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North of the Clearing

The northern part of Ys is by far the most beautiful. The trees are all broadleaf, and the oak tree dominates. (The oak tree is the sacred tree of the Dryads.) The northern section of Ys has almost everything that could be desired in a nature setting, and it all stays in its pristine beauty. It seems as though this area is under some sort of enchantment, keeping everything beautiful and alive, yet none can be detected.

Mystical beasts of all kinds roam free in this part of the woods. Unicorns, centuars, the Fae, legged serpents, ogres, minotaurs, and even dragons find their home there. At night, stone statues of gargoyles turn to flesh and they roam the woods, hunting nocturnally. The more malevolent of the creatures tend to live in dark, damp caves, hidden deep in the woods, more in the eastern section of Ys than the northern, and rarely interact with other species. The unicorns and the centaurs roam all over this section of Ys, but the centaurs tend to keep towards the wooded areas while the unicorns seek out the meadows and fields. The Fae live all over, wherever they can find a safe, hidden place to call their home. Underneath waterfalls, in flowers, and in trees are some of their favorite places.

The sound of running water tickles constantly in the ears of those who travel in this area, for branches of the Lycrot River join one another here and form a large river that flows throughout this wood, and a large lake, larger than the quarry-like one in the clearing, takes up tens of square miles of the wood, reaching to the very edge. Numerous streams run all throughout, and it is nearly impossible to go for long without seeing the sun glinting off of some nearby water.

The lake can be seen from the top of any tree in the forest, no matter if it is in the very southernmost point of Ys. The lake stays about shoulder-high on a Dryad for quite some time (About 3'11" deep), and then the depth drops quickly. It is at least 150 feet deep in the middle, though the most of it is around 60 feet deep. The shallow area remains perfectly clear, so that you can see the shadows of the waves rippling on the white sands. Once it starts to get deep, though, a thick carpet of dead, black leaves lines the floor. This area is where all the pond life stays. Turtles, fresh water eels, fish of all kinds, and even river dolphins inhabit the lake. The river dolphins are very friendly, and quite often swim up to the shallow area to play with the Dryads and give them rides.

One of the most beautiful aspects of the northern section of Ys is the expansive meadow and the rolling hills. The meadow is comprised of tall grass that ripples in the wind, and wildflowers that add splashes of color everywhere the eye can see. This is where the unicorns remain, galloping freely across the plain.

Tintara's two favorite places in all of Ys are the orchards and the garden. Surprisingly, everything in these two areas have been planted naturally, and no gardening is required for them. They are open to whoever would like what grows within.
The orchards are comprised of rows and rows of trees, bearing fruit year-round because of the warm climate in this section of the forest. Apple, Pear, Pomegranate, Peaches, Plums, Figs, Olives, Apricots, Mangos, Nectarines, and even lemons grow in profusion here, and it is never hard to find a tree laden with ripe fruit.
The garden is sectioned off into three different areas: one for fruits, one for vegatables, and one for flowers.
In the section specifically for fruits, it is easy to become lost among the bushes and shrubs. Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, gooseberries, cherries, grapes and blackberries grow on bushes ranging from tall to shrub-like in height. Watermelons, tomatos, and pumpkins grow on vines on the floor. Honeysuckle, which the Dryads use for its nectar, grows wherever it can find space.
The space reserved for vegatables is much like that for fruits, in its state of confusion, but it is much less bright, and the color green predominates. Eggplants, cucumbers, zuccinis, water chestnuts, beans, peas, corn, and squashes grow on vines. Potatoes, carrots, cabbages, watercress, onions, leeks, shallots, celery, garlic, beets, scallions, tea bushes, and the Hazia Plant grow in carefully organized rows. In one corner of this section, herbs predominate. Chives, rosemary, thyme, oregano, dill, basil, wheatgrass, peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, parsley, fennel, sage, lemon sage, lavender bushes in profusion, nettle, mustard seed, ginseng, ginger, tarragon, aloe, allspice, bay, chamomile, cloves, and vanilla crowd into this area. In another part of the vegatable area, though they are hardly vegatables, is a section for nuts. Walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, filberts, chestnuts, horse chestnuts, and hazelnuts grow here.
The section spaced off for flowers is the most confusing of all. It is in utter disaray, and flowers of all types grow here. Lilies, irises, bluebells, sunflowers, roses, carnations, daffodils, dandilions, snapdragons, pansies, daisies, violets, wildflowers of all sizes, colors, and scents, gerber daisies, forget-me-nots, chrysanthemums, crocuses, tulips, day lilies, tiger lilies, gardenias, petunias, goldenrod, ivy vines, heather, holly, hyacinth, forsythia bushes, hydrangea, jasmine, lilac bushes, ladys slippers, marigolds, mistletoe, orchids, peonies, periwinkles, plumeria, freesia, poppies, and thistle form a crowded mass of plants.

This wonderful part of Ys stays spring-like all year round, for the many factors of what grow here and its climate manage to keep it warm. It is almost magical, for nothing ever seems to die there. The Dryads saw that immediately, and so that is why they chose to make the main clearing in the center of the wood, rather in the northern section. The other directions would have provided little in the way of a good area.

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