The Story of
Annwn (pronounced a-noon according to the local Draznian dialect) is located in the forest known as Blackwode, on the island of Draznia. The forest is so named for its towering oak trees and dark evergreens that all but blot out the sky. The forest floor is a dismal, humid jungle of rotting logs, creeping vines and giant thorn bushes. Passage through Blackwode is limited to obscure lanes or animal trails, and is never without risk.
Rarely is fire ever seen in Blackwode, many of the ancient trees have grown powerful from having spent centuries drinking up the residual magic of Draznia. The creatures of Blackwode are varied, ranging from harmless herbivores to huge grizzled bears. Orcs and tree goblins are not uncommon. They are wont to hide in the foliage and pick off adventurers, one by one. There are magical glades of such unearthly beauty where a weary wanderer might lay down, intending to rest for only a moment, then awake to find that a decade has passed in dream amongthe sweet scented grasses. And somewhere in the Black Forest is the lost city of Annwn, where may be found the Sword of Light.
Annwn was not always thus: a phantom city located in a dark, lurid forest of overgrown vegetation. Once, Annwn was a bright place, populated by friendly folk with sparkling eyes, quick to share a laugh or to help shoulder a burden, typical of their Draznian ancestry. Draznians are also curious by nature, which explains in part their affinity for the magical arts and the large number of wizards that are born Draznian.
Ydmos was a wizard of no small skill, and his curiosity led him down dark roads more akin to necromancy than to his own native arts. As his power grew, so did his pride, and he built himself a high tower in the center of Loch Glyness, near the town of Annwn.
There was more to Ydmos' choice of building sites than just an appreciation of the area's inherent charm. Annwn represented a ready source of victims for his increasingly frequent excursions into the realm of necromancy. There lay in the town square of Annwn, a powerful talisman of Law, a shining steel greatsword sunk to its haft in a block of granite. The seers proclaimed that the greatsword lay there in wait for an unknown warrior of exceptional kindness and virtue.
Gradually Ydmos sapped the vitality of Annwn as a spider might drink the fluids of a fly. Men, women, and children disappeared in the night, never to be seen again. The waters of the loch grew black and fetid. Crops failed and the sheltering forest became dark and forbidding. Monstrous shapes could be seen moving in the shadows between the trees, and the wailing of the banshee was heard nightly. Then Ydmos' ambition revealed itself.
His goal was not the ruination of Annwn, rather he wondered whether the Sword could be turned inside-out, from Law to Evil, and in the process, whether he could transform himself from man to immortal god. On a moonlit night, in the Fall of the year, a huge ball of light sprang from the inner heart of Blackwode and a great spinning vortex appeared in the sky: a whirling, spinning,lightning filled column of smoke that was seen as far away as Caer Banung on the northern coast.
When morning came, all was as it was before on the island of Draznia, but Blackwode was somehow more sinister. Travelers who entered the forest came out insane or not at all. Eventually, everyone avoided Blackwode entirely, except for an occasional band of adventurers in search of fame and fortune. News of Annwn and Ydmos ceased altogether, swallowed up by the forest. Some say that the gods finally punished Ydmos for his evil ways, and his audacity.
Others speculate that Ydmos did succeed in becoming more than man and that he lurks in his tower, formulating plans for conquest and dreaming of the day when the world shall know him as its master.