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By Jason Chambers
Taneth Val, a retired adventurer, settled in the hamlet now known as Valdale in 1356 with his elven wife Illiasa and their young son Durnan. Taneth built a modest home for his family, as well as a stable and an inn, called the “Travelers' Rest.” The Travelers' Rest became a popular stop among travelers on the Great Road . The town grew up around the inn, as travelers set up shop to supply the caravans that frequently stopped in the hamlet. More and more travelers wandered into the small town and decided to settle there, and soon the hamlet was in need of leadership. As the founder of the hamlet, Taneth came to be known as the town's leader, and in 1360, the town became known as Valdale.
One of the first settlers in Valdale was a wealthy magic dealer known simply as “Mordon.” Mordon is a bit of a recluse, but has always been friendly with Taneth, and actually helped fund the town jail as well as the town hall. In 1361, Cooper Blandring, a retired Purple Dragon, opened the first smithy in Valdale. The same year, a halfling named Baashka Brightbloom opened Valdale's first general store. The following year, a dwarf named Delk Copperlode and his wife Magda settled in the town, opening a tavern called “Clangeddin's Beard.” In 1363, the half-orc Galen Urll settled in Valdale with his human wife Darna, and their nephew Dev. Galen became famous for his delicious smoked meats and opened “Urll's Meats” which he ran with his wife until her disappearance two years ago. Ever the entrepreneur, Galen also opened a small bait and tackle shop near the town's pond, which is run by his nephew. Ratham Glass, a cleric of Tymora, arrived in Valdale in 1366 and founded the town first and only church. Anson Gale came to Valdale in 1370. Anson is a young aristocract from Selgaunt who sought refuge in Valdale when he was forced into hiding.
During a hunting expedition in 1362, Taneth encountered a young Selunite named Malthius who was tracking a small band of orcs. The orcs had abducted a woman from her home while her two sons were out hunting. Malthius had seen the abduction from a distance, and was determined to save the woman. Taneth agreed to help the young man, and together they defeated the orcs. During the fight, Taneth was surprised to learn that the young man was actually a lycanthrope, as was the woman they had come to save. Taneth was surprised by this discovery, but was impressed by Malthius' honorable behavior, and offered him his hand in friendship. Malthius was likewise impressed by Taneth's offer, and the two of them became friends. Years later, Malthius became the leader of his tribe, which was known as The Silver Claw. Taneth and Malthius formed and alliance in order to keep peace between the lycanthropes and the villagers.
Illiasa died sixteen years ago while giving birth to their daughter, Aslia. Since that time, Taneth has worked hard to raise his son and daughter in accordance with their elven heritage. The halfling, Baashka, has always offered Taneth a helping hand with his children, especially Aslia, who has come to regard the halfling as a mother figure. Though Taneth and Baashka's relationship has always been merely friendship, there are always rumors of romance between the two. Taneth has trained his son Durnan to fight, and Durnan has become the acting marshal of Valdale. When newcomers arrive in the town, they are greeted by Durnan, and often taken to the church of Tymora to meet Ratham, the town's priest. These meetings are an excuse for Ratham to detect the alignment of any new arrivals to the town.
Twelve years ago, the Rotting Man appeared in the Rawlinswood, bringing decay and destruction with him. In 1371 the Rotting Man's army took Dun-Tharos, driving the Nentyarch into exile at Yeshelmaar. Rumors of the Rotting Man's defeat were well received by the villagers of Valdale. However, recent sightings of blightspawned creatures have renewed the fears of the villagers, and stirred the lycanthropes into action once again. The Claw has warned Taneth Val of the encroaching blight that now seems to be moving south toward Valdale. Malthius has spread rumors of treasure in the area to lure adventurers to the wood, hoping that they will help battle the evil Blightlords. The presence of Praxixlashtrandizlar lends credence to these tales, and many adventurers have come to the wood, but very few have made it out alive.
Tales of blightspawned creatures are told throughout the borders of the Rawlinswood, and it is said that such creatures destroyed Desperdale. The frequency of encounters with these blighted creatures south of the wood has increased recently, giving rise to rumors of impending attacks on Valdale and other settlements.
