An ancient evil awakens in the heart of Cormanthor forest, threatening the Dales and the whole of Faerun beyond.
Population: 602,640 (humans 80%, drow 6%, half-elves 5%, elves
4%, halflings 2%, gnomes 1%, dwarves 1%)
Government: Varies by dale; Dales Council loosely unifies all dales
Religions: Chauntea, Lathander, Mielikki, Silvanus, Tempus, the
Triad (Ilmater, Torm, Tyr)
Imports: Armor, books, glass, jewelry, metalwork, paper, textiles,
Exports: Ale, bread, cheese, fruit, grain, hides, timber, vegetables
Alignment: CG, NG, N
The Dales are broad forest vales with rolling farmlands, linked by
narrow trade roads running through beautiful woods. Blessed with
fertile soil and a temperate climate (aside from the extremely harsh
winters), the Dales are the breadbasket of the Heartlands. The Dales’
independent spirit and age-old alliance with the elves of Cormanthor
have made them the historic birthplace or favored home of many
of Faerûn’s greatest heroes.
Eleven separate dales exist today, each with its own territory,
government (or lack of it), militia, trading pacts, ambitions, and
character. Archendale and Harrowdale value trade over all else.
Tasseldale values industry and craftsmanship. Daggerdale stands
alone against a powerful enemy, while Scardale struggles to
recover its independence after years of occupation. Meanwhile,
the other dales respect the old Dales Compact and prefer to be
h6. The Dalelands Character
Although they share common traditions, cultural practices, and religious
allegiances, the Dalelands are not a unified kingdom like
Cormyr or Sembia. Instead, they are an enigma to the rest of
Faerûn. How can small and disorganized groups of stubborn, backwoods
farmers and craftsfolk maintain control of the coveted lands
surrounding the great elven forest?
In the past, the forest itself was a major reason for the Dales’ continued
existence, as the presence of the Elven Court deterred most
foes. Now that the elves are a secondary power in Cormanthor,
Dalesfolk rely upon the gifts they’ve always had: heroism, selfreliance,
and a strong, almost clannish sense of community.
To an outsider, Dalesfolk seem close-mouthed, suspicious, and
reserved. Until newcomers are identified as friends or foes, or
vouched for by a trusted friend, Dalesfolk prefer civil silence to
empty pleasantries. Once a person is accepted, Dalesfolk are generally
open and giving, especially in the common defense. Once accepted
by Dalesfolk as a friend, a stranger is expected to contribute to
the defense of the community.
Most dales maintain at least an informal militia. The training
levels and professionalism of such groups varies, but all are capable
of providing some training with a melee weapon and a good Dales
longbow. The archers of the Dales might be the finest human
archers of Faerûn, which gives would-be invaders pause.
h6. The Dales Compact
The Dales were once deep woods hunted only lightly by the dragons,
for these creatures preferred to make meals of ogres, deer,
bears, and rothé available in the open Stonelands to the west. As the
wyrms declined and elven might grew, the elven realm of Cormanthyr