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PROJEKT ' IRON SONG '

In the Empire of Tyvertsia, there are many strange and often hostile beasts—bears, mountain lions, sirin, bauk and the like—living among the wildlife of the thick Western forests, where the soft decidious trees and rolling hillocks give way to tall, noble, hardy conifers and frigid steppes. The Westernmost reaches of the Empire are a testament to Humanity's resilience—or perhaps it's foolhardiness—and form the Western border of known human civilization, with only scarce roaming barbarians living further West, where the conifer woods are even thicker and they are in great number...

This question is specifically related to the most enigmatic of the beasts in the West; the Lešovyk. They are strange and respected denziens of the Western woods, and aside from their apparent ability to disappear and reappear wherever they please, propensity to guide those lost in the woods (especially children), and their even stranger gift loops they are in with some villages, they are most well-known for their extremely vigilant protection of the forests. They are known to attack and viciously murder any who attempt to cut down trees in the woods they roam, and watch hunters intently, that they do not take more than their share.

The question is, how do the people of Tyvertsia get wood? I've already decided that most of the major cities in the Empire import their wood either from the few small places in the Eastern reaches of the Empire where Lešovyk do not roam, or from the bordering kingdoms to the East, but as for the smaller villages further West that cannot afford these expensive imports, how do they source the wood they need to build their houses? Traditional Tyvertsian buildings use almost solely wood, some buildings not even using so much as iron nails, and outside of cities and forts stone is rarely used, along with the difficulty of carrying quarried stone through thick, uneven forest terrain.

In the past, one community famously became very well-acquainted with the Lešovyk, living in an old fort that did not offend them (Lešovyk refuse to get near anything made of wood, and even get near anyone who has recently been in a wood building) and leaving consistent gifts, mostly of bones and other excess food and trash of animals they did not need. They eventually misinterpreted the goodwill they fostered, and attempted to cut down a tree. Every last adult in the fort was killed, and the children led to a nearby village. So trying to cut down trees within their good graces is out of the question.

More on the Lešovyk, since they're the main reason wood is hard to get in the West and they're also just really cool: They are shapeshifters, to a degree; their forms vary wildly but often take the form of vaguely humanoid masses of roots and sticks decorated with bones and even occasionally random pieces of flesh. They are repulsed by metals (especially silver), running water, and cut wood. They only ever exit the shade of the forest canopy if they absolutely have to. They attack wood cutters and poachers, and are extremely suspicious of anyone with a woodcutters axe in their forests. They have been known to steal said axes. Some that wish to earn their grace will leave offerings at the edge of the forest, which is replaced by an equal gift from the Lešovyk. Lešovyk gifts often take the form of strange trinkets, such as a lock of braided fur or an animal bone, but occasionally are charms that grant protection to one while they travel through the forest—but only them, and only so long as they do not offend the Lešovyk. They are known to be especially fond of children, often guiding them home if they get lost in the forest and sending them back to humanity with a gift—almost always a charm. They also frequently watch children intently as they pass through forests on their own, preventing other woodland beasts from attacking them. They have also been known to, on some occasions, guide lost travellers back to safety—even on one occasion a whole village, in which the people guided by the Lešovyk often note that they covered a great distance in moments. Lešovyk have a kind of supernatural authority over every beast in the forest, except for humans and the bauk.

Any help is appreciated! I also understand that this is a particularly complicated issue, so if you have any question or need more clarification on something, please feel free to ask. ^^

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    $\begingroup$ I've read this a few times and I can't see if you've mentioned it, but is there a specific reason that the humans can't just do what humans always do with annoying creatures and just murder them all? $\endgroup$
    – Richard
    Sep 23 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Richard Lešovyk are intelligent creatures, but also incredibly powerful and unknowable. They move in impossible ways through the forest, and rule the many beasts of the forest. If anyone was stupid enough to try and kill a Lešovyk, they would have every creature of the forest as an enemy, as well as the incredibly powerful Lešovyk themselves. Nobody has ever killed a Lešovyk, and it's unlikely that they ever will. $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 24 at 2:18
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    $\begingroup$ So what you're saying is that I need to poison their water sources? $\endgroup$
    – Richard
    Sep 24 at 5:52
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    $\begingroup$ Can you just escort woodcutters with soldiers wielding torches? Those creatures should be afraid of fire $\endgroup$
    – ICWiener
    Sep 24 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Richard perhaps, like koalas, they get (nearly) all of their water from their food. Or perhaps they defend secret forest springs $\endgroup$
    – Chris H
    Sep 24 at 12:33

15 Answers 15

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By farming it.

