The Last Empire
A series of high rocky ridges forming an impassible barrier from north to south from sea to sea.
The east most ridge, The Warspine, is the lowest and most porous. Dwarven Clans have taken the limestone ridge as their first line of defense against the Uruk horde and their allies the sorcerous Iron Circle. The ridge and its western valley, Westvale, have become an armed camp. Only the Dwarven Clans may enter. So it has remained for half a century.
Westvale is an enormous industrial farm run by the Dwarven Clans. It provides all of the basic needs for the Clans but little more. Grain, potatoes, pine trees, cattle and pigs are raised by quota, harvested, preserved and rationed by the clan lords. It is a spartan, stoic place unseen by human eyes.
The second ridge, The Rockspine, is an impenetrable wall of granite reaching far above the treeline to an icy peak. Long ago the Dwarven Clans carved their homes into its eastern face. One known pass exists: The Road Down. It is a combination of roads, stone bridges and Dwarven tunnels winding along the River Kels. While the century old road is well built, wide and sturdy it has gone largely unused. The Dwarven Clans had little use for the peaks and valleys beyond.
New Kels Valley and Aleweed Valley are lush, green valleys between the Rockspine and the Windspine. Purchased by the Duke of Kels from the Dwarven Clans half a century ago, these valleys have become the last peaceful home of Men. Safe behind the Dwarven Clans and guarded on all sides by impassible mountains the men of these valleys have thrived. The River Kels winds through the New Kels Valley and joins the River Ale at a broad lake before it spills into the pass below.
The third ridge, The Windspine, is a high, toothy place shrouded in mystery. Few have braved its glacial passes to see the alpine vales beyond. Abandoned mines and caverns beneath the peaks are home to goblin tribes and monsters.
3 habitable valleys are known to lie among the Windspine’s peaks. No men have colonized them yet but by deed the valleys belong to New Kels.
The last known ridge, The Mournspine, is a line of peaks so high the tops are rumored to touch the stars. In the ancient times these peaks were the place where heroes and Kings went to die.