Mistledale
  • Capital: Ashabenford
  • Population: 27,807 (87% humans, 5% dwarves, 3% gnomes, 2% halflings, 2% half-elves)
  • Government: Republic
  • Religions: Chauntea, Moradin, Silvanus, Tyr
  • Imports: Manufactured items, oil, ores, textiles
  • Exports: Ale, beets, cheese, grain, hay, meat, potatoes, vegetables
  • Alignment: LG, NG, CG

Thousands of years ago, the heavens ensured Mistledale's future prosperity when a falling star plowed a hundred-mile-long, thirty-mile-wide swath through the elven woods. The trees never regrew in the scar where the star had fallen, but the land proved amazingly fertile once Dalesfolk put it to the plow. Mistledale has always been the lucky dale-blessed with fertile land, protected from foes such as the Zhentil Keep and Sembia by intervening dales or the Elven Court. In addition, they've occupied excellent trade routes between larger areas like Cormyr and the Moonsea.

Life and Society

Life is good in Mistledale, or at least it was until the present struggle against the drow of the forest. The dale has no lord; instead, six elected Councilors serve as its governing body. The Council of Six chooses a seventh Mistran who serves as the high councilor, bears a black rod as a sign of office and commands the Riders of Mistledale. The present high councilor is Haresk Malorn, a quite merchant known more for his wisdom and compassion then his martial skill. Haresk is doing an excellent job of keeping his people calm in the face of danger, but he worries that he might have to step down to make room for a true warrior.

Other members of the Council include:
Ulwen Sharin (LG hf F0), a graceful and regal gentle-lady and landholder. Ulwen is the head of the Sharin freehold, a large and strong farm located in the eastern part of the Dale.
Targen Holdfast (NG hm R7), an ex-adventurer who retired about eight years ago and only recently assumed the responsibilities of a councilman. Targen is a woodsman and trapper of the northern forests, and speaks for many of the farriers and loggers of the area.
Sister Alena (LG hf P5) a young and zealous priestess who represents the Abbey of the Golden Sheaf. Alena leans towards fanaticism at times and troubles the other council members with her insistence on observing Chauntea's rites and prayers.
Dumic the Red (CG hm F0), a large and loud man with a great store of common sense and hidden wisdom. Dumic is a rancher of the western glens.

Mistledale is a widely spread dale. It's small settlements can see each other across the gently rolling hills, except in the mornings and evenings when mist from the river rises to fill the valley. For communication across the dale, each hamlet is equipped with a special bells designed to penetrate the fog. Each bell carries a different message of alarm or inquiry. These sounds are understood by long-term residents of the dale but a mystery to outsiders.

Major Geographical Features

Mistledale occupies the clear valley along both sides of the Moonsea Ride, east of Peldan's Helm and west of the spot where the forest closes in some three miles before the Standing Stone. The River Ashabe cuts across near the center of the dale, crossed by the Moonsea Ride at an excellent natural ford at Ashabenford.
Of all the Dales, Mistledale is the closest to the ancient ruins of Myth Drannor. Forest trails, somewhat dangerous at times, lead to Shadowdale and to Essember to the east.

The Barrowfields: Located at the western end of the dale, the Barrowfields earn their name from the dead warriors buried in the long lines of low, grass covered hills throughout the area. The ancient Netherese wizard warrior corpses here have a disturbing tendency to manifest unusually deadly undead powers.

Beast Country: The western end of Mistledale has always been dangerous, thanks to a seemingly indestructible population of bugbear, orcs, goblin, and other obnoxious creatures coming down out of the Thunder Peaks into the softer climate of the Dales. It's a great spot for rangers and other skillful hunters, but less of an attraction to normal folk. The arrival of House Jaelra drow has not improved the country's reputation.

The Dark Road: This little-traveled forest path cuts through Cormanthor to Essembra. it would be traveled more often by nonelves if it didn't come so close to the Vale of Lost Voices. For Mistarans, the only consolation about proximity to the Vale of Lost Voices is that the place is even harder on drow then on humans. Luring drow pursuers into the Vale wouldn't be a bad tactic if the fleeing person cared more about hurting the drow then saving his or her skin.

Galath's Roost: Some fifteen miles from Glen, a couple of miles inside Cormanthor, this ruined bandit's keep is rumored to hold great treasures. The tales are enough to draw an occasional adventuring parties. None have found the great treasure said to lie somewhere in the flooded beneath the keep, but more then one has had to fight against villains and monsters searching for something themselves.

Important Sites

Abbey of the Golden Sheaf: Like Goldenfields in the Sword Coast North, this temple to Chauntea doubles as a walled farm. The Abbey of the Golden Sheaf is not as large as Goldenfields, covering only three square miles, but its twelve segmented fields yield the greatest harvests per acre in all of human Fear√Ľn. It's said that the Abbey has enough stored food to feed all of the Dales for a year. The clerics of Chauntea who oversee the Abbey wield great power and influence throughout Mistledale.

Ashabenford (Small Town 1,869): Ashbenford is the largest town in Mistledale, the market center for it's widespread farms, and as generally pleasant a place as anyone could hope to visit. The House Jaelre drow of Cormanthor have begun a campaign of fast raids and skirmishes to weaken the folk of Ashabenford and distract. The cottages, homes, and businesses along the eastern bank of the River Ashaba weren't built for defense - and defense is what Ashabenford needs most now.