Leave the natural forests alone, and plant your own tree farms, just like we do for Christmas trees and paper. For firewood, staves, bows, wicker, and small beams, use coppicing to increase year-to-year productivity, and otherwise just keep a rotating field. If it takes, say, 20 years to grow a tree suitable for milling, and you need to mill up 5 trees a year to get enough beams and boards to supply your building and maintenance needs, then you only a rectangle of 5 x 20 trees, which really isn't that much land. And if you pick the right trees (walnut, cherry, apple), you can get food out of the more mature part of your field prior to lumber harvesting, too.

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  • $\begingroup$ I hadn't thought of that! Lešovyk don't defend decidious forests, either, so a plantation could absolutely be used if they plant only Eastern trees. The issue then is only how they might clear trees if they need more space to build, but other than that, I'm definitely going to take note of this idea! Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 23 at 5:30
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    $\begingroup$ @DMFRG The obvious answer there is to take advantage of clearings as they happen naturally. Trees fall down in storms, forest fires happen, and so on. Unless your monsters also claim all the land that trees have ever grown on, then the humans can simply move in and start farming the newly-cleared land. And one of the first things to do would be to plant deciduous trees. Or more cunningly, just plant the deciduous trees first and come back in 20 years. You'll then have a good supply of lumber for your house immediately to hand. $\endgroup$
    – Graham
    Sep 23 at 13:37
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    $\begingroup$ @DMFRG The easy way to clear a bunch of trees quickly? Start a fire. Use a lake as a natural fire break and start a controlled burn. $\endgroup$
    – bta
    Sep 23 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ Firewood (also charcoal, some small tools, but not weaponry or construction) is probably better using short rotation coppice which will squeeze into marginal spaces, can help with hedging/boundaries, and isn't as close to reforming a forest. $\endgroup$
    – Chris H
    Sep 24 at 12:39
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In a broader sense, defending the forest is not just "prevent any tree to be cut", it's "ensure that the trees are healthy".

Therefore they get wood by practicing sustainable forest management.

For every tree they cut down they plant a new one, and they make sure that they keep healthy forests.

This fits under the behavior of the creature as you described

they watch hunters intently, that they do not take more than their share.

and ensures that getting wood doesn't harm the forest habitat, but rather is a part of the forest maintenance.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting! I like the idea of the Lešovyk being more concerned with the health of the forest than the actual defence of it; it ties in nicely with my general concept of them being inexorably, even psychically tied to their forest home. I'll definitely come back to this, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 23 at 4:58
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    $\begingroup$ I would add that many trees might be removed because of sickness, age or unfavourable position. In addition, you might get big branches from several trees, spreading the 'damage'. Some trees actually thrive better with such maintenance. You need to be able to use suboptimal wood in a lot of cases because of size or sick wood, but you can get a reasonable supply. Only questionis would the Lešovyk accept this, as wood has many natural functions after it falls off the tree. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Sep 23 at 8:35
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    $\begingroup$ Your Lešovyk could even mark trees and branches allowed to be taken with some sort of special trinket. When you need wood, you go into the forest and search for the tree that has the special trinket tied around it, and fell that one. $\endgroup$
    – brenzo
    Sep 23 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ It will likely not matter on the scale of a village, but in my country we sometimes say "dead wood lives". Fallen and dead trees provide shelter and food for thousands of insects and small critters. Assuming the lešovyk cares for the forest and its inhabitants rather than just the trees he would not want to have every piece of fallen or dying wood to be removed. In fact he might require the humans to sometimes cut down trees and leave them or even create controlled forest fires in order to improve the health of the forest. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Sep 25 at 18:43
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Living tree houses*, if necessary with help by the very Lešovyk that endangers them.

here is a real world example of a bridge made of one

here is a real world example of a living bridge. There are numerous advantages, not the least of which is that the creature wont be murdering them for being slighted by their wood-using techniques. The biggest disadvantage would be the time it takes, but if the Lešovyk can guide trees into shapes as part of its connection to the trees and the colonists have a suitable gift-relationship with it they could trade a few gifts for housing.

