The Malentir Vale
The People of Malentir Vale
While the town itself would count a population under 30 at the best of times, it is made up of well over 300 people who make their way in the farms that circle the small trading village. It is headed by the dwarf Vorgar who built his estate in the Vale many years ago after earning his wealth prospecting in lands to the East. Due to Vorgar establishing exclusive trading routes with Stoneanvil Fortress and barbarian tribes from the icy north in conjunction with the fertile lands that surround his home, farmers started settling down, banding together for protection and profit and the town was formed. Named for a massive white stone that stands 5 metres tall a short way from Vorgar’s estate.
The exclusive trade routes has helped Vorgar amass a fortune that could buy and sell many a noble in Erathon, while many a merchant has attempted to undercut the dwarf, none of these attempts has met with success which has further fuelled the greed directed by some corners of the Vale towards Vorgar and the people of Whitestone.
Delvers End is a rough, uncultured place due to its citizenry being composed predominately of miners who make their living from the two large mines that border the town. Strongly muticultural, where the measure of a man is determined by the amount of rock he can haul and the luck of his pick’s strike, a varied group call this place home, dwarves, warforged, eladrin, minotaur, halflings, a hobgoblin and kobold or two all work side by side in the hope that today will be the day they strike a life’s riches. The other side of Delverstown is the Trading Houses, a necessary evil as it is them who pay the miners for their discoveries and onsell them through the trade networks. The competition amongst the Trading Houses for Erathon’s business has led to many a merchant wishing for the safety of the mines with its rockfalls, cave-ins and dark places as opposed to the brightly lit corridors and velvet drapes which hide much greater dangers for the unwary. Leader: Mining Union (5 elected officials)
Based on the banks of the Talarynn River, Lakeview is a tranquil town that many halflings of the Vale call home. Fishing is the pasttime and vocation of its inhabitants, hauling in plentiful loads of the wide variety of fish that swim the waters as well as the yellow tortoise which is regarded as a local delicacy. Apart from the occassional trading boats of the Lizardmen tribes to the southwest which brings a pleasant disruption to the days activities, one day is very much the same as the other in Lakeview. The Reed Maw is a legendary monster said to stalk the waters of the Talarynn, though truth be told most sightings of the great beast are on the sign that adorns the tavern of the same name. Leader: Town Council (3 elected officials representing the human, halfling and elvish population).
Grey crumbling walls greet the visitor to Erathon, the largest city of Malentir Vale. Named for the God of Civilization, Erathon approrpiately houses a much more civilised population greater than Delver’s End and Lakeview combined. The town itself is a civilised affair, containing the merchants and comforts one would expect in any large town. A number of mages guilds and secret societies of magic make their home here, the most notable being the House of Cabrion, the passage of their golden robes usually heralding the discovery of items of great power. The winds of change have recently swept through the two centuries old city with the Baron leading the charge for a united Vale under Erathon control. With his nobles, Baron Randolf Calmark has been approaching the other cities and villages with offers of protection in return for tribute, until lately these requests were denied, but with constant bandit attacks and worse, the guards of Erathon accompanied by their Judges and Enforcers are becoming a more common sight throughout the Vale. Leader: Baron Calmark
Home to the Stoneanvil dwarves, the fortress is being heralded as the return to greatness for the whole Dwarven race. Winning their ancestral home back from the Chaos Dwarves in recent times, Thol-Kargok (Axehold) has thrived under the leadership of Thane Garok Stoneanvil and his 5 sons, assisted by the guidance of the great Dwarf Warmage Arnak Spellhammer. While the lower levels were closed off once the fortress was taken, population numbers and dwarvish pride is leading the push for a Deep Expedition to open the second and further floors to the clan. The Dwarves of Stoneanvil keep much to their own company, a small trading party visits Whitestone reguarly to trade with Vorgar for goods the mountains do not provide. The recent introduction of a group of female dwarf warlocks calling themselves the Coven of Tarkul initially raised some eyebrows, but their dedication to the clan has silenced all critics. Leader: Thane Stoneanvil
Court of the Green Lady
The Court of the Green Lady makes its home in the Feywild, far from the tranquil peace of this mystical world described in bard’s tales, the Court is locked in a vicious battle for survival against the Fomorian King Fir Bolog and his Eladrin allies of the Emerald Rose. When not engaged in raids so fierce they threaten to tear the very fabric of the Feywild, the Court is locked in battle of another kind, where the two Wyldwizards Palias and Mineryth hatch political machinations of courtly intrigue which makes the plans of even the most polittically adept Erathon noble look like childsplay. While loyalties might be divided between the nobles of the Court itself, no ones loyalty is questioned when it comes to the Green Lady the court is named for. Lady Elarel leads by example, throwing herself into the fray with her Knight Protector Nalvara and her feyknights in the quest to rid her lands of Fomorian taint forever. Young Eladrin are sent to Malentir Vale to blood themselves for the seemingly endless war in the Feywild. Leader: The Green Lady
This is one of two tribes that most elves in the Vale claim kinship to. Keeping mainly to their tree villages that dot the forests of the Vale the Greensong revere nature and spend most of their time tending and protecting their lands. Led by the Ranger Lord Varan Greensong in the tree village of Belyadrel, it is in part their intervention that keep the towns safe, evil warbands using the woods for cover tend to have a high mortality rate. All is not at peace with the Greensong however, constant attacks by great undead beasts of unknown origin haunt every community, leading to tension and a growing fatalistic worldview. The recent successes of the promising battle captain Lucar killing the warleader of the Bloodarrow orcs and bringing down one of the feared beasts has brought a glimpse of hope to a group of people that is in dire need of it. Leader: Ranger Lord Varan
While the Darkwild are free of undead rampages, they have a number of issues of their own. Cursed by an affliction that causes a number of their people to resemble their hated Drow cousins, the Darkwild suffer from a greater fatalistic view then even the Greensong. Those not effected by the dark curse still appear different, their shorter stature and tendency towards white hair marks them as Darkwild. Grouped together primarily in the Shadowspire Forest, these elves are always led by one skilled in the magical arts from the same bloodline. Their current leader Celeborim is in ill health and it is said his end is coming soon, when this day arrives he will be taken to the Elehuinír (Death Caves) where all Darkwild are taken upon their death. His son Erdaborim is the likely successor though it is said the death clerics who are the spiritual leaders of the tribe are putting their support behind the wild warrior Larinathoran in the hopes that he will be able to lead his people away from oblivion. Leader: Celeborim
Throughout the rest of Malentir Vale are a number of small villages with populations ranging from a few families to the low hundreds. Like the towns discussed above, while predominately human these villages are home to people of all races. Without the protection the towns provide, life in the villages is hard, brutal and often short, when danger, evil and chaos stalk the Vale it is normally these villages that bear the brunt of it. With Erathon making the call for an ordered Malentir Vale under its control, more and more villages are declaring allegiance or moving wholesale to the safe crumbling walls of the aspiring city state.