The Nentir Vale
Up until four centuries or so ago, the Moon Hills and the surrounding Nentir Vale were thinly settled borderlands, home to quarrelsome human hill-chieftains and remote realms of non-humans such as dwarves and elves. Giants, minotaurs, orcs, ogres, and goblins plagued the area. Ruins such as those on the Gray Downs or the ring-forts atop the Old Hills date back to those days, as do stories of the hero Vendar and the dragon of the Nentir.
With the rise of the empire of Nerath to the south, human settlers began to move up the Nentir, establishing towns such as Fallcrest, Harkenwold, and Winterhaven. A Nerathan hero named Boris Zaspar, slayer of the ancient red dragon named Pyrothenes, was granted lands extending out from Lake Wintermist’s western shore for as far as he could in every direction from sunrise to sunset. The hilly terrain in this area kept his holdings small overall, but large enough for a town and a few farms. So he brought his retainers and peasants to his new home and founded a settlement, Mistwatch, on the lake’s shores.
A sleepy town, blessed with riches pulled from the unyielding stone in the nearby Cairngorm Peaks, grown rich from timber cut from the Winterbole Forest, and fed well on trout and salmon drawn from the clear, mist-covered water, Mistwatch enjoyed peace and prosperity for nearly two centuries. When the Nerath empire began to crumble about a century ago, Mistwatch continued to quietly flourish — for a time. Ninety years ago, a fierce horde of orcs known as the Bloodspears descended from the nearby Stonemarch and razed the town. The Bloodspears burned and pillaged communities and villages throughout the Nentir Vale before their menace finally and mercifully drew to an end.
In the decades since the Bloodspear War, Mistwatch has struggled to reestablish itself. Struggling to heal and rebuild, the small, relatively peaceful community found itself rocked by a pair of recent events. During the time referred to as the Late Unpleasantness, a madman stalked the streets of Mistwatch, killing dozens. Known as Chopper, the killer’s month-long reign of terror ended bloodily when an eccentric local artisan was revealed as the murderer and killed during his attempted capture. Adding to the pain, less than a month later the local chapel to Erathis burned to the ground in a conflagration that nearly consumed the town’s northern half and left the local priest dead.
Emerging from the shadow of these events, many townsfolk view the coming dedication of the rebuilt church as a symbolic end to their struggles and a return to normalcy.