Elsir Vale

History of the Vale

The scattered human towns and villages of the area grew up along the Dawn Way. Much of the Dawn Way was built by an ancient dwarf-kingdom that spanned the Wyrmsmoke and Giantshield mountains more than a thousand years ago. While the power of that kingdom is long gone, their roads, bridges and cisterns remain in use to this day. After the dwarf-realm 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 tribal folk who left behind little more than grassy barrows and stone circles on the hilltops.

About five hundred years ago the Empire of Nerath extended its dominance into the region. The city of Rhest was founded and became the provincial capitol of the Elsir Vale. 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 newly formed Duchy of Rhestilor grew wealthy on the tarriffs exacted from the passage of merchants. Under the duchy’s shield, the towns along the Dawn Way—Brindol, Talar, Terrelton, and the rest—grew up from tiny hamlets or lonely soldiers’ posts to flourishing human settlements. It was also during this time that the insular dwarven settlements of Overlook, Highwall & the Hammerfist Holds joined the Nerathi Empire.

About a century ago the Empire of Nerath began to crumble, and in those dark days the Duchy of Rhestilor eventually collapsed under civil strife, monstrous incursions, and magical blights. The final blow came when the city of Rhest was burned by a savage horde out of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. Although the warriors of Rhestilor killed many of the goblins and their kind, the city was abandoned. The locks and canals surrounding Rhest fell into disrepair, and the Blackfens swallowed the ruined city.

In the years since the duchy’s fall, the towns of Elsir Vale have come to look after themselves. Most of the local lords, still hold titles derived from the old Empire of Nerath.

Major Settlements

Sites of Interest

Richard Baker and James Jacobs, “Red Hand of Doom” (2006 Wizards of the Coast)

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Elsir Vale

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