Trade is difficult in the Valley of Bones. The desert land is unforgiving, hot and dry. If you are not attacked and eaten by deadly sand lizards or Dragonyakmen, then you might be robbed by the desert nomads that call no city their home. Fortunately, some relics of the time when the Valley was civilised still stand, and the most important of these are the Northroad and the Great Westroad – enormous highways built above the consuming sands.
Where the two highways interconnect is the farming town of Luutanesh. Sitting bestride the fast-flowing Cold River, Luutanesh floods frequently, and it is no wonder therefore that the primary lodging of the town stands on tall sticks, with flights of rickety stairs ascending to the tavern.
The Cold River Inn is a meeting house for travellers, diplomats and wanderers. Its rooms are separated by stretched fabrics of many different colours, and the tavern is a virtual maze of woven corridors, from which the low voices of residents and drinkers alike can be heard behind the frescos and tapestries that separate them.
Here, miners from Saltdad, swordmasters of Chalice and priests of Cursus all rub shoulders. The Cold River Inn is a melting pot of conflicting, sometimes dangerous ideas, and has historically been the hangout of revolutionaries and would-be tyrants. But all through this turbulent politics, the stewards of the inn have kept the drinks flowing, and their heads well and truly down.