A mist-shrouded forest connecting the village of Majula to several other important locations including the Shrine of Winter and Aldia's Keep. The Woods occupy an ancient territory where great misdeeds were once committed; the remnants of this dark history can be seen among the crumbling ruins and unnaturally thick fog.
The Shaded Woods appear to have once been the remnants of Aldia (presumably a town named after Lord Aldia) if the references are to that, and also the location of a great battle. This battle was likely against the Giants who had set siege to the King's castle.
The (pre-SotFS) Giant Lord soul description reads, "The Giants landed on the northern shores, and set siege to King Vendrick's castle to claim an invaluable prize."
Vengarl tells us that he was hired by the King as a mercenary, and that he was killed in battle. We find his head within the Shaded Woods area that is thick with fog, ghostly mercenaries and trees that groan when struck. From what we know of the Giants and their death cycle, it may be that these trees are the remains of Giants who fell in that battle, and the ghosts are the mercenaries who fought on Vendrick's side. It also explains why the structures in the Shaded Woods have fallen to ruin.
It is interesting to note the proximity between where Vengarl fell and Lord Aldia's manor, especially when Aldia himself makes a strong reference to Vengarl in his dialogue. This strongly implicates Aldia as the reason for Vengarl's condition.
The foes encountered here are:
- Goblin: Goblins are humanoid creatures that lurk in the Shaded Woods. These deformed monstrosities give a grotesque impression and do not appear to be products of a natural evolution; rather they seem to have once been human. What twisted force could have rent their humanity and left them in this sad state…?
- Basilisk: A peculiar species of reptile which has developed a number of ingenious adaptations for self-defense. The large bulbous eyes on their heads are in fact fake and act as deterrents to would-be predators; Basilisks are also capable of spraying a petrifying mist which has earned them their well-deserved name.
- Giant Basilisk: An impressive Basilisk specimen of enormous size with mottled green skin like that of a chameleon. Whether these creatures are the result of a divergence in the species' evolutionary line or the product of an Aldian experiment is unclear. They are not actively predatory and will make no attempt to attack unless cornered, so observers not looking for a fight would be wise to give them a wide breadth.
- Lion Clan Warrior: A species of anthropomorphic lions whose sudden appearance on the stage of history suggests that they are not of natural origin. They despise other races and will arbitrarily slaughter those not of their clan.
- Forest Guardian: Guardian spirits lurking in the thick fog of the central Shaded Woods. Their identities are completely unknown as they barely maintain corporeal forms and are almost invisible against the mist. Are they fallen soldiers of a war long past, or the remnants of a clan that once dwelled in this ancient land?
- Scorpioness Najka: The wife of Manscopion Tark, a fragile soul created long ago by an ancient being in the throes of madness. Najka herself has succumbed to the very affliction which felled her master and has devolved into a ferocious beast, a threat to all living things.