Legends of the Nentir Vale
Hard under the Cairngorms at the west end of the Nentir Vale lies the remote town of Winterhaven. Like many communities in the Nentir Vale, Winterhaven is a small town surrounded by a few miles of farmland and pastures.
The rutted King’s Road leads to the foot of a broad hill that holds the walled village of Winterhaven. The village is nestled in the southern foothills of the Cairngorm Peaks. The walls are weathered stone topped by defensive palisades.
Small thatched homes stand around Winterhaven, each fronting a small piece of farmland or pasture. Beyond the farms to the west and south lie dark woods, and to the north, tall mountain peaks. The town of Winterhaven stands watch over a ruined keep that was once a bastion of good in the realm.
Most residents of Winterhaven have never traveled beyond the village vale. The majority of villagers are farmers, through the walled heart of Winterhaven employs various craftspeople as well. Wagons occasionally head east down old King’s Road from Winterhaven to find trade with Orlane, the next village southwest a couple of days away, and beyond. Most trade comes via the town of Fallcrest. When merchant wagons come into Winterhaven, the villagers gather excitedly in the Market Square to hear news of the outside world and to buy new and exotic goods.
Winterhaven largely escaped the brunt of the last orc invasion, yet they are no strangers to attack. Over the years Winterhaven has been besieged by kobolds, goblins and gnolls – yet has always prevailed.
Today Winterhaven remains a small, successful farming village and a hub of trade and goods transport throughout the Nentir Vale.
Leadership: The head of House Killian, Marcus Killian is the Lord Warden of Winterhaven. He is descended from the noble family that founded the town. Like his father Lord Killian is a worshiper of Bahamut, god of justice and honour. Folks around Winterhaven were happy with Lord Killians’s father’s authority, and they have found answering to the rules of the new lord no more arduous.
Defence: Winterhaven guards call themselves the Wolves of Winterhaven, a core group of sixteen soldiers who perform guard and police functions in and around the walled portion of the village. They are commanded by Dalton Kelfem who is captain of the guard. Dalton is very loyal and answers only to Killian. The Wolves patrol in pairs. To augment this force, Killian can muster a group of about fifty civilians, given a day’s notice. However, he can only do this if the village itself is threatened, the villagers have no desire to patrol the road beyond the farms.
Demographics: Population: 997 The population of Winterhaven is predominantly human, with a scattering of dwarf families, and a handful of individuals of other common races, including some elves. The population number includes those that live in the surrounding countryside.
Economics: Winterhaven is primarily an agricultural village based on barter and trade, though Lord Killian keeps a monetary system afloat with his own coin. Adventurers should have no problem purchasing appropriate items for which they have sufficient coin.
Inns/Taverns: Wrafton’s Inn.
Supplies: Bairwin’s Grand Shoppe, Smithy
1. Outer Gate and Walls
Open by day, closed and barred at night, the outer gate is policed by two guards regardless of the hour. They nodamiably to locals, and point travelers (whom they assume to be traders) to Wrafton’s Inn. Winterhaven’s walls have a narrow parapet extending around the inside edge.
2. Wrafton’s Inn
This spacious inn and tavern serves as the public house for the region. Like alehouses everywhere, Wrafton’s Inn offers beer, wine, and, on occasion, spirits. Meals are served for those with the coin, and beds for travelers are available. A crowd of villagers gathers each night to drink, gossip, sing, and play games of chance. In addition to village residents, any travelers passing through Winterhaven are found here. Wrafton’s owner and proprietor is a female human named Salvana Wrafton. She employs several waiters, waitresses, and cooks. Salvana is friendly and open, quick with a smile and a warm welcome.
3. Market Square
Every other day or so, carts and wagons gather in the square and offer goods to the people of Winterhaven. Once each week, the official Market Day acts as a siren’s song, calling most of the villagers to shop and socialize in the square. Farmers sell produce, hunters hawk smoked meats, villagers sell crafts, and sometimes a trader from the east sells implements or costly goods.
On market days these stables are filled with mounts and other beasts of burden used by sellers to haul wares. Travelers can stable their mounts here for 2 sp per day.
A dwarf priest of Moradin named Thair Dunrin owns the village smithy. People can purchase a variety of mundane wares here, including spikes, weapons, heavy armor, and so on. Simple weapons are readily available, but military weapons require one day to complete, and superior weapons require a week of work. Thair Dunrin has a shrine to Moradin at the rear of his smithy.
6. Valthrun’s Tower
This five-story structure is the highest building in Winterhaven. The tower is rumored to be over 300 years old, and Valthrun the Seer is its most recent resident.
7. Bairwin’s Grand Shoppe
Bairwin Wildarson traveled the world, or so he claims, before setting up shop in Winterhaven ten years ago. He has a variety of items available for sale.
8. Winterhaven Militia
Winterhaven villagers can join the Winterhaven Militia and train, once per week, in basic sword and shield skills. The militia trains in Market Square on days when the market is not open. Some citizens earn militia pay (a few silver pieces per year) by training at least once per month and being on call for emergencies. Dalton Kelfem, captain of the Wolves of Winterhaven, also oversees the Winterhaven Militia. He can be found here, in the barracks, or on guard duty, depending on the time of day.
The large tenement structure features apartments for the village residents who don’t own farms or who work in the businesses within the walls. Several families also live in the homes (buildings labeled H) on the west side of the village. Most of the villagers who live outside the walls are farmers and crafters who bring their wares to the Market Square to sell or trade.
This large stone structure is the village temple. Of the several deities worshiped by locals, Pelor, god of strength and sun, is the most prominent. The temple priest, Leoven Gellantara, runs services in the temple three times per week, but otherwise he is not often present. He prefers to travel among the homes outside the walls, dispensing care to villagers and animals and helping with various farm projects.
11. Inner Gate
This gate is closed and guarded by two Winterhaven guards during the daytime. They sternly regard anyone who approaches and question all who wish to visit Lord Killian in his manor without an appointment.
12. Winterhaven Siege Supplies
Though it hasn’t happened in a couple of years, on occasion Winterhaven comes under attack from bands of goblins, kobolds, or even gnolls. When such an event happens, the villagers seek refuge inside the walled keep and subsist on the supplies of water, flour, and other basic foodstuffs stored here.
13. Winterhaven Barracks
This military-style barracks is home to Winterhaven’s sixteen professional guards, the Wolves of Winterhaven. There is also a shrine to Bahamut here, although not all of the regulars are worshipers.
14. Manor House
The manor house where Lord Marcus Killian, his wife Farrah, and their four sons live is a beautiful example of stone architecture in a village otherwise composed of thatch and wood. They also have a shrine here to Bahamut for their own personal worship and services.