"The valley was green, greener than any other area I had ever seen. The trees grew taller, less scraggly than those I was accustomed to. Birds of the air and creatures of the forest abounded. This was the place. A place to call home. A place to reside"
Laurel Fleetfoot's impression upon first
reaching the Darnal Valley in 2069 AC.
The Darnal Valley is a small region of land located along the course of the Darnal River in the Storm Dam mountains. It is a lush, forested valley carved out by glaciers of old, leaving many rocky hills and promontories that provide habitats for many of the valley’s occupants.
The valley’s climate is a thin line between the harsh deserts to the west and the higher altitudes to the west. The valley gets small amounts of rainfall year round, primarily relying on the glacial melt from higher up in the Storm Dam Mountains. The glaciers provide plenty of water to feed the entire valley with its cold waters, particularly on the summer days which can reach extremely warm temperatures. The winters, however, are very cold in contrast with large amounts of snow accumulation. Together, these variations lead to the flora and fauna
of the region being particularly hardy.
The river that forms the center of the valley flows a red-brown color, a result of the high quantities of iron and forges along the river further upstream. It is a shallow, but noisy, stream flowing over its rocky course. This river flows alongside most of the main settlements in the valley and the Darnal Road before exiting out into the deserts to the west.
The Darnal Valley is an autonomous region acting as a buffer zone between the Kingdom of Durgord to the south and the Thaldorian Kingdom to the northwest, with the Amiro Empire beyond that. There are no active conflicts between the kingdoms but the valley yields little for any of the kingdoms to take advantage of.
The recognized authority in the Darnal Valley is centered in Loggerton
, the region’s largest town. Located about halfway up the valley on the shores of the Red Lake, its central position allows it to control the smaller farmsteads immediately surrounding it but also to hold its influence over the areas further along the valley in either direction.
Although the Darnal Valley does not have a strong central power to govern it, the town of Loggerton does exact influence over the region. A committee, formed of a Mayor, Treasurer, and Ranger, are responsible for maintaining order in the valley. The Mayor is responsible for managing relations within the valley and with the nations outside the valley. Generally this just involves trade disputes between the valley’s many factions. The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the public facilities in the valley. This primarily includes the road and bridge maintenance and equipment for the Rangers. The Rangers are responsible for the protection of the valley. They are only a small group, spread thinly through the hamlets of the valley. They deal with the beasts of the wilds that sometimes emerge from the wilderness or with the criminals within the valley. Each of these positions are filled by elected officials, with the role being voted on every four years. However, they generally stay with the same individual for long lengths of time.
Although this committee forms one center of power over the valley, it is heavily influenced by many of the other factions in the valley. The committee is generally involved in settling the disputes that arise between the factions presented below, although sometimes the Rangers are too embroiled in the problem to partake in the solutions.
Factions of the Darnal Valley:
: Mostly under the authority of the Darnal Valley Committee. They ensure the safety of the valley’s occupants.
: The bandits in the Darnal Valley tend to be composed of people who have fled from the Amiro Empire for one reason or another. Their efforts are primarily aimed at caravans delivering goods to the empire itself. Although openly at conflict with the Rangers, there have been times where the two have worked together.
: The Caravaner's Guild
is the most influential group in the Darnal Valley as they are responsible for nearly all of the trade that passes through the valley. Without the Caravaner’s Guild’s presence, much of the valley’s livelihoods would dry up, making them a large factor in the valley’s politics.
• The Amiro Empire
: The The Amiro Empire is the greatest threat and benefactor to the valley. Most of the resources sold in the valley, from timber to ice, ends up travelling west into the Amiro Empire. However, there is always the fear that the empire will encroach on the Darnal Valley and subjugate it, causing resistance and support for many of the opposition groups, particularly the bandits.
• Laros’s Shrine
: Laros’s Shrine Laros of Darnal Valley
is a regional pilgrimage spot, attracting many travelers. It also acts as a neutral space within the valley. However, it does not count as an ally of the Amiro Empire due to the Empire’s policies of clearing forests for its cities.
• The Nature Guardians
: The Nature's Guardians
are a druidic group spread throughout Tangearin, with a small gathering in the Darnal Valley.
• Green Leaf Tribe
: The Green Leaf Tribe The Green Leaf Tribe
is a settlement of gnomes found in the southwest of the valley. Their presence is not known by the majority of the valley’s residents and they keep largely to themselves, following the customs of their ancestors.
• Garnog Tribe
: The Garnog Tribe Garnog Tribe
is a tribe of Goblins located to the northeast of the valley at Garl Grock
. Although the tribe’s presence is known to the valley’s inhabitants and regarded warily, it has been several generations since there was a conflict between the two.
Economy of the Darnal Valley
The Darnal Valley’s economy is generally focused on the export of agricultural or raw resource goods, either to the Durgord Kingdom, Thaldorian Kingdom, or the Amiro Empire. Worked goods or more luxury items than returned back to the Darnal Valley. All trade in the Darnal Valley is conducted either by bartering or using the Amiron Coin.
|Hides and other game products
|Ice (from Glacier Lake)
||Rarer foods/drinks (ex. wine, oil)
Although each of the smaller settlements would have their own market, either on a weekly or fortnightly basis, the largest market in the valley occurs in Loggerton on every Orlosdir (the first day of the week). Although this market is still small compared to those found in the cities in the Amiro Empire or elsewhere, most native foods or simple worked objects can be found at this market. There are also occasional longer distance traders moving between the Amiro Empire and the Durgord Kingdom that time their journeys to pass through Loggerton on Orlosdir.