In the midst of a dark, twisted forest as old as the world stands the abandoned city of Cendriane, its crystal towers rising through the treetops like polished skeletal fingers emerging from the earth. The city’s desolate streets sprawl through the wood, creating a unique harmony between nature and the ruins of civilization.
Natives of the forest surrounding Cendriane believe that this place, once the most radiant of eladrin realms, is cursed. Ages ago, the longest battle of the bloody war between the eladrin and the drow took place here, and ever since, Cendriane has known no birdsong, no signs of life, nothing but the pall of silence surrounding the city’s perfectly preserved architecture. Giant spiders, displacer beasts, and owlbears make their lairs in mansions where noble eladrin once dwelled, and sometimes by night terrifying specters drift through the streets.
During your time on the outskirts, you have accumulated a variety of lore regarding the city within the wood. One rumor suggests that the elders of your settlement belong to an order that is dedicated to preventing outsiders from entering the ruined metropolis. Another story claims that the elders are charged with keeping something dangerous contained within the dark forest.
Outlaws and exiles eke out solitary lives in the wood, but they rarely last long. Eventually, rumors of fabulous wealth still unclaimed in Cendriane reach their ears, and they go out in search of ancient libraries stocked with eldritch scrolls and treasure maps, or they try to find vaults hidden beneath the city that are said to be filled with gold and magic. Such explorers seldom return.
Once the most radiant city of the eladrin, Cendriane was the site of the longest and most vicious battle of the wars between eladrin and drow. Now the entire city-state is a dark, twisted forest, haunted by terrible specters. In the center of this wilderness lies Cendriane itself, a cursed ruin whose magnificent crystal towers stand silent and empty.
Cendriane is larger than any other eladrin city, yet is utterly abandoned by its former residents. Although many sections of Cendriane have been completely reclaimed by the forest, large swaths of the city center are devoid of life. Walking down the open streets of Cendriane, with the only sound among the intact bone-white mansions being the traveler’s own footsteps, is disconcerting. No birdsong or breeze disturbs the mournful silence. These eerily preserved, museum-like areas are pockmarked by charred craters a hundred yards across. The arcane havoc that vaporized these buildings was powerful enough to scatter ten-ton shards of white stone high into the air, and many of them continue to float there, eerily silent. For explorers brave enough to scale the towers of Cendriane, it is not uncommon to force open a door some fifteen stories high and find one of these fragments jutting through the outer wall. One thing is clear: The destructive power unleashed here was unrivaled in all the Feywild.
Cendriane may be silent, but it is not empty. Giant spiders have taken up residence in many of the upper towers, spinning webs between the spires. Fey panthers lay in wait in the shadowed, shattered street-level doorways. A pack of displacer beasts stalks the Avenue of the Gods. The great Central Glade has returned to the wild, and it is now home to a particularly vicious circle of dryads. In the winding catacombs of the city, undead nest. A tragic eladrin vampire lord named Kannoth rules here, master of a bloodthirsty cult lurking beneath the earth. Some sages also believe that the creature that ravaged Cendriane was never destroyed, but instead remains imprisoned beneath the city vaults.
Despite its isolation and reputation, Cendriane sees its share of visitors. Incredible secrets were buried in Cendriane when it fell. Magic artifacts of unmatched power still lie in collapsed vaults. Maps to legendary lands sit on the shelves of the Great Library. Even the most modest dwelling in Cendriane yields treasures left behind by eladrin who fled during the holocaust. Such opportunities are too tempting for many creatures of the fey. At any given time, Cendriane may play host to small squads of drow arcanists, eladrin rangers on a rescue mission, quickling spies of a local fomorian king, and mortal adventurers, all unaware of each other as they explore the ruined, sprawling metropolis.