THE PROMINENT MOUNTAINS

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - PEOPLE - CLIMATE - FLORA
FAUNA - RESOURCES - RESEARCHERS - MYTH/LORE - HISTORY

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.

The Prominent Mountains
View picture in full size Image description. View on the large and rugged Prominent Mountain range. Picture drawn by Arbaon.

Description. 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 months.

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.
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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. Return to the top

People. Several 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. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

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 this Kingdom.

Each of the Magosh were made responsible for an individual element of their master’s realm, be it the tending of the beasts which roamed the lands or swam in the oceans, the creation of new plants to help feed the vast armies of K’ahn’uck, which would surely accompany his return, or stoking the fires which burned beneath the mountains throughout the world.

The Magosh known as Haz’ha’akh, who was no less fierce than his tribesmen, but was possessed of a softer nature than most, was dutied with the care of the forests which covered vast areas of the land. Each day he would tend to this duty with great conscience, even though he suffered the insults and scorn of the other Magosh, who accused him of being so weak that their master had given him the work of a female to do.

Haz’ha’akh had a brother, Ha’acho Ha’k, the sword-maker. He lived on an island in the middle of the ocean, where all day he would bang and hammer at his anvil beneath the mountains of fire which grew from the soil of the island, and each day he would forge mighty weapons in readiness for the warriors of K’ahn’uck. The sword-maker's skill lay in creating blades of the finest quality, strong enough to withstand the mightiest blow, and sharp enough to slice a leaf in twain edgeways.

One day, Haz’ha’akh’s duties took him to his brother’s island, where a rare kind of tree grew on the slopes of the mountains which were his brother’s forge. Haz'ha'akh had given his brother permission to use parts of these trees in his sword-making, for they were very strong and suitable for weaponry. He only asked that his brother promised not to harm them in any way, and to tend to them in his absence, to which his brother agreed.

When he saw that nearly all his trees had been chopped down, cut cleanly at their base by Ha’acho Ha’k, he was enraged and sought out his brother to demand an explanation
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“Brother,” he asked, “why have you seen fit to destroy the trees which our Lord tasked me to protect?” The sword-maker was scornful in his reply. “They were but worthless weeds which did nothing to make my life easier. And did I not need a way to test the sharpness of my blades? Your trees were as nothing compared to my weapons, which will be used by the finest warriors of our Lord’s armies. What use would they have been to soldiers in need of a sharp sword?”

On hearing his brother’s harsh words, Haz’ha’akh’s rage at the loss of his beloved trees erupted and, seizing up one of his brother's swords, he cut off his hand, so that he might never again forge the blades for which he was so well known. As Ha’acho Ha’k fled, howling in pain and anger, Haz’ha’akh snatched up his brother's hand from the ground and ran from the dark cavern deep under the mountain, away from the stench of brimstone and out into the clean air and sunlight to which he was far more suited.

Looking around at the stumps which were once mighty trees, and lamenting the loss of his charges, he resolved to make certain that his brother would never again be able to use the mountain-forge to make blades to cut down his trees. Using all of his enormous strength, he lifted the mountain onto his back and carried it across the sea to the mainland, using the surrounding islands as stepping-stones.

Once he was back on the mainland, he walked for many days, determinedly heading north, to where Tulak’Cha, the Rain-Maker, whom he knew to have a fair heart, lived in the frozen wastes. As he reached the point on his journey where the soil began to turn into ice, he hid his burden within a long range of snow-topped mountains, so that it would be unseen by his brother, who he knew would walk to the edges of the Void in search of his beloved forge.

The topmost peak of Mt. Samathagar
View picture in full size Image description. The topmost peak of the Prominent Mountains, Mount Samathagar, probably Mt. Emesz'gob according to orcish myth. Picture drawn by Arbaon.

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.

As he sat at the foot of the mountain, he noticed a small, green shoot growing from a patch of bare soil beneath a rock at his feet. Recognizing it as one of the trees from his brothers island, he was overjoyed, and began to dance a jig around the shoot. Presently, the sound of his joyful dancing attracted the attentions of a pair of black wargs, who had come together in the mountains to mate. As they approached him, Haz’ha’akh greeted them and bade them come nearer, such was his pleasure at his discovery.

