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 The Nentir Vale

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Dean

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PostSubject: The Nentir Vale   Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:21 pm

The Nentir Vale:

Fallcrest lies near the middle of the broad borderland
region known as the Nentir Vale. The vale is
now mostly empty, with a handful of living villages
and towns scattered over this wide area. Abandoned
farmsteads, ruined manors, and broken keeps litter
the countryside. Bandits, wild animals, and monsters
roam freely throughout the vale, threatening anyone
who fares more than few miles away from one of the
surviving settlements. Travel along the roads or river is
usually safe—usually. But every now and then, travelers
come to bad ends between towns.
The Nentir Vale is a northern land, but it sees relatively
little snow—winters are windy and bitterly cold.
The Nentir River is too big to freeze except for a few
weeks in the coldest part of the year. Summers are
cool and mild.
The “clear” parts of the map are covered in mixed
terrain—large stretches of open meadowland, copses
of light forest, gently rolling hills, and the occasional
thicket of dense woodland and heavy undergrowth.
The downs marked on the map are hilly grassland,
with little tree cover. The hills are steeper and more
rugged, and include light forest in the valleys and
saddles between the hilltops.

Fiveleague House
Fiveleague House is more properly known as the Fiveleague
Inn. It’s a strongly built innhouse surrounded
by a wooden palisade. Fiveleague House caters to
travelers and merchants coming or going from Hammerfast,
a day’s journey (five leagues) farther east. The
proprietor is a big, bearlike human named Barton.

Gardmore Abbey
The Gardbury Downs take their name from this
striking ruin, a large monastery that has lain in ruins
for almost one hundred fifty years. The abbey was
dedicated to Bahamut and served as the base of a
militant order of paladins who won great fame fighting
in Nerath’s distant crusades. As the story goes,
the paladins brought a dark artifact back from a far
crusade for safekeeping, and evil forces gathered to
assault the abbey and take it back. Extensive dungeons
lie beneath the ruins, which might still conceal the
hoarded wealth of the old crusading paladins.

The Sword Barrow
This large burial mound stands near the middle of
the Gray Downs, a desolate region. The old human
hill-clans who lived in the Vale raised the barrow
centuries before civilized folk settled in Fallcrest. The
hill-folk are long gone, but their grim barrows remain.
The Sword Barrow gained its name because scores of
rusted blades of ancient design are buried around its
edges, blades pointing inward; a visitor can turn up
several in a few minutes of looking around.

Hammerfast
A dwarven hold cut from the rock of a deep vale in
the Dawnforge Mountains, Hammerfast is the largest
and wealthiest town in the region. The Trade Road
runs through the citadel gates and continues eastward
beyond the Dawnforge Mountains. Hammerfast is
governed by a council of masters, each the leaders of
one of the town’s powerful guilds. The current High
Master is the leader of the merchant guild, a dwarf
named Marsinda Goldspinner. The dwarves of Hammerfast
look to their own first and don’t give away
anything for free, but they are honest and industrious.

Harken Forest
This large woodland stretches from the Nentir River
to the mountains and extends for miles to the south.
It separates the Nentir Vale from the more populous
coastal towns of the south. A strong goblin keep called
Daggerburg lies somewhere in the southwest reaches,
not too far from Kalton Manor; the goblins sometimes
raid the river-traffic moving along the Nentir, or send
small parties of marauders to Harkenwold’s borders.
An elf tribe known as the Woodsinger Clan roams
the eastern portions of the forest. They occasionally
trade with the humans of Harkenwold and keep an
eye on travelers along the old King’s Road. They have
a long-standing feud with the Daggerburg goblins,
and the goblins keep to the western parts of the forest
to avoid swift and deadly elven arrows. However, the
goblins are growing more numerous and have become
bolder in recent months.

Harkenwold
Half a dozen small villages lie along the upper vales of
the White River. Together, they make up the Barony
of Harkenwold—a tiny realm whose total population is
not much greater than Fallcrest’s. The people of Harkenwold
are farmers, woodcutters, and woodworkers;
little trade comes up or down the old King’s Road.
The ruler of Harkenwold is Baron Stockmer, an
elderly man who was known for his strong sword arm
in his youth. He is a just and compassionate ruler.

