Brokenstone Vale

Deep in the shadows of a mountain pass lies Brokenstone Vale, a haven for werebeasts and shapechangers that was conceded to them by the eladrin after years of brutal warfare. According to an ancient pact between the shape changers and the Court of Stars, no creature can set foot in Brokenstone Vale without the lycanthropes’ permission. If any careless traveler does so, his life is as good as forfeit. This pact also works the other way; lycanthropes that hunt beyond the vale can be slain by the Maiden of the Moon, an archfey who keeps her wary eye on them.

You come from the forested mountains above Brokenstone. By day, you hunt in the woods, farm the lower mountain slopes, or practice your trade. In their humanoid forms, the lycanthropes can be useful (if intimidating) trading partners, and many seem good-natured and genuine. However, others eye you when you pass by as if you were nothing more than a potential meal. It is the cries of these predators that seem the strongest when the vale fills with a chorus of feral howls beneath the light of the moon. During these times when the monsters are on the hunt, painting a silver stripe across the door to your dwelling tells the shapechangers that you have silver and the protection of the Maiden of the Moon. Even the most bloodthirsty of their kind heed the sign of the stripe.

You also know that the lycanthropes will not touch the wolfsbane that grows on the slopes of Brokenstone Vale. It is said that a touch of the plant, when properly applied, transforms a werecreature into its humanoid form and prevents it from changing again until the next moon rises. Displaying wolfsbane around your dwelling usually deters lycanthropes, but use of the plant can enrage them and single you out as a target. Wolfsbane is often dangerous to obtain because aside from its toxic nature, hags and witches collect the plant for use in their charms and spells. These creatures flit like black shadows across the face of the moon while the terrible howls fill the night from below.

Lycanthropy does not originate in the Feywild, but lycanthropes have a special bond with nature, and many roam the forests, hills, and dales of this plane. Hated, feared, and hunted in every corner of the mortal realm, some lycanthropes have forsaken that plane to dwell in a forest domain deep in the shadows of a mountain pass: Brokenstone Vale. Centuries ago a werewolf lord forged a kingdom of werebeasts here and fought a fierce war against the neighboring eladrin realms. After decades of strife and bloodshed, the Court of Stars conceded to the lycanthropes the lands they’d conquered. Old stone posts on the far side of a river that winds across the vale’s mouth mark the agreed-upon border. Travelers who pass them take their lives into their hands, for Brokenstone is a place where lycanthropes can roam freely.

Living in the Feywild as a lycanthrope is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the moon here is much greater and much brighter in the sky, stoking the werebeasts’ bloodlust to giddy new heights of savagery. On the other hand, that same moon is sacred to the archfey called the Maiden of the Moon. She abides by the ancient pact and does not venture within Brokenstone, but she bears a special hatred for lycanthropes, and her silver sword is the doom of any werebeast that crosses her path outside the vale.

Within the maze of forested ravines and steep hills of Brokenstone lie the ruins of old castles and towers where werebeast rulers of years gone by raised keeps or built halls. The mountainsides above that flank the vale are riddled with decrepit mines where wererats make their homes. A few of Brokenstone’s lycanthropes gather in sullen clans or live among the ruins of the old rulers, but most lead solitary lives, keeping to themselves.

Although most lycanthropes here rarely bother to disguise their nature, a cluster of small lodging houses stands at the edge of Brokenstone for those who wish to walk as humans when needed. These ragged huts cling to the banks of the rushing river that defines the boundaries of the realm. The werewolf lord Viktor Mazan is the master of this place, and he maintains a brutal peace so that merchants can bring supplies and trade for rare wood harvested from within Brokenstone’s hidden vales. Viktor does not allow travelers to remain long, and he sends the merchants off again as quickly as possible.

Many of Brokenstone’s lycanthropes chafe at even this much restraint. Some of the werebeasts hunt far beyond the boundaries allotted to their kind long ago, risking open warfare with the eladrin again. Others have sworn fealty to a fomorian king named Bronnor whose fortress of Harrowhame lies nearby, and they plot to ambush and slay the Maiden of the Moon. The archfey are not deities, after all.

Brokenstone Vale

Feywild Praissen