Listed below is a brief overview of some of the interesting settlements and locations within the Verdant Dale. This is by no means an exhaustive list and many other settlements and points of interest lie open or hidden within the area that are simply not recorded here.
Most of the village is delved into the sides of a craggy outcrop. It is governed by a court of aristocrats, known as the Crimson Synod. It is well known for its stone quarries, which were used to build the wall as well as other fortifications in the dale. It supplies Misthearth Keep.
City of Ashburton- 6700
The city of Ashburton is built around a stronghold of stone and iron. It is ruled by Lady Bruna who is known for her draconian rule, so much so that even the Order of the Gauntlet raise an eyebrow at some of her decisions she calls for in the name of Justice. Ashburton has seen better days, and gangs of wererats lurk in its shadows. It has a wide mix of all the common races but primarily humans. It is built upon the ashes of an ancient settlement and many ruins exist beneath the city.
Village of Elkfir
This village primarily trades in furs and consists of a large number of wood elves. There is an irony that the Dwarves of Volkor now service this village as one of their main clients. It is led by a council of Druids who have bizarre decrees all in the village must obey, such as all men born on a Wekday must wear a thistle thorn hat.
The Hamlet of Easton is a small village on the Oak road that leads north out of the Verdant Dale and towards the Reach. It is built around a ring of stone monoliths and is home to dwarfs, humans and halflings. They say that the ancient dead can be contacted during the equinox via special rituals only the village elders know.
Village of Hogsfeet
The village of Hogsfeet is so named due to the large number of pigs its farms produce. The village also has a signature dish, Hogsfeet pottage is a stew of Pigs feet, carrot, onions, mushrooms, butter, apple cider,mead, bay leaves, thyme and sage and is served on a thick square hunk of bread. It is famed among the villages as being hearty, nutritious and delicious, served on a loaf of square bread. Despite being peasant food even passing dignitaries are known to have sampled it. You can find this dish served at the Square Hog inn within the village.
The village is run by Sir Fenwick, a knight who serves House Mortling and lives in the manor house. The peasants of the village work the land for their Lord and pay him rent for their housing either as freemen or as vassals. They in turn get protection from outside threats and to farm and live in peace. In turn he pays a portion of the settlements earnings to his Lord , who pays his own portion to the king. He also offers himself as well as his retainers in combat should his Lord or the King call for it. The Reeve, a Dwarf by the name of Erin Hammermail, handles the day to day running of the village alongside a small council of villagers who deal with various minor disputes of tax payments, borders of farm land, fines and so forth. This is much the same way as most settlements are run in one way or another.
Sir Fenwick has authority to dispense justice within the settlement however if he is unable to come to a fair judgment, or the defendant is of noble blood, he must defer the case to the Order of the Gauntlet or failing that the King. Due to supplying there is a fine blacksmiths, as well as tanners and many passing merchants who come to market days on Wekday and Sarkday.
Village of Wattle
This village on the outskirts of the Farrow Woods is home to a mixture of wood elfs, halflings, humans and dwarfs. It is a logging settlement that provides support to the infrastructure of the area and the wall. It is dominated by a tall, white tower known as ‘The Ivory tower’. It is governed by a noble aristocrat, the elf lady Hliatha. There is a single tavern, The Thirsty Pirate.
Village of Redwater
Primarily human, some elves, fey and halflings. The village sits upon the banks of a stream, spanned by a bridge .It is unofficially governed by a consortium of guildmasters, led by a female halfling trader named Drigold. Redwater receives much trade due to its position on Lake tranquil bridging the gap between the west and center of the Verdant Dale.
Town of Goldcrest 1000
The town is dominated by several tall towers. It provides a huge amount of the grain that feeds the dale. It is governed by a consortium of wealthy mages , whose weekly meetings often turn dangerous magical duels. The people of Goldcrest are renowned for their love of jest. This is needed for they are the last surviving settlement outside of the wall and are constantly under the threat of attack from the forces to the south. They are protected by the magic of the Sarkoth magic guild, powerful arcane constructs and wards, as well as the knights of the Gauntlet and noble armies of the Dale.
The village is cursed, many of its people died in a large raid of Orcs and a virulent plague spread to many others causing them to wither and die. The village is defended by a wooden palisade and ditch. It is governed by a noble aristocrat, the human lord Robern. Due to the recent devastation, its streets are tormented by ghosts at night and there is an enforced curfew before sunset. Those who ignore this are often found as withered husks the next morning, said to have died of sheer fright.
Nestled within the mountains Bellhaven is a large town that links to Blackfriar. It is named for its giant Bell, magically the sound reaches out, that rings out whenever the land is truly under threat. Those beyond the area can then retreat to Belhaven. The most prominent tavern is The Crossed Candles, on Blade Passage. The city itself looks unattractive. With its black wooden rooftops, galvanized steel walls and absolute silence, Bellhaven has a frightening atmosphere. The main attraction is the large park, which was built 39 years ago and designed by elves.
