Spears of Astartes
Straddling the north eastern corner of the continent of Euristan, the Spears of Astartes is a mountain range famed for its many extinct and dormant volcanoes and the great outcrops of jagged obsidian which give the mountains their name.
The mountain range is located in the north eastern corner of Euristan, where it separates the northern most part of the continent, the peninsula known as Menella's Copse from the rest of the landmass. The Spears of Astartes are characterised by the many sharp, jagged peaks of its mountains, which have been battered and scarred by the huge amount of volcanic activity that took place here in the earliest years of the Material Planes foundation. This volcanic activity has also created huge spikes and spires of obsidian across the region and scattered smaller pieces of the volcanic glass far and wide, creating huge scree mounds and slopes of sharp blades in some places. Whilst most of the mountains’ volcanoes are thought to be extinct, there are still a significant number that are thought to simply be dormant. Occasionally one erupt, spewing lava, rock and malignant fumes within its surrounding area, but no eruptions that have impacted the world beyond the mountain range have been observed or recorded for many centuries. However, even these minor lava flows are regarded as bad omens amongst the people who live in the shadow of the Spears of Astartes, who view them as harbingers of ill fortune. All in all, the Spears of Astartes are full of hazards that make them a treacherous place to travel within, but the mountain range does also impact the surrounding region beyond the threat of potential destruction. A multitude of springs within the mountains feed the area bordering its southern slopes, the Destra Wetlands with mineral rich volcanic water and the mountain range holds the sources of the two largest rivers in the north of Euristan, the River Cormarron and the Sanguine River. Additionally, the ash spewed out early in the Spears of Astartes’ history, and periodically ever since, have made the grassland areas of the Relialo Plains to the west / south west and the Plains of Gold to the south highly fertile.
Fauna & Flora
The hazardous nature of the Spears of Astartes means that it is almost entirely devoid of plant life, save for the hardiest of lichens and mosses. This means that little fauna is able to be supported in the area. The only creatures observed to thrive within the mountains are Elementals, with fire, air and earth variants being a relatively common sight and additional danger within the Spears of Astartes.
All of the natural resources that can be gathered in the Spears of Astartes are linked to the extinct and dormant volcanoes:
- Pumice stone can be collected from the slopes of the mountains, to then be sold on as beauty and medicinal tools across the Material Plane.
- Obsidian can be gathered in large quantities here, either by collecting the smaller fragments from scree slopes or chipping larger blades from outcrops. Obsidian from the Spears of Astartes has found its way into jewellery, surgical blades and weaponry across Kelbonnar.
- The relatively soft and light volcanic stone tuff can also be extracted in vast quantities in the mountain range, and blocks of it have been used in construction as far away as the Earldom of Karant.