During the ages before the coming of orc, man, elf, or dwarf, there were the trees, great and sovereign lords of creation, dwarved only by the staggering might of the mountains, or the powerful expanse of the sea. The sun shone down on the elder trees, and they drank from the primal rivers, and in those days, the gods still walked in living form across the face of the world, singing and dancing as they had not yet lost their innocence or faced that evil that would come forth from within their own ranks. It was a halcyon time, eldritch and bright with the energy of untamed youth.
The trees heard the songs, and laughter and mirth of the gods, and were made happy by the sound. They trees would whisper the songs to one another, while others would move their stiff branches in time with the songs, remembering the dance of the gods, lithe and beautiful. Some trees, wise and gifted among their wooden kin, learned to come out of the ground, and to lift their branches to the sun, and lay their leafy crowns close to the ground, and laughed great booming laughs, and to sing the songs, and they were joyous days.
But such things were not fated to last. The time of the peace of the gods was long, and millenia passed, it would all come to an end. There was the first coming, and a new life bloomed. They were the elves, and in terrible quick succession, there followed the squat and unlovely dwarves, quick and passionate humans, and ever burning orcs. The gods fled from the earth to hide away from the comings of the mortal races. They still laughed, and danced, but held themselves away, the glens and copses were abandoned for the height of the mountaintops, where ice, and cold, and stone held dominion. Gone were the soft days of green moss, and cool streams, and the song of the wind in the trees.
The elves came and were minor nuisances. They too sang, and danced, and were merry, but their song was a sad, and weak thing compared to the pure music of the gods, and the trees, ancient and no longer sovereign were discontent. The dwarves came, clad in metal, bearing axes hungry for the wood of the trees to fuel their forges, and the trees were angered.
Men and orcs too came. Axes rang in the Deepening Gloom, though it held not that name then. The trees were roused, and showed that they too had learned from these newcomers, these hewers of wood with their cruel and uncaring blades.
The camps of men, and orc, and dwarf were laid low. The trees moved, and roared, and men called them demons, and ents, and treants and they were afraid. The earth was fed their blood, and the trees drank of the crimson feast, and their bark grew dark, and the limbs hard and heavy. The canopy grew thick, and the sun was blotted out by it.
The land was angry, it gathered itself, and closed it’s roads and withdrew its hospitality. The trails were cramped, and the life grew accordingly dark to survive in that place were the gods once danced. The trees now sing a new song, one of their own device. They sing of the loss of their kind, of the twilight of the gods, and the pain of the low races.
The Deepening Gloom is a dark and ancient forest, inhabited by brooding ents, and spry dryads and forest spirits. It is an unhappy place abandoned by the elves, and called forsaken, or haunted by men and orc. Those who enter its domain are advised to travel quickly, and with great care for the land.