High Dale lay on the southwestern edge of the Dalelands, in relative isolation to the others, at a strategic crossroads between Cormyr and Sembia. It was nestled in a steep mountain pass in the Thunder Peaks, between Hooknose Crag and Wyvernfang.
The folk of High Dale were a proud and independent group, likely due to their relative isolation to the surrounding dales. Generally, they were pleased as a whole to be left alone by their more grandiose neighbors.
The secluded dale was governed by an assembly known as the Dale Council, six elected representatives who served six-year terms. Their tenure was staggered, with a new councilor being elected every year. The members would further elect a 7th council member, known as the High Constable, to act as a spokesperson and cast deciding votes in the case of ties. They were an organized group and responsible for the dale's law enforcement, defense, trade and relations with other nations.
Law and order
The High Constable was supported six subordinate constables, who in turn were responsible for training and leading the town's militia. These militia were quickly rally-able and would rapidly respond to bring criminals to justice.
Due to its naturally defensive terrain, High Dale seldom had to worry about raiding parties, monster invasions or conquering armies. The defense of the dale fell mostly on the shoulders of the militia, under command of the constables. They were supported however by the mercenaries of the Pegasus Archery Company and the Flying Auxiliary, a score of pegasi-mounted archers led by the young commander Sothinar.
High Dale was a mostly self-sufficient domain. They had their share of local craftsmen including smiths, woodworkers and tanners. Farmers in the area grew hay, turnips and potatoes while raising sheep and goats.
While they had no permanent merchant houses or trading costers, the dale's strategic location between the nations of Cormyr and Sembia saw a bustle of caravans through the warmer months of the year. Travelers and merchants could pick up supplies or local products from small shops or general stores.
High Dale is among one of the oldest of the Dales, being founded sometime in the 600's DR. Over the centuries, the Highdalesmen have terraced the mountainside, creating pastures for herding and farming.
The most notable event in High Dale's recorded history took place on Flamerule 26, 720 DR, in the Dancing Place known as the Gathering of the Gods. Several deities of nature, peace and magic all directly spoke through their respective priests and granted their blessing over a joint effort between clerics, druids, dryads and elves to combat a malevolent faction of allied, evil-aligned clergies.
Perhaps due to its remote location, High Dale has historically never taken part in the majority of the conflicts of the dales. Outside of small skirmishes, it has seldom seen significant battles, even during the occupation of the Zhents.Additionally, despite its central location between the two nations, High Dale has markedly never been a site of conflict between Cormyr and Sembia.
Conversely the dale was home to a small battle of note during the Time of Troubles. Shortly after the Zhents began occupation oh High Dale, they were fought off Elminster and a group known as the Rangers Three before any real harm could come to the region.
- Wyvernfang: This summit at the apex the Thunder Peaks served as roost to a number of Wyverns who would ambush travelers along the Thunder Way.
- The Dancing Place: Another hidden valley within the dale; it was preserved as a sacred site to both the Harpers as well as a number of nature-related deities.
- Hidden Vale: Tucked away, and obscured by distracting alpine wildflowers and winter fog, the walls of this valley were home to a distinct population of reclusive gnomes.
- An earthern stronghold just outside the castle that was home to the Pegasus Archery Company.
- High Castle
- A castle that protected the surrounding town of Highcastle, and commanded a great view over the Thunder Way and the rest of High Dale.
- Thunder Way
- This wagon trail through the Thunder Peaks led out of Thunderstone in Cormyr, passed through High Dale, and wound down to the small Sembian city of Saerb.
- The largest settlement in High Dale was the village nestled in, and protected by, the castle after which it was named. Home to the Dale Council.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Richard Baker (1993). The Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 978-1560766674.
- Ed Greenwood (January 1996). Volo's Guide to the Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-0406-2.
- Ed Greenwood (1993). The Code of the Harpers. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
- Ed Greenwood (1993). The Code of the Harpers. (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
- Richard Baker (September 2008). “Epic Faerûn”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #367 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 132. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
Daggerdale • Featherdale • High Dale • Mistledale • Shadowdale
Moondale • Sessrendale • Tarkhaldale • Teshendale
Arch Wood • Cormanthor • Darkwatch • Spiderhaunt Wood • Velarswood • Yevenwood
Bodies of Water
River Arkhen • River Ashaba • Feather Falls • Dragon Reach • Lake Eredruie • Glaemril
Dun Hills • Thunder Peaks • Wyvernfang
Barrowfields • Cold Field • Druid's Grove • Glaun Bog • Hidden Vale • The Scar