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Eisig Plateau

The Eisig Plateau is one of the most inhospitable parts of the Felsspitze Mountains. It is perpetually locked in the icy grip of winter and the Plateau has never experienced a full thaw in living memory. It was once thought that the Eisig Plateau was completely uninhabitable, but the people of the Dukedom of Zottehal have since discovered that the Plateau is home to the Tuninthalj Tribe, a group of highly organised reptilian people, who are thought to be Dragonborns, though this has yet to be officially confirmed. The tales of those that have travelled up the Gefroren Valley and undertaken an expedition to the Plateau are frequently dismissed as the ramblings of those that have lost their wits, and the lack of expedition survivors is generally put down to the extreme cold, rather than the activities of potentially fictional Dragonborn. Nevertheless, tales of pure white Dragonborn, with piercing blue eyes, and even of White Dragons are frequently told in the north of Zottehal around home fires and tavern hearths.

Geography

The Plateau is set deep within the southern part of the Felsspitze Mountains and is surrounded on all sides by the steep peaks and sheer sides of the Mountains, that tower over the area of the Eisig Plateau below them. The crown of mountains that surrounds the Plateau means that the Eisig is a natural sink for cold weather that pools in the area and endures that the temperature is almost always below freezing, regardless of what time of the year it is, and the Plateau is frequently buffeted by bitterly cold winds. Vast areas of ice and enormous snow drifts dominate the landscape, concealing most of the natural features beneath, and making any attempt to traverse the region nigh on impossible for those that are not highly experienced mountaineers. Anecdotal evidence from Zottehalian explorers who have attempted to map and investigate the region mention that the surrounding mountains are pitted with cave systems, and that these rock caves join up with an intricate system of ice caves that have been bored through the several metre thick ice that covers the Plateau’s floor.   The Eisig Plateau is connected to the lower lying, more habitable areas of the Felsspitze Mountains by the Gefroren Valley that cuts its way sharply up to the Plateau from the geographic region claimed by the Dukedom of Zottehal below to the south-west.

Fauna & Flora

In terms of flora, the Eisig Plateau is very lacking. The layer where the soil would be is covered by metres of ice and snow, making it impossible for any plant life to actually secure any sort of a foothold in the open. It has been reported, however, that the cave systems that cut their way through the mountains and bed rock of the region are able to host groves of fungi, mosses and lichen, that act as the base part of a food chain that is able to support some rather large animals.   These animals include a type of large deer-like creatures, known as Mountain/Cavern Caribou that are able to survive on a diet of these cave plants, and who move across the landscape in small herds from cave to cave looking for new grazing grounds. These creatures are then in turn prey for larger predatory animals, who are also more than happy to prey on any unwitting explorers who make the treacherous journey up to the Plateau. Sightings of Dragonborn, Frost Giants and even White Dragons have been reported on the Plateau, though these stories are often treated with scepticism, especially by the people of Zottehal.

Natural Resources

The main driver for people from the constituent nations of the Mountain Principalities and the Dukedom of Zottehal in particular to attempt the treacherous ascent up the Gefroren Valley to the remote and hostile Eisig Plateau, is the promise of unimaginable riches. The first explorers who managed to make the journey to the Plateau and return back alive brought back tales of caves buried deep within the ice and mountains of the Eisig that were rich in veins of silver, and where deep blue, blue-violet and star sapphires of an incredibly large size and purity could be found, many of which naturally collected and exuded magical energy and potential. These first explorers brought back several samples of silver ore, and two uncut, fist-sized sapphires that they claimed to have found within the caves of the Eisig Plateau. Since then, rumours of the treasures waiting to be discovered in the frozen wasteland of the Eisig have continued to attract those whose lust for wealth is enough to drive them up the Gefroren Valley, often to their deaths. The two sapphires, brought back to the Dukedom of Zottehal by those first successful explorers, have been turned into two intricate and breath taking beautiful brooches, set in the silver extracted from the Eisig ore, that are worn by the Dukes and Duchesses of Zottehal and their consorts, as a symbol of their power. Both of these brooches are said to have magical properties that are used to protect the person of the Duke or Duchess.

Type
Plateau
Location under
Felsspitze Mountains
Included Organizations
Owning Organization
Tuninthalj Tribe

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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah

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