The Northern Range is the range of tall hills and mountain across the north of the valley. The hills range from the Brine Marshes on the west coast to the Cold Swamp in the east. The Northern Range covers about a quarter of the land area known to the valley people. The hills rise abruptly from the lowlands of the Breezeway (also known as the East-West Corridor). On the summits of Pal and Krull, the vegetation is quite different from the lower montane forests. Elfin woodlands and cloud forests cover the summits, and are home to the endemic to unique birds, insects and amphibians. The south-facing valleys run deep into the hills and support major rivers, while the north-facing valleys are generally squashed and drained by smaller streams into the ocean. It is observed that the top half is generally more forested that the bottom half since the Warg peoples who live there deforest the area for buildings, trade and to make suitable farm land. The densely forested peaks are home to over 100 species of mammals and 500 species of birds. Animals such as red monkeys, river otters, collared eos, ocelots and deer call the Range home. Some others are thought to have originated from land across the Storm Strait and settled there, much like the warg people. The Storm Straits are more expansive than the name implies. It borders the entirety of the Ranges' northern shores and every year, seasonal hurricanes are guided through the strait, crash into the Sinking Remnants and continue on to the Pearl Sea. Along the way, wild winds and violent rains bombard seaward population centers relentlessly for months and months at a time.
Fauna & Flora
Black Mark: A spider with the most toxic venom in any known animal. The Black Mark gets its name from the resulting black spots that form around the skin where the victim was bitten. Water Monitor: A large lizard that ranges from the Shadow Plain and to the heights of the Northern Range. Water monitors are one of the most common lizards living in areas close to water. Subteel: A herb-like plant that grows in damp, but not overly wet places. Found abundantly on the forest floor of the Northern Range's leeward side. From root tip to leaf tip; it grows as tall as a grown man's pinky finger. With its root system taking up most of its length. The most curious thing about this plant are the parallel toxins it produces in its roots and its leaves. It is believed that the plant grows so small so as to avoid being a tempting source for it's predators. Indeed, it is at most threat from insects and worms so its roots produce small quantities of an effective insecticide which can also be effective in humans in the right enough concentration. On the chance that an above-ground creature snacks on the Subteel's leaves, in ways not understood, the creature would be mellowed. Effects include: curved hunger, increased pain tolerance, relaxed muscles and a perpetual sleepy expression. Surely non-lethal, but plant experts continue to grow and study this in their labs to explicitly explore the leaves' cripplingly diminishing effect on the powers of salt practitioners. Bearded Bears: A huge but slow mountainous bear with a flat face and hooked claws. Vine Tree: A fleshy vine that starts life strapped to a tall structure or tree and grows along the branches. Its weight eventually causes it to collapse and appear as a truck leaning against its host tree with the host tree's branches wrapped around it. This plant circles the deathpool and provides the shade after which the shadow plain is named. Shadow Cat: Large felines with dark, thick, stripped fur. Shadowcats have sharp curved front teeth, lashing tails and sharp, permanently detracted claws. They are the smallest of the great cats but also the most furious: being more willing to attack man.
Green Salt: Harvesting green salt requires scrapping the deathpool's lake bed. A dangerous proposition but worthwhile for some since this salt exhibit remarkable healing properties. Wildlife Trade: A list of products can be derived from non-domesticated animals or plants usually extracted from their natural environment or raised under controlled conditions. It involves the trade of living or dead tissues such as skins, bones meats or other products. Toxins: Venoms, poisons and certain plant extracts are highly sought after. Of particular note, is the deathly water from the Deathpool.
This area is called the Shadow Plain where groups of a primitive people tie their homes together from living plant matter. Shadow Plain is the Deathpool: a toxic lake with a shiny black appearance and a green hue due to its salt bottom. Settlement along the lake shores is strongly discouraged due to the ghostly vapors that periodically waft onto land and kill everything. As a result, the Deathpool's shores are mostly deserted.
High ForestHigh Forest rests on an easy 30 degree gradient next to Bai Sai and right above Steep Forest. This mountain forest secretes different forest molds from all places, that when fermented, produces multi-coloured dyes which finance the outpost's existence.
Sulfur SpringsThere are numerous streams and waterfalls in the Northern Range. As of this writing, there are three known sulfur springs that exist on the river beds and waterfalls sites in the west of the Range, demonstrating the volcanic nature of this region.
This part is home to the Shadow Realms of the Taulli, who readily patrol and heavily tax pochteca on the Shadow Pass trade route.
Steep ForestFurther away from the settlement limits, High Forest's gradient becomes steeper and steeper until it eventually becomes a near vertical drop over onto the Shadow Realms. This drop is still heavily wooded by grasping roots, webby vines and tall trees.
Invasive speciesDuring the forced exodus of the four warg tribes a number of alien plants, by accident and design, travels with them: mullberry, subteel, moglee.
SettlementsRangers themselves, that their ancestors must have lived their lives perpendicular to the world. This is because open stone windows run along the ceilings and floors, with corridors and rooms having a singular blank wall opposite a squat doorway that rises too high from the ground. It is unknown by what natural or supernatural event where these single pieces of rock came from, as they are not consistent with the surrounding minerals. There are 14 Weather Forts in the Range:
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