Valley of Gent

The Valley of Gent is centrally located on the western edge of the continent of Atla. Said to have been created thousands of years ago by the God Gent, the Valley of Gent has long since been a fascination for many and source of extreme bewilderment to others. The peculiar geologic formation of the Cliffs of Gent have stumped and astounded researchers and explorers alike.

The valley itself was once home to a dense and thriving forest primarily comprised of oaks. But over the past 1,000 years logging has taken a severe toll on the forest. Sayfend, one of the largest cities in the valley, is home to the nation’s largest lumber mills and processes more lumber than any other location in the world. Today, small pockets of forest are found scattered across the valley, with vast plains of grasses and shrubs in between. Luckily for the people, the deforestation had a secondary benefit beyond the lumber itself. With so much vacant land the people of the Valley have turned to farming and now are some of the most prolific producers of vegetables and fruit on the continent. Though the farms are small compared to those in Arodil, the unique climate of the valley allows farmers to grow a huge variety of unique and otherwise specialty crops.

Cool, moist air blowing off of the ocean travels over the valley and reaches the Cliffs of Gent. While much of the moisture condenses and falls on the area beyond the Cliffs and near Dames, the Valley is somewhat wetter than similarly located regions to the north and south. The clouds and moisture are partly trapped in by the steep walls and gather in the valley. Turbulent flows bounce around in the valley and create fog, long periods of rain, violent thunderstorms and the occasional tornado. Most of these storms take place in the northeastern reaches of the Valley. As a result, a majority of the settlements are situated in the lower half of the Valley along the many rivers, where the weather is more moderate.

The entire Valley of Gent is notable for its lack of raillines, and in general its isolation. FreePort City is the only major capital (Meroma and Gray Hearth not considered) without direct access to the rest of the nation. Because the Cliffs of Gent are a protected national wilderness area, the Grand Provincial Council has prohibited tunneling through them or building over them. The technology to create an above ground railline traveling over the Cliffs and into the Valley exists; it’s the laws and regulations that have prevented construction. FreePort City, located on the coast at the far western edge of the valley, has always been one of the busiest ports in the nation due to its location in the middle of the continent and roughly halfway between Far Haven and Feron. It is still one of the busiest ports not connected to a railline due almost entirely to its location. Many analysts believe that bringing a railline into FreePort will displace at least half of the ships traveling to FreePort.

FreePort City’s borders extend well beyond the city wall. However, much like the forests that once dominated the entire region, there is a dense wooded area surrounding the city wall for several miles. The nearest villages still considered part of FreePort proper are located at least three miles from the city itself. Most of these villages are smaller in size and have no notable industries (save for the boarding houses and hotels).

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