Maar'tolaak Terrible Tangle

Griffin of Maar'tolaak
RegionGrashakh, Miradelgûn
AliasTerrible Tangle
MapMaar'tolaak Forest

Maar'tolaak, Draconic for Terrible Tangle is a huge forest beginning on the edges of the Tyermur Swamp then northeast for six hundred miles to the foothills of the Inghild Peaks. It is an unusual landscape, dotted with lone hills, spires of rock and great mesas. Some of the spires are several hundred feet tall. Covered in vines and vegetation, they serve as nesting places for great birds, aeries for griffin, wyverns, and chimera. During the time of the Gimhak (1306 HE - 1503) and the Estandarenya, the griffin of this area were captured and trained as aerial mounts. When the Orchish Empire came to power, they did the same with the wyverns.

The forest's great mesas, in a series, are great honeycombed places. Their caves and tunnels serve as the lairs of beasts, giants, bandits, and other fell creatures.

Maar'tolaak has dozens of thick tangled areas that in the Lith-Crillion Era served as the home of nearly a dozen green dragons. These were soldiers that served Tiamat in the Demon Spawn War (8972 GE - 9493 GE). After the end of that war, this tightly-knit group settled down in this forest. As they grew in age and power, they used their nature spells to change the forest to suit their needs. These thick areas, some still inhabited by green dragons, are labyrinth-like, covering miles of the surface and into the subterranean reaches beneath. These areas are also home to quicklings. These malevolent fey came to the area with the dragons; having also served under Tiamat. When they have to, they served the dragons in maze up-keep and other menial tasks. The quicklings of the area proudly told how they slew or scared a few dragons away. This was the story until the Orchish Empire began to push east from Inirthak into Thingrorn. This led to an organized warfare by the quicklings with Fograth battle report indicating leaders with the ability to breath clouds of chlorine gas so deadly that entire units were wiped out. The military records of the campaign say the quicklings were guerrilla fighters with some of their commanders having the skills of high-level druids. The cost of incessant raids and upkeep eventually resulted in them pulling back from Maar'tolaak, leaving it the wicked fey, its dragons, and its ancient evils. In the Second Epoch, the High Command gave up on putting imperial holds in eastern Grashakh, instead resorting to using others like Crimson Eye to find a way to stabilize the area.

The southwestern part of this forest, around the Estandarenya ruin, is home to hostile wood elves. They are descendants of the kingdom of Lorthrindal, brought to ruin in the War of Nárfaltuin (1048 - 1130). After losing their capital city, they eked out a miserable existence in the long-feared Tyermur Swamp. In this dreadful wetland, they became a bitter, vicious people. One legend says they are cursed, driven to insanity that is carried on to future generations. Some of area's elves are cannibals, believing that by eating the dead, they gain the wisdom of the recently fallen. Some very powerful elven witches have come out of this part of this area.

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