The Seren Valleys

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Overview

In contrast to the overpopulated successor Kingdoms, The Seren Valleys lay inland, somewhere to the North West.

Just as a constellation is defined by the stars it contains, each valley is known for a few points of light. The wilderness that lays in between is nearly always home to unchartered dangers. With few village walls to rest behind, and fewer roads, sensible folk do not travel far.

Distant from the rest of the known world, and surrounded by high mountain ranges, travel is both dangerous and difficult. This remoteness has meant that the Valleys are nearly frozen in time. Humans are the most dominant of the races, but Dwarves, Halflings, the occasional Half-Elf, and Dragonborn all live in (general) peace. While the citizens of the Valleys enjoy the harmony that they enjoyed under The Great Compact, The Fracturing cut the lifeline of supplies from the rest of the empire.

The wilds (and dark powers) have slowly retaken abandoned settlements, fortresses and towers. On occasion, Campaigning Companies will form in the hopes of retaking these ruins, or at least relieving any occupants of their treasures.




Points of Light in the Darkness

The Town of Hammergate

Named for the immense gate carved into the side of the mountain, Hammergate was the first stop after the Underpass. Nestled into the eastern end of Hammer Vale, the town is one of the largest settlements within the Serens. It’s population is split nearly evenly between Humans, Dwarves and Dragonborn.

The Underpass

In order to bypass the Halls of the Storm Giants the Underpass was dug beneath the Obic Mountains. Before it’s collapse, it is written that three days of hard marches were needed to cross beneath the Obics. So long was the journey, that Dwarven villages were established, so that travelers might rest.

The Highway

In the ages before The Fracturing, the Emperors Highway stretched from the city of Aurum in the East, to the Elven port city of Tir’Eleet on the Sunset Sea. Paved with cut stone to a width of twelve feet, and nearly ruler-straight, it now stretches from Hammergate through the Serens, to Varicatrix’s Notch.

Oldspire Village

Resettled a little over a generation ago, Oldspire was renamed for the bell-tower atop the village hall. The small farming community support an Inn (The Three Legged Pony), Shrine (to the Raven Queen), drinking hall (Kobold’s Dance), and a general Goods store.

Mistwood

Half a day’s ride from Oldspire’s most outlying farms, lies the Mistwood. Likely named for the heavy fog which lays between the trees until late morning each day, the Mistwood is known to be a dangerous place.

Jasper’s Mine

A few hours north of Oldspire, this tin mine was tapped out shortly after Oldspire was resettled. When it’s nameske passed away two seasons ago, Jasper (the Miser), ownership of the mine fell into dispute. Two of Jasper’s nephews, Merick and Seamus, now claim rights to the mine.

Copperhawk’s Rest

Jutting out above where the Highway comes closest to Oldspire, lies the Keep-cum-Inn known as Copperhawk’s Rest. Resettled less than a decade ago, Copperhawk is a former Campaigner who reclaimed the fortress from Hobgoblin bandits.

Lake Danu & Redam

One of the dominant features of Highdale is the high brick walls of Redam, and the Danu lake behind it.

Barrow Village

The largest settlement of Halflings is tucked into foothills of the Ebrious Valley. Building their homes ‘underhill’, beneath rolling vineyards and pastures, the Halflings brew the best wines within the Serens.

Varicatrix’s Notch

Varicatrix’s Notch is nestled into the far western edge of the Seren Valleys.
Lore says that this high notch is the only way to Tir’Eleet, and that it takes it’s name from the wyrm, Varicatrix.

Differences in The Seren Valleys

Race & Class Options 

Due to their isolation, the races of the Serens have changed very little from the time of the Great Compact. At the same time, access to the resources of the once great empire has ceased, limiting certain Classes.

The Races

Humans, Dwarves, Dragonborn (Gold, Silver, Copper, Bronze) and Halflings (Lightfoots) make up nine/tenths of the peoples found within the Serens, in that order of frequency. The balance is composed of Half-Elves, Goliaths and a handful of Half-Orcs.

