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Mountains and Hills

 

Crystalmist - Hellfurnaces

Lortmils

Corusk Mountains - Griff Mountains - Rakers

Yatils

Drachensgrab Hills

Flinty Hills

Good Hills

Hestmark - Glorioles Range

Kron Hills

Blemu Hills

Bluff Hills

Gull Cliffs

Headlands

Hollow Highlands

Howling Hills

Iron Hills

Little Hills

Lorridges

Mounds of Dawn

Sepia Uplands

Spine Ridge

Stark Mounds

Tors

Tusman Hills

Yecha Hills


Crystalmists-Hellfurnaces:

These great western peaks stretch northwest to southeast, with the Barrier Peaks angling to the northeast and the Jotens as a central spur. The Sulhaut mountains extend westward, dividing the Dry Steppes from the Sea of Dust. The small range of Ullsprue Mountains within the Plains of the Paynims are loosely connected. The central mountain spine and certain peaks within the Jotens are propably the highest in the whole Flanaess.

The main mountain bodies here have always been plagued by giants, with fire giants more dominant as one enters the Hellfurnaces. The Hellfurnaces, as their name suggests, are the major volcanic region of the Flanaess. Creatures such as salamanders, hell hounds, and firenewts abound there. Below the mountains, the drow, kuo-toa, and illithids of the underdark struggle with each other and use the surface races as their pawns from time to time. Many humanoids, ogres, and trolls also lair in the Crystalmists. The great Crystalmist-Hellfurnace spine is really a hive of evil.

The Crystalmists are also home to mountain dwarves who mine the rich ores of precious metals to be found therein. With the fall of Geoff, however, they are increasingly isolated. Their brethren in the Barrier Peaks are better placed, since they continue to trade with Ket.

The Crystalmists and Hellfurnaces contain many marauding monsters in addition to social creatures and humanoids, and are extremely dangerous. Only well-equipped and powerful adventuring parties risk travelling there. Some people still do, because of the wealth of ancient ruins and treasures these mountains are said to hold; the tombs of great wizards, focuses of powerful elemental magic and gates, ruined evil temples to nameless gods, and much else.

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Lortmils:

This low chain of mountains, often fading into hills, contains a handful of very imposing peaks. Historically, the demihumans of these mountains have fought long and hard to drive out the humanoids and monsters, culminating in the Hateful Wars which led to the creation of the Pomarj, from whence many red glowing eyes look back to their "birthright" and seek to regain it.

The dwarves, mountain dwarves, and gnomes of these mountains are supported by the Ulek states, less actively by Celene, and indirectly by small tribes of aarakocra that fly the central spine of the Lortmils. The wealth of the Lortmils is great, with excellent gems, ores, and precious metals. Some of the dwarven clan leaders here are said to be as rich as princes, and are approached by emissaries from Furyondy and even Nyrond for aid. Dwarves are not, however, notoriously susceptible to suvh overtures.

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Corusk Mountains - Griff Mountains - Rakers:

This great northeastern chain of mountains extends from the easternmost Ice Barbarian lands right down to the Flinty Hills and North Province.

The Corusks become less dangerous from the threat of humanoids and monsters the farter east one goes, but the unpredictable freezing fogs and mists that can sweep down from them in a matter of minutes are a hazard to any traveler. Most peaks here are permanently ice-capped, and while frost giants, yeti, and taer are not common, they are dangerous enough to keep most folk away.

The Griffs contain more monsters, with ogres, various types of troll, and ever-hungry griffons especially noteworthy. White puddings are also a feature of the Griffs. There is reputed to be a great subterranean orcish city, Garel Enkdal, within the Griffs, and a secret hidden land of more romantic aspect. Ruled by a powerful non-human prince, protected from invasion and spying by might and especially magic and illusion, this tiny realm is said to have buildings roofed with copper and silver and to be lit by magical lanterns encrusted with softly glowing gemstones. This is propably just another gnomish campfire tale, and certainly no one claims to have actually seen the place.

