Friday, October 7, 2016

The Village of Eveningstar
Inspired by "Haunted Halls of Eveningstar" but recreated for the Lost Realms setting.

The small, quiet, beautiful village of Eveningstar lies east of Darkenwood and west of the Dragonspine Mountains. Eveningstar is a prosperous farmers market and travelers way-stop, lying within a rocky gorge (known as Starwater Gorge) that carries the river Starwater down from the Gulf of Howling Souls to the north (and provides an easy route up through the northern mountains to reach the coast).
Starwater Gorge is the only major break in the Stonecliff, a craggy limestone area that rises like a wall around the gorge itself. It prevents easy access from the north and is the only entrance to Eveningstar from the north by which mounted riders or livestock less agile than goats and sheep can travel through. The gorge is thickly grown with thickets and shrub trees.

The village of Eveningstar is full of trees and gardens. It rises out of the surrounding farms "like an orchard with buildings in it" as some might say, dominated by the stonecliff and the prosperous farm of the spired temple of Saint Cuthbert in the mouth of the gorge. It is one of the beauty spots of the Realms that was left unharmed by the great cataclysm known for soft, glorious summer skies. Some say Saint Cuthbert himself stood over the village and protected it from harm during the cataclysm.

To Bards and Sages, the area is known as "The Evening Lands", but to the locals, that term is just so many fanciful "Highnose-Words", and evokes snorts of ridicule. The many woodlands and plains of the countryside provide homes for various game, pheasant, rabbits and deer. Boar were hunted locally, but are seldom seen south of the Stonecliff these days.

The nearby woods are mainly Chestnut, Elm and Oak, with a few Shadowtops (giant trees with feathery, vivid green leaves with coppery undersides). Their fibrous wood is useless for carving, but is valued in rope-making and for cooking, as it burns hot and with little smoke. Once plentiful, the Shadowtops have almost been cut down, but the vast wood south of Eveningstar (in which brigands, stirges and worse are said to lurk) has been named for them. To most folk of this region, the central wood is known as "The Lords Forest" but to an Evenor (the old formal term for a native of Eveningstar), it is, and always will be, "The Shadowood".

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