Kalton Manor
Back in the days when Nerath was settling the Nentir
Vale, minor lords in search of land to call their own
established manors and holds throughout the area.
Kalton Manor was one of these, a small keep raised by
Lord Arrol Kalton about two hundred years ago. Lord
Arrol intended to settle the lower vale of the White
River, but it was not to be—monsters from the Witchlight
Fens drove off the tenants Arrol had brought with
him. At the end, Arrol and a handful of his servants
and family lived alone in a half-finished keep slowly
falling into ruin until they disappeared as well. Stories
tell of hidden treasure—the old Kalton fortune—hidden
in secret chambers beneath the ruined keep.

Keep on the Shadowfell
Long ago, soldiers from Nerath built a strong fortress
over the Shadowfell rift to protect it. The old keep
lies in ruins now, and a new generation of cultists has
secretly taken up residence here. They seek to undo
the magical wards sealing the Shadowfell rift and
open the way for undead horrors.

Kobold Hall
Like Kalton Manor, the wreck now known locally as
Kobold Hall was the estate of a minor lord who came
to Nentir Vale to establish his own demesnes. Ruined
during the Bloodspear War, the old castle has been
abandoned for almost a century. Kobold tribes from
the Cloak Wood now lurk in its depths.

Nenlast
This tiny human village lies at the east end of Lake
Nen. The folk here make a meager living by trading
smoked fish to the dwarves of Hammerfast. They also
deal with the Tigerclaw barbarians of the Winterbole
Forest. When the wild folk choose to trade, they come
to Nenlast to barter their pelts and amber for good
dwarven metalwork.

Raven Roost
This small keep stands at the southern end of the Old
Hills. Once it was the seat of a small manor, but it fell
into ruin long ago and has recently been taken over
by a gang of bandits. The leaders of the bandits are
a trio of shadar-kai named Samminel, Erzoun, and
Geriesh.

Ruins of Fastormel
Once a prosperous town on the shores of Lake Nen,
Fastormel was destroyed by the Bloodspear orcs and
has never been resettled. The town was ruled by a
Lord Mage (the most powerful wizard in town claimed
the ruler’s scepter), and the Mistborn Tower of the last
Lord Mage still stands amid the ruins of the town. The
tower is shrouded in a strange silver mist that never
dissipates, no matter what the weather would otherwise
dictate.

The Stonemarch
A rugged land of stony hills and deep gorges cut by
white-rushing rivers, the Stonemarch is home to tribes
of dangerous humanoids and giants. Orcs, ogres,
giants, and trolls haunt the farther reaches of these
barren lands. Fortunately for the residents of the vale,
the monsters rarely come east over the Cairngorm
Peaks. A great orc-warren known as the Fanged Jaws
of Kulkoszar lies in the northern part of the wasteland;
here the chief of the Bloodspear tribe rules over hundreds
of the fierce warriors.

Temple of Yellow Skulls
The ruins of an evil shrine stand in the middle of
these desolate hills. Legend tells that a rakshasa prince
summoned demons to this place and bound them
to his service by imprisoning their vital essences in
gold-plated human skulls. None of these have yet been
recovered from the ruins, but the story persists. Deep
caverns beneath the ruins lead all the way down to the
Underdark, and from time to time dangerous monsters
of the deep places emerge here and prowl the
nearby lands.

Thunderspire
This striking peak is the largest of the Old Hills.
Beneath Thunderspire lies the ancient minotaur city
of Saruun Khel. The minotaur kingdom fell almost a
hundred years before Fallcrest was established, when
a struggle for succession led to a vicious civil war. In
the upper halls of the minotaur city the mysterious
order of wizards known as the Mages of Saruun have
established a secretive stronghold; merchants passing
along the Trade Road sometimes take shelter here.

