battledale_symbol.jpg
Battledale
Ruler Jarath Burlisk
(formerly Ilmeth Wyvernblade)
Government Hereditary Lordship
Religions Tempus
Gond
Helm
Chauntea
Population 33,000
Races Humans 87%
Half elves 5%
Halflings 4%
Other 4%
Imports Clothing, fine metalwork, oil, rope, spices
Exports Ale, cheese, fruit, grain, meat, livestock, wool
Inhabited Yes
Organizations Abbey of the Sword
Guild of Alchemists

Battledale

Despite its grim name, Battledale is often called the breadbasket of the Dalelands. A sprawling dale of farmers, hunters, herdsmen, and crafters, it is named more for its history than the temperament or habits of its people.

Battledale's forgiving terrain and dispersed population make it very hard to defend. Its central location has brought a number of invasions over the years. Sembian settlers clashed with the elves on these plains hundreds of years ago, and, more recently, Lashan of Scardale's invasion force overtook most of the dale. Scardale's invasion resulted in a deadly occupation of its main township - Essembra - until an allied force drove the army out completely.

Essembra itself still bears scars from that war, but Battledarrans are a hardy folk and the dale has, generally, recovered. While not as impressive as other dales towns, Essembra sits fairly centrally within the Dales, a crossroads of sorts where cheerful festhalls and taverns stand between charming cottages along tree-lined streets. Only the stone walls of the Old Town and the modest keep where the War-Chancellor resides give any hint that Essembra is not simply just another unimportant village.

The rest of Battledale is sparsely populated. Between small villages and hamlets one may find hunting lodges and waystops, just as easily as one may find the remains of an old lord's keep or the ruins of a Sembian noble family's rural estate.

Battledarrans have much to be proud of - one of their own was, for a short time, the only successful king of all the Dales. Aencar, the Mantled King, ruled Battledale for 8 years and the united dales for over 6 more. His rule is remembered as just and prosperous, and Battledarrans mourned his murder for generations. During the Time of Troubles, Tempus' first appearance on Faerun was traced by his faithful to a ruined castle in Battledale proper. Claimed by the Tempuran clergy and rebuilt over the following years, that place became what is now known widely as the Abbey of the Sword.

While Battledale is generally peaceful, recent upsurges in banditry in the forest are always a cause for concern. Drow attacks have become more frequent since 1371 DR, when the population of the Abbey of the Sword was almost wiped out by a sudden drow attack. Those drow still lurk in the woods, troubling travellers and Battledarrans alike.

Battledale, like other dales, has no centralized system of law and order. Instead, residents of each settlement deal with disputes and petty crimes themselves, often deferring to elders, unofficial merchant councils, a local priest, or a village sheriff (who would otherwise be in charge of a settlement's defences against raiders) to make judgements.

Jail sentences are uncommon Battledale, as no settlement save Essembra even maintains provision for holding prisoners, nor do they have the means to keep prisoners fed in addition to their permanent residents. Essembra's jailhouse is little more than a slight conversion of the Grist mill where prisoners are held only (usually) for their punishment of pulling (or pushing) the millwheel. Often, those who commit crimes and are sentenced to the millwheel leave the dale immediately after their sentence is complete, never to return.

Only the most serious of disputes are brought to Essembra for judgement by the Lord. Such hearings are rare, however, as most Battledarrans prefer to solve their problems among themselves. Often, serious crimes are simply put out to bounty with the guilty party's head being returned rather than any care for capturing the criminal alive for jail time.

Contrary to belief by many visitors, the Men-At-Arms who patrol Essembra are not 'guardsmen' as one might see in a large city elsewhere. Instead, they are the defenders of the town. A military organisation, they ensure that the people of Essembra are kept safe from harm and they do not trouble themselves with petty disputes. It is not uncommon for them to simply ask people, particularly adventurers, to take potentially violent disagreements outside the town walls.

Essembra

Main Article: Essembra

Hap

This village is located off the good roads and at the base of Haptooth Hill, the best landmark for travelers cutting across the country from Essembra and points north to Scardale, lower Featherdale or Harrowdale. Only a dozen major buildings stand amid the trees here, though more than a score of cottages are scattered along the winding lanes that spread out in all directions from Hap's muddy open market.

The centre (in terms of activity) of the small settlement is the plain little temple known as Lathander's Open Hand. Serving as local schoolhouse, meeting place, refuge and sometime pilgrimage for travelling faithful of Lathander. Aside from a plain stone altar and simple pews, cots in the infirmary, and a modest schoolroom - the only thing of note within is the Blood of Lathander, a large orb of amber that glows down on the congregation from where it sits on a gilded stand behind the altar.

Oaknoll

Punctuated by the dual landmarks of a rickety mill with a man-made leat leading into a crumbling and partially flooded cemetery, Oaknoll is often regarded by Dalesfolk and travellers alike as a village filled with slightly odd people. Indeed, the apothecary is widely assumed to be some sort of dark witch, the shopkeeper a large man nicknamed 'The Troll', and the innkeeper is an eleven-year-old boy. A (slightly more normal) Helmite mission offers protection to the villages, who seem to thrive off cottage industries selling game, furs, and milled grain. Nonetheless, rumours persist of strange happenings in and around the sodden graveyard.

Abbey of the Sword

Main Article: Abbey of the Sword

Haptooth Hill

Main Article: Haptooth Hill

Aencar's Manor

The ruined manor house of the Mantled King of the Dales, Aencar's Manor still looks like a stately home, and its outer grounds serve as the local site of Shieldmeet. It is located just east off Rauthauvyr's Road note quite four miles south of Essembra. It is an impressive landmark that tempts adventurers and fools alike into exploring its many towers - a trip from which many never return.

  • geography/battledale.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/09/24 04:42
  • by eredruie