The Bloodpeaks are a volcanic mountain range that marks the far northwestern coast of Sanoris. Though they aren't as tall as The Brink, they have a much more sinister reputation.
The mountains are riddled with treacherous drops, unstable cliffsides, and permafrost-covered slopes. Major earthquakes rattle the peaks frequently, so what was familiar in a previous season could be unrecognizable in the next.
The Bloodpeaks are poorly mapped. They are challenging to climb and look completely different in Dawn and Dusk years. The only places in the mountains that are certain are the few reliable passages through them and the occasional monolith jutting between the cliffs.
The Shadow Pass, also known as the Cursed Pass, is a path through the mountains that comes within sight of the Black Loom. The full name of the pass is "The Shadow of the Loom."
This pass is on the western side of the range. It is not maintained or guarded by any organization, so its safety is never certain. The superstitious avoid using this pass, as they consider seeing or hearing the Loom to be a curse.
There are a few campsites along the path that are used by the travelers that frequent it. There is a silent understanding that anyone is allowed to camp at these sites and stay out of trouble. Some of the oldest sites may be older than the Convention.
The only pass through the mountains that receives any regular maintenance is the Rivegonian Pass. It is owned by the forested kingdom of Rivego on the south side of the mountains.
Portions of it are paved, and major checkpoints are staffed with guards day and night. It is by far the safest way to travel through the mountains, but that does not mean that it is safe. Rockslides and avalanches pose a serious threat at all times, and despite the presence of guards, thieves still stake out blind corners and tight cliffs.
Because of its relative safety, the Rivegonian sees the most use out of the three popular passes. Merchant caravans have regularly scheduled trips through it to trade goods with the tribes of the Wastes and bring back the curious artifacts they give in return.
Named because of its exhausting switchbacks, the Twisted Pass is the most used pass in the easternmost part of the mountains. It is very narrow, forcing travelers to walk single file for most of the trek. The biggest danger in the Twisted Pass is the weather. There are not nearly as many established campsites as there are on the Shadow Pass, and the ones that do exist do not have very reliable shelters. If a blizzard rolls in during a trip through the Twist, any traveler caught within is as good as dead.
Theives do not frequent the Twisted Pass often. Those that do are in small groups and only prey upon the ill-equipped.
The most famous monolith in the Bloodpeaks is the Black Loom, a towering black behemoth that hums a song so loud and mournful that it can be heard from miles away. The Loom is the symbol of the Bloodpeaks. Its ominous visage represents the dark and mysterious nature of the mountains.
The plants and animals that call the Bloodpeaks home are forces to be reckoned with. Biodiversity is low, as there are only a handful of species that can handle the volcanic eruptions and frigid Dusk years.
Most of what grows in the Bloodpeaks is only around during Dawn years. The few exceptions are a handful of sturdy mosses and lichens, and Red Blessings, a flowering plant that shares its Glow with those that can find it.
The foothills are covered with fir forests, just like the majority of northern Sanoris. Between the branches grow many species of fungus that are uniquely adapted to the cold.
Sturdy species of deer travel among the foothills. Mountain goats brave higher into the mountains, but large animals become much rarer past the tree line. In the mountains proper is the territory of Blood Eagles and the burrowing mice that they hunt.
The eagles aren't alone in the mountains, according to the Rivegonians. There is something else that lives there. Something that makes unprepared travelers vanish without a trace. Something that nobody has yet returned to talk about.
The Bloodpeaks in the middle of the Dawn year are unrecognizable from the Bloodpeaks in the midst of Dusk. In Dusk, the mountains are quiet. Their slopes are buried in several feet of dense snow. Anything that is not equipped to handle the cold either migrates south or hides somewhere to wait it out.
During Dawn, however, the foothills explode with life. Hundreds of species of flower bloom in every color imaginable. The native eagles, deer, and goats breed and have new young. Some of the ice thaws, reviving bubbling creaks and streams that encourage fresh green growth along their banks.
Winter species that hibernate through the Dusk year awaken during the Dawn to take advantage of now-abundant resources. What was once a silent, frozen wasteland, becomes a paradise of color and light.
"You better enjoy it while it lasts. None of this will be the same, come next Dawn."