The Great Dale

Sandwiched between Narfell and Thesk, the Great Dale is considered a vast wilderness by most. The land is speckled with lonely farmsteads and clanholds, guarded by druids and rangers who enjoy their solitude and protect their homes with a vengeance. Few foreigners have reason to journey to the Great Dale, and that’s just how its inhabitants like it.

Narfell and Damara bound the Great Dale to the north, Impiltur and the Easting Reach to the west, Thesk to the south, and Rashemen to the east. While a decent road runs the length of the country (if it can be called that) between the Rawlinswood and the Forest of Lethyr, it is not a major trade route. There are few stops along the way, and the residents of the Great Dale show so little hospitality to strangers that a popular joke is “There’s no room in the dale!”

The land here was once part of the ancient Empire of Narfell, although it was originally settled by folk from Jhaamdath. When Narfell and Raumathar destroyed each other 1,500 years ago, the Great Dale was decimated in the fighting and lay virtually empty and wild for centuries. The land is now a frontier for the populous kingdom of Impiltur to the west. For generations, Impilturans in search of land and independence have been trickling eastward, carving out homes from the Dale’s wide-open spaces.

The Great Dale’s climate is tempered by the proximity of the Easting Reach, but winters are harsh, while summers are comparatively cool. The Forest of Lethyr is a mix of coniferous and deciduous forest, but the Rawlinswood is a true taiga, a northern pine forest with bitterly cold winters and cool, mosquito-plagued summers.

The people of the Great Dale are honest, hardworking folk who simply want the outside world to leave them alone. For the most part, they’ve gotten their wish, since few people see much reason to travel here. If it were not for the Great Road connecting Uthmere to the east, there would not be any traffic through the region at all.

The people of the Great Dale are a mix of old Chondathan, Nar, Theskian, and more recently, Impilturan blood. The clan-holds possess the oldest bloodlines of the land, with more than a little of the ancient Nars. The folk of the Great Dale place little importance on race or ethnicity – a good neighbor is a good neighbor. The older families do not always get along with Impilturan homesteaders pushing eastward from Uthmere, who see miles of empty land and believe they’re free to settle where they wish. This has led to bloodshed, but for the most part, the Impilturan colonists have found land that doesn’t encroach on the holds of the earlier Dalesfolk.

While the Dalesfolk don’t like outlanders at all, they don’t care much for one another, either. The forests and fields are dotted with tiny enclaves of isolated clans. The common tongue here is Damaran, a legacy of ancient Narfell, but the Nar heritage of the Great Dale is long forgotten. The “old” Dalesfolk are descended from Chondathans who came to this land more than a thousand years ago, while the “new” are generally Impilturans who have settled the western reaches of the Dale for several hundred years. The Circle of Leth is the only unifying force in the region. If it were not for the druidic hierarchy, the two cultures sharing the Great Dale would be at each other’s throats.

BENEFITS:

Languages:

Damaran, Elven, Gnomish

Equipment:

Weapons: Long or Short Bow, Spear, Mace
Armour: Leather, Studded Leather, Hide
Mounts: Horse, Pony

Spells:

Compass
Protection from Evil

Fighting Styles:

Missile Fighting Style

Favoured Deities:

Shaundakul, Silvanus, Talona, Elven Pantheon, Baervan Wildwanderer.

The Great Dale

Forgotten Realms: Birthright Avanpallandt