The Prominent Mountains are located in the central region of Northern Sarvonia, east of the Shaded Forest. The range reaches all the way from Eight Winds Bay in the north to the Aelyvian Sea in the south. This area is primarily populated and controlled by the Kurakim dwarves, who live in great caverns beneath the surface of the mountain range. Orcs and elves also occupy part of this region, but not in such high proportions. There are no permanent human colonies in the actual mountain regions, though many of the nomadic Kuglimz tribes pass through on hunting or trade expeditions. Most of the human colonies that settled here during the time of the Mynian Kingdom have since fallen to the orcs that now inhabit these places, such as Vermoth and Tormac.
|Image description. View on the large and rugged Prominent Mountain range. Picture drawn by Arbaon.|
The Prominent Mountains are well named. They rise almost straight up between the
plains where the Shaded Forest grows
and the rugged Wilshirer Heath. The former capital city of the once famous and
powerful Mynian Kingdom, Vermoth, is
a ruin, inhabited by Losh-Oc orcs. Due
to the large orcish population along the
southern coast, even the Kuglimz
people rarely go south of the Liben River when crossing the mountains. The
mountain range stretches all the way across the continent and provides a
formidable barrier for those who do not know the passes and valleys to travel
through. The main pass follows the banks of the Liben River through the valley
it traverses between the mountains and is known as the Liben Pass. There is a
more northerly trail that follows the Luquador River down out of the mountains
as well, though this one is less easy to travel, especially in the colder
Although many of the mountains that make up this sprawling range are large and rugged, there are three particularly impressive mountains found almost in the center of the range, between the two river valleys that cut through it. The largest, the center one, is commonly called "Samathagar", after the first known Southern explorer, Arian Samathagar, to climb all the way to the summit, and return. The orcs of this area have a legend attached to this tremendous mountain, which has some religious significance to them, and which they call Mt. Emesz'gob, or "fire cave" (see Myth/Lore). This impressive mountain thrusts its jagged peak more than a league into the sky, which has caused the Injerín to name it "Ypheró'rain", or "Skyfighter", in their tongue.
Location. The narrow ridge of mountains that makes up the Prominent Mountain ranges lies east of the Celeste Mountains and Lowlands, and the Shaded Forest, which extends all the way to their foothills. On the other side of the mountain range lie the Wilshirer Heath and the Fá’áv’cál’âr Marsh. The Liben river flows down through them to the Aelyvian Sea. There are no permanent human settlements in this area, although some Kuglimz tribes, with the permission of the Injerín, do migrate beyond the mountains during their summer travels.
different races inhabit these areas. The
Kurakim dwarves, one of the most significant northern
dwarven tribes, live in caverns throughout
the mountain range. They are the true inhabitants of the mountains, and are a
tribe especially notable for their masonry. Being less agoraphobic than their
southern cousins, Kurakim masons and
architects built many of the great bridges, fortifications, and cities in the
region, sometimes in conjunction with human
effort or elven magecraft. Most of this work
was done during the glory days of the Myninan
Kingdom, before the Burning Night.
The Injerín elves live in the vicinity of the Prominent Mountains as well, mostly to the west and in the Shaded Forest, but a few live fairly close to the mountains and there is quite a bit of trade between elves, dwarves and the nomadic humans in those areas. There are four main Injerín elven cities in the SShaded Forest; Elin’dor, O’kroi’pard’ael, Ava’ewelin, and Lyeil’soula, all of whom maintain friendly relations with the peoples around them, except for the Losh-Oc. Relations with the Ashz-Oc, though not harmonious, are currently undergoing negotiations for reason of trade, which even the orcs are beginning to admit the benefits of. The current situation between the Ashz-Oc and all other races in the area may be described as an uneasy cease-fire.
Climate. In the Prominent Mountain range, the mountains are always snow-topped, though the valley climate is more variable. This far north, the winters are long and cold, but for several months during the spring, summer, and fall - from late in Singing Bird to Sleeping Dreameress - the climate is comfortable for traveling, though the winds that sweep through the mountain passes can be strong. The northernmost part of the mountain range is quite cool even during the summer. In the winter, the easiest way to travel is trekking on the frozen river surface, though this is not often done.
Flora. The plants that grow on and around the Prominent Mountains are quite varied due to the extreme temperature range, from the valleys to the mountain tops. In the valleys and river areas, one will see plenty of juk’lan and waterberry, some goldenbell bushes, and alth’ho grasses dotted with sunsmile and cerubell flowers. Mutliweed grows all over the area except in the places permanently snow-covered. The teki tree flourishes in the higher mountain areas, while further down one sees evergreens such as the tulmine (ret’tif) tree, which is quite prolific here, the Arvins cedar, and the wolf willow. Then there are arne'pherán (ret’jyrl) trees, maple, black, mithril and white birch, and euwen trees. Kragghi vines and alth’mon plants are common here as well, though these tend to grow slightly above the tree line. The rare ironwood tree is also found here, on the lower slopes of the great mountain known to most Tharians as Samathagar, the tallest mountain in the entire Prominent range.
