Established some 400 years ago, when the forest was already in the throes of corruption, the city of Scholomance was a venture of the rich lumber merchant family, the Barovs. Seeing a land that was rich with untouched timber, the Barovs formed a small settlement in the area, relocating a modest sized group of workers and their families. Once their keep was completed, Lord Alexi Barov and his wife, Lady Illucia, moved to the town, along with their children, Jandice and Weldon.
Life was not easy in the Shadowlands, and they found themselves facing unexpected adversaries in the inhabitants of the forest. Many of these once good creatures had been twisted into dark and terrible forms by the Blood Curse that lay on the land. Still, the Barovs pressed onwards, taking refuge with the townsfolk in their finely constructed keep, and weathering the assaults. More workers began to make the dangerous trek to Scholomance- though the work was dangerous, it was profitable. One such arrival was Varidus Gandling, an ambitious and handsome man.
Gandling soon caught the eye of Jandice Barov, and through her worked his way into the Barov’s good graces. Soon he had a permanent home in the keep, and on his suggestion, the Barovs began to expand the vaults and crypts beneath their home. As time passed, the family became secretive, and more withdrawn from their workers. The family estate was closed to the townspeople- though few occasionally entered, they were never seen coming out. Reports began to circulate in town of spectral sightings of missing townsfolk- suspicious and frightened, the remaining villagers marched on the keep, demanding answers.
They were met not by the Barovs, but by Gandling. Promising to explain everything, he invited them in to the keep- and they were never seen again. Over the following centuries, the town and keep fell into ruin, empty and abandoned, save for the dark workings that took place in the catacombs. The town was largely forgotten, though those involved in the darkest realms of magic have heard whispered rumors of a school, devoted to the ancient forbidden art of necromancy, located in the ruins of the old town. Few have ventured to that place, and fewer have returned to speak of it.
As for Gandling himself, reports pieced together seem to suggest he runs the school, under the title of Darkmaster. He appears to still be in his prime, as if time has stopped for him. What purpose drew him to Scholomance remains unknown, though theories abound. Stories of a devotion to the Slain God circulate, threads of tales concerning an ancient artifact…and, more recently, the involvement of a certain black dragon…