Elsir Vale

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The Elsir Vale is one of the few pockets of civilization in the world of Arda, now that the great human empire of Nerath has fallen. This frontier land, once on the western edge of Nerath, is isolated but self-sufficient. Primarily sited in farming land, the various small cities and towns cooperate with each other, but share no single ruler. Each city’s mayor or council handles their own matters and affairs.

Small dry hills

Elsir Vale Geography and Weather

The Vale itself is nearly 250 miles long east to west, and its width varies across its length, reaching up to 70 miles at its widest. The rolling hills and grassy plains of the Vale are dotted by small forests and a few regions of rocky terrain, but its edges are marked mostly by thick forests and mountain ranges: north of the Vale are the Giant’s Shield to the northeast, the Wyrmsmoke Mountains to the northwest, and the Witchwood between them; at the west end of the Vale are the Stonehome Mountains to the west (with the Westdeep forest at their feet); the south border is marked by the Wyvernwatch Mountains to the southeast, and the steep escarpment leading down to the desert-like barrens of the Thornwaste to the southwest.

The eastern end of the Vale lets out into the Golden Plains, an area where the prevailing winds blow invariably westward. Over the millennia, this has driven most of the fertile soil of the Plains into the Vale, and is responsible for its richness.

North of the mountains and forests lies the Endless Plain, a vast savannah home to nomadic tribes and ancient behemoths. West of the Stonehome Mountains are a series of unnamed badlands and rocky canyons home to many tribes of orcs in near-constant warfare with each other. Several weeks’ travel to the east of the Vale lies the heart of what was once the Empire of Nerath. Northeast along the line of the Giant’s Shield Mountains are a series of small settlements on the edge of the Golden Plains, representing what little access the Elsir Vale has to the rest of civilization. Finally, four to five weeks’ travel south of the Wyvernwatch Mountains is the nearest ocean.

The Elsir Vale is generally warm to temperate, with hot, dry summers and warm, rainy winters. Occasional thunderstorms temper the worst of the summer heat.

Village Farm

Elsir Vale Settlements

Three large towns or small cities punctuate the Vale, with many smaller towns spread out between.

At the Vale’s eastern end, the town of Dennovar is the last sign of civilization before the dry expanse of the Golden Plains.

At the western edge of the Vale lies the dwarven city of Overlook at the foot of the Stonehome Mountains. Overlook’s fortress of Bordrin’s Watch, the westernmost civilized settlement on the continent, dominates the only pass across the Stonehomes and keeps the Vale safe from orc incursions.

Finally, near the center of the Vale is Brindol, a thriving trade community that has seen its share of excitement over the years, including being the center point of a war forty years ago.

Total travel time from Overlook to Dennovar is about two weeks, with Brindol being one week’s travel from either other city.

Elsir Vale Notable Locations

To the north, outside the borders of the Vale, lies Lake Restin and the ruins of the city of Rhest, once a notable administrative center of the Empire of Nerath.

One of the many ruins dotting the Vale, Castle Rivenroar, was recently used by the hobgoblin Sinruth in an attempt to restore the Army of the Red Hand.

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Map of Elsir Vale (c) 2010 Keith Davies, Used with Permission

Elsir Vale

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