As previously promised, here's a bit of backstory for the West Wood storyworld!
There have always been humans in the West Wood.
But it wasn't until about a century ago that a whole wave of them came rolling in at once on their wagons from the east. The biggest reason for the surge was that the Kingdoms of Man were getting too full of second- and third-born sons. When these nobles started getting ambitious, eyeballing each others' lands, and stroking the butts of their guns, the powers that be encouraged them to "move out west" and "settle that uncivilized land." And so they did.
It wasn't always pretty, but the settlers eventually found their places in the West Wood. The nobles planted their flags. The commoners worked for their lords or drifted into the forest to live more independent-like. Some of the fair folk grumbled at the mortals smelling up the place, but they all mostly got along.
Then about twenty years ago, King Tarn, one of the kings of the east, decided to muck things up.
Tarn decided what the folks of the West Wood needed was to be "unified" under his banner. The lords of the wood disagreed. So Tarn gathered his armies and rode west with the intent to invade the land and seize it by force.
The people of the West Wood (humans and fair folk alike) fought back, but it wasn't until they called on the elves of the Deep Forest that they were able to repel the invaders. Some folks weren't so pleased when the elves decided to stick around after the war to "bring order to the frontier," but most called it a fair price to pay for peace.
And for the past twenty years, the West Wood's been pretty peaceful.
But now, the Kingdoms of Man are at it again. While they're always fighting with each other over one thing or another, this time the war is especially brutal. Crops are being wiped out. Disease is rampant. There's even talk of straight-up genocide.
All this has resulted in a second major wave of settlers drifting west. Most of them are decent folks just trying to make better lives for themselves. But a lot of them are soldiers turned bandits, mercenaries sniffing for blood-money, exiled lordlings looking to seize territory, and other such troublemakers.
To make matters worse, the elves have pulled their people out of the frontier. They said something about giants threatening their northern borders, then called them back to the Deep Forest. And while a few folks are pleased to see them gone, the truth is, the elves did a good job protecting the land from varmints such as those now coming in. Now that they're gone, the people of the West Wood are on their own.
And that's where our story begins…
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