Friday, February 24, 2012

Prominent Geographical Features of Greyhawk - Hills and Highlands



The rocky hills, which run east and west between the Nesser River and Woolly Bay, are known as the Abbor-Alz. The northern verges of the hills are relatively safe, and these are claimed by the Duchy of Urnst, as are those softer highlands which are covered by the Celadon Forest. The central and southern portions are very arid, however, and wild tribesmen dwelling within these hills turn back all intruders – if they manage to return at all. These hills are so rough and precipitous as to preclude mounted movement or even thc passage of organized bodies of soldiers, so no aggression has proven successful in clearing these tall heights. Occasional adventurers will return with tales of having prospected within these hills, stories of encounters with the natives, monsters, and the like, but most can not be believed. There certainly are riches within the Abbor-Alz, however, for Urnst has productive mines in that part which is held by the Duchy.
How far the hills continue into the Bright Desert is unknown. The peoples dwelling in and beyond the Abbor-Alz are as unfriendly as the highland tribesmen.



The northward- thrusting arm of the Abbor-Alz (q.v.) is known as the Cairn Hills. These hills surround Midbay on Nyr Dyv and form the borderland between territory claimed by Greyhawk City and that of the Duchy of Urnst. Several thousand gnomes dwell in the central portion of the Cairn Hills, halflings enjoy its lower Northern slopes, while many dwarvenfolk live in the area where it meets the Abbor-Alz and the hills become young mountains. In the hinterland below Nyr Dyv’s Midbay, where the hills are very rugged, there have been strange burial sites discovered from time to time. These rich finds are of a people unknown even to the demi-humans, evidently predating them! Discoverers returned with harrowing tales of horrid guardians, death, and worse; but carried back ingots of precious metal, gems, and other treasures as well. The discovery of these burial sites gave the hills their name, and also makes them a target for many foolhardy adventurers.
There are no settlements east of the marshes around the Upper and Lower Neen Rivers until the eastern edges of the hills are reached.




The Hestmark Highlands run northward up the coastline of South Province from the town of Dullstrand to the mouth of the Flanmi, branching northwestward into the Glorioles. These hills have always been a rallying point for disaffected humans, as their remote location and rugged character have enabled their demi-human inhabitants to remain free of the rule of the Overking or his minions. Many gnomes and dwarves live in the Hestmarks, and free-spirited men have their villages amidst the shelter of these hills as well. The area is well known for its precious metals and gems, and for this reason it is often raided by forces of the Overking who badly need the wealth thus obtained. Medegians, troops from the Herzog of South Province, and imperial soldiery alike probe these hills all too often. Its inhabitants, doughty in the beginning, have become battle-hardened veterans because of these continual skirmishes and raids, and with the men and elves of Sunndi are beginning to conduct their own forays into the lowlands beyond the Hestmarks in reprisal. The independent town of Dullstrand (pop. 5,5OO) and its environs proclaims neutrality in these matters, but it is probable that secret aid is given to the insurgents in the hills. Free-booters certainly find safe haven in the town, and its forges make weapons and armor which are not seen by the Overking or his men-at-arms.



It is estimated that nearly 20,000 gnomes live within the region of the Kron Hills. These heights spring eastward from the Lortmils and reach almost to Nyr Dyv. Their verge forms the southern boundary of Veluna, then stretches beside the Velverdyva for a time before peaking in the heart of the Gnarley Forest, where many Sylvan Elves happily roam over their crests. Their southern slopes demark the end of the Wild Coast region and are a part of the northern region of Celene. Some dwarven enclaves exist in the Kron Hills where they butt against the Lortmils, although the number of such demi-humans is not known. The gnomes of the region were instrumental in the organization of the army, which drove the humanoid hordes from the Lortmils (and the Kron Hills). They likewise served with honor in the host, which defeated the Horde of Elemental Evil in the battle above Verbobonc.
The Kron Hills are mined for metals, precious metals, and gems. The upper slopes are quite fertile and grow many crops in sheltered valley and glen. Quite a number of scattered enclaves of humans live in peace with the gnomes and other demi-humans of the area, save in the Gnarley Forest, where the Olvenfolk are isolationist.



Blemu Hills: This chain of hills runs from a point about level with Belport southward to the town of Knurl, the Teesar Torrent cutting their eastern verge. These hills form the southeastern boundary of the Bone March. At one time they were home to certain demi-human folk, but tribes of Celbit, Jebli, and Euroz now infest the place.
Bluff Hills: The western terminus of the Griff Mountains slowly decreases into a series of rugged ridges and steep hills. This range separates the states of the Bandit Kingdoms from the lands of the Rovers of the Barrens. The former now occupy and claim the Bluff Hills as their territory, as they do the whole of the Fellreev Forest. The nomads to the north are too weakened to effectively dispute this move. The Bluff Hills are said to contain small deposits of copper and gold. Numerous monsters roam the area, and many ogre hands make it their home.
Drachensgrab Hills: The low mountains of the same name found in the Pomarj are surrounded by these hills. Rich in valuable minerals and gems, these hills have always been the home of many terrible beasts and monsters, which had to be contended with by the humans dwelling along the lowland coasts. Now that the area is in the hands of humanoid hordes, many of the monsters there will undoubtedly be enlisted into their ranks. Legends say that these hills hide the resting-place of one or more powerful creatures who may someday return to life.

