Clarissa in Arelith Forest.
Heartwood Grove Druidic Merchant, Clarissa, despawns from the Heartwood Grove for a few hours every couple of days and appears wandering Arelith Forest at a few key locations, such as Northern Crossroads, Assimvar Pond (sp?), or Twin Falls Gap.
Interacting with her allows her standard conversation, and access to her standard supplies, but not unlimited, like in the Grove.
Heart of the Forest:
A white stag spawns in Arelith Forest at random locations, but very rare. The spawn occurs when a character with nature-class levels is present (Barbarian, Druid, Ranger). Interacting with the Stag would allow you to know the health of the forest, which would be described as good, neutral or bad. You could then choose help push it in one direction or another with a Good/Neutral/Evil choice.
The interactions of Good/Neutral/Evil are recorded in a variable that begins at 0. Good interactions push the value positively towards 20 while evil interactions push the value negatively towards -20. neutral interactions move the value either direction, towards zero, but never pushes it above or below zero.
The Evil choice provokes an attack encounter that would last 3 rounds. If the Stag is still alive after three rounds, it bounds away, disappearing in the thickets of the forest (i.e. despawns). If the Stag is killed within those 3 rounds (and it shouldn't be a pushover... it should be kinda hard) then the "evil choice" is x2 or x3. The act of choosing the evil choice pushes whatever the saved 'value' of the variable towards -20.
If the variable value is decreased below -10 (negative 10) then the health of the forest is pushed towards disease which then begins to spread by activating spawns of "rabid" versions of creatures like bears and wolves and deer. These rabid creatures can spawn anywhere in the forest and they will attack other creatures... which could spread the disease to those uninfected creatures as well... For as long as variable remains below negative 10... Rabid creatures... like bears... are always aggressive. The rabid animals cannot be tamed by Animal Empathy, and have an increased listen score to better detect and attack even very sneaky characters.
These rabid animals would all have high-level barbarian rage that activates on combat. The animal stats would be tougher than normal because you know... they're rabid... and the forest would become a much more dangerous place in general.
Hunger/Thirst/Fatigue system gets more aggressive when the forest stat is between -10 to -20. You get tired quicker. You get hungrier/thistier more quickly. When you rest, the % cap is lowered to 25, meaning you CAN'T reset again while your rest score is above 25 during a time when the forest health value is below -10.
IF the score is between 10 and -10, everything is as normal... cuz you know.. balance. Yes you still get the odd rabid wolverine, but that's about it.
If the score of the value is above +10, (10 to 20) disease is completely eradicated completely from the forest. There are zero rabid animals spawned. The creature spawns are 100% non-aggressive. The animal creature stats are increased compared to the normal versions, and their DC to tame with Animal Empathy is lower... or maybe all Ranger/Druid characters are given a +10 to Animal Empathy while within the Arelith Forest areas during this time.
The creatures spawning in a Forest that is between +10 and +20 would be a veritable garden of eden! Your HTF stat ticks would be dramatically lessened while in the forest during these times. You don't get tired as quickly either! (this would be a negative for caster-types who rely on resting to refresh their spellbooks!) . When you rest, you can rest much better, with the cap for Rest % raised to 75%..
Should the value be at ABSOLUTE ZERO... perfect balance between good and evil... then maybe something cool happens that affects only druids. Maybe druids who rest inside Arelith Forest get a huge boost to their stats that persists until they rest again. This boost only is attainable when the value is perfectly balanced of ZERO... which gives them motivation to select the "neutral" choice form the STAG.
All of these systems would be controlled by the interactions of this great forest spirit, represented by the rare-spawn white stag meaning that you can't really SEARCH for the stag to help push the value of that variable one way or the other...
Maybe a connection to the Heartwood Grove could gave greater effect, say if you were a Druid of the Heartwood if the Heartwood Grove were to be given some sort of settlement makover in the same way as the Paladins of the Radiant Heart get... where Druids of the Heartwood have added to their descriptions that they are in fact Druids of the Heartwood.... and then when those charactes ancounter the Great Spirit of Arelith Forest... their interactions could have greater effect in preserving, or healing the forest.
Maybe even depending on the population of druids who take up the mantle of membership in the Heartwood Grove would INCREASE or DECREASE the % spawning of the Forest Spirit when THEY are out in the forest, giving them some real effective control in a fabulously awesome RP way. So that should the Heartwood membership become evil-aligned, they could litterally turn all of Arelith Forest into a dark place, and keep it like that for as long as they have the membership to maintain it.
-You look cool... for a naked chick in a booth...