Geography[edit | edit source]
The village of Highbank Forest was named for a steeply sloped and wooded hill that lay just to the north. It provided shelter to the village against the strongest winter winds.
History[edit | edit source]
The area was originally home to a school of wizardry, based out of a keep standing atop the hill. In the end, brigands used trickery to infiltrate the keep, then attacked and slew the wizards with trained monsters and poisoned arrows. Before she died, the last mage released a gibbering mouther—a trapped guardian monster—and used her magic to collapse the keep to crush them all. The school of wizardry was eventually forgotten.
Later, a brigand styling himself as "Lord Wolf" laid claim to the area and the keep as its ruler. For many years, Lord Wolf and his gang preyed upon caravans, until the cities of Ravens Bluff and Tantras together raised an army to crush the bandit lord.
Government[edit | edit source]
Around 1370 DR, Highbank Forest was ruled by Lady Estele Greymantle, one of the wealthiest petty lords in the area. A priestess of Eldath, she devoted herself to maintaining and regrowing woodlands in her domain.
Description[edit | edit source]
A sleepy village of cottages amongst the woodlands, Highbank Forest was most known for its talented wood-carvers. They fashioned furniture and toys of extraordinary quality and intricate design that were famous across the Realms. Clever merchants snapped these up and sold them to the rich and noble across Faerûn.
Locations[edit | edit source]
A ruined keep stood atop the wooded hill north of town. The villagers did not know that it was once home to a school of wizardry; instead, they remembered it as the base of Lord Wolf, the bandit lord. (In fact, he lived in hiding in an outlying cottage, and only rallied his followers at the keep prior to a raid.) Children sometimes played in and around the old keep.
Amidst the ruins was a deep shaft descending into the underground dungeon levels. The villagers tossed their rubbish and dead animals into the pit, including deceased strangers. However, every one of them, even the children, knew well not to go down the hole. Those who had never returned, bar their screams. Unknown to everyone was the fact that a gibbering mouther lay at the bottom, hungrily awaiting all that fell in. It was trapped in a large central room of the wizardry school, with the three doors leading out blocked by walls of force and a well the only other feature. Beyond these doors remained the belongings of eleven slain apprentice wizards, including spellbooks, incomplete magic items, and spell components, as well as their valuables and personal effects.