*https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095263517300353

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  • $\begingroup$ I was actually just thinking of something like this while writing the answer. I do like the idea of them exorcising that deep authority over the forest on its very structure, and even though that is slightly more direct of an interaction than I would usually go for between humans and Lešovyks, it's definitely an interesting idea! Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 23 at 5:01
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Another possibility is that they simply don't use wood for construction. If you need inspiration, just take a look at any of the MANY cultures across history that built thriving civilizations in places where timber was scarce or unavailable. In an arid climate you can build with mud-brick. In areas where rain is a factor, stone or fired bricks can be used. If the people are more nomadic you could have dwellings made of fabric or hide. You could even go with something more exotic. In the early days of westward expansion in North America, settlers would live in dwellings made of cut and dried sod until they could build a more permanent house.

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  • $\begingroup$ While I do like this idea, traditional Tyvertsian building styles are almost entirely wood. They claim ancestry from the Old Drevelians of the East, who build almost solely with wood. Still, I might entertain the idea further! But a major issue then is carrying the quarried stone through the rough forest terrain. $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 24 at 2:21
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    $\begingroup$ @DMFRG I don't think quarried stone is necessary for this answer though. Realistically, I don't think "ancestry" is a good enough reason, either. If the choice presented to these people is being homeless, trying to puzzle out some way of dealing with the immortal , randomly (to the humans, it would seem so) bloodthirsty monsters, or making a thatch and clay house they don't like the look of, I should think the choice is obvious. Or at least, I know what I would pick. :) $\endgroup$
    – Onyz
    Sep 24 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ There are non-wood plants that would also work, most notably bamboo if you can grow it in your environment. Palm fronds make good housing material as well, and these are typically harvested without damaging the palm tree. Any long grass can be used to make thatching. $\endgroup$ Sep 24 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Onyz Good point! I'll come back to that idea. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 25 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ But the mud and stone monsters... $\endgroup$ Sep 25 at 18:09
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Domesticated beaver work crews

Your people originally trapped beavers for their fur, but have discovered that they have other uses that are far more valuable. A beaver can be tame and sociable around humans if raised in captivity. By breeding and training beavers, your people have cultivated a cute, furry lumberjack crew that your forest monsters will leave alone (they're native to the forest, after all). After reaching maturity, beavers are released into the forest in areas near lakes and rivers where they will cut down the trees for you. You've trained the beavers to simply leave the felled trees instead of trying to build a dam with them, and instead to live in specially-constructed burrows dug by the townspeople. Your human work crews take the felled trees and float them down the river and back to the sawmills in town. Not an axe in sight, just animals doing what they were designed to do. Your humans are simply cleaning up after the beavers.

Realistically, you'd still want to de-limb the trees before floating them too far to minimize the risk of snagging on something. To avoid the ire of the forest guardians, you could build up a small artificial island (a big pile of boulders and stones) in a wide part of the river and do your cutting there. The monsters should leave you alone since you're surrounded by running water and cut wood.

For larger-scale projects, allow your beavers to dam off strategic sections of the river. Let a wide bayou form that engulfs as many trees as possible. Harvest that lumber by wading into the water and then haul it off. Once all the submerged trees have been cleared, remove the dam and let the bayou drain. The area is now a massive clearing, free of forest canopy for the forest monsters to live under. Dig up the stumps, pave the ground with stones, and set up a lumber camp, maintaining a safe distance from the treeline. Move your beavers down the river a bit, have them build another dam, and repeat the process.

You'll still need some human tools, and getting them to the job site will be the hard part. An saw made of silver would keep the monsters away, but would be prohibitively expensive and is too soft for the task. A more practical option would be to plate your tools with an ultra-thin outer layer of silver, either via electroplating or chemical processes. The silver layer would wear off quickly, so the tools would need to remain in one of your established monster-free work areas. Your human workers would likely need to live there as well, since the forest monsters would attack them as soon as they re-entered the forest. Once you've been seen harvesting lumber, travel only using the rivers.

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Child Labor

The above comments are probably the best for a happy, healthy relationship between a village and nearby Lešovyk. But if you want a harsher, grimer reality then you could use the Lešovyk inherent liking for children against them.

