Created by the space between the Teyla Shan and the Raurin Alta mountain ranges, too broad to be considered a pass, the Howling Gap sat along the the Silk Road that connected Semphar to the lands of Shou Lung, and served as the primary route of travel between the two nations.
No one was sure how the Howling Gap got its name, but there were a number of theories, including:
- the loud howl the baboons in the area made when they felt threatened;
- fierce winds that swept east to west, causing large dust storms that impeded travel; and
- The howl of angry djinn, who were bound by the ancient Imaskari Empire to guard the empire, still being forced to do so long after the empire had collapsed.
It was known that the gap had a history of caravans disappearing within, with others being attacked, and survivors claiming to have been attacked by something in the wind, and entire garrisons stationed there being destroyed mysteriously.
Due to all these rumors, no one tried to occupy or settle this region.
During the Tuigan invasion of Semphar, the Gap was one of two main routes used by the Tuigan Khan Hubadai to invade the nation. The Tuigan, being a superstitious people, did not attempt to garrison people in the gap.
Djinn lived in the pass, and attacked travelers under the guise of dust storms to confuse their victims.. While they weren't always successful in these attacks, their defeat did nothing to limit their numbers, or lower their hostility. It was unknown if they were there of their own volition, or if they were bound by the Imaskari.