I was perusing deviantArt the other day and stumbled upon this gem and felt moved to write a short story. So without further ado:
Citadel Cvern was tucked away within a stones throw from the Unknown Wilds. The only thing that kept it from being overrun by unruly beasts and bandits were the Ravine Walls. They alone kept the evil at bay with little effort.
That was until man intervened.
The building of the land bridges during the 2nd & 3rd Eras of Man provided essential connection to the surrounding region, yet introduced new hazards over the centuries. With the completion of the first bridge, crossing the River Cværl, the bandits the usually inhabited the locale made it customary to bother the passing travelers and caravans as they traversed the archway. Nothing was without cost. The citizens of Cvern paid well enough for goods that the hired hands saw the loss of a few mercenaries as trivial. The second bridge, completed during the end of the 2nd Era of Man, proved to be less fruitful of an investment. One century of toil and staving off the local beasts, left the bridge in somewhat of a precariously completed position The railings were never properly secured and the moulding that held the massive stones to the walls were quickly slapped together, leaving them crumbling within a decade. It was the second landbridge that did in the citizens of Cvern altogether as it allowed for the beasts and bandits to walk right up to the Citadel’s front door. A siege lasting nearly a year, wiped out the living men and women of Cvern. Within the grand Citadel Cvern lies only ash and moss.
A sapling was planted by a young apprentice who witnessed the battle. It grew up in relative seclusion, as bandits and beasts cared not about trees, as they were used to close quarters of rock walls and ravine dwellings of the Unknown Wilds. Little did they know that that tiny sapling would grow into a stunning specimen of Querlus (commonly known as Strongtree or Ironwood). One day, a young boy will find that tree and imagine himself a hero.
That day is today.