Blackwood is believed to have been some sort of outpost for the ancient elven capitol of Ellyon as it has very similar architecture, however only a fraction of its size. Today it is known as Blackwood only because no one can find any record of the original name of the outpost.
Unlike the mysterious elven city, this former outpost has become quite the modern day trade hub. Brand new structures, mostly built only in the last few dozen years, have risen up all around the elven ruins of Blackwood much like the local flora. Great tree houses and shops are suspended overhead while long wooden rope-bridges link them all together. On the ground level are multiple store fronts making up the popular Blackwood Market. Most sought after are the skilled Apothecaries and Woodworkers as their rare products can only be found here and are scarcely found anywhere else in the world.
Post 11 in Blackwood is the HQ for the Survey Corps in the Darkwood. Like most Survey Corps posts, it contains Spartan barracks, basic stables, and a few simple offices. However, of note is that Post 11 features an archive of all surveys conducted in the Darkwood. The archive consists of the most accurate and update topographic maps of the Darkwood, as well as numerous notes on the plants, animals, and minerals discovered by Survey Corps members. Post 11 is only open to Survey Corps members, though for a price anyone can have access to their archives.
Many elves call Blackwood home. Perhaps because they are drawn by the ruins of elven empires or simply the connection between themselves and the forest. Among the elves of Blackwood, the house of D'jhaanys is most famous. Mostly brewers, alchemists, and mixologists, there are few businesses in Blackwood that do not have some connection to the D'jhaanys Clan. Rich and powerful locally, they are infamous for their nepotism. Staying in their good graces is a wise idea if you want to get anything done during your stay in Blackwood.
Blackwood is normally a very quiet town with the occasional hustle and bustle from passing caravans and expedition teams. Its actual population is quite modest. Most of the time when the town is busy the visitors oftentimes outnumber the citizens. While traders come far and wide to see what the Blackwood Market has to offer, it is the Survey Corps that carries the most noticeable presence with their armed escorts and bulky archaeological equipment.
The Falls Tavern at the eastern edge of town is where most of the locals go to relax and unwind in the evening. The tavern is built between the trunks of two great trees just off shore of the Blackwood Lake which also has an unimpeded view of the waterfall flowing down from of the elevated landscapes of the Darkwood forest. The Falls Tavern has a mostly outdoors feel to it as the back of the structure completely opens out into the large deck on the shoreline. Even the floors above where one can find lodging is decorated with large stained-glass windows and some even completely open to the forest air. Locals frequent this tavern to have drink and catch up on the latest gossip. Most travelers passing through Blackwood know better than to try and mingle with the locals at this particular tavern. Most of the time, the D'jhaanys Clan won't let you past the front door. Unless you're a Survey Corps member, of course.
The D'jhaanys Clan: A powerful and wealthy family operating out of Blackwood. The D'jhaanys Clan controls most all goods passing through the Darkwood Forest, especially those that are brought through the their town, as well as the oversight of all dealings within the town. While not political, the family also has a strong influence of the governance of Blackwood and extends to the other nearby towns in southeastern Dvulvash.
The Survey Corps (Post 11):
Blackwood Market Vendors: Naharees: Skill bowyer. One of the few known who can work blackwood into magic armor and weapons.
If one were to venture to the outskirts of Blackwood they would find there a statue, standing close to eight feet tall, long since grown over by moss and weeds. Only the young of the town seem to know of it, as they often use it as the home base for games of hide and seek. If one were to clear away the detritus from the stony frame a powerfully built figure would appear. A worn down face of an Elven man, looking off into the Darkwood, away from the town, rests atop sturdy shoulders. His pose is odd, one arm forward, as if to shield himself, one arm held back as if to strike, though presently without a hand. If one were to examine the statue very closely, looking deep into the faded eyes, they would almost swear that those eyes were looking back at them. They would swear that those eyes were filled with a look of horror. That the eyes seem to be pleading a warning. However, none so far have done so. None have ventured close enough. None have cleared away the detritus. None of examined the statue closely enough to know its terrible truth...
You are one of the first to stumble upon this statue in over a millennia. What could it mean? Perhaps you can contact the Survey Corps for some clues that may unravel the mystery surrounding the statue.
The sign on the door reads "D'jhaanys Hölt: Genius for Hire", that is, if you could read Elvish. Passing by you hear a loud, smug voice bosting. "Catman! Did I ever tell you the time I saved another world from eternal winter!?" Listening closely, you hear an exasperated growl. "I don't need you to tell me about it I was there. And you know it took all of us to beat defeat that frozen girl." You peak inside to see a silver haired elf berating a large, white tiger like man. "I know you were there, Catman! However, I don't think, correction, I KNOW you don't appreciate the sheer GENIUS of how I did it!" The catfolk pushes past you out the door. "Excuse me, I have to get away from this braggart before he talks me to death...AGAIN!" Hölt shouts after his "friend", "Catman! CATMAN! ZITHEMBE! Don't you walk away from me in the middle of my story! Especially one about me!" The self-proclaimed "Genius for Hire" slumps down, until he notices you standing in his office. "You there! Come to be inspired by my greatness, huh!? Well you're in luck, because I just happen to be feeling charitable right now! Let me tell you about the time I saved another world for eternal winter...single handedly! It all started blah blah blah blah blah...!"
Listen to what this "genious" elf has to say and hopefully it will lead to something more fruitful than just a fantastical tale
There is this rumor going around in Blackwood. A rumor about a seemingly simple wooden ring. The owner of said ring is said to have a lucky day. All sorts of good things may happen this day, but they don't come without a price. The ring, so the rumor goes, grants an equal amount of mishaps the next day. And it can only be taken off if there is a willing new owner. This particular rumor is the reason why people in Darkwood tend to dislike wooden rings ... Some go even so far as to send a wooden ring like others would use a gauntlet when they are at feud with someone...
You have come across one of these wooden rings at the scene of a murder in Blackwood. This could be a vital clue as to what transpired here.
Far from Blackwood, a man stands overlooking his empire, the Darkwood covering most of the horizon he can see. He scowls toward the forest, and turns away. "Blackwood. All those fantastic artisans. All the brilliance in one single place, and they think themselves noble enough not to send the Lord of these lands his due? How dare they? I put up with it for far too long. Now, they will get their due payment. Now, I will take what is rightfully mine." -Molune Thar, self-proclaimed war hero against a minor goblin invasion in which he locked himself in his tower.
Molune Thar has requested the aid of able bodied heroes for a mission. The missive was not specific on the details. Will you seek him out and answer his call?
"Sell you old 48? Sorry, I just can't do it. This is the best wood carving knife I've ever owned. Its shape is perfect, it cuts through everything, it never dulls, and it just looks gorgeous to boot. Wish I knew where it came from, no makers mark. But there's at least 47 other out there right? I'm sure you could get lucky and find yourself one." -Woodcrafter Peada on his favorite carving knife
These numbered knives are said to be the only tool sharp, durable, and precise enough to cut through an Elder Blackwood tree that is said to contain a powerful magical artifact. Can you acquire one?