Sands of Destiny
The mighty Ringing Mountians, the greatest moun tains known on Athas, form the western border of the Tyr Region. The highest peaks in the range reach more than 20,000 feet in elevation, and even the lowest passes are a good 12,000 feet above the lowlands. Despite the brutal heat and aridity of the deserts below, a glimmer of snow and ice clings to the highest spires, visible from a hundred miles away. The high vales are home to reclusive monasteries, isolated clans of mountain herders, tribes of fierce Goliaths (Half-Giants) and tarek raiders, and a wide variety of dan gerous predators such as rocs, kirres, and braxats. No sorcerer-kings have tried to conquer the rich [[Forest Ridge] that crowns the mountains, and for good reason. The cold and the thin air are brutal on sol diers, the passes are impossible for heavy wagons and lowland draft beasts, and the forest is protected from defiling by the ancient primal wards of the Halflings. Despite these daunting obstacles to invaders, the Ringing Mountains are thinly settled. Halflings, and those who trade with them, use secret roads and hidden passes to reach the lowlands. Vicious raiding tribes of Goliaths (Half-Giants) and other warlike races lurk in the wild fastnesses of the peaks. And, as in most of Athas, monster-haunted ruins lie scattered through the mountains, tempting explorers to try their luck. The Ringing Mountians are much steeper on their eastern face. On the western side, the great plateau of the Forest Ridge climbs slowly to its lofty height, but to the east, the peaks rise almost vertically from the Tablelands, fronted by a narrow and precipitous range of foothills a few miles in width. The mountains con front travelers with great walls of riven rock, tortuous footpaths, and sheer cliffs that prevent passage. Ther is a small village on the mountians called Walis.
Ruins of the Ringing Mountains
Crumbling towers, abandoned keeps, and forgotten castles dot the ridges, foothills, and clifftops of the Ring ing Mountains. Many ruins are in strategic locations, such as on a knoll overlooking a canyon entrance. Some are empty, and others host monster or raider tribes. Aside from these visible ruins, ancient mines and subterranean tunnels spiral through the mountains and foothills. These underground passages are prone to caveins, noxious gas, and dark creatures that make their homes away from the crimson sun. Some of the mines date back to the Green Age or earlier. The oldest excavations have smooth, brightly colored walls, and sometimes they lead to underground ruins of peculiar, domelike cities. All the ruins of the Ringing Mountains hold out the possibility of treasure, perhaps still recoverable after hun dreds or thousands of years of neglect. The riches include bits of metal, psionic artifacts, and tomes imbued with arcane resiliency.