The Rakers are the original home of the most of the humanoids that have infested the Bone March, and there are plenty more where they came from. The mountains are named after the series of sharply-tipped peaks charasteristic of this area. The mountain dwarves who still live within the Rakers have tended to retreat into deeper and deeper subterranean realms with the passage of time, settling in caverns of extraordinary beauty and complexity above the underdark lands, which can be accessed in only a handful of places below the peaks.

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Yatils:

Fewer giants lair here, along with fewer evil humanoids, than in the great southern mountain chain. However, mountain lions, manticores, verbeeg, and a handful of great red and blue dragons make up for that deficiency, as do plenty of other monsters. The Yatils and the small Clatspur range which extends into Perrenland are as ore-rich as the Crystalmists. Dwarves and hardy gnomes exploit those riches. The metal retrieved, though, is less precious; copper is Perrenland's main metal export. The miners are aided by the work of horgar, which excavate passages and tunnels that they then develop; it is rumored that dwarven priests know how to control and direct these creatures. If this is true, the dwarves are not confirming the story.

The Yatils have a fair body of "lost magical treasure" stories, which arguably are less credible than those of other mountains and inaccessible terrains.

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Drachensgrab Hills:

This hill range has a small group of peaks north of Stoneheim that could more properly be called mountains. The entirety of the Drachensgrabs was contested between eastern Ulek (the Principality) and the Pomarj humanoids in the years before the Wars, and the humanoids have now mostly overrun the area. Enclaves of hill and mountain dwarves still hold out against them, though, and hoard their considerable wealth. The Drachensgrabs yield gems of relatively low value but fine quality, and some electrum and gold besides.

These same hills also contain a good number of rare and magical monsters such as chimerae, gorgimerae, cockatrices, and a few hippogrifs, to which may be added wyverns, displacer beasts, a few laired behir in the mountains, and such. Some speculate that a terrible curse has been set upon part (unspecifed) of the hills, and legends relate that some powerful being or beings will arise in anger if their resting place below the Drachensgrabs is disturbed.

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Flinty Hills:

This broad, deep band of hills marks the southern end of the Rakers. Its westward portion lies within Nyrond. To the east, the Flinty Hills once marked the boundary of the Bone March, although the humanoids of that land hold sway over the eastern fringes after the war. From there, they continue their assaults on the halflings, gnomes, and dwarves who cling to their livelihoods. Nyrond has little aid to offer. To the north, the Theocracy of the Pale regards demihuman religion as heresy, so these brave folk stand almost alone, save for such support the folk of Adri can sometimes provide. While the area has fair mineral deposits, it is not rich, and the Flintfolk can afford little in the way of mercenaries.

The Flinty Hills are higher and more undulating in the north, declining to plateau and broad, fertile slopes to the south and west. The northwestern edge of the hills lies within the Gamboge Forest, and has fair stocks of deer, game birds, herons, rabbits, and the like.

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Good Hills:

These rolling hills have traditionally been home to many gnomes and halflings, but many dwarves fleeing the Stark Mounds and the foothills around the northern Jotens have sought refuge here. Allied with the demihumans of the Little Hills and exiled human Sterish and people of Geoff in the eastern states, these demihumans train and organize themselves for recapture of their old homes. Their current hope is to attack the lands between the Jotens and the south bank of the Davish River, securing this area and then striking across the river to liberate Istivin.

Some 5,000 dwarves may be within the Good Hills, including some mountain dwarves, as well as the same number of gnomes and halflings. The hills themselves have rich gold and gem deposits.

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Hestmark-Glorioles Range:

Most correctly, the Glorioles would be termed mountains, while the Hestmark Highlands are hilly plateau land, but the two blend into each other almost imperceptibly. The forces of Sunndi now lay claim to all these hills, and with a population of some 10,000 dwarves and mountain dwarves in the Glorioles alone, no one is disputing this by force of arms.