Differences in Classes

The following classes and archetypes are permitted within The Seren Valleys:

  • Barbarian – Primal Path, Path of the Totem Warrior, Path of the Ancestral Guardians (XGtE)
  • Bard – College of Glamour (XGtE), College of Lore, College of Swords (XGtE), College of Valor
  • ClericDeterminded by Diety
  • Druid – Circle of the Land, Circle of the Moon
  • Fighter – Battlemaster, Champion
  • Monks – Way of the Open Hand, Way of the Kensei (XGtE)
  • Paladin – Limited to Dragonborn using the Oath of Ancients
  • Ranger – Beast Master, Monster Slayer (XGtE)
  • Rogue – Assassin, Mastermind (XGtE), Scout (XGtE), Thief
  • Sorcerer – Limited to Dragonborn and Half-Elves with Draconic Bloodlines
  • Warlock – Archfey Patron with Pact of the Blade or Raven Queen Patron and Pact of the Tome
  • Wizard – War Wizard (XGtE)

Divine Differences

Since The Fracturing, the Pantheon of Gods that actively respond to the prayers of Clerics has frozen within The Seren Valleys. Deities that had no presence within the Valleys at the time of The Fracturing are unknown to the citizens, while some Gods may be unknown outside of the Valleys:

Moradin – The father and creator of the Dwarven people. A harsh but fair judge, Moradin favours strength and force of will in his children but insists that they are tempered with Honor and Law at all times.

Domains: Forge, Knowledge


Corellon – The patron god of the elves and protector of the Feywilde. A guardian of all things that the fey value, music, magic, the arts, poetry, Corellon is one of the oldest deities.

Domains: Light, Nature


Ioun – The Goddess of knowledge, magic and study. She remains neutral in all things except her hate for her eternal foe, Vecna.

Domains: Arcana, Knowledge


Raven Queen – The Goddess of the dead and dying. She is spoken of in reverence, for hers is the hand that stops death from taking loved one.

Domains: Life, Grave


Bahamut –  The draconic god of justice, order and warfare. Known as the Platinum Dragon, he is the twin, and anthesis of his sister Tiamat.

Domains: Order, War

Factions

Dragon Militia

Symbol: A cloak clasp in the shape of a dragon’s scale.

The oldest of the factions found in The Seren Valleys, the Dragon’s Militia traces their roots back to the Dragon’s Phalanx of the Great Compact. Originally tasked with protecting the roads and trade within the empire, the Dragon Militia carries on that tradition.

Advantage: In exchange for their service, members of the Dragon Militia are never denied entry into a town and enjoy free room and board for one night.

Disadvantage: The Dragon Militia takes an oath to patrol the roads and trails of the Seren Valleys. Bandits, Orcs and other highwaymen will offer no quarter to the Dragon Militia, laying ambushes for them whereever they may.

General Rules Changes

Alignment

The people of the Serens are goodly, but mortal people. All acknowledge that mistakes are made in times of stress, and that certain crimes are unforgivable. It is also understood, that once a person begins to routinely act cruelly, or with malice, they are a danger to the Valleys.

It is for these reasons that the strict notion of alignment won’t be used within The Seren Valleys. It is expected that everyone is playing a heroic character.

Instead, the DM will adjudicate the growth of a taint or corruption upon the soul of the characters. Good actions can cleanse the soul, while evil actions (or evil items) will cause the corruption to grow.

Armour

The resources and skills needed to fabricate heavier armours have fallen by the wayside over the year of isolation. Without the threat of heavy cavalry to face, these are the only armours made to purchase: 

  • Light: Leather, Studded Leather
  • Medium: Hide, Chain Shirt, Scale Mail
  • Heavy: Chain Mail,  Ring Mail 

Death Saves

Death is traumatic and difficult, while the Raven Queen does her best to ease your transition into the afterlife when you drop to zero hit points you gain one level of Exhaustion. Each level will require a Long Rest to be removed.

Rest

The Seren Valleys are home to countless dangers, and one dares not truly rest outside of the walls of a village or Dwarfhold. 

In order to gain the benefits of a Long rest, you must be within the walls of a village or other suitable settlement where you have access to fresh food, drink, a warm bed and no need to stand guard.

The exception to this, are Druids and Rangers. They suffer the inverse problem, an inability to properly rest more than a day, while within towns and settlements.