Chaos Scar in the Nentir Vale
Just beyond the remnants of the King’s Wall, at the edge of the Chaos Scar, a dirt path leads from civilization into the heart of this dangerous valley. Right off the edge of this path sits a place known to travelers as the Crossroads (though, in truth, only the one path passes through this area). Here, at the edge of the Chaos Scar, is where the fringes of civilization and the edge of danger meet. Not coincidentally, this is also the place where those brave enough to venture even just inside the edge of the Chaos Scar come to meet with some of the more entrepreneurial inhabitants of the valley. It is just distant enough from the closest settlements and bastions of order that those of less honorable origin can come to sell their wares and services. And it is likewise just far enough from the Chaos Scar that those seeking such wares and services can come without too much fear of trouble—although this is still a lawless area. It is a rough place, like the Scar beyond it, but this waypoint is used by many adventurers (and the bravest of merchants and traders) as a final stopping place before entering the Chaos Scar proper.
The Gibbet Tree
Riding into the Crossroads, the first sight to greet a visitor’s eyes is the massive structure known as the gibbet tree. This tall, metal structure has a number of bars that branch off from a thick, metal central post, from which hang a number of broad metal cages. Many of the intelligent monstrous races that live within the confines of the Chaos Scar use the gibbet tree as a form of punishment and a warning to anyone who would consider entering their domain. Hobgoblins, orcs, gnolls, and other races inhabiting the Scar bring live captives to the Crossroads and stuff them within the cages of the gibbet tree, where they are left to die a slow, agonizing death from thirst and starvation.
The main structure, and the reason why most visitors come to the Crossroads, is the trading post that has been erected there. A two-story building that looks vaguely like a mushroom, with a second floor wider than the first, this building looks old and appears to be in ill repair. Most of the wood has grayed from constant exposure to the elements, and most of the shutters on the windows have large holes punched in them, if they haven’t simply rotted away. A sign above the door depicts a wagon being drawn by oxen, the only indication this is more than just an abandoned building.
This trading post is where brave merchants from civilization come to deal with the monstrous races of the Chaos Scar. Many adventurers who meet their end in the Chaos Scar leave behind magic and unique items, which the inhabitants of the valley are only happy to sell or trade to unscrupulous merchants. The traders get their hands on magic items, and the monsters get their hands on contraband smuggled by the traders. All such details occur at the Crossroads
- Millen Silvereye
One of the only people that can claim to be a real resident of the Crossroads is a tiefling man called Millen Silvereye. According to local rumor, Millen was permanently scarred by a run-in with a mind flayer. The encounter turned one of Millen’s eyes to solid silver and gave him amazing prescience, allowing him to see into the future a short distance.
- Fulgrim, Pelt Trader
Fulgrim is a half-orc that deals in the pelts of exotic creatures that live in the Chaos Scar.
Away from the main road is a sunken depression in the earth known as the boneyard. This is where the remains of bodies from the gibbet tree are tossed when a cage needs to be cleaned out for a new occupant. The boneyard is a crude graveyard full of unmarked graves, shallow pits, and mounds of freshly churned earth.