Flinty Hills: This broad and deep hand of hills marks the southern end of the Rakers. The eastern shoulder, and an arm, which projects southward for many leagues, define the lower boundary of Bone March and the easternmost territory of Nyrond and Almor. The portion covered by the Adri Forest (west of the Harp River) is Almorish. The area is well endowed with minerals. Numerous halflings inhabit its southern portion, while many gnomes dwell to the north. The far western span of the Flinty Hills is within the Gamboge Forest (q.v.).
Good Hills: This is a range of rolling highlands in Keoland east of Stench and running all the way to the middle of the border with the Yeomanry, with the Javan River marking its western edge. These lands are home to many halflings and gnomes. They are also the source of considerable mineral wealth.
Gull Cliffs: The headlands which rise steeply along the coast west of the isles of the Sea Barons are known as the Gull Cliffs (or Gullcliffs) because so many sea birds nest among these hills and sea cliffs. The town of Roland nestles amongst the hills, a major port for commerce to and from Rauxes and the sea.
Headlands: The heights of the central portion of the Onnwal Peninsula are known as the Headlands. This spine runs from the city of Irongate along about half of the peninsula, forming cliffs on the Azure Sea coast. They are home to many dwarves and some gnomish groups as well.
Hollow Highlands: The north-south hill chain which divides the fiefs of Idee from Sunndi is called the Hollow Highlands due to the mining and burrowing which has taken place there for so long. Dwarves, gnomes, and halflings dwell amidst these hills. Although they are not particularly rich in minerals or gems any longer, their beauty and fertility keep this demi-human population high. The minions of the Overking do not venture into the Hollow Hills without strong forces.

Howling Hills: These hills are just below the southern edge of the Cold Marshes, a portion being divided from the main body by the Dulsi River valley. The eastern hills are now part of Iuz and undoubtedly home to all manner of hideous creatures and savage humanoid tribes who exploit their metals. The western portion is sacred to the Wolf Nomads as a burial place, and they have stoutly defended this area from any incursion of men or humanoids from Iuz. Several large battles have reportedly taken place in and around the wedge of hills between the Blackwater and Dulsi for this very reason, and Iuz likes not such thwarting.

Iron Hills: The series of highlands reaching eastward from the city of Irongate and demarking the fiefs of Ahlissa and Idee in the west are known as the Iron Hills. Most of these hills are in the hands of the Iron League. Very high-grade ore is taken from the mines there, as are several sorts of precious metals. Dwarves and gnomes do much of this mining.
Little Hills: The Jotens turn to very high hills as they come to the Javan River valley, and these hills turn southward as if following the river course. These looming hills can be called little only in comparison to the Jotens and Crystalmists beyond, and this is evidently what was done by the yeomen who named them. Considerable numbers of demi-humans dwell in the Little Hills, along with communities of men. The town of Longspear, in the foothills of the Littles, is an active trade center. The soldiers from this area are renowned for their ferocity in battle, human and demi-human alike.
Lorridges: These sharp ridges and hills are found at the northern end of the Lortmil Mountains. Some dwarves and gnomes have their dwellings and mines therein. These hills are about evenly divided between Gran March, Bissel, and Veluna. The pass between these hills and the foothills of the southern horn of the Yatil Mountains is the major entry point to eastern Flanaess. The Yatil foothills are known as the Northern Lorridges, but they belong to the Highfolk (q.v.), and their gnomish inhabitants serve the Olvenfolk.
Sepia Uplands: Perrenland now claims most of the block of highlands, which are the lesser heights of the Clatspur Mountain range. The Wolf Nomads hunt in the northern portion of the range, and the hills within the Vesve forest are unclaimed by any humans. Some mineral deposits are suspected to be within these hills.

Spine Ridge: The unwholesome Vast Swamp is butted on the south by a chain of rising hills which terminate on a great plateau in the center of the Tilvanot Peninsula. These hills, the Spine Ridge, are supposedly rich in precious metals and gems, but they are too dangerous for normal exploitation, being home to numerous humanoids and monsters.
Stark Mounds: The many-spurred Crystalmist Range thrusts some low mounts and high hills eastward toward the Javan River below the joining of the Real-stream. These mounts and hills divide Geoff from Stench. The Stark Mounds are probably old and weathered mountains. They end at the east bank of the Javan and are claimed mainly by Geoff. While some dwarves inhabit the steeper portion of the Stark Mounds, they are home to gnomes in the main.
Tors: The mesa-like hills, which mark the terminus of the last spur of the Crystalmists, are called the Tors. Bordering on the Hool Marshes, they mark the southern edge of the Yeomanry. These wild hills are a source of continual troubles for the yeomen, as they are home to many sorts of monsters and humanoid tribes.

Tusman Hills: The border between Ket and Tusmit is formed by the Tusman Hills, a series of highlands which eventually rise into the Yatils. The hillmen of the Tusman Hills are renowned fighters, thus maintaining semi-independent status, and gladly serving as mercenaries for both Tusmit and Ket.
Yecha Hills: These Yatil foothills are quite rich in mineral deposits, and the Tiger Nomads have actually begun to exploit these mines. They have a permanent settlement, their capital city of Yecha, within these highlands, and numbers of their herdsmen graze flocks of sheep and goats there.

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