As of August 2015
arly this summer seemingly by coincidence four caravans filled with refugees, wanderers, and world-weary souls have arrived in the “abandoned” Valley of Ash. Fleeing troubled times and the sad circumstances of their former lives some have decided to stay. Caravans passing warned them “Do not tarry long in the Valley of Ash, for ‘tis a cursed place”, but exhausted after weeks on the road they ask themselves – where else is there to go? Travellers from all directions say the same: the road behind has nothing but danger and sorrow.
In the valley strange ruins dot the landscape, and a thick layer of ash lies just under the topsoil. Animals exhibit bizarre behaviours, and strange white globules wander the woods seeking prey. Stranger still are the residents of the valley – a cult obsessed with death, a doctor with a penchants for odd experiments, restless spirits, and suspicious merchants. Many of the residents of the valley appear to be quite mad, a condition that some claim affects all who stay in the Valley of Ash for any extended period.
Despite this the four caravans started to work together and the strong amongst them decided to occupy the crossroads, calling the new settlement Ashendael. The farmers and craftsmen they set up in a second settlement just outside the valley called Driftwood – a short ways north-east and out of harms way. The adventurers have gradually begun to reclaim the remnants of important structures like the Mill and Keep.
A powerful wizard opened up a Skein Gate – a portal connecting many points across the continent, bringing new trade and civilization to the abandoned region. The newly minted Empire of Berphaunt has show great interest in the region now that they have laid claim to the eastern half of the continent of Muad’Madir. Yet, despite this sudden flurry of activity the Northreach remains a wild place and the Valley of Ash is still a mysterious place. Enterprising heroes (and villains) may yet forge their fortunes and destinies in Ashendael!