The rutted King’s Road leads to the foot of a broad hill that holds the walled village of Winterhaven. The village is nestled in the southern foothills of the Cairngorm Peaks. The walls are weathered stone topped by defensive palisades.
Small thatched homes stand around Winterhaven, each fronting a small piece of farmland or pasture. Beyond the farms to the west and south lie dark woods, and to the north, tall mountain peaks.
Most residents of Winterhaven have never traveled beyond the village vale. The majority of villagers are farmers, though the walled heart of Winterhaven employs various craftspeople as well. Wagons occasionally head east down the old King’s Road from Winterhaven to trade in Fallcrest, which lies a week’s journey away. Sometimes wagons come into Winterhaven, causing the villagers to excitedly gather in the market square to hear news of the outside world and to buy new and exotic goods.
Ernest Padraig, the Lord of Winterhaven, is descended from the noble family that ruled the area under edict of the old empire. Folks around Winterhaven were happy with Lord Padraig’s father’s authority, and they have found answering to the rules of the new lord no more arduous. On the other hand, Padraig doesn’t have absolute power. For instance, he has been unable to raise a force from among the villagers to deal with problems outside the town walls, including the local Kobolds and Goblins, and the occasional Orc raiders.
Padraig commands the Winterhaven Regulars, a core group of ten soldiers who perform guard and police functions in and around the walled portion of the village. The Regulars patrol in pairs. To augment this force, Padraig can muster a group of about fifty civilians, given a day’s notice. However, he can only do this if the village itself is threatened—the villagers have no desire to patrol the road beyond the farms.
The population of Winterhaven is predominantly Human, with a scattering of Tiefling families, and a handful of individuals of other common races, including a couple Elfs and Dwarfs.
Winterhaven is primarily an agricultural village based on barter and trade, though Lord Padraig keeps a monetary system afloat with his own coin. Adventurers have little trouble purchasing basic items for which they have sufficient coin.
Settled during the height of the Nerathi Empire, Winterhaven began as a frontier fort to watch the passes through the Cairngorm Peaks and guard the Nentir Vale from the Orc raiders of the Stonemarch. Within half a day’s travel of Shadowfell Keep, it wasn’t long before the wives and children of the soldiers began to form a small community and the fort grew into a town supporting both frontier garrisons. The construction of a local brewery and tavern, now Wrafton’s Inn, brought Winterhaven to prominence in the region and secured a steady economy for the locals.