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         Veering off to the north,the path heads for the forest looming before you, striking fear within you, though you know not why. Mustering up your courage, you step from the wide open meadow and into the thin underbrush and towering trees. These woods appear as normal as any others in the Realm. The sunlight filters down through the leaves. The forest floor is covered with foliage but it is not impassable. Still, your heartbeat is quickened and you find yourself glancing repeatedly over your shoulder as you walk briskly among the trees. You continue to go further into the forest and come upon a massive waterfall, the pool beneath it shimmering in the early morning sunlight. You stop momentarily to gaze into the cerulean water, but as you do, it feels almost as though someone were watching you; someone other than the wide eyes staring back at you from the water's surface. Pivoting quickly and scanning the treeline you see. . . no one.
         You move on, more cautious than before. The forest begins to brighten ahead and you see a break in the trees. Hurrying forward in hopes of leaving the strange woodland behind, you happen into a large clearing. As your foot falls upon the open space, the formerly still trees begin to shudder in a sudden, harsh breeze. Leaves are shaken loose and begin to swirl wildly around you. The sun is bloted out by a passing dark cloud, the only one of its kind on the otherwise clear day. And just as suddenly as the weather shifted, it now returns to its prior tranquilty.
         Still rather disconcerted, you turn your gaze away from the trees and the sky to the clearing before you. The meadow is divided in two by a small stream that begins and ends at the forest edges. It has no apparent source, yet runs its course and disappears abruptly after having done so. The forest floor is covered in beautiful red flowers and on the bank opposite you stands a small cottage. A narrow dirt path winds its way among the flowers to the small bridge, which allows passage over the stream. Of course, this all looks innocent, however, upon closer examination, its charm fades. The flowers are not truly red but covered and stained with blood. The stream does not reflect their image, but runs with a thick crimson all its own. By now, it is obvious that this seemingly harmless forest is inhabited by a being much more powerful than can be imagined.


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