When they stood in front of him, he removed his brother's bleeding hand from his shirt, where it had lay hidden since he had chopped it off in the dark cavern beneath the mountain. Holding it above their heads, first one and then the other, he drew a symbol of a flame burning within a mountain upon the crown of each of the Wargs. “Soon I must take my leave of these frozen lands and return to my duties, but I shall leave you here in my stead as noble guardians of the hidden flame, and to serve as a warning to anyone who thinks to re-ignite the forge. You shall be known as Ashz-oc, and your name will be known throughout the land. As reward for your loyalty, I shall give you two gifts. The first is this small seedling, which will soon grow into a mighty tree, and will itself, in time, provide you with many gifts. The second is the secret of my cursed brother’s blade-making. Use these gifts wisely, and they will provide you with the means of becoming a force amongst all peoples, respected and feared in equal measure.”

With these words echoing around the stone walls of the surrounding mountains, Haz’ha’akh turned and strode away, back to his duties as caregiver of the forests for his Lord K’ahn’uck. As he left the valley in which he had addressed the wargs, there was a mighty clap of thunder, followed by a blinding flash as a bolt of lightening pierced the grey clouds above, striking the ground at the feet of the wargs and setting fire to the very earth itself.

Just as suddenly a great rainstorm began, and almost instantly engulfed the flames, turning them into a huge plume of hissing steam. As the steam melted away, there stood in place of the wargs, two fierce-looking figures, with hair as black as night and skin which seemed to change from the darkest green to black with each movement they made. Looking out from their noble faces were piercing eyes which sparkled red with the ancient knowledge of wild animals. As one, the male and female raised their arms to the skies, threw back their heads, and roared a roar so loud that it was heard across the world. This was their time of becoming.
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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.

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THE ERA OF CONSOLIDATION
(YEARS 8.500 B.S. - 3.400 B.S.)
ca. 7000 b.S.
to 5000 b.S.
Kurakim move into the Prominent Mountains
  

5017 b.S. The Rogetyrim Dwarves move out of the Prominent Mountains
A clan of particularly tall Kurakim Dwarves living in the Prominent Mountains, calling themselves the "Rogetyrim", claim they have been personally told by Trum-Barol to travel to the Imlith Mountains. They are led by Werrum Highmind, who -reportedly - at one ped, two fores and two palmspans is one of the tallest dwarves in history.
  

4327 b.S. The Rogetyrim Dwarves reach the Zenith of their Power
The Rogetyrim Dwarves, now rich from their trade with surrounding peoples, reach the full glory of their new-found power. Their domain extends southwest to the base of the Prominent Mountains, east to the Vindel Mountains and the Stone Fields of Peat, and north to edge of the Themed'lon Forest and the Icelands Coast. The Rogetyrim Denirim, continuing to perfect Keralkorim magic, reach the height of their power.

THE AGE OF MYTHS
(YEARS 3.400 B.S. - 1.655 B.S.)
3268 b.S.
to 3152 b.S.
Building of Elindor
The Injerín capital city of Elindor is built spanning the rushing Luquador River with the use of Xeuá magic the natural city is grown.

THE AGE OF AWAKENING
(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
1649 b.S. The Burning Night
Turning Star. It is said that when Aváth'cáo earns her name "Gouran" by destroying Parthenon, Coór looks down on her with favour. He marshalls his powers and lends her his support. The sun becomes hidden from view, and he tells those that bear his mark, the Black Shard, to bring chaos to the land. Countless torches, buildings and bodies are set alight in the name of chaos. Thus, the Burning Night comes to pass.

Gouran destroys the Folkmore Trees and hunts down the elves that live there. With her minions she marches on the Kurakim as well.
The Kurakim Retreat
Gouran the Vicious comes into Coór's favor. The uppergrounders marked by the Black Shard run amok across the continent, looting, burning, and destroying. The city of Parthenon is destroyed. Dwarves retreat into their cavern fortresses and withdraw from the upperworld.
The Battle of Tak’Dinal
Days of endless fighting occur under the shadow of Tak’Dinal, finally after a great push the dwarven forces are able to gain the gates. The elves race in and join up with the dwarves, once inside the battle is soon over. The elven mages attempt to obliterate the citadel, but are only able to destroy the new additions. So, the great catacombs remain intact, and any who venture into it whether warrior or mage are not seen again.

