Cactus forests are regions in the southern deserts of Ghyll that are currently filled with numerous growths of the Rich Earth Cactus. The richest source of information regarding them is the journal of an unnamed traveller, dated to -90 EC, currently in the possesion of the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge. Below are a few select passages from the journal:
"I have byn now thri days wythowt watr. I feyr I 'm wyndering in mi wits, fur I have fallin ower a stown ynd have sein thyngs mst. unnormil. Dyrict on trypping the stown, I saw a grait wyterspowt arise, ynd even as yt ded, lyrge cactus arowse..."
"Yt hys ben for deys 'mongst the cacti, fer water Iy have nit lackd. Bit Iy feer there is symthong amongst the great, grein, bylks... Symthong evile."
"Something most curious has happened. When I woke this morning, it was to find a number of cacti lying entirely on their sides, shriveled in all parts but the widest of the trunk, from which I was able to extract a great deal of good water. I also found the rock I tripped over a number of days ago, not ten paces from my place of awakening. But I paced off the forest, and know it was at least fifty paces in its expanse... I find this most curious."
This is also the earliest example of Modern Standard Ghyllian. The then-unusual spellings and phrasings of the later entries completely befuddled professors at the Bureau for quite some time, until they had studied the passages so intently as to speak in the manner in which they were written. This proceeded to dissmenate throughout the land, and is now the usual spoken tongue.
There was a documented study of the cactus forests conducted in -5 EC; the results determined that the Rich Earth Cacti manage to rise up to great sizes very quickly with only a small bit of moisture, though they shrivel after several days. All those involved in the study died on Rishbard Nonce, -2 EC, all of perfectly natural, ordinary, causes.
--Prothall 21:49, 22 Sep 2004