Leading down from the lofty heights of the Blue Mountains, where lies the gate to Thorin's Hall, is a long and wide valley bounded by forested slopes and ancient ruins: the Vale of Thráin. All manner of wild beasts inhabit the mountains, from elegant lynx to massive bears and filthy hendrevail. Along the road through the Vale are two outposts maintained by the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains: the way-station Nogrod, and Gondamon, the fortress at the foot of the Vale.
The road running through the Vale was once heavily travelled by merchants and traders, but recent difficulties with goblins and dwarves from the outcast Dourhand clan have rendered the highway unsafe. Along with that strife, tensions have slowly been rising between the dwarves and the Elves of Duillond, the refuge south of the Vale.