Izwick Bolfador hails from the town of Candlewood, so named for the many festive lanterns that adorn its trees. The town sits under the eastern eves of The Veil, bound to the Vrint-Hammerhall throughway by a single rocky path, and otherwise content in its isolation. Travelers rarely pass through town, with the exception of a few elves making Springtime pilgrimage to Tan Elariel or the occasional errant wizard. It is said that long ago, one such wizard proposed the idea of hanging lanterns in the trees and shared his formula for an inextinguishable pine-resin fuel. Long beleaguered by misty days and dark nights, the halfling residents stuck lanterns in every tree within town limits, fueling their lanterns with vat after vat of pine-resin, which incidentally revolutionized the culinary arts in Candlewood. Of course, Candlewood was called Grimgrove at that time, a name that was promptly changed, along with peoples’ general disposition, outlook on life, and productivity. Today, Candlewood brims with cheery and amicable halflings, most of whom have never left the village and barely fathom the existence of a world outside their warm burrow-homes and wooden shops.

Each Spring equinox, the town throws a sprawling party to celebrate its renaming in which new saplings are planted, fine decorative lanterns are judged in contests, and each villager drinks enough ale to anesthetize a tall dwarf. At the end of the day, a fireworks show exhibits the alchemists’ latest concoctions of colored and reactive pine-resin. The show is quite the spectacle, although on many occasions it has been postponed due to heavy fog, a postponement that can last well into the Summer months.

Candlewood is self-sustaining, as merchants rarely venture to the throughway and never go as far as Vrint or Hammerfall. The average resident possesses an extensive knowledge of the history of Candlewood, ranging from the Dark Age of Grimgrove to the Light Age of early Candlewood, as well as the current Luminous Age, a renaissance in lantern design and fine wooden craftsmanship. Rumor has it that many elves compare the architectural feats of Candlewood to Tan Elariel, although any educated person might guess that these comments are rudely underhanded. Nonetheless, Candlewood boasts three highly-selective schools: one for architecture, another for craftsmanship, and a third for the culinary arts. Top graduates of the architectural school are assigned building projects of communal spaces, while the rest design burrow-homes; a job that pales in comparison.

Because of the medicinal properties of the forest mist, plants that grow on the edge of The Veil have enhanced health-benefits and taste. Chefs are polymaths of their trade, trained to cultivate crops, to lead hunting expeditions across the woodlands, and to forage mushrooms and spices that grow deep within The Veil. Pine-resin allows for a continual, intense source of heat, and Chefs use different species of tinder and chips only for their aroma. It is speculated that Candlewood residents owe their long lives to a quality diet and the air they breathe, two factors that seem to compensate for their inordinate consumption of ale. A few breweries are in tight competition, and each unveils a new beer at the annual Renaming party.

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