I think this area was part of my original inspiration. I saw a kickstarter ages ago for a book – Into the Wyrd and Wild – and the initial paragraph by Charles Avery really captured by imagination:
This is not the woods of peaceful fey and beast, but the dark and twisted children’s tale that kept you full of terror. It is a world of fear, madness, and bloodshed; ruled over by the uncaring watch of ancient trees. There is no bargaining with the primal forces that rule the uncivilised world, as you have nothing they could ever want.
The woods do not care for you. Never forget that.
In the “RandomWorld” of the Broken Lands we got a lot of wandering monsters, mutant plants, hazardous natural phenomena in the great forest…. Basically a really dangerous place. I get the feeling that something was trapped here – something very powerful that has no love for civilisation. Anything that enters has to play by its rules, and is either eaten, destroyed, or changed by the encounter.
1.humanoid: Ravagers (Into the Wyrd and Wild)
This is the end result of wandering into the Wilds. People are changed – bent or broken – by their experiences. Most would-be explorers meet their deaths or return battered and broken, but some rare few find a connection to the Wilds, and they are taken with open arms – the Wild changes their bodies to match the savagery in their hearts.
2.undead.: Feral Knight (Into the Wyrd and Wild)
Some people have tried to fight against the Wild. Monster-hunters, soldiers, and others who thought to harm the Wilds. The Wild was amused… not only have they been killed – blasted mind and soul – but they have been turned back against that which they stood for. Now they are a mix of plant, flesh, and steel. A sword through the heart will not stop them now.
3.fey race: Wild Elf (Into the Wyrd and Wild)
Not even the mighty Eld have been left untouched by the Wild. These are not your friendly pretty forest elves. Much like the Ravagers they are Monsters – in every sense of the word. But their chosen form of activity is not brute violence – but terror. Kidnapping, dark magics, scheming. Their culture is one of constant one-up-manship with convoluted mad schemes and surprise assassinations. What makes them even more terrifying for others is how they reproduce: they drop spawn wherever they attack, which sprout into tiny nightmare creatures of claws and needle teeth. These ugly goblins with terrorise a region for years before cocooning themselves in a dark corner and emerging a fully grown Wild Elf.
(yeah, 2 for 1. Drow + Goblins in one package)
4.giant : Bramble Beast (Into the Wyrd and Wild)
This mass of flesh and branches plods through the forest, searching for prey. It will often follow its prey for days, studying its habits, until it decends with a voracious hunger. If you somehow survive an attack, often you will find a Bramble Seed buried deep in the wounds – over the following weeks the seed sprouts and takes over its new host – until a new (smaller) Bramble Beast begins its search for food.
For those with the book, I consider the Blukstound to just be a “smaller” version of the bramble beast – before it grows to full size.
5.great wyrm or lizard: Dragons (OSE – Classic Fantasy Monsters)
These young dragons sometimes fly over the forests looking for easy meals, gliding out from the Shatter and sometimes down as far as the Drained Sea. Occasionally they will band together to try co-operative hunting, but often they will fight amongst themselves over anything they manage to catch.
6.aerial. Gripple Bat (into the Wyrd and Wild)
These creatures look like nothing more than a fleshy sheet during the day. But when night falls they flap through the darkness to find flesh to devour. They have no mouth, but wrap themselves around their prey and dissolve them. As a side effect, their skin makes for excellent bandages.
7.lurk: Hermit Spider (Into the Wyrd and Wild)
These are a type of giant spider that had adapted to ambush the unwary. They take shelter in hollow logs and “decorate” with the shiny leftovers from previous victims.
8.from another dimension: Nereid (from Hot Springs Island)
Portal in F4 leads to a watery-plane.
These elemental beings appear as blue-skinned humanoids (often female). They are similar to Djinn (air) and Efreet (fire) they are often magical in nature, and have their own agendas to follow.
9.creature from mythology: Peikko (aka:The Skulk, Into the Wyrd and Wild)
This being is the main reason that people avoid the Wilds. It seems even light is afraid of it – fleeing and leaving the land dim whenever it is near. If it decides an intruder has seen too much, it will destroy them. Not just kill them, but destroy everything that has a connection to the person before putting them out of their misery. Thankfully its power is limited by the extent of the forest – only being able to move between trees.
10.some foul crawly thing: Slavern (into the Wyrd and Wild)
These creatures are almost pitiable. The look like a naked, wounded dog with ragged fleshy rags instead of a face. They produce (and spit) such strong stomach acid that anything metallic or organic will dissolve into a soupy mess