Gleann an Phéine is a place far in the North, at the very edge of civilization. It is a broad valley, tucked in between mighty mountain ranges. Only one road leads to a pass in the South (or rather, a series of passes, the last of them infamous Blackwater pass) and connects it to more inhabited realms. In the North, impenetrable mountains hide whatever lies behind them from the eyes of men. The village of Gleann an Phéine is loacted in the Southern part of the valley, about half a day of journey to the pass heights.

The valley

The valley is broad, something like a day's walk across, and a bit more than two days in North-South direction. Rolling hills with a dense forest cover form most of the valley floor. The forest is mostly spruce and pine, but occasionally there are also patches of birch and alder. In exposed areas, shrubland and heather can be found.

There's plenty of water coming from the mountain ranges which form a series of swamps and lakes, connected by generally slow-flowing rivers and creeks. Eventually the water drains through subterranean passages into the lowlands in the South.

The lower valley seen in winter.

Vegetation in the upper valley (at the Northern end) is only subtly different from the lower valley since the valley floor rises only very gently. If anything, the trees tend to be more sparse, more overgrown with lichen and pine dominates somewhat more.

The upper valley, seen from the summit of Storm Crag

Ice Peak

The mountain ranges surrounding the valley are nearly everywhere high and impassable, but there is one summit which dwarfs them all - towering ever-white Ice Peak, shaped nearly like a perfect pyramid dominates the horizon. For that reason, the mountain also has acquired the name 'The Queen'.

'Ice peak', also known as 'The Queen'

Storm Crag

Storm Crag is a rather prominent hill with steep cliff faces located at the Northern end of the valley where it towers over a lake. Rumor told among the villagers has it that it's peak attracts lightning strikes, but few villagers ever venture this far into the upper valley, and fewer still have actually been there during a storm.

'Storm Crag' mountain in the upper valley


There are many swamps in the valley, one even rather close to the village. People rarely go into them as they are difficult to cross, except perhaps to gather some rare herbs and berries. Generally they are known as the places where the fairy folk comes to dance, and especially around the equinoxes, people fear to accidentially cross over into the fairy realm.

One of the numerous swamps in the valley


The lowest parts of the valley are filled with numerous lakes of various sizes. In the larger ones, fish can be found. During the winter, the lakes are all frozen, but in summer many villagers go fishing in the larger ones to bring more food varieties on the table. The richer inhabitants of the valley also own boats, and swimming is a fairly popular activity when the days are really hot.

A lake close to the village

The village

The village of Gleann an Phéine is a small place where perhaps 120 people make their living. Dependent on the wealth of the inhabitants, the buildings range from solid houses to squalid huts where people live together with their lifestock. Only a couple of houses form the center of the village, most others are homesteads scattered across a wider area where they are closer to their fields and pastures.

A small tavern forms the social center of the village and acts as a gathering place, and a blacksmith and a carpenter take care of all major repairs.

The center of the village

Quite often, small forest areas separate parts of the village, and there are also a few homesteads quite far from the village proper, more than a few hours of walk away in the wilderness of the valley.

A trader walks by outlying homesteads as he leaves the village

Back to main index     Back to Clíodhna

Created by Thorsten Renk 2018-2019 - see the disclaimer, privacy statement and contact information.