The primeval vales of Arkengard were, in the days of the High Kingdom, a feral maze of woods and bogs, avoided by the men of old for the dark tales told by traveler’s campfires of a land that touched upon the borders of Faerie, the demesne of the Weird King. It was the playground of cruel and nameless creatures, the stories said, of the wicked Fair Folk and bloodthirsty monsters fled from the light the came after the end of the World-Night.
Though the passage through Arkengard offered the swiftest route to the Looking Sea from the Heartlands, the merchants, travelers, and armies of High Kingdom would travel for leagues around the Dreaming Mountains, and avoided the shores of Sturmbold at all costs. Only a scattered few tribes of hill men lived in the vale, barely scraping out a living in the inhospitable wood.
But it was here that Edoric, the conjurer, came to witness a prophesied astronomical event and made his realm. Through unknown arts, he tamed savage Arkengard, and became liege-lord to the hill folk. Over time, the land blossomed with trade as the sea-route opened, and Edoric sired the house Lockmare from his seat in the Dreaming Mountains. Edoric built great toll-roads and bridges, and gentled Arkengard became a crossroads for trade. Foreign armies seeking a swifter way to war across the sea would have to pay gold to Edoric for ships and passage.
Edoric built great strongholds, and his people prospered. Tales spread far and wide of glorious Arkengard. And as its treasuries swelled, glorious Arkengard became envied Arkengard, and kings and armies from all sides pressed in on Edoric to claim his kingdom’s wealth. But never did Arkengard fall.