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The Deepwoods was a huge forest, often described as endless, that was far larger than every other region of the Edge. It was bordered in the east by the Twilight Woods, in the west by the Thorn Forests, and in the north and south by the Edgelands. Many different species of plants and animals lived in the Deepwoods, many of which were predatory or poisonous (or both), so the Deepwoods could be a very dangerous place, especially at night. Many lakes and rivers were found in the Deepwoods, and some ridges were too. The life of the Deepwoods was seeded the second time the Mother Storm came to the Edge.
The Deepwoods was a vast region occupying the centre—and the majority—of the Edgeworld. It was once believed to be endless, but by the Third Age of Flight, its full extent had been discovered; a skytavern phraxship would take three weeks to travel end-to-end. In the Third Age, the Deepwoods was divided into three sections by academics. The eastern part was called the Eastern Woods, bordering the western fringes of the Twilight Woods. The northern part was the Northern Reaches, south of the northern Edgelands and east of the Thorn Forests. The Western Woods was to the north of the southern Edgelands and to the east of the Thorn Forests.
Stands and Groves
The Deepwoods was mostly a dense forest, but it had concentrations of certain types of trees. Located between the Third Age cities of Hive and Great Glade were the Sumpwood Stands, southeast of the Midwood Decks settlement. The Old Forest district of Great Glade was dominated by countless stands of ironwoods.
Before Great Glade expanded—when it was still the Free Glades—there was a lullabee grove located on Lullabee Island in the centre of the North Lake. Along the southern shores of Great Lake were the Ironwood Stands, home to the Freeglade Lancers in the Second Age of Flight. According to Blog One-Tusk, a painter living in New Undertown after the War for the Free Glades, the Northern Fringe of the Free Glades was home to stands of copperwoods and darkelm groves.
Ridges and Mountains
The Deepwoods was largely flat but was home to some notable geographic formations. Between the shryke's Second Age settlement, the Eastern Roost, and the Free Glades was the Lufwood Mount, a formidable hill surrounded by stands of ironwoods. In the southwest of the Deepwoods was a remote settlement called the Farrow Ridges, comprised of a collection of staggered ridges next to the Farrow Lake.
The Edgewater River
The mighty Edgewater River bisected the entire Edgeworld, flowing from the Riverrise spring all the way to the lip of the Edge cliff and down into oblivion. The Edgewater fed into the Hive Lake of Back Ridge, this section being called the Hive River, and wended through Great Glade before entering the Eastern Woods.
In the Time of Enlightenment, the many different tribes of the Deepwoods were united into a confederation known as the Thousand Tribes by Kobold the Wise. Slavery was banished and the written word was invented; it was an age of freedom and learning in the Deepwoods. However, the madness of the Mind Storms that preceded the return of the Mother Storm destroyed the union of the tribes and ushered in a long-lasting era of darkness, barbarity, slavery, and chaos in the Deepwoods.
Due to the rampant slavery in the Deepwoods, thousands of residents travelled east, in what was know as the First and Second Great Migrations. Sanctaphrax was founded during the first of these, and Undertown during the second.
In the First Age of Flight the Deepwoods was inhabited mainly by scattered, small, single-race tribes. However, there were a few large, diverse settlements, such as the Great Shryke Slave Market. There was no centre of academia or manufactured good production in the Deepwoods during the First Age of Flight. Sky ships travelled the Deepwoods, connecting the scattered groups with trade and bringing them manufactured goods.
In the Second Age of Flight several large, powerful, permanent settlements inhabited by multiple races emerged in the Deepwoods: the Eastern Roost, the Free Glades, the Goblin Nations, and the Foundry Glades. The Free Glades and the Foundry Glades were centres of manufactured goods production, and the Free Glades was a centre of academia. Some smaller, less important, less diverse settlements emerged as well, such as the Silver Pastures, the Hundred Lakes, the Great Clearing of Threnody Battlerage, and the Four Lakes. Due to stone-sickness, sky ships no longer connected the settlements of the Deepwoods with trade. Towards the end of the Second Age of Flight the Deepwoods became the sole home of civilisation when New Sanctaphrax and Undertown were destroyed by the Dark Maelstrom and all of the cities’ surviving people (along with the sky pirates of the Armada of the Dead, the only other settlement of the time not in the Deepwoods) fled to the Deepwoods in the Third Great Migration.
In the Third Age of Flight the Deepwoods was no longer the sole home of civilisation, for the lone city of Riverrise had been established in the Nightwoods. However, it was home to the other two of the three great cities, Great Glade and Hive, and all of the smaller settlements. Both Great Glade and Hive were centres of academia and manufactured goods production. Other, new, settlements such as the Midwood Decks and Thorn Harbour, were founded and previously founded settlements, such as the Four Lakes, grew larger. The Deepwoods became increasingly connected by phraxship trade, so truly isolated places and tribes became rarer and rarer. Over-exploitation of natural resources became a large danger in some places.
Role in the Edge Chronicles
In the Quint Trilogy
In Clash of the Sky Galleons, Quint and Maris were stranded in the Deepwoods for two days before the Galerider located and rescued them. Later in the book, a great sky battle between the Leagues of Undertown and the sky pirates took place above the Deepwoods.
In the Twig Trilogy
Twig spent most of Beyond the Deepwoods wandering aimlessly through the Deepwoods. In Midnight Over Sanctaphrax he went on a lengthy journey in the Deepwoods as part of his mission to recover all of his lost crew.
In the Rook Trilogy
In The Last of the Sky Pirates, Rook, Magda, and Stob were guided by Hekkle through the Deepwoods from the Eastern Roost to the Free Glades. Later, Rook journeyed into the Deepwoods on his treatise-voyage, and while on his treatise-voyage he met Twig at the Great Convocation of Banderbears. In Freeglader the path of the Third Great Migration went through the Deepwoods.
In The Immortals, Nate and others passed over the Deepwoods aboard phraxships and skycraft to travel between settlements several times. However, characters had to travel through the Deepwoods on the ground twice. Once, accompanied by his friends, Nate walked from just outside Great Glade to the Midwood Decks through the Deepwoods when the phraxvessel he was travelling on, the Gladedancer, crashed. Later, when Nate and Eudoxia ended up in the Hive Militia due to a misunderstanding, Nate marched with Eudoxia and the other militia members from Hive to the Midwood Decks through the Deepwoods to take part in the Battle of the Midwood Marshes.
In the Cade Saga
In The Nameless One, Cade was forced to flee Great Glade aboard the skytavern Xanth Filatine, and after he was in turn forced to abandon ship he ended up in a remote part of the Deepwoods known as the Farrow Ridges. Most of The Nameless One and Doombringer took place in the Deepwoods as Cade attempted to build a new life for himself.
Parts of the Deepwoods
First Age of Flight
- Great Shryke Slave Market
- Great Hammelhorn Fair
- Timber Glades
- Timber Stands
- Goblin Glades
- Twelve Villages
Second Age of Flight
- Free Glades
- Goblin Nations
- Foundry Glades
- Eastern Roost
- Silver Pastures
- Hundred Lakes
- Four Lakes
- Ironwood Stands
- Lufwood Mount
- Trog Ravines
- Great Clearing of Threnody Battlerage
- Phrax Glade