The Tels Geographic Location in The Sundered Worlds | World Anvil
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The Tels

Where magic blows like the wind

Winding across the Mythic Hinterlands like a titanic serpent, the Tels are the heart and bones of the region. Their strange shape has long been a mystery to geographers and mages alike, but they remain the defining characteristic of each domain they border. Rolling mist hides jagged peaks and astonishing magical pheonomena, and isolated communities eke out a spare living where they can.
Miners from the region take advantge of the unnatural variety of metals and minerals found within the range, and hardy plant life provides raw materials for healers and herbalists from the Swamp to the Range. Secluded ritual sites for a myriad magical practices and traditions tap into the ancient magics embedded in the stone and, if left untended, sprout their own unique enchantments, feeding back into the veins of power running through the stone.

Of Stone, and Snow, and Sky

Tectonic activity on the southern end of Tangra is low, leading most scholars to believe that the shape of the Tels is entirely a product of the Sundering. Indeed, the magic that suffuses the very bedrock is older than the mountains themselves. Consequently, the Tels don't necessarily abide the regular forms and functions of naturally formed mountains. There are no molten earth channels, and the labyrinthine cave systems do not appear to have been carved by erosion. What soil exists is as rocky and nutrient-poor as most mountains, but that which can grow on the mountain face does so with more robustness than should be possible.

The Tels Field Guide

A surprising variety of life can be found on the rocky faces of the Tels. Woody conifers such as bristlecone pine, crystal birch, and black spruce provide sap, lumber, and tar for those few that make their homes in the mountains. Beargrass, moss campion, baby bitterroot, rock jasmine, eidelweiss, and icegrass supplement diets and magic where applicable, and provide necessary resources for other wildlife. Telsine communities might herd chamios, mountain goats, or ibex for their wool and milk, or they might keep rocky chincillas for their downy fur. Grey wolves, telsine mountain bears, and snow leopards are the most common threats.
The sky over the Tels might be its most vibrant aspect. Filled with golden eagles, ptarmigans, icy blues, telsine hairstreaks, Fallilia's fritillaries, bearded vultures, and brown-capped rosy finches, the heavens are never dull. And that, of course, is to say nothing of the hippogriffs, gryphons, rocs, and wyverns that roost among the misty peaks.
While most aquatic life is found in the lowlands, mountain pools often hold frost sculpin, rainbow trout, mountain whitefish, and greylings. Generally, those that live in the Tels get their water from snowmelt.
The pervasive magic of the mountains makes ice, air, and earth elementals common sights. Annis and bheur hags have been known to take advantage of that magic, and mountain harpies readily develop symbiotic relationships with them to protect their lairs in exchange for meat. Giantkin are also known to make their homes through the twisting shape of the Tels.

Mountaintop Wonders

The magic of the Tels draws many powerful creatures, not the least of which are dragons. Peppermint drakes are known to trade with mountain settlements, and frostfire dragons craft magnificent ice sculptures at the highest peaks. More traditionally, at least one family of white dragons has made their home along the northern stretch. Silver, titanium, crystal, and opal dragon sightings are rare but not unheard-of.
Mages of all traditions journey to find or found sites where their relevant powers are most potent, and adventurers that survive the storms and monsters regularly return home with insight on the The Realm That Was. Certain instutions have endeavored to catalogue the extent of these sites and sightings with limited success. Despite that, the Tels are less keepers of secrets and more merchants with ever-changing wares.
Mountain Range
Location under
Included Locations
Associated Cultures
Telsine mountainfolk might use the Mythalenairra statistics without the Sunlight Sensitivity trait, or the mountainfolk statistics. One aarakocra community maintains a sanctuary in the southwestern arm.

The Tels Traveller

Mountaineering is always an arduous undertaking, and the Tels are no different. While it is recommended to avoid the mountain range—and indeed, most of the Mythic Hinterlands if possible—during the winter months, the Tels are a fine set of mountains to traverse for the experienced climber.

Few mortals lived in the Hinterlands before those who would become the Mythalenairra arrived from the Feywild, and those that did lived almost entirely in the Tels (the exception being the krokons of the Hinterland Swamp). These socieites are generally independent of one another and have no known central authority. They rely less on the Mythalenairra than other groups of the Hinterlands, and the honorable traveller will show deference to their individuality. Acceptance of foreigners will vary, but villages are common enough that the traveller can simply continue on to the next if they find themself in an inhospitable settlement.

The Mythalenairran trade network extends through the Tels, which should connect the traveller to most goods or services they require. More intriguingly, the pervasive magic creates a variable of chaos in the magical accoutrements available. Whether they are from local mages, other travellers, or left behind from rituals both failed and successful, there is much to be found in the way of strange magics.

Cover image: by Darkmoon_Art via Pixabay


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