“The Duskwoods have remained beyond the grace of light and justice of the Empire for too long. It falls upon Men to venture forth into the lands behind the veil of shadow and liberate them from darkness! The Realm of the Twin Moons may serve as home for the countless evils born from this world - creatures vile and inhuman, reeking of undeath - yet it shall not remain untouched; by the Grace of the Grand Monarch, we shall see this province purged!”
- - Hadebrand Graysong, Lord-Crusader of the Duskwoods and Master of the Knights of the Steel Feather
The Duskwoods is the name given to a region of forests located southwest of the Tropical Lands of Koldenwelt. Composed primarily by large extensions of trees, this area is famed for being locked in an eternal night - the sun never rises and the moons Kaurlus and Mehnot can always be seen in the sky in clear days. The lack of sunlight makes it a haven for nocturnal creatures, and strangely, plant life appears to thrive in the region as well as anywhere else in the tropics.
Highly magical in nature, the Duskwoods radiate dark magic and dampen light magic, making it highly attractive to creatures such as vampires, werewolves and undead, the latter being known to rise from the earth in varying numbers every full moon. Deep within the Duskwoods lies a region known as the Enigmar Rift, which houses one of the few entrances to the Underworld known in Koldenwelt.
Ancient records of the region state it was not always covered in eternal night. There is no indication of the Duskwoods being what they are today before the beginning of the Old Age, which has led to the creation of many theories regarding the subject. Those aware of the Enigmar Rift speculate the energies of the Underworld leaked out of it and corrupted the forest, causing its dark properties, though some argue the Rift has been there for too long for such a thing to only have happened recently. Human peasantry of the region has come up with the explanation that the area was cursed by elves in order to spite them, though there are no known mages in elvenkind, or any race, who are able to conjure a spell of such magnitude. Another theory is that a magical beast of some description has been imprisoned directly beneath the Duskwoods, and its dark power have caused the corruption of both the land and the local sky.
Regardless of its origins, the first records of the Duskwoods being an area of perpetual night date from around 1,000 BNA. The region remained relatively untouched during this period, its only inhabitants being the native orcs known as Enigmarans who came to live around the Enigmar Rift, warding off trespassers whenever they approached. At 85 BNA, an expedition from the Empire of Man was conducted and they claimed control over the Duskwoods, populating the area with Mannazians, Alhassals, Manorians and Aynachians who quickly learned of the dangers around them, though the human colony managed to grow relatively well thanks to their military power keeping the monsters of the forest at bay.
The Duskwoods are made up primarily of forests, though some lakes of considerable size also exist scattered around the region. Perpetually locked in night, the sun has not shone over the region in over a thousand years, though it appears to not affect the growth of plant life, which seems to behave as if the sun's cycle was still happening - scholars believe the sun's cycle does exist in the Duskwoods, but whatever magic caused its eternal night causes it to be invisible to all but plants and other photosynthetic organisms. Nonetheless, humanoids living in the region tend to grow pale due to lack of exposure to sunlight.
The entire region acts as a conduit for dark magic. Umbramancers see their powers amplified, and users of light magic tend to be weakened while in the deeper parts of the woods, though other magic schools appear to be unaffected, being neither stronger nor weaker inside the Duskwoods. Because of its dark magic properties, vampires, werewoves and undead are highly attracted to the region, leading to a sizeable population of all such creatures, who may or may not serve as a threat to the human cities settled in the region. Dark magic-based races such as the Aithrena Elves are also known to find the region highly attractive, though thanks to the Empire of Man being the governing power of the region, there are no large elven populations in the Duskwoods.
- Location - Inner Duskwoods
- Affiliation - Kerberos
The Enigmar Rift is the name of the deepest reaches of the Duskwoods, located east to the territories of the Empire of Man. The region is inhabited by the Enigmar Orcs, who live around an entrance to the realm of Underworld guarded by the formidable Revenant Gravekeeper known as Kerberos. The Enigmarans forbid outsiders from venturing too far into the Rift, causing them to enter in conflict with humans who try and investigate the area. The dark magic permeating the Duskwoods is the strongest in this region, to the point of it being toxic to light magic mages for prolonged periods of time.
