Shady Dales Gazetteer
The following information is common knowledge to the inhabitants of the Shady Dales. Much of it is hearsay though, as most Elves are serfs or slaves and have never travelled to either of these places.
South of Kingsbay lies the first farming colony in the Shady Dales, peopled mostly by army veterans and their slaves. Its wide streets and beautiful old mansions stand in stark contrast to the ramshackle, overpopulated former barracks that have housed generations of Elven slaves. A generation ago, an elven uprising originated here and spread to the neighboring villages, but it was put down with extreme brutality and all the ringleaders were caught and killed.
This stretch of rich, rolling meadowland is a fertile breeding ground for horses, among them the powerful black stallions ridden by the High King’s Paladins.
A smelly farming town on the banks of the Conwy river, notable for a growing number of Elves in positions of power, cooperating with their human overlords in return for privileges. Large herds of cattle are grazed on the northern banks of the Conwy. The town is famous for its leatherworking industry and the stench that accompanies it. During most winters, hungry Ogre-kin come raiding from the woods to the north.
A prosperous, old farming settlement on the river Caed, a few miles southwestof Kingsbay. Half a dozen families own all the land for miles around and lord over the sizeable community of elven serfs that work it.
A converted ranger station between Wye Regis and Alderley, now serves as an inn. Surrounded by a handful of farmsteads. Famous for its honey and mead.
An old Dwarven Clanhold that produces the bulk of all iron in the Dales. Infamous for its open-pit-mine, worked almost entirely by condemned criminals. Under frequent attack by Ogre-kin. Home to the Seventh Legion, aka “The Dwarvenhammer”.
The Forbidden Forest
Few Elves and even fewer men have set foot into this dark, dense expanse of forest at the south-western end of the Shady Dales – and of those who did, few have lived to tell the tale. Traditionally, the lands beyond the Ythan river belonged to the wicked Drow and it is rumoured that some of their number still live here, practicing dark sorcerous rituals.
A small hamlet, used as a waystation for shepherds who graze their herds along the muddy banks of the Convy River. It is the center for the production of wool and wovens in the Shady Dales.
A small walled township between Kingsbay Keep and the Bay. Inhabited mostly by humans and some half-elves, it features a harbour, taverns, shops and many merchant storehouses. Access is tightly controlled but it is said that crime and corruption are rampant inside.
The flanks of the Silver Spires extend eastward into a jumble of verdant hills and secluded valleys called Keira Hills. Patrolled sporadically from Westgard and Windermere, this area has nonetheless long been home to bands of bandits and roving gangs of Ogre-Kin.
A dark and forbidding four-storey tower surrounded by tall walls, looking out over the Bay and the settlements at its feet. Home to the Governing Legat and his elite Paladins and the crack troops of the First Legion aka “The Blackshields”. Also houses the treasury, a prison and torture chambers.
The largest settlement in the Dales. Humans and some free, occasionally unruly (half-) Elves live side by side under the watchful gaze of the First Legion. This is te manufacturing centre of the Shady Dales, surrounded by immense farmlands worked by elven slaves and serfs.
An ancient Dwarven Clanhold in a cold valley to the northeast, watched over by the Fourth Legion (“The Coldwater Guards”) from Kessel Keep. Produces the fine Mithril for which the Dwarves of Dales are famous.
Loch Lagar – The Haunted Lake
In the days of the Dwarven Wars, this idyllic lakeside valley in the heart of the Shady Dales was the main battleground. Some hills are broken up by collapsed mineshafts or abandoned cave-dwellings, and the the shoreline is said to be littered with the bleached bones of the deceased. Rumours of the restless souls of the fallen walking the woods at night abound. During day, a thick fog often wafts above the waters.
This vast moor stretches along the southern coast of the Shady Dales. It is riddled with rivers, home to many strange and dangerous creatures and notoriously difficult to navigate. It is said that the druids of the elves had their sacred grove on a hill in the Mire, and that in the ninth year of the occupation, the first legion led by the High King’s Paladins found it, surrounded the hill, slaughtered all inside and burnt all the trees.
Home of the brutal New Twelfth Legion aka “The Green and Greys”, this garrison is the effective western frontier of the empire in the Dales. Many new recruits are sent here for toughening up and it is said that soldiers frequently disappear in the coutryside surrounding Loch Lagar.
This rapidly growing plantation town on the banks of the Windle River, bordering on the Mire is home to a ranger station. Their main export is lumber and wheat, but dwarven prospecting teams are out scouting the hills for metal. Many new arrivals from the old world and army retirees come here to make their fortune farming.
A monastic settlement on the eastern peninsula of Wye Head. Wye Regis Abbey is the centre of clerical life in the Shady Dales and the place where young initiates are trained to become monks or legates. Few Elves are ever seen in this part of the Dales.
Sean Dun – The Lost Fort
In the early days of the occupation, the Empire sent the twelfth legion to establish a western outpost in the wilderness beyond Loch Lagar, in a valley promising rich mineral deposits. The tales say that for two years, the soldiers labored under the ceaseless onslaught of Ogre-Kin to establish a fort – only to be overrun upon completion one cold winter night, and butchered to the last man. The fort is now a ruin and the valley beyond home to particularly savage (and well-equipped) tribes of Ogre-Kin. The empire is doing its best to make people forget this blunder and talk of the lost fort is shunned in human company.
Shashnavor – The Silver Spires
A crescent-shaped, snow-capped mountain-range that stretches from the east to the west is the dominant landmark of the southern Dales. Its flanks divide Loch Lagar from the Mire while its eastern reaches extend into the Keira Hills. It is called Shashnavor in the Elven tongue.