The Heroes of Fallcrest
Fallcrest stands amid the Moon Hills at the falls of the Nentir River. Here travelers and traders using the old King’s Road that runs north and south, the dwarven trade road from the east, and the river all meet. The surrounding ridges shelter several small valleys where farmers and woodfolk live: few are more than six or seven miles from the town. In general the people outside Fallcrest’s walls earn their living by farming or keeping livestock, and the people inside the walls are artisans, laborers, or merchants. People with no other prospects can make a hard living as porters, carrying cargo from the Lower Quays to the Upper Quays(or vice versa).
Up until four centuries or so ago, the Moon Hills and the surrounding Nentir Value were thinly settled borderlands, home to quarrelsome human hill-cheiftans and remote realms of nonhumans such as dwarves and elves. Giants, minotaurs, orcs, ogres, and goblins plagued the area. Ruins such as those on the Gray Downs or the ring-forts atop the Old Hills date back to those days, as do the stories of the hero Vendar and the dragon of the Nentir.
With the rise of the empire of Nerrath to the south, human settlers began to move up the Nentir, establishing towns such as Fastormel, Harkenwold, and WInterhaven. A Nerathan hero named Aranda Markelhay obtained a charter to build a keep at the portage of the Nentir Falls. She raised a simple tower at the site of the Moonstone Keep three hundred ten years ago, and under its protection the town of Fallcrest began to grow.
Over the next two centuries, Fallcrest grew into a small and prosperous city. It was a natural crossroads for trade. When the empire of Nerrath began to crumble about a century ago Fallcrest flourished for a time. Ninety years ago a fierce horde of orcs descended from Stormmarch and swept over the vale. Fallcrest’s army was defeated and Fallcrest was pillaged as well as the region. In the decades since the wars Fallcrest has struggled to reestablish itself. It is just a shadow of what it once was. Little trade passes up and down the river these days. The countryside for scores of miles around is dotted with abandoned homesteads and manors from the days of Nerath. Once again the Nentir Vale is a thinly settled borderland where few folk live. This is a place in need of a few heroes.