The name came from a pinnacle of rock that rose above the plain to roughly 500 ft (152 m). The flat landscape of the area allowed it to be seen many miles away.
The town itself was clustered around the base of the tower, and was built out of the same red shale as the tower itself, which caused it to blend into the tower's base.
The town itself was in decline because trade was shifting southward, most of the buildings were very decrepit, or ruined entirely. Most of the town had been abandoned in the twenty or so years prior to 1359 DR, though some of the ruins were over 500 years old.
When the Tuigan passed south of the city, heading towards Thay, most people fled the town. After being driven from Thay, the Tuigan went north, passing through the town itself. The small garrison put up no resistance to the invading horde, most having fled to Citadel Rashemen to alert them of the horde's approach. While the Tuigan leaders gave no command to raze the town, looting and foraging by the nomads all but destroyed the town.
Since the horde's defeat, few returned to the town by 1359.
Most of the town's inhabitants were simple farmers, or merchants who traded with the horsemen of the steppe. However, the Huhrong of Rashemen had a small group of Fangs of Rashemen stationed at the town, and there were rumors of a Rashemen witch living in the small town as well.
According to legend, the fire of the Beacon Cairn was not only made to guide travelers, but also to fulfill an ancient prophecy which stated that unless a fire was lit from the Misty Lake, to the peaks of Graunthil, Narfell would rule over all.
While most considered the prophecy metaphorical, and negated by the fall of both the Narfell and Raumathar empires, someone had been hiring people to try to put the light out. The idea that the prophecy was true, and still possibly in effect, raised concerns among the lords of Rashemen.