The Ghost Trail

There is only one trail connecting the top of the Cliffs of Gent with the valley below and it is known as the Ghost Trail. It was carved out of the craggy face of the cliffs shortly after the people of Old Dames settled the current area of Dames sometime around 475 PM. It was originally designed to act as a main trade route between the growing city of Dames and the cities in the Valley of Gent, but not long after its creation it was all but forgotten. Trade between Dames and FreePort required a trip around the southern rim of the cliffs and south to the city of Limerock; the route from Sayfend in the Valley of Gent to Dames would take no more than a day or two of walking via the Ghost Trail as opposed to a week via the highway to Limerock. Despite the possible time savings, the route was deemed too dangerous to use.

Constructing the pathway was a tremendous feat of engineering and brute force. The rocky face of the cliffs are almost entirely vertical, made of hard stone, and covered in tall crags. It took 5 years to construct the eight-mile path, complete with 15 switchbacks and half a dozen resting nooks. Due to the fragility of the crags and the steepness of the cliffs more than 20 of the 100 workers lost their lives during construction. Even before completion the locals considered the trail to be cursed or haunted, fearing the trail more and more as the body count climbed ever higher. The Cliffs of Gent are believed to have been created by the gods when the Valley of Gent sank beneath the ocean thousands of years ago before rising once again; many of townsfolk felt the curse was still present and the deaths were a reminder that Gent’s wrath had not abated. While the legitimacy of the story can be debated, there is little wonder why the people were so superstitious. Having had their former city decimated by an unknown force after watching friends and family disappear for a year before the attack, the people of Dames turned to the only thing that made sense as a way to explain the curse that seemed to follow them.

20 years after its opening the Ghost Trail was officially closed (though it was rarely used during those 20 years). The people of Dames constructed a wooden barricade around the trail’s opening and created a law banning anyone from using the trail. Though large in anticipation of a steady flow of traffic, there was only a single road leading from Dames to the trail. Since it did not lead anywhere else, the trail was forgotten and soon covered in weeds and grass. By 400 PM the trail was almost forgotten, many of the younger generations never learning about the trail to begin with.

Despite being forgotten and closed, a few brave (and foolish) adventurers attempted to navigate the Ghost Trail. All but a few of the people who attempted to climb or descend the trail were never seen again, their bodies likely vanishing between the tall crags. It is estimated that more than 50 people have gone missing or lost their lives on the trail (excluding those involved with its construction). Though it’s impossible to keep track of everyone who tries to hike the trail, only a handful of people are known to have attempted the feat within the past two decades—none of them were ever seen again.

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