Shadowdale is a small farming community located within the heart of the Dalelands (an allied organization of rural communities surrounding the elven woods of Cormanthor, north of the nations of Sembia and Cormyr and south of the Moonsea). Shadowdale is the name for both the cleared area which owes allegiance to the lord of Shadowdale and for the unfortified community which is the heart of this farming territory.
Shadowdale is the most famous of the Dalelands, primarily owing to its reputation as a haven for capable and powerful adventurers. Shadowdale is an attractive community to adventuring companies and heroes. The town straddles the North Ride, the road which runs from Shadow Gap (and beyond to Cormyr) to Voonlar (gateway to the Moonsea), and as such sees a regular trade between these two regions.
Within the past decade, the abandonment of Cormanthor by the elves due to the elven Retreat has increased the interest in exploring the formerly forbidden depths of the deep woods. Lastly, the entire area surrounding Shadowdale is riddled with ruins and underground passages, often occupied by foul creatures hostile to humankind. Shadowdale forms a suitable base camp for explorers and adventuring companies working in the area.
The people of Shadowdale also make the area attractive to adventurers. The community is primarily rural, but looks to powerful heroes to protect it from the dangers of the Underdark, the deep woods, and other cities. In the past, the rulers of Shadowdale have been established by acclamation, and usually are chosen from foreign heroes and heroines who have performed some service. This acclamation is usually confirmed by the approval of the current lord or lady, who is looking for a more peaceful line of work than overseeing a town which is regularly visited by powerful heroes, foreign armies, and extraplanar deities.
Finally, Shadowdale is a welcome place for adventurers as it is the home of Old Skull Inn, and occasionally there is even treasure to be found at the end of them.the Sage, the Mage of Shadowdale. While this august individual is not home as often as he is, and even when present would rather not talk to passing adventurers, his very presence adds a level of security to the community, and attracts both those seeking knowledge and those with knowledge to pass on. At any one time, adventurers and locals are passing around two or three treasure maps in the common room of the
It is here the player characters first met and formed the Shadowdale Four.