"A land of rich resources, and fertile farmland kept relatively safe from invasion by the Mountains of Sorrow (but as history has shown, not absolutely safe), the Vale of Tears is the hidden treasure of House Ashurana. The wealth they acquire from it--especially from the great city of Albracca, the largest in the Lands of Night--pays for the Ashuranas armies, their magic, and much else. But it was not always so. Once, the House of Nibelung ruled here. The centuries-long struggle between the two houses ended with the Nibelungen's defeat and exile, though they have made sporadic attempts to return... By some accounts, the last heir to the house lives the life of a humble monk in a secluded monastery..."
--Nisrioch Cthonique, On the Lands of Night