Fallcrest

General History

Fallcrest stands amid the Moon Hills at the falls of the Nentir River. Here travelers and traders using the old King’s Road that runs north and south, the dwarven Trade Road from the east, and the river all meet. The surrounding ridges shelter several small valleys where farmers and woodsfolk live; few are more than six or seven miles from the town. In general the people outside Fallcrest’s walls earn their living by farming or keeping livestock, and the people inside the walls are artisans, laborers, or merchants. People with no other prospects can make a hard living as porters, carrying cargo from the Lower Quays to the Upper Quays (or vice versa).

Fallcrest imports finished goods from the larger cities downriver and ironwork from the dwarf town of Hammerfast, and exports timber, leather, fruit, and grain. It also trades with the nearby towns of Winterhaven and Harkenwold.

The surrounding hills hold several marble quarries that once produced a good deal of stone, but the area has little demand for ornamental stone these days, and only a few stonecutters still practice their trade.

Population: 1,950; another 900 or so live in the countryside within a few miles of the town.

Leadership: Lord Warden Faren Markelhay

Government: The human noble Faren Markelhay is the Lord Warden (hereditary lord) of the town. He is in charge of the town’s justice, defense, and laws. The Lord Warden appoints a town council to look after routine commerce and public projects.

Defense: The Fallcrest Guard numbers about sixty warriors, who also serve as constables. Moonstone Keep is their barracks. The Lord Warden can call up 350 militia at need.

Demographics: The people of Fallcrest are mostly humans, halflings, and dwarves. No dragonborn or eladrin are permanent residents, but travelers of all races pass through on occasion.

Economics: Fallcrest imports finished goods from the larger cities downriver and ironwork from the dwarf town of Hammerfast, and exports timber, leather, fruit, and grain. It also trades with the nearby towns of Winterhaven and Harkenwold.

The surrounding hills hold several marble quarries that once produced a good deal of stone, but the area has little demand for ornamental stone these days, and only a few stonecutters still practice their trade.

Inns: Nentir Inn; Silver Unicorn. The Silver Unicorn is pricier and offers better service; the Nentir Inn sees a more interesting clientele.

Taverns: Blue Moon Alehouse; Lucky Gnome Taphouse; Nentir Inn taproom; Gilded Lily Publick House.

Supplies: Halfmoon Trading House; Sandercot Provisioners.

Temples: Temple of Erathis; Moonsong Temple (Sehanine); House of the Sun (Pelor).

History

Up until four centuries or so ago, the Moon Hills and the surrounding Nentir Vale were thinly settled borderlands, home to quarrelsome human hill-chieftains and remote realms of non-humans such as dwarves and elves. Giants, minotaurs, orcs, ogres, and goblins plagued the area. Ruins such as those on the Gray Downs or the ring-forts atop the Old Hills date back to these days, as do stories of the hero Vendar and the dragon of the Nentir.

With the rise of the empire of Nerath (Nerath Empire) to the south, human settlers began to move up the Nentir, establishing towns such as Fastormel, Harkenwold, and Winterhaven. A Nerathan hero named Aranda Markelhay obtained a charter to build a keep at the portage of the Nentir Falls. She raised a simple tower at the site of Moonstone Keep three hundred ten years ago, and under its protection the town of Fallcrest began to grow.

Over the next two centuries, Fallcrest grew into a small and prosperous city. It was a natural crossroads for trade, and the Markelhays ruled it well. When the Nerath Empire began to crumble about a century ago, Fallcrest continued to flourish—for a time.

Ninety years ago, a fierce horde of orcs known as the Bloodspears descended from the Stonemarch and swept over the vale. Fallcrest’s army was defeated in a rash attempt to halt the Bloodspears out on Gardbury Downs. The Bloodspears burned and pillaged Fallcrest and went on to wreak havoc all across the Nentir Vale.

In the decades since the Bloodspear War, Fallcrest has struggled to reestablish itself. The town is a shadow of the former city; little trade passes up and down the river these days. The countryside for scores of miles around is dotted with abandoned homesteads and manors from the days of Nerath. Once again the Nentir Vale is a thinly settled borderland where few folk live.

