As the only pass that runs through the Eira-Gwyn Mountains and the Uzkesh Mountains, the Carreg Pass is a lifeline for the land trade routes that connect the north and south of Turoza. As well as this, the Pass is the only north-south route through the Eira-Gwyn Mountains that is open all year round. At its southern exit, the Pass is connected directly to the Tarcan Roadway that then passes through the area of the Deytet Savannah and the ‘Free States’ and onwards to the Sultanate of Fashaddon and beyond. To the north the Carreg Pass ends at the huge expanse of grassland, the Övsnii Sea, and the Kingdom of Sharisarr to the north.
For the Dwarves of the Union of Mishtoon, the Carreg Pass is one of the only ways that outsiders can pass through their realm without being specifically invited into their underground road network, the Tanffordd, which provides the Union with a regular supply of gold thanks to the toll that they charge merchants and traders to pass through their lands, part of which goes to ensuring the road through the pass in maintained and protected and the rest going straight into the coffers of the Union. Despite its obvious financial value to the Union, the Carreg Pass is also of deep strategic importance to the Dwarves of Mishtoon. Not only does it have several entrances to the Tanffordd along its route, but it is also the main artery through which goods and tradable items can pass to and from the Union itself to the rest of Turoza. As a result it is very heavily defended by garrisons above and below ground, and all that travel through the Pass are being watched, whether they are aware of it or not.
The Carreg Pass is an area of lower land that sits between the Uzkesh Mountains
to the west and the Eira-Gwyn Mountains
to the east, and is orientated roughly north-south, though its orientation does vary as it passes between the mountain ranges. When looked at head on, the Pass appears to cambered with a slope running from east to west, though this is not actually the case for the majority of the Pass. The reason for this is that the Eira-Gwyn Mountains are much taller than the Uzkesh Mountains, which gives the impression that the pass slopes down diagonally to the west. Because the Eira-Gwyn Mountains are dominant, size wise in the passes geography, the Carreg Pass is generally referenced as being part of the Eira-Gwyn, even though it sits between the two mountain ranges. The approach to the Pass from the north and the south is relatively gentle, especially when compared to the effort that would be needed to climb its flanking mountains, and once it reaches it maximum altitude, the Pass remains relatively flat until it begins to slope down again.
The largest non-natural structure in the Carreg Pass is the road that has been constructed to facilitate the flow of traffic through the region. Even though the road is well built, it is in need of constant repair, thanks to the almost continuous freeze-thaw activity that happens practically nightly in the Pass. It is common, even in the height of summer to wake and find a covering of frost or even snow covering the highest part of the pass.
Flora & Fauna
The Pass’ high altitude means that few large plants or trees are able to survive in the area, but grasses, shrubs and heather grow well in the more fertile soil of the Pass, with the grass there being positively lush when compared to the slopes of the mountains on either side. The relatively large open space that the Carreg Pass provides between the Eira-Gwyn Mountains
and the Uzkesh Mountains
, and the better quality of vegetation, means that it is a relatively common sight, particularly during the summer months, to see herds of mountain goats and sheep grazing in the Carreg Pass. However, the presence of prey animals during the summer, and the constant lure of passing trading caravans does mean that the slopes of both the Uzkesh and the Eira-Gwyn Mountains that line the sides of the Carreg Pass are prone to have predatory animals lurking within them, hoping to ambush a beast of burden, or careless caravan guard during the night.