The town of Darkhaven
Lady Idrya Haven
Southern Gilneas, Ashen Coast
CURRENLTY INACCURATE, TO BE UPDATED AT A LATER DATE.
Darkhaven is a Gilnean town in the Ashen Coast ancestrally lorded over by the House of Darkwater. The town is secluded and known to be relatively calm and peaceful and is located upon the exit of one of the Ashen Coast' rivers. It is against the coast, surrounded at all sides by a dense forest by the name of the Dusk Thicket.
After Mari died, the entirety of the Barony (Including Darkhaven) was given to the House of Haven.
The history of Darkhaven is intertwined with the forest it rests in. Known as the Dusk Thicket, the forest is a dense woodland area ancestrally believed as sacred by the native pagan peoples that settled along in Gilneas. The thicket, despite being seen as a reliable source for lumber, was left mostly untouched by the denizens of the Range in its early years. Even after the subjugation of Gilneas by the Empire of Arathor, the Old Ways flourished, dominating the perceived capitol of the region, Gregor's Crossing, in terms of worship. Because of this, the Dusk Thicket remained mostly untouched except for religious practice within the woods even after Arathorian rule began and ended. Due to its relatively close proximity to Gregor's Crossing, the area was also seen as a part of the town's land for some time.
War in the Ashen CoastEdit
Following the establishment of the Kingdom of Gilneas, the area of the Ashen Coast experienced a mix of religions. The Bite was full of strong worshipers of the Holy Light, while the northern portion of the Range and the Reach, which were mostly agrarian, were strong supporters of the Old Ways and refused to worship the light. To add further religious confusion, worship of the god Deus was adopted the southern portions of the Range and the Reach. With Bannhurst caught in the center, religious tension broke out within the area. As the strongest family in the area, the Cobalstants believed that Bannhurst should be kept to Light worship, seeking to oust Old Ways worship and especially worship of the god Deus who they believed an extreme affront to their ways and a foreign god with no right to the region.
Chapels to the Light were established in the areas of Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg, and a small cathedral was to be built in Bannhurst. Using stealth tactics and foreign mercenaries, the Cobalstants focused destruction on the towns of Keel Harbor and Brandon's Stead in order to cut down on Deus worship. By 600 F.A., the Ashen Coast' dominant religion was becoming Light worship due to the under handed methods of the Cobalstants and their ruthless behavior towards all who opposed their religion.
In retaliation, an alliance was formed between the two towns by the name of the Ashen Coast Coalition, and rather than pushing for stealthy methods, a direct siege on Bannhurst was preformed in order to severely hurt the Cobalstant's wealth. The assault attracted a large amount of attention to the Ashen Coast by the rest of Gilneas, with other houses silently supporting the Deus worshipers with hopes of displacing the wealthy Cobalstants and establishing some hold in the area for their own gain.
Fearing for their people, who were being caught in the middle of it all, the towns of Rosefield and Gregor's Crossing banded together in an alliance of their own named the Rose Pact, laying siege to Bannhurst in order to displace both the Cobalstants and the Ashen Coast Coalition. The three way war in the city led to a severe decline of Bannhurst's prosperity, with the Cathedral's construction site destroyed and the great gold mine of Bannhurst being left unmanned. Unable to reap the benefits of the Ashen Coast, the armies of Greymane marched into the region, occupying the wreckage of Bannhurst and effectively ending the war. By the end of the strife, Keel Harbor and Brandon's Stead were left in ruins.
The Cobalstants funded the rebuilding of these two towns, establishing chapels of the Light, while the followers of the Old Ways in Rosefield had remained firm in their settlements, even as the Holy Light began to spread. However, in Gregor's Crossing, fearing for their safety, a large amount of the followers of the Old Ways departed from the region. Led by a knightly house under the House of Gregor by the name of House Darkwater, the Old Ways followers departed into the Dusk Thicket. In the aftermath, a faction known as the Wickers were formed by the ousted Old Ways followers. Tracing their bloodlines back to the original pagan peoples of the Ashen Coast, the Wickers refused to acknowledge any of the lords of the land and retreated into the various forests of the Ashen Coast. The only exceptions to this were House Darkoak, House Darkwater, and House Blackmist who all retained their autonomy while recognizing the reigning nobility.
Under Jeremiah Darkwater, the town of Darkhaven was constructed along the end of the river that ran through the Range and spilled out into the sea. With the woods surrounding the town on one side and the shore at the other, the town was virtually invisible to those that did not know of its existence. Naming the town Darkhaven, as it represented safety from the dark times that plagued the Old Ways worshippers, the town flourished under Jeremiah's rule and continued to do so over the years. The town kept a heavy faith on the Old Ways, though wanderers of the woods that found the town had been welcomed. It was not until the construction of a small port within the town that Darkhaven's existence had been made known to the rest of the Ashen Coast, including House Gregor. Rather than treat the wayward town with hostility, the Gregors reached out to Jeremiah who had been a loyal servant of theirs for years, officially creating the Barony of Darkhaven under his family. The Darkwaters swore an oath of allegiance to the Gregors, and in return they were allowed to live in peace within the woods as the Dusk Thicket was remained untouched by eager lumberjacks.
