The gigantic Tandala Highlands are located in the northern part of Southern Sarvonia, more or less cutting of the Northern part of Sarvonia from the Santharian Kingdom in the south as the Highlands stretch from the western till the eastern coast. It is home to a diverse population of races, including the Gob-Oc tribe of orcs, the Ban-Yuk tribe of ogres, as well as several trolls that live in the area. Many animals make their home in the forest, mountainous region, including various dragonkinds, among them most prominently the horned dragon. Other animals you can find in the Tandala region are mainly the lu’an moth, and the Sarvonian white deer. The land is rich in metals, precious stones, and crystals; almost as rich as it is in wildlife and plantlife.
Picture description. View on the gigantic Tandala Mountains seperating the Kingdom of Santharia from Northern Sarvonia. Image drawn by Quellion.
natural surroundings of the Tandala Highlands are, for the most part, unaltered
by any human,
elven, or any otherwise humanoid
intervention. The foothills of the mountains that make up the highlands are
often covered in groves and forests, home to a variety of evergreen trees. At
slightly higher altitudes, shrubs and small bushes are more populous. The areas
beyond the foothills of the mountain ranges usually have little or no plants
given that the winters bring snow to the peaks. The tops of the mountains
always have a cap of icy white snow. Some believe that there still a lot of
horned drakes and
dragons make their homes in caves
in these icy caps, like they did hundreds of years ago.
The Tandala Highlands are made up of about 20 mountains. An exact number has not been determined as geographers and mapmakers are split over the northern boundary of the Tandalas and the southern boarder of the Oro Mountains. It simply cannot be decided where one ends and where the other begins. However, most agree that Dragon’s Maw belongs to the Tandala Highlands, making it the highest peak in the Tandala territory. At 7,500 peds high, it stands as one of the most magnificent, and perhaps the most frightening, mountain contained within the Highlands. History and myth mark Dragon’s Maw as the home of numerous dragons who caused the sky to darken with their enormous bodies in the legendary Dragonstorm (1650 b.S.). To this day, the exact number of dragons residing at the mountain is unknown, though some people estimate that thousands upon thousands still make their homes within it.
The second largest mountain of the Tandalas, at about 6,900 peds, is called EolEenbar (Dwarvish for “East Brother”), and resides near the third largest mountain at about 6,850 peds high, named WolEenbar (Dwarvish for “West Brother”). Because of their similar shape, plantlife, and wildlife, they are commonly referred to as “The Brother Mountains”. Some believe that these mountains grew from the graves of two dwarven brothers whose love for each other was so strong that these mountains grew up from where they fell after a battle with orcish hordes, telling to all the importance of trust and dedication to family.
A string of smaller mountains runs along the farthest western borders of the Tandala Highlands, eventually merging into the Allsiscaey Mountains in the south.
This Tandala mountains wall, before the Third Sarvonian War (298-203 b.S.), was thought to be impassable because of the harsh climates past the foothills. However, orcs from the north eventually found pathways through the Tandalas, believed to have been constructed by the mythical Ylossian Dwarves. After the war, many of these tunnels were destroyed. However, the Gob-orcs have since reopened them and taken residence in the Tandalas. Despite the fact that they have been passed before, many still believe them to be difficult to journey through, and thus the Tandalas mark the northern natural border of the Kingdom of Santharia.
The Rayne River runs through the Tandalas southwesterly from where it starts up in Dragon’s Maw. This river then empties out into the Adanian Sea to the east. The Highlands also hold Caeltakkar Keep, one of the Santharian strongholds built after the end of the Third Sarvonian War (298-203 b.S.). This keep is located in the southern feet of the Tandala Highlands and, today, it stands mainly as an outpost for Nermeran’s second biggest city, Astran, and represents an elegant theme for artists and painters.
Location. The Tandalas are located on the Northern Santharian border, stretching from the western till the eastern coast. It is located south of the Ashmarian Lands, the most prominent part featuring the highest mountains in the highlands being Dragon’s Maw, just north and east of Nyermersys, the captial of the northernmost Santharian province of Nermeran. The mountains of Tandala move southward and eventually become the Allsiscaey Mountains. The Rayne River moves through the east side of the Tandala lands, originating in Dragon’s Maw but journeying southeast, through the eastern valleys to empty out into the Adanian Sea.
|Picture description. The location of the the Tandala Highlands forming the natural border of the Santharian Kingdom to the Northlands. Maps drawn by Artimidor,|
People. Despite that several races are living on the Tandala Highlands, it appears as though no one at all has taken residence on their elegantly sloping mountaintops or among their verdurous trees. However, if you look closer you can find races like orcs, trolls and ogres in this region.
The Tandala Highlands are home to the Gob-Oc, a tribe of orcs, summarized by the term “goblins” by many humans. They make their home in the intricate network of caverns and tunnels said to have been dug out by the Ylossian dwarves, a more or less mythical dwarven tribe. After the Third Sarvonian War (298-203 b.S.), the Gob-Oc made use of the tunnels. Gob-Oc are known for creating extraordinary weaponry that rivals the dwarven designs. Though the Gob-Oc tend to be a very warlike tribe, they never seem to get in skirmishes with ogres and trolls existing in the area because of their location. These orcish goblins are known for creating incredible pieces of weaponry out of the rich supply of metals and minerals that exist in these Highlands. Crystals and precious stones are also mined out of this region.
