The History of Riftwood

Riftwood is a land with a turbulent past, filled with strife and war. In those troubled times, however, the heroes of the ages are forged through conflict and the mettle of Mann is weighed and measured.

In this section, you can learn about each of the historical periods of Riftwood, its heroes and villains, and the moments that shaped Riftwood’s culture. Each section is broken down into a specific time period and will outline events chronologically.

The intent is to give the community the power to pull inspiration from these events to write stories and establish more and more lore as a community. If any further information is desired, or if you’d like to discuss lore and storycraft, feel free to DM me on Discord.

Prologue

In the distant east, a sliver of light begins to appear over the horizon as the gentle hum of traders and morning commuters begins to envelop the inner city of Aurielle. Wagoners line the packed streets, making their final checks on their loads before setting off for distant lands muttering under their breath. Throngs of people pushing their way through the already bustling city streets, faces cast down in a steady gaze of one soon to begin the labors of a day’s work.

Through the deep hum of the crowds, a voluminous bellowing voice can be heard beckoning, “come along children! Mustn’t be late for the day’s lessons! Hurry in,” as the wiry-framed man waves his arms to motion the congregation of children meandering in from the busy streets. The schoolhouse was a tall building of stone-carved archways, jutting out into an intersection of two main roads of the inner city. Gleaming red tiles in a stark contrast to the flat, grey stone of the exterior catches the first light of the new day, blinding a slender boy as he makes his way to the archways. At eleven years old, Martine was only beginning his studies at the school. Though not from a wealthy family, Martine had been selected above his peers in the inner city for a merit scholarship to attend the prestigious academy, typically reserved for children born of the gentry.

“Martine Avra’aim!” Master Joral snapped in his deep roar of a voice, “inside before you find yourself scrubbing the floors of Head Master Lewyn’s chamber!” His flat, steady gaze set on Martine showed he intended to follow through with just what he said, had Martine not jumped into motion. Hurrying through the archway, the boy made his way through the densely packed corridors of the academy, finally reaching a sturdy door of hardwood with a plaque inscribed with the word Tutelage. Taking a deep breath, Martine knocked on the heavy door. Typically, children begin studies much younger than eleven, though being from a portion of the city where children don’t attend a formal education more often than they do, Martine had been forced to attend private tutoring by Master Farrow before he would be eligible for study with the other children. This had been a new development; by order of the Chancellor of Lore, all academies within the city would be required to select a handful of less fortunate children to educate as part of a push for better pathways to social mobility within the city.

As the door bangs open, Martine catches a glimpse of a man well past his prime, wearing a sour grimace which appeared to be a permanent fixture on the old man’s face.

“You’re late,” Master Farrow balked at the young boy, who was suddenly frozen under the old man’s gaze, “well, I haven’t got all day, young Martine. Enter, enter!” Martine shuffled through the door, narrowly dodging the door now swinging shut. The candle-lit room was a clutter of scrolls, hastily scrawled notes cast aside into haphazardly formed piles, and books ajar across a large square table. Even the blazing fire warming the room sat atop logs which seemed to be lazily cast into the fireplace. Master Farrow motioned for the boy to sit in a chair adjacent to the chaotic desk as he gently moved a heap of scrolls and papers from the chair to one of the few empty spaces found on a shelf in the corner of the room. “I believe we had just finished with your studies in…,” a pause as Master Farrow thumbed through a series of papers with scrawled notes, “the military structure of the Crown’s Army” he finished looking up at the boy. “Today begins your lessons in the history of Riftwood.”

Martine unburdened himself of his satchel as he sat, removing a writing set and several pieces of crumpled parchment from the contents of the bag. Master Farrow watched the boy with a flat, expressionless stare as he settled into an attentive posture. “Listen closely, boy,” Master Farrow began in a lecturing tone, “and take notes! I’ll not be repeating myself.”

Martine dipped his quill into the inkpot he placed on the desk and began to listen intently to the old man’s raspy voice as he recounted the key moments in Riftwood’s history.