Winterhaven
Hard under the Cairngorms at the west end of the
Nentir Vale lies the remote town of Winterhaven. Like
Fallcrest, Winterhaven is a small town surrounded by
a few miles of farmland and pastures.
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Dean

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Age : 35

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Current Character Name: The DM
Hit Dice: 99
XP to Next Level:
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PostSubject: Map   Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:24 pm

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Dean

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Posts : 186
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Age : 35

Character sheet
Current Character Name: The DM
Hit Dice: 99
XP to Next Level:
0/0  (0/0)

PostSubject: Town Of Fallcrest   Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:25 pm

Fallcrest
Fallcrest stands amid the Moon Hills at the falls of the
Nentir River. Here travelers and traders using the old
King’s Road that runs north and south, the dwarven
Trade Road from the east, and the river all meet. The
surrounding ridges shelter several small valleys where
farmers and woodsfolk live; few are more than six or
seven miles from the town. In general the people outside
Fallcrest’s walls earn their living by farming or
keeping livestock, and the people inside the walls are
artisans, laborers, or merchants. People with no other
prospects can make a hard living as porters, carrying
cargo from the Lower Quays to the Upper Quays (or
vice versa).
Fallcrest imports finished goods from the larger
cities downriver and ironwork from the dwarf town
of Hammerfast, and exports timber, leather, fruit,
and grain. It also trades with the nearby town of Winterhaven.
The surrounding hills hold several marble
quarries that once produced a good deal of stone, but
the area has little demand for ornamental stone these
days, and only a few stonecutters still practice their
trade.
Fallcrest
A small town built from the ruins of a larger city, Fallcrest is
the crossroads of the Nentir Vale.
Population: 1,350; another 900 or so live in the countryside
within a few miles of the town. The people of Fallcrest are
mostly humans, halflings, and dwarves. No dragonborn or
eladrin are permanent residents, but travelers of all races
pass through on occasion.
Government: The human noble Faren Markelhay is the Lord
Warden (hereditary lord) of the town. He is in charge of
the town’s justice, defense, and laws. The Lord Warden
appoints a town council to look after routine commerce
and public projects.
Defense: The Fallcrest Guard numbers sixty warriors (see
the accompanying statistics block), who also serve as
constables. Moonstone Keep is their barracks. The Lord
Warden can call up 350 militia at need.
Inns: Nentir Inn; Silver Unicorn. The Silver Unicorn is pricier
and offers better service; the Nentir Inn sees a more
interesting clientele.
Taverns: Blue Moon

Fallcrest’s Story
Up until four centuries or so ago, the Moon Hills and
the surrounding Nentir Vale were thinly settled borderlands,
home to quarrelsome human hill-chieftains
and remote realms of nonhumans such as dwarves
and elves. Giants, minotaurs, orcs, ogres, and goblins
plagued the area. Ruins such as those on the Gray
Downs or the ring-forts atop the Old Hills date back
to these days, as do stories of the hero Vendar and the
dragon of the Nentir.
With the rise of the empire of Nerath to the
south, human settlers began to move up the Nentir,
establishing towns such as Fastormel, Harkenwold,
and Winterhaven. A Nerathan hero named Aranda
Markelhay obtained a charter to build a keep at the
portage of the Nentir Falls. She raised a simple tower
at the site of Moonstone Keep three hundred ten years
ago, and under its protection the town of Fallcrest
began to grow.
Over the next two centuries, Fallcrest grew into a
small and prosperous city. It was a natural crossroads
for trade, and the Markelhays ruled it well. When
the empire of Nerath began to crumble about a century
ago, Fallcrest continued to flourish—for a time.
Ninety years ago, a fierce horde of orcs known as the
Bloodspears descended from the Stonemarch and
swept over the vale. Fallcrest’s army was defeated in a
rash attempt to halt the Bloodspears out on Gardbury
Downs. The Bloodspears burned and pillaged Fallcrest
and went on to wreak havoc all across the Nentir
Vale.
In the decades since the Bloodspear War, Fallcrest
has struggled to reestablish itself. The town is a
shadow of the former city; little trade passes up and
down the river these days. The countryside for scores
of miles around is dotted with abandoned homesteads
and manors from the days of Nerath. Once again the
Nentir Vale is a thinly settled borderland where few
folk live. This is a place in need of a few heroes.
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