Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

The Whistling Highlands

The continent of Baal has a number of distinct and unique landmarks that sit as a stark contrast to the environment around them. Some of them are known because of their distinct geological features, others because of the mystical legends surrounding them, and others still because of the remnants of past civilizations. The Whistling Highlands is known for all of these things. Saddling both Nine Fingers and Ewhon, the Whistling Highlands is an amalgamation of flat-topped mountains tightly knit together carving small claustrophobic routes between their cliff sides. Mostly desertic, the wind blasted peaks bake under the sun while the passages between the mountains are drenched in shadows and offer little heat. However, as geologically impressive as this region is, it is not known because of this. For centuries, everyone from unwary travelers to military regiments have disappeared between the sheer cliffs. Most historians will tell you it’s because of the maze-like quality and lack of sources of food and water outside of the singular river’s banks. However, the devil engines of Halivaara avoid it for an entirely different reason.
There is talk of deeply evil magic stalking those mountain passes. Most stories coming from these highlands are word of mouth originating from the few nomadic tribes brave enough to live within its borders. In their tales, the genesis of the evil in those mountains is a group of unwary scholars visiting to further study the indigenous flora and history. Being scholars, and ill-prepared, they quickly got lost as they ventured too far away from their river base eager to discover more of this beautiful region. As dread, night, and realizations set in, the researchers quickly hid in one of the many caves dotting the cliff sides.
For days, they wandered aimlessly, finding very little to eat and even less to drink and constantly hounded by the less than savory creatures that have made this place their home. Eventually, by the fifth day the first of their number collapsed and died, of exhaustion or famine no one knew and no one cared. It is said that at this point, pushed to the brink and as desperate as possible, they lit a fire, said a few words and proceeded to cook the corpse that was once their friend. As they finished their wretched meal they each curled up in a corner of their cave without a word and attempted to forget what they had just done. Now, at this point the stories differ; some iterations claim that they had been sent in Deneir’s name (the Goddess of knowledge and writing) and as she saw what they had done she cursed them for an eternity. Others say that it was Beshaba, goddess of misfortune, that saw an opportunity for a few cheap laughs in a barely ironic situation and cursed them to crave human flesh for the rest of time. Whatever the cause, the effect would be the same: the creation of Wendigo. Wendigo have an emaciated humanoid shape that bears disturbing wolfish and deer-like features. Described by some as hairless and stretched werewolves with antlers, all that is certain is that should you resort to cannibalism in those mountains the spirit of the wendigo will take you.
As for more recent happenings, it is theorized that the Cult of the Four Armed God has taken residence within the twisting and desolate maze that is the Whistling Highlands. This information was acquired through an ongoing investigation by the Council yet the precise location of this supposed stronghold is unknown and given the sheer size of the highlands confirmation of the existence of said stronghold will be nigh impossible without sending an exploration party. Given the current state of the war against the Cult of the Four Armed god it is considered madness to attempt any type of expedition into the Highlands which is why none have been officially sent by the Council.


Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!