Glen (Village 710): The dwarven village of stone-and-thatch cottages has a secret, one held dear to those of it's kin.

Mistville (Throp 67): This small outcropping of building and farms lay on the edge of the Barrowfields, it's folk know to well the dangers that lurk in the mists beyond. Lately they have been complaining of a strange blue-green haze that lays low over the burrows and field.

Peldan's Helm (Hamlet 210): A small hamlet near the Dale's western edge, Peldan's Helm is named for an old Cormyrian soldier who retired to Mistledale. When he came to the site of the village, Peldan is said to have used his helmet to mark the center of his land, claiming all the land that could be seen from the helm's location. Peldan founded his freehold about 350 years ago. Over time, Peldan's family grew and prospered, and the freehold grew into a small village. Other farmers and woodsmen moved into the area. Now everyone within 20 miles claims descent from the old soldier. The western portion of Mistledale is considered wild and dangerous, and over the years many bandits and monsters have thrived among the ruined farms and abandoned freeholds of the area. Adventurers visiting Peldan's Helm will find that the village is an excellent base of operations for the exploration of some of these old ruins and the dark woods nearby.

Oakenvale (Hamlet 323): This quaint settlement lay just south of Peldan's Helm, and is marked by it's famous Shadow-top that stands alone on a single knoll. The whole town has been built around, and in this massive tree. Legends say when the great star fell to Toril and Scarred Mistledale, this lone shadow-top was saved by Silvanus because it held the spirit of Mielikki, Queen of the Forest. Many druids of the Treefather keep this legend alive today residing in Oakenvale. There is little historical record to warrent their claims however.

Stoneybrook (Village 637): The second largest human settlement in all of Mistledale, Stoneybrook was said to be the original site for Ashabenford, until folks realized the advantages of living on the Ashaba river. So the whole town was moved some twenty miles east, the residence who stayed behind have become bitter of the success Ashaben-folk have obtained. Stone-folk claim themselves the original settlers of Mistledale calling the people of Ashabenford, "false claimers" or "ill-willers". Some of the Mistarn residing in Stoneybrook have gone as far as to not allow a "false claimer" hospitality while passing through their town.

Law and Order

Mistledale combines its first line of defense with its police force the famous Riders of Mistledale. There are 30 Riders, and they are empowered to keep the peace in the land and defend Mistledale from outsiders. A Rider may take criminals into custody, but cannot try or sentence an offender; only the High Councillor may pass judgment. However, the threat of being inconvenienced by a trip to Ashabanford is usually enough to convince country-folk to resolve matters before formally involving a Rider.
The Riders usually operate in small groups, leading patrols of militia (see Defenses.) The Riders wear black, lacquered plate armor emblazoned with the 34 white horse insignia of Mistledale. All Riders are fighters, rangers, or paladins of levels 3 to 6.
The high councillor can pronounce sentence on any crime except murder or armed robbery. For those offenses, he must call the entire Council of Six to sit in judgment. Such tribunals are very rare, with only two cases in the last two years.

Defenses

As noted above, Mistledale's Riders function not only as constables but as soldiers too. They vigorously patrol the Dale and the Moonsea Ride, from the Standing Stone all the way to Tilver's Gap. The Riders also patrol the woods bordering the Dale, now that the elves have left.
The Riders are assisted by a well-armed and well trained mounted militia. All young men and women are offered the chance to join when they turn 18. If they accept, they agree to serve three months per year for the next 10 years. The militiamen are paid while in uniform and equipped with chainmail, spear, and short sword. At any given time, there are about 200 militiamen under arms, with 600 more off-duty and available in an emergency.
When they muster out, militiamen are given the chance to keep their weapons, armor, and mount in lieu of a last pay-day. In addition to the active and reserve militia, there are several hundred more ex-militiamen in Mistledale who retain their weapons and mounts.
The Riders and the militia are headquartered in Ashabenford. The current Captain of the Riders is a (LG hf Pd12), a great heroine and swordswoman noble paladin of Chauntea named Nelyssa Shendean noted for her compassion and courage.

Trade

Ashabenford is an important trade town in the Dalelands. Mistledale's farmers come here to sell produce to Cormyrian and Moonsea merchants, while buying textiles and manufactured items from the large cities. Mistledale is a breadbasket of grain, hay, potatoes, beets, and vegetables with plenty of room left over for large herds of cattle and sheep.

The Black Eagle Coster is a small company that buys grain, ale, cheese, and salted meats and conveys them overland to Hillsfar, Harrowdale, and Scardale. The coster is owned by a five-man partnership of former adventurers, led by Iletian Blackeagle (NG hm F7.)

Another company of note is Jarwain's Imports, a single-shop operation owned by a seasoned half-elf
named Jarwain Evensword (CE hem F4.) Jarwain buys silk, lace, cotton, and rare spices in Cormyr and brings
them to Mistledale to sell. Jarwain is secretly an agent of the Dragon Cult, and in return for the safety of his
own caravans he supplies information about other caravans passing through Tilver's Gap.

NPCs

Dumic (CG hm F0)- Councillor and rancher, aka Dumic the Red :FRS1, 34
Mezrin Shundulk (NG hm F10)- Harper, smith, Shundulk's Forge, the South Trail :FOR4, 71
Targen Holdfast (NG hm R7)- Councillor, ex-adventurer, woodsman/trapper :FRS1, 34
Ulwen Sharin (LG hf F0)- Councillor, head of a large farm :FRS1, 34

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