This road leads through the Arborian Nation. It begins in the Kingdom of Night and ends in the High King’s palace in Skyeholm. With so much traffic, one never quite knows who one might meet.
Skyeholme (or Skyeholm, as it is sometimes spelled) is the mountain stronghold of High King Ardlanth, who brought peace to Arcadia and united its principal realms. This road was once one of the main thoroughfare’s of Arcadia, linking the Ardlanth’s court with that of his principal vassal, Middlemarch. It ran westwards from Middlemarch’s capital, and met the Grey River in the Kingdom of Night, but then ran towards the north, through the Arborian Nation—the realm of the tree-people, like the Willowtree and Oak-kin—to the mountain kingdom of Ardlanth.
But now the road is scarcely used. The Darkening has fallen over Skyeholme and has frozen the High King and all his subjects to stone. King Ironheart quickly took advantage of the ensuing political chaos. He has long had ambitions to rule the entirety of Arcadia, and built Mechopolis, his industrial capital city, to rival with the palace of Skyeholme. Seizing the opportunity, he sent his Cog troops to conquer the surrounding lands. His forces have already invaded Ardenmore, and he has already conquered the easternmost outposts of the Arborian Nation, destroying its woods to fuel his industries.
Few people still venture into Skyeholme. Rumours of the Darkening have reached Middlemarch and Ardenmore, but none that have since ventured into the High King’s realm have returned.
Skyeholme and its surrounding regions and the story of Ardlanth’s fate were to be the subject of the third Arcadia set, The Lion’s Den, which was never released. We will likely never know for certain what happened at the High King’s court, what the true nature of the Darkening is, or even what Skyeholme, the Kingdom of Night, and the rest of the Arborian nation is like.
One never quite knows who one might meet. How pregnant that phrase is now!