Anywhere the eye glanced, unyielding trees stood sentinel, unspeaking but all-seeing. Only one clearing existed, and a small stack of firewood was centered amidst the open space, prepared to burn at a moment. Around the acres of forest, an entire range of mountains, known as the Shifting Mountains, engulfed the malleable land, the stone guardians to the secluded land of Gyr. The only opening to Gyr was frozen once a year, a large river that cut a small opening in the rocky impasse. If not by this river, which the indigenous people called the Silent Pathway, the only method to gain access to Gyr was by traversing the chaotic terrain. Legends say that the mountains are called the Shifting Mountains because those who have attempted to scale them have found themselves further off mark than they thought, closer to their start than conceivable, and a long way from making any kind of progress. The few who made it over the mountains and down into the land learned from the natives that the easiest course of action was to wait a season for the Silent Pathway to bubble with vigor before proceeding. As for the winged creatures, however, passage was no easier – the howling winds atop the peaks denied any course of nature, blowing in a manner that would most inconvenience the sojourner. These winds they called the Calm Harm – so named because of how silent but forceful the winds were, like an invisible hand of discipline.
Within the mountains, one found an abundance of arboreal greenery. If trees were not chief, then the vines that outgrew the patience of boulders reigned. Although the rocky formation encircling the forest within was breathtakingly massive, the amount of overgrowth utterly overwhelmed all of Gyr’s visitors. Each tree, though all of one species, had different lines in its bark. Some trees had holes to house the wandering critters that moved about during the day, while others remained unscathed for years, accumulating a thick natural armor. Within the boughs of the trees lay many a nest, happily filled with eggs or meticulously prepared to uphold the weight of the future. The gloom of a winter sky loomed near, and escaping birds flitted across the darkened sky as rain cascaded down from above, looking for these same boughs to find shelter under. The thick, tall trees began to glisten under the moonlight, illuminated with the sweat of the sky. As the low rumble began to amble across the lands, the mountains sighed in the background underneath the thunderous roar.