Surrounded by high wrought-iron fences, this park was once a favored spot of young mothers, children and visiting elves. Now it is something altogether different. On the first Pyre’s Eve, the chaotic bright energy in the park built up to unbearable levels and a hole was torn into the Feywild. Now, the park is a realm of strange and beautiful things that grow and change almost at random. The Pyrewardens struck a bargain with the Fey who now dwell within; the conditions of this bargain were never explicitly spelled out to the populace, but rumors whisper it is a dire cost indeed.
Whatever it was (or still is), the park has been segregated into three different zones: the public zone in the middle of the park, where mothers and children (the braver ones, at least) still feel safe to come and relax – and maybe, if they’re lucky, converse with a kind faerie or two1.
Second is the Wildwood, a dense tangle of branches in the south corner that hosts the slightly more dangerous Fey and their elven consorts. The Wildwood is a popular proving ground for adventurous youths (and youthful adventurers), for although its denizens may be dangerous, they are not without honor and rules. Winning a favor from one of the nut-brown wood sprites that dwell within is considered a high honor, and gaining the approval of a Wolf Lord is even greater. Still, a few foolish individuals are claimed by the forest each year, almost as if to remind people that it is still a place of danger, despite the wonders within.
The third zone is in the northern tip of the park, and it is a dark and dour place indeed: the Fungal Vale. Here, the darker elements of the Feywild congregate, thumbing their noses at park visitors from across the rune-marked cold iron fence that bars their way into the park. Few enter willingly, and even fewer return. Burrowing creatures have dug a pit in the far corner, hiding it under a cap of mold and rot. They are hard at work at widening it into a full underground labyrinth, full of only the gods know what.
On rare occasions, one of the evil Fey escapes the Vale to wreak havoc among the citizens, and on even rarer occasions a powerful member of the Winter Court will appear to offer a bargain to anyone foolhardy enough to accept it. The Pyrewardens are forbidden to interfere in the Fungal Vale by the terms of their contract, but that says nothing of the ability of the Shadowguard to penetrate its festering depths… or of unaffiliated travelers to adventure within.
1 A visiting faerie, on why she hangs out in the park: “No, I like children, really. They’re the closest in temperament to us fey, you know, all wonderfully silly and just a bit cruel where it counts. Why visit at all? Well… just between you and me… I love it back home, but it’s just so intense all the time. Always with the Immense Glory Of Nature and the Magical Swirls In Midair For No Goddamn Reason and the Majestic Wolf Howls Against The Light Of The Full Moon. I mean, sometimes a girl just wants to get away somewhere that feels… you know, normal.”