The stone-paved roads of the Everwood county have kept the North free and prosperous for generations. Safe and fast passage through the dark and deep northern forests have been important trade routes for merchants and highways for armies.
For three winters the roads have not been safe anymore. A group of bandits has been ambushing and attacking caravans on the Everwood roads and grown more powerful and bold more recently. The bandits use magic to prepare their ambushes, defeat any opposition and to escape without a trace.
A reclusive and mute druid known only as Black Feather dwells in a house built on the branches of an ancient tree. The tree grows on the side of a cliff next to a giant eagle nest. People say that the tree was planted originally by faeries and strong magic flows through it. Some claim that the tree is the source of fertility for the valley. It summons rains for the crops and keeps strong winds away. Valley folk who believe this, believe also that Black Feather is the guardian of the tree and the valley. When the sky is clear, Black Feather can be seen soaring in the sky in the form of a giant eagle.
Three years ago a private mining survey crew, working under a contract for the Corporation, found a cavity inside an asteroid in the asteroid belt. The cavity was found in initial density scans because of its unusually symmetrical shape surrounded by a layer of high-density silicates. The scan data was sent to the contractor, and the Corporation immediately claimed over the mining operations. Radio contact with the mining vessel was lost soon after the data was received.
For unknown reasons, the contracted mining crew decided to initiate excavations, before the Corporation vessel arrived. The mining crew bore a tunnel through the asteroid, reaching the cavity in a matter of days. According to the biometrics and sensor recordings salvaged from the remains of the mining ship and the crew’s skinsuits, the crew had built a temporary airlock inside the asteroid and breached the cavity just hours before the Corporation vessel arrived on site.
It was immediately obvious that something was wrong and a hazard control unit consisting of four military-grade hybrids and a synthetic was sent to secure the area. The site was secured and contained, but with heavy casualties. The operation was successful thanks to the support of the ship’s AI and the synthetic crew member, who seemed to be immune to the psychogenic effects of the organism, later designated as Echidna, found inside the asteroid. –
It is said that the West entrance to the ruins of the lost city of Volodor is guarded by a terrible monster that hides in the shadows of the Orchard of Bones. The orchard was once one of the beautiful underground fruit gardens of the Lost City, but now a large beast keeps its lair there in the tunnels under the orchard.