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Places in the Sea of Stars – the Forest of Shoes

6 May, 2011

The Forest of Shoes

There are many strange places in the Sea of Stars, places where the powerful magics unleashed by the War against the Gods or the Sundering.  One of these is the Forest of Shoes.  Before the Gods War, it was just another humble patch of trees, no more remarkable than any other.

Shoe Tree

Shoe Tree

During the Gods War, one of the deities fell from the heavens, wounded and dying, and landed in that forest.  Two dragons circled down after him and found the god dead and so returned to the battle.  Legend says it was the god of shoemakers but as to what the truth is has been lost to time.

For a least a century after the Sundering, the Forest of Shoes was ignored, just another patch of trees among many.  The stories say it was the daughter of a mushroom gatherer who wandered off from her father and first discovered it but whoever found it first within a generation, it was at the heart of a vicious political game for control of the forest by Umluk and Norval, with all of the local villages and towns trying to get their share as well.

After several wars, and one conflagration that almost destroyed the forest, the Forest of Shoes is now zealously guarded by the Pasha of Umluk.  The forest is guarded by ditches and fences and even, along the side nearest to Norval, a proper stone wall with guard towers.  The Pasha’s rangers patrol the boundaries of the forest trying to keep thieves and poachers away.

The Forest of Shoes is a forest, but instead of fruit, or as a form of it, the trees bear shoes.  The soles of these shoes is a hard bark-like substance and the rest like a rough cloth.  Each tree produces broadly similar types of shoes, sandals or slippers are most common, with the prized high boots the rarest.  The shoes are hard wearing and remain alive if taken care of, which means wearing them a few times a week, especially outdoors.  If keep alive, they will regrow any small damages and be wearable as long as they do not suffer some major damage.  Even tree shoes that have been allowed to die are durable and will last as long as most regular shoes.

Attempts to grow shoe trees outside the confines have either failed or the trees have produced no shoes or useless stunted ones.  However, this lack of success does not prevent a trade in stolen shoe tree starts and saplings.

Notes: Image adapted from a photo by Akuppa John Wigham and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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