Welcome to the Mountain Isle
“Eastward the dawn rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight into guess; it was no more than a glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of the memory and old tales, of the high and distant mountains.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien
Magic Types: None [If 87.5% Stonemire blood or more] (but may use standard telekinesis abilities)
Typical Build: Sturdy to Stocky
Typical Coat Color: Grays, roans, winter roan, sooty, and wolf sooty are all widely loved and accepted colors. Generally anything pale gray, blue-gray, or cream are accepted, as they help phae blend in with the year-round snow on the heights of the mountains.
Typical Horn Type: Short and thick antlers are preferred. Unicorn and ram-style horns are especially prized.
Typical Traits: Traditional, staunch, unwieldy, stubborn, defensive
Stonemire is a society built upon bodily strength and reliance upon their deity. Centuries ago, when S’ral raised the mountains from the sea, the herd migrated into their peaks and valleys, seeking both protection from the world and a sense of closeness with a disappeared deity. They have survived in harsh climates for centuries now, leading to the belief that S’ral created these mountains to test their loyalty to them. Over time, differing beliefs became more wide-spread throughout the herd, eventually culminating in a rift that divided the herd in two. Stonemire considers anything other than their belief in S’ral to be blasphemy, and reacts fiercely to any phae who dares insult their beloved deity.
Perhaps the greatest example of this was the banishment of nearly half the herd to the lowlands nearly a decade ago. Though ultimately the result of a familial clash gone south, much of Stonemire believe they are better off without the fickle Lowlanders and their disbelief.
“To whatever end. Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountains. Like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the west. Behind the hills, into shadow. How did it come to this?”
-Théoden, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien)
About the Lowlanders
Magic Types: none (but may use standard telekinesis abilities)
Typical Build: Slight to Stocky
Typical Coat Color: Browns, dark reds, dark lilacs are loved – but any color is accepted. The need to blend into the environment isn’t as strong in the lowlands of the mountain isle, so both dark and light coats can live well.
Typical Horn Type: Any types of antlers are accepted, but unicorn style horns are cherished.
Typical Traits: Independent, idealistic, open-minded, compassionate, agnostic
The Lowlanders are a recently formed splinter group of Stonemire, formed in the year 232 of the Dark Age following tragic events. The original herd members were phae that were exiled from the main herd following an avalanche that caused the death of three young fawns. The Tanist, Adira, and mate of the Ard Tiarna, Egon, was the mother of one of the fawns. Arguments following the death of their child lead to a build up of tension between the herd members, as Adira blamed her mate for causing the deaths of the fawns due to his zealous pursuit of S’ral and pushing the herd to climb ever higher into the mountains. Eventually, the divide in the herd became unamendable, and when many herd members blasphemed Stonemire’s perception of S’ral alongside Adira, they were banished to the lowlands. The banished phae banded together in the far milder lowlands, learning to live among marsh, grass, and trees as opposed to rock, snow, and caves.
Location, Territory, and Climate
Nearly half of the Mountain Isle is occupied by the magnificent Ironcrag mountain range. These peaks may exceed 3,000 meters, while the tallest peak, Elderfront, peaks at around 4,500 meters. Much of the mountain range has an alpine-like climate, with harsh, cool to cold weather year round. The tallest mountain peaks have snow year-round, and in winter the snow line nearly reaches the lowlands. Frosthold is frigid in the mountains with temperatures plummeting well below zero celsius. Even in Sunhigh, though, the temperature will rarely climb higher than 16 celsius. The highest parts of the mountain peaks are some of the most dangerous on the island, as the air quickly becomes thin and phae need to be sure to rest and take their time as they climb.
The transitional land between the mountain and the lowlands is dotted with hot springs resulting from regular geological activity. These are accessible to both Stonemire and the Lowlanders, though Stonemire also keeps a few springs to themselves, as some valleys between mountains also contain these warm pools.
The lower lands of Mountain isle are much calmer and have a comparatively milder climate than the mountain range. The climate is far more similar to a temperate forest, with dense coverage of pine trees near the foothills of the mountain. Maple, walnut, and birch trees are spread across much of the rest of the island. The land is shared between moors, small open plains, and forests. In Rainfall, the moors spring to life with colorful wildflowers, heather, and lavender. Temperatures range from a high around 32 celsius in Sunhigh to -32 celsius in Frosthold. Over the course of the year, the island can easily receive anywhere from 100 – 150 centimeters of rain and snow.