Notable Residents of Valdale
Taneth Val (LG human Ftr 10) is the founder and mayor of Valdale, a small hamlet south of the Rawlinswood.
Aslia Val (CG Female Half-elf Rgr 2) is Taneth's daughter and the apple of his eye. Aslia is a beautiful young lady in her early twenties; she is a capable fighter, and an excellent tracker. She is smitten by the handsome young Anson Gale, and the two plan to marry. Aslia runs the family stables.
Durnan Val (LG Male Human Ftr 5) is Taneth's son and the acting marshal of Valdale. Durnan is friendly and easy going, but he takes his job seriously. Durnan ensures that the few residents of Valdale feel secure in their homes and on their streets. Durnan questioned his father's pact with the lycanthropes, but since they have honored their side of the agreement for nearly three years now, he has grudgingly come to accept it. Durnan's wife runs the family inn that was one of the original fixtures in Valdale.
Triell Val (NG Female Human Exp 2) is Durnan's wife. Triell is a tall, comely woman, with pleasant features. She is stern but friendly and tolerates no mischief within the walls of the inn. Many a drunken traveler has awoken to find himself in a holding cell, after causing Triell too much trouble, or disturbing other guests. Durnan and Triell have four-year-old twin sons, Jak and Logan.
Anson Gale (CG Male Human Ari 6) is the handsome young love interest of Aslia Val; the two plan to marry in the near future. Good with a rapier, but a bit of a fop, Anson is the son of a wealthy Sembian merchant. Anson was forced into hiding after his mother and father were murdered.
Delk Copperlode (LG Male Dwarf Exp 5) is the dwarven proprietor of “Clangeddin's Beard,” the only tavern in Valdale; he also has a few rooms to rent, which are located just north of the tavern. Delk enjoys adventurers, and will talk with them for as long as they will allow it. The rooms Delk rents are very clean, the food he serves is great, and the mead and ale he serves are dwarven. Delk's wife, Magla, helps him run the tavern.
Magda Copperlode (CG Female Dwarf Brd 2 Exp 2) is Delk's wife and the cook at Clangeddin's Beard. She is a beautiful dwarven woman, but she is considered beautiful by most standards. She is very flirtatious with the patrons of the tavern, but is always true to Delk.
Old Wolf (CG Male Human Drd 10) is a mysterious hermit who lives in the Rawlinswood and is often seen lurking near the edges of Valdale. Little is known about this reclusive figure, but the residents of Valdale dubbed him “Old Wolf” due to the wolf skins he seems to be fond of wearing. No one knows that Old Wolf is actually one of the only surviving druids from the time before the Rotting Man came. He keeps watch over the residents of Valdale, trying to keep them from the same fate that has befallen so many others since the arrival of the Rotting Man.
Cooper Blandring (LG Male Human Ftr 6 Pdk 4) is a middle-aged man who is the blacksmith in Valdale. Coop is a big man with solid arms from pounding and swinging steel throughout his life. He is a veteran of the Tuigan campaign, having fought with Azoun's men to repel the hordes. After the campaign, Cooper retired to the Great Dale, recently setting up shop in Valdale.
Ratham Glass (NG Male Human Clr 6) is a cleric of Tymora who recently started a church in Valdale. His “church” is little more than a shrine in shack, but Father Glass has faith that his flock will grow over time. He spends his time caring for the other citizens of Valdale, particularly Anna, the leper that lives in the dirt streets of Valdale. Ratham is a Harper priest, and knows “Anna's” true identity. He keeps her in the church and helps her to maintain her ruse.
“Anna” (NG Female Bard 8) is a “leper” that has found refuge in the church of Tymora in Valdale. Her real name is Iria Shanos, a Harper agent assigned to Valdale to keep an eye on the Rotting Man's minions. She has become friendly with the Harper priest who has taken her in and helped her with her assignment.
