Scales of War - GenCon 2010
Elsir Vale The world has never been a safe place. Bastions of civilization populate a dark, menacing world—islands of order and reason exist in a land otherwise overrun by dark cults, vile monsters, creatures from the dark edges of the imagination, and worse.
One such point of light is the Elsir Vale, a quiet frontier land bordered by mountains. It is inhabited by farming communities and various small cities and towns. No monarch or ruler holds sway over the Vale; each city is run by a council and manages its affairs in a state of relative peace with its neighbors.
The vale stretches almost 250 miles east to west and averages about 70 miles north to south. Several small mountain ranges and dense forests form the vale’s borders.
Though the borders of the vale are mostly hills, mountains and forests, the heart of the vale is grassy plains for the most part. Every town in the vale is surrounded by numerous farms. Beyond the civilized areas are vast rolling plains with infrequent hillocks and copses of trees.
Elsir Vale lies in the subtropical latitudes. Summers are hot and dry (although punctuated by the occasional intense thunderstorm), and winters are warm and rainy. Large stretches of the area are quite arid, and the vale is flanked by the vast savannahs stretching for mile after dusty mile. The forests that stretch across most of the vale’s northern reaches are stifling and sweltering hot in the summertime, with not a breath of wind to relieve the oppressive heat.
The largest town in the Vale is Brindol, located roughly at its center. Brindol is a thriving trade community and the starting point of your adventures. It has seen its share of excitement over the years, most recently forty years ago when it was the center point of a war.
The western border of the Vale is created by the Wyrmsmoke Mountains, where 40 years ago the Red hand of Doom amassed near the Fane of Tiamat to wage war on the Elsir Vale.
Past the western edge of the Vale, a week’s journey from Brindol, the city of Overlook and its fortress of Bordrin’s Watch command the only pass across the Stonehome Mountains and keep the Vale safe from the occasional Orc incursion from the wild, lawless lands to the west.
In between, along the Dawn Way, lie a number of smaller towns that serve as market centers for outlying farming communities and host various trade fairs.
To the east, across the Golden Plains (at least some of the time) lies the Eladrin city of Astrazalian, known to residents of the Vale as the City of Starlight. This magnificent city strides the border between the material realm and the Feywild, and exists in each for fully half of every year. During the spring and summer, it resides a few hundred miles to the east of the Vale and is the source (or destination) of a significant amount of the trade that flows through the Vale.
To the north, outside the borders of the Vale lie the ruins of the city of Rhest, once the center of a kingdom that spanned the entirety of the vale, but now a long crumbled remnant in the middle of The Blackfens inhabited mostly by Lizard folk and other creatures best left unmentioned. Past The Blackfens lie the Endless Plains, which stretch farther then most Valemen travel in their lifetime.