The Nentir Vale
A small town built from the ruins of a larger city, Fallcrest is the crossroads of the Nentir Vale; it is still recovering from an attack by a horde of orcs known as the Bloodspear tribe who decimated the area a decade ago. Fallcrest now struggle to rebuild under the watchful eye of Lord Warden Faren Markelhay, descendant of the original hero who carved a niche for civilization in this rugged land.
Fallcrest is divided into two districts by a steep bluff that cuts across the town. The area north of the bluff is known locally as Hightown. This district survived the city’s fall in relatively good shape, and it was the first area resettled. To the south of the bluff lies Lowtown, which tends to be newer and poorer. In the event of a serious threat, people retreat up to Hightown-the bluff and the town walls completely ring this part of Fallcrest, making it highly defensible.
- Population: 1,350; another 900 or so live in the countryside within a few miles of the town. The people of Fallcrest are mostly humans, halflings, and dwarves. No dragonborn or eladrin are permanent residents, but travelers of all races pass through on occasion.
- Government: The human noble Faren Markelhay is the Lord Warden (hereditary lord) of the town. He is in charge of the town’s justice, defense, and laws. The Lord Warden appoints a town council to look after routine commerce and public projects.
- Defense: The Fallcrest Guard numbers sixty warriors, who also serve as constables. Moonstone Keep is their barracks. The Lord Warden can call up 350 militia at need.
- Inns: Nentir Inn; Silver Unicorn. The Silver Unicorn is pricier and offers better service; the Nentir Inn sees a more interesting clientele.
- Taverns: Blue Moon Alehouse; Lucky Gnome Taphouse; Nentir Inn taproom.
- Supplies: Halfmoon Trading House; Sandercot Provisioners.
- Temples: Temple of Erathis; Moonsong Temple (Sehanine); House of the Sun (Pelor). Temple of the Scale (Bahamut)
Up until four centuries or so ago, the Moon Hills and the surrounding Nentir Vale were thinly settled borderlands, home to quarrelsome human hill-chieftains and remote realms of non-humans such as dwarves and elves. Giants, minotaurs, orcs, ogres, and goblins plagued the area. Ruins such as those on the Gray Downs or the ring-forts atop the Old Hills date back to these days, as do stories of the hero Vendar and the dragon of the Nentir.
With the rise of the empire of Nerath to the south, human settlers began to move up the Nentir, establishing towns such as Fastormel, Harkenwold, and Winterhaven. A Nerathan hero named Aranda Markelhay obtained a charter to build a keep at the portage of the Nentir Falls. She raised a simple tower at the site of Moonstone Keep three hundred ten years ago, and under its protection the town of Fallcrest began to grow.
Over the next two centuries, Fallcrest grew into a small and prosperous city. It was a natural crossroads for trade, and the Markelhays ruled it well. When the empire of Nerath began to crumble about a century ago, Fallcrest continued to flourish-for a time.
Ninety years ago, a fierce horde of orcs known as the Bloodspears descended from the Stonemarch and swept over the vale. Fallcrest’s army was defeated in a rash attempt to halt the Bloodspears out on Gardbury Downs. The Bloodspears burned and pillaged Fallcrest and went on to wreak havoc all across the Nentir Vale.
Fallcrest has seen a spark ignited by recently arrived heroes that have brought about the resurgance in the area and a flood of folk from across the former Nerath empire to this great town. Reconstruction and growth have taken on a fevered pace, and whispers of the rise of a new empire or the ressurection of the Nerath empire float about daily. Fallcrest looks to become a new beacon of light within the surrounding lands, and many work for and against it.
Fallcrest is divided into two districts by a steep bluff that cuts across the town. The area north of the bluff is known locally as Hightown. This district survived the city’s fall in relatively good shape, and it was the first area resettled. To the south of the bluff lies Lowtown, which tends to be newer and poorer. In the event of a serious threat, people retreat up to Hightown—the bluff and the town walls completely ring this part of Fallcrest, making it highly defensible.