Tir-Gach Connighclann Region

"Lands of iron and gold, of blood, stone and bone. Thick and dangerous highlands meet tamed and civilized lowlands and coastlines, a clash as old as time, ever heightened. "


The Tir-Gach Connighclann is the region housing the centralizing forces of the nation of Suranth. Here the great northern bastion, Geata-Iarainn, stands, dramatically defiant against the backdrop of the Nor'Westor Sea. Here the Magisterium holds its largest and greatest institution in all of the nation, the Unatheris, as the school is named, named after the elvish geomancer whom gifted the ancient dwarven peoples with the great gift of earth. Here too, the Armory of Valor, the grand cathedral of the Cult of Sir Kartheart, their holiest of places. However those aspects are not the focus of this section of writing.

No here we shall leave behind the capital, the cities and even the towns of the region. Here shall guide you through the villages, countryside, and what little can be offered in way of information about the regions wild and unexplored frontiers.

Geography

The region known as the Tir-Gach Connighclann is actually two seperate dominant landmasses.

Mainland

The first part, on the mainland of Durol, is dominated by the towering snowcapped peaks of the grey and black stone mountains known as the Irontip Peaks. This mountain range dominates the region and extends further southwest as well, covering an area of some thirty thousand or more square kilometers. It is a glacial range, and its valleys are surprisingly lush places, even for a sub arctic realm, with many rivers and streams flowing forth to eventually join the Nordjeim River System, flowing to the Glacial Sea.

Within the mountain range, their are four major rivers; Gilder's Run, the Blackdale, the Nordjeim and the Wolf Rivers. All these eventually flow together, the name Nordjeim being the one that sticks as it rushes to the Glacial Sea far to the west. These rivers mark natural barriers, and it is the Blackdale River that marks the unofficial line between frontier and civilization. The rivers beyond are known of and marked on maps, but none should trust the exact distances and measurements noted beyond the Blackdale on any given map. Too few people travel these wild regions and for good reason. Beyond the Blackdale River, the Irontip Range is a dark place, with noted pockets of tainted land. It is a beautiful place, and a place where legends tell once that Suranth held mighty, large cities and towns mining and quarrying minerals at impressive volumes once stood, but those legends are old, many millenia old, and to seek such places is to walk a road of untold and extreme danger.

Yet it has been traversed by a few bold souls, though very directly, none have been brave or fool enough to explore the region, and willingly stay for longer than they must. As one heads through the range north-west, you will break loose into a thick woodland named and noted for the strange colors of the bark and branches of its trees. This conifer forest, though with needles the regular shades one might expect from spruce, fir, and pine, the bark and limbs of these trees are a deep, almost rust colored red. This gifts it the name of the Ferric Forest. The needles of these trees are unique as well, in that the trees shed them every year, top to bottom, for about a month until new growth begins. The month of Jundar is when this occurs and before it does for some weeks before hand the needles will slowly change color to match the bark of the trees.

Along the coast to the north, following a sharp pennisula, there is a grouping of islands, the Hullbreaker Isles. These islands are well known as a corsair and raider haven, for the waters here are shallow and dangerous to navigate unless one is very familiar with them, and even then a ship must have a very shallow draw to sail such waters safely.

Island of Higbolv

Some two hundred and fifty kilometers southeast of Geata-Iarainn lies the island of Higbolv, the second dominant landmass of the Tir-Gach Connighclann region. This island is prodominately lake and riverlands, large swathes of cold marshy tundra fens, though with notable exceptions. The first, the southeast coastline and coastal regions are rocky and sandy beaches and cliffs which are the mating and calving grounds of grey seals, which arrive every year in the spring, staying into the summer, by their tens of thousands, perhaps even more. The second, to the south east, almost at the southern tip of the island is the small Ygris mountain range. This range, by comparison to its larger mainland cousin, only covers some three thousand square kilometers or so, and though large and jagged, its tallest peaks are almost two thousand meters shorter than the tallest peaks amongst the Irontip Range. However the Ygris range, though smaller, is actually much more of a mystery to most, for though some settlement has occured upon its southwestern edge, most of the range has never been truly explored. None can truly say what lies here, what forgotten mysteries, lost places, strange beasts or worse.

