Scales of War
Age of Chains
Over 1,000 years ago, much of the region now known as the Elsir Vale was under the rule of scattered tribes of giants and other humanoid creatures, who enslaved the largely Dwarven natives of the region during a period of time the Dwarves refer to as the Age of Chains. The Dwarves and other races of the region banded together and fought the giant tribes over Stonehome mountains to the West, establishing a new empire for themselves in the region.
Age of Empire
The scattered human towns and villages of the area grew up along the Dawn Way, an important east-west trade road linking the heavily settled lands that lie northwest across the Endless Plains with the exotic kingdoms and goods of the coastal lands lying to the southeast. Much of the Dawn Way was built by the dwarf-kingdom that spanned the Wyrmsmoke and Giantshield Mountains more than a thousand years ago in the aftermath of the Age of Chains. While the dwarves are far less numerous than before, their roads, bridges, and cisterns remain in use to this day. The presence of various monsters and raiders has kept traffic along the Dawn Way light for many years; few caravans dare the long and dangerous trek. Few humans lived in Elsir Vale during those years—only scattered settlements of druidic folk who left behind little more than grassy barrows and stone circles on the hilltops.
Kingdom of Rhestilor
About five hundred years ago, the nearby city of Rhest came to control the vale and a large swath of land north of the Giantshields as well. Soldiers from Rhest secured the roads all the way to Dennovar and beyond, creating a safe passage for trade. More and more traders traveled the Dawn Way, and the kingdom of Rhestilor grew wealthy on the tariffs exacted from the passing merchants. Under the kingdom’s shield, the towns along the Dawn Way — Brindol, Talar, Terrelton, and the rest — grew up from tiny hamlets or lonely soldiers’ posts to flourishing human settlements.
The kingdom of Rhestilor eventually collapsed under civil strife, monstrous incursions, and magical blights. Almost two hundred years ago, the city of Rhest was burned by a savage horde out of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. Although the warriors of Rhestilor killed many of the goblins and their kind, the city was abandoned and the already weakened kingdom broken. The locks and canals surrounding Rhest fell into disrepair, and the Blackfens swallowed the ruined city.
In the years since the kingdom’s fall, the towns of Elsir Vale have come to look after themselves. Most of the local lords, such as Jarmaath of Brindol, still hold titles derived from the old kingdom of Rhestilor. While everybody knows that the kings of Rhestilor are long dead, no new realm has arisen in the vale.
Approximately 100 years prior to the present day, the arrival of the Army of the Red Hand plagued the region. This terrible force of humanoids surged through the Vale and destroyed many of the settlements and smaller towns. The horde was eventually stopped by the actions of a devoted group of adventurers who led an assault on the leader of the Red Hand, Azarr Kul