Far beyond the cloud-scraping peaks that rim the heavens of the far north, the rolling highlands stretch for untold leagues in a land now seldom tread by the civilized people of Albedos. Dark forests of the taiga are wreathed in mist and rime, sheltering the few who still remain in the untamed lands of the Ironspine Highlands from the predators that roam the landscape. At one time, the Ursal clans flourished in this oft-frozen domain, but they are now little more than a shattered people that are cast from the northern climes of the Ironspine to the hell-hole of Drakkenmont's dregs.
What can we find in the Ironspine Highlands?
But, in all honesty, the Ironspine Highlands are a dangerous expanse of land that will reward the most intrepid adventurers. The passes into the Highlands are very treacherous and going over the Cloud Peaks would be akin to casually walking up Mount Everest or scaling the Eiger. It's unheard of and everyone who has tried has ultimately failed. Flying over the mountains themselves is also incredibly treacherous, due to the winds and sudden changes in weather. Due to the passes closing with the heavy snowpack each winter, for four to five months, those who remain in the Ironspine Highlands during the winter will find themselves fighting for survival. The winter months are a harsh season, but to some the spring is much worse.
Great wyrms, known as the Ironspine wyrms, dwell within the Highlands and their mating season begins with the melting of the snows. Rousing from their torpor, the males contest each other in fearsome shows of strength and power to claim their own mates among the females. They are monstrous creatures that even the Dreikathi riders prize as mounts for their ferocity and strength, but they are a rarity in the far south. It is said that several Vierkathi tribes, having little love for their cousins, broke away from the Drakkenmont forces and now dwell in the Highlands for the great sport of hunting and breaking these wyrms.
And what of the Ursal?
It is said that one small clan of Ursal still remains in the Highlands, keeping to the tundral snows and remaining hidden from the prying eyes of the Dreikathi for many decades now. The players won't be the only ones searching for this settlement, though, and to cross the Whitetooth clan in their hunt would be a poor choice. Not all Ursal care for their racial history, as indeed, it has done little to make their lives easier on Albedos.
And what lies beyond the taiga and highlands?
And that's all for this brief preview of the Ironspine Highlands. Next up? The lush and fertile Asamad Basin. Because not everything is hell. Mostly. Ask your questions in that lovely Q&A thread!