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He who controls the Pontar Valley, controls the North.
|— Henselt I of Ard Carraigh, King of Kaedwen|
The valley is the bread basket of the Northern Kingdoms, an agricultural superzone, producing most of the food, wine and other foodstuffs that the surrounding peoples consume. It is also in a strategic location between the borders of the four major realms.
As a consequence, the mutual pursuits of resource access and strategic territorial gains often produce conflict, resulting in constant invasions. Many refugees from Aedirn fled through the valley towards Temeria and Redania during the wars with Nilfgaard. Recently, it has become a for war between Kaedwen and Aedirn once again, as it has in recent memory been shifting hands.
In the books and games, the Pontar Valley belongs to Aedirn, but this was seized from Kaedwen 300 years ago. This is under dispute in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings where King Henselt marched unsuccessfully against Aedirn three years ago (in the video game continuity) 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.
Kingdom of Temeria
Duchy of Ellander
Kingdom of Redania
Kingdom of Kaedwen
Kingdom of Aedirn