I have now spent the better part of a week in Duskwood. I originally came here to investigate a story about a local militia group burning a man alive in a field, but as I investigated the story, I quickly realized the story sort of sums up Duskwood in a nutshell. A big mess.
The politics between three different groups acting as guards, with only one formally somewhat accepting Stormwind Laws is just the top of the iceberg. Add various vigilante and self-proclaimed guardians on top of that and sprinkle a bit of druid and - feral - yet somewhat friendly - Worgens and you are starting to get an idea of what this place is like.
So what does a journalist do in such an instance? Improvise, that is what. Out is the story of militia groups openly advocating secession from the Kingdom of Stormwind. Out is the story of militia who burns cult members at the stake without even trying to pretend a trial happened. And out is Stormwind nobles trying to make Duskwood their playground to save and protect for their own fame and honour. Out with all that, and in with what I do best anyway, people.
The next few articles will focus on that. The people of Duskwood. Not the military bosses, the Stormwind nobles, the important organisations. No, the normal people who just try to somehow make life work in Duskwood.
But before we get to that, let’s talk a little about the history of Duskwood and how it has impacted the place it is today, and its people.
Originally a part of Elwynn Forest - Brightwood, or Southern Elwynn Forest as it was called then, was a fertile, beautiful, and lush area with two towns. Grand Hamlet, and Raven Hill. Grand Hamlet was raided multiple times by Orcs, and even though the Stormwind Armies beat them back each time - the town was ultimately nothing but ash and broken dreams.
At the end of the second war, the town was rebuild - the current Lord Commander of the Alliance Forces and Regent of Stormwind, Turalyon aided the effort and the town turned into what we today known as Darkshire. Raven hill was less fortunate. Some scholars believe it used to be called Sunnyglade and was well known for its mortuary school and its deep pride and respect for the dead. Unfortunately, the undead rose from their graves, killed most of the people, and the rest fled. These days the place, which is located just south of the massive cemetery (which I will be visiting in a later article - let me know if you know of a good guide!), consists of a few buildings. Most of them in disrepair and only a few lived in.
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Right, so Southern Elwynn Forest - or Brightwood, fertile, beautiful, lush, lots of farms. Great place. Big tree planted in (for us humans) ancient times, and just you know, nice place.
Enter the last Guardian of Tirisfal, Medivh, born from a womb corrupted by the Legion, doing things in his tower a short distance from Brightwood. Medivh goes bad, he is put down and as he died, the entire region was cursed. Fel energy was unleashed, corrupting fauna and flora, spiders and beasts, trees, and roses, as well as plunging the region into some sort of eternal... you guessed it, dusk.
This of course is the very shortened version, and I am sure scholars can give you lengthy essays of why I am wrong in some of this - and honestly, it was not easy. Ask four scholars and historians about something and you get six different replies. But this version of events will serve as the background on why Duskwood is as it is today, and this is what is important when we talk about its people.
In the vast and diverse world of Azeroth, there are regions that remain shrouded in mystery and enigmatic shade. Among them, the hauntingly eerie land of Duskwood and the quaint yet unsettling town of Darkshire stand as a testament to how the past still impacts the present. The cemetery of Raven hill, the catacombs, the ruined mansions, and farms, all have tales to tell. All tales which to this day impact the people who work and live in the region.
In the upcoming articles you get to hear from a local blacksmith, an ancient druid, a man just wanting to cook some stew, a disillusioned former soldier, a former cider brewer and so many more. I will visit the places, I will talk to the people, and share their stories, the reasons, and their lives.