Background

T Nori Vale

Life is simple in the Vale. For the most part, there's enough to go around and people keep to themselves. That's not to say there isn't the occasional scoundrel, or even the rare murder. But at the end of the day, things are much like they were a year, a decade or even a lifetime ago.

Most folks just seem to lack that ambition. That wanderlust. Perhaps because just about everyone has, at one point or another, traveled the entirety of the Vale. From the foothills of the impassable mountains to the edges of the treacherous Blightroot Bayou. The boundaries are well-known. And those who cross them don't come back.

In the past intrepid woodsman have set out to cross what would seem to be a gap where the Great Maru Mountains meet. But despite tireless exploration no path has ever been found. Fireside tales are often told about the unusual sights explorers have beheld in their travels. Great beasts roaming the taiga, living flames devouring wooded groves, sudden holes in the earth gaping hungrily, vast seas of sand sweeping in over night, strange obelisks in the shade of the towering mountains. The tales vary as wildly as the night's sky.

Fools daring emough to venture into the ravenous Blightroot rarely return. And those that do return do so without the business parts of their sanity. The tales of these wretched survivors are too fantastic and incoherent to be believed.

Still others have tried to traced the raging Tor Frenga River to it's roots. But not a single soul has ever returned from the teeth of Tor Frenga. There broken bodies are summarily delivered to the temple city of Dal T'Nor where the Tor Frenga finds its rest.

In the most ancient of manuscripts, there is fleeting mention of the outside world. The Dryven claim that their ancestors ruled a mountain-top kindgom across a vast ocean to the south. The elves' legends tell that they were born of seed and twig in a distant primeval forest unlike any other. In a distant wasteland to the east is said to stand the very stones from which the first dwarves were carved by unknown hands. Little if anything more is known about the world beyond.

Of course no one has even seen these places. Or even held some much as pebble from beyond the Vale. That is until recently ...