Friday, June 01, 2007

Ettal Valley

Located in the heart of the Cyrűk Mountains, the Ettal Valley stretches east where the Ettal River joins the Swift River four miles northeast of Castle Stieglitz. Where the tributary meets the white water of the raging river, the thirty-year-old Harlsbridge provides across the span. A road heads east along the north edge of the river, paralleling the river on the floor of the valley for 12 miles, where the town of Garlston rests at the base of a cliff beneath Kloster Fint, home of about 20 monks who scribe tomes and work as vintners. A mountain stream falls over 400 feet from the steep wine fields down to the town, where it powers mills before joining the Ettal River. Garlsbridge crosses the Ettal and the road continues east on the south side of the river.

Over the mountains to the south of the Ettal Valley, lie the Ettin homelands. Their chants can be heard late at night in the valley. They can be occasionally encountered, but it is rare. Other encounters include natural creatures and others as per the random encounter chart for mountain valleys.

The relatively sparse humanoid traffic allows the natural creatures in the valley including wolves, foxes, and deer, to trive. The valley's foliage is mostly conifers which cover the mountains up to the tree line a few hundred feet from their summits, though some deciduous trees (maple, oak, dogwood) grow in dense clusters along the river. Snow caps many of the mountains for much of the year.

Some Wyndm folk live in small communities in the trees halfway up the mountains on the north edge of the valley. With their natural lifestyle, they maintain a small ecological footprint.

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