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The Earthfast Mountains, or simply the Earthfasts, were a small mountain range in north Faerûn, running from the Dragon Reach in the west, through the Vast and into Impiltur in the east. It was an arm of the greater Earthspur Mountains to the north.[1][3]

Geographical featuresEdit

Despite being somewhat smaller than the Earthspur Mountains, the Earthfast Mountains were jagged and only slightly less harsh, and just as hard to cross or climb. The mountains had rocky peaks and steep slopes, and were separated by abrupt gorges.[1]

Fortunately, a few passes permitted traffic through the range, connecting the north and south parts of the Vast. In the west, the High Trail ran through Elvenblood Pass, and in the east, the North Road ran through Glorming Pass.[3] [note 1]

One famous but hidden peak in the Earthfasts was Iron Dragon Mountain.[4] The Hill of Tombs was the southernmost point of the mountain range, lying in Impiltur near the coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars. The Fire River originated in these mountains and flowed west through the Vast into the Dragon Reach.[5] Near the source of the Fire River, a cavern in the foothills of the Earthfast Mountains held tunnels that led into the local Underdark,[6] in the area called the Deep Wastes.[7]

Fang in the Forest

The Fang in the Forest mountain.

Another well-known mountain was the Fang in the Forest in the southernmost end of the range. It was a conical-shaped peak and thought to be an extinct volcano.[8]

There were deposits of iron, silver, and copper ores to be found within the Earthfast Mountains.[1][3] In the western end near Ravens Bluff, there were dwarven stone quarries.[9]

LocationsEdit

Perhaps the most important site in the Earthfast Mountains was the Master's Library on Iron Dragon Mountain. It was one of the greatest temples to Deneir in Faerûn and home to the largest library in the world. Its true location was hidden, however, but the Reading Room fortified temple that supported it lay some distance to the south.[4] The mountain was formerly the lair of Ouranalathra the "Mistmaiden", a great mist dragon.[10]

The besieged dwarven city of the same name, Earthfast, was situated in a high mountain valley of the Earthfast Mountains.[11]

Malanthus Stormstaern, a Magister, once possessed a keep hidden in the Earthfast Mountains, somewhere near the headwaters of the Fire River. This was thought to be buried in an avalanche and lost to explorers.[12]

There were two small settlements in the western Earthfasts, High Haspur and Sarbreenar.[13][14][15]

InhabitantsEdit

The highest peaks of the Earthfast Mountains were dominated by various avian creatures, including giant eagles. Their depths, meanwhile, were occupied by large populations of orcs and ogres.[3] Other parts were inhabited by goblinoid communities, with goblins and bugbears, as well as some lairs of hobgoblins from the Gray Forest. They followed the goblin gods Hruggek and Maglubiyet.[3][16] Finally, drow could be found within and beneath the mountains.[17]

There were barbarians dwelling in the Earthfast Mountains. One god their clerics worshiped was Isakkhu, a mountain god.[18]

Shield dwarves also dwelled in the Earthfast Mountains,[2][19] particularly around the besieged city of the same name, Earthfast.[11]

The Master's Library temple of Deneir was home to Deneirrath priests, particularly the High Librarians of the clergy, but all devout followers of Deneir were expected to make at least one pilgrimage to here. The Deneirrath were aided and defended by eight full-grown mist dragons who laired in nearby peaks.[4] Ouranalathra the "Mistmaiden", a legendary mist dragon, also once laired here at Iron Dragon Mountain.[10]

The Rocktappers were a loose association of prospectors, trappers, and hermits who roamed the Earthfasts.[20]

The Fang in the Forest mountain was home to the green dragon Aglaraerose, from the late 14th century onwards.[8]

HistoryEdit

The Magister Malanthus Stormstaern occasionally operated from a hidden keep in the Earthfast Mountains during his reign, from 154 DR to 177 DR.[12]

The famous mist dragon Ouranalathra the "Mistmaiden" once kept a lair in the range, from which she battled several other dragons during the Year of the Mist Dragon, 231 DR. The mountain where she laired later became known as Iron Dragon Mountain, and after she left it became the site of the Master's Library.[10]

Dwarves of the Earthfast Mountains joined the armies of War-Captain Imphras Heltharn of Lyrabar to battle a hobgoblin horde in the High Pass of the Earthspur Mountains.[2]

Although mines in the Earthfasts produced moderate quantities of iron and silver, they proved to be insufficient against the poor environmental conditions and hardships faced by the miners.[1] However, in the mid-1350s DR, prosperous new veins and lodes of iron, silver, and copper ores were discovered in the mountains north of Lyrabar, inspiring prospectors to brave the harsh conditions and hobgoblins, hoping to strike it lucky. These new mines were predicted to fuel the Impilturan economy.[21][22] By 1359 DR, a few dozen lone and stubborn prospectors were scouring the range,[1] with many more at it by 1372 DR.[3] These included members of the Rocktappers.[20]

In the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, the Harper bard Mestrel Hawkmantle pursued fleeing brigands east up the Fire River towards their hide-out, only to see them captured by slavers instead. He followed them to a cavern in the foothills of the Earthfast Mountains, where he soon found about fifty slaves being traded to drow emerging from the Underdark. Mestrel attacked the drow and the slavers, and freed their captives, leading them out again.[6]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Though only these two major passes are stated to exist, many maps depict an unexplained large gap in the range east of the Glorming Pass.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Steve Perrin (1988). Dreams of the Red Wizards. (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 0-88038-615-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 214,203,297. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 55. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  5. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. (TSR, Inc), pp. Fold–out map. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ed Greenwood (1993). The Code of the Harpers. (TSR, Inc), p. 16–17. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
  7. Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 123,125. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ed Greenwood. "Eye on the Realms: The Dragon That Never Died." Dragon #424. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, June, 2013.
  9. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 3. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 144. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ed Greenwood (1990). Dwarves Deep. (TSR, Inc), p. 61–62. ISBN 0-88038-880-3.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 31. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  14. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  15. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  16. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28,30. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  17. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 297. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  18. Rick Swan (1995). The Complete Barbarian's Handbook. (TSR, Inc), p. 106. ISBN 0-7869-0090-3.
  19. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  20. 20.0 20.1 R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. (TSR, Inc), p. 56. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  21. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  22. Karen Wynn Fonstad (August 1990). The Forgotten Realms Atlas. (TSR, Inc), p. 2. ISBN 978-0880388573.

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