The Aftermath of Chaos
Threshold is capital of the Grand Duchy and trading hub on the Hrusen River. The city has been ruled by the Regent General, a position passed down through a military family since the fall of King Guthwald II during the “Last Siege” by the Horned King’s armies decades past. The Regent General holds the throne in absence of a lawful heir. Since generations have passed since the last potential heir was discovered, it is not known if the current Regent General would lay down rulership of the kingdom should a new claimant come forward. Since none have thus far, there has been little challenge to the status quo.
Threshold was the last major city to stand against the armies of the Horned King. Strategically situated on one of the few crossings on the Hrusen, the Horned King focused his energy on conquering Threshold after the rest of the Nentir Vale was brought to heel. With the fall of Threshold, the Horned King’s victory would have been complete, as the few remaining towns in the Western Duchy would be little match for his forces.
Somehow, on the eve of its destruction, Threshold withstood what is now known as “The Last Siege”. The Horned King’s forces were flush with victory as the city walls were breached in numerous places. The fall of Threshold seemed certain as the defenders had to fall back again and again to the King’s Fortress…
But just before dawn, the attacks slowed… and then stopped altogether. The exhausted troops could barely believe their fortune as the goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, ogres (and even those less than savory men) pulled back, and over the course of the next day, battled one another or quit the battlefield altogether.
Many “eye witnesses” claim to know what occurred that day, but various historical accounts disagree. Some histories report a massive ritual was invoked by the bishops of the city breaking the thrall the Horned King had over his host. Others claim a small band of heroes infiltrated the Horned King’s encampment far behind enemy lines and slayed him just as the final attacks commenced. Leaderless, the armies eventually fell to infighting and self-preservation. A few of the more extremist historians even claim Moradin and Pelor intervened directly, even going to far as to strike a deal with Grummsh. The world may never know…
Tragically, King Guthwald II did not live to see his city’s stay of execution. He lay dead by orc arrows after leading several sorties from the King’s Fortress.
After the fall of the Horned King, Threshold was fairly quick to recover as much of the Western Duchy was spared the harsh rule of the Horned King. The Eastern Duchy, including the Nentir Vale, did not escape so easily and to this day still bears the many scars of the Horned King’s rule.
Today, Threshold is the gateway between the more “civilized” lands of the West and the frontier settlements of the Vale in the East. Despite its position as the capital of the Grand Duchy, Threshold allows the towns of the Nentir Vale a large amount of autonomy and independence. This may be starting to change, however, as the Regent General has taken a bit more active interest in the Vale, even going so far as to re-garrison Restwell Keep as an outpost in the East. Time will tell if the Valelanders, having to fend for themselves for so long, will put up with the strong presence of the Regency again.