Valley of Baryn
The Valley of Baryn is an ancient glacial valley, deep and bowl-shaped and lush with ancient fertility. To the East and West the valley is flanked by the “talons” of the Dragons Claw Mountains and to the South by Bethal Bay. The northern expanses of the valley roll into a pass over which can be found a great expanse of fertile land, known as The Gully Downs, that feeds into the wide plain.
The valley is covered in a bounty of trees both evergreen and deciduous. Pastures and fertile farmland are fed by dozens of streams, rivulets and rivers that wash down from the mountains and gather on their journey to the ocean in the form of the River Nor. Throughout the valley game are plentiful with deer, boar, geese, wild hens, bear and fox among others being found in most parts. On the mountainsides, goats, sheep as well as giant marmot and stone toads.
With the coastal winds blowing in from the South, the valley enjoys a very mild climate for being in the mountains. However, at the northern-most extreme of the valley’s sloping hills and gullies, the temperature is markedly colder than on its coastal low point.
The Valley of Baryn is home the Shire of Vale, a nation of free-landed men who hold together for mutual protection and benefit. Dozens of towns, villages and settlements decorate the rolling countryside of the valley, each having its own form of government either centrally or in union with other nearby settlements. Trade between the holdings is common and mostly necessary and there is little in the way of hostility between townships and such.
All in all, the Valley of Baryn is near an idyllic place as you can find, though it does have its dangers. Though the dwarves of Har Hundir firmly control the interiors of the mountains to the West, the hillsides and rocky cliffs of both the eastern and western talons of the Dragon’s Claw Mountains are home to savage tribes of orcs and goblins, known collectively as Unmen. Also in the eastern peaks can be found ogres and giants. The skies over the valley are also marked by the occasional wyvern, giant birds of prey. Wolves and great bears haunt the dark woods in the valley and mountains alike as do the mighty Irontusk Boars – gigantic, scyth-tusked boars with hides tough enough to turn blade and arrow alike.
Despite the dangers and isolation, the Valley of Baryn and the Shire of Vale have become a much-loved home for men and dwarves alike.