The Warnaka Mountains bear the
Styrásh name úarna'cáey (úarna'cáey)
meaning simply "hill-mountain" or "hilly mountain", which is
said to refer only to the first mountain of the chain higher than 2000 peds, appearing like a
large hill from afar with rock formations on top. The name of this single
mountain obviously led to the name "Warnaka" for the complete chain, though
the literary Styrásh translation
isn't accurate anymore. It is also possible that the name derives from the
comparison of this range with the nearby Tandala Highlands which consists of
far higher peaks and is virtually unpassable. The Tandala mountains dwarf the
Warnaka mountains and perhaps thus are lending them their name.
The Warnaka chain dominates the Northern Peak. The Bear Peaks are composed
primarily of the mineral uruyant, and
where it is exposed the mountains shimmer and reflect all the colours around
them. The landscape that they imposed is jagged, and cut by deep ravines and
valleys. Few species live in the mountains, though the southern foot hills
share much vegetation with the Bolder Forest,
which it neighbours.
Warnaka mountains are neither the longest, nor the highest in
Santharia. But they are certainly dominating, to
pass the chain on one of the many passes that traverse it is a challenge
indeed. Much of the mountain range is characterised by very deep ravines, and
some of the passes simply end in sheer vertical drops.
description. View on the Warnaka Mountains in northern
Santharia and parts of the Bolder Forest in
the foreground. Image by
The looming, jagged, grey peaks dominate the landscape of northwestern
Santharia, borded in its southern foothills by the
Bolder Forest. Often the summits are well
shrouded in cloud, giving them an austere, sometimes meanacing dignity. On sunny
days however, the peaks, covered in altitude loving plants in the southern part
of the range, or sometime snow, are quite the most beautiful site, especially
when viewed from the sea or the island of Narvos to the west. Exposed peaks
shimmer and relfect all the colours of the day, due to their predominant
uruyant composition. The mountain chain
extends all the way up the Northern Peak, an unrelenting march northward. In
between the depth of the mountains of the southern range are idyllic hidden
valleys, often containing deep lakes created by snow melt waters and streams
that drain the high peaks of the bountiful precipitation they recieve. Further
north, no signs of vegetation however are visible on the mountainsides and the
valleys and gulches are cluttered with a jumble of rocks and debris.
Notable peaks within the range are the Great Northern Peak, the most northerly
mountain in the range and the largest, towering above the rest of the range and
the sea beyond, Dragon's Point, which is actually two twin wiuth virtually
unreachable peaks of very similar height atop which a Great Adamant Dragon was
rumoured to live thousands of years ago.
Location. The southern
foothills of the Warnaka Mountains, bordered by the
Bolder Forest, petrude into the the province of
Vardýnn, but most of the range is to be found in the province of Nermeran.
To the east is the town of Ishmarin, while the chain extends all the way up the
Northern Peak Peninsular. To the west of these summits one can see the Isle of
Narvos. From the Warnarka heights the Santharian
dwellers can glimpse the northern continent that they are seperated from by the
practically impassable Tandala highlands.
People. Few people live
in the mountains. One islolate community of elves
lives in a southern valley, not far from the fringes of the
Bolder Forest. The rest of the mountain range
would be deserted if not for miners who visit in the more habital summer months
to harvest uruyant. In the far north of
the range, one will find the only other permanent residents: the Outer Circle, a
small community of mages who are led by the mysterious wizard of the White
Tower, and indeed live within its bounds, a strange but magnificent building,
with many small towers protruding from the main tower situated in the most
Climate. Once into the
peaks of the range the weather is usually very wet, as the height of the peaks
encourages rainfall, creating a rain shadow over the neighbouring
Bolder Forest. The peaks are often shrouded in
cloud, and fog is, therefore, very common. The altitude combined with this
moisture makes for a very cold bleak environment indeed. The mountains are known
for being stormy also notorious for the huge storms that brew over their crowns.
Thunder storms are common and electric, lightning forks cutting around the
mountain tops. However, the valleys within the range, while still rather wet,
are well sheltered from most of these elements, and so are often rather warmer
than one would expect at this latitude.
Flora. Very little lives
in the mountain peaks. A few hardy, altitude loving plants, the yrom and the
halim to name two. Much of the peaks are exposed and unplanted. The valleys,
especially in the southern part of the range, share much of their flora with the
neighbouring Bolder Forest.
Candlebushes are one of the most common
species to be found here.
Fauna. The mountain
peaks are fairly unhospitable to animal life. Only steppe
deer has the adaptations necessary to survive
and can be found grazing on the Yrom, but mostly the slopes are populated by
insects. The mountains are prime habitat, so it is said, for the
great drakes and
lesser drakes are often found in the
northerly edges of the range.
Resources. Much of
the northern range is rich in uruyant,
the hardest known mineral in the world. Almost the whole of the northern Warnaka
Mountains are made up of this material. The rough climate of the north has in
all likelihood eroded the outer, sedimentary strata of the mountains, leaving
only their uruyantine core. The same
process is responsible for the formation of the
uruyantine arches which are today one of
the distinct landmarks of the northern territories. Such arches are clearly
visible in the sea around the Northern Peak, and make the stretch of water
between the mainland and Narvos particularly treacherous. As the dressing of
uruyant is all but impossible, spezimen
which are of the size to serve as pieces of jewellery are highly prized in the
southern parts of the country.