The forest around Osthill was a curious thing. Rarely were there times when an adventurer went into them and came out looking unscathed or at peace. Most times they ended up lost and a villager would come across them deep in the heart of the wood.
It was the light. The way it danced through the leaves and branches. It seemed to be constantly moving, casting shadows and playing tricks on the eyes so that when you went to turn back everything looked different. Did you come from there… or was it from over there? There had even been a case of one man going a bit mad from it all.
Of course there was a secret to navigating the wood. Most of the townsfolk knew it in most basic sense, but only the lumberjacks and herbalists truly knew the forest. They were the only ones who came and went in the wood with no fear of getting lost or turned around. They would even tell you for the right price.
So it is quite appropriate that it was a lumberjack that stumbled across the grove that day. Simply wandering and looking for the best cut to haul back home. He never expected to find a clearing he had not seen before. Truthfully it was very unlikely that one existed but here it was. The large trees were what had attracted him to the area and as he set about deciding what tree to chop down a curious color caught his eye.
As he entered the clearing to get a better look he noticed the ground was littered with it. Small, brightly colored mushrooms of varying sizes. A frown settled on his face as he crouched down and plucked a few of them to take back to the village and that was when he noticed the other oddity. A small creature was nestled under the fungus.
The lumberjack paused, watching it with apprehension. It didn’t move. He cautiously moved his hand, still nothing. Deeming it safe, the man carefully picked the creature up, surprised to find that it was not actually a creature at all, but a tiny wooden statue. It had looked so lifelike that he was sure it was alive but alas, another trick of the wood it seemed.
He noted the tiny statue, admiring the almost human form and noting at the peculiar differences. Puzzlement came over the man. Never before had he seen such strange fungus and to have toys under them was even more queer. He milled about in the clearing for a few moments longer, picking up a few more of the strange statues.
The herbalists would be quite excited by this discovery, he was sure. A smile crept over the woodsman’s features as he plucked a few more mushrooms. If nothing else he could make a good profit from selling the location of this grove and his daughter would be delighted over these new toys he would bring home.
His steps light, the Lumberjack made his way back to town, forgetting about the day’s lumber in favor of this secret place. A merry tune was heard in the forest as he started to calculate the earnings he was sure to get for his discovery.