Located high in the mist-shrouded mountain crags of the Stoneheart Mountains, Realon vale is home to the famous city of Dun Realon. Locally known as the Grey Citadel, Dun Realon is an important trading city and a key crossing point on the turbulent river Realon. Thanks to its economy, Dun Realon is highly successful, but its remote location also ensures that it will never be terribly sophisticated.
The River Realon has only one viable crossing in the Stoneheart Mountains — a broad ford at the base of a plunging waterfall. Just below the ford, the river tumbles several hundred feet over a second waterfall before continuing down the rocky gorge. Midway across the ford, a huge slab of bedrock divides the river into two channels. On this island, many generations ago, Realon Angus staked a claim and founded a tiny trading post. Now, centuries later, expansion of the duchies and kingdoms on either side of the Stoneheart Mountains and the development of trade between them have caused the tiny trading center and way station to grow into a heavily fortified citadel, with the charter and lordship still in the hands of the Angus family. The people of Realon vale are hardy and self-sufficient; hardships are taken in stride, and respect is reserved for those who have earned it. The woodsmen who occupy the forested slopes around the Grey Citadel regard the merchant class as arrogant foreigners from pampered lowland cities; the Guild merchants regard the woodsmen as savages whose uncouth lifestyle they tolerate only in the interests of profit. The River Realon flows down out of the Stoneheart Mountains, first through snow-fed mountain streams, then crashing down through rocky gorges and finally calming and widening as it flows across the lowland plains toward the sea. The region surrounding the river valley (known as Realon vale) is governed from the city of Dun Realon. The authority of the Lord of Realon vale extends from the river’s headwaters in the rugged mountains to the edge of the grasslands that stretch endlessly away from the foothills of the Stoneheart mountains. The trade road runs from the more civilized lowlands over the forbidding peaks of the Stoneheart Mountains into exotic distant lands. Merchant traffic is consistent on the road for as long as the mountain passes are open, but it peaks during the summer and fall seasons, when rivers are down and the first snow has not yet fallen. Even after the merchant trade across the mountains has fallen off for the season, local hunters, trappers, farmers, craftsmen, and adventurers still travel to the Grey Citadel with regularity, so the trade road is never without encounters. Some of the regions that frame the trade road are desolate and uninhabited, but most of the Realon vale region is alive with animal life and dotted with small settlements. Wandering off the road is not advised by anyone who knows the area — bandits, highwaymen, and humanoid tribes are always nearby. Outrider patrols from Dun Realon travel the tradeways and police the villages and hamlets, but even they do not wander far from the road. The bustling town of Pembrose is a settlement known far across the continent of Lucarcia - much further than a town of its size would demand. The reason is this is the location of the famous Pembrose Red winery; probably the most sought after wine in the region.