“For then shall come an ending to the War / That split Creation when The World was new” – Unattributed
Sages may count themselves wise when they expound upon the historical inevitability of the fall of empire, but for the common people, the withdrawal of the Legions was not some vague concept: it was catastrophically real. For nigh two thousand years the peoples of the Reikic Empire had flourished under the protection of the Legions, and then, in the space of a generation, they found themselves alone. Reikland was fending for herself; her former protectorates would have to do the same.
Some fared better than others.
Middenland, one of the wealthiest and most important provinces of the former Empire, has suffered greatly in the half-century since the legions’ withdrawal. The southern valley and the regional capital of Middenheim are relatively intact, but the northern Nentir Vale has paid a dear price.
Almost immediately after the imperial collapse, the Vale was assaulted on all sides. Creatures of darkness long held in abeyance by the might of the Reik were suddenly free to kill without fear of reprisal. And kill they did. The disparate tribes of orcs and goblinkind, spurred on by their initial successes, united under a single banner – the Bloodspears – and the great horde spilled out across the Vale, sacking towns and pillaging the countryside.
Now, fifteen years after the Bloodspear War, the Vale is still reeling. Only five settlements of note remain: the town of Bruckenburg, the walled village of Winterhaven, the half-wild hamlet of Nenlast, the dwarven hold of Hammerfast, and the Harkenwold village. Between these points of light lie long leagues of ruined manors, burnt druidic holdings, and leveled townships in the encroaching dark.
You play an adventurer whose destiny is caught up with that of the Nentir Vale. Here, events will be set in motion which will change the world; yours is the fate to decide whether that ultimate change will be good, or absolutely evil.
The Town of Bruckenburg:
Your characters grew up in the town of Bruckenburg, or near to it in the Nentir Vale. The largest settlement in the vale, Bruckenburg draws people from the surrounds to its sheltering walls, offering what little promise of safety might come from numbers. Unfortunately, most of the refugees lack the martial skills to defend the town, and almost all lack the blind courage needed to tend an unprotected farmstead beyond its turreted stone walls.
Still, the town remains, in the face of mounting troubles.
The Surrounding Area:
Beyond Bruckenburg’s walls lie farms, and beyond the farms stand the scorched remnants of other farms. To the north, the devastation gives way to Wintermist Wood, immense and purportedly haunted. None but the mysterious eladrin may enter the wood, local superstition has it. Any creature with ill intent will surely be swallowed up by the mists.
The Cloak Wood is a small forested area which has overgrown a fortified manor destroyed during the Bloodspear War. Recent attacks on travelers suggest that the ruins have been occupied by small, rapacious reptilian creatures.
Hard under the Frostbairn Mountains at the west end of the Nentir Vale lies Winterhaven, a small walled town surrounded by a few miles of farmland and pastures. Beyond the town lies the monster-infested Stonemarch, and beyond that lies Nordland, another former imperial holding.
Hammerfast, the wealthiest and second largest settlement in the vale, is a dwarven hold cut from the rock of a deep gorge in the Dawnforge Mountains. The Trade Roads runs through the citadel’s gates and continues eastward over the mountains.
The Barony of Harkenwold is a tiny collective of villages on the banks of the White River, surrounded by Harken Forest. The King’s road runs through Harkenwold south, toward Middenheim and the old imperial cities. The elvish Woodsinger Clan lives in the eastern portions of Harken Forest, while the west has been colonized by a group of goblins – goblins which become more numerous and more bold all the time.
The villagers of tiny Nenlast, on the shore of Lake Nen, trade fish to the dwarves of Hammerfast. The village lies near the original den of the Bloodspears, abandoned since the monsters marched into history.
The Heaven’s Peak campaign uses all the core fourth edition D&D rules, with a few modifications and exceptions. Player-generated ideas and customization are encouraged, though any alterations to the basic D&D mythos and/or rule set must be cleared with the GameMaster.
You may play as any race in the Player’s Handbook, subject to consultation with the GameMaster. You may use the rules in the Monster Manual to play as a “monster” race, subject to consultation with the GameMaster.
The following are suggestions for character backstory generation:
Character Connections and Motivations:
As you think about your character’s background, please consider connections between your character and the other player characters, or at the least be open to working with the GameMaster to establish existing relationships with NPCs.