The Western Valley: The Stonework of Stone Creek


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stonecreekStone Creek is a work camp caught between the Western Valley and the Northern border. Its main purpose is to cut marble from the old Mia river basin that was redirected by Dermite workers when the marble was discovered over 130 years prior.

Only a handful of workers live in the camp, switching out every three months to visit family in Derm or Menk. The marble is sent to the Dermite capital of Derlin to fortify the walls or grow the city within the walls. The marble is also sold to the East for their elaborate architecture, although the East prefers to work with alabaster and limestone.

The camp consists of thirty men at one time which spend most of their hours cutting and moving stones out of the quarry. Stone Creek is abandoned during the winter seasons and resumes near the end of spring when the snow has fully melted. Those that work in Stone Creek are friendly and up for trading food for stories if you happen to be travelling through that way.

Not many choose to stay at the camp unless they have to but new faces are always a welcoming sight for the men working the quarry.

There is a Chijin sculpture by the name of Havin Grockburnker that spends his time in the quarry. Since the age of ten, he spent his summers with the workers learning about marble and at times negotiating prices with merchants that wish to buy. When he was fifteen, Grockburnker began using the flawed pieces of marble for his personal projects, sculpting ‘the spirit’ of the marble. He has created over 100 pieces and is paid to do commissions for very influential clients, (Empress of La’reen and Father Valkrin of Sydrin). Now, at the age of 56 his work is bought by royalty and the money he receives he uses to better the lives of those in the quarry by buying new equipment, lodging, or food.

Havin Grockburnker’s most famous pieces – The Three Siblings – can be found in the Arrowhilm Temple.

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The Western Valley: The Orchard Village of Downrow


Downrow is a village who focuses mainly on fruit and fruit trees, in the middle of the Western Valley.downrow

It has a population of 160 people and growing, since the main road cuts right through the middle of the town. With this convince of the main road Downrow gets a lot of travellers heading either to the North or South throughout the travelling season of spring- fall. Even with the growing population and increased visitors, Downrow doesn’t have an inn or tavern.

Well they have a tavern but it’s a tented shop with wooden boxes for seats. The local rumours have it that they’ll be looking at building a tavern in the coming years if the visitors keep coming. They don’t want to waste resources on something that won’t bring in coin.

Downrow is also home to a Pellar (a basic healer that uses strange mixtures and odd items to cure people). He lives along the river’s edge outside the village limits in a tent. He likes to be alone but is known to have the Baker’s wife – Talia – check up on him and make sure he’s well.

Downrow is called the Village of Orchards for a reason, as most of the trees surrounding the village bear some kind of fruit. They harvest apples, plums and peaches. They also grow strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. They have the juiciest and sweetest fruits in the land, which even those in La’reen seek to have on their breakfast platters. Researchers from Calin believe the deliciousness of these fruits can be contributed to the rich soil of the valley and the Mia River that helps create the perfect environment for the fruit trees to flourish. The locals believe it is their hard work and passion for growing the perfect fruit that is the reason their village has grown in popularity for their harvests.

So, if you like your fruit and don’t mind sleeping in a barn for a night come stay in Downrow.

“Broket’s Bakery makes the best peach tarts.” – Rose-Marie Fiddlebottom (Arrowhilm)

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“Can catch some nice trout, and they don mind yah cookin’ it on the shore neither.” – Frow Rolbirk (Grelmik)

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“They say they had a healer, but he’s a loon!” – Kalben Aldros (La’reen)

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The Western Valley: The Border Town of Bay’s Lake


bayslakeBay’s Lake is a merchant hub that’s close to the Derm border. Still considered part of the Western Valley, Bay’s Lake welcomes anyone wishing to trade or sell goods. They carry exotic items from the far south like silks, perfumes, and jewellery. They carry precious gems and special leathers from the East. They also carry master crafted weapons and ale from the North.

