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Sub zones: Tenebra maze, Luminous hallows
Inhabitants: abyssal slugs, shadow fishes, iampis, glophorbias, shadow dryads, night anemones, lightseekers, flash medusas, dusk nymphs, banshees, wandering nightmares, earth mouths
A large forest nested between the Direwind hills and Deeper Felarya. The trees here have foliage so thick that it plunges the entire area into perpetual darkness. When you enter this zone you wonder whether it's a forest or a cavern. The only sources of light are the glowing vegetation and some very rare and dazzling spots where sunlight manages to breach the forest canopy. Strange creatures roam this zone and some of the basic laws of physics seem to be altered, making the fauna here especially unpredictable. Any adventurers who wishes to travel through this forest will need some means of seeing in the dark, such as night vision or infrared goggles, otherwise they might not even see what eats them!
This massive temple was once a magnificent palace belonging to an ancient and powerful civilization. Here and there some vestiges of a glorious past, such as a banquet table, majestic statue, or delicate marble staircase, are barely visible under the layers of corruption that have overrun the place. Tenebra maze is now shrouded in an absolute and impenetrable darkness. Unlike in the Evernight forest, the darkness here is not natural: it nullifies any source of light, magical or not, and muffles sounds. The only way to see through the darkness is to possess some sort of night vision. The air also seems to have a slight resistance, giving the strange feeling that you are moving underwater.
When you enter Tenebra maze, you might wonder whether you are actually entering a structure or a living organism. The air is incredibly hot and damp; the tortuous halls are covered with viscous fluids and are filled with swallower walls. Over time, some of these walls have grown so much that whole parts of the temple have become alive. Indeed, some tales claim that Tenebra maze itself is alive and has a mind of its own, and that the swallower walls are merely its way of feeding. The basic laws of physics seem to be even more altered here than in Evernight forest: in some places you can walk on the walls or the ceiling, and gravity can reverse itself seemingly at random. Many strange and deadly creatures roam the halls of the maze, such as wandering nightmares. The most dreaded of all are darkness elementals. There are not many of them, but the particular environment of Tenebra maze makes them extremely powerful. An encounter with them is almost always fatal: a party of adventurers would just find the darkness around them suddenly beginning to solidify, then becoming fleshy, finally turning into a tight stomach. Their queen Déméchrelle is said to be sleeping deep in the core of the maze, surrounded by an extraordinary treasure, but very little is known about that.
The Luminous hallows is a cavern stretching out quite far beneath the Evernight Forest. Once you arrive there, the ceiling is so high and the walls spread so far apart that it's difficult to tell if you're actually underground. Ironically, while the forest above is pitch dark, the underground is surprisingly well lit. Growing here are odd bioluminescent plants, including trees with leaves that glow faintly in a wide spectrum of colors, mostly purples, reds, and blues. The ceiling and walls of the cave are covered with glowing flowers, creating a beautiful spectacle. Despite the mild visibility for those without perfect night vision, the darkness is still thick enough to allow creatures such as shadow fishes to swim around freely, without "drowning" in the light. Oddly, the plants in the Luminous Hallows can't survive in normal light at all; even a little exposure will often be enough to cause them to wither slightly. Obviously this is why they're only found deep underground, where there is almost no chance of light reaching them. Seasoned explorers know to bring flashlights or light-producing spells to ward off the more carnivorous species. A large river system runs through parts of the Luminous hallows, filling the silent darkness with their gentle flow. The plants within the rivers cause the water to light up, making it appears almost bioluminescent. This makes the waterfalls spreading through the hallows and crashing into a large underground lake a magnificent sight to behold.
The Luminous hallows is well known for its dridder population, many of which have bioluminescent patterns on their abdomens. Chilotaurs are also numerous here, along with other varieties of insect hybrids that may differ from their surface counterparts. Some physical differences noted among local dridders are specimens possessing multiple eyes, and chilotaurs having more insect-like features. Merfolk living in the underground lake are different as well. They have very pale white or bluish coloration, due to the complete darkness, as very few luminescent plants grow at such depth. They possess very limited vision as well, sometimes being totally blind. However, they are very attuned to the slightest of vibrations, originating from within the water or not. Even if adventurers stay clear of the water to try to keep them safe from whatever predators may lurk there, the merfolk can simply slide on to land to intercept them. Even if the cave is slightly less perilous than the forest above, it's still a very dangerous area, roamed by strange and deadly creatures.
- Credits to Melancholy-Melody13 for the the Luminous hallows idea.