Blue eyes full of distrust peer at your Ballator from behind a tree. The woodlands behind the dark brown mare are gnarled and twisted, clawing at the sky with overlapping bare branches.
“I see you have found The Deadwoods… don’t worry, I can lead you through it safely.”
Though it seems a little odd to see a plain looking mare standing at the edge of a creepy forest, your Ballator reasons that it’s probably better to follow her than stand around by themselves.
About The Deadwoods
Rumor has it that The Deadwoods are made up of the flora and fauna destroyed by The Highlords’ battle in The Realmwars. The woods are twisted and scarred and prone to wandering, making them hard to navigate. Ballators who try to traverse the winding paths often find themselves lost and trapped in the mist fueled void.
Every creature, living or dead, despises those that find their way into the woods and will work against them. Nothing within the woods can be trusted; not fully.
Its said that the woods show a heart its darkest fears and many a creature has gone mad within it before meeting an untimely end. The monsters within share no love for the outside world and wish no peace upon it.
The Dark Gala
The Dark Gala, as it has become known, is a perversion of Highlordess Ares and Puck’s Gala in The Enchanted Forest. The Deadwoods are more dangerous and prone to wandering due to the flighty nature of their guardian Troubadour, so Dark Gala participants run the risk of being trapped forever if they’re not quick on their hooves.
Only Lowlord Hannibal or his most loyal servants, will call forth an official Dark Gala– typically in the colder months. Like in the Enchanted Forest, each Dark Gala is different, but the core will always remain the same: who will be the Champion of the Wild Hunt?
Those who care to call forth The Dark Gala cannot always be trusted; so Ballators should always enter the competition at their own risk.
Rules for Hunting in The Deadwoods
- The region for all entries is the Deadwoods setting which you can view above. All types can hunt in this region.
- You can only hunt for one type of mythical creature at a time and it needs to be depicted in image and literature entries. ‘Evidence’ is not acceptable for these hunts.
- Unless the hunt is an Official Gala with a Prize Beast being hunted, it must be submitted to the Hunting Folder in the Equus Ballator DeviantART group.
- Commissioned hunts will not be accepted for Gala entries. Collaborations are allowed, but only one user can put them towards the hunting challenge.
- Chibis will not be accepted for Gala Hunts, but are acceptable for any general hunts within The Deadwoods.
Huntable Items in The Deadwoods
The Inanas Cervi
This haunting, glowing deer looks innocent, but upon walking, one can see that it poisons all plant life within a sizable radius. The Inanas Cervi is small and dappled like a fawn. They use their extra forelimbs as mock arms, wrapping them around the legs of larger prey and using their poisons to overwhelm.
The Venus Ballatortrap
This slightly more terrifying plant is very similar to the venus fly trap, except it is around the height of a mountain ballator, and it much prefers to munch on Ballators rather than little measly flies.
This plant finds its prey by sound, rather than touch. The large, sharp teeth lining the edge of the plant and scattering the inside of the ‘mouth’ can pierce through any flesh, and the trap can bring its jaws together hard enough to snap through bones.
Heed caution when bringing down this large plant, and make sure to tread lightly…
The Golden Root Nightshade
It looks unassuming, and most Ballators would trot right past it, but if one possesses an ounce of cunning they will stop and carefully dig around the base to reach the golden tuber nestled in this Nightshade’s roots. The Golden Root Nightshade doesn’t like to be disturbed, however, and rustling the plant’s sensitive leaves causes it to secret a neurotoxin that paralyzes animals… and it’s not advised to lay still in The Deadwoods for very long!
The Giant Dreadwolf
It’s said that these monsters are the spirits of Ballators who died in The Realmwears. Consumed by A Warrior’s Passion, their features blended with those of wolves. Their mission now is to fight any Ballator they may find trapped within The Deadwoods. Usually the size of a Plains Stallion, The Giant Dreadwolf often hunts in packs– even if it doesn’t normally need to.
The Shadow Walker
The Shadow Walker is a tall and thin herbivore native to the Deadwoods. Similar in build to a giraffe, the Shadow Walker is significantly smaller than their African counterparts, adapting to life in dense forest with scarce vegetation. They reach 6 feet at the withers with males being larger than females. Male Shadow Walkers also sport larger crests on the head and longer talons then females. All Shadow Walkers have long flexible tails that can be used like a whip to fend off predators. Their spotted coats are thin and silky with colors ranging from milky white to near black with dark grey being the most common. Shadow Walkers have strong, jet black hooves and talons that are often used to craft protective spikes on armor and other garmets.
Immortuisaur is a creature that appears to be something that belongs in another time. Their shiny smooth flesh is often dark colors, usually black, to allow them to blend into their surroundings. They often are covered in glowing veiny markings that match the muted glow that comes from their neck vertebrae. Despite their nasty appearance, they are a docile creature, only attacking if they are threatened. They often are found in groups of three but no more than ten. These creatures can grow as large as an elephant but are usually the size of a horse.
The Giant Gnarl Wood Moth
This creature seems like something out a sci-fi book! with a lack of predators in the dead wood this moth has grown to incredible sizes and become a predator itself. It uses it’s long, needle-sharp proboscis to suck fluids from its prey, often leaving the corpses for scavengers or if untouched will return to feed on the decomposing remains. It likes to stun its prey or scare off other predators by “blinking” the glowing predator-like eyes on its wings. Be wary though this moth is said to be toxic, most cases report paralysis if ingested!
The Cerise Scorpion Viper
These venomous snakes live deep in the Deadwoods. While their appearance may look frightening, it is mostly for defense. They are insectivores. While hunting, their fangs lie flat and out of the way so they can snap up any insects that may be attracted to their bright colours. The scorpion viper is relatively small in size, reaching a maximum of 4 feet long. Vipers are ferocious defenders of their nests, however they can only use their stinger or fangs one at a time. A bite from their four massive fangs will be painless, but the victim will die, while a sting won’t kill you, but the pain will be so severe you’ll wish you had died. Pick your posion.