it doesn’t look like it from up here, but the water in that lake is tinted as red as my hair. it’s the iron that does it. it makes your skin look alien and impossibly pale when you bathe. like you’re something else beneath the surface.
(and why wouldn’t it be so? this is troll country, after all. and even if you don’t believe in them, that doesn’t stop them from believing in you.)
in the old days, this was the most dangerous forest in the country. full of outlaws and wolf packs, not to mention the trolls, and the lantern-men, and the fairies, and the ones-you-shall-not-name. (no, they’re not a multitude of voldemorts.)
if you follow the path to the lake (you should. the forest is vast.) you’ll pass a spring of fresh water that rises in the shelter of massive moss-covered boulders stacked like a playful giant’s house of cards. you’ll hold on tight to a simple wooden fence on the very edge of a sheer thirty metre drop into red-black water spotted with water lilies. (watch yourself here if it rains, the path is narrow and there is no soil to cover the rock.) if you practise kulning there, the sound will carry over the water for miles, and echo off the pines on the opposite shore. the trees here fall where they please, when it’s their time. in the summer, there are more blueberries than you can eat. (and german tourists, but you can hear them coming well in advance and take appropriate action.)
be careful who you bring. this forest is a Sight To See, yes, a relic, some may say. the last remains of the great forests that once covered this land, proper Old Wood. people may mark the paths and fix the log bridges, but the forest isn’t tamed and it doesn’t like being disturbed by people who don’t respect it. and there are so very many roots and rocks and branches to trip the unwary, isn’t there.
and, as i’ve said, there are trolls.