The Ruby Tower Unlimited
A small town built from the ruins of a larger city, Fallcrest is at the crossroads of the Nentir Vale.
Population: 1,350; another 900 or so live in the countryside within a few miles of town. Mostly humans, halflings and dwarves.
Government: Lord Warden Faren Markelhay is in charge of the town’s justice, defense and laws. He appoints a town council to look after routine commerce and public projects.
Defense: 60 warriors of the Fallcrest Guard. 350 militia are available in case of emergency.
Temples: Temple of Erathis; Moonsong Temple (Sehanine); House of the Sun (Pelor)
Knight’s Gate The northern city gate is so-named because the Lord Warden’s riders normally come and go from the city by this road. The gate consists of strong outer doors of iron-reinforced tiber and an inner portcullis between a pair of small stone towers. The gatehouse is typically manned by five city guards plus Sergeant Nereth, who commands this gate.
Moonstone Keep The seat of the Lord Warden, the keep is an old castle that sits atop a steep-sided hill overlooking the town. The outer bailey includes barracks for up to 60 guards. Other buildings in the courtyard include a stable, an armory, a chapel, a smithy and several storehouses.
Nentir Falls Here the Nentir River descends nearly 200 feet in three striking shelflike drops. On the small island in the middle of the falls stands a statue of a human hero named Vendar, holding up his hand as if to challenge enemies approaching from downriver. Local legend tells that Vendar slew a dragon whose lair was hidden in caverns beneath the falls.
Wizard’s Gate The eastern gate derives its name from its proximity to what used to be known as the Septarch’s Tower. The gate resembles Knight’s Gate in construction and its five guards are led by the dwarf veteran, Sergeant Murgeddin.
Blue Moon Alehouse This brewhouse on the banks of Moonwash Stream is the best tavern in Fallcrest. The owner is a nervous, easily flustered felllow of fifty or so named Par Winnomer. The true genius behind the Blue Moon is the halfling brewmaster Kemara Brownbottle. The tavern is popular with halfing traders, well-off merchants and the farmers who live in the countryside south of town.
King’s Gate The town’s southern gate was destroyed in the attack that devastated the city long ago and it has still not been entirely rebuilt. Despite its state, the Gate is still used as a post by the Fallcrest Guard. Seargeant Gerdrand is in charge here; he is a tall lanky man who doesnt say much, answering questions with a grunt or shake of the head.
Market Green THe majority of Fallcrest folk live above the bluffs in Hightown and walk down to do business on the streets of Lowtown, which bustle with commerce. This wide square is an open grassy meadow where merchants and visting traders do business in good weather.
Up until four centuries or so ago, the Moon Hills and the surrounding Nentir Vale were thinly settled borderlands, home to quarrelsome human hill-chieftains 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 these days, as do stories of the hero Vendar and the dragon of the Nentir.
With the rise of the empire of Nerath 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 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, and the Markelhays ruled it well. When the empire of Nerath began to crumble about a century ago, Fallcrest continued to flourish—for a time. Ninety years ago, a fierce horde of orcs known as the Bloodspears descended from the Stonemarch and swept over the vale. Fallcrest’s army was defeated in a rash attempt to halt the Bloodspears out on Gardbury Downs. The Bloodspears burned and pillaged Fallcrest and went on to wreak havoc all across the Nentir Vale.
In the decades since the Bloodspear War, Fallcrest has struggled to reestablish itself. The town is a shadow of the former city; 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.