|World of Westeros - Geography|
|Friday, 18 July 2008 22:04|
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A hidden paradise nestled among the sheer peaks of the Mountains of the Moon, the Vale of Arryn is one of the oldest of the Seven Kingdoms as well as one of the most remote. Accessible only by long, treacherous mountain roads or by sea, the Vale has stood apart from the turmoil and intrigues of Westeros since the Kings of Mountain and Vale took the lands from the First Men. The Vale’s isolation — and the depredations of the mountain clansmen — have given rise to both pragmatism and caution among the folk who live there.
Situated to the north of the Crownlands and east of the Riverlands, the Vale of Arryn encompasses all the lands encircled by the Mountains of the Moon, from the twin watchtowers known as the Bloody Gate in the west, to Gulltown and the barren lands of the Fingers in the east. Near the Bloody Gate, the Vale is only a few leagues across, while the broken coasts to the east are a seemingly endless labyrinth of bays and cliffs.
The Vale is ruled by House Arryn, one of the oldest lines of Andal nobility in Westeros, and before Aegon's War of Conquest, Kings of Mountain and Vale. Their seat, the Eyrie, is a castle high in the mountains, small but unassailable. The people of the Vale have developed a high respect for peace, hospitality, and courtesy, yet are also famed for their honour and skill at arms. Bastards born in the Vale are given the surname Stone.
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