The Teeth

Jagged titans of rock and ice

The rocky sentinels of the Lord of Earth tower over us, scraping against the sky, and even grown men tremble in awe of his power.
— A Seruic scholar
 

Geography

  Located on the continent of Caia, the Teeth form a natural border between the countries of Kaien and Serukis, extending for 1312 miles in a shallow arc. The mountains themselves are not currently disputed territory between the two nations, as they are inhospitable and unsuited for human civilisation.  

The Teeth contain some of the highest mountains in Etrea - in fact, measuring from sea level, this mountain range contains the top three tallest mountains in the world. The highest mountain, dubbed The Lord's Throne, is 8574m high. The next highest, The Spire, is 8430m high, and the third, Widow's Peak, is 8258m high. Often the summits of these mountains are hidden in the clouds, though on clear days they can be seen from miles away.
  There are two major passes through the mountains, though both are practically impassable for half of the year and risky for the other half. The first, most famous pass, is called The Throat, so-named because even well-prepared travellers who attempt to traverse The Teeth through this pass are often swallowed whole. The second pass is called Gabriel's Folly, named after a Kaienese general who marched an entire army to their deaths through this pass.   The summits of The Teeth are perpetually covered in snow, though the snowline raises and lowers throughout the year as the weather warms and chills. In late autumn, winter, and early spring, unpredictable blizzards can blow down the mountains and sweep through the foothills and the mountain passes.   There are many lakes in The Teeth, though some remain frozen over for most of the year. Some of these lakes are several miles deep, plunging below sea level. These lakes are often the sources for many rivers that flow through Serukis and Kaien, though there are also some that originate from underground springs in the mountains. During late spring, these streams swell with snowmelt.    

History

  The Teeth were formed around fifty million years ago when two large continental plates collided.   The Teeth play a major role in early Seruic history. In 3830 EA, the first Seruic people crossed The Teeth from Kaien to escape an oppressive regime and settle in a free land. Not the most auspicious start to Seruic history, this crossing was marred by tragedy, death, and cannibalism.   Over a hundred years later, in 3959 EA, a Kaienese army led by Gabriel Sutton, disappeared without a trace in the pass now known as Gabriel's Folly.   Historically, The Teeth have been home to several clans of ice dragons. They have not been seen since the dragons vanished from Caia in 4803 EA.  

Expeditions

  There have been a number of expeditions over the centuries from adventurers, pilgrims, and scholars seeking to summit some of the tallest mountains in The Teeth. No successful attempts at climbing either The Lord's Throne or The Spire have been recorded, though several people have claimed to have got close.  

Some of the most famous attempts to summit these mountains are the ones that have ended in tragedy. In 5001 EA, a group of thirty men set out on a climb up The Spire, calling themselves the Spirelings. Only two of these men returned. In 4560 EA, a group of twelve, including four women, set out to summit The Lord's Throne. This group is now known as the Dent Party, after their leader, Mikhail Dent. None of them survived.
trekking-299000_1920 copy.jpg
by aatlas
  The most recent recorded unsuccessful attempt to climb The Lord's Throne occured in 5334 EA. This expedition was funded by Lord Edmund Vaifale, who believed that the Vaifale family, whose patron is Trestan, the Lord of Ice, should have the first successful summit of The Lord's Throne in their family history. The expedition party included two of Vaifale's sons - though, notably, not his heir. None of the expedition party returned and are assumed dead.   In 4401 EA, the first recorded successful summit of Widow's Peak occured. The Becker brothers, Joshuan, 26, and Mattan, 25, alongside an ice dragon man, Veli, reached the summit of Widow's Peak in time to watch the sun crest over the horizon. In later writings about the expedition, the three men claimed that Veli did not use his ice dragon form to help the brothers summit, and that the three of them made the climb with their own legs. As this cannot be verified, some scholars argue that this cannot be considered a true summit success.  

Natural Resources

  The Teeth are formed largely of a mixture of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. There is a large concentration of limestone, a legacy of the fact the rocks making up The Teeth used to be under ancient seas. There are also large deposits of marble. On the Kaienese side of the mountains, both limestone and marble are quarried for use in building work.  
1szafir_Madagaskar.jpg
by Kluka
A chunk of raw Seruic sapphire
In the foothills on the Seruic side of the mountains, there are also large concentrations of igneous granite. This granite is quarried for use in building, as it is much more practical for the Seruic than the limestone and marble that exist at higher elevations there.   Also in this area, there are a number of large sapphire mines. Seruic sapphires are famous both across the continent of Caia and further afield. They are most often deep blue, though some greyish-blue and brown ones have also been found. These gemstones are exported all over the world.
  Below the snowline, there are large slopes full of loose shale and scree. These slopes are home to rock crabs, which are gathered for their meat and chitin. Female crabs are harvested for their eggs, or roe, which are high in fat and protein. Popular in the logging camps, rock crab is considered a lower class cuisine.   On both sides of the mountains, in the foothills, large pine trees grow. In the lower foothills, these trees are logged for use in building and for firewood. These trees are also tapped for their sap, or resin. It is used for medicinal purposes, as it has antibacterial properties. In Kaien, pine needles are harvested to make tea.

Notable Mountains

  The Lord's Throne: 8574m above sea level

The Spire: 8430m above sea level

Widow's Peak: 8258m above sea level

Faolan's Hand: 5693m above sea level  
 

Mountain Passes

  The Throat

Gabriel's Folly  

Pilgrimage

  Pilgrims from Serukis often make the trek to one of the smaller mountains in The Teeth, a peak called Faolan's Hand (5693m). The Teeth have long been considered sacred to the Seruic people, often being referred to as the sentinels of Faolan, Lord of Earth.   About two thirds of the way up Faolan's Hand, a temple known as the Shrine of Stone has been constructed and pilgrims travel there to make offerings and to pray in quiet contemplation. Around ten priests live and work there full time.    
The blizzard rolled in as darkness did. We are huddled in our tent as the wind howls outside, pressed together for warmth. Lords, I've never been so cold. The single oil lamp is barely warm.   Bryce dropped one of the packs somewhere outside. I suggested he go out and look for it, but it's too dangerous right now. Too easy to get lost.   Tam says the storm could last for over a week.   I hope he's wrong.
— A journal found in abandoned tent, halfway up The Spire
 

Beyond the Teeth

  Geographically, the mountain range that encompasses the Teeth continues north along the edge of the continental plate. It forms the island chain known as the Broken Isles and sweeps up into western Ilwyrika to form the mountains they call Ikeota.   Whilst no one on Etrea recognises these as a single entity, it is important to note that, technically, they are part of a single mountain range.


Cover image: by Emily Vair-Turnbull

Comments

Author's Notes

This is the first ever article I wrote on World Anvil. It was such a massive learning curve for me, and I had so much fun writing and researching for it.   I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :)


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18 Oct, 2020 23:05

Really not bad for your first article.   What method did you use to keep all the images the same consistent size in the body?

Grandmaster Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
18 Oct, 2020 23:10

Thank you! :)   I think World Anvil did it all by itself because I uploaded them bigger than the column width? Not really sure. I'm currently working on artwork to replace the stock photos so hopefully I'll work out how I did it the first time!

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!