The town of Boresmoor is one that has grown in stature over the years. In its original form, a few thousand years ago, the town was inhabited by the King’s soldiers, the vast majority of whom would journey regularly to neighbouring lands. Whilst the soldiers were away, their families would spend time tending to the town, growing its number of houses, nurturing its greenery and wildlife, and enhancing its amenities. It was therefore not uncommon for a soldier to return to Boresmoor, carrying the physical and psychological fatigue of his or her travels, to find it almost unrecognisable, since it had developed a new-found beauty, one which eventually became embedded within the heart of the town.
Despite not always being present within the town, many of the King’s soldiers were equally responsible for the amelioration of the town. Quite often, the soldiers would develop new skills, which they picked up from their travels, and use them to design objects of great magnificence from wood, metal, stone, and other such materials. It is said that the Boresmoor Gate, a monumental structure wrought from foreign iron and embellished with ancient scriptures and imagery, was in fact the creation of the early inhabitants of the town, and was fashioned to honour the expertise of these men and women as craftspeople. Despite being damaged during times of war, especially during the first of all wars (a battle often referred to as the First), the Gate remains within the town, and continues to stand with elegance and authority.
The tradition of crafting objects is one that has endured within the town, though it is often said that the current generation of craftspeople are quite unskilled when compared to the elder folk (the origins of this claim are unknown, it must be said). Alongside this customary trade, many new trades have also developed. The townspeople have, for example, become skilled in the art of baking, and are renowned across the land for their excellent assortment of breads (the buttercrumb stout bread is a particular favourite of mine).
On top of this, Boresmoor is celebrated for producing some of the finest educators across the land. Unlike its neighbouring settlements (an industrial city and a quiet village), Boresmoor is home to a multiplicity of learned individuals, to whom matters such as science, literature, and mathematics are of great importance. Notwithstanding, there exists certain dark alleys and pockets of the town that are home to more problematic people (as a proud Boresmoorian, I wish not to dwell on this issue). In general, however, the town is populated by many of the kindest folk in the local area, and is always welcoming to travellers from abroad.
Though travellers often come from various locations within the realm, many favour travelling via the Great River, the River Deorn. A vast expanse of water is the Great River, occupying much space on the Southern border of Boresmoor. In elder days it proved to be a great system of defence for the soldiers and their families (though it was rendered somewhat ineffective during the First), and now it functions as a wonderful source of transport for goods and people. Ancient stories suggest the River Deorn is home to a special species of creature, capable of communicating and existing alongside humans and other beings, but it is long since any living person has been able to validate this claim, so it has gently slipped into the category of myth.
Few people ever travel by way of the Path located on the Northern region of the town, yet much excitement and mystery surround the Path, for its origins remain unknown. Some speculate that it is the work of the first generation of Boresmoor, the King’s soldiers, and that it began to expose itself during the time of the First. Others argue that it is the work of elves, the like of which have not been seen for millennia, and that it continues for hundreds of miles. Whether or not either of these claims is true remains a mystery to the people of Boresmoor.
The latter is the more questionable conjecture, for the Path travels through the Forest, Shraknar Forest, a place that Boresmoorians have feared since the First. A fear of what lurks within the Forest, and the dark magic that rules the Forest, keeps people away from its borders. These same fears lead parents to fabricate frightening tales to deter their children from visiting the Forest’s edge. In spite of this, the secrets of the Forest and the allure of its dark magic remain ever-present in the minds of the Boresmoorian people.