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    Postfest V, Part II: The Timberland Festival
    Posted on Mon, August 08, 2005 by Dongul
    gvdammerung writes "TIMBER! Well. Maybe. The elves may have more than a little to say about unrestricted logging. It is a festival but behind the scenes, conflicting interests annually clash over the timber harvest.

    The Timberland Festival
    By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung

    Date: 19th, 20th and 22nd of Harvester
    Location: Highfolk
    Type: Guild/Local

    Furyondy has few significant stands of trees. Where once a great forest extended from the Gnarley Forest to the Vesve Forest, these wooded lands vanished in the early period following the Migrations. While Furyondy has enacted strict timber laws to regulate its remaining woodland resources, Furyondy must still import lumber each year, the great majority of which comes from the Vesve. While the Vesve is a vast storehouse of timber, it is home to elves that are not keen on seeing the descendants of the men who deforested the western timberlands of the Flanaess given free range in the remaining forest. While the elves tolerate a certain amount of timber harvesting, they impose sharp limits. This is a continual sore spot between the elves of the Vesve and the men of Furyondy.

    Each year the two groups come together at the Timberland Festival held in Highfolk, the elders of which mediate between their woodland cousins and the Furyondians. For the most part, the Timberland Festival is a time for the lumberjacks of the Vesve and those smaller numbers from the Yatils to meet, stock up on provisions and have a good time. Numerous contests are held over the three-day festival. Contests include sawing and chopping competitions, ax throwing, pole climbing, tree topping and the crowd favorite - log rolling. Drinking and eating are equally as much a part of the festivities. While unruly behavior is to be expected, it rarely gets out of hand. This is likely because of the presence of significant numbers of wood elves, which also attend. From the Vesve, these elven woodcutters join in the contests but their reverential attitude toward the forest rubs off, somewhat, on their human counterparts. Rarely, do the two groups take issue with each other.

    Behind the scenes, representatives of the wood elves, human lumbermen, Furyondian officials and the rangers of Highfolk work out the next year’s timber harvest. The elves and rangers regularly insist on reforestation programs as the price for access to the Vesve’s timber reserves, over and above the actual gold paid. Such reforestation may occur within the Vesve or within Furyondy, but in either case it is closely monitored by all factions. Nowhere in the Flanaess do foresters or wood wards play as vital a role as in Furyondy and the Vesve. While druids help keep the harvest going, especially in years when the elves insist on a very small timber quota, their magics are insufficient to do more that tide matters over until the next year.

    The war with Iuz took a terrible tool on the Vesve and saw Furyondy’s timber needs reach unprecedented levels. In the war’s aftermath, the elves have insisted on sharply reduced timber harvests to allow the forest the opportunity to recover. This has lead to an increase in “midnight cutting” timber harvests in violation of the Timber Accords for the year. Elves or rangers catching such timber thieves have shown little mercy, which has caused a rise in tensions with both the lumberjacks of the Vesve and the Furyondians because the thieves are almost uniformly human, although not a few orcs have also tried their hand at the lucrative trade. Until the Vesve fully recovers from the Greyhawk Wars, it is likely the Timberland Festival will continue to have an undercurrent of tension at odds with the outwardly festive atmosphere.

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