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[edit] Geographics

Sparrowvale is located in the very heart of the Shield Lands, next to the ruins of the ancient city of Sar Scath.

[edit] Living

People of Sparrowvale get their living out of farming, gathering goods from the forest and fishing.

[edit] Excitement

Even though the village itself is protected by the Shield Land knights, the outskirts are a dangerous place. The nearby areas are infested by beastmen, robbers, pirates and wild animals.

[edit] Sparrowvale history

During the Katar wars slaves from many nations would, at times, find themselves free by way of everything from liberation to escape. Usually these small groups wandered for a time before being found and killed or recaptured. But a few managed to start a new life. Many of these fell back to the skills they acquired as slaves: farming, animal husbandry, and simple construction skills. At first, neighbors bartered with neighbors, and very little former trade existed. Piracy and thievery was commonplace. Over time, it became easier to have "farmers markets" set-up during prime season, usually after harvests. By gathering in larger numbers, piracy dropped.

During the siege of Sar Scath in 2863, the besieging forces found that having access to regional goods would enable them to continue their siege without as much a need for long supply trains. As such, a "farmers market" was established near Sar Scath and incentives (in the form of better prices for goods) were created to encourage the locals to sell their goods there. As the siege continued, the need for continual supplies remained, and the market became a permanent feature. By 2864 a semi-formal town had been established. This town had, as of yet, no name. Unfortunately, in 2865 a Katarious attempted counterattack resulted in the destruction of this town by fire. Rebuilding began immediately. The former town, which had be almost entirely composed of tents, was replaced by permanent structures of wood, and in some cases, eventually stone. Construction was still ongoing when Sar Scath finally fell in 2866. The seige army moved out to pursue the remaining five Katar legions, but by now the town had become a common place for farmers to bring goods. It had become a place of commerce. As such, it continued to draw in more skilled labor, and services available increased.

As the city grew, it became apparent that some sort of formal organized government was needed to provide for things such as constables, town guard, and maintenance of wells, etc. A "council of elders" gathered and appointed themselves the governing body. Unfortunately, each elder had their own retinue of guards. Most of these guards where little more than thugs, though a few did have formal military training. More often than not, these "constables" enforced "spot taxes" to pay for their own ale, while generally ignoring true crime (because of bribes). For a while it seemed that the town would disappear. However, a few brave townsfolk sought out help. They were able to send a message to the "Order of the Blue" asking for assistance in riding them of this corruption. The "Order of the Blue" was known as a group that opposed evil, and had among it members several powerful Mages. In due time, a small contingent of soldiers and mages from the order arrived outside of the vale in the year 2872. After being rebuffed by the elders, they set out to stop the corrupt constables. Several small incidents occurred where both sides were able to withdraw without any great violence. But a week after the arrival of the Order, a large-scale battle began that raged for 3 days. The elders withdrew to the hill, leaving the constables and the Order to fight it out. When the elders returned, half the town was destroyed, and the Order had withdrawn, pursued by a portion of the constables. Neither group was ever seen again. The remaining constables demanded more money for defending the town. The town, and elders refused to pay. Any money available was going to be needed to rebuild the town, and besides, the elders felt the constables didn't protect the town very well. After all, half of it was destroyed. The remaining constables proceeded to burn what remained of the town. Afterwards, they began to fight among themselves when one group of constables slew an elder. Eventually, little remained of either the elders, or constables... or the town.

Those townsfolk still alive agreed to attempt the rebuild, but this time leadership would come from one man. An elected mayor. He alone would govern, and they would seek the local keeps to provide guards to protect the town. In payment, they would offer tribute to each keep. An arrangement was agreed upon, and Lord Vylar Fled was elected as the first mayor. Rebuilding commenced, and proceeded at a brisk rate. As one of his first acts, the mayor outlawed weapons in the town. The only weapons would be those help by the guards from each of the local keeps. As his second act, he named the town... Sparrowvale. It was chosen due to the numerous sparrows that seemed to live in the little valley year-round. It also gave the town a gentle, peaceful sounding name which helped cloud it's violent past.

From that point forward, the vale flourished and enjoyed relative peace. The town remained a center of trade, and corruption was kept to a minimum. However, in the year 2920, and group of explorers happened upon a cave just outside the vale. It had remained hidden until a small earthquake earlier that year revealed an entrance. Unfortunately, while the cave seemed rich in gems, and some minerals, it was also inhabited by a vicious new race, the Vespasians. Several dozen men from the vale were killed by these creatures before sheildland guards were finally able to force the creatures back into the caves. Two unfortunate side effects came out of this battle.

First of all, the Vespasians now had a way to reach the area around the vale. As such, they occasionally sortie out, and attack they unwary traveler. Regular patrols keep the intrusions down, but don't stop it entirely. Also, enterprising individuals will venture into the cave system periodically. Those who survive, bring back riches they can sell in the town, which of course is resold at a profit.

Secondly, those who died in the inital attacks were buried in the Sparrowvale graveyard. For some unknown reason, perhaps some vile magic possessed by the Vespasians, those who died in the initial attacks, did not stay dead. They became Undead, and still haunt the graveyard to this day.

In recent years a few changes have happened in the vale. Merchants have moved a bit, and with the rebuilding of Sar 'Scath, the mayor has moved the city hall into the city. As of 2942, deamons and undead are forbidden to enter the vale. This is due to an attack upon the mayor by a group of deamons/undead. Though the attack was thwarted, the mayor decide such beings were to great a threat, and thus will be attacked on site if they step foot into Sparrowvale.

Though the town is peaceful for the most part now, occasional crisis occur. Undead have invaded the town, and giant crabs have emerged from the shoreline. Eventually the threats are neutralized. Ongoing issues still persist with in the lands around the vale. Everything from pirates and bandits, to magical creatures inhabit the surrounding areas. This makes for risk to travelers, but potential employment to those looking for adventure, or to make a name for themselves. Thus Sparrowvale is a common place to see new faces, and occasionally old faces too.