Baashka Brightbloom (N Female Halfling Rog 2 Exp 2) is the proprietor of “Baashka's Basics,” Valdale's general store. Baashka is a bright and cheerful female lightfoot halfling, who loves to haggle and trade, but offers fair prices nonetheless.
Mordon the Modest (NG Male Human Wiz 18) is Valdale's resident sage. Mordon retired from the adventuring life shortly after his first adventure. In spite of his failure as an adventuring wizard, Mordon continued his study of magic, eventually becoming a well-respected dealer of magical items, and was well known throughout the Western Heartlands. He retired many years ago and moved east, finally settling in Valdale. He may or may not be interested in buying or selling magical items, depending on his mood, but he will usually examine an item for the price of dinner and drinks. Mordon is actually a powerful wizard, but he keeps this fact well hidden from the world around him, working in secret to protect his adopted home. He also keeps his stash of powerful magic items well hidden in an extradimensional space that is only accessible by teleporting directly into a 10 ft diameter hollow sphere in the earth 100 ft directly below his home.
alen Urll (CG Male Half-orc Rgr 2 Exp 2) is Valdale's half-orc butcher, and owner of “Urll's Meats.” He is known for his exceptional smoked meats. Urll also owns the bait shop down by the lake, which his nephew Dev runs for him. Urll is tremendously fat, but surprisingly agile for his size, in large part due to the strength inherited from the orc who sired him. The children of Valdale, specifically Jak and Logan Val, are particularly fond of Urll, tormenting him endlessly with questions, pranks, and playing. Urll enjoys playing with the children, in spite of his false protests. Urll's wife, Darna, disappeared two years ago and is presumed to be dead.
Dev Urll (CN Male Human Com 2) is Darna's 16-year-old nephew. Dev's parents were killed when their wagon tipped over and was crushed by the other wagons when a group of bandits attacked their caravan. Dev barely escaped with his life, losing his left arm to one of the wagon's wheels. Galen and Darna took Dev in after his parents died, and have adopted him as their own. Urll has continued to care for his adopted son since Darna's disappearance.
The Silver Claw
Malthius (CG Male Wererat Rog 10) is a good-natured wererat rogue, and leader of a tribe of lycanthropes that have banded together in the Rawlinswood. Calling themselves “The Silver Claw,” they have battled against the Blightlords for well over a year now, trying to keep them from spreading the blight throughout their hunting grounds. A lack of divine magic has left the Claw at a disadvantage, and they are beginning to lose ground. Malthius' control over the lycanthropes in this region is absolute. Thanks in large part to Bone and Gnash, the very powerful wereboar brothers that have served him unconditionally since Malthius saved their mother from an orc hunting party. Malthius knows the danger of the Blightlords, and will do anything to stop them. Malthius does not despise humans as much as most of his ilk, and will enter into agreements with them, such as the “truce” he has made with Taneth Val, which says the Claw won't hunt the humans of Valdale as long as the humans don't hunt the Claw. Malthius is open to making such a pact with the rest of the Dale, in return for assistance in ridding their hunting grounds of the blighters.
Bone & Gnash (CN Male Wereboars Ftr 8) are incredibly strong wereboar brothers. They are extremely protective of Malthius ever since he rescued their mother from a band of orcs. They follow Malthius everywhere he goes, to the point that he sometimes tires of their presence; however, he knows that none of the other lycanthropes of the Rawlinswood can challenge them, much less any humans, so he tolerates their over protectiveness.
Brand & Torah (CG Male Werewolf Rgr 8 & Female Werewolf Rgr 6) are Malthius' werewolf scouts. They are relatively new to the tribe, but have so far proven themselves to be invaluable. Torah recently learned that she is pregnant, but she is waiting a little longer before she retires to their den, after all, who will watch after Brand if she settles in now?