Specific Locations

1. Tower of Waiting – the empty shell of an old watchtower ruined even before the city was sacked
2. Upper Quays – the upper portage for the Falls. Run by the Porter’s Guild, headed by Barstomun Strongbeard. They don’t take kindly to people trying to move goods without their help.
3. Five-Arch Bridge – a wooden bridge built on the old stone footings of a bridge built 200+ years ago by dwarf artisans from Hammerfast. The original stone bridge was destroyed in the invasion. There is a toll to cross the bridge.
4. Nentir Inn – a new inn 2 years old, favorite of merchants coming from Winterhaven or Hammerfast. Also popular with folks from the west bank of Fallcrest. Run by the half-elf Erandil Zemoar, who is not a native of the Vale. Has a lively taproom in the evenings.
5. Knight’s Gate – north gate of Fallcrest, closed at dusk by a portcullis. Always manned by a contingent of guards. So named because the Lord’s knights leave by this gate on their patrols.
6. Silver Unicorn Inn – halfling run inn that used to be the “pride of Fallcrest” before the Nentir Inn was built and took much of the Unicorn’s business. The owner, Wisara Osterman, does not like Erandil.
7. Halfmoon Trading House – an excellent place to buy most mundane goods, other than arms and armor. Run by a family of halflings led by Selarund Halfmoon who have other trading posts throughout the Vale. Well regarded by all.
8. Moonstone Keep – the seat of power in Fallcrest. Currently occupied by Lord Warden Faren Markelhay. His family, his household staff, and a sizeable force of men-at-arms also live here.
9. The Tombwood – a large thicket that has never been cleared. Within lie an old cemetery and a battlemound dating back centuries.
10. House of the Sun – temple of Pelor recently revived by a zealous dwarf priest named Grundelmar from Hammerfast. Also used to contain shrines to Kord and Bahamut.
11. House Azaer – a tiefling trading house run by Amara Azaer, they import goods from around the Vale and beyond. Their goods are more finely crafted than at the Halfmoon Trading House, but also cost more. They also import arms and armor from Hammerfast.
12. The Nentir Falls – the river descends nearly 200 feet in three shelflike drops. On a small island in the middle of the falls stands an ancient statue of the human hero Vendar, holding up his hand as if to ward off enemies approaching from downriver. Local legend says that Vendar slew a dragon that lived in a cavern under the falls.
13. Temple of Erathis – largest and most influential temple in town. Also includes a shrine to Ioun and Moradin. Run by the high priest Dirina Moonbrow, who is continually disappointed that more townsfolk do not pay regular reverence to Erathis and the temple.
14. The Bluffs – a great cliff 150 to 250 feet in height, too tall and steep to be easily climbed.
15. The Catacombs – old caves used as burial crypts by the people of Fallcrest. As they are filled up they are walled off.
16. Moonsong Temple – temple to Sehanine. Also includes shrines to Corellon, Melora, and Avandra. The church of the Markelhay family. The High Priest Ressilmae Starlight is an old elf that gives generously to the townsfolk, and tutors the children.
17. Fallcrest Stables – run by the halfling Lannar Thistleton, he has several horses and mules in the paddock in town. He has a larger stable outside of town.
18. Wizard’s Gate – so named because it is near the Septarch’s tower. Also always manned by a contingent of guards.
19. Naerumar’s Imports – the finest of the import houses. Deals in rarities, gemstones, jewelry and art. Owned by Orest Naerumar, a tiefling of impeccable manners and discretion.
20. Kamroth Estate – home of the “lord” Armos Kamroth, a wealthy landowner and moneylender.
21. Moonwash Falls – the Moonwash stream, and especially the pool at the base of the falls, is a favorite playspot of the children of Fallcrest
22. Septarch’s Tower – this lonely structure is a tall, seven-sided spire of pale green stone that doesn’t match any other building in Fallcrest. It was the seat of the Fallcrest Mage’s Guild until it was wiped out in the Bloodspear invasion. It now is the property of the elderly Nimozaran the Green, who was an apprentice at the time of the invasion. He currently has a few apprentices and is trying to rebuild the guild with little success. In the meantime he considers himself the “High Septarch of Fallcrest”.
23. Blue Moon Alehouse – the best tavern in Fallcrest, run by Par Winnomer. The brewmaster is a female halfling named Kemara Brownbottle. It is popular with traders in from the south, well-off town merchants, and farmers who live south and east of Fallcrest.
24. Teldorthan’s Arms – the town’s weaponsmith and armorer, the dwarf Teldorthan Ironhews has his business here. He can make any piece of mundane equipment, weapons and armor of the finest quality.
25. King’s Gate – still half-ruined the southern gate to Fallcrest also has a permanent guard detachment.
26. Market Green – in good weather the people of Fallcrest gather here to shop and trade with each other and with merchants from out of town.
27. Sandercot Provisioners – the largest general store in Fallcrest. Not quite as good quality as the other trading houses, but cheaper.
28. Lucky Gnome Taphouse – the cheapest and coarsest of Fallcrest’s drinking establishments. Frequented by the porters and day laborers who work in town. Come for the cheap drinks, and stay for the nightly impromptu “fight club”.
29. Lower Quays – the lower part of the portage run by the Porter’s Guild.

Fallcrest

The Scouring Of The Vale mks1201