When the elves settled down in the forests of Avalonia they avoided Darkwood forest. The few man who had a chance to talk with the elves could sometimes hear them talk about an evil shadow lying over the forest found in the middle of the East Region. Truth is that during the years before the Avalonians came on thundering into the land on their mighty horses the area of Woodward was chaotic and life there was really hard. But on a first glance nothing seemed to justify the fear of the elves.
People lived in small villages in this area and mainly worked as woodcutters, carpenters and hunters. However nobody dared to enter deep into the forest. They made sure to leave the forest with the last sunlight and only few returned who missed to do so. Those who returned lost their memories of what happened in the forest and more than often they woke up screaming and bathed in sweat during the night. However as long as one kept out of the forest after dark could struggle on with their miserable life.
It was in one of these little villages that a mysterious old woman arrived. She claimed to be the widow of an old merchant and after her husbands death she left her home to leave all the memories behind. Since she was wealthy and seemed nice to the townsfolk people welcomed her to stay. The old woman called Martha bought the biggest house in the village and hired workers to bring it in a good shape. With the arrival of Martha every day seemed less worse than the day before and even the forest seemed to become less frightening. The workers hired by Martha from other villages settled down here and this settlement become to grow and flourish.
Martha turned her house into a tavern. More and more foreigners came to visit and of course they stayed at Martha’s tavern. The people named their village Marthaville as they didn’t forget the cange she was bringing.
As days went by Marthaville became the biggest settlement in the area. More and more people travelled through. It was no surprise that nobody noticed if sometimes one of them disappeared. It took awhile until the first people noticed that Martha seemed to become younger. With time the mysterious disappearance of travelers was noticed by some of the more suspicious people. Some of them started to wonder how that old woman that once arrived could still be alive. It didn’t took much to find a link…
What happened in the next few days belongs to the darkest days of Avalonia. When the people gathered to question Martha she didn’t waste any time. Some of the few survivors of that day claim that she summoned a pack of huge black spiders that poisoned and killed everybody who gathered in front of her tavern to question her. A rule of terror followed. Of course the rumors spread out and visitors stayed away from Marthaville. Marthas true personality poisoned the land like the spiders did their victims. With the lack of travelers to devour Martha raised a death tax. Every month the village had to send her a human as a sacrifice.
At the time when the remaining population lost all its hope and faith a group of mounted man arrived lead by a nobleman called Mephistopheles. Martha opened her taverns door and all her victims that were sent to her as a sacrfifice swarmed out being turned into half-man-half-spider creatures.
But they couldn’t withstand the steel of the Avalonians. At the peak of the battle Martha cast a poisonous fog around the tavern that forced the heroic man to retreat. But she didn’t anticipate that not everybody of her enemies were humans. A young werewolf warrior called Rufus whom the poison could do no harm rushed into the tavern with his large axe and soon he returned with Martha’s head. After Martha’s death the people of Marthaville wanted to burn her tavern down, but Mephistopheles stood up and told the people that the time of destruction has ended. From now on an era of construction and prosperity will begin and he promised that he will clean the area of all evil. From this day on he was known as Lord Mephistopheles. One of his first actions was to rename Marthaville into Woodward, since he will ward over Darkwood from here.
Since his new folk was still afraid of the tavern and nobody wanted to sleep in it Lord Mephistopheles refunctioned and rebuild it into a barracks for his men. As time passed by and the entire area flourished under the rule of Lord Mephistopheles he built a new larger barracks. Marthas former house stood empty for a while. Lord Mephistopheles decided to reopen it as a tavern. History is one of Lord Mephistopheles’ favorite discipline so he named it „The Black Widow Inn”. Time healed the wounds and now more and more travelers visit Woodward to spend a night in the Black Widow Inn so that they can brag with their bravery.