The Sentient Wood is a forest of living, sentient trees in the Zowali Protectorate at Wyrmroost that can only be accessed with permission, which not even caretakers can bypass. The trees are conscious and thinking, and anything crafted from their wood comes to life.
The forest can be accessed through a large iron gate in the side of a hillock, guarded by the talking boomslang, Samba. Beyond the gate, a relatively large and earthy tunnel slants downwards, just to level out before long. The soil smells freshly dug, and at the end of the cave lies another gate, manned with a woodling guard, exquisitely carved to resemble a bearded gentleman.
The Sentient Wood is full of tall trees, not particularly crowded togheter but rather spaced just right for their branches to block out all but a few patches of sky. The forest has a big variety of trees: towering conifers with deep grooves in the bark; mighty oaks with twisty, sprawling branches; bushy cypresses; maples with their broad, shapely leaves; the fat trunks of banyans with rambling roots; and various tropical trees that looks like they belong in a steamy jungle. No undergrowth obscures the ground between the trunks, and an unusual stillness surrounds the outer most forest, accompanied with a feeling of being watched.
Deeper into the Sentient Wood one can hear strange creaks and groans issuing from the trees, branches shifting or swaying with no discernible wind. More and more woodlings appear as one advances. At the heart of the forest, a clearing can be found with a single enormous oak tree, the trunk rivaling a sequoia, contorted branches spreading across lofty heights. A mob of woodlings surrounds it, tall and stumpy, intricate and plain in design. Even farther away from the underground tunnel, the trees get even creakier. A particular banyan with many aerial roots drooping down from convoluted branches where shadows seemed to gather thicker than elsewhere, has an ominous and malevolent feel to it.
Beavers and woodpeckers are kept far from view of the Sentient Woods, and out of respect, no trees are felled and no wood is burned near that part of the Protectorate. The trees are also protected by the woodlings, who are wooden humanoids that act on behalf of their masters. The henchmen cares for the forest, some weeding, others caring for the trees directly. Showing tools that could harm trees, such as axes or hatchets, should be avoided. The Sentient Wood is home to a Hamadryad, Eldanore, and it borders with the Bewilderness.
Kendra, Seth, Knox, Tanu, Calvin, the stingbulb of Patton Burgess, and Lomo passed through the Sentient Wood with their respective mounts, Glory, Noble, Babak, Charlemagne, Thistleton, Rodolfo, and Captain, in order to reach the Bewilderness. They were lead to the center of the forest by a giant woodling, where they met Eldanore. The hamadryad expressed concern for the Sentient Wood, saying that the elders worried that their enclosed populations pose a threat to ruminating forests, since a single disaster could eradicate so many. Therefore, she entrusted the stingbulb of Patton a bowl made out of stone. The stone bowl contained seeds of oak, redwood, and banyan. Eldanore enlisted the woodling Yimo to take the group to the Bewilderness
Known Magical Creatures found at the Sentient Woods
- Elders - the elders of the Sentient Wood
- Woodlings (wooden henchmen)
- Wrath of the Dragon King (Dragonwatch #3)