Every Child between the agen of 8 and X (where X= an adult in the Lešovyk's mind) is sent into the forest to harvest trees. The older children provide the labor for the actual felling and chopping, while the younger kids do things like trim branches, pass out food/water, and haul timber. The Lešovyk are not pleased with this behavior, and attempt to stop it in a non-violent fashion. However the children are sent out in various groups, meaning a given Lešovyk's territory might have 6-10 parties of children all felling trees. It's slow and horribly inefficient compared to unimpeded adult lumberjack operations, but it provides the necessary wood for buildings and tools. There's rarely enough spare trees for cordwood, so the villagers largely rely on other sources of fuel for general heating, such as dry dung from farm animals.

A group of children that run across a Lešovyk do not try to fight it, and allow it to herd them slowly from the forest back to the village. In this way the other parties have time to work even with the Lešovyk's teleportation ability.

Two things are of particular importance. Firstly is that NO child of X age ever fells lumber. When a child comes of age they hold a special ceremony on the edge of the forest wherein it offers a gift to the Lešovyk and formally vows never to harm a tree. This placates the Lešovyk.

Secondly no adult goes to the woods with a child lumber party. If they did the Lešovyk would assume they were directing the work and kill them. Likewise when wood is hauled back to a village there is a specific location where the wood is stored that adults do not enter except on days no wood is harvested. Lešovyk are smart, but like many fey creatures have their own grasp on reality, and as long as no adult appears to directly approve of the children's forestry they are safe from harm. The building itself may be warded with silver or running water to protect it from the Lešovyk's wrath.

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    $\begingroup$ Very interesting! I respect the uniqueness of this idea. Still, not even their care for the innocent is beyond the veneration the Lešovyk possess for the forest's trees. Should a child bear an axe against their sacred woods, they'd probably just pluck it out of their hands and send them home. Probably even without a gift, for being so rude. Thanks for the response anyways! I do really like the way you took it! $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 24 at 2:27
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The humans do the same as with every other pesky animal in the forest that is trying to kill them:

Brutally murder them all.

Unless these Lesovyk are magically invulnerable or something similar, they should be about as difficult as perhaps, tigers or bears are to kill. Humans have tamed everything in their path, and there is no reason these should be different.

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    $\begingroup$ To a certain extent I agree with this answer, but I think these monster would be rather more difficult to kill than just a tiger or a bear. Reading through the description in the question, they appear to be uniquely magical in nature, capable of warping space itself within the forest, and can control all of the forest creatures. I think this could be a good answer, but it would benefit greatly from providing explicit methods for killing such powerful monsters, as well as making it clear that this is a frame-challenge. $\endgroup$
    – Onyz
    Sep 24 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps, but the key point is that the humans don't have to just blindly rush in to the forest waiting to be attacked. The humans can organize, learn, analyze, research, perhaps subdue and/or trap the beasts for even more information. How many of these creatures are there per acre? Can they take on 1000, armed men? Will they rally and bring 1000 creatures? Humans can be patient and methodical when it comes to getting the things that they want, and they can also learn from their mistakes. It may be a slow campaign to start, but I wouldn't count the humans out from the get go by any means. $\endgroup$ Sep 24 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ Everything in their path so far... $\endgroup$ Sep 25 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ Humans will raise children among the monsters to learn their teleporting ways, then use those children to stab their benefactors in the back. It only sounds bad because we're well fed. $\endgroup$ Sep 25 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Woodcutter_and_the_Trees $\endgroup$
    – Oly
    Oct 13 at 9:48
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Fire

Growing one's own tree farms is smart. But how do you know if you will lose your effort and your land itself to an enigmatic teleporting shapeshifting creature that decides your canopy is worth living under? Bad idea.

Nay, you need to do unto them before they do unto you! Fire a few fire arrows on a very dry day. After the disgruntled creatures mope out of several square miles of new harshly sunlit former woodland, you can break it to the plow to make sure they never come back. But first, of course ... salvage logging. Not every tree burns.

  • Note: if you write this, there might be some copyright issues with the government of Brazil.
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They only take fallen trees. Presumably, in a mature forest, there is an equilibrium between new trees growing and old trees falling.

