- This article is about the known town in Arcadia. For the mythical resting place of Linnorm Kings and Ulfen heroes, see Valenhall.
Port Valen is an Ulfen colony on the Scarred Shores in northeastern Arcadia. It was founded by Linnorm King Ulvass of Kalsgard in -473 AR, who travelled to Arcadia after hearing the call of Valenhall, a place of unending revelry and glory.12345
Until recently, in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings and the Inner Sea region as a whole, the colony has only been known through stories, which refer to it as Valenhall and paint it as the final spiritual destination for powerful lords and brave warriors, who attempt the lengthy and dangerous journey to the colony at the end of their lives, though the truth is much less glamorous.36
A description of the colony and its history is catalogued in the rare book, Discovering Arcadia: The Glory of the Linnorm King Ulvass.7
In -473 AR, Ulvass heard a song that described a place of endless glory across the Arcadian Ocean. When he set out to find this legendary place, common stories started to diverge from actual history.6
Skalds sing that, in this new land full of knowledge and treasure, Ulvass built a mighty hold where warriors could fight glorious battles by day and join great feasts at night, and that he still lives in eternal bliss.6 Explorers who came from Avistan tell that the first settlers had little resistance from the native Arcadians, and only had to contend with the occasional monster. The Arcadians eventually made themselves known and attacked Valenhall savagely, which in turn caused the colonists to build stronger defenses. These, along with a number of foreign diseases the Ulfen brought with them, eventually managed to thin the Arcadian population near Valenhall enough so that they no longer presented a major challenge to the colony.3
In truth, when Ulvass stepped foot on Arcadia, he stopped hearing the call of Valenhall and only found a barren, dangerous frontier. Without resources to come back home, he and his followers established the permanent settlement of Port Valen. After Ulvass died, Port Valen endured due to the Ulfen settlers' attempts to reach out and establish good relations with the native Mahweks. Together, both groups have flourished.6 Relations have improved over the years, and some knowledge of Ulfen legendary spirits has passed to Arcadian mediums as a result, though the broad differences in cultures is still an obstacle to channeling them.8
Ardril, the Would-Be King was a mighty slayer of several linnorms, but she pursued the ancestral linnorm Fafnheir and refused to claim a throne until she had slain him. She was eventually run out of her homeland by soldiers of the Linnorm Kings, who feared she would claim their crowns, and escaped to Valenhall.9
Port Valen lies in the far north of Arcadia, north of the Akrandida Mountains.1011 It is constantly under attack by monsters coming from the Forest of Trials, the next step in the journey to Valenhall.12
In 4719 AR, before leaving the Lands of the Linnorm Kings for Valenhall, Sveinn Blood-Eagle signed a contract with the Pathfinder Society. In exchange for helping him get there, the Society would be allowed to establish a Pathfinder lodge in Valenhall, the first such one in Arcadia.5 In 4720 AR, a Society expedition negotiated the opening of a lodge on Port Valen's outskirts,14 and in the process learned the truth about the settlement.15
Due to the myths surrounding the settlement, Valenhall is seen as a kind of mystical afterlife for the bravest of warriors. In the songs of skalds, Valenhall is guarded by einherjar and valkyries, and overseen by a trio of norns. Due to this supernatural protection and its remote location in the far northeastern coast of the continent, Port Valen has little contact with the Andoran colony of Elesomare, or the Chelish colonies of Anchor's End and Canorus.3
In reality, Port Valen is not the glorious realm as described in songs and myths, but is only a small town resembling other Ulfen ports in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. It is inhabited by both native Mahweks and the descendants of the first ancient Ulfen settlers who accompanied Ulvass in his journey to Arcadia. In the ensuing five millennia, the two ethnic groups have interbred; a third of Port Valen's inhabitants possess both Mahwek and Ulfen features, with the rest being equally divided between pure-blooded Ulfens and Mahweks. Residents who hear the call of Valenhall claim that it lies in the west, beyond the Forest of Trials and Wyrmlake, quite far from Port Valen itself, though no one has returned from Valenhall to confirm this.16
Descendants of mingling between Ulfen and Mahwek founders refer to themselves as Valenborn. Each group represents about a third of the town's population.12
In addition to Mayor Bloodfang, Rahaksenwe represents the town to the Shore Council.12 As of 4720 AR, Blood-Eagle coordinated the town's defenses against the monsters of the Forest of Trials, while Port Valen proper has a town guard led by Captain Murta Kronniksdottir.17
- Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Saga Lands". World Guide, p. 110. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). "The Inner Sea". The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 35. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). "The Inner Sea". The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 203. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Matthew Goodall, Jonathan Keith, Colin McComb, and Rob McCreary. (2011). Lands of the Linnorm Kings, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-365-1
- Luis Loza. (2020). Path of Kings, p. 4. Paizo Inc.
- Luis Loza. (2020). Path of Kings, p. 3. Paizo Inc.
- Joshua J. Frost. (2011). Written in Blood, p. 20. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Saif Ansari, Alexander Augunas, Mara Lynn Butler, Michelle Jones, Avi Kool, and Alex Riggs. (2019). Heroes of Golarion, p. 4. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-120-7
- Saif Ansari, Alexander Augunas, Mara Lynn Butler, Michelle Jones, Avi Kool, and Alex Riggs. (2019). Heroes of Golarion, p. 4–5. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-120-7
- Michael Sayre and Mark Seifter. (2021). Guns & Gears, p. 208. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-369-0
- Adam Daigle. (2015). Segada, City of Keys. Distant Shores, p. 45. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-787-1
- Luis Loza. (2020). Path of Kings, p. 6. Paizo Inc.
- Luis Loza. (2020). Path of Kings, p. 6–8. Paizo Inc.
- Luis Loza. (2020). Path of Kings, p. 15. Paizo Inc.
- Christopher Wasko. (2022). Guardian's Covenant, p. 3. Paizo Inc.
- Luis Loza. (2020). Path of Kings, p. 5. Paizo Inc.
- Luis Loza. (2020). Path of Kings, p. 11. Paizo Inc.