Lake Tranquil is naturally far from it. Home to a myriad of terrifying creatures that lurk within the depths of the lake safe passage is still possible but at the expense of the various ferrymen that make their livelihood risking themselves and their crews to take passengers through the safe routes within the lake that they know of. The main passage is between Hogsfeet and Redwater.
The Hamlet of Easton is a small village on the Oak road that leads north out of the Verdant Dale and towards the Reach. It is built around a ring of stone monoliths which lie within a forest grove and is home to dwarfs, humans, haflings and elves. The hamlet itself looks stunning. With its cypress wood rooftops, elm wood walls and an almost endless spring. The main attraction is the wishing well, which was built 69 years ago and designed by druids. It supports itself via farming , herbalism and intricate woodcrafting.
Forged on the lowest points of the wetlands it is home to a mixed group of mostly human and elf. Most of the village is delved into the sides of a large hill. This was noa ccident as the wetlands and the hill are of significant ritual importance to the people It is governed by the priests of the village temple. The village itself looks flamboyant. With its ash wood rooftops, pine wood walls and huge oak tree, Wottle has a magical atmosphere. Many of its residents wear a white flower to honor Dantus , a local god of death. The Tombs of the dead are its main attraction, built in ancient times by priests of Dantus to house the village dead. Some villagers have pet goblins.
Places of Interest
Pool of Azur ( Lawful Good god of the sun)
This pool is magically always warm and produces great vents of steam from its holy waters. Drinking from the pool of Azur is said to bring the power of prophecy to all those who do so. This however is forbidden on the pain of being blinded by the priests of Azur who have a small temple in the centre of the pool. Only one chosen priestess is allowed to breath the sacred fumes that come from the rocks and provide visions of prophecy. People from all across Elbion as well as beyond travel to the Pool of Azur to be guided by its prophecies.
Unbuilt shrine to Nerill
The Priests of Nerill , the Chaotic Good Goddess of the Storms, have traveled far from their homelands in the Islands of Kallige to the south east. Upon what prophecy from their goddess they have done this we cannot say. They have made camp near the south-east of Lake Tranquil and look to be making forays to build a shrine here though so far have been unsuccessful. They are led by an old bald Half-Orc by the name of Kurbag. They offer alms and spells to passers by to pay for their keep and make regular forays into neighbouring towns and villages to ask for aid in building the shrine and to convert followers to the goddess.
The Sokarth Wizard Guild, named after the, was once built upon here within the Azure forest for it rests upon a powerful leyline of magic. The guild was destroyed in a freak accident 20 years ago and left to lie in ruins. No one has since ventured forth into the den as many say it is cursed. The soil around it produces many a blighted tree or carrion of disease and goblins and other foul creatures are said to nest within it. A new tower was soon rebuilt 70 miles directly to the south near the village of Goldcrest. It has since aided in defence of the settlement.
Temple of The Gauntlet
This large temple hosts the Paladins of the Gauntlet, an Order preserved to fight against evil and keep order within the walls. It is a huge, golden, domed building. This Lawful Neutral group of Paladins worship the god of Justice, law and order, Gauntlet – Their symbol is a mailed fist. The highest of the order wear the full symbol of a fist upon their clothing and shield, acolytes wear a mailed finger, the more fingers the higher the rank of the acolyte, their largest
The Knights of the Gauntlet are a neutral force in that they don’t owe allegiance to any noble house but instead are an arbiter of justice within the realm, they oppose the likes of demons, Orcs and other forces of chaos. Those who join them leave any of their old houses/names/wealth etc behind and swear to the order for lifeIronically they, as a result, have many reformed criminals as members. They are once they take the oath of the Gauntlet respected amongst the citizens of the land, with even Lords and Kings deferring to their justice.
This mobile adventuring camp belongs to the Bannerfall Guild . It consists of a fast, mobile camp that can be set up and deconstructed to travel from area to area. It is currently on the northern tip of the Verdant Valley. The guild is run by a grizzled fighting Dwarf called Lali Pebbleback and her assistant Francis Montagu, a half-elf and former squire who never backs down from a challenge.
Shrine to Jitune
This roadside shrine to Jitune, Chaotic good goddess of travel, is actually also effectively a charitable inn for passers by to rest for the night after their weary wanderings.
Shrine to Volkor
Shrine to the Dwarven God of the Forge, Strength and Resoluteness Volkor. When they knew all was lost the Dwarves of Akarak retreated to the foothills of their mountain stronghold and built this shrine. They still practice their art in a limited way but mostly lament their great loss. The priest of Volkor is one of the ex-smiths of Akarak known as Ulfgar Stone.