Bay’s Lake, although considered a neutral border town,is occupied by Dermite. Those living or visiting will see the guards marching in their royal blue capes, dressed in their polished silver armour and carrying their banners of the Silver Gryphon. The guards mainly keep to themselves and rarely get involved with the lives of those on the island but if there’s trouble they’re the first to act.

The village isn’t only known for its large marketplace, but for their fishing. As the largest body of fresh water, Bay’s Lake is the main producer of sturgeon, lake trout, and during certain times of the year salmon. They also harvest the kelp and snails.

The population of Bay’s Lake fluctuates depending on the year. During the winter Bay’s Lake has around 100 living within the village, while during the spring, summer, and fall there can be over 500. There are several inns and taverns to accommodate all travellers’ tastes and with music playing every night by the docks, there is always entertainment.

If music isn’t your passion there are plenty of trails and shops to explore. There is also an assortment of food to try from roasted chestnuts and dried fruits to the locals favourite suckling pig and kelp chips.

If you are passing through to the North or making your way to the South, don’t forget to stop off through Bay’s Lake for a visit. It is worth any detour.

“The fishin’s great and the inns are cheap.” -Brek Brambldo (Fish Bank)

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“The view of the lake is absolutely inspirational.” -Daislee Patree (Calin)

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“Cooler than I’d like but the food made up for it.” -Kal’kin Gir’mli (Syder)

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The Western Valley: The Hunting Village of Beck


beck

If you have the choice to go to Berk or Beck, choose Beck. Beck is a village made up of skilled hunters, who focus their attention to big game.

The reason? Firkin the Bear Bludgeoner of course.

The story goes that about 265 years before the present day the small town of Beck was ravaged by a giant grizzly bear. As the village at the time was focused around farming and logging, like most Northern Scout Posts were, they didn’t have the skills to go after such a powerful beast.

For ten years they fed the bear goats and sheep, hoping that the bear wouldn’t kill the farmers or Gods forbid a child. The villagers of Beck feared leaving the open fields to explore the forests that helped fuel their fires and held a variety of other resources.

That’s when Firkin, a young bullheaded Northerner came to town. He had been put there to manage the scouts and make sure the loggers were working. It was upon hearing the story of the giant grizzly that Firkin decided that it was time for the people to stop fearing an animal and he headed into the woods.

Those in the village say that they heard Firkin and the grizzly fight for three days and three nights before the large Northerner came lumbering out with the skin of the bear. The people no longer feared the forests and became devoted to Firkin’s leadership.

Firkin stayed in the village of Beck when they were abandoned by the North during King Cark’s reign. Firkin married the local warden’s youngest daughter, where they had seven children, four of which became hunters like their father.

It’s from the story of Firkin that hunters from across Gaitan travel to hunt in the western forests in hopes of finding a giant grizzly, or other big game common to the area.

If hunting doesn’t interest you, than the Firkin Inn is bound to hit that historian bone of yours where you can see the head of the giant grizzly hanging behind the bar, while it’s fur is displayed across the ceiling.

“Not much for appearances, but the game is good.”

Rynor Crawlbek (Derm)

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“I only stopped here because I had to.”

Gregindorth Pillywagon (Easterly)

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The Western Valley: Berk


 

Berk

Berk, a village consisting of two farms, a smith and about fifteen people, all of which are related to one another in some way. There is no inn or tavern. The closest thing for entertainment is watching farmers drunk on home-made mead try and tip cows.

The town on Berk isn’t a memorable place and most just hurry to the next town or avoid the village all together.

They produce wheat, barely, and beef.

It is believed Berk started as two families who left the town of Irbet, although no one really knows… not even the villagers. They all have different stories regarding how the town came to be. Some say they came from the mountains to the North, other say they were prims* that decided to settle down and build a community.

Not much is known of the town and honestly… no one really cares…

*Prims: savage, wild, nomadic peoples of the eastern wild-lands.

“Whatever you do… do not have the stew.”

Caldor Lefwid (Easterly)

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“Nothin’ but cows and their brew tastes like piss.”

Baller Eccstone (Derm)

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