The Oster Gate Valley (also known as the Valley of Öster Gate), is a large valley in northwestern Aels, an eastern territory of the kingdom of Huncle that was the scene of numerous battles in history. Not least of which was the fortress and mountain pass by which the valley would take its name, the Oster Gate
The Oster Gate Valley is a river valley, a large, southeastern portion of Huncle, formed by the Dargoina Mountains to the east, (that stretch of the mountain range is also commonly called Olga's Wall, after the string of Demon built fortifications and settlements in the Dargoina Mountains), and the Angards mountains to the south. A river runs to the northwest through the valley.
There is good, alluvial soil on the valley floor, with many forests, particularly up the rocky slopes of the mountains.
The Dargoina Mountains--Olga's Wall--separates the valley from the land of Polforia, the 'Land of the Demons', that lies to the east. The Angards separates the valley from the Osorio Valley, and the country of Degoland.
Olga's Wall is useful as a perceived Wall of mountains against the demons and barbarians of Polforia, but light raiders that come over the mountains, or who are native to the mountains, sometimes attack the valley. Raiders such as Green Orcs, Green Goblins, Ur Dur goblins, Ozcura Orcs, or monsters like Ogres and Trolls are feared.
There is a high mountain pass that traverses the Dargoina Mountains, it is the 'Gate' to 'Olga's Wall'. It was useful for trade, but also was a highway for raiders.
After the demons of the Demonic Dark Legion took over the immense geological 'bowl' of land of Polforia, the big valley became threatened as a landing point of invasion from the mountain pass. The mountain pass of the Oster Gate is an excellent means of sending wagons and troops over the mountains, and is second only to the Degoland Pass to the south for sending armies through the mountains.
To prevent this, a large fortress known as Oster Gate was raised to block the exit from the pass into the valley. Such was the importance of this fortress and the Pass that it shared its name with the whole valley in common usage.
First War of the PowerEdit
Fears of a demon invasion became true during the First War of the Power. All of the human Five Kingdoms of the Northwest, and indeed, most of the continent of Aels were conquered by the Dark Legion for various lengths of time. The grand fortress of Oster Gate was besieged, the land pillaged and sacked, and the great castle eventually taken.
Speculation: The castle might have surrendered, more or less intact, when the food ran out? A process that probably became standard given the enormity of the victory or the Dark Legion?
The Prophet of Oster GateEdit
The First War of the Power would ultimately end in an almost complete defeat for the Dark Legion. However, many regions in and even out of Polforia would remain in the hands of races allied to the Dark Legion, the allied forces too damaged and exhausted to finish the job of defeating all nations of Demons far from the bases of power, or even rooting out all pockets of resistance closer at hand.
Orcs would remain in control of part of the Oster Gate Valley, and hide and live in the woods and mountain slopes. the castle of Oster Gate would also remain in their hands and be their fortified city for some years after the liberation of Huncle. The Kingdom of Huncle was too weak to oust these orcs for some time, the situation being an embarrassment to the kingdom. A religious 'Christian prophet' would appear and exhort the kingdom's nobles and people towards the utter destruction of the 'evil' fortress and its orc population and all their treasures and belongings with an 'Old Testament' zealotry.
The fortress would indeed by taken by rock climbers sneaking into the fortress and succeeding in opening the gate. However, while most of the orc population was indeed 'purged', some women and children were taken as slaves. treasures (that were originally human) were not destroyed, nor all their animals and certainly not the fortress itself. The 'Prophet' was incensed that his instructions were not followed. It seemed that as the Orcs were 'evil' anything they owned or touched became 'evil' as well, the prophet cursed the Huncle soldiers for their greed.
For many years following, every problem faced by Huncle would be seen as evidence of the 'curse' at work. Particularly in the Oster Gate Valley.
Huncle would remain plagued by weakness, with tension between the king and nobles, and the nobles and the people. In large part, this was due to the failures of the nobles to stop the demon invasion, the flight of many nobles, and the suffering of the people who lived for most of a generation under demon rule. Huncle remained divided against itself, and threatened by a strong and aggressive Kingdom of Sargos to the south.
Heavy taxation, a government of a king and lords who seemed powerless to protect the people, commoners' lack of control over the natural resources, and endless petty battles between human kingdoms, and tribes of Kanovs and orcs, led to a profound state of distrust and anger of the populace against their rulers.
A peasant revolt that came to be known as the Rivierie began in the town of Waterwood in 2258 a.a.H. and continue for two years in a period of great violence between peasants and nobles, and the vacillation of Dameth nobles for and against the peasants. In the course of that time, a sort of 'meta-government' of peasantry was set up with much of the Oster Gate Valley becoming a self governing region for several months.
Eventually, civil war, and an invasion by Sargos, would work in conjunction to decimate the peasants of the valley, destroying the peasant army and peasant government, such as it was. Revolutionaries were purged or scattered, and the general people were often killed in mass or made into refugees, with whole villages burned to the ground for punishment for allegedly supporting the peasant revolt. As a result, the valley would be underpopulated for some time, with immigrants arriving from western Huncle, or even from the south, from Degoland, travelling over the Angards.
Second War of the PowerEdit
The demons would return in 2434 a.a.H., and the Dark Legion would quickly reform. In late 2439 a.a.H., a series of attacks were begun, with streams of warbands of Ozcura Orcs, Green Orcs, Werewolfs and other light forces came down the mountains of Olga's Wall, and elsewhere on the Dargoina Mountains, to raid and sow confusion. An orc army came over the Oster Gate Pass, and succeeded in capturing most of it. The great castle of Oster Gate held firm, but the apparently very serious attempt to make over that pass and all the light skirmishers led Huncle's king and other human kingdoms to believe that the Oster Gate was the main attack of the Dark Legion.
In reality, this was a feint, although a distraction on such a magnitude that it might as well have been real. The real attack would come through the Degoland Pass, but forces in the Oster Gate Valley would be kept quite busy fighting their own war.