"He who controls the Pontar Valley, controls the North."― King Henselt, King of Kaedwen and heir to the Dynasty of the Unicorn
The Pontar valley, also known as Lormark or Upper Aedirn, cuts across the kingdoms of Aedirn, Kaedwen, Redania, Temeria and Mahakam, the Pontar river having long ago cut that swathe through the continent. Many refugees from Aedirn fled through the valley towards Temeria and Redania during the war with Nilfgaard.
It is the bread basket of the Northern Kingdoms, an agricultural superzone, it produces most of the food, wine and other foodstuffs that the surrounding peoples eat. It is also in a strategic location between the borders of Temeria, Redania, Kaedwen and Aedirn. These are the reasons why there has been so much conflict over the Pontar Valley, it makes kingdoms rich, and hence the constant invasions.
Recently, it has come to be a beacon for war once again between Kaedwen and Aedirn, as it has in recent memory been shifting hands. In the books and games, the Pontar Valley belongs to Aedirn, but this was taken from Kaedwen 300 years ago. This is under dispute in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings where Henselt marched unsuccessfully against Aedirn 3 years ago (in that timeline) and is back again, this time against Saskia and her voluntary militia.
- If you have but a morsel of geographical knowledge, one glance at a map is enough to know why the Pontar Valley is strategically important. It is here that the borders of Temeria, Redania, Kaedwen and Aedirn meet, it is the valley that physically marks these frontiers. They say that "He who controls the Pontar Valley, controls the North." So it is no wonder that the cited realms have clashed here more than once. Blood has often mingled with the waters of the Pontar, though the reasons for this have varied. Wars waged by nobles in pursuit of political interests and merchants seeking trade privileges have been intermingled with riots and massacres, elven uprisings, and the revolts of frontier barons. All these have been garnished with the occasional peasant rebellion, an event that forces often quarreling factions to unite and crush plebeian mobs drunk on blood and carnage. As the reader will soon learn, this time the region would again bear witness to events both important and bloody.