Half a dozen small villages lie along the upper vales of the White River. Together, they make up the Barony of Harkenwold - a tiny realm whose total population is not much greater than Fallcrest's. This primarily open land consists of gently rolling hills covered in a mix of cheery meadows, light forests with little undergrowth, and the occasional thicket. The climate is cool and rainy. Many small streams wind their way across the land, eventually joining the White River. These brooks are at most a few feet wide, and small footbridges cross them regularly.
Harkenwold's total population is about 2,000, scattered across half a dozen small hamlets and a score of isolated steadings.
A steading is a farm or homestead in Harkenwold's countryside. Each of these settlements features a strongly built house of fieldstone and timber, surrounded by approximately 200 acres of pastureland and cropland. Some steadings have defensive palisades around the main house. A single extended family typically lives in the house - two or three couples with their children, their older relations, and a few hired hands. Rarely do the total inhabitants of a steading exceed 20 people.
Most of the citizens are humans, halflings and dwarves, with a smattering of other folk. Harkenwolders living in the countryside are primarily farmers, shepherds, or woodcutters. Denizens of the hamlets also include woodworkers, smiths, carters, brewers, cheese makers, and leatherworkers. The other villagers tend nearby fields or orchards.
The ruler of Harkenwold is Baron Stockmer, an elderly man who was known for his strong sword arm in his youth. He is a just and compassionate ruler. He and his wife, Baroness Mardith, have been together most of their lives and have eight children together, all grown and living in Harkenwold. Their eldest, Simon, is next in line to rule after his father. Despite his parents compassion, Simon grew to be a spiteful and greedy man. The people of Harkenwold fear the day he comes into power.



Population 180
The second-largest village in Harkenwold, Albridge stands where the King's Road crosses the White River and is home to the retired adventurer, Dar Gremath. Dar now runs the Albridge stables and rarely speaks of his long ago travels.

Important locations in Albridge include
1. Old Tower. The vine covered ruin was once a post for soldiers guarding the bridge. The roof collapsed long ago, leaving the interior open to the weather, but the walls are still sound.
2. Erst the Wainwright. Erst is stout, middle-aged, and balding, well known as a human of few words. A crafter, he sells mostly to local farmers in need of carts, wagons, or wheelbarrows, as well as the rare merchant still making use of the old King's Road.
3. Gerrad's House. Gerrad, a hale and white-haired old halfling, is the village elder. He and his wife Nioma are skilled weavers and sell simple but well-constructed garments of all kinds. Gerrad was appointed village elder by baron Stockmer 30 years ago, and he conducts most of the town business from the common room of the Mallard Inn.
4. Village Green. This open space serves as a market in good weather. On most days, the children of the hamlet gather here to play. Merchant caravans use this green as a campsite if they're too big to fit in Mallard's innyard.
5. Kathrid's Smithy. Kathrid is a black-haired, mature dwarf who served as a guard in the dwarven settlement of Hammerfast when she was younger. She is an industrious, can-do type who talks incessantly while she works, filling her listener's ears with advice on every topic imaginable.
6. The Mallard Inn. This small inn and taphouse is owned by Onneth, an older half-elf man nearing retirement. Onneth is a good-hearted soul, but he is fretful, forgetful, and incompetent. Room and board at the Mallard costs 5 silver pieces per night.
7. White River Mercantile. This trading post deals in locally produced woodwork, leather goods, provisions, and a handful of luxury items imported from Fallcrest, Thakis, and Dunador. It is run by Roma Featherton. She is a brisk, robust, officious halfling who recently took over the business from her ailing father. Her cousin Abel and his family help out. Most mundane equipment other than armor or weapons is available here for the normal cost.
8. Gremath Stables. Dar Gremath, an aging and retired human adventurer, rarely speaks of his exploits of the past. Standard riding horses can be rented and purchased here as well as feed and riding gear. Dar occasionally has one or two warhorses in his stable, but they take too much time and money to tend regularly. Gendo Harfoot of Fallcrest has recently caught Dar's attention; a recent Harfoot courier delivery on one of Gendo's giant flightless birds has Dar considering trying to rear some of his own.

Dal Nystiere

The eladrin settlement of Dal Nysterie fell into ruin centuries ago, destroyed by some unknown threat, and the Harken Forest has all but swallowed up its remains. Strange witchlights and evil monsters are known to haunt the ruins, and the Woodsinger elves have learned to give the place a wide berth.


Population 140
Surrounded by apple orchards, grain fields, and vineyards, Dardun is known for mild white wines, cheeses, and (of course) apples. Dardun's elder is a proud half-elf woman named Madera Lirr, the matron of an old family of orchardists and cider-makers.

Druid Grove

To the northwest of Albridge stands a large grove of ancient trees, long sundered from the Harken Forest proper. Locals call this place Druid Grove. A stone menhir stands in the clearing at the center of the grove. The old human druid Reithann lives here in a moss-covered lodge near the menhir clearing, along with her apprentices Lorel (a halfling woman) and Theren (a young human man). Harkenwolders who venerate primal spirits come to this verdant place seeking Reithann's advice.