Ruins of Akarak Forge
The Dwarves of Akarak once serviced the needs of much of the Dale and prospered greatly as a result, hoarding mounds of treasure deep in the Covenbalt Mountains, until the day the great dragon Forn Fang came to their hold in search of the hoard. In 1369 Despite the efforts of both the Dwarves and the Mortling noble house the Dragon made ruin of their armies, with support of a large tribe of Bugbears , and now resides in Akarak as master of the hoard.
The Ruins of Thornwick
Once a prosperous settlement Thornwick was utterly destroyed by the undead forces of the Necromancer Meloch in the year 1292. Though Meloch was slain by an adventuring party known as Thens Hammers, it is said that he still lurks deep within the Deadwoods as a foul Lich biding his time before an army of dead walk once more upon the land. The town has never been rebuilt and is said still to be host of many wandering undead and other foul creatures of the deadwoods.
The great wall was initially built by the Rhufeinig Empire to keep out the rebellious forces of Elbion who had retreated to the southlands. It is now used by the descendants of those rebels to keep out the forces of chaos and evil that once helped to bring down the wall.
It is 228 miles in length, 30 feet high and made of stone reinforced by steel. It has 3 gates that allow passage to and from it as well as 3 , 40 foot tall towers, from where danger can be spotted from afar. It is guarded night and day by a large force of professional soldiers led by a somewhat unhinged soldier known as Sharn, whose family died in the burning of thornwick, and his second in command a mercenary known as Lorraine.
Owned by the Blackfriar noble house, Castle Blackfriar is run by Baron Blackfriar, a brutal man but one who still worships the gods fervently. It has white stone walls, an acidic moat and is also home to a cadre of priests of Azur. The castle serves as a line of defence should the wall be bereached.
This large tower belongs to Lord Earlton who serves House Mortling and is as a watchword towards the east where clans of centaurs roam upon the great hills. Controversially Lord Earlton hires Ogres and Trolls to defend much of the tower and surrounding land, paying them well in gold and enemy captives whose ransoms cannot be paid.
This keep has hardened iron walls and a blue tiled roof. The male lord of the keep is an anxious mage named Gylip. A fine collection of tapestries and artwork hangs upon the walls. The castle was once home to a college of wizards, and water from the well sometimes causes strange magical effects.
This large bastion looks over Lake Trepid. It is the hold of Baron Farcroft who serves House Blackfriar , a brutal ruler who maintains a iron grip on his hold justified by protecting the lake. It is inhabited by the Barons unnaturally large family of some 20 people who also act as servants. Such is the Barons hubris that carved on the tower is a large efficacy of his face, one of the workers hired to do this job died in the process and the Baron simply used his corpse as in fact died and the baron simply used his corpse as extra masonry for the walls of the tower.
Run by a High Elf by the name of Eruwen of this tower hosts the Sokarth Wizarding Guild, mages who work tirelessly to protect the land from evil with their magic and train apprentices, with unorthodox methods, in the same knowledge and skills.
This large walled castle sits at the top of a rocky hill. The male lord of the castle is an old man named Rarder Jamyln, who guards an ancient artifact. A fine collection of tapestries and artwork hangs within the keep. None have heard from castle Mortling in many months time, its banners have not been raised and its drawbridge remains drawn. There is rumour that trouble is afoot but none have yet gone to investigate.
The Azure Forest is notably home to the Circle of the Moon druids who make their nightly rituals. It is also rumoured that an entrance to the feywild lurks somewhere within its many mighty fens and oaks and it is not uncommon to come across fey creatures within the borders of the forest who will ask for offerings in exchange for blessings and safe passage. Those who do not give these offerings will befall unfortunate tricks, those these will mostly be harmless they sometimes will cross the line to full blown curses. Within the forest are the trifold rivers, named due to splitting into 3 directions that flow towards the east.
Over the past 20 years the forces of evil have been pushing further and further and bolder and bolder into the realms of the Verdant dale once more. The Ashfens as well as the Deadwoods used to home to prosperous settlements that are now in ruins. A darkness stirs within the Ashfens and many, especially clerics and mages have felt a disturbance growing from the area.
The Rakarth Mountains are a natural border that aids in defending the Verdant Dale. They are home to wyverns, bulettes , mountain barbarians and ogres. There is rumour that deep within the mountains lies a secretive clan of Dark Dwarfs.
This large lake forms a natural border between the Verdant plains of the dale and the southlands. There are rumours of a draconic like beast that lives within the lake though none have ever been able to prove this.
Home to a violent pack of gnolls that are kept in check by a vigilant group of volunteer woodsmen.