With my weekly play reports coming out of the Haven setting, where the players are headquartered in the Vale, it seems like it’s about time I explained what the Vale is.
The Vale was settled (at least most recently) by humans, elves, dwarves, and even a few halflings coming through a one-way portal from the temple in Enoch. When the portal appeared late in the winter, it was clear to the first presidency and quorum of the twelve that they were meant to seek volunteers to settle the other side.
Many volunteered and now, two years or so after its appearance, the population of the Vale is some 1000 souls living in six distinct villages:
Citadel is a walled village with the portal at its center and was the first settlement in the new land. Despite being far from the rubber running through the Vale, Citadel’s great space was walled in to secure the portal for settlers coming through. A great lodging house, the Citadel House, was eventually built to receive new settlers as the settlement became more stable and fruit groves now occupy much of the encampment space within the walls. A large temple is being built near the portal to provide for the needs of the Vale.
Confluence is the next largest settlement, enclosed in a timber wall on the edge of the forest surrounding the Vale. It is so named for the joining of two mighty rivers at the northern edge of the Vale, which it straddles with three impressive bridges. It was settled to provide timber for the wall around Citadel, the temple therein, and a bridge across the wide Vale River. It still brings in some lumber, but crop fields have sprung up nearby and has a the largest hunter population of the Vale. The only tavern outside of Citadel is found in Confluence.
Kite, an almost purely logging village, sprung up in the Northeast corner of the Vale beside the East Confluence tributary. It grew to its current size quickly when lumberjacks found mighty trees there more suited to being temple timbers than anything found near Confluence.
Carrie, a fishing village on the shore of Vale Lake down river on the Southern edge of the Vale, grew out of several settlers having a desire to continue their trade as fishermen rather than farming. It serves to greatly diversify the diet of the Vale settlers that the lake is so fruitful.
Timberford sprung up around the mighty bridge built across the Vale River both primarily to capitalize on tracts of very fertile and easily irrigated land on the banks of the river. It also serves as a place to stop logs floating down the river and deliver them Citadel. As a major way point on the way to Confluence and beyond, a wainwright and horse shoer find employment there.
The last, Castle Wraecliff, is currently only a manor built by Nicholas Wraecliff on a hill above the quarry Northwest from Citadel. He is attempting to establish a full castle there, which reallocation of resources that were expected to work on the temple has proven to be a point of conflict with Matthias of the Seventy.
In a land of thick forest all around, it is unclear why the Vale is so devoid of large trees, but it has been very convenient for farming without having to clear land. A windmill in the Southwest as well as a tomb found under Wraecliff’s castle indicate that the Vale was inhabited at some point and used for something.