Population 155
A hamlet of shepherds and stonecutters, Easthill rests on the slopes of the Briar Hills. The stone used to build the crossing at Albridge was quarried from the hills nearby. A human trader named Sarken Toldorff is the village elder, but he is somewhat indecisive and often defers the advice of others.

Harken Forest

The Harken Forest is much denser than the light woodlands scattered across Harkenwold, with larger trees and thicker undergrowth. It is also more dangerous for travelers - large and hungry beasts such as drakes and dire wolves roam its shadows. Game trails or marked paths are few and far between. The Woodsinger elves live in the forested region south of Harkenwold.


Harken Village

Population 212 (town), 60 (keep)
Referred to as Harken by the locals, this village is the largest settlement in Harkenwold. Baron Stockmer governs Harkenwold from Stockmer Keep, which is the strongest structure in the valley.

Important locations of Harken include:
1. The Silver Nail. A clean and respected taphouse, the Silver Nail is run by the amiable human brewer Pasquale. The Silver Nail is popular amongst the traveling merchants bound for the Trading Station and local regulars. Pasquale has a friendly rivalry with the brothers of Cliffside Brewery. While he doesn't have the facilities or rich heritage of the Ironbeards, Pasquale produces a fine selection of ales that are sold in many cities in and around the Nentir Vale. His flagship ale, White River White, sells very well in Fallcrest.
2. Stockmer Keep. Baron Jonn Stockmer, an elderly man who was known for his strong sword arm in his youth, governs Harkenwold from this sturdy keep. He is a just and compassionate ruler who has sired eight children with his wife, Baroness Mardith Stockmer. The Stockmer children are now all grown with families of their own, except the youngest, Simon, who still lives in Harken. Simon is a greedy and black-hearted man and the people of Harken fear the day he takes his father's place.
3. Cliffside Brewery. The three Ironbeards - brothers Omurk and Dannurk, and Dannurk's notoriously short tempered wife Dathilda - run this fine brewery. They argue constantly, but their disagreements never compromise the quality of their product. Their ales are sold as far away as Hammerfast and Fallcrest, and they are good friends with the smithy Kathrid in Albridge.
4. Old Kellar's House. Once the elder of Harken, Kellar is an ancient dwarf who worked as a master stone-cutter and mason for a century. He built much of Baron Stockmer's keep.
5. Grimbolds' House. Janos Grimbold and his family are shifters (longtooth). They keep to themselves, making a living as woodcutters and trappers. Janos knows the woodlands around Harken quite well. The house has been in his family for two generations; Janos' great grandfather defected from his tribe and settled in Harken, amidst much controversy. Since then the Grimbolds have become a mainstay of Harken.
6. Tower of Green Flame. A mysterious crystal spire rising above the town, this tower is thought to be the residence of an ancient archmage who long ago departed the world to explore other planes. Townsfolk avoid the place for the most part, fearing arcane traps or curses. Of the few explorers brave enough to venture inside, more than one has disappeared and the rest found the place empty - three small, unfurnished floors with nothing but dust and bird nests. On moonless nights, eerie green phosphorescence plays about the tower's upper floors.
7. Harkenwold Trading Station. The major mercantile outlet in Harken, the trading station is owned by a stout, oily little man named Rennis. While the merchants and craftsmen in the station peddle their wares, Rennis plies his trade; information. Rennis deals in rumors and gossip (true or not), and adventurers passing through can be sure to find out most anything they need to know about the surrounding area from the unpleasant little man. Though, they should be careful not to give Rennis too much information about themselves. Rennis cares little about the intentions of those purchasing his intelligence. Most mundane equipment is available for purchase at the trading station.
8. House of Faith. A large temple built by an adventuring cleric of yore, the House of Faith has seen better days. Shrines dedicated to Pelor, Moradin, Erathis, and Sehanine stand inside. The current prelate is a kindly, middle-aged human woman named Sister Sondal
9. Nonnie's Place. The doughty halfling Nonnie Farwhere runs a small inn with as kitchen and a common room. "Aunt Nonnie" is something of a gossip and a busybody and can be a little invasive at times. Nonnie charges 5 silver pieces a night for room and board.


Population 170
Marl is a prosperous thorp surrounded by well-tilled fields and the steadings of the families that farm them. Six large families (mostly halflings) work the soil around Marl and bring the fruits of their labor to the city proper where its sold to the locals or passing merchants. The elder of Marl is Wilfred Dunhallow, a hale and boisterous halfling of middling years. Wilfred always welcomes passing travelers, and offers his hospitality to anyone in need of a bed or a meal.

In the eastern reaches of the Harken Forest lies a ruined tower similar to the Septarch's Tower in Fallcrest. However, this tower is quite a bit larger and, perhaps most intriguing, the first two floors are missing and the rest of the tower floats in-place independent of its foundation. People who know of its location stay well-clear of it. Whispers of madness and disfigured beings haunt the tower. Some think it houses a gate to the Far Realm. But such a disturbing possibility is too horrific to imagine. Baron Stockmer is looking for adventurers brave enough to inspect the tower and clear it out if need be.

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