Evil Influences from the Rawlinswood
Talean Ravenwind (NE Female Human Drd 7 Talontar Blightlord 7) was a beautiful young druid who protected the Rawlinswood, until the Rotting Man came and corrupted her, now she is one of the last surviving Blightlords, and she sews destruction, decay, and death throughout the Rawlinswood. Since the disappearance of the Rotting Man, she tolerates Drasis because of her wealth, although she finds her infinitely annoying. She has created many blightspawn throughout the Wood, and has enlisted the aid of Blukgrakku, a fiendish Grell, who hates all of humanity and wants to see them all suffer.
Thorn (CE Male Human Bar 10) is a barbarian follower of Talona, who works as Talean Ravenwind's contact with the outside world, as well as her assassin.
Drasis (NE Female Human Clr 12) is a Cleric of Talona. Her wealth and available manpower is appealing to Talean, who uses Drasis for access to her resources. Drasis sees supporting Talean's efforts to spread blight throughout Faerun as a way to gain the Rotting Man's, and ultimately, Talona's favor. She is rarely seen without her guards, the five Paladins of Slaughter that accompany her at all times.
Blukgrakku “ Bluk ” (CE) is a fiendish Grell that enjoys the suffering of humanoids, and helps Talean Ravenwind from time to time, since the decay she spreads causes so much death and despair among the humans of the Dale. Bluk controls a variety of fiendish monstrous vermin, as well as a pack of gricks that were sired by the green dragon, Praxixlashtrandizlar. Bluk has also managed to enlist the services of a Thaskor shadowbeast named Blath.
Praxixlashtrandizlar (CE) is an insane adult green, who spends most of his time cavorting with gricks and zealously guarding his hoard, which consists of bones, wagon wheels, old clothes, gardening tools, and other bits of trash he picks up in the wood.
Zig, Trag, Bax, and Prax (CE) the grick progeny of Praxixlashtandizlar, they are much stronger than their grick kin, and are therefore more bold and adventurous. They often hunt throughout the Rawlinswood, seeking live prey, rather than the carrion that most of their kind survives on.
Blath (CE) is a Thaskor shadowbeast that came to Faerun by means of an accidental summoning. Blath killed the summoner and fled, finally reaching the Rawlinswood, he has come to like it here in Faerun, since many of the creatures here are weak, and prey is plentiful. After a close call with a group of adventurers, he joined forces with a grell named “Bluk” whose minions offer a degree of protection.
Map Legend (click map for full size)
- Cooper's Smithy
- Braashka's Basics
- Clangeddin's Beard
- Church of Tymora
- Urll's Meats
- Mayor's Office
- Town Hall
- Val Manor
- Traveler's Rest
- Urll's Bait Shop
- Anson Gale's house
- Mordon's house
- The Gellar farm
- The Morgan farm
- Baashka's house
- Galen Urll's house
- Durnan's & Triell's house
- Nort Glen (works for Durnan at the jail) and his wife Della, their sons Kel and Dax, and their daughter Delly.
- Jayla Mornsong's house. Jayla is a beautiful, single woman in her early twenties; she works at Braashka's Basics.
- Cord Burlis' house. Cord works as a farmhand at the Gellar farm.
- Ratham Glass' house
- Dallon Firth's house. Dallon works for Durnan at the jail with Nort. Dallon's wife's name is Scylla; she is pregnant with their first child.
- Empty house
- Cooper Blandring's house
- Cain Rava's house. Cain is a retired caravan guard and adventurer, who brought his family here from Daggerdale in 1357. He has worked with Taneth Val since the beginning, and the two are good friends. Cain's wife, Garnet, helps around the Traveler's Rest from time to time, and watches Jak and Logan most days while Triell is at the inn.
- Delk and Magda Copperlode's house
- Brannon Rava's house. Cain's son, Brannon has always been adventurous. A skilled fighter, Brannon often patrols the perimeter of Valdale for signs of trouble.
- Skalah Turlan's house. Skalah is a Calishite rogue who met and married a young woman from Valdale, and stayed here with her and her family. Skalah's wife is Illiana, formerly Illiana Rava, daughter of Cain and Garnet Rava.
To the north of the map is the Rawlinswood. South of the map is the rest of Valdale, which consists of 43 homes containing 197 residents.
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