House Slagathor - Song of Ice and Fire
Cities of the Vale
Work in Progress for Pictures
The Vale has only two cities in its land, only one of which would be a city in most of Westoros. Still, to most of the Houses in the Vale, the following three places are quite noticeable and impressive.
Gulltown is an important port and portal to the Vale, its sheltered harbor offering anchorage to ships traveling from King’s Landing to Braavos or the north and vice-versa. Many Esso merchants will stop at Gulltown Its strategic location means it never lacks for trade in many of the exotic goods making their way from across the narrow sea, keeping the Vale supplied even when the passes of the Mountains of the Moon are closed in winter.
It is a result of its ideal location that makes Gulltown the only true city in the Vale, which makes House Grafton very rich.
Gulltown has many avenues for culture, with theaters, art galleries, scone restaurants, and plenty of places to find a whore. Gulltown is also known for its fine seamstresses. There is a long stone wall that protects the city from danger, along with its large navy. The castle where the Graftons is simply a very fancy mansion with no protection.
The streets of Gulltown are crowded with its many wooden buildings – however there is much undeveloped land still in the Eastern part of the city, though it is tightly controlled by the Graftons. Ten of thousands of people live together in cramped conditions. The southern part along the walls are the poorest, while the port area, while it has its graffiti, maintains its law and order. A culture of corruption rots the merchants there though.
While called one of the two cities, in reality, is really is just a large town. Wickenden is located on the northern shore of the Bay of Crabs, northwest of Crackclaw Point. It is a city of multiple tiers, as it etches alongside the hill it is built upon. The first tier has the fishermen and the traders, and is known as a bit of a dodgy place. The second is where the merchants live, and is known for its oddly clean streets. The third tier is where artists live, including the men and women who make the city famous for making scented beeswax candles. The fourth tier is where it makes the basic things that the Vale need to survive: farming tools, swords, etc. – it has a strong industrial base. The fifth tier is for the military and for the castle of House Waxley, which in reality is just a very fancy small Keep. The city instead is protected by a series of towers alongside the Bay. There is also a sizeable library in the city.
There is one feature that is most noticeable – its over hundred foot tower at the top of the Hill. Once a Faith Militant Base, it has converted to a tower where Silent Sisters are trained, one of only three places where their vows can be taken. A line of blue stone swirl on the tower of whitestone.
The city handles much of the Vale’s trading, as its sip often trade with the Riverlands and the Stormlands.
The Eyrie is the capital of the Vale, the seat of House Arryn. Located in Mountains of the Moon astride the peak known as the Giant’s Lance, several thousand feet above the valley. It has only conquered once, and that happened only with a Targayen Dragon. The castle is made of fine white stone. It consists of a cluster of seven slim, white towers bunched tightly together, that at most can hold only a few hundred people at once. The barracks and stables are built into the cliff, and the its infamous Sky Cells overlook the valley. There is no Godswood in the castle. There are three gates that one has to go through just to get to the castle and the granary is the size of the one at King’s Landing.
The most noted feature of the Eyrie is the Moon Door is a narrow weirwood door that stands between two slender pillars in the High Hall. A crescent moon is carved into the door, which opens inward, and is barred by heavy bronze. The door opens into the sky. Most executions at the Eyrie use this door, which opens onto a six hundred foot drop to the stones of the valley below.
The Arryns do no stay here in the Winter, as supplies cannot be brought; they live at the base of Eyrie thousands of feet below.
Of note to your family is the following castle.
Runestone is where House Royce rules its lands from. North of Gulltown, like many towns in the Vale, the common populace live outside the formidable castle, which has not been taken since House Aaryn fought it. Simple farming and smiting takes place outside the castle. Inside the dark but warm castle, runes can be seen etched into the old grey stone. The castle has been kept in shape for over 7000 years, according to the Royces. It is said that only a Royce can truly navigate its multiple large towers, as the hallways were supposedly designed that only an insider would know where to go. Only one bridge heads to the castle, and it is rumored that the Royces can destroy it at any moment. There is little economic activity here – that is handled elsewhere. One of the few places with a GodsWoods still for the Old Gods.