The Vaté mountain range is the largest in the world by any measure, and their beauty inspires all who behold them. While much of the terrain is difficult to traverse, it is home to a number of hot springs believed to have medicinal properties, as well as The Vatéoneya, one of the world's best known religious sites. The range can also be quite dangerous; certain areas are prone to avalanches and rockslides, but not all dangers are quite as obvious.
The mountain range is located through the lower central region of the Phicen continent, extending for approximately 950 miles (1530 km) from the south of Ahknei through northern Mahid. The region containing the central bulk of the range is largely terra nullius due to the roughness and aridity of the terrain; it is often identified as The Vaté or just Vaté, both the region and the range having been named for the town of The Vatéoneya, although it lays no official claim to the surrounding lands. Sections of the dawnward foothills are popular grazing land for ranchers from Ahknei, Mahid, and the Free Cities of Axapotlan. It also contains a few small timber towns towards the southern end of the range where it is more heavily wooded. Contrastingly, the duskward side is located in the range's rain shadow, leaving it cold at high elevations, hot at lower ones, and arid all the way down. The Vaté mountains are home to some of the highest peaks in the world. Mt. Remeck, a dormant volcano, is the tallest in the range at approximately 23,000 feet (7,010 meters) and although attempts have been made, no mountaineers have ever successfully summited, and many believe it to be impossible.
Other than the far northern reaches of Ahknei, the high peaks of the mountains are the only areas in Phicen to experience snowfall.
The range is also home to Linton and The Vatéoneya; both are known for their medicinal hot springs and sanatoriums, but the Vatéoneya, the namesake for the mountain range, is also a well known religious site. It is said to be where Kuonra and Drati reconvened for the first time after their division, subsequent to their defeat of the Lizdah deities. It was where their divinity was cemented and the new Ayadane Era began with the two mother gods as heads of the pantheon. The Vaté mountains are also known to be the final resting place of Féngos, the Lizdah god of the sun. Much of the uncanny, very nearly but not precisely human corpse has rotted away, leaving behind only a towering skeleton nearly 200 feet (61 meters) tall, Avari's sword plunged through his chest. During his defeat at the dawn of the Ayadane Era over 700 years ago, Féngos is believed to have cursed the land as he crashed to earth. For nearly 20 miles (32 kilometers) around his corpse, there is only silence; no singing birds, no howls of wolves, not even the soft hum of insects. All animal and insectoid life seems to have willingly abandoned the area. Most mountain guides give the corpse a wide berth when bringing people to The Vatéoneya, although it's said there are some who are willing to take tourists or researchers to see the corpse, if you know how to seek them out.
Those with chronic illnesses flock to Linton and The Vatéoneya, letting the crisp mountain air clear their lungs and the medicinal hot springs ease their muscles and joints. Linton is more popular with the severely ill, as the town is a mere ten miles from the nearest train station, a quick chauffeured automobile ride away. The Vatéoneya, on the other hand, is 13,000 feet (3960 meters) in the mountains, requiring a mountain guide as well as the risk of catching altitude sickness. However, it is vastly more popular as a site of religious pilgrimage.
What is dead is meant to rot but he is still here, lying precisely where he was struck down refusing to let us forget that we all wished for this to happen. Niniel, you are too young to remember but I know that Féngos was a man ascended to monster and a sword in the chest and flesh returned to dirt will not change that. I do not know if gods return to the same places as us upon death but I cannot believe that a force such as he would simply vanish to nothing. He has cursed this land and I cannot see it or feel it but Niniel, I know it to be true, I only need someone to believe me. It is my hope you never have to see him for yourself. ~ Túrin Adanath , mountaineer, excerpt from a letter to his daughter, 28th of Leafwane, AE 13