The Eagle Hills
When travelling though the Eagle Hills, always ensure that you’ve got at least a couple of good archers in your company to drive off the menagerie of creatures that nest on the regions rocky slopes, and float on its air currents.Extract from Maximilian Hoherberg von Zottehal’s History of the Known World. Located in the west of the Deytet Savannah, the Eagle Hills are a group of rocky hills, known for their steep, often sheer sides, and they represent the highest area of elevation in the region, bar the solitary Prophet's Peak in the east of the Savannah. The Eagle Hills are named after the great number of birds of prey (including the eagles after which the hills are named), and the assortment of other flying creatures that live on the rocky outcrops and slopes of the hills. Many of these creatures are predatory, and they have incredibly large hunting ranges that stretch for tens of miles into the surrounding savannah, and it is a frequent sight to see aerial predators, both large and small, flying overhead back towards the Eagle Hills with all manner of creatures clutched between talons and held in beaks and jaws. The remoteness and loneliness (when it comes to encountering other sapient species that is) of the Eagle Hills, means that it is a popular destination for hermits to settle, and there are estimated to be hundreds of hermits living reclusive, contemplative lives in the many small caves that dot the region’s slopes. Though they rarely encounter one another, all of the hermits that live in the Eagle Hills have a habit of wearing incredibly large hats, that have been decorated with leaves, branches and all manner of other foliage, which are worn in an attempt to disguise and camouflage themselves from the numerous predators that cruise the airways above.
The Eagle Hills are characterised by their steep sides, numerous cliffs and rocky slopes. They are quite tightly packed together and are separated by steep, narrow valleys and gorges that twist and weave their way between the different areas of higher elevation. During the rainy season, these valleys and gorges become raging torrents of water, as all of the rain is channelled into them from the surrounding hills, and is sent surging outwards to the Deytet Savannah below. Because of this, the several miles surrounding the hills turns into a swamp every year during the rainy season, as all of the rainwater that falls on the hillsides is ejected into the landscape around. There area is also home to many mesas, steep sided hills with flat tops, many of which can be incredibly large in terms of the flat land that they provide. In comparison to the surrounding landscape, the Eagle Hills are significantly higher than the Deytet Savannah, but they are by no means mountains, and they would be easily dwarfed by even the smallest peaks of the Uzkesh Mountains or the Eira-Gwyn Mountains further to the north. The cliffs and slopes of the hills are pockmarked with caves, many of which have become the homes of the numerous flying creatures that nest in the hills, and also the population of hermits, drawn to the area because of its remoteness.
Flora & Fauna
Unlike the Deytet Savannah that surrounds them, the Eagle Hills are much less heavily vegetated, as there is far fewer areas of flat land. Nevertheless, there is still a good covering of hardy shrubs and small trees that cling onto the steep slopes of the hills, and the narrow valleys and gorges do have some plant life growing in them, though again they will tend to be deeply rooted shrubs that can survive not only the drier climate, but also being inundated during the rainy season. Where there are mesas, or flat-topped hills in the Eagle Hills, small woods have been able to spring up, some of which are large enough to have their own isolated ecosystems. Many of these mesas have areas that have been semi-cultivated by the region’s resident hermits, so that they can grow food for themselves. In terms of its fauna, the Eagle Hills does not have much to speak about in terms of terrestrial creatures. The steep, rocky hillsides are a difficult area of habitation for most creatures, which means that the only land based animals one is likely to find in the Eagle Hills are mountain goats, rodents and lizards. In terms of aerial creatures, however, the Eagle Hills are full of life. As well as the many types of bird of prey that live in the area, including the eagles after which the Eagle Hills are named, the region plays host to a large population of Griffons, Hippogriffs, Manticores, Chimeras and even several Rocs, who build their nests and lairs on the rocky outcrops of the many cliffs in the area, and hunt larger game out on the Deytet Savannah beyond.