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The Gray Valley

The Antarin River flowed east from the Realm along the floor of the Gray Valley. The Koarden mountains defined a craggy border between the valley and the untamed jungles to the north. To the south, the Iron Hills separated the valley from the sea and a thin, stony coastline. The valley itself was a broad expanse of dense woods.

Once, long ago, the Gray Valley was home to a thriving nation. The land was fertile and yielded plentiful harvests. Farmers in the Valley claimed their crops and livestock were prospered better there than anywhere else in the Realm and the quality of the food, wool and hemp gave credence to those claims. Local artisans produced unparalleled ceramics, steel and gems. The city of Arathell, sprawled across an island at the mouth of the Antarin River. It was the heart of a booming economy and home to world renowned artists, musicians, and philosophers.

According to a popular myth, the people of Arathell dared to cast down their gods out of arrogance instead of being grateful for all they were given. In another, it was their greed that angered the gods. Some believed that the natural resources were consumed beyond the Valley’s ability to sustain them any longer. All of the myths ended with the same story.

A terrible storm broke upon the valley, flooding it. The entire island of Arathell was swept out to sea and lost. The people of the Gray Valley disappeared, their farms, homes, and cities reclaimed by the forest. Since then, the valley has been covered with a heavy veil of fog.

Centuries later, the Gray Valley had become a haunted and lonely land, dark and forbidding. Most sensible folks of the Realm shunned the valley, but foolish explorers and adventurers frequently entered it. They hoped to discover its secrets and return with riches and glory, but they rarely came back. Those that did told wild tales of ghosts, frightening creatures and strange happenings that they could not explain.

Shrouded in mystery and mist, the Gray Valley had come to be known as the Veiled Land.

–DM

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