Since Sunndi's brief conquest by the Great Kingdom during the Wars, and the Scarlet Brotherhood's swift conquest of much of the Iron League, the dwarves have been more ready to ally with the humans and elves of Sunndi and work closely with them. Further, the town of Dullstrand, once part of Aerdy, always looked to Sunndi in a friendly way. Perhaps half of its original population of 5,500 has fled into the Hestmarks, fearful of the Lords of the Isles and the tales of maddness and slaughter within the anarchic Aerdy states to the north. They are being trained by dwarves, who are exceptional veteran troops after decades of skirmishing with Medegian and South Province troops which culminated in Sunndi's invasion.

The Highlands themselves are very barren, with a thick, brackenlike plant choking all other fauna in many places, and polluting drinking water in the bargain. The traveler here is well advised to bring many waterskins and a tarpaulin for collecting dew and rainfall.

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Kron Hills:

Some 20,000 gnomes live within these hills, which extend from the Lortmils, forming the northern boundary of Celene, and into the Gnarley Forest. The gnomes have a history of being a free, independent, and very brave folk, playing a full role in the Hateful Wats and ruling themselves as they wish, despite Verbobonc's longtime claim to rulership over the northern fringe of the hills. They have fair relations with the Gnarley elves (although the elves tend to seclusion), cooler ones with their brethren in Celene, and ally well with the dwarven enclaves bordering on the Lortmils.

The hills themselves are mined for precious metals and gems, and the upper slopes are quite fertile. Many sheltered valleys and glens yield good harvests of crops, and no few humans live there as farmers, shepherds, and the like.

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Blemu Hills:

These hills have been overrun by the humanoids of the Bone March. The few demihumans who lived here were forced to retreat to the Flinty Hills. Along their eastern flank, the Tessar Torrents are an effective boundary from the North Province. These hills are notoriously hazardous for travel, with many sinkholes and slopes of crumbling rock, and the unmaintained mines of the demihumans periodically cave in and create further danger.

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Bluff Hills:

This western escarpment of the Griff Mountains is a series of rugged ridges and steep hills, and the northern border of the old Bandit Kingdoms. Some bandits still hold out against Iuz and Stonefist here, with the Grosskopf bandits the most numerous among them. Unfortunately, they have to compete with the large and ferocious ogre bands that also live in the Bluff Hills. Small deposits of gold and copper here have never truly been worth the effort of mining, although svirfnebli far below the surface are said to know places where the ores are much richer.

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Gull Cliffs:

This is a range of chalky limestone cliffs so named because of the vast gull colonies nested along the hills and sea cliffs. The major importance of these cliffs is the small town of Roland nestled within them, which conducts trade with Rel Astra, the Sea Barons, and even the occasional barbarian ship. Rolanders have no enmity for the barbarians so long as the latter confine their raiding operations to northern parts of old Aerdy. Roland's animus ruler is said to be a mage of paranoic secretiveness convinced that a magical astral doppelganger stalks him at Ivid's behest.

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Headlands:

The heights of the central portion of the Onnwal Peninsula are known as the Headlands, and the dwarves who live there have strong affinity for those of Irongate. The Scarlet Brotherhood lays claim to these hills, but many of the dwarves here resist them fiercely and fight off attempts to cow them with magic or weaponry or win them over by deception and treachery. The gnomes of the area respond likewise. The Brotherhood does not press matters, since having possession of Scant and the Onnwal ships was their prime goal here.

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Hollow Highlands:

These hills separate Sunndi from Irongate and are so named because of centuries of mining that has excavated much of the rock here. The maze of tunnels makes an excellent defense and spying system which the dwarves and gnomes of the hills exploit to the fullest. The slopes of the hills, especially on the Sunndi side, are fertile and support many crops, so halflings and humans are found here as well as gnomes.

