The Malentir Vale
THE MALENTIR VALE
This is not a time for heroes.
The game is set in Malentir Vale, a loose collection of villages and towns surrounded by forest and mountains. While the villages and towns are civilised areas home to many different races, journeying even a few metres beyond their walls is fraught with danger and peril. Marauding warbands of orcs and gnolls, cruel goblin tribes and monsters of legend battle for supremacy against each other and those unfortunate enough to get caught in the middle.
Malentir Vale is not alone in its dangers, whether it be the desert people of Valesia in their endless war against the Scarab King, the adventuring mecca Bael Kalith unearthing demonic hordes or the Empire of Nerath’s futile attempts to reclaim what has been lost – all over the world, the civilised races good and evil alike are being choked of life – there is no hope, only a slow falling of light to the darkening chaos.
This is not a time for heroes, but for survivors, not a time for heroics but for vengeance and slaughter. The world will soon fall, but not while you still draw breath. The vampire lord will die beneath your mailed foot and the orc wachief to your arcane fire. When the hordes descend they will find you dead upon a mountain of their slain, when the darkness falls they will need to pry your hands from the dead dragon’s throat.
Rage against the dying of the light.
You are not your magic weapons and armor. You are not your spells and powers. You are not how much gold you have, or how many times you’ve been raised from the dead. When a Big Bad Demon snaps your sword in two, you do not cry because that was your holy avenger. You leap onto its back, climb up to its head, and punch it in the eye, then get a new damn sword off the next hobgoblin you headbutt to death.
The People of Malentir Vale
Whitestone 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 surrounded his home, farmers started settling down, banding together for protection and profit, 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, 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 towards Vorgar and the people of Whitestone.
Delvers End Delverstown 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)
Lakeview Based on the banks of XXXXX 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 XXXXX, 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).
Erathon 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
Stoneanvil Fortress 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 XXXXX and XXXXXX 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 XXXXXX and his 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
Greensong Tribe 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 XXXXX Greensong in the tree village of XXXX, 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 XXXXX killing the warleader of the XXXXXX 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 XXXXXX
Darkwild Tribe 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 XXXXX forest, these elves are always led by one skilled in the magical arts from the same bloodline. Their current leader XXXXXXXX is in ill health and it is said his end is coming soon, when this day arrives he will be taken to the XXXXXXXX where all Darkwild are taken upon their death. His son XXXXXXX 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 XXXXXX in the hopes that he will be able to lead his people away from oblivion. Leader: XXXX
Other Villages 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.
Recent Events The day the campaign begins will be 19th XXXXX, HR219 (Harthon’s Reckoning, names for the scribe who penned the first known written history of the Vale). Each week goes for ten days and is known as a tenday, 4 tendays make a month, 10 months make a year.
• Baron Calmark left Erathon for a short trip to Balatel one of the major cities in the Empire of Nerath. It is said the young noble has become quite enamoured with the daughter of a duke, some are even whispering of impending nuptials.
• The store and connecting warehouse of the XXXXX Trading House was destroyed in Delver’s End during a bandit’s raid on the town – a fire breathing giant was claimed to be assisting the bandits in many eye witnesses accounts.
• Bandits have always been an issue, but in recent months travel between the towns has been a suicide mission. Organised, brutal attacks has brought trade to a standstill with only the most heavily guarded shipments having any chance of success. (might want to talk about this one more)
• One of the Coven of Tarkul was found dead in her bedroom, rumours say she died from self inflicted wounds that were used to draw symbols of animals in blood across all her walls
• Magestone was discovered in the mines at Delver’s End, the recent discovery has brought more people from the villages in to the town in the hopes of finding their fortune. The discovery was also believed to be the deciding factor in the recent Miner’s Union vote to decline Erathon’s offer and maintain independence. The vote was close at 3-2 and with the new influx of people causing tensions to mount in the town, has prompted Baron Calmark to send a detachment of soldiers, led by Enforcer Barton in the hopes they will be required to assist the Union in maintaining order.
• Things have not been all good for the mining town, two tendays ago the Temple of XXXXX mysteriously burned to the ground and its priestess has not been seen since – whispers of demon worship abound.
• The House of Cabrion announced the discovery of an ancient staff of great power was made by members of its order in a ruined castle to the east of Erathon. While Apprentice Valus was lost, the staff was uncovered and is now the subject of intense arcane study.
• Lakeview’s town council agreed that for the good of its people in these dangerous times coming under Erathon’s protection was the wise decision. Life has changed little within the town, but the arrival of a detachment of Erathon guard, the halfling Judge XXXXX and Enforcer XXXX have brough much greater security to the quiet river town.