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    $\begingroup$ I may be reading too much into the original post, but it sounds like trees are viewed as sacred. If so, just using dead or fallen trees isn't going to fly. It would be the equivalent to some non-human race digging up human graveyards and using the bones they find to build houses. $\endgroup$
    – pbuchheit
    Sep 23 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe! While trees do occasionally fall in forests, trees experience time at a glacial pace and an unfathomably long lifespan for humanity. Trees take hundreds, even thousands of years to die. Finding a naturally fallen tree would take the people deep into the forest where they'd have to drag that one tree possibly for miles. Still, I might use this idea occasionally! Thanks for the response! $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 24 at 2:24
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    $\begingroup$ @DMFRG You have apparently never seen a forest that is not a modern tree farm. There tends to be more wood on the ground than up in the air in a naturally-grown forest. $\endgroup$
    – tofro
    Sep 24 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @tofro I grew up in the middle of a forest. People don't build houses from rotting wood and fallen sticks. $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 25 at 7:06
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    $\begingroup$ @DMFRG They do, if they need to pay beams and planks with their lives. $\endgroup$
    – tofro
    Sep 25 at 7:25
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They grow their own trees

Most trees produce hundreds or thousands of seeds in a year, most of which fail to germinate or are eaten by animals. Your creatures are interested in anyone that cuts down their grove of trees, but it is unlikely they would care about anyone taking seeds to plant for themselves simply because there are so many of them.

The people can then start cultivating trees for themselves, potentially domesticating species for fast wood production (or even switching to bamboo, which can grow very fast in a short amount of time). Humans will generally start domesticating things if the wild variant is hard to get for some reason (e.g., wipe out all the megafauna, start domesticating cows and horses). Soon the humans will have their own groves of trees they can cut down for wood, and no one has to go into the forests. Humans would then probably expand their area for domestic forest growth by moving in whenever forest fires burn down a section of the woods (if not setting the fires themselves, as happens in many cultures).

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I think that American farms usually had woodlots, at least in the wooded sections of the country. The farmers would cut down the forest trees on their farms to make fields to grow grains and gardens to grow vegetables, but they would leave a sufficiently large area of standing trees for their woodlot. They could cut down enough trees each year from the wooodlot for firewood and for any lumber they needed while enough trees were left over to maintain the woodlot. Many farms also had orchards of fruit and/or nut trees, which would be sources of wood when they died.

I think that the property I used to live on had a woodlot. It had an old stone farmhouse and an old barn and was the center of several acres of woodland and grass grown fields. Originally the farm would have had about a hundred acres or something of fields, which had all been sold off and developed as the area became a suburb.

There was a little creek valley though the property with steep sides which would not be good for farming, which was the center of the wooded lands and would be a logical place for a farm's woodlot to be. Black Walnut trees grew on the bottomland and up the steep slopes and grew very tall. They might have been planted for their nuts and/or for their wood long ago when it was stll a working farm.

And if it is difficult to get wood from the western forests for firewood and construction in the eastern part of the Empire, the eastern part of the empire might get a lot of wood from farmer's woodlots, which would thus be larger than the farmers needed for their own use.

I note that in medieval Europe, nobles hunted for sport, for practice for war, and for food, thus eating more meat that commoners did. So every large estate of a noble was likely to have a wild, unfarmed area for hunting.

The famous "New Forest" in England was established by William the Conqueror (r. 1066-1087), who tyrannically evicted the peasants from several villages and turned their farms into wooded land for royal hunting. Peasants were not allowed to hunt in the varius royal forests or to cut wood there. But careful logging as part of sensible managment was probably a royal monopoly in the royal forests and a source of income.

In the Middle Ages, it was already recognized that smoke from coal fires was dirty and unhealthy, and there were edicts against coal fires in London. But wood was getting scarce and expensive, and so the mining and use of coal increased despite the rules.

There is no reason why your "medieval" society can't use coal as much as some real medieval societies did.

I note that Japan is rather well watered, while Australia is mostly desert with only a small percentage of well watered land. So naturally a higher percentage of the land in Japan is wooded than in Australia.

Other things being equal, you would expect that Japan, which has more trees, would export lumber to Australia, which has fewer trees. But actually Japan imports wood from Australia, because the Japanese care more about conservation than Australians do, much to the annoyance of Australian conservationists.

And I remember that during the Edo Period centuries ago Japan was facing a shortabe of wood, and the Shogun decreed increased tree planting and decreased harvesting of trees, and other practices to conserve the wood supply.

So if the eastern part of your empire has stronge timber managment practices, it might not need much lumber from the western forests.

