”I have never felt a more bitter chill than that of the jagged teeth of the Northern Mountains during a sleet storm. Yet I have also never seen a sight quite as fair as when the fading sun’s rays lay hold upon the snow covered crest of the Hammodrans, bathing the mountains in liquid fire.”
—Alasdair Vass, The World’s End, and Other Journeys
he Hammodrans are an expansive massif whose northern borders are unknown but whose eastern borders extend all the way to Mt. Glorimar and Mt. Amadan. This great expanse of mountains can be an unbelievably harsh and treacherous place, and few save goblins, giants, dragons and dwarves dwell upon its heights. Yet within the gullies and basins of the Hammodrans abide all manner of creature. The Men of Caldoranth have built a thriving civilization at the foot of the mountains. Small pockets of wood elves can often be found living within the groves that grow between the dells of the mountains. Worgs and orcs stalk the valleys, and trolls and ogres are not an uncommon sight. The Hammodrans pose a problem to northern bound travelers. To the northeast the massif is an impenetrable wall during any season, and is largely occupied by foul and unfriendly creatures. While there are a few passages on the northwestern side of the mountains, these are not without their own dangers. The Vale of Anithroth, which consists of a series of tributaries flowing between the Hammodrans, is home to a clan of Goblins known as the Blithegog. The Fenlands of Aduthal may be crossed by boat, but within its icy depths dwell horrible monsters of teeth and scale. The fenlands are also home to one particularly nasty ancient white dragon named Turglez who does not take kindly to those encroaching upon his lair. The Marshes of Edalberith are infested with trolls, will-o-wisps and Hydra.
Northwest of the city of Caldoranth, high up in the Hammodrans looms the ranges three tallest eastern peaks known as the Crags of Eldernost (so named for the dragons that dwell there). Within these icy spires are many caves and crevices that are home to a family of red dragons. The history and origins of these dragons are unknown to all save the dragons themselves, yet they have dwelt long in the Hammodrans. In fact, members of this family, known as the Eldernost, were already dwelling in the heights of the Hammodrans when Igladan came to settle the Dwarves into the rocky massif. To the surprise of Igladan and his followers, there were relatively few attacks from the dragons during the process of building their stronghold. As the Dwarves would later discover, the reason for the absence of dragon hostility in the early years of the kingdom was due to greed rather than benevolence. The Eldernost had a taste for Dwarven flesh, yet even more enticing to them was the prospect of Dwarven gold. Thus the Eldernost bid their time, luring the Dwarves into a false sense of security until the day when, in a sudden assault on Igladan, the Eldernost would reap the harvest of the Dwarven mines. The attack came one bitter winter over a century after the delving of the mines. Many Dwarves were slaughtered turning the snowy peaks of Igladan crimson, a massacre remembered by the Dwarves as the “Red Winter”. Yet the small folk of the mountain proved a tough and resourceful foe whose sharp steal could pierce through bone and scale. After the death of several of their own, the Eldernost retreated to their aspen homes in grief and rage. They have never again directly assaulted Igladan, though they have harrowed the Dwarves who leave the safety of Igladan at every opportunity. Some of the more fool hearty have traversed the treacherous mountain passes leading to the Eldernost lair thinking to win for themselves fame and fortune. Only one has ever returned. Ordruthan of the clan Brunath ascended the crags of Eldernost with a party of twelve. He alone descended the crags, bearing as his trophies, Orthroth (The great rune axe lost to the Dwarves in the Red Winter), and the head of the dragon that had taken it.
Betwixt the enormous mountain ranges near the northwestern edges of the Hammodrans, lies the Vale of Anithroth, one of the few known passages through the mountains. It is moreover the only known northern route of passage to the eastern lands. As such, merchants from the lands of Veskar and barbarian tribes from the Thangloran Wastes sometimes travel east along this route. The fount of the Dantalig river is fed by the small streams that cut their way southeast through the Hammodrans, gathering strength from glacial tributaries within the Vale, until it spills itself into the fens of Aduthal, where its journey is slowed. Eastward the waters continue until they cease their wandering within the marshes of Edalberith. While the stream is yet young, it flows through the Vale of Anithroth, watering the groves therein. The goblin clan of Blithegog dwells in the caverns that line the bottom of this vale. This clan has dug mines deep within the mountainside. They often emerge from their warrens for nightly raids on border towns of Caldoranth. While generally cowardly creatures, the goblins can become a fearsome foe when threatened. None know the size of this tribe, but some have estimated it to be around 5,000 strong.
Just south of the Andreth Forest lay the last and the mightiest of the Alps of the Hammodrans. Mt Gloremar and Amadon were named after the sons of Thangolon, mighty warriors who died on the battlefield defending Barathund. Currently, the surviving Dwarves of MierEgrith dwell in the Halls of Duroth on the West side of Glorimar. The Herzgelob now occupy the ruins of MierEgrith, and there continue to mine the ore rich belly of Amadon with the help of slave labor. The mountains are also home to some small Knoll clans, and a species of large bats known in the Dwarven tongue as Rhoton. Both Glorimar and Amadon are rich in silver, and drethidiam (a rare, super-hard metal with reddish gold hew). The mountains also possess an abundance of rubies and sapphires.