The Black Shroud (黒衣森 [kokue no mori] or 'black-clad forest' in Japanese) is the forest area of mid-Aldenard in Final Fantasy XIV. It surrounds the city of Gridania, and is also known as the Twelveswood (鎮守の森 [chinju no mori] or 'forest of guardian gods') or, simply, Tinolqa (ティノルカ [tinolqa]). The last of these is only used in conjunction with some product names, such as the popotos native to the region, and it is referred to as the Twelveswood mostly by the people born within the forest. It is known as the Black Shroud to everyone else.
The forest lies to the west of the region of Gyr Abania that is under imperial rule and has been since around 1557 when the city-state of Ala Mhigo fell to the imperials. To the north it's lined by the Xelphatol region, while to the west lies Coerthas beyond the river White Maiden, as well as the holy city of Ishgard. Furthermore, to the south-west lies the desolate region of Mor Dhona. It bears noting that the region is said to be enclosed by the Hedge, a wall of enchanted trees that protects the forest from intruders.
While the people of Gridania live in the area, the forest itself is far from ruled by them. Instead, the people strive to live in harmony with the forest and its elementals, who are seen as equal to the forest's will. The moogles also live in the forest as its caretakers, and communication with the various and numerous elementals is partially handled by the Padjal who also rule the people of Gridania. Additionally, the beastman race of Sylphs also inhabit the forest, although they are these days on the verge of disappearance due to their few numbers. The Ixal form raiding parties that can penetrate quite deeply into the forest as well.
As befitting its image as an enchanted forest, the Black Shroud gets a lot of sunshine as well as many rain- and thunder storms. The forest has plenty to offer in natural riches, most of these naturally wood and the pelts of its inhabitants, but also mining products such as silver and plenty of fish. Compared to the two other major city-states of Eorzea, however, the Gridanians live in relative poverty, taking only what they need of the forest.
The Central Shroud is located directly south and surrounding the southern portions of Gridania the city, and the Bentbranch Meadows camp is hardly a stone's throw away from the gates. The area has two lakes, those of Jadeite Flood and the Mirror, the latter located south of the Five Hangs area that is no longer accessible to players as of the Calamity. However, that is where the settlement Lavender Beds is located.
In addition, the zone has the areas of Jadeite Thick, Greendrop, Humblehearth and Sorrel Haven, and at the southern parts of the Bentbranch area there is the Tam-Tara Deepcroft.
The North Shroud is the end of the Lumberline, the north-south road that takes wood and furs both west to Ishgard and south to Ul'dah and beyond. Emerald Moss, forming the southern parts of the area, used to lay directly on the route, but due to the Calamity is now wasteland that trade routes skirt around. Main thoroughfares shifted north towards Fallgourd Lake close by. Deeper in the North Shroud one can find the Hyrstmill hamlet in the Peacegarden area, as well as the areas of Treespeak, Alder Springs and Proud Creek (with its own lake, the Lake Tahtotl).
East Shroud is the area closest to the war front, and in a way could be understood also as the deepest parts of the forest. Much of it comprises almost entirely out of crisscrossing narrow paths, and the gaps between the paths are filled with deep waters or high rock formations, as well as veritable giants of trees. The main area is Nine Ivies, surrounded by Honey Yard to the west and the Bramble Patch to the north. The Hawthorne Hut and its aetheryte can be found in the middle.
At the south-eastern part of the area you can find the Springripple lake, as well as the area of Larkscall with its sylvan settlement of Little Solace. To the north and west of the camp can be found Verdant Drop and Lynxpelt Patch, although they are no longer accessible to the players as of the Calamity. However, at the north-eastern portions of the area is covered by the Sylphlands where the majority of the sylphs live. The Moonspore Grove can be found within.
The South Shroud is divided into two by the Lumberline, the trade route south. The route itself is surrounded by the Tranquil Paths area (divided into Upper and Lower Paths by the swampified Rootslake post-Calamity), and the local aetheryte camp is located right off the route as well. Further north along the route from the camp can be found Buscarron's Druthers, successor to Buscarron's Fold.
When venturing east from the Lumberline one can find the Silent Arbor and the Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak. Even further in, there is the hamlet of Quarrymill as well as the Snakemolt and Urth's Gift areas to the south. Longroot that used to cover the shores of the original location of the unflooded Rootslake is no longer accessible.
The West Shroud is away from the areas frequented by the peoples of Gridania, and is the area closest to Mor Dhona. It suffered badly in the Calamity and as such is no longer accessible. The local camp is at Crimson Bark, and it's surrounded by Lichenweed to the north, Murmur Rills to the west and Turning Leaf to the south. The area also features many lakes, and clockwise from the bottom they are called Faerie Falls, Lilyswim Lake, Pixie Falls and the Crosswater.
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