What about transportation? In the Middle Ages, transportation of bulk goods, like lumber, was expensive and hard, except by river boats and by sea.

So what is the transportation network like in the wooded forests of the west, in the farmlands of the east, and outside of the empire? It might be a lot cheaper to transport wood a thousand miles by sea from some foreign realm than to transport it a hundred miles by oxcart from the western forests.

And different societies have used different amounts of wood in their construction. Most Chinese and Japanese buildings were built almost entirely of wood. Mesopotamian buildings would have been built almost entirely of sun-baked bricks. In the ancient Roman Empire it was common to build hollow walls of brick or tile and fill the insides with Roman concrete.

In many societies, wood is used only for the ceilings and floors of the various levels of a building, and the roofs. And some societies use arched and domed vaults of brick, tile, concrete, stone, etc. for those purposes.

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Hobbit Holes

Neolithic people used earth and stone to create barrows - artificial hills that are mostly thought to be burial mounds. They generally consist of a long passageway, and end in a small room where the actual remains were placed. In many cases these barrows have survived without maintenance for thousands of years.

Individual or Communal Living

There's no need to keep the long hallway, since your houses are practical rather than religious structures. You can build much smaller mounds for individual houses.

Or you could keep the hallway, and build lots of rooms off it, similar to a modern apartment building.

Construction

Use local rocks and deadwood to frame out a small house, then cover it with dirt. Once grasses and plants start growing, the roots should hold the structure in place, and some minimal maintenance will be required to keep the interior hollow - perhaps a layer of mud dub that is re-applied every few years.

Dead Ancient Starter Kit

When a particularly large tree falls, it creates a long, roughly linear open space in the forest; it's trunk and branches crush and choke smaller trees. The locals could strip all the branches - providing a useful wood supply for later on - and they would have a large, dead tree trunk lying on the ground.

Cover the trunk in a loose coating of kindling, then cloth, and then dirt. Frame out windows, exterior doors, and chimneys as you go.

Set the kindling on fire, and it'll burn the trunk out, leaving you a long, hollow earthen mound, where the interior is melted dirt - basically a rough glass. This could be a kind of low-tech townhouse, where you divide the length of the tree into several small dwellings.

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Have a look at Scottish Blackhouses, built using local and natural resources, stones, turf, thatch, and using driftwood and whale bones instead of timber.

You could switch driftwood and whale bones for fallen branches etc.

http://naturalhomes.org/blackhouse.htm

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  • $\begingroup$ I really like this response! I was aware of designs like this, but these blackhouses specifically match really well with the resources and technology available to common Tyvertsians. I will definitely consider these designs as a possibility in Western villages! Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 25 at 7:10
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Attach metal axes to a 200m-long rotating pole

Since the Lešovyk only move about in forests, one could imagine attaching a number of cutting axes to a several 100m long pole, then start chopping the trees from a distance, from outside the forest. If you attach several of these axes to the pole, then rotate the pole like a ventilator, you could cut down a large number of trees from far away without having to meet the creatures in person.

Sicne the axes are made of metal, the creatures will not try to destroy them out of fear. And even if they try, they get brutally slaughtered by the rotating axe ventilator.

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Clear the forest edges.

If the forest is unsafe, you don't go into the forest - you cut down the trees at the very edge of it. If there is trouble, you take two steps back and you are in open terrain where visibility works to your advantage and the forest creatures don't like to go.

What will they do about it? Guard the entire forest edge 24/7 ?

The good part about this approach is that as soon as you've cleared one line of trees, you get access to the new forest edge - the line behind. So you'll never run out, and while going about it you clear more space for you to work from safely.

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  • $\begingroup$ Lešovyk can teleport, for lack of better term, and they respond rapidly to any harm done to their forest, which they try to stop before the axe even meets the bark. They permit no harm to any part of the woods. Even its edges. $\endgroup$
    – INPU
    Sep 27 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ The description didn't mention that they somehow know everything that's going on, instantly, over any distance. If you don't spend time going into the forest, by the time they even know what's going on, you're halfway through a small tree. Teleport or not, as I wrote: They can't be everywhere, all the time. Wandering around in the forest gives them time to react, just starting at the edges doesn't. Maybe that idea wasn't clear. $\endgroup$
    – Tom
    Sep 27 at 6:27

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