Legends of Belariath


Valencia is a new addition to the Ilfirian Empire and the first that adds lands outside the geographical area traditionally known as Ilfirinor. It's existence was only discovered by chance during the 24th year of Empire, at which point it's fate was sealed. Lightly defended and with no experience of war for hundreds of generations, it fell to the Ilfirian army led by General Krom within months of it having been found. Now considered a fully integrated part of the empire, it still retains it's name for geographical reference.

Before the Fall

Valencia: Collection of independent city-states, Torian outposts and cliff forts

Size: The valley runs roughly 20 miles from the Northwest to the Southeast, following the Silverstream river from its entrance into the valley to its thundering exit at the Silverfalls, falling into the mountains again. The valley stretches roughly 15 miles to the west from the river's edge and 15 miles to the east of the river's edge. The two mountain ranges are known as the Firepeaks and the Dragon's Spine, although these names are only local in origin and they could be known as something else to the 'official' Imperial mappers.

The Chasm is the mountain pass that splits the mountains partway, deadending at the Silverstream and its secret entrance to the Dark Walk.

The Silverstream is deep enough for most middling sized boats and is roughly half a mile wide and rather rough at the North end of the valley. It smooths and slows for the southern 15 mile stretch to the falls at its southern end. It is an elevated valley, sitting roughly half a mile above Nanthalion, but this is relatively easy to miss due to the slow incline to the Dark Walk.

The Dark Walk is the long cavern that links Valencia to the outside world. It is the singular way into the valley as things stand now. The mountains are so high, the wind shears and upper turbulance is so powerful as to keep flying races such as the Torians and Chirot from flying over the massive ranges. This cavern runs from the Chasm through the mountains for 2 miles before it ends in the valley, atop a cliff that offers a grand view of the valley itself. This cliff slopes down to the valley floor gradually.

The valley itself is composed mostly of grasslands, thick old forests and the shale-lands that ring the mountain border. The land is spotted with farms, plantations, vinyards and other private holdings. There is 'no' central authority of any sort. The land itself is so very fertile and the population is so small that there has been nothing resembling warfare for nearly three centuries.

At the either end of the valley, a massive Keep rises from the side of the Mountain itself. Unsurprisingly, they are known as Northkeep and Southkeep. Other than these two structures, there are a handful of small villages that provide the few things that cannot be made at home by the locals. Other than this, there is 'no' uniting force.

Within the shale-lands, a number of forts line the valley's walls. Some old, some new, it seems to be a tradition for those folk who build them. These forts are nowhere nearly as imposing or impregnable as the two Keeps, but they are still fortifications for war in a land that does not know war. Surrounding the valley walls, a half mile out from the edge of the mountains, a field of boulders and broken rock stretches out. This rock comes from the massive mountains themselves, broken pieces that fall for the jagged peaks. This is the harshest place to try and live within the valley and very few attempt it, except for thieves and brigands.


Valencia is a relatively new realm, though still older than the Empire by far. Their bards and scholars indicate that Valencia was founded by refugees and ex-soldiers fleeing a war long ago to the North. Whatever it was that these masses were fleeing, it never found them here. Once, the Chasm stretched all the way into the valley, allowing easy entrance. This is how the the locals found their way into the valley itself. They found the valley entirely uninhabited and the refugees settled down to rebuild what they'd lost. The former soldiers, however, were not so ready. They still feared their foes and feared being caught unready, so Northkeep and Southkeep were constructed over a generation's time. It was made easier with the help of Gaea's Daughters, a sisterhood of Earth Mages.

It is said that when Southkeep was finished at the last, a great celebration was held over the span of a week. On the morning of the seventh day, a great shaking of the ground stirred the celebrants, a billowing cloud of dust came from the Chasm. Scouts came back, reporting that the mountains had 'moved'. The Daughters had closed off the Chasm, shutting the backdoor as it were. In the process, however, they had sacrificed themselves to power the Ritual that had walled them off from the world. Since then, the locals have lived their lives, content to simply be, without fear of the outside world and its endless wars.


