“There are many worlds. Some have passed and some are still to come. In one world the Lui all creep; in another they all walk; in another they all fly. Perhaps in a world to come, the Lui may walk on four legs; or they may twist like snakes; or they may swim in the water like fish. Perhaps this is that world already."- Woundsmens’ Fable
Along the Grande Gracht canal, noble and merchant dynasts once attempted to build hunting lodges or retreats, usually with the hope of being granted dominion when Blackacre finally “civilized”. Centuries after settlement Blackacre remains a brutal penal colony, despite minimal magical pollution, flowing wealth, and a ecclesiastical zeal. Blackacre, and especially the fecund Blackwound is winning... As the trees spread their gloom, the forest people are losing the trapping of Imperial culture, slinking back into fur clad obstinacy, and mere subsistence as they embrace cultic superstition and invent “old ways”. The province seems doomed to wither before it blooms into the bastion of Imperial faith that the province’s Nuncios aspire to.
The Blackwound resists the dreams of Imperial theocrats, devouring or transforming the young missionaries and curates that the See pours into it each Spring. Even generations of logging have failed to check the forest’s growth and tracts cleared mere decades ago are again choked with tall straight trees. Flash floods in the Autumn destroy camps and mills, ferns erupt among the stumps to devour fields, and in high summer, lightning fires rage through undergrowth to wash nutrients back into the soil allowing the trees to grow taller and encouraging the undergrowth erupt with new vigor.
Yet the Blackwound is simply a forest, perhaps unlike any other, grown on a grander scale grander, where the ferns, lichens, moss, and brambles of the floor often rise to near the height of a man, and the Great Trees sore until they are lost in the permanent green twilight. Entering the Blackwound is entering a hostile universe where paths lead in circles, the mists muffle sound, the trees confound invaders with their scale and conceal sudden obstacles: chasms, torrential creeks, deadfalls, sheer cliffs and bramble basins of wire strong thorn. The forest resents change, resents humanity’s dream of conquest, and resents intrusion.