use in making mead that can go for three times the going rate of Dim Ichor or any of the mid-range brands of Black Liquors, especially in the Winter, when this mead is said to unlock even the deepest dreams. Then there is the trade in purple amber, which is used in the crafting of potent magical incenses, inks, oils and unguents and is an essential component in the concoction of the salves and fumigants used in the prosecution of the Four Great Seasonal Mysteries. The sap of certain trees in the Purple Forest is also used in the preparation of the Autumnal Carnifex in particular.

What Are People Saying About This Place?
  1. Gloomswallows seem to drift across to the Purple Forest at-will, leading some oneirically-inclined scholars to assert that this might well be the birth-place of these things.
  2. A shipment of (2d6) 'Sleeping Cabinets' were recently lost when the cart transporting them disappeared during a recent drizzle.
  3. Solemn Nils of Paldramont has apparently found a way to bring over several dozen of his brigands and they have begun raiding some of the farther-out lumber camps and woodsfolk enclaves. Nils is notorious for his brutal methods and the enclaves closer to the more common points of entry are starting to hire-on ruffians, louts and mercenaries in order to protect them from further raids.
  4. The Dalgaztri Camp hired-on some Urglun mercenaries only to have the things take over the place and enslave their employers. They seem to be building a fortress. The only reason anyone knows about this turn of events is that a small group of hunters escaped and are trying to raise a group of volunteers to go back and liberate their people.
  5. A cache of high-grade purple amber is said to be stashed within the upper stories of the mostly burned-out Black Tambourine Inn.
  6. A small group of Refugees is trying to hire someone to cast the Triple Circle spell for them. They have a goodly amount of coinage to offer, but something just doesn't sound right about the arrangement.
  7. Midwives tell of any number of beautiful pools out past the queen-hives. These pools have special properties and effects. Sometimes the water retains this quality, other time not. One might be able to restore a fractured mind, or mend a tattered soul at the right pool, were one to know which one to seek out...
  8. A small clique of brewers have decided to break free of the Corruption Trade, stop producing Black Liquors, and focus on making several varieties of mead and blended metheglins from the honey gathered from the Purple Forest. They'll need some protection, and a few good Foragers who'll work for them as they try to get set-up and running...

Why Doesn't Everyone Just Go There?
  • Anyone with a CON lower than 15 must make a Save every 4 hours or else come down with the Restless Slumbers. This is an illness that makes it increasingly difficult for those affected to recover hit points or spells while in the Purple Forest. Those who contract this condition also receive a permanent -2 on all Saves versus Oneiric and Somnambulistic spell effects. Leaving the Purple Forest will allow those affected to shrug off the effect over 1d4 months (Make a Save at -4 first month, -3 the next, -2 next, -1 after that).
  • Anyone who dies (or whose body is dumped) out in the Deep Woods has a tendency to get colonized by weird fungi. Some of these shambling things come back, others just decompose into the soil, and some allow the fungi to develop strange new hybrid forms.
  • Dreamers who spend overlong in the Purple Forest tend to attract Gloomswallows, especially when they are asleep or in trance.


  1. I like the breakdown on this. It's like a complete adventuring locale in one post. The bit about the centipedes is inspired.

  2. Thanks Trey. We're going to go with this for the next few Planes and see how it holds up as a format. Those Centipedes have caused a LOT of player characters to be very, very quiet when they go a'hunitng in those there woods...

    We'll have a few more follow-up posts for the Purple Forest, since it is a very important part of the training of a sorcerer in Wermspittle...and it opens the way outward to other places/spaces...

  3. Replies
    1. Is any place 'real'?

      The Purple Forest is as real as any other place, if you know how to find it.


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