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Valley of Sorrows

Ye find yourself standing on a simple dirt road, overlooking a majestic and beautiful valley hidden within the confines of the looming mountainsides that surround you. As your eyes follow the path of the winding road beneath you, your attention is brought to it's final destination...far off into the valley, you can see the towering spires and mighty walls of a brightly colored and sizeable castle. At this point, ye can either step back through the portal, or head down into the valley.
Lush green meadows and copses of trees lay all about as you walk into the valley. Along one part of the pathway, a white stone bridge crosses over a raging river...a golden plaque is set into the stone bridge, noticeable as you start to cross it, bearing a name: Van Roeyen. Wildlife of all kinds teems and plays around you as you make your way deeper into the valley, but not once have you encountered any peoples. Nor would the observant find much in the way of sign that anyone has been travelling through here on a regular basis as of late. As you walk along the roadway, getting closer to the Castle, you make your way past a large copse of trees on your left to find another trail running up along the treeline, towards the mountains. Tis not an overly large trail, nor a much used one...a moment later you see why: A simple, wooden sign sits a small ways up the trail, a simple warning painted upon it...although it is weather worn and beaten, you can make out something about the caves above being prohibited from entry. Any further information has been too weathered to read. If your curiostity gets the better of you, head up the trail to the Caves. If you heed the cryptic warning, continue on your way to the Castle, or head back up the main roadway and out of the valley.
The remainder of the walk to the Castle is quite uneventful. Along the way you see a well kept barn, and some lush fields of grain. The Castle gates now stand before you, the set of double doors shut, yet somehow they seem inviting as you gaze upon the grandeur of the off white stone buildings and towers before you. Colorful banners sway in the wind atop each of the towers, and other than the fact that no one is about, the place seems quite tranquil and cheerful.

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