A testament to change (a failure of fate)
HistoryWhile Valarian Valley has been only been settled for less than 300 years it has a very rich history. Within the valley are many grand works of engineering, stone bridges, large pillars, obelisks and hundreds of stone foundations. Most scholars believe that during one of the Ages of Prosperity the Dwarven Nations found the valley, perhaps cleared out whatever its previous inhabitants were and started construction of an above ground trading city. No one is sure why they stopped, but rumors ranging from Dragon Wars to Prophecy have been heard, but nothing definitive has ever been uncovered. The valley was supposedly rediscovered by an adept explorer and folk legend Nebraska James during one of his many adventure into the Terem Mountains. What is for certain is that after some inter-kingdom war large groups of soldiers who were paid in land holdings were starting to cause trouble. With neither side wanting to settle battle trained soldiers, most of which were mercenaries, within their kingdoms the newly discovered valley was the answer, it was far enough so that these soldiers would not be an issue but close enough to be watched… and maybe even taxed. While conflicts have since all but erased the original kingdoms that settled the Valarian Valley, its distance from them and defensibility made it autonomous almost as soon as the first settlers arrived.
All people in Valarian Valley are free, and most are landholders in some form. It is said that every house in the valley has a sword and set of armor, and while this may not be completely true, an area settled by soldiers no more than 12 Human generations ago is going to have a strong warrior culture. All men and women of the valley are expected to be proficient with and maintain arms in case the valley needs defenders. Most Valarians pride themselves in training in both martial combat and some form of missile weapon. Any festival or fair in the valley is sure to have both fighting tournaments and shooting competitions. While most Valarians are Human, it would not be uncommon to see a Dwarf, Halfling, Gnome or Half Elf while traveling through the valley.Most residents live in small farm holdings scattered throughout the valley. With only two settlements, Green Pasture and Ridge Peak, each farm is nearly self-sufficient, with as many as 40 people living in the larger compounds. While farming is the most common occupation, many animals are also kept in the rockier regions. The only real threat to this way of life is a large population of wolves and bears that on occasion come down from the mountains.
Coin is not rare in Valarian Valley, but having no mint of its own makes for an interesting combination of coins in purses. Traders from many places come to the valley, buying food, rope and small amounts common gems that are found throughout the valley. Most traders come in the early fall, bringing goods from all over the world to trade for food which fetches a high price in the near by kingdoms based in the foothills. Some merchants have made good money doing what is called Valor Runs 3 or 4 times in one season.
Places of Interest
Fuller River: Originating deep in the northern mountains, this river brings cool water into the valley, bisecting it.
Ridge Peak: A small fortified hamlet located in the eastern part of the valley near an old path leading into the mountains.
Hillside Farm: A small collection of farms on the north side of the valley.