Nentir Vale

PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE NENTIR VALE

Regardless of where you are from, this is where you are now. The info below is what anybody living in the Nentir Vale knows about the environs. The largest towns are Fallcrest and Hammerfell. All are marked on the Nentir Vale map.

Fallcrest and environs

The town of 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. Most travelers band together for safety.

The Nentir Vale is a mid-to-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 warm but not overly hot.

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. Interesting locales in the Nentir Vale are described below:

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.

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 the Seven Kingdoms were established. 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, but most people consider the area taboo.

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. By reputation, 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 goblin stronghold called Daggerburg lies somewhere in the southwest reaches. 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 tend to 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 said to be a just and compassionate ruler.

Keep on the Shadowfell

Long ago, soldiers built a strong fortress to protect the region from the threats to its people. The old keep lies in ruins now, though it is rumored to be a goblin lair. Several years ago a wizard sought to reopen an old portal to the Shadowfell under the keep, but he was defeated by a party of mercenary adventurers.

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.

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.

Temple of Yellow Skulls

The ruins of an evil shrine stand in the middle of these desolate hills. Legend tells that, at the outset of the invasion, 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.

Thunderspire

This striking peak is the largest of the Old Hills. Merchants passing along the Trade Road sometimes take shelter here. The mountain contains a trading post that serves as a conduit between the strongholds of the underdark and the communities in the Vale. Traders here soon end up either rich or dead.

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.

Nentir Vale

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