Haven

Founding

In the year 748 RE, a band of adventurers set out on a quest to discover a prophesied land hidden far away from the violence that was beginning to flare throughout the world. Following an ancient trail set out in an obscure elven legend, the adventurers discovered the mythical Valley of Clouds high in the towering Avaran Mountains. Returning home, the founders gathered their families and led them to the sanctuary only weeks before war erupted.

Geography

Haven itself isn’t very large, but the Valley of Clouds itself is large enough to have some locations of interest. It is typically divided into three separate areas: the town proper, the farmlands, and the mountainous north end of the valley colloquially called the wilds.

The Town of Haven

Located on the western side of the valley is the town of Haven. With a town of barely over 500 people, Haven would have been considered a tiny hamlet anywhere else. However, the finite space in the Valley of Clouds made planning and space conservation critical. The town takes up the western quarter of the valley, stretching from the Cloud Gate at the south end up to the abandoned Honwobble mansion at the north-west corner. The farmland takes up a much larger portion of the valley than the actual town, so buildings are built as far up the towering valley walls as possible. The northern two-thirds of the town consist mainly of homes, with the rest being buildings and shops.

Perhaps the most obvious of Haven’s landmarks stands at the southernmost end of the town: the towering Cloud Gate. An immense Vorennic construction, the Cloud Gate is more of a narrow fortress than a true ‘gate’, though it certainly functions as one. The Cloud Gate rises to a height of over four hundred feet and is roughly a hundred feet wide, carved straight from the cliffs on either side. Though the people of Haven have lived around the Cloud Gate for more than two centuries, no one knows all of the secrets it holds, and even Haven’s guards try to avoid spending too much time within its dark stone corridors. Despite its mysteries, the Cloud Gate could easily hold against armies with only a handful of defenders.

The Farmlands

Certainly not the most interesting portion of Haven, it is likely the most important. All of Haven’s food is grown here, bolstered by the occasional deer or elk hunted in the wilds. The central half of the valley, from the north wall to the south wall, consists of fields and farm houses. About half of Haven’s population lives here as well. In the center, fed by streams running down from the mountains, is Haven’s largest body of water, Frost Pond.

Fed by icy-cold water that snakes down from the high mountains, Frost Pond provides irrigation and a drink for Haven’s farms and livestock. It also serves a purpose as a rite of initiation for most teenagers in Haven as well; competitions to see who can stay in the frigid water longest are common occurrences, with the victor winning bragging rights and acceptance into most social groups.

The Wilds

Commonly known as the wilds, this rocky and forested area makes up the eastern portion of the Valley of Clouds. Jagged chasms and rocky spurs fill this area, making it dangerous and unstable. However it does provide Haven with plenty of wood and stone, along with venison from the wild deer, elk and moose that the lucky hunter can kill. It is generally severely punishable to be caught by one’s parents exploring the wilds as a child, with good reason. People have been maimed and killed by falling into a deep pit or chasm within the range, and the nearly ever-present mist makes the region that much more dangerous.

Haven

Undead Campaign Setting Orcus113