There is little denying that the Middle-Kingdoms of Eem have been inherited by rapscallions, scallywags, brutes, knaves, hooligans, hoods, and fiends. Bandits loot caravans along the Tyrant’s Highway, beasts haunt the northern hills and moors, and green-skinned, snaggle toothed denizens of the dark enjoy nearly unchallenged bureaucratic dominion. Yet though the Dungeon Era has hewn an immovable block from the monolith of history, the embers of a kinder age have not yet been entirely extinguished.
Pockets of Folk still dwell in the eastern valleys, wooded glens, and rolling hillsides. They humbly practice age-old trades of smithing and masonry, living peacefully off the land as their fore-bearers had in generations past. Hamlets speckle the Knolls of Wade, from the weaving rills of Hedgewater Mabel to the twifflemoot fields of Buttonhollow, stretching all the way to the west sea at Harp’s Edge, where merchants and privateers still dare the treacherous straits of Theraf.
On rare occasions, gnomes and fairies stray from Dingledell to sew ribbons of lavender and marigolds around the sickly limbs of trees in the Grimly Wood. Their faint songs and fiddle strings can be heard on moonlit nights and starry mornings throughout even the least traveled woods. And though the traces of their goodwill is often eroded by foul creatures slinking and croaking from their black and muddy hovels, a gnome can never be discouraged, and will for a hundred years return to plant and sing.
Indeed, the world of Eem has seen better times. But, those better times will not be soon forgotten, so long as folk continue to weave their songs.