The Enigmarans, otherwise called Enigmar Orcs are a reclusive race of orcish Deiwos who inhabit the Enigmar Rift, the densest forest of the Duskwoods. As mysterious as they are isolated from the rest of the world, this elusive race of orcs have inhabited the Rift for hundreds of years, not making contact with outsiders who all have come to question their origins and objectives. The Enigmarans in fact hold a dark secret, being inhabitants of an entrance to the Underworld guarded by the legendary Kerberos.
- Name - Grim Goblin
- Affiliation - Neutral
- Creator - OluapPlayer
Grim Goblins are a race of goblinoid found across the Duskwoods, often making their homes in large hollowed trees or empty tunnels. Sadistic and malevolent, these creatures thrive in harassing travelers or peasants who stray too far away from the protection of the cities's walls. Often wielding crude spears and shields, Grim Goblins are eager to cause mayhem and kill unsuspected prey, though they are not any safer from the hostile wildlife of the forest than the humans are.
- Name - Ghoul
- Diet - Carnivore
- Threat - Moderate
The Ghouls of the Duskwoods are one of the most common form of undead in the region. These cannibalistic creatures feed primarily on carrion, and are often found trying to attack graveyards for the purpose of devouring the corpses buried there. If threatened, ghouls defend themselves with their sharp teeth and claws, who can easily cut through unarmored individuals. Additionally, ghouls transmit many diseases due to their nature as walking corpses, meaning the best way to get rid of them is through incineration.
- Name - Evil Eye
- Diet - Omnivore
- Threat - Low
Evil Eyes, known by the Enigmarans as Iolestin are flying eyeballs who live on top of large trees, where they make their nests. They feed on both fruit and flesh, often preying on ravens, bats or small domestic animals such as dogs or cats through the use of the claws located on the tip of their tails. Evil Eyes pose no threat to human adults, and some have even come to domesticate them, claiming they make good familiars.
- Name - Hellhound
- Diet - Carnivore
- Threat - High
Hellhounds are wild dogs who live at the deeper reaches of the Duskwoods, around the surrounding areas of the Enigmar Rift. Characterized by their mangled black fur, burning red eyes and power over fire, hellhounds are dangerous predators who serve as a link between the fauna of Koldenwelt and the Revenants of the Underworld. Peasantry folklore says gazing at their eyes signals imminent death, and while that is pure superstition, hellhounds are known to possess the ability of breathing powerful blasts of fire which can kill unprotected targets in instants. The Enigmar Orcs are the only race known to have extensively domesticated hellhounds, which are used as their equivalent of hunting and guard dogs.
- Name - Grave Drake
- Diet - Carnivore
- Threat - Very high
Among the rarest and most dangerous of the Duskwoods's beasts, the Grave Drakes are a race of wild wyverns who lurk the darkest reaches of the forest. While primarily corpse eaters who feed on carrion and undead, these dragons have little quarrel to hunt down living humanoids should their hunger force them to. While non-elemental, Grave Drakes are formidably strong monsters who can crush horses under their talons and armored humans between their jaws, with tales of warriors in plate armor being cut in half by their sharpened teeth being well known.
“Knights of my order were sometimes asked to visit the Duskwoods to deal with undead insurrections. Truly a place where your urge to purge is free to be unleashed as you please.”
“I love that place! I couldn't spend much time there, but it has everything I could ever want! It's macabre, it's dark, it's always night... Gods, I want a house there!”
“A realm where the evils and outcast souls of the world fester in darkness, once hidden out of sight from the grace of the Empire and its peoples. ... Mayhaps it shall be here that humanity can learn to overcome death, for its essence cold and vile permeates this land so.”
“The Duskwoods symbolize an imperfect paradise; their black energies seduces those attuned to it so, yet they too spawn innumerable horrors into the world. In my opinion, these lands shall make for an ideal hunting ground and home.”
- - Khadya
“I'd tell the necromancers in Talmyr to set up shop in the Duskwoods...though persuading the Deathdealers to do that is another story. Either way, one of the few places on Koldenwelt that I can call 'my kind of place'.”
- The Duskwoods were inspired by the Doomwood, a region from the game DragonFable.
- Control over the Duskwoods is shared between the creator, TheHachi and TheImperios.