The Vale of Gen
Gen is dominated by three colors; green, brown and gray. The forests surrounding the sprawling farmlands are thick with vegetation, but any color the leaves might contain is muted by the pale daylight. Only by firelight can colors be appreciated. Many things grow in the Vale and the people of Gen suffer no lack of food. They dress in muted browns and grays, choosing to wear practical clothing befitting their agricultural lifestyle. The art of dyeing wool has been lost, primarily due to the lack of suitable sources of dye. Anything the townsfolk have has been made in the vale by hand. These are a hardy, pragmatic and capable people who have lived off the land here since before any can remember.
Gen is the name given to the central town where the bulk of the population lives. Several thousand call Gen home. About another thousand live spread throughout the valley living in small hamlets of ten or so families, usually collected around one or more of the larger farms scattered from one end of the vale to the other. Crops consist mainly of root vegetables and berries, both of which grow in abundance in the fertile soil. There are also plenty of sheep, cattle, oxen, horses and dogs kept as domesticated animals. Wildlife in the valley is abundant and venison and fish from the river are also readily available.
There is a road that passes from the southern end of the vale and leads right to the center of Gen proper. The road bears signs that it might once have been paved and well maintained, at least beyond it’s current state. The people of the vale have created their own roads, but these are no more than cart tracks and livestock trails used to move from place to place. All roads truly lead to Gen. The old Kings Road bears the name is has always had, with the exception of the word “old” having been added at some point. Presumably there was a king who used the road somewhere in Gen’s ancient past, but there hasn’t been a traveler to Gen in the living memory of any of the locals. The southern end of the vale is blocked by what must have been a catastrophe of epic proportions. Where there was once a pass between the two mountains that stand guard over the valley’s southern end, there is now a mound of boulders and debris. It’s as if an entire mountain, covered in forest, had been dropped from the sky, filling the pass in it’s ruin. Many dead trees can be seen jutting at odd angles in and among the boulders. Climbing out of the vale in other directions may have been attempted in the past, but it is common knowledge in the vale that to venture to high into the mountains is to draw too near the sky. The mountain tops surrounding the valley are lost in the low hanging, roiling cloud cover. The few stories of foolish souls moving above the cloud line end in gruesome details. As far as anyone knows, no one has ever left the valley.