Travelar: The Darkened Age
Not much is known of the once great, wild frontier that is the Spiritsong Forest. In the Silver Age of Travelar, the forest was a wild realm on the edge of the highlands – An ancient forest home to the woodland elves and a frontiersland to all other races. Although dwarves and men had accomplished much to settle lands that skirted the great forest, only one major settlement within the forest existed that was known to all the races of Travelar – the dwarven city fortress of Stonefire.
Stonefire lay close to the middle of the realm and was built over a great river that ran the width of the forest. Rich wooden crafts and elven wares found their way outside of the forest by means of the river, and the city soon become a frequent destination for opportunists and merchants seeking new markets and goods wrought within Stonefire. The last lord of Stonefire was Blademaster Targin – a pragmatic dwarf that was always prepared to handle tough city affairs, quickly punish troublemakers, and ensure that the tenuous pact with the elves of the surrounding forestland remain steadfast.
The ever-flickering lights of the dwarven smith within stonefire remain lit for over sixty years after the Darkened Age – a testament to dwarven vigilance and the city of stonefire itself. However, over one hundred and twenty years ago, the fires emitting from the high smoke spires of stonefire went out. The trade route on the grand river became a dangerous path to set sail – those merchants not taken hostage or killed by the “dark, tattooed heathens” now lurking the waters were never seen again.
Over the years a great darkness has swallowed the forest. Even in the light of a new day’s sun, the forest appears overcast, melancholy, and dim – its ancient trees twisted and their boughs hiding something sinister that has crept into the Spiritsong. Some say that during the witching hours or great lightening storms during the night, one can make out the silhouette of a foreboding obsidian stronghold beyond the dark spires of Stonefire. What became of the woodland elves of Spiritsong or the inhabitants of Stonefire has never been discovered, nor is there any truth beyond rumors of what truly lurks in the dark forest. The settlers living in the outskirts of the forest have long abandoned their farmsteads – nearby townships and thorpes recount the story of those refugees that told tales of a frantic escape from “Shadows and wraiths that flew from the forest and attacked them by the hundreds”.
No one dares go near the forest in the current age for fear of death or worse, and the dark secret of the pitch black Spiritsong remains hidden to this day.