Valencia is a land of peace. Its peoples are farmers, artists, bards, mages and scholars. The lushness of the land, combined with warmer weather due to volcanic activity underground, enables the farmers to produce more due to longer growing seasons than is typical for the surrounding lands. This ease of living has allowed the locals to delve into the softer side of life. Literature, scholarly pursuits, estoic non-combat related magics, songs and dance. A wide-spread worship of Gaea dominates the peoples, with the exception of the barbarian tribes.

The barbarian tribes are the opposite of what one would expect in such a land. Descended from many of the former soldiers who originally came with the refugees, the barbarian tribes are comprised of equal parts humanity and sylvan elves. Due to their own unique history, the warriors of these tribes are 'female', not the men. The men are revered as thinkers, magic-users and holders of culture. The women are expected to do the fighting and hunting and they do it with as much skill as can be expected for peoples fought wars only in the distant past. None of these tribes have been truly tested in recent memory.

Within the thick forests, nestled within the treetops are several Torian outposts, descendants of those that came with the other refugees. Despite their common origins, the Torians separated themselves away from the elves and humans shortly after the closing of the Chasm. The Torians have quietly influenced the region through gifts to bards and scholars, working to keep the local people well on the path of peace. Mostly for their own purposes, but also with a high-minded intention to keep warfare forever in the past.

Northkeep and Southkeep remain occupied by the direct descendants of those ex-soldiers. They trade on their skills, offering perpetual protection in return for food and other necessities that soldiers do not make on their own. The fact that these soldiers have never had to actually protect the people is entirely beside the point, if you were to ask the soldiers or farmers. They engage in endless drills and preparations, twice a year coming to meet in the center of the valley for celebrations, joustings and tournaments.

Midvalley is the single village that could be called a 'center' to the place. This village sprung up around the meeting spot where the soldiers of Northkeep and Southkeep came together to celebrate their common bonds. Blacksmiths, metalworkers and stonemasons are trained here before being brought in to either of the Keeps' service.

In matters of 'culture', Valencia could be seen as surpassing most of the Empire in the skills of barding, tailoring, literature, and stone sculpturing. In the arts of warfare and combat magery, they are completely outmatched and don't care to change that fact. They do not fear warfare anymore, believing themselves safe from the outside world.

They were wrong.

The Viceroy's Home

Standing before you lays the Great Garrison of Valencia. Approaching the structure from the front, one would see a 15 feet tall wooden palisade, the tips of the logs sharpened to a deadly point. As if that were not enough, the logs are augmented by an 8 foot high stone foundation encircling the base. The entire structure looks like it was built in haste, but slowly added onto and refined over a period of months. Patrolling ever vigilantly upon the walls is a score of archers, trained to shoot anything that does not identify itself or is not a Valencian. The gates of the palisade are anything but wood and are actually comprised of a mixture of iron and mithril to ward off casual spell-casters.

Assuming one was to gain access to the palisade, they would be greeted by a sight fit for a lord. The inside of the garrison looks like a mini-village, with a smithy, stables and a handful of barracks on the side. These buildings create a sort of courtyard, and at the head of that courtyard lay a very impressive, yet regal manor. The manor is a mixture of a keep and a regular house, easily towering over the rest of the palisade. However do not be fooled, the manor is no ordinary home. Within resides the Viceroy of Valencia and Lord of the Imperial Garrison. As such, the manor/keep has an additional set of guards posted around the outside and despite the high amount of security; one cannot help but feel curious as to how much comfort they could enjoy inside the grand structure.

Wandering around the garrison, you will see soldiers, stable boys, maids and other odd workers going about their daily lives. The Viceroy, for all the rumors of his hideous habits and interests, seems to enjoy employing quite a variety of species. Towards one side of the keep lies a small addition that quite obviously looks like a jail. To the other side lies a smaller wooden gate leading out to the village and its shopping district containing the Wyrm’s Nest Inn.

Lastly, the barracks to the side and the fountain in the middle make up the most noticeable part of the garrison. Soldiers filing in and out mixed with the odd ‘flustered’ servant girl round out the structured living of this place. The fountain, a recent addition, shimmers with clean water and is a frequented site for the denizens to quench thei