The Scales of War
The Elsir Vale
The Elsir Vale is a thinly populated human frontier. The vale stretches almost 250 miles east to west and averages about 70 miles north to south. Several small mountain ranges and dense forests form the vale’s borders. Major settlements in the valley are Dennovar, Brindol, and the Dwarven City Overlook.
Since the Red Hand invasion nearly a decade ago, mild prosperity in the region has allowed the Vale to steadily rebuild itself.
The scattered human towns and villages of the area grew up along the Dawn Way, an important east-west trade road linking the heavily settled lands of the golden plains with the five cities and the coastal lands lying to the southwest. Much of the grain produced by the endless fields of the golden plain are moved towards the city of Ashtarlon. However, the presence of various monsters and raiders has impeded the traffic along the Dawn Way; fewer caravans dare the long and dangerous trek and those that do are heavily guarded.
Much of the Dawn Way was built by an ancient dwarf-kingdom that spanned the Wyrmsmoke and Giants Shield Mountains several thousand years ago. The Dwarves were driven out of this area by the advancing Orc hordes and only after the Second Orc War did they slowly repopulate the region accompanied by large numbers of human settlers. While the dwarven empire is long gone, its roads, bridges, and cisterns remain in use to this day.
The Elsir Vale has a temperate, midlatitude climate. It is surrounded by the Giantshield Mountain Range to the Northeast, the Wyvernwatch Mountains to the South and the Wyrmsmoke Mountains to the East. These mountain ranges tend to trap polar air in winter, making winters very cold and bitter; while summers are hot and dry, with the occasional intense thunderstorm. Annual precipitation is about 25 inches.
To the North and Northwest of the vale, lay vast plains populated by many marauding tribes of Orcs. These large stretches of land are quite arid, with an annual precipitation of 4 inches in the driest regions and 17 inches in the moister steppes. The vale has not seen an Orcish attack in several hundred years, mostly thanks to the Dwarven Fortress of Boridin’s Watch, Elsir vale has not seen an Orc attack in several hundred years.
It is currently mid-summer in the vale. Days are hot, with temperatures rising between 85° to 110° F. Nights warm with temperatures falling between 85° to 60° F. This is the dry season, with infrequent rainfall. When it does rain, it pours; flash thunderstorms and tornadoes are common when this happens.
The borders of the vale are mostly, hills, mountains and forests, while the heart of the vale is a grassy plain. Every town in the vale is surrounded by numerous farms and hamlets. Beyond the civilized areas are vast rolling plains with infrequent hillocks and thickets of underwood and small trees.