The island of Higbolv has two major lakes, Antler Lake and Screecher Lake. Antler lake gets its name for the large caribou population in and around the region of the lake itself, the relatively fertile land around the lake, its feeder rivers, and the River Foliea which drains to the Nor'Westor Sea, is thick with the creatures, massive herds making their home all about the southwestern part of the island. Moose, though more rare and solitary in their nature, are also notably high in population relative to their normal distribution. Screecher Lake, however, draws its name from a regional legend, claiming some great beast of an era long bygone lives deep within the lake, near the center. Images of the creature vary wildly, but consistently include a thick body, large jaws, needle like teeth, and four flippers positioned similarly to creatures of truly ancient myth and legend that were said to exist before the Sundering even began, tens of thousands of years ago. The creature is referred to as 'Screecher' because apparently a loud screeching can be heard when it is near, right before its massive wake will be seen. There have been no recorded attacks by the beast, though this means nothing to locals, whom fear the deeper waters, sticking to the coasts and shallows. They may have a point of course, as though there are no recorded attacks, there are also no record of any vessel managing to cross the lake successfully from one bank to the opposite shore straight through. Any vessel that has ever tried has never been seen again, nor any whom were upon it.

Localized Phenomena

Nor'westors obviously, as with all of Suranth, these mighty storms are a thing to consider, especially in travelling between Geata-Iarainn and Highveld. Avalanches are naturally a risk in the mountain ranges, but are especially common in the Irontip Range, the delicate balancing act of glacial pack ice and snow upon steep peaks and jagged cliff faces one that often shifts or breaks.

Fauna & Flora

The mountain ranges that dominate the landscape are home to bighorn sheep, a major and important food source for those whom live here, both humanoid and predator. Sword-tooth Tigers stalk the highlands, the apex predator, masters of cliff and peak, though the coastal regions are the hunting grounds of great white bears, the riverlands stalked by grizzlies. Many are the prey items, snowshoe hare, rodents, caribou herds, moose. Wolves and golden eagles hunt these lands as well, as one should expect. These lands, specifically the Irontip Range, are also the home range of the large and feared Thunder-Tusk boars. These highlands see heavy presence of many migratory species, like caribou and dozens of species of game birds, especially in the coastal regions.

This surprising biodiversity is not only on land, but also aquatic. Many are the species of fish and aquatic/semi aquatic species found here in both fresh and oceanic waters. Muskrats, beavers, otters, pike, bass, rainbow trout, and many more. Seals make their breeding and nursing ground the coasts on the isle of Higbolv, and naturally orca congregate here as well, predator following habits of the prey.

The plant life here is equally as suprisingly varied, from the many kinds of kelp, seaweed, and other semi aquatic and aquatic plants, the various species of conifer tree, and even a surprisingly wide variety of brush, berries, and even hardy wild flowering plants. This is in addition to the many types of mosses and lichens, which make up a dominant layer upon much of the wild spaces of such tundra climes.

Natural Resources

Many minerals are mined here, tin, copper, iron, silver and gold, along with precious gems and jewels. Coal is mined in the region extensively, and slate and granite are quarried here at volume. Ghel, whale oil, is mass produced here, the whaling industry centered out of Higveld and Geata-Iarainn.

Tourism

Those whom visit the region often do not intend to visit places beyond whatever city or town they are journeying too, however that is their loss. For though dangerous, the Irontip Range is a beautiful vista to explore especially during late spring and all through the short summer. This mountain range, with its lush river valleys and pictureseque ice capped peaks, are truly a wonder worth visiting. The isle of Higbolv is a glacial land of great beauty in its own right, and an inspiring place to visit. However, exploring the deeper wilderness of the region, well off from any settlements or well patrolled regions is a dangerous concept, fraught with peril, so few ever do such a thing. Most whom come wishing to get a taste of such things merely visit villages and more outlying settlements in the region, balancing the need and desire for some level of safety with their wish to explore such picturesque vistas.

Villages of the Tir-Gach Connighclann

One thing to remember when travelling these regions, the villages listed and shown here are not singular settlements with the population. Rather think of a rural community center being at the point shown upon the map where a large piece of the population listed live, and then you have smaller satellite communities within no more than half a day's walking distance away. Suranth recognizes these smaller sorts of settlements politically as part of the largest center of population.

Bancslinne (Population; 2613): This village along the banks of the Dugor River is a fine community to visit, a hardy and welcoming place. The village marks the river crossing at the Dugor, and they maintain the bridge over that particular river. The folk whom live here live well enough, though their lives are not without hardship and threat. Yeti raids are common, and this village in particular gets hammered by winter storms.

