Within a few miles south of Thraben's walls, there are several medium-sized towns. This area in the province of Gavony is called the Nearheath and is inhabited mainly by artisans and farmers.
Being so close to Thraben affords a good deal of protection to these towns. Most have fortifications or walls in case of a ghoul attack or some other threat, but there are many outlying farms as well. Nearheath is composed of several parishes:
- Videns: A region of vineyards and rolling hills with small castles with walled estates. The River Kirch runs through this region.
- Hanweir, a village that used to be the agricultural center of Gavony. It was the site of the largest open-air market, the place where livestock was traded and trappers from Kessig brought their wares. The River Kirch ran through the village, making it a bustling port where goods were brought in from the other provinces before being transported up to Thraben by horse and cart.
- Wittal: This is the most thickly forested area of Gavony. Although small in size, the forest is dense and dark, with ancient pines trees that dwarf the deciduous forests in the neighboring parishes. The forest became particularly dangerous when the infamous werewolf Skaharra and her Leeraug cohorts moved into the area. That howlpack is now extinct.
- Estwald the other of the main villages of the Nearheath, the center of woodworking in Gavony. Destoyed by a Malignus.
- Effalen: This is the rockiest area of Gavony, dominated by low shrubs and jagged outcrops. A few scattered villages are the only human habitations. A vicious coterie of vampires took to preying on the periphery of the parish for sport, but they were forced into Stensia after Avacyn's return.
Beyond the Nearheath is the dangerous and desolate Moorland.
The Estwald Murders
One of the most notorious cases in recent years involved a series of murders in the Wittal Parish. In Innistrad, murder is not unusual, but these deaths were particularly gruesome. The murderer left mauled body parts from the same victim at various chapels and priests' houses. The church sent a renowned inquisitor named Thedis, who was found dead in the same manner, his head mounted on a post near the outer wall of Thraben. Additional inquisitors and a small force of cathars were sent to the area, and it was eventually determined that it was the work of the newly arrived Leeraug werewolf pack, who were making a territorial claim with the grisly leavings. The battalion is still there, having been unable to roust the werewolves from the forest, although they have contained the murders.
The Hanweir Secession
As told in The Hanweir Chronicle, the village of Hanweir had declared independence of Videns Parish and Gavony and styled itself a new province, before the complete town was mutated by Emrakul into an Eldrazi Ooze.
- Magic Creative Team (September 28, 2011). "A Planeswalker's Guide to Innistrad: Gavony and Humans". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.