Pathfinding in terrain

Hi, how can I create a pathfinding for a huge terrain map? Like some RPG maps etc…? I was looking for some examples but it was usually one way point system pathfinding. For example I had a huge terrain with one village and some ways to village and i wawnt to npc can go everywhere in village but just on the way out of the village. But when someone attacked him out of village and then run to the forest, he would be able to follow him… Any ideas? -_-

Perhaps you could create a set of way points in your terrain and apply the algorithm considering the way points as nodes in your graph. Then, to make movement smooth, you could apply polynomial interpolation. That might give you an interesting effect, never tried it though.