Tasseldale 1372 DR
Capital: Tega's Mark
Population: 14,020 (humans 94%, halflings 2%, gnomes 2%, half-elves 1%)
Imports: Gold, jewels, silver, tin
Exports: Fine manufactured goods, pottery, textiles
Alignment: LG, LN, N
Tasseldale sits north and east of the Arch Wood, southwest of Featherdale, and just barely north of Sembia. Tasseldale is a dale of craftsfolk and tradesfolk, heavily influenced by Sembia. Archen folk and members of the Dales Council express surprise that Sembia hasn't formally annexed Tasseldale. The truth is that Sembia prefers having Tasseldale as an independent buffer state to the north. Sembia won't annex Tasseldale the way it turned Moondale into Ordulin until it can also take over the dales that truly matter to the north.
"Tassel" is the local word for town. The twelve tassels in Tasseldale shelter a bit over half of the dale's inhabitants. The tassels would pass for hamlets only in other lands.
The Tassadrans are for the most part a contented lot, an orderly collection of craftsfolk, small farmers, traders, and artists who see themselves as Sembia's friends rather than Sembia's clients.
Life And Society
Despite the disdain that some Dalesfolk heap upon them, the Tassadrans tend to be a brave, cool-headed lot who defend their interests when they have need. Unlike other Dalesfolk, they also excel at arranging situations in which they do not have to defend then constantly.
A sizable minority of Tassadrans don't particularly care for the life of the free-crafter. Such citizens migrate to other dales for a time, or hunt and trap in the Arch Wood. As if to compensate for the complacency of the rest of their dale, Tassadran woodsfolk have a reputation for hotheadedness that rivals that of the Archenfolk.
Major Geographic Features
Like Sembia to the south, Tasseldale is largely flat, open land perfect for farming. Arch Wood to the west provides fur, timber, and hunting for Tassadrans who can't bear to work the loom or plow.
Dun Hills: The Dun Hills run diagonally across the north part of the dale, separating it from Battledale in the north, Deepingdale in the west, and Featherdale's portion of the River Ashaba to the north. Wild ponies are more common than roving goblins, so the Tassadrans treat the hills as safe land.
Glaun Bog: Southwest of the Dun Hills, the Glaun Bog presents travelers new to the area with obstacles including quicksand, carnivorous plants, and malicious will-o'-wisps. Local Tassadrans know how to pick their way through the Bog to harvest its peat and mine iron ore without disturbing the undead spirits living in the barrows at its center.
Some would argue that Tasseldale has no important sites. Only a Tassadran would argue with them.
Abbey of the Just Hammer: This abbey dedicated to Tyr bears the responsibility for the taming of the Dun Hills. Situated near the River Ashaba, the abbey emphasizes the 'justice' aspect of portfolio, dispensing free legal education to all who care to journey there for instruction. Given the problems with drow just to the north in Battledale, the abbey is short-staffed. Its former defenders prefer traveling north and fighting in the cause of justice to patrolling the already pacified Dun Hills. Many former defenders have failed to survive their forays into the forest, causing the abbey to soften its hard-line disapproval of adventurers.
Sharburg: Located above Tega's Mark, the Sharburg is an a elven fort converted into the military headquarters of the mounted marshairs (a local variant of "marshals") who police the Dale. If rumors of hidden elven magic within the Sharburg's walls aren't wishful thinking, it's certain that the Tassadrans have never chosen to summon them up.
Sun Soul Order: Further contributing to the pacification of the Dun Hills, monks of the Sun Soul order refurbished a ruined freehold and turned it into one of the Dalelands few active monasteries. The order accepts well-qualified students of all nationalities and races, but is exceptionally hard upon would-be monks of Sembian descent.
Tegal's Mark (Small Town, 1,402): The so-called capital of Tasseldale is named after an ancient swordsmith's mark. Citizen's of Tegal's Mark are proud of their city's crafts. The quickest way to cause trouble here is to sell inferior merchandise - or worse, inferior merchandise with the claim that it was produced in Tegal's Mark.
The rivalry between the foresters of Archendale and those of certain Tasseldale hamlets such as Archtassel turned violent in 1368 after several Tassadran hunters were murdered by unknown assailants. The citizens of Archendale and Tasseldale now fight a peculiar type of limited war in the Arch Woods.
The Woodsman's War battle depends on the willingness of youths, toughs, soldiers and rangers to wear their side's colors into the Arch Wood. Archenfolk wear black and silver and Tassadrans wear blue and yellow. Those who are beaten senseless or surrender have their colors stripped off and a few bones broken, but they are generally left alive. Several inns in both dales cater to this game by displaying the colors taken from the opposing side.
Female fighters and rangers of the two dales normally avoid involvement in this silly fight, but those women who do participate take it extremely seriously. The phrase "bring a woman to the Woodsman's War" has come to mean that a situation may turn deadly, as female adventurers from both dales have killed rival Woodsmen within the past year.