This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
This review was moved forward in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the behest of my patreons.
Sheltered away within the wooden ranges of hills untouched by current civilization, a steep-sided, deep valley’s ancient, sculpted rocks bear witness to the ages, remnants of a civilization long gone, flanked by majestic cliffs and clad in perpetual shadows. A living, breathing temple to nature itself, the wondrous valley contains huge falls where the Malinrae river tumbles down the steep cliffs.
Within the shadows of this gorgeous place, moss-covered lupine statues, untainted pools and mystic rocks carved in the likeness of deer and bear await the intrepid explorer, while willow-fringed Lake Vontyr awaits explorers. PCs versed in ancient lore may unearth some intriguing facts about this place – like that it actually is the site of an ancient elven realm or that it in fact is built on a place of power. The few explorers who dared venture into this place can provide one of 6 rumors – but is it true that this place was created when two gods met in fierce battle? Or that the strange sculptures come alive at night? You’ll have to travel there to find out!
And while you’re there, you may encounter 6 sample events that exemplify the beauty and marvel of this place…speaking of which: This pdf actually contains a mini-dressing table of 12 entries that helps you bring alive this wondrous place…and not all is mist-clad branches and crystal waters: You see, the custodians of this place roam its breadth still: Using both age-categories and even multiclassing, two of the 4 characters are fully statted herein (the others get RSP’s neat fluffy treatment covering mannerisms etc.), as the powerful guardians stand in their eternal, ghostly vigil. While, for the most part relatively benevolent (unless you despoil the place…then run for the hills!), one of them has more of a hardliner stance regarding trespassers. As in: “Stalk and kill them all”-hardliner-stance.
As always – beauty and danger are close compatriots…
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed not a single glitch. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ crisp and printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf has no artworks, but needs none and comes in two versions – one optimized for screen-use and one optimized for the printer. The cartography of the valley by Tommi Salama is absolutely GORGOEUS and may be worth the asking price all on its own.
With Creighton Broadhurst, chief of Raging Swan Press, most embroiled in the nit and grit of publishing, it can be easy to forget how exceedingly talented he is in the fields of writing. Back in the day, when there was only ONE Raging Swan Press product out, Retribution, I bought it on a hunch and was blown away. If anything, Creighton has honed his craft. This pdf is quite frankly better than it has any right to be at this page-count: In a superb example of concise writing, with each word carefully chosen, Creighton takes us on a tour into a truly wondrous, lavish place of natural beauty. The “valley of rocks” sounds none to impressive on paper and is a prime example of British understatement – what we receive here is a truly gorgeous, fantastic place that could be used in pretty much any campaign – heck, replace elves with humans and this would work in our world.
This is not what sets this apart, though: While reading these pages, I could perfectly envision the majestic cliffs, I could almost hear the proud Kanae Falls. This is an exercise in stellar prose and a truly superb location that deserves being added to your campaign. Get this now! Oh, and yes, final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval, obviously. Now excuse me, I need to dream of visiting a gorgeous place, where lichens cover sculptures that tell tales of ages long past…