For over a year the Kurakim survive underground without fresh vegetables or outside trade. After long battles against the Kurakim and Injerín, Gouran is forced back to the Mithril Bridge where she is killed by her own father. After the destruction of Tak'Dinal and the death of Gouran at her own father’s hand, Injèrá finally rises.
  

1648 b.S. The End of Aváth'caó as Gouran
Only after long battles against the Kurakim and Injerín Gouran is forced back to the Mithril Bridge where she is killed by her own father.
  

1647 b.S.
to 1200 b.S.
The Years of Sorrow
The following centuries are known as the "Years of Sorrow as the Injerín" draw back into their forest in an attempt to heal the damages that the rising of Gouran has caused as well as dealing with the Losh'Oc.
  

1107 b.S. Injerín push back an attempted Losh-Oc Invasion
The first renewed invasion against the Injerín is attempted by the Losh'Oc, they are pushed back, but at fearful cost. It is at this time that O'kroi'parda'ael is built.
  

996 b.S. Injerín Trade Agreement with the Arthyrhón Elves
The Injerín create a trade agreement that allows the Arthyrhón Elves access to the lower Luquador and trade with the Kuglimz.
  

940 b.S. Injerín renewed through the Arthyrón elves
The arrival of representatives from the Arthyrón Elves, descendant of the colonists the Injerín sent to the Folkmore Trees, creates a renewed life in the Injerín and they finally begin to forgive themselves for the terror of Gouran.
  

877 b.S. Renewal of Ties between Injerín and Kurakim
The Injerín renew ancient ties of friendship with the Kurakim dwarves that exist to this day.

THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
598 b.S. Attack of the Diorye'oleal Elves
The Diorye'oleal launch their first full scale attack against the Injerín. Coming up the Luquador River they nearly capture Elindor before being pushed back, but only with the aid of the Kurakim and a few Arthyrón ships.
  

354 b.S. Diorye'oleal Siege of the Shaded Forest
The Diorye'oleal along with nearby orc tribes lay siege to the Shaded Forest of the Injerín, cutting it off from any Kurakim aid.
  

298 b.S. The Beginning of the Third Sarvonian War
The first of several armies marches by the impotent Injerín into Tharania starting the third Sarvonian War.
  

256 b.S. The Rhom-Oc Orcs make their Move
As the first step this new orc coalition takes against the dwarves, the Losh-Oc and Ashz-Oc Orcs march on the Prominent Mountains. The Kurakim Dwarves are hard-pressed to hold them off. At the same time, the Rhom-Oc, Gob-Oc, and Osther-Oc Orcs attack the Susilgerim Dwarves from the north. Surprisingly, the Dwarves do manage to hold out admirably despite being greatly outnumbered.
  

170 b.S. The Breaking of the Injerín Blockade
After the defeat of Coór's armies in the South the weakened blockade around the Injerín is broken with fierce battle of the Injerín, Kurakim, and Kuglimz working both jointly and independently of each other.

THE TIME OF REUNION
(YEARS 1.540 A.S. - TODAY)
1.658 The Kuglimz Alliance
A Kuglimz by the name of Dro'go Minar'ine leads the Kuglimz people in overthrowing the forces against them. After the defeat of the Diorye'oleal and Ash'mari Drogo leads the Kuglimz in aid of the beleagued forces and together they push back the Losh-Oc.
  

1.659 Joint Attacks against the Losh-Oc Orcs
The Injerín battle the remaining Losh-Oc in the heights of the Prominent Mountains while the Kurakim battle in the depths. The result leaves the Losh-Oc reeling and staying in their defensive places.
  

1.662 Alliance Meeting at Elin'dor
The Injerín help to orchestrate trade and alliance agreements between the Kuglimz, Kurakim, Arthyrhón and themselves.

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 Date of last edit 21st Rising Sun 1668 a.S.

Information provided by Alysse the Likely View Profile and Tharoc Wargrider View Profile