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Just SurvivingVerdance[Realm - Cathrys]Copyright © 2000 by Torsten Bernhardt

CharacterOppressive heat and thick plant life pressing in from all around. Verdance seems glorious and vibrant at first, but visitors soon find that it's all the dark places in the forest rolled up together. Fear at rustling in the grasslands grows until one realizes that it's not an animal moving through the grass, but the grasslands itself, hunting. Then true terror begins.

Ruler The power GreenMother is the creator of this realm, but most of the day-to-day business is performed on her behalf by the treant Fleshroot (proxy/male treant/D14/CE).

Special Conditions Fire spells are diminished, and nothing in the realm can catch fire. Anyone using fire here is killed without further ado.

Description This realm covers the entirety of one orb of Cathrys. Comprised of a patchwork of forests, grasslands, marsh, jungle, and any other vegetation type one can think of, it's covered from end to end with dense plant life, all of it sentient and evil. Each blade of grass and mighty tree is aware, the smaller plants usually being petitioners and the larger ones planar inhabitants of the place. Thankfully for visitors, relatively few of the residents of Verdance can move, but many of the more dangerous plants don't really need to, often having means to lure victims to them.

Verdance is a realm of perpetual daylight and perpetual summer, allowing the plant life here to grow to impressive size. The daylight comes not from a sun, but from an ambient brightness from the entire glowering sky. When rain comes, it comes as a mist that drifts across the landscape, drenching everything as it goes. Sometimes the rain is blood, and this is generally regarded as a good omen by GreenMother's priests. When the blood rain comes, all plants in the area gain the ability to move for several hours, and usually use this time to destroy all non-plants and their constructions when they find them.

Herbivores (especially cows) are hated here, and omnivores only slightly less so. To keep herbivores out of the place, the residents keep large numbers of ferocious carnivorous animals, and let them roam freely. The priests of GreenMother create meat to feed their pets when needed, but find much more pleasure in letting them hunt interlopers or kidnapped victims from adjacent orbs.

It's said that druids who turn to evil end up here as petitioners when they die, and there are several evil druids found here. One of the rare humanoids at home in the forests is the sylvan elf Pietaman (planar/female elf/D8/Wild Hunt/NE), who is a high-up in the Wild Hunt but seems to have no problem with intelligent plant life. She occasionally leads raids on the Beastlands, gathering whatever mobile plants she can from the realm and using Yggdrasil as her route. The Wild Hunt don't know much of Verdance, but many would undoubtedly have problems with talking plants as much as with talking animals, so Pietaman keeps her residence a secret.

The easiest access to Verdance is through Yggdrasil; one of the roots stretches to this orb, and a small city of non-vegetable creatures, called Montea, can be found here. This has made Verdance and Montea a trade focus for several orbs in this region of the layer. Current ruler of Montea is a basher by the name of Colach McHethian (planar/male human/M9/Disposessed/CE), who takes what he wants from the markets and keeps a large store of slimes and molds for the time he will return to Tir na Og and exact his revenge.

MilitiaVerdance is a disorganized place in pretty much every aspect, and no militia exists here. The packs of carnivores include everything from weasels up to dinosaurs, and they are kept hungry enough to always be on the prowl. Dangerous plants are found all through the realm, further discouraging troublemakers. If great trouble arises, Irontrunk (planar/female treant/HD24/CE) is usually gated in by GreenMother.

Double the size of a regular full-grown treant, Irontrunk isn't the smartest or most reflective foe (which may explain why she hasn't fallen into the final sleep that most treants succumb to), but her devastating attacks (which do 8d6 damage) usually ensure that battles are over quickly enough that it doesn't matter.

Services Marvellous potions and salves are available here, as long as they use plants as their main ingredient. The most reliable source for these in Montea is Rootless (prime/female human/D6/N), who has come to accept the twisted aspect of this place for what nature is here, and does her best to care for it. Montea is also the place to go for trade, its access to Yggdrasil making it a focus for travel in the area.

Current Chant The GreenMother has produced a seed, and an expedition will soon be sent off to plant it on another plane. When the planting will happen will occur and which plane will have the dubious honour of receiving the seed isn't yet known.

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