Ancient History of the Vale

Campaign Background – Ancient History of the Vale

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T

 

 

he scattered
human towns and villages of the land now known as the Elsir Vale grew up along
the Dawn Way, an important east-west trade road linking the heavily settled
lands that lie northwest across the Endless Plains with the exotic kingdoms and
goods of the coastal lands lying to the southeast.

dwarven resident Much of the Dawn Way and the walls of
Brindol were built by an ancient dwarven kingdom that spanned the Wyrmsmoke and
Giant’s


Shield

Mountains

more than a thousand years
ago. While their kingdom is long gone, their roads, bridges, and cisterns
remain in use to this day. After the kingdom passed, the presence of various
monsters and raiders kept traffic along the Dawn Way light for many years; few
caravans dared the long and dangerous trek. Few humans lived in Elsir Vale
during those years – only scattered settlements of druidic folk who tapped into
the rich planar magic of the Vale. In the end, however, they left behind little
more than grassy barrows and stone circles on the hilltops.

About five hundred years ago, the nearby city of


Rhest

came to control the vale and a large
swath of land north of the Giant’s Shields as well. Soldiers from Rhest secured
the roads all the way to Dennovar and beyond, creating a safe passage for
trade. More and more traders traveled the Dawn Way, and the


kingdom
of

Rhestilor

grew wealthy on the tariffs exacted from merchants.

Under the
kingdom’s shield, the towns along the Dawn Way – Brindol, Dennovar, Talar, Terrelton,
and the rest – grew up from tiny hamlets or lonely soldiers’ posts to
flourishing human settlements.
humanoid attacks The


kingdom
of

Rhestilor

eventually collapsed under civil strife, monstrous incursions, and magical
blights. Almost two hundred years and fifty years ago, the city of

Rhest
was burned by a savage horde that descended swiftly
from out of the


Wyrmsmoke

Mountains

. Although the
warriors of Rhestilor killed much of the horde, the city was abandoned and the
already weakened kingdom broken. The locks and canals surrounding Rhest fell
into disrepair, and the


Blackfens

Swamp

swallowed the
ruined city.
Text Box: Many of the Dwarven residents of Elsir Vale trace their heritage back to an ancient kingdom lost in time.
In the years after the kingdom’s fall, the towns of Elsir Vale came to look
after themselves. Most of the local lords still held titles derived from the
old kingdom of Rhestilor. While everyone knew that the kings of Rhestilor were
long dead, no new realm arose in the Vale.