Eterfol Mountains

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Flora/Fauna Dangers 1.5/5 Occasionally one may run afoul of predatory and/or territorial Beasts wandering the mountains, but these are by no means common encounters.
Natural Awry Phenomena 4.5/5 Strong winds, frigid temperatures, and at times limited visibility already make the realm a dangerous place, let alone the plummet.
Humanoid influences 2/5 Despite plenty of settlements dotting the cliffs of Eterfol, patrols are uncommon along the mountain passes, so most you may run across on your travels are either lone travelers or the occasional tribal Blurr.
Ease of Traversal 3.5/5 Watch your step, stay out of any especially strong winds and snowstorms, and move quickly but carefully.

Moranoch-Shields Tally: 2.8/5



Borders of the Eterfol Fiefdom. Courtesy of Lawrence & Sons Cartography, Bodia branch (with help from Sir Moranoch of Holm).


From "A Traveler's Guide to the Half-Tamed Wilds", pg. 24


Here we can see a vast section of the Eterfol Mountains, under the shadow of nightfall. If you look closely, off in the distance you can just make out the lights of Eterfol Village.


Shown here is one of many perilous points along Ironwrought Pass, one of very few paved roads in the Half-Tamed Wilds.


The mountains aren't wholly barren and snow-covered. In some parts of the region, such as the Barony of Holm, the peaks are teeming with leafless trees and tall grass.


Here is an illustration done by an associate of mine, depicting the mysterious Tower of Brenna. While the ruin may have a more modern-sounding name, it's believed to date back to sometime before the fall of the Eo.

> Old, Cold, and Perilous

The mountainous land of Eterfol is one steeped in history, dear reader. It's widely believed that this Fiefdom was one of the very first to be colonized in the Half-Tamed Wilds, and while the realm is indeed quite dangerous to traverse, there's no denying the tens of thousands of years worth of history dotting its landscape.

Made up almost solely of cliffs and mountain peaks, most of the region towers over neighboring Fiefdoms, its snowcapped summits rising far up into the clouds. Temperatures here in Eterfol tend to hover above freezing, though the snow and ice blanketing the mountains refuse to lift no matter how warm it may get. The skies of this realm are permanantly overcast, blanketing the landscape in a blue hue and making even midday seem dim and gloomy. The highest peak here is believed to climb to a height of over 35,000 feet.

Blanketing almost the entirety of the valleys that stretch below the Eterfol Mountains is a strange, almost luminescent fog that refuses to dissapate. When one falls from the side of the mountains and down past the fogline, they are transported up into the clouds floating above the realm, and then sent careening back down into the fog again. This cycle appears to have no end, as most objects and individuals that fall into the fogline continue to do so until they either finally gravitate towards solid ground and are obliterated on impact, or the growing speed of their plummet becomes so fast that their physical forms start to tear apart and render them nothing more than dust.

Travel in this realm constantly carries some form of risk. While not many Beasts are native to the realm, those that are tend to linger around lower altitudes and are made up mostly of either hungry predators or territorial herds. These creatures can pose a threat to those closer to the fogline, but the greater risk is the terrain itself. Many of the routes that run through the mountains are entrenched in snow or run dangerously close to the edges of cliffs. One false move in some places will send you over the edge and into an eternal plummet.

Apart from the perils of the Fiefdom, it's worth mentioning the countless ruins, abandoned settlements, and forgotten tunnels that can be found throughout the realm. While most of these locations are found at safer distances from the edges of the mountains, and travelers see them as perfect places to seek shelter or establish safer routes for travel, the historical value of these sites is astounding. Many natives to Eterfol believe the oldest of these ruins date back to before the fall of the Eo, an ancient race of Homunculi whose empires stretched across the entirety of the Half-Tamed Wilds back in the earliest parts of recorded history, before they eventually declined and shrunk in population until they'd gone virtually extinct.

> Tips to Remember

- Beware the Wind

While the frigid temperatures aggravated by the blasting winds would be a problem all on its own, winds in the mountains often blow upwards of 50mph after nightfall, which is easily enough to knock someone to their feet and can even carry some in the direction of the breeze. This can be disastrous if you're traveling along a precarious route, as one gust of wind in the wrong direction will send you into the eternal plummet within seconds. The easiest way to avoid this is to find shelter before nightfall, somewhere out of the open so the wind can't push you as easily. If possible, try to get underground or to a settlement for additional protection against the elements.