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Howling Hills:

These hills are now wholly within the province of Iuz; those on the western side of the Dulsi River are sacred burial sites to the Wolf Nomads, but they were taken by Iuz's forces during the war. It may well be that Iuz actively wishes the Wolf Nomads to try to retake them; the caves and catacombs allow for excellent defensive retrenchments and the Wolf Nomads could expend many men to little purpose in attacking now.

The name of those foul hills comes from the bitter north winds that howl from the Cold Marshes, and from the banshees and spectres said to haunt the sites of ancient evils.

In the Howling Hills, all manner of monsters roam, and the humanoids are especially fierce (notably hobgoblins, gnolls, and flinds). However, some bold mining of the surprisingly rich ores in key areas yields a steady trickle of silver and copper which Iuz needs badly. It is likely that captured dwarves and gnomes are forced to work as slaves in these mines.

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Iron Hills:

This central massif lies east of Irongate and is wholly allied with that city. Its high-grade iron ore and small yields of precious metals are coveted by the Scarlet Brotherhood. The dwarves fight off any attempts to take their lands, and continue export their goods to Sunndi and through the South Province, the latter with considerable reluctance.

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Little Hills:

These hills can be termed little only in comparison with the Jotens from which they descent. The mountain dwarves and hillsmen of these hills are strong, hardy people - men typical of the Yeomanry. The dwarves almost relish the prospect of alliance with their brethren to the north to retake areas within Sterich. The dwarven clans are warlike and very well armored, their heavy infantry especially fierce.

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Lorridges:

These hills are technically divided between Veluna, the Gran March, and Bissel. The gnomes and swarves of the Bissel-ruled hills have made it plain to the Ketites that they wish to govern themselves, in return offering Ket first choice for trading their wares. This is still under negotiation. The northern foothills of the Yatils, beyond the Fals river, are often referred to as the Northern Lorridges, but these are the province of the Highfolk.

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Mounds of Dawn:

These unexplored hills are home to many monsters that descent from the northern Yatils. Only a few clans of xenophobic dwarves and a handful of gnomes have settled there. Fine mineral deposits are reported to lie here, as well as many lost tombs and treasures.

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Sepia Uplands:

Perrenland lays claim to these largely unexplored hills, although Wolf Nomads hunt in the northern portion of the range. There are few demihumans here, and there has been little exploration of the reputedly good mineral deposits. Large and especially fierce mountain lions roam the Sepias, and cave bears and fierce eagles are also found here.

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Spine Ridge:

The unwholesome Vast Swamp is butted on the south by this chain of rising hills that reaches up to the great plateau in the center of the Tilvanot Peninsula. The hills are infested with many humanoids and monsters, and virtually no demihuman live here. It is unknown whether the Scarlet Brotherhood has any outposts within the Spine Ridge.

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Stark Mounds:

These hills divide Sterich and Geoff, and are propably very old and much- weathered mountains. Most of the folk here were gnomes, extracting a living from the few mines and fairly fertile hill slopes, but both they and less numerous dwarves have been driven out by the Crystalmist creatures that descended during the giant troubles. Many fled to the Good Hills of Keoland, others to the Dim Forest, or further into Gran March or Keoland. The hills themselves are not rich in resources of any kind.

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Tors:

The Tors are wild, mesalike hills abutting the Hool Marshes, and are home to many monsters that plague the southern Yeomanry. Packs of wild tyrgs here are especially troublesome, attacking livestock and farms on the northern edges of the hills.

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Tusman Hills:

These hills separate Ket and Tusmit. The men of the hills are wild and fierce fighters who enjoy semi-independent status. They work as mercenaries for both nations. The hills themselves have many nimble wild mountain goats and sheep, both domesticated and hunted by the hillsmen. A good number of griffons in the hills hunt stock and hillsmen alike.

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Yecha Hills:

The Yecha foothills are quite rich, especially with silver and gems. The more settled of the Tiger Nomads have mined them for some generations now. They have a permanent settlement, their capital of Yecha, within these highlands, and numbers of their herdsmen graze sheep and goats there.

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