Hewn in Safety
The villages are proud of their perseverance in the face of the dreadful barrier-lands to the north. With the right knowledge, the land is fertile, and of course noone in the villages wants to leave the land their forefathers fought to keep.
If you ask about the Encroachment, the most common response is ‘never mind’ or ‘it has nothing to do with us anymore’ or ‘that’s simply the way things are’. If you’ve caught a grown-up in an honest mood, they’ll tell you that before their own great-gran’parents were born, it started. The Worlds Nearby, the Shadowfell and the Feywild, crept into the northern lands and caused disruption. Fey and Undead became common problems. One way or another the leadership on each side soon grew unable to contain their hate for the others, and the Encroachment war began.
There were battles all around in the region, for many years. At the end of the war the fey had retreated, the human kingdom of Beodegrad (of which you are still a part, child) was humiliated, and the Shadow-Citadel of Ashen’dhall reigned triumphant. To protect itself from reprisal and to flaunt its victory, the shadow forces made the City of Naught from man’s accomplishment. The elves, meanwhile, moved to fortify their surviving Boughs by raising what is called The Titan’s Bramble. The dwarves are furious to this day, for the bramble has cut them off from worldly trade.
This is not to say that the mortal armies were easily defeated; the Feywild and Shadowfell forces remember to this day what it means to war with mortals (humans in particular). Many worldly peoples pledged themselves to the Encroachment War. One exception is the wild-folk of Lako, who took the Encroachment to be a sign not of physical danger, but of spiritual danger, and fled like cowards.