Dark Age of Nerath
The Nentir Vale
In many ways, the Nentir Vale is a shadow of its former self.
About 90 years ago, the Bloodspear Clan of Orcs descended from the Stonemarch Mountains in the North-east, pillaging their way through the rest of the Vale. They left the land broken, destroying many settlements and severing connections between others. The Vale is now mostly empty, with a handful of living villages and towns scattered over a wide area of roughly twenty five hundred square miles. Abandoned farmsteads, ruined manors, and broken keeps litter the countryside and bandits, wild animals, and monsters roam freely throughout the Vale.
The common folk of the world look upon the wild lands with dread. Few people are widely traveled—even the most ambitious merchant is careful to stick to better-known, secure roads. In such a world, adventurers are aberrant. They are viewed as brave at best and insane at worst. But such a world is rife with the possibility for adventure, and no true hero will ever lack for a villain to vanquish or a quest to pursue.
In such dark times, some look back to the empires of the past as a source of hope for the future. The human empire of Nerath was the latest to make its mark on the Vale, its demise coinciding with the Bloodspear war. Many of its ideals and customs endure in the human dominated lands. Before Nerath, the Dragonborn Empire of Arkhosia and the Tiefling Empire of Bael Turath dominated the lands, until a war between them resulted in their mutual destruction. Those who feel as though they have lost the most from the fall of these empires are most likely to look back on them with reverence, or even seek their return. The ruins of these civilisations that litter the landscape are attractive locations for these and other adventurers who seek to plumb their secrets and power, although the challenges of the landscape scare most off from trying.