The Vale of Arabour Geographic Location in Challaria | World Anvil

The Vale of Arabour

Describe a lush and fertile location in your world.

The Vale of Arabour lies on the Harren-var between the Harren Marshes and Nabra-thip. It is famed for the productivity of its fields and orchards with dried fruit from the Vale found in market places all round the continent. Apples are the largest single fruit crop of the Vale, and the one which is most used by the locals forming as it does the base for the renowned ciders of the Vale which range from the sweet and full bodied to the sharp and astringent; from the gently refreshing to be drunk through a hard daay’s labour to the more potent for high days and holidays. The orchards are also home to most of the Vale’s swine - whose famed hams can be found on the highest tables of the empire but mostly consumed in the Vale. You’ll find more on this aspect of the Vale in the description of an Orchard Tender’s Cottage, Vale of Arabour.
Were the Vales lush fertility limited to feeding itself it would be a veritable land of Cockaigne but its economy thrives on the export of its produce. Fresh fruit and vegetables find their way down the Harren to Harren-thip and dried fruit finds its way to most corners of the empire by barge or caravan in sacks and crates marked with stylised laden apple tree that is the badge of the Vale.
More recent developments include the production of concentrated cider, produced in the winter by letting the water separate out as ice and then decanting the concentrate. In the coldest of winters this results in a highly potent liquor which can be drunk but is more often used as a flavouring, imparting the heady scent of the fruit into otherwise bland dishes. Some have started to experiment with preserving fruit using the extract of Sweetroot and had some success with this - see for example, The Kitchen's Book of Larch Hill. Though popular in the cities, these preserves are not widely favoured in the Vale and few produce them on account of a long running antipathy, verging on a taboo, against sweetroot.


The vale is a broad, shallow valley through which the Harren-var flows, with the famed Vale of Arabour running for some (40 miles) along the river and (4 miles) with side of it. The areas closer to the river are regularly flooded by it and are fruitful for grain and vegetables; set back from the river, on slightly higher land are the orchards and fruit plantations. Small villages dot the valley every couple of miles with most working both field and orchard and the market towns of Arabour, Evestown and Beremer acting as hubs for longer distance trade.
The river is a major route of communication and in the flatter lands or its flood plain canals are maintained to aid transport and irrigation. One consequence of this is that for a landlocked people, the inhabitants of the Vale are uncommonly well versed at watercraft.

Fauna & Flora

Little remains of the natural flora and fauna of the Vale, though some of the crops (the Harren Orange, Hotleaf and the apple) are believed to have originated in this area. Local lore speaks of several types of beast which used to be a threat (the fellick, jabro and the mautz) but nowadays the animals are those associated with agriculture - plough and cart drawers, pests and predators of pests booth wild and domesticated. Domesticated pigs are common and their wild cousins are also present and tolerated in the orchard lands. A number of bird species are common across the area and occasionally the numbers of Green Fruit Eaters explode resulting in devastation of fruit crops explode resulting in devastation of fruit crops.

Historical Notes

The Vale of Arabour was one of the first well settled areas in what became the empire and holds Abran, the first emperor, as the ultimate "local boy made good" though in truth he came from the very far east of the vale and his mother was from the Harren Marshes. Be that as it may, Abran's legacy has worked well for the Vales people through some oddities of land holding and succession that he codified and which none have challenged.
Probably the single most exciting episode of the Vale's documented history was the raid of Njoragh Stormbringer which sacked Harren-thip and made it as far up the river as Evestown where local tradition says they were sated with roast pork and cider and departed peacefully leaving only a few of their number who took a fancy to the area and its inhabitants and introduced the skills of boat building and watercraft.
Map for Unknown Lands
Related Tradition (Primary)

Sweetroot and the Vale

Unlike most other parts of the Empire, the cultivation of Sweetroot never established in the Vale, even for use as animal fodder. This is generally supposed to be because the Vale was one of the few places relatively untouched by the Great Famine, and with so much sweetness in their fruit and the honey from their bees the quantity of work involved in processing sweetroot to a safe state just never seemed worth it. This apathy was hardened into antiparthy when, late in the Hereditary period some of the major cider producers were found to be lacing their product with unclayed sweetroot - had they done this before the fermentation it would probably have been fine, but by adding the sweetroot after the fermentation the toxins were untreated and a number of cases of Rootsickness resulted.

A Quick Guide to the Towns of The Vale


Situated on the northern bank of the Harren-var, the town of Arabour is the gateway to the vale and a major market place for its wares. The town’s guild hall houses the head of an impressively large jabro Which has become a bit of a tourist attraction. In the latter days of the Marivan Empire the town thrived on the river trade with Nabra-thip and though less prosperous than it was it survived the The Coming of the Ara'koi and continues to make its way in the world.


On the southern bank of the river, Evestown only came to be more than a hamlet following the fall of the Empire. It has specialised in engineering and is the heart of the network of canals and irrigation’s that help give the vale its lush fertility. It is no co-incidence that it is where the Grand Canal joins the Harren-var It is also a centre for cider manufacture and the subtle arts of processing alcohol into other substances.


Easternmost of the towns of the Vale, Beremer straddles the Harren-var as it leaves the Harren Marshes. It has limited upstream trade having been largely bypassed by the Grand Canal but continues to support the communities of the eastern vale and the Harren Marshes. It is also the base for many of the barges that carry the trade of the lower Harren-var as this trade is dominated by the people of their Harren Marshes.

Articles under The Vale of Arabour


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