Legends of the Nentir Vale
The rutted King’s Road leads to the foot of a broad hill that holds the walled village of Winterhaven. The village is nestled in the southern foothills of the Cairngorm Peaks. The walls are weathered stone topped by defensive palisades.
Small thatched homes stand around Winterhaven, each fronting a small piece of farmland or pasture. Beyond the farms to the west and south lie dark woods, and to the north, tall mountain peaks.
Most residents of Winterhaven have never traveled beyond the village vale. The majority of villagers are farmers, though the walled heart of Winterhaven employs various craftspeople as well. Wagons occasionally head east down old King's Road from Winterhaven to find trade with the next village, which lies five days away. Sometimes wagons come into Winterhaven, causing the villagers to excitedly gather in the Market Square to hear news of the outside world and to buy new and exotic goods.
- Leadership: Ernest Padraig, the Lord of Winterhaven, is descended from the noble family that ruled the area under edict of the old empire. Folks around Winterhaven were happy with Lord Padraig's father's authority, and they have found answering to the rules of the new lord no more arduous. On the other hand, Padraig doesn't have absolute power. For instance, he has been unable to raise a force from among the villagers to deal with the kobold problem on the road.
Padraig commands the Winterhaven Regulars, a core group of ten soldiers who perform guard and police functions in and around the walled portion of the village. The Regulars patrol in pairs. To augment this force, Padraig can muster a group of about fifty civilians, given a day's notice. However, he can only do this if the village itself is threatened – the villagers have no desire to patrol the road beyond the farms.
- Demographics: The population of Winterhaven is predominantly human, with a scattering of dwarf families, and a handful of individuals of other common races, including a couple of elves.
- Economics: Winterhaven is primarily an agricultural village based on barter and trade, though Lord Padraig keeps a monetary system afloat with his own coin. Adventurers should have no trouble purchasing appropriate items for which they have sufficient coin.
1. Outer Gate and Walls
Open by day, closed and barred at night, the outer gate is policed by two guards regardless of the hour. They nod amiably to locals, and point travelers (whom they assume to be traders) to Wrafton's Inn.
Winterhaven's walls have a narrow parapet extending around the inside edge. If Winterhaven comes under attack, the Regulars and what militia can be raised from among the civilians guard the walls to stave off the threat.
2. Wrafton’s Inn
This spacious inn and tavern serves as the public house for the region. Like alehouses everywhere, Wrafton's Inn offers beer, wine, and, on occasion, spirits. Meals are served for those with the coin, and beds for travelers are available. A crowd of villagers gathers each night to drink, gossip, sing, and play games of chance.
In addition to village residents, any travelers passing through Winterhaven are found here. Anyone in Wrafton's knows the general history of the village and the nearby ruined keep.
3. Market Square
Every other day or so, carts and wagons gather in the square and offer goods to the people of Winterhaven. Once each week, the official Market Day acts as a siren's song, calling most of the villagers to shop and socialize in the square. Farmers sell produce, hunters hawk smoked meats, villagers sell crafts, and sometimes a trader from the east sells implements or costly goods.
On market days these stables are filled with mounts and other beasts of burden used by sellers to haul wares. Travelers can stable their mounts here for 2 sp per day. Rarely (10% chance), the stable master has a riding horse or wagon for sale.
A dwarf named Thair Coalstriker owns the village smithy. Adventurers can purchase a variety of mundane wares here, including spikes, weapons, heavy armor, and so on. Simple weapons are readily available, but military weapons require one day to complete, and superior weapons require a week of work.
6. Valthrun's Tower
This five-story structure is the highest building in Winterhaven. The tower is rumored to be over 300 years old, and Valthrun the Prescient is its most recent resident. Valthrun doesn’t use much of the tower; he inhabits the top two levels. The bottom three levels are locked and empty except for the stairway connecting them to Valthrun's quarters.
7. Bairwin's Grand Shoppe
Bairwin Wildarson traveled the world, or so he claims, before setting up shop in Winterhaven ten years ago. He has a variety of items available for sale. He occasionally has a few minor magic items for sale, and he sometimes has a couple of potions of healing available in the shop.
8. Warrior Guild
Winterhaven villagers can join the Warrior Guild and train, once per week, in basic sword and shield skills. The guild trains in Market Square on days when the market is not open. Some citizens earn militia pay (a few silver pieces per year) by training at least once per month and being on call for emergencies. Rond Kelfem, captain of the Winterhaven Regulars, also oversees the Warrior Guild. He can be found here, in the barracks, or on guard duty, depending on the time of day.
The large tenement structure features apartments for the village residents who don't own farms or who work in the businesses within the walls. Several families also live in the homes on the west side of the village. Most of the villagers who live outside the walls are farmers and crafters who bring their wares to the Market Square to sell or trade.
This large stone structure is the village temple. Of the several deities worshiped by locals, Avandra, goddess of luck and change, is the most prominent.
The temple priest, Sister Linora, runs services in the temple three times per week, but otherwise she is not often present. She prefers to travel among the homes outside the walls, dispensing care to villagers and animals and helping with various farm projects.
Graveyard: Winterhaven has a graveyard for which Sister Linora serves as caretaker. The graveyard is located a short distance south of the walled town.
11. Inner Gate
This gate is closed and guarded by two Winterhaven guards during the daytime. They sternly regard anyone who approaches and question all who wish to visit Lord Padraig in his manor without an appointment.
12. Winterhaven Siege Supplies
Though it hasn't happened in a couple of years, on occasion Winterhaven comes under attack from bands of goblins, kobolds, or even gnolls. When such an event happens, the villagers seek refuge inside the walled keep and subsist on the supplies of water, flour, and other basic foodstuffs stored here. The contents of the storehouse are protected by thick wooden walls and a sturdy lock on the door.
13. Winterhaven Barracks
This military-style barracks is home to Winterhaven's ten professional guards, the Regulars. During the day, only two can be found here; the other eight are on patrol. At night, eight guards sleep here while the two on duty are stationed at the outer gate. The guards in the barracks respond quickly to any call to arms from the manor or elsewhere within the walls of Winterhaven.
14. Manor House
This grand manor home was built when Winterhaven was an outpost of the Nerath Empire. Staffed by five servants, the manor house where Lord Padraig, his wife, and their four sons live is a beautiful example of stone architecture in a village otherwise composed of thatch and wood. Lord Padraig is willing to meet with adventurers who visit Winterhaven if they specifically seek him out. He also frequents Wrafton’s Inn.