Vale of Stolen Time
Our arrival at the Vale was marked by involuntary gasps of wonder as we finally laid eyes on the treasures within. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought our surrounds to be a painting, or perhaps an illusion - surely reality couldn't be this vibrant.Many fledgling adventurers and explorers believe Iskaldhal to largely be an icy wasteland. They barely acknowledge the thick taiga forests clustering to the continent's south, determined to believe that the presence of snow marks those areas as pointless. Attempting to show them the beauty lurking within the permafrost of Kylmävikk Desert is a futile endeavour. Usually hailing from the warmer reaches of Valathe, this type of explorer is considered the worst of explorers by Iskaldhan natives. This does not deter said natives from proving their continent's worth. The most stubborn of explorers will find themselves directed far north, well past the towering spire of Kyöpelinvuori, to a small cluster of mountains known locally as the Myrskyseinä (roughly translating to 'storm wall' in a local tongue). Named for the shelter they provide from strong winter storms, the Myrskyseinä also serve as a protective shell for one of Iskaldhal's more intriguing hidden gems: the Vale of Stolen Time.
Whispers of History
Gozreh must view the Vale with quiet contemplation of its existence. It functions in perfect contrast to His commandments of ever-changing nature, but what other memorial would be as fitting for His true Champion?Little is known about what lead to Gozreh's former Champion being forever entombed in crystal. Even his name is lost to the rivers of time - perhaps stolen away by the Worldrend's calamity. What can be inferred, however, is that he made the ultimate sacrifice to protect one small pocket of the land from time's ravages. He is the Hourglass now eternally stopped, and with his lost soul, the entire Vale remains paused in a fragment of eternity. Visitors scoff at this claim, pointing out the changing flowers and thunderous waterfall. Few remain long enough to note its repetition. Each year, the same flowers bloom and die. Fruits taken regrow the same way. Flowers planted integrate with the existing, oftentimes merging into said moment as if they had forever been there. Fallen humans - for some tragic souls view the Vale as the perfect ending to their flawed existence - remain no longer than a year, their bones becoming one with the soil, their flesh giving birth to new life. Whilst the Hourglass remains stopped, the Vale shall remain stolen from time.
Flora & Fauna
You may look, but leave only footprints and take nothing but the memory.
An enormous variety of trees, bushes, and other miscellaneous flora blanket the Vale - so much so that it seems to glow emerald under the light of the sun. Many of the plants predate society in age, and druidic visitors have confirmed that the Vale is of such an age that it possesses species of plant that have since gone extinct elsewhere. Were it not for the area's magical anomaly, it would be an incredibly scholarly resource - however, the latent magic prevents would-be scholars from removing samples for study. Attempts usually result in the samples wilting as soon as they leave the Vale's boundaries. More malicious attempts are met with harsher punishment.