Over time, the House of Darkwater spread, though many would eventually come to leave the small barony in search of adventure. From this time, many of these off shoots of the house changed their name to signify their new beginning.
Seen as one of the most peaceful regions of the Ashen Coast, Darkhaven remained out of most if not all of the wars that plagued the region for hundreds of years. Content to remain within their woods undisturbed, the Darkwaters honored their obligation to House Gregor only when called upon. So dense was the Thicket, even when the Seventh Skull came and raided the Ashen Coast and destroyed Bannhurst, Darkhaven was not phased, protected by their great ironwood trees and the various twists and turns of the forest. It was not until the destruction of Gilneas by the hands of the New Horde that the serenity of Darkhaven was finally disturbed. With the Orcs raiding the Ashen Coast and killing all those in their path, Lord Xavier Gregor called upon the House of Darkwater to honor their obligations to the cause. Riding out to meet them, all five Darkwaters that remained were slaughtered by the Orcs during the repel of the invasion. By the end of the fighting, the last Darkwater had perished in Brandon's Stead, having kept the orcs at bay with his druidic magic.
In the years that would follow, Xavier refused to appoint a new lord of Darkhaven, believing there to be still those of Darkwater blood alive somewhere in Gilneas. Though his search would go unfulfilled within his life time, his son Adrian Gregor finished his father's secret work later on by chance. Having become infatuated with a druidic woman that had been enlisted in the Blades of Greymane by the name of Mariaunna Darkwater, Adrian began to court and later married her. Together they discovered that Mari descended from one of the many off shoots that had departed from the region, one of the few to keep the original name. By right of blood, Adrian appointed Mari as lady of Darkhaven. Together they enjoyed the peace the town had to offer, and they shared a dream of making a family of their own. Arriving in the town, Mari found that the town had been left virtually untouched by the Horde, including the manor in which the old Darkwater family had lived. Though she found it haunting that the home had been filled with portraits of the now deceased, Mari made the manor her own.
The Range RebellionEdit
In 1145 F.A., Sir Oliver Gregor returned from Kalimdor. Though he was hailed as a returning hero, something had caused Oliver to rebel against his once beloved brother Adrian, immediately taking the town of Darkhaven under his control. Through various twists of fate, Mari was captured by Oliver and held against her will within her own home in Gregor's Crossing. Though the two conversed at length, Mari believing her husband to be in the right, things nearly turned against Adrian when she was convinced to speak to him on Oliver's behalf. This meeting later turned into an ambush by unknown forces that nearly killed the Marcher Lord and his wife. Darkhaven suffered minimal damage in the aftermath of the occupation, the various fields of crops that had been planted had been reaped of their harvest by the occupying soldiers and minor structural damage had occurred in the fighting to reclaim the town. Following the end of the Rebellion, Mari went out in search of finding trade agreements within Stormwind to repair the minor damage done to her township, hoping to return the serenity that had been lost.
Once the homes had been rebuilt, she split the workers into two tasks. Half began work on walls to protect the town, to keep from any such rebellions from affecting her people to such an extent. The other half, those most skilled in working the earth by profession or by their allure to nature, began to rebuild the vast oasis of gardens that had been depleted. As their wall was completed, she began to train the people in ways to work the spoils of the fields into goods that could be exported. Where they had an abundance of food, it was sent to Gregor’s Crossing to aid in the rebuilding efforts there.
Rough textiles turned to finer exports as the villagers of Darkhaven honed their craft, and the coffers slowly began to fill. As Lady Darkwater found that her town was thriving, she knew she had to protect that which she had built. She asked of her people to volunteer, to form a small force to safeguard the town and its people. With just 10 bodies, mostly women, the Watchers of Darkhaven were born. She continued working with her connections in Stormwind, procuring rarer seeds and plants with which to work in the rich soil. At the time of the second rebellion, two ships per week left the small port with exports of various dyes, silk and enchanted weaves.
House of Haven Edit
With the ascension of Idrya Haven to Baroness of the Dusk Thicket, Darkhaven was suddenly put through a series of changes. From the disbanding and refounding to the Watchers, to the development of a port of the coast, the residents found themselves with plenty to do.
The Watchers Reformed Edit
Idrya Haven re-established the Watchers of Darkhaven and provided better training and equipment. She made the order exclusively women who are proficient with a bow, dual-blades and are capable of subtlety.
Darkhaven Port Edit
The Darkhaven Port is a new project brought forth by Idrya Haven and approved by Lord Adrian Gregor. The main buildings and the piers were completed a few months after the project began. It is made of stone and wood shaped by the druids of Darkhaven.