Points of Light
The Nentir Vale is a thinly settled borderland of independent towns, within the wreckage of the long dead Nerath Empire.
Once home to vibrant culture, the Nentir Vale has become a largely lawless border region. Where any law does hold sway, it follows the traditional feudal compact — the local lord IS the law and is the ONLY law, unless he specifically deputizes a vassal to pass judgement on his behalf. The local lord or his deputies sit in judgement when they hold court and dispense high justice.
In the days of the Nerath Empire, the landholdings of each noble were directly adjacent to those of the next noble and there was no “unclaimed” land. However, there was so much loss of life and chaos during the Fall of Nerath that it is no longer clear who owned or owns what. To further confuse the issue, bandits and monsters have moved into the ruins and wreckage left behind, staking their own claims and raiding to steal what they can.
Fallcrest lies near the middle of the broad borderland region known as the Nentir Vale. The Vale is now mostly empty, with a handful of living villages and towns scattered over this wide area. Abandoned farmsteads, ruined manors, and broken keeps litter the countryside. Bandits, wild animals, and monsters roam freely throughout the Vale, threatening anyone who fares more than few miles away from one of the surviving settlements. Travel along the roads or river is usually safe — usually. But every now and then, travelers come to bad ends between towns.
The Nentir Vale is a northern land, but it sees relatively little snow within the Vale itself — winters are windy and bitterly cold. The Nentir River is too big to freeze except for a few weeks in the coldest part of the year. Summers are cool and mild.
On a map of the Nentir Vale, the “clear” parts represent a mixed terrain — large stretches of open meadowland, copses of light forest, gently rolling hills, and the occasional thicket of dense woodland and heavy undergrowth.
The low downs of the Vale as shown on a map are hilly grassland, with little tree cover — once very good pasture land. The hills are steeper and more rugged, and include light forest in the valleys and saddles between the hilltops.