- Don't Assist Strangers

While a good rule of thumb most anywhere you may find yourself, here it doesn't just apply to the practice of avoiding sketchy characters. At especially high altitudes, the air is known to grow thin and hard to breathe, and the cold can worsen drastically. All your effort in these parts of the realm should be focused on keeping yourself alive, using any energy you're certain you can spare only to help those you trust. Do not stop to help anyone who: A. You don't know. B. Can easily help themselves or be helped by someone else. Or C. Has been grievously wounded or exhausted and is too far gone to save. If you see anyone who needs assistance, head to the nearest settlement and report their location to the nearest guardsman. They should send a rescue team to retrieve the persons in question shortly.

> Noteworthy Locales

Eterfol Village

  • Perhaps one of the oldest Penumbra settlements in the Middenground, first established over 12,000 years ago.
  • Including the greater area surrounding the village, this locale is home to a population of around 20,000.
  • Seat of power in the realm for the Empire of Alost, with most of its military trained in the surrounding area.
  • Home to one of few historical colleges in the Middenground, the University of Gelerra.
  • Famous among natives to Eterfol for having dozens of highly-appraised taverns and inns.

Reasons for visiting: Great spot for travelers to rest and recuperate, as well as a good place to go for those more interested in the history of the Half-Tamed Wilds.

Ironwrought Pass

  • One of the longest and most well-maintained routes in the Fiefdom, stretching over 350 miles in its entirety.
  • Small settlements and other locales lining the route add up to a total population of 6,000.
  • At the head of this route can be found the famous Ironwrought Academy, where blacksmiths, armorers, and warriors have trained for thousands of years.
  • Also found along the route is the Society of Errisek, a network of freelance navigators and mountain guides credited as one of the most reliable search-and-rescue teams in the Fiefdom.
  • Plenty of ancient ruins and locations dot the length of the Pass, most of which either have been and/or are currently being explored by the students of Gelerra University.

Reasons for visiting: One of the safest routes for travel, perhaps the best place to seek help in navigating the Eterfol Mountains, or an ideal place for any aspiring bladesmen or blacksmits to master their craft.

Flayer's Bluff

  • Home to one of the largest tribes of Adult Blurrs throughout the Half-Tamed Wilds, known as the Thundering Host.
  • Total population is believed to rest somewhere around 7,000.
  • At the time of writing this, the tribe is led by a Human chieftan known as Azernak Bloody-Eye, infamous for his service as an ex-cavalryman in the Gwillithmire Dominion.
  • The tribe is mostly kept at bay with donations of food and supplies from the Empire of Alost.
  • Most Elder Blurrs that leave this camp wind up finding their way to Eterfol Village, where they are welcomed and put to work.

Reasons for visiting: None. This area is detailed so that you know to stay away, not go looking for it.

Barony of Holm

  • A relatively small community of farmers and craftsmen, situated on one of the few stretches of farmable land in Eterfol.
  • Home to a population of roughly 11,000, most of which working in agriculture.
  • Considered a sovereign city-state, getting most of its wealth and resources from exporting food to other settlements in the Fiefdom.
  • Overseen by Sir Moranoch, a famed Penumbra explorer and author of A Traveler's Guide to the Half-Tamed Wilds (The book you're reading right now!)
  • Notable resting place of the Tower of Brenna, a mysterious ruin whose origins are believed to be older than the Eo thought to have first colonized the Fiefdom tens of thousands of years ago.
  • Home to one of few airship companies in the Middenground, the Skelstone Bros. Flying Industry.

Reasons for visiting: Good place for those looking to trade goods between settlements, an obvious destination for those looking to traverse the mountains by air travel, or even worth visiting if you want to say hello to the author of this guide.

> Kingdoms Present (And How to Deal With Them)

The Empire of Alost

  • Once one of the most celebrated and powerful Penumbra kingdoms in the Middenground, this kingdom has declined and started to isolate itself over the past century or so.
  • If you're not a Penumbra, expect some complications while visiting. While you aren't unwelcome or untolerated, most residents will be reluctant to cooperate with you.
  • Try your hardest to avoid any potential legal trouble. The ruler of Alost, the Crimson Potentate, is known for his intolerance to lawbreakers, and the guardsmen of Alost will act in accordance to his ruthlessness.

> Neighboring Fiefdoms & Phase Points

The Eterfol Mountains border the following Fiefdoms: Jagrack to the South, the Loursby Valley to the East, Epochlost Covert to the North, and Canoway's Ocean to the West.

There is one known Phase Point in Eterfol:

  • About 55 miles along Ironwrought Pass (assuming you're starting from the Academy at the route's head), there should be what looks like a forgotten path branching off from the main route. Follow it for anoter 10 miles and you'll reach a plateau where you can find a massive statuework depicting two Eo struggling to hold together pieces of an archway. Walk through the archway, and you should successfully phase to The Grey.

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