THE TANDALA HIGHLANDS

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - PEOPLE - COAT OF ARMS
CLIMATE -
FLORA - FAUNA - RESOURCES - MYTH/LORE - HISTORY

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.

The Tandala Highlands

View picture in full size Picture description. View on the gigantic Tandala Mountains seperating the Kingdom of Santharia from Northern Sarvonia. Image drawn by Quellion.

Description. The 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. Return to the top


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. Return to the top

View entry on Santharia View complete map of Santharia The Tandala Highlands The Province of Nermeran
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.

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 orcs. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

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. Return to the top

The Age of Silence (Unknown - 3400 b.S.)

ca. 11.000 b.S. The Ylossian Ruin
The first tribe to occupy the Tandala Highlands are the Ylossian Dwarves. As the myth is told, Aephesvil, one of the Un’Sthommerons (“the dwarven fathers”), created by Trum’Baroll (Urtengor), carves these dwarves out of the rock of the Tandala Mountains. It is said that Aephesvil stays with his children for many years, trying to protect them, but as time goes on it becomes more and more apparent that the dwarves no longer need his protection. Soon he is no longer being worshipped as he had once been. Given his neglect, his body begins to turn to stone again till he can no longer call out to his children. However, being active in mind, Aephesvil often moves back and forth, trying to draw attention to himself. When trying to catch the attention of a young dwarf, he tips over too much and his body shatters, sending shards of rock across the dark cave floor.
ca. 10.500 b.S. Utt Karaz ("Our War")
The young dwarf, a Dawi’Amkort Ylossian dwarf, is put on trial by the members of his clan for murder. The Daln’Grang, the other clan that lives in the Tandalas and share the tribe name of the Ylossians, begs and pleads that he should be taken off trial. Indeed he is, but not to freedom, but rather to an execution sentence. The Daln’Grang, enraged by this act of unjustice, demand that the Dawi’Amkort give over all unmarried women and half their ore or else they will resort to violence. The Daln’Grang draw their weapons an attack the other clan. This war, called the Utt Karaz (“Our War”) lasts approx. 90 years, in which time cities are destroyed, burned, and ravaged. Ylossians die left and right and the population dwindles into 150. When offered help from neighboring dwarven tribes, the Ylossians state the war is theirs and turn the aide away.
ca. 10.490 b.S. Ransack of the Tandala Tunnels
Soon the dark elven clan living in the Hovel Frond Forest catches wind of the war occurring in the Tandala Highlands and, sensing that the divine force within the mountain has vanished, move into the Highlands. Once there, they kille dwarven men, women, and children without mercy, leaving none alive. They search for the treasures of Aephesvil. However, even with their superb elven senses, they cannot find these treasures and depart from the Tandala caves empty-handed. As they leave, they cast a spell on the structures to hide them from both good and evil, so that the treasures should never be found again.

The Age of Awakening (1655 - 822 b.S.)

1650 b.S. The Dragonstorm
A storm of dragons crosses over the Tandala highlands on a quest to avenge the death of the famous adamant dragon named Seargon who is said to be invincible and immortal. This dragon was killed to prove knight Wengerim’s love for Lady Jenefra. The dragons are lead by Ol’dém’bréy, a powerful blue-green dragon. They laid waste to cities and kill hundreds of innocent people as they move towards Voldar where they wage war on the city. It isn’t until the priests of Foiros ask for their God’s help that a cold fall upon Voldar forces the dragons to return to where they came from.
1648 b.S. The Slaying of Ol'dem'brey
A young girl, who has lost her father during the havoc of the Dragonstorm is said to have avenged her father's death by seeking out the most notorious dragon, Ol'dem'brey, residing at Dragon's Maw. Katya Ileri Dain slays Ol'dem'brey and should become Erpheronian Queen in the years to come and later be known as Katya the Just.

The Age of the Blood (822 - 50 b.S.)

289 b.S. Re-discovering of the Ylossian Mines
During the Third Sarvonia War, entrances to mines are found by orcish warriors flooding into southern Sarvonia from the north. Whether these mines are actually those of the Ylossian dwarves and, if so, how the seal is broken, no one really knows to this day.
188 b.S. The Great Victory
The Third Sarvonian War is won by the allies, though, and the orcish invaders are pushed back. It is said more orcs die in the skirmishes among clans than by any other races. Ashz-Oc and the Losh-Oc return to their northern territories. However, orcs having no homeland to return to had no choice but to stay and fight. They flee into the caverns and tunnels they have discovered and use them to invade the southern part of the continent before the allies discover them, whereupon they close them. Those orcs who have not perished make their homes in the dungeons of the Tandalas.

The Age of the Change (50 - 500 b.S.)

300 Emerging from the Dark
Various raids and pillages break out around the northern border by a new orcish invasion. This gives rise to the acknowledgement of a new orcish tribe taking residence in the Tandala Highlands.
488 The Troll War
Raids and attacks increase in the coming years before, in 488, an army of approximately 6.000 green-skinned warriors attacks from the Troll Mountains, just south of the Tandala Highlands, and connected by various tunnels and passageways, marching in unknown armor and under an unknown flag. Supported by several troll clans, the army kills and pillaged, retreating before an army can be formed to stop them. Lord Holm quickly gathers up an army to push the Gob-ocs back. However, when following the retreating orcs into the valleys of the Troll Mountains, Lord Holm and his army fall into a trap, as reinforcements to the orcish army have been waiting for them. Lord Holm and many of his men fall.

Before the orcs can plan a new campaign, reinforcements of the human army arrive from Jernaís and Astran. The orcs are defeated, forced to retreat through the tunnels in which human men can only follow under heavy loss of life. The orcs escape into the darkness and Ximaxian magi are called in and spend half a year destroying 80 strals of tunnel.
523 An Uncontained Threat
Orcs prove formidable in re-opening the miles of tunnels and caverns below the Tandalas, entering through a passageway other than that which was sealed of after the Third Savonian War. Many mark the area as being disputed territory, as well as of being extremely dangerous as the orcs prove to be exceptional fighters and hunters.
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