The realm lay in a remote valley in the Ice Spires, a range of ever-frozen peaks lying north of the Ice Mountains, west of the High Ice of Anauroch, and south of the Endless Ice Sea. This valley contained low rolling hills, forests of pine, and frozen plains. Titanic menhirs marked the boundaries between human and Giant lands within Hartsvale, which some speculated were placed there by stone giants.
In the 14th century DR, Hartsvale was rent by a civil war fought between twin princes over who would succeed their late father. Prince Camden allied himself with a tribe of Ice Spire ogres, but Goboka, the ogre chieftain, demanded Camden's firstborn daughter in payment. To this, Camden agreed, having no children yet and knowing his line favored males. With their aid, he won the throne.
In time, of course, King Camden had a daughter, Brianna, but he reneged on the deal, declining to surrender her. In the Year of the Staff, 1366 DR, when she was grown, an emissary of the ogres visited his castle to remind him of his dark deal. To keep up appearances, king and ogres arranged an ambush in which Brianna was kidnapped. It was later revealed that these ogres were in service to the Twilight Spirit (in truth, Lanaxis), who wished to breed Brianna with a giant to give birth to a being to unite the giant kingdoms.
Tavis Burdun, a firbolg ranger, disobeyed orders and tracked them down, rescuing Brianna and returning her to Hartsvale. They revealed Camden's deal, and he was deposed. Brianna succeeded him as queen of Hartsvale.
The Twilight Spirit did not give up. He later sent the first ettin, Arno and Julian, disguised as Prince Arlien, who used magic to rape Brianna. Arlien was discovered and defeated, but Brianna became pregnant with Arlien's child.
Brianna fled, protected by Tavis and a man named Avner, and gave birth to her child in secret within a cave. Avner sacrificed his life to save the prince, and Tavis slew the Twilight Spirit, freeing Hartsvale from the giant's schemes.
Afterward, Tavis and Brianna were wed, and together, they ruled Hartsvale.
In 1489 DR, political tensions arose when Grauman, the ruling king at the time, made preparations to pass his the throne to his son Taumarik. Many earls objected to Taumarik's marriage to a sorceress from Silverymoon.
The kings of Hartsvale, members of House Hartwick, were rumored to have giant blood themselves. They defended the realm against a large tribe of especially cunning and evil ogres, the Ice Spire ogres. House Hartwick ruled from Castle Hartwick.
In modern Faerûn, Hartsvale was inhabited by humans and a small population of firbolgs. Giant lands and steadings surrounded the kingdom, with social taboos amongst both humans and giants preventing them from interacting with each other. 
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