• Rigar Tolmson, called by some The Angel of Erathon recently pushed back a monstrous horde that attacked the town. Assisted by the soldiers of the town, the day was won by the people of Erathon, its been said that Rigar single handedly killed the 3 ogres that led the horde. With recent news of the Greensong’s success against the orc tribe XXXXXX there is increasing faith that peace may one day win out within the Vale.
• Word has reached from the villages of a particuarly brutal warband which has been terrorizing a number of villages, at least one village has been completely razed by the small force of orcs and kobolds, it is said there leader is a ferocious manwolf who drinks the blood of women and children.
Secret Societies, Miltary Orders and Dark Pacts Below is a small list of some of the more prominent military orders and magic guilds of Malentir Vale, this by no means exhaustive, small orders of martial arts or mystic ways can be found throughout the land. There are no thieves guilds or criminal groups (of course not, nope, definately not, none)
House of Cambion Based in Erathon they are the most prominent mage guild in Malentir Vale, marked by their golden robes they are primarily concerned with securing magical items of all kinds.
The Coven of Tarkul Female dwarf warlocks who arrived recently in Thol Kargok, by all accounts these wise women are kind hearted and generous – far at odds with the dark powers they call upon. When not helping the people of the fortress they are said to be constantly searching for the location of some place or person which brought them to this land in the first place. (better written)
Scales of Bahamut This knightly order dedicated to the precepts of Bahamut reside in a chapterhouse that lies 2 days north of Whitestone. Predominately dragonborn, these knights patrol the Vale to bring the evil to justice and oppose the plans of Tiamat. (better written
The Sapphire Way Members of the Sapphire Way are noted by the wands tipped by sapphire each of them carry. Naming wizards, warlocks and the occassional rogue amongst their number, those that follow the Way are said to follow a secret code that focuses on individual power (need to think more about these)
War Academy of Kel-Garoth Deep within the forests of XXXXX lays the War Academy of Kel-Garoth, where warleaders and battle captains discuss the most efficient forms of warfare. Pouring over texts of tactics and troop placement, the Greensong elves and eladrin of the Green Lady learn how to bring defeat to their opponents. A similar academy has been built in Erathon where promising soldiers are developed into Captains for the ever growing armed force of the town.
The Dalamai Identified by their black headscarves secured by circlets of pure gold the appearance of a single member of The Dalamai is met with both fear and relief. While these masters of arts, martial, arcane and stealth have been known to kill over something as trivial as a persons shadow crossing theirs, they are the first to unleash their devastating power to protect an innocent or a town under attack. Not much is known what goes on behind the cloth that conceals their faces but it is said they make their home in dark places not of this world. Behind closed doors it is said for the right amount of residiuum The Dalamai will kill anyone. – definately better written – just want to get across that they are known as assassins
Knights of the Pale Talk about Maglash and Dieter Ghoulbane, rarely seen in the Vale but tales of their valour against undead hordes is known throughout the lands.
Baradon’s Fist Baradon’s Fist is a small dwarven military order devoted to the minor dwarven deity Baradon – God of Battle. Assisting in the defence of Thol-Kargok and the surrounding lands Baradon’s Fist are also trying to secure the Five Axe’s of Baradon, magical items of power blessed in the Templefortress by the god himself to assist the Stoneanvil’s in the taking of the fortress. During the numerous battles most of these axes were lost, it is a matter of great import to the order that these are recovered.
Spellhammer Lorekeeper Arnak Spellhammer is the preeminent authority on all matters arcane for the dwarves of Thol-Kargok. Encased in rune covered blue plate armour and wielding the great hammer Marigel, Arnak is a powerful war mage who many apprentice mages call master. While most of his students are Stoneanvil’s it is not unknown for hopeful mages of other races to knock upon the great doors of Axehold in the hope of studying under the ancient dwarf.
Wyldwizards of Malia Paying service (and studying under) a great Feywild power known as The Malia, these eladrin pyromancers are known as much for their violent and fiery natures as their impressive displays of fire magic. Competition between fellow Wyldwizards is as well known as their rivalry with the frost Mages of the Icy Hand. Despite their personal shortcomings they have proven their worth time and time again to the good people of the Feywild, their scorching pyrostorms ending many a conflict before they even began.
Feyknights of Elarel Swearing their lives to the protection of Elarel, these noble warriors are reknown throughout the Feywild for their feats of courage and bravery performed in service to their Green Lady. Ferocious in battle with their signature swords of crystal, the feyknights are responsible for bringing an end to many a fomorian beast or great Feywild terror. Their reputation for claiming victims of another kind off the battlefield is also well known, with many an eladrin maiden helpless to resist the honourable and chivalrous demeanour of these embodiments of the noble knight.
Need a couple elven ones in here as well
The Dangers of Malentir Vale Heroes and Villains of the Land
Monsters of Legend
Items of Power
The World Beyond the Vale