Fauna. A great many creatures call the Prominent Mountain range their home. Birds such as corbies (jav’veir, hravn), nue’mon, eagles, nightbirds, and kettles of snobyrr (rouk’meiv) are seen everywhere. Two species of gynnia (heath gynnia in the lowlands and snow gynnia in the high ranges) roam this range as well. These are the most common kinds.
Many other animals are also found here. Three varieties of bear - black, moss and blood bears - though rare, are known to frequent this region, as do mari and ilaról wolves, wild wargs, winter fox (wynshir), uncial cats, cloaked elk, hargive deer, white deer, capricus goats, ferrets, mimsies, wolverines, bouncers (elg'wuk), kuatu, leverets and tarepi in the lowlands, and various small species of rats and mice throughout, except at the vary highest peaks.
Resources. Most of the resources of this region are products derived from the plants or animals of these areas. There are no known quantities of good quality ore, gemstones, or the like, although the Kurakim are not very forthcoming about what lies under the mountains, claiming, with some justification, that this is Thergerim territory and therefore Thergerim business. However, the elven inhabitants and human travelers of this region have produced many articles of wood, leather, animal hides, herbal products and supplies, and food items for trade purposes as well as personal use. The dwarves trade obsidian and granite for gold and gems with their southern cousins. Kuglimz trade dyed and woven "blockcloth", fresh vegetables, mutton and the occasional wagon of smoked horsehaunch for dwarven masonry and armoury skills, cut ashlars of stone, and also fine metalwork. Elves trade timber rights and herbal medicines for dwarven spirits, goldwork and smelted arrowheads.
Under some conditions, it has been even possible to trade with the Ashz-oc for the leaves, wood and the nuts of the ironwood tree, though these attempts are by no means always successful and only the bravest merchants will try. Typically, a troop of Kuglimz warriors will be hired to provide protection while extravagant gifts (usually such things as cloth, which the orcs can not produce for themselves; southern spices/flavorings, exotic foods, decorative jewelry for the females, etc.) are sent ahead with some brave persons as peace offerings. Usually a man from the Kaaer'dár'shín tribe is hired as interpreter. Obviously this is not a simple trade mission. Due to the orcen language being largely made up of gesture and movement, the orcish ability to read body language is phenomenal and this is of great benefit to them in the negotiations.
Researchers. Alysse the Likely, the main researcher for this area, would like to extend her thanks to the Injerín elves and the Kurakim dwarves for their invaluable assistance, protection and hospitality with which they provided her during the research period. Special thanks are due to Azhira El'rosse, whose ties with the Kaaer'dár'shín proved highly useful, and Tharoc Wargrider, for the information he was kind enough to provide concerning the orcish lore related here.
Myth/Lore. The tallest of the Prominent Mountains, commonly known as Samathagar, has long held special significance to the Ashz-oc tribe of orcs who live in the foothills surrounding it. To them, it is known as Mt. Emesz'gob, or '"Fire Cave", and they believe they were created at the foot of the mountain by an ancient giant to protect the mountain and the ironwood trees which grow on it.
Researchers have studied this myth and have agreed that the island mentioned in it is Killyshmagost, second largest of the Quios chain. Mt. Colvin, a large volcano, still burns there, and numerous, cleanly cut stumps of ironwood can be seen scattered around its base. There is also a large plain next to the mountain which Mt. Samathagar would fit into nicely, if it were to be moved there! How the Ashz-oc came to know of this island and its ironwood trees remains a mystery, however.
In the following we present you said Ashz-oc creation myth, where the highest peak of the Prominent Mountains, Samathagar, might have had a role in it:
The Time of Becoming. Long ago,
before the time which has become known as the time of the Great Sundering,
and before even the time of Ahn'b'rak, there lived on the lands of the
world a tribe of giant beings called the Magosh. Born of the blood of
K’ahn’uck himself, these beings were tasked by him to tend the world and
everything within, in readiness for his triumphant return as true ruler of
Then, he called upon
Tulak’Cha, and told her the tale of his brother's selfishness. Knowing
that Haz’ha’akh was a good and honest person, she promised to help him in
his efforts to extinguish the forge, and to hide it forever from his
brother. Raising her arms to the sky, she spoke a secret incantation and
made a tremendous storm of snow to fall across the mountains where he had
hidden his brother’s forge. For many days and nights the snow fell
relentlessly, burying everything in a deep blanket of white, until no
matter which direction Haz’ha’akh looked, each mountain appeared exactly
the same as the next. Content that the fire deep within his brothers
mountain was extinguished, he thanked Tulak’Cha for her help, and sat down
to rest, for carrying the mountain so far had made him weary.
History. There is very little human history for this area, as humans did not live in the mountains themselves. But there were many of them in the nearby Mynian Kingdom and these were the humans with which the dwarves and elves interacted. After the time of Burning Night, in 1649 b.S., a time in which the Mynians were driven out and their cities destroyed by the orcs, no permanent human settlements remained in these areas. The Mynian descendants of today, the proud Kuglimz people, do not live in these areas anymore, though they have passage rights granted by the Injerín and trade privileges with the Kurakim. Most of the recorded history we have from this time comes to us from Injerín and Kurakim sources.