The Kältheim Mountains
The Kältheim Mountains are a steep and rugged range of mountains curling around the march of Annan’s Port and stretching south. The range is a young one, in geological terms, and still growing. The majority of the peaks rise above the tree line, and many of them are tall enough to have snow caps year round. The range separates the eastern seaboard from the interior of the continent, and protects Annan’s Port from the worst of the winter weather. In the northern section of the range, the only pass through the mountains was at the Breasts, but that was sealed long ago by a rock fall.
The mountains are inhabited by the usual creatures: deer, rabbit, wolves, foxes, mountain cats, mountain sheep, owls, eagles, bears, and all the little creatures one would expect to find in mountain forests and on alpine slopes. However, more dangerous creatures live here too: giants, mountain trolls, ice trolls, goblin tribes, kobold tribes, winter wolves and dire wolves, and snow leopards.
The Kältheim giants are solitary creatures, each preferring to carve out and maintain his or her own territory. When they are encountered in small groups it’s almost always a woman and her juvenile children. They are generally peaceful but border on forces of nature when enraged.
Most of the Kältheim goblins would prefer to avoid humans, Duerfar, and Alfar. They do raid the lowlands for things they can’t make themselves or if game becomes scarce. They will also defend their territories from human incursion. Their cousins the rock goblins are even more dangerous. Rock goblins are smaller and meaner. They fight because they like to fight. They are strictly carnivorous, and are cannibals as well. They are not as intelligent or capable as other goblins, but they do have access to some earth magic, including the ability to raise golems from the stones of the mountains.
The kobolds are miners and delvers, clever with their hands and good with smith craft. They have invaded all of the abandoned goblin tunnels and structures, claiming these structures for themselves. They hunt the surface world at night, and the various family groups are in constant conflict with each other. Their weapons are surprisingly delicate, well-crafted, and deadly. Kobolds don’t use armor; it’s too heavy and noisy. They do use rings, earrings, armbands, and amulets that their shamans have enchanted using protective earth magic.
The mountains are rich in minerals, precious metals, and gems. The lost goblin empire had extensive mine works here and some of the old mines still exist but the area is now too dangerous for any normal mining operation. The march of Annan’s Port will have to grow considerably before the humans have the ability to tackle the Kältheim Mountains. Until then, the riches of these mountains belong to the “monsters.”
The beautiful photograph used in this week’s post is titled Tour To Mont Blanc, by Michel Bousquet.
You can find more of Michel’s work at http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/browse-author.php?a=9732
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.