Tales of the Iron Ring
Before the time of the Nerath Empire, the area known as the Nentir Vale was a thinly settled borderland contested by two rival nations of ancient power: the dragonborn realm of Arkhosia to the east of the Dawnforge Mountains, and the tiefling empire of Bael Turath on the western side of the Stonemarch.
Following the great war and cataclysmic earthquake which destroyed both nations, the vale remained home to quarrelsome human hill-chieftans and remote realms of non-humans such as dwarves and elves. Four centuries or so passed and the area came under the influence of Nerath. While never heavily settled, it continued to serve as the empire’s northern frontier until “Old Nerath” fell into ruin over a century ago.
The vale is now mostly empty, with a handfull of living villages and towns scattered over a 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 a few miles away from one of the surviving settlements. Travel along the roads or river is usually safe. But every now and then, travellers 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. Rainfall in the spring is plentiful and scattered during the summer and autumn seasons.
GEOGRAPHYThe “clear” parts of the vale 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.