The southernmost point of the island close to Jungle isle has a combination of temperate forest and temperate rainforest climate. Many trees in this area are moss covered, and an ancient grove of redwood trees stretch into the skies.
The western coast of the island is left exposed to the brutal winds from the sea, and many rocky, craggy cliffs line this region of the island. The beaches there are usually chilly, and have coarse, rocky sand lining their shores.
Much of Mountain has a similar climate to the Pacific Northwestern United States, with a smattering of influence from alpine and boreal climates as well. As such, many animals found here have thick, warm coats necessary to survive the freezing temperatures of Frosthold. Many of these animals also have coats that shift colors depending on the temperature and season. Among the carnivorous animals are wolves, red foxes, bears, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, and eagles. Other animals include owls, otters, martins, beavers, rabbits, hares, skunks, squirrels, raccoons, some snakes, ravens, crows, and hummingbirds. Along the shores and in the sea, phae might also find sea otters, sea lions, seals, porpoises, orcas, baleen whales, and the occasional walrus in the north.
S’ral, deity of neutrality
S’ral represents neutrality in almost all of their being. In the present time, they have very little presence within the herd, and this has led to the herd knowing little of the deity they worship. The legend that stands most prominent in the hearts and minds of Stonemire is that of when S’ral raised the mountains along their western coast line to protect them from the events of the Shattering at the start of the Dark Age. Since this time, they have not been seen or heard from.
Orvanna, deity of riches
Orvanna is an illusive deity that rarely surfaces or interacts with any of the mortal world. She is loath to leave the hoard of precious treasures she has built up, and guards it fiercely. Few phae have ever interacted with this deity, and she prefers to keep it that way. . . unless there is something of value for her to add to her collection. Much of Stonemire (both High- and Low-landers) don’t believe she actually exists, but they tolerate her mention.
Stonemire values strength above everything. Because of living and working for over two centuries in the mountains that S’ral raised for their protection, they have become a hardy and thrifty herd. They believe that any phae who is strong enough should be able to survive the harsh climate of the snow-covered peaks.
They believe that S’ral gave them these mountains to not only sustain their needs (as they are rich in ores and precious stones), but also to protect them against anything set against them. Therefore, they believe that they must live and survive off of the mountains, even if it places their own in great peril. This is perhaps the staunchest difference between Stonemire and the Lowlander splinter herd. Where the Lowlanders believe S’ral gifted them with the mountains for protection, they also believe that they are doing their job well and can also sustain themselves well living anywhere on their island home.
Generally, they are a high spirited herd, and many of their celebrations are accompanied by games to test physical prowess. Warm beer and wine often accompany these celebrations, along with a feast if the food is available.
Stonemire are rather closed off to much of the outside world, given their remote location and general distrust of outsiders. However, if trust and loyalty can be built with Stonemire, they will become the fiercest of allies. Trust, loyalty, dedication, and hard work are all values they cherish. If an outsider can prove that they are trustworthy, they will be accepted without question.
Stonemire have an especially good relationship with the phae of Helmfirth, and frequently trade with their northern neighbors. They will also trade with Vinelocke on occasion, but refuse to trade with the Lowlanders.
While much of their culture was developed from Stonemire’s way of life, they are far less focused on defense because they believe that S’ral has already granted them much of the protection they need to survive. They generally view Stonemire as overzealous, and try to branch away from their traditionally survival-of-the-fittest viewset. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t value physical strength, but they believe that the mind is as critical as the body. Rather than turn away any phae who don’t meet the Stonemire’s standard of strength, they accept and nurture them, as they believe that everyone has valuable skills to contribute. As long as a phae is a productive, contributing member of the herd, they are considered strong.
Since departing from Stonemire, some phae of the Lowlands have lost faith in S’ral. Many do still worship them, but it is generally a practice that is done privately.
The Lowlanders tend to be more open to outsiders, and will welcome any phae into their herd as long as they can prove their loyalty in the Test. The Lowlanders are also far more open to interacting with the other herds, and are friendly with both Vinelocke and Helmfirth. They have fewer interactions with Dawnspire and Mirroweld, but will occasionally trade with their ships when they land on the south eastern shores.
Stonemire Current Leaders
Ard Tiarna – Egon (NPC)
Tanist – Name (NPC)
Vate – Name (NPC)
Maor – Name (NPC)
Paladin – Name (NPC)
Cosáin – Name (NPC)
Lowlander Current Leaders
Rank – Name (NPC)
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