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 Locations of the Vale

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Proteus Stark
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PostSubject: Locations of the Vale   Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:51 pm

The Eyrie

The ancient seat of House Arryn, one of the oldest lines of Andal nobility. It is situated in the Mountains of the Moon astride the peak known as the Giant's Lance, several thousand feet above the valley floor below. It's considered impregnable to attack. During winter years, the Arryns seek refuge against the cold at the base of the mountain in the Gates of the Moon.


The Castle
The Eyrie is the smallest of the great castles, consisting only of a cluster of seven slim, white towers bunched tightly together. They can hold up to five hundred men. The castle is made of fine white stone. The towers encircle a garden, which had been meant as a godswood, but no weirwood tree would take root in the stony soil. The barracks and stables are carved directly into the mountain. Though it is a small castle, the granary is as large as those found in much larger castles, like Winterfell.

The High Hall of the Arryns is where the household takes meals. It is a long and austere hall, with walls made of blue-veined white marble. At the end of it sits the throne of the Arryns, a seat carved of weirwood. It has narrow, arched windows, between which are torches mounted on high iron sconces.
Moon Door: In the High Hall there is a narrow weirwood door that stands between two slender pillars. A crescent moon is carved into the door. The door 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 Crescent Chamber: The Eyrie's reception hall. Here, guests are given refreshments and warmed by the fire after making the climb up the Giant's Lance.
The Maiden's Tower: Easternmost of the seven towers of the Eyrie. From a balcony on the tower, one can see the Vale and the Giant's Lance.
Sky Cells: The Eyrie's dungeons are particularly infamous; they are merely shelves on the side of the mountain's sheer cliffs, left open to the cold sky. Many prisoners, driven mad by the cold and howling wind, commit suicide rather than remain imprisoned.


Mountain Defenses
To reach the Eyrie, an invading army would have to overcome the Bloody Gate guarding the High Road, then overcome the Gates of the Moon located at the bottom of the mountain and climb up the narrow goat trail. Under normal circumstances this would take half a day, all the while being exposed to attack from the defenders in the Eyrie and its three waycastles along the path:

Stone, the first waycastle. The path to it is surrounded by forest. It has a massive ironbound gate. The stone walls are crowned with iron spikes and its two fat round towers raise above the keep.
Snow, the second waycastle. The trail to it is steeper than that of Stone. It consists of a single fortified tower, a timber keep, and a stable placed behind a low wall of unmortared rock. It is nestled into the Giant's Lance so as to command the entire pathway from Stone to Snow.
Sky, the third waycastle. The path to it is treacherous. It is open to the wind and the steps are cracked and broken from the constant freezing. Sky is a high, crescent-shaped wall of unmortared stone raised against the side of the mountain. Inside the walls are a series of ramps and a great tumble of boulders and stones of all sizes, ready to throw down or even cause a minor avalanche. There is a cavern containing a long natural hall, stables, and supplies. Handholds carved into the rock lead to the Eyrie, while earthen ramps give access to the walls. The Eyrie is located six hundred feet above this point.
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PostSubject: Minor Locations of the Vale   Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:00 pm

The Bloody Gate: A series of battlements placed across the mountain road that leads into the Vale of Arryn from the Mountains of the Moon. There are two long parapets built into the stone of the mountains. The pass, narrow where it meets the gate, is watched over by twin watchtowers, which are joined by a covered bridge of grey stone that arches above the road. The Bloody Gate is located southwest of the Eyrie and northwest of the Redfort. The gate has its own commander who is given the title the Knight of the Gate. This commander traditionally asks the question, "Who would pass the Bloody Gate?" to all who would pass through.

The Fingers: Four narrow peninsulas of the Vale of Arryn which extend out into the narrow sea and the Shivering Sea. They are windswept, treeless, bare and stony. It often rains in the Fingers. The seat of House Baelish sits on the Fingers, an unnamed, old flint tower. Pebble is north of the Fingers and the Paps is northeast, while Coldwater Burn and Snakewood are west of the peninsulas. The Andals first arrived on the Fingers when they invaded Westeros. They chiseled the seven-pointed star of the Faith of the Seven onto boulders to mark where they landed.

The Three Sisters: A group of three islands - Sweetsister, Longsister, and Littlesister - found in the Bite, located south of White Harbor and north of the Mountains of the Moon. The islands owe loose allegiance to House Arryn of the Vale. The islands are considered dens of avarice and sin by septons. People from the Three Sisters are known as Sistermen, and some have webbing between their hands and feet, which they call the mark. The Three Sisters are considered a part of the Vale of Arryn and are ruled by House Sunderland. Houses Borrell of Sweetsister, Longthorpe of Longsister, and Torrent of Littlesister are sworn to the Sunderlands.
The Three Sisters are sworn to House Arryn of the Vale, but the Eyrie's grasp upon the islands is tenuous at best. Ships go between the Three Sisters and White Harbor all the time. The Sisters sell crab, fish and goat cheese to White Harbor and in return they sell them wood, wool and hides. Sister's stew is a white seafood stew that is served all over the Three Sisters, in every inn and tavern.
Beacons burn along the shores of the Three Sisters to warn passing ships of danger. The Night Lamp of Sisterton is a prominent beacon operated by House Borrell. Some disreputable Sistermen use false lights to lure ships into wrecks to take their cargo.

Gulltown: The major port city of the Vale of Arryn. It is located at the northern tip of the Bay of Crabs, southeast of the Eyrie and south of nearby Runestone. It is the largest city in the Vale, but is much smaller than Oldtown and King's Landing. It is ruled by House Grafton and also contains a cadet branch of the Vale's rulers, House Arryn of Gulltown. Gull Tower, the seat of House Shett, is also located at Gulltown.
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. 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.


Coldwater Burn: (or Coldwater) The seat of House Coldwater in the Vale. It is located near the mouth of a river west of the Fingers. The castle of Snakewood is nearby beyond a mountain range to the south. According to semi-canon sources, Coldwater is within the northernmost glacial river valley of the snakewood forest.
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