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Archendale (pronounced: /ˈɑːrkhɛndeɪlARK-hen-dale[4]), one of the lands' trading Dales,[5] was the most aggressive, influential and well-defended[6] of the dales within the Dalelands. The large trading hub viewed themselves as the leader of the region, boasting the largest standing army and strong economy based on its self-reliance and abundance of rich natural resources such as game, crops and valuable minerals.[3]

SocietyEdit

Despite their warlike attitude, the dale owed its prosperity to mercantile success rather than military prowess. As such the life of a successful trader and businessman was highly valued.[7]

Lawfulness and order were paramount to achieve continued prosperity in the eyes of the Archendalesmen, a view that was propagated by the Three Swords. As such, adventurers were not necessarily welcomed as they often brought uncertainty and chaos.[7]

GovernmentEdit

The most powerful of the Dales was ruled by the leaders of its army, a group of three known as the Swords of Archendale. The identity of these leaders was a well-kept secret among the town's leadership and they were only known as the Black Sword, Red Sword and Blue Sword. There were perhaps a dozen people who knew their true identity, but it was a high law of Archendale that they never be revealed.[3]

Law and orderEdit

Military justice was prevalent in Archendale, and punishment for breaking the law was particularly harsh. Officers of the Ride had the power to charge or arrest lawbreakers, sentence minor offenders and bring major criminals to the Swords for judgement and sentencing.[3]

The only law that was somewhat atypical, was that surrounding the identities of the three Swords.[3]

DefensesEdit

Archendale was defended by an army known as the Archenriders,[7] consisting of ten rides of 60 mounted soldiers. While half of the army was typically standing down, the other half would be active, stationed throughout the Dale. Three of them were always stationed at Swordpoint, a stone keep and the Dales' major garrison, one at White Ford and another would patrol the Dale in 10-man units. Rides would alternate between active and off-duty in two month rotations.[3]

Regular militias were kept at a number of towns, comprised of veterans and young men and women preparing for regular service.[3] Due to its security, the region was a haven for merchants.[6]

EconomyEdit

Archendale was entirely self-sufficient, having scattered farmlands as well as apple and grus-grus orchards along the valley floor. The numerous streams were full of crawfish and fresh-water crabs. It also had a number of very profitable ore mines adding to the Dales overall exports.[3]

Due to its self-sufficiency, only fancy, exotic or extravagant items were required to be imported. The wealthiest merchants in Archendale operated out of it's largest city Archenbridge. A number of trading costers operated out of the city, including:[3]

The Darkwater Brand
A merchant clan that traded ore from Archendale for finished goods from the Moonsea region.[3]
Jendalar's Fine Fruits
This company exported the goods from Archendale's orchards and farms.[3]
Mirksha, Mirksha and Mirksha
A company of three brothers that traded exotic goods from southern coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars.[3]

Geographical featuresEdit

The Dale rested in the gorge of River Arkhen, a steep and rocky cliffside that offered natural protection on either side. The only routes into the Dale were the mouth of the valley at Archenbridge and a winding trail at White Ford leading to Highmoon.[3]

Forests and woodsEdit

MountainsEdit

  • Mount Thalagbror: This mountain overlooking the dale was named after an ogre mage who formerly terrorized the region, but has since been slain.[7]

RiversEdit

  • River Arkhen: A major river set into a deep gorge within the Arkhen vale.[6]

ValleysEdit

  • Arkhen Vale: This steep, rocky valley, formed by the river Arkhen, cradled the entirety of Archendale.[7]

WaterfallsEdit

  • Arkhen Falls: This beautiful waterfall flowed from a natural spring in Mount Thalagbror to the vale below.[7]

Notable locationsEdit

TemplesEdit

Most rural Archendalesman were followers of Chauntea, but there were also temples in devotion to Lathander and Tempus. There were also smaller shrines in the woods of the Dale, devoted to nature deities such as Silvanus, Eldath, Mielikki and Selune.[3]

Bounty of the Goddess
This prominent Chauntean temple in Archenbridge was a richly-painted, re-purposed barn, whose entrance was flanked by two pillars carved to look like enormous stalks of wheat.[7] It was overseen by an ambitious priest named Thaliach Mindogar.[3]
Temple of Lathander
Rebuilt a bit before 1369 DR, this sanctuary to the Morninglord was served by Stelaga Brightstar and a dozen minor clerics.[8]

SettlementsEdit

Archenbridge
Archendale's capital and the largest city in the Dalelands. It was a bustling metropolis with a heavy influence from the Sembia, both in trading opportunities and fear of military action.[7]
Swordpoint
The capital building of Archendale was a massive, but aged fortress that served as a seat of power to both the Swords and Archenriders.[7]
White Ford
This sleepy town was formed around a group of boulders that were dumped into the river [7]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Richard Baker (1993). The Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 978-1560766674.
  4. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 26. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  5. Richard Baker (1993). The Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 978-1560766674.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ed Greenwood (January 1996). Volo's Guide to the Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-0406-2.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  8. Richard Baker (1993). The Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 978-1560766674.