The Grey Vale
A vast sea guards the western shore while towering mountain peaks pierce the sky to the north, south, and east. It is within this vast stretch of mountains that huge statues of granite stand in silent guard over a quiet mountain vale far below, a distant reminder of the long-lost ancient Cevali Empire.
The year is 340 AD and life in the isolated Grey Vale continues peacefully much as it has over the previous century. Farmers tend to their outlying crops as trade moves from one small and peaceful township to another. Humans make up the majority of the Grey Vale’s population, but halflings, dwarves, and elves can also be found living amongst many of the small communities since fleeing their homelands which were threatened by goblinoid invaders over a century ago. It is amongst these four civilized races that many still cling to the beliefs in the ancient gods. Perhaps somewhat surprising considering that there has been no proof of a higher power in recent memory amongst any of societies elders. But to an outsider it quickly becomes obvious that strong family tradition and simple faith are what tie these people of the vale to their undying religious beliefs.
It is true that peace seems to permeate the lands of the Grey Vale indeed, yet if one listens carefully whispers can be heard in the flickering torch light of local taverns. Rumors of shadows in the night, grave robbers, mysterious disappearances, and hushed whispers of goblinoid armies massing in the surrounding mountains above.
It is under this dark cloud of rumor and uncertainty that city officials in the town of Drakonheim put out a call for volunteers to join the local militia. But it soon becomes obvious that many answered the call expecting to make easy coin, after all surely there was no danger in the ever peaceful Grey Vale.
Then there remains the Mysteries and Myths of old. Some consider these to be little more than children’s bedtime stories. Stories of mythical creatures and giants roaming the world high above in the surrounding mountains, not to mention what mysterious lands might lay beyond. It’s those mysteries and myths that entertain young and old alike, yet deep down many wonder what is truth and what is fiction. The dark mysteries of the unknown world beyond can strike fear into the strongest soul if the mind is allowed to wander, and for the simple farm folk of the Grey Vale it’s easier to focus on the realities of the now rather that the “what if’s”, so life continues as usual while turning a blind eye to the mysteries and myths that may lie beyond.