Gilded Vale is the heart of the northwestern grain basket in the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood. It lies in the erldom known as the Grasp (formerly Yenwood) just past the eastern edge of the Helsgate erldom. Though it used to see very high traffic during the early colonial days, Gilded Vale has settled into a quieter pace of life as colonization and trade have pushed farther east. Notably, it was beset by a particularly territorial fire dragon in the early years of the Dyrwood's colonial period. It was believed that the beast was provoked by the construction of Raedric's Hold nearby. The first Lord Raedric cemented his popularity – and that of his house – when he gathered a dozen of his finest soldiers and slew the dragon himself. The slaying was commemorated with a special armor crafted from its scales, which was worn by his descendants in the War of Defiance, against the Empire.
More recently, this small hamlet north of the Pearlwood Gulf was once at the center of a sizable Eothasian community in Dyrwood. However, the events of the Saint's War resulted in the Vale's decline and depopulation, as they were forced out of the area and the holy temple destroyed. To prevent the total depopulation of the Vale, Lord Raedric VII has brought in settlers with promises of wealth and land. Although many graciously accepted the invitation and took over the Vale's abandoned homesteads, they usually give the Vale a wide berth to avoid even the remote risk of being associated with a former Eothasian community.
The Hollowborn Crisis affected the already straining Vale severely and Lord Raedric's deteriorating mental state led to a series of purges among the villagers. The once grand tree of the Temple of Eothas became the local gallows, adorned with rotting corpses.
Points of interest
- This is a fairly large, well-populated map, so let's get straight to exploring. Head right down the road to reach the tree that once grew in the temple of Eothas, now serving as the local gallows. You'll be immediately accosted by Urgeat, who will question you on any Hollowborn ties and "welcome" you to the town. After the conversation ends, three bells will toll, signifying the death of a Raedric. The Lord's son was hollowborn and everything gets a bit complicated.
- After everything's said and done, head around the tree to the sound and find Edér. He will not be recruitable immediately. First you need to rest at the Black Hound Inn and talk to the dead animancer dwarf on the tree (apparently, talking to dead people piques his interest), as part of the Visions and Whispers quest.
- The Black Hound inn is in the south-western corner. As you approach, three men will harass an elf named Aloth, trying to pick a fight with the obviously Aedyran national. There are many peaceful options here, namely "I don't think attacking...", followed by a Perception 13 option "He's reaching for something...", which prompts the villagers to scatter. Otherwise, they shouldn't be hard to dispatch. Talk to Aloth afterwards for a bit of exposition and the ability to recruit him for your party once you exit dialogue. The innkeeper Pasca will also ask you to help find her cook.
- Aufra's House is located just a little bit north of the inn. Inside, Aufra will ask you for help with her unborn baby.
- The center of the city, apart from the exquisitely decorate tree, has the temple of Eothas (or what's left of it), which is a two-level dungeon best tackled with both Eder and Aloth in your party.
- The south-eastern corner hosts the Black Hammer Smithy, where Tuatanu works and another quest can be picked up.
- The north-eastern corner is occupied by the windmill, where Trumbel and Sweynur are engaged in a vicious fight over grain. Approaching the area begins Against the Grain.
- Just below the windmill lies Ingroed's House.
- Aloth, a Wood elf Wizard.
- Edér, a Meadow folk Fighter. Joinable after you've completed Visions and Whispers.
- Aufra, Calisca's sister.
- Caldara de Berranzi, a dead animancer.
- Nonton and Ingroed, a fleeing couple.
- Sweynur, Gafwen, and Brethan, the local criminal element.
- Tenfrith, after you have successfully finished the task Late for Dinner.
- Trumbel, Cearu and Ufdaen, the windmill owner and his two child.
- Urgeat, the local magistrate. In Path of the Damned, Urgeat is also in company of a Guardsman
- Backer characters (exterior)
- Zloxx the Usurper and Klink: Just outside Aufra's House.
- Doran Chamberlain and Rudolfir Necatore: North of Ingroed's House.
- Theal Feylion: On the eastern side of the Temple of Eothas ruins.
- Ronin Teronian and Hugo: Southeastern exit, near Black Hammer Smithery.
- Lord of a Barren Land
- Buried Secrets
- Fragments of a Scattered Faith
- The Smith's Shipment
- A Mother's Plea
- 2x Goldrot Chew
Behind the scenes
- This area contains developer commentary.
|“||It's usually best to leave the beginning of the game for last, so this area was designed in the advanced stages of development. The idea here was to convey a run-down, bleak, farmers' town that suffers from the iron rule of a local warlord - Raedric is the name - whose hall lies nearby and it's also its own adventure area. Here in Gilded Vale it was important to give a glimpse of how bad things really were in this world right away, so I made sure to design the layout in such a way that the tree with the hanging bodies became one of the first things to appear in view when you first arrived to town.
Another important buildings to introduce you included an inn - 'cause you need an inn somewhere at the start of an RPG, that's just expected - places to shop and tinker, like the blacksmith and the mill, and also places that would illuminate background history like the ruins of the Eothasian temple which features in the general narrative that we constructed in the areas quests and characters.
|~ Jorge Salgado, Designer