Marmair (Population: 3186): This community at the mouth Vori River where it joins into Screecher Lake, is the largest village amongst the rivers that feed the lake. Though still a village, it is growing fast, the recent construction and opening of a Riverwatch Naval Base in Marmair has seen the community growing rapidly in size.

Cladathoir (Population: 2855): The sister community to Marmair, on the Wosa River Delta where that system feeds into Screecher Lake, this village is a military community as well, with a Riverwatch Naval Garrison that is the predominant reason a community sprung up here. However this region is prone to heavy spring flooding, and as such, this community is not as rapidly growing as Marmair.

Droicheathair (Population: 2516): The village of Droicheathair is a sleepy river crossing community, a simply fishing and trapping village, a real frontier lifestyle to be sure. There is not much to say about this community beside that, it is a simple community of hardy frontier folk.

Droicheatheas (Population: 2744): The village of Droicheatheas is the sister village to the frontier community of Droicheathair, and this village is basically the trading post of the region for both villages. It is here the pelts from trappers are tanned and made ready for trade and transport, it is here where goods come into from Cladathoir, everything from various food stuffs, timber, powder and shot, iron and other goods and resources that are vital and regularly in demand.

Rivean (Population: 2406): A river crossing and ferrying community, living off the Piker's Run, a river that flows out of the Ygris range, this community of fishermen and boatbuilders is a tight-knit community. They are suspicious of outsiders, however, which is something any traveller should consider.

Timberfjord (Population: 3711): This logging community at the edge of the Ygris mountain range gets its name for its duality of being a river crossing and a lumber production community. There is a small but notable military presence here at all times, a permanent garrison shared by the River Watch and the Tundra Runners, whom patrol and protect the community and surrounding area as best as can be done.

Tanoc (Population: 2917): A fishing and kelp farming community on the banks of Antler Lake, at the mouth of where the lake feeds out to the Foliea River to head out to sea, the village gets its name for the litle sculptures and art pieces that are produced here, carved from caribou and moose antlers, which are trinkets enjoyed all about the island communities and traded all along trade routes extensively.

Ygris Crossing (Population: 2186): A crossroads village marking the crossing of the Ygris River, as its name suggests, it exists as basically a rest stop to everywhere in the middle and northern regions of the island. Its permanent population is rather small, but rare would it be to visit this community and not find out that there are a few dozen others passing through at any given time.

Snathaidi (Population: 2344): This village is a rather secretive one within the sphere of Suranth. Though soveriegn Suranthi land, it is a rare community dominated by the presence of a race other than dwarf or human, that being elves. They live off the woodlands of the Ygris mountain range. A private community, they are known for being rather cold shouldered towards outsiders.

Bancopair (Population: 2913): This village popped up around a marble quarry, which is the main industry, and the reason for the community's presence. Again here too, a small military fort maintains a presence to defend the region, and the people here are tough and rumble frontier folk, as one might expect given the regularity of yeti raids from the Ygris range.

Silver Point (Population: 3481): This village is fast growing, and as the depth and volume of the silver mine's deposits that give the community its name are truly discovered, it continues to grow swiftly, pushing and blurring the line between 'village' and 'small town'. Here too, as one might expect, there is a stocked and supplied military garrison, whom are kept busy enough, with orc and goblin raids a more common occurence than the locals might wish.

Tinvale (Population: 2603): Another mining community, a more recent and less rich one than its sister in Silver Point, but no less valid. The recent discovery of Tin lead a mine to be started here five years ago, and the village has come to exist here because of that.

Gildhead Crossing (Population: 2381): This community garners its name both for being a thoroughfare of the flow of silver and tin from Silver Point and Tinvale, as well as being the community built around the river crossing of Gilder's Run.

Thresher Banks (Population: 1830): A riverside farming community, which sounds like an implausible concept in such a tundra-esque climate. The region is cultivated for Thresher Vine, the dried leaves and stalks of which are a favorite amongst the Suranthi people for pipe smoking. The vines thrive in cool water rich environments, which makes this area the perfect climate.

Maps

  • Tir-Gach Connighclann
    The lands encompassed by the Tir-gach Connighclann in Suranth, including all the cities, towns and villages.
Type
Highlands

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