The Vale of Valtaerna is believed to have been created by xxxxxxxxx, the previous God of Good for reasons that are lost to time. Legend has it that shortly after Avenar ascended, he travelled here to receive the mantle of his office.
The seasons in the Vale follow Arre. There is a “sun” and a “moon” that follow the same track. There are even lights in the sky at night, though there are no similar constellations to be seen. The rains and snows come here, though a heavy downpour is very rare.
The soils are fertile, and fish and game are plentiful. All are expertly managed. Sanctum is capable of supporting all of the regular inhabitants of the Vale without any supply trains from Arre if need be.
Over time, many powerful celestials and creatures of Good have been drawn here. Some as custodians and others as guardians. As priests, monks, paladins, and other servants of Avenar rise in rank, they must make a pilgrimage to this place and undergo certain rituals to continue to rise in rank.
There is a standing garrison of elite soldiers stationed in the Vale. These include everything you would find in a regular army: foot soldiers, archers, heavy cavalry and even some heavy equipment like ballista and catapults. Of course, the garrison includes many clerics and paladins. There are even monks counted among them. There is a small group of halfling scouts and one of dwarven warriors that support the defense of the Vale as well.
Celestials? Yeah, they got ‘em. Archons and Angels, Avorals and others. It is believed that there is a steady stream of various celestials that pass through on whatever business they have. Many are never seen in Sanctum, only in the Garden of Serenity and the Cathedral. No telling who you may find, or where you may find them. One place you will find some for sure is embedded with the garrison.
Population- 3000- LG NG- 75% Human, 15% Halfling, 5% Dwarf, 3% Elf, 2% other
All of the inhabitants of this small town felt a calling to be here. Some have been here their entire lives, others have come and gone. The town exists to provide for the pilgrims that pass through and the garrison and servants of Avenar whose duty has brought them here.
There are enough accommodations in town for about 200 visitors. These run from simple hostels to fairly nice inns. While all are well maintained, there is nothing particularly extravagant about any of them. There is no Royal Digs or Goya’s to be found here…
The Pilgrim’s Path- the other end of the Saintsbridge Gate is here. The gate is thought to be protected by several wards. It is believed that the wards are mostly alarms of various types, but there may be additional protections beyond that. The first few miles of the path overlook the River Aiden, and at times becomes relatively narrow, only about 30ft wide. The path rises as much as 100ft above the river.
The Watchtower- About 3 miles past where the Pilgrim’s Path comes through the mountain pass sits the Watchtower. This massive tower made of white stone sits in front of the only bridge that crosses the River Aiden and into Sanctum. The tower stands 150ft high, and its base is 40ft on a side. In the center is a portcullis made of adamantine. If the wards on the gate trigger, an alarm is sounded in the Watchtower.
The Mountain of the Phoenix- This spire of stone rises almost 700ft above the surface of the lake. A great fire can be seen burning on top of it from anywhere in the Vale, day or night. Clerics, Paladins, and Monks of Avenar must eventually make the pilgrimage here to climb this mountain and pray at the flame that burns on top. It is not an especially difficult climb, but there are no stairs or ladders. Near the top is a large alabaster platform. From there it is a short journey to where the phoenix nests.
The Garden of Serenity- The highest-ranking Clerics, Paladins, and Monks of the Avenarian faith must pass through the Garden of Serenity and then pray in the Cathedral of Avenar Made Manifest. Very little is known about the Garden, other than the entrance to it appears to be a hedge maze type labyrinth. The only other thing known about the Garden is that there is a flame that burns between it and the Cathedral.
The Cathedral of Avenar Made Manifest- Almost nothing is known of the inside of the Cathedral by anyone outside of the upper echelons of the Avenarian faith. The only thing known by outsiders is that there is a flame that burns within.
Mount Avernarius- the tallest of the mountains that surround the Vale. Large lightning storms are often seen around its peak, though the storms never stray far away from it.
Nacross Falls- Most pilgrims to this place who are not members of one of the orders of Avenar have come to visit the falls. The falls are several hundred feet high, and the spray from them have been known to heal those with sickness or disease.
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