Wyvern Pass

One of the only and by far the largest of the passes that cuts through the Dragons' Tears Mountains, the Wyvern Pass is the main artery for trade passing between the Empire of Turelion's Ferio Province in the east and the communities and tribal groups who inhabit the Wyrm Steppes to the west.

Geography

Like most of the valleys that cut into the eastern and western slopes of the Dragons' Tears Mountains, the Wyvern Pass is an incredibly deep gash through the mountain peaks, which means that, whilst there is still an arduous ascent required to reach it, one only has to ascend up to about a third of the height of the surrounding mountains, rather than traversing the range’s formidable peaks.   The valley floor of the pass, an area roughly approximate to half a mile wide on average throughout its length, is also pleasingly flat, which makes it ideal for the passage of trading caravans, even making the route passable for larger carts and wagons. It’s slopes, however tell a rather different story, as they are incredibly steep, verging on being practically vertical at many points. These slopes are also pitted with a great many recesses, cliffs and shelves, which make them an ideal habitat for nesting birds as well as, less fortunately, the Wyverns which give the pass its name (see below).

Fauna & Flora

Whilst the slopes of the pass are too steep for anything other than particularly hardy shrubs to cling to, pockets of the evergreen forests found throughout the Dragons' Tears Mountains have established themselves throughout the Wyvern Pass, though the regular passage of trading caravans through it means that these wooded areas tend to be restricted to the edge of the valley’s floor. These forests support small populations of animals, primarily mountain goats who can thrive at altitude on a diet of the hardy plants that grow readily in such places.   However, the real ecological wealth of the Wyvern Pass is to be found in the pass’ steep sides. The cliff like slopes up to the surrounding mountains provides ample ideal space for birds to roost, but is also a favourite of another group of beasts, whose proliferation there have lent the pass their name, wyverns. These creatures are the bane of anyone travelling through the pass and only a fool would undertake the journey without proper precautions, lest they end up being a meal for a wyvern or their brood. Indeed, the pass is thought to be the largest breeding ground for wyverns anywhere on Kelbonnar’s Material Plane, a fact which means that most traders and merchants looking to move their goods through the Wyvern pass will avoid doing so in late summer, when there is the largest population of wyvern hatchlings, competition for food is at its most fierce and therefore the wyverns are most likely to attack travellers or caravans in the hopes of securing an easy meal.

Natural Resources

Those brave, or foolish enough to take part in the activity, can always guarantee a supply of Wyvern eggs in the spring and early summer at the Wyvern Pass, and every year some of these eggs are harvested to be sold on to be hatched into exotic pets, or as arcane or crafting components across Kelbonnar. In general, the idiotic, impressionable or desperate people who attempt the steal Wyvern eggs do not have a long life expectancy.
Type
Mountain Pass
Location under


Cover image: by Chris Pyrah

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