Once a lush and beautiful land known as the Eastern Marches the region called The Blight is now several hundred miles of razor sharp rocks, volcanic ash, desolate ruins and acidic vapor. It is often said that no one enters the blight without good reason and It is only populated by the most foul of creatures. Over the years it has become home to roaming hoards of orcs that plunder the many ruins found in it’s barren landscape but most fearsome of all is the presence of the purple worms that live there. Capable of swallowing a horse and rider whole, these terrible creatures seem to number in the hundreds and move about under the surface undetected until they erupt from the ground and lay waste to all who encounter them.
In the year 990 the original Academy of High Magic was established along the East Guard Mountains. Almost immediately the Academy became a source of much debate among the Council of Five and other civic leaders due to the nature of the experiments taking place there. Even the court wizards of the Ravenking showed concern regarding the haphazard and dangerous work that was being conducted at the academy. Unfortunately the concern was too little too late.
In the year 997 a cataclysm rocked the Ravenmarch. Due to the massive destruction created by this event little is truly known about the cause or events leading up to it. What is recorded states that on a warm evening in the month of Eleasis a massive explosion of light and energy was seen coming from area of the academy. This event was reported as far away as the city of Arymm. Following the initial light and shock wave was a rumbling earthquake that lasted for several minutes causing incredible damage to nearly every structure in the March. Some reports believed that it was a dormant volcano erupting due to the fact that it destroyed several of the tallest peaks of the East Guard Mountains. When the violent explosions finally subsided the sky was black with ash and debris and would remain that way for nearly a month.
Reports began to flood into Ravenwatch Citadel about massive destruction to the Eastern Marches. Over night the landscape had become a nightmare wasteland of ash and stone completely unrecognizable to any who saw it. Even more disheartening was the fact that no one who lived in the Eastern Marches seemed to have survived the event. Hundreds of thousands of lives were completely snuffed out in the blink of an eye.
Several hundred Ravenguard were dispatched to the area to search for survivors. Within a week they began to report attacks from orc raiding parties as well as numerous run-ins with even more foul creatures. Finally after a month of heavy casualties the Ravenguard returned to the March with nothing to show for their sacrifice.
Since the cataclysm that caused The Blight very little is truly known about the region. Not unlike the Shadowgate Forest, The Blight is shunned by most of the residents of Ravenmarch. Unless someone has a very good reason to enter into The Blight most sane people have written it off as a dangerous and forbidden land.
In 1001 the Black Tower was constructed along the ruined cliffs of the East Guard Mountains. A massive fortress that houses hundreds of Ravenguard who are constantly vigilant of any danger that might try to enter the March by way of the mountain pass. On occasion the Ravenguard will send scouting parties into The Blight but even these parties rarely venture very far into the region. Most of them never loose sight of the Black Tower and even these parties are sometimes killed by the creatures who live within The Blight.
On rare occasions a group of foolish adventures will attempt to brave the horrors of The Blight however most of these parties turn back after less than a mile into the wasteland and more often then not they return fewer in number than when they departed.
Over the years the region has become increasingly dangerous. So much so in fact that the Ravenqueen has ordered the construction of a massive stone wall in the pass between the Black Tower and the mountains to the south. However construction has been slow due to a number of factors. Primarily being the lack of workers willing to go near The Blight as well as the wet and dangerous terrain that the wall is to be constructed on.