The trolls of the Tandala Highlands tend to make their homes in the various caves that exist in the Tandala Highlands, many often hidden by trees or brush. Depending on the size of the cave, these trolls may live in communities of anywhere from one or two to 30. Most agree that there are at least 200 trolls who have taken up permanent residence in the Tandala Highlands and many more who seemingly wander in and out of it. Many trolls trade with the Gob-Oc for weaponry and other such things.
The Ban-Yuk Ogres
The Tandalas also provide a home for the Ban-Yuk Ogres. Like most ogres, this tribe is really too intelligent to do much trade, though they often get in skirmishes with trolls living in the caves of the Tandala Highlands for space. These ogres appear rather atrocious, with seemingly bashed-up features, brown skin and yellow teeth that fall out on occasion only to re-grow in a matter of days. They are known for taking shelter in caves, hence the skirmishes with trolls, but also on the ground, against trees and rocks or in bushes.
Coat of Arms/Sign.
Because of the diverse population of the Tandalas, no real Coat of Arms has been
taken. So different are the races that live there, each seemingly to want to
have nothing to do with the others besides for trade, that any idea that they
might unite and agree on a common Coat of Arms to represent them as a whole
would be absurd. When considering a coat of arms to represent the area, most
take the Coat of Arms representing the Gob-Ocs
Climate. Given that the Tandala Highlands reside so close to the coast, the land proves to have a mildly cool climate, though the temperature tends to decrease, becoming colder, as one journeys up the mountains. The mountains that lay in the farthest eastern boards of the Tandala Highlands experience much rain and fog while the more western mountains receive very little. This diverse weather and climate is what has helped the Highlands have the wide range of plants and animals that is does. Mountain summits tend to be rather cold, and in winter, many of the mountain peaks experience light snowfall.
Flora. Tall trees, many evergreens, grow in the foothills of the mountains, though many trees, which may lose their leaves in the wake of the winter, also can be found here. In the coming of the month of the Fallen Leaves, many of the leaves changing into rich reds, ripe oranges, and bright golds. These colors coupled with the ever-constant vibrancy of the evergreens, creates a splendid picture that many never see. Some trees growing in this area include the teki tree, the fragrans tree, and the sahnrix tree. These tall trees become shrubs and bushes farther up the mountains where the air is thinner, though still residing in the foothills. Some bushes that grow here include the doch nut bush (commonly providing food for trolls and ogres who can’t get anything else to eat), the redberry (another commonly ravaged bush), and other such bushes. The area above the foothills of the mountains, given the snowfall experienced in the winter, is usually quite barren. The top of the mountains tends to have a cap of snow residing on it at all times.
Fauna. The foothills of the Tandalas are home to a wide range of wild goats, including the capricus, a goat with a rather capricious nature. A few woolly boars have been spotted, though they tend to be found in greater population farther up north. The elegant Sarvonian white deer is commonly seen and hunted by the various tribes in the area as well.
Horned dragons and drakes also reside primarily in the Tandala Highlands and battles between trolls and drakes for living space is not uncommon, though the trolls usually meet their end to them. Horned drakes in fact are commonly seen in the Tandalas, and, during dusk and dawn, one can see these horned beasts flying over the area, their scales glinting in the coming or departing of the sun. These dragons are throught to live closer to the barren top of the mountains, unlike most creatures. Rare sightings of gold dragons also suggest that a few of them may reside in the area, though this has yet to be proven.
Finally insects such as the lu’an moth and the red diamond butterfly, as well as the ever-popular malise also take up residence in the area as well. Field mice also find the warmer areas of the Tandalas, near the foothills of the mountains, a fit place to make their homes.
Resources. The Tandalas are rich in resources, which the Gob-Oc thrives upon. Metals are often mined from the mountains and used for making weaponry, usually iron and coal. These products can be found relatively close to the surface. Mithril once existed in the mountains as well, precious stones and crystals still do, including the Dasthomm (Amethyst), the Oontrom (Ruby) and the Hotron (Garnet). These precious crystals are usually found deeper in the earth and are mined only by the Gob-Oc. However, the most commonly used resources are the metals that the Gob-Oc mine. They often use them to make weaponry and armor that rivals even the dwarves.
Myth/Lore. The Ylossian dwarves are rumoured to have occupied the Tandalas many centuries ago during the Age of Myths. They were said to have had black hair and beeing rather short, averaging about a ped high. Ylossians are also said to have been capable of nocturnal vision since very few ever saw the sunlight. The dwarves were apparently split into two clans: The Dawi’Amkort ("Dwarf Home") and the Daln’Grang ("Old Mine"). As the myth goes, they worshipped a dwarven half-god named Aephesvil created by Trum’Baroll (the dwarven equivalent to the Santharian Urtengor). It wasn’t until people began losing their faith in him that he turned to stone, eventually falling and shattering into pieces while trying to catch the attention of a young dwarf (at least this is what the legends tell us). This eventually lead to the downfall of this tribe of dwarves. More information can be found in the History section below.
Information provided by Rayne Avalotus