As the World Burns
The mighty Ringing Mountains, the greatest mountains known on Athas, form the western border of the Tyr Region. The highest peaks in the range reach more than 20,000 feet in elevation, and even the lowest passes are a good 12,000 feet above the lowlands. Despite the brutal heat and aridity of the deserts below, a glimmer of snow and ice clings to the highest spires, visible from a hundred miles away. The high vales are home to reclusive monasteries, isolated clans of mountain herders, tribes of fierce goliath and tarek raiders, and a wide variety of dangerous predators such as rocs, kirres, and braxats. No sorcerer-kings have tried to conquer the rich Forest Ridge that crowns the mountains, and for good reason. The cold and the thin air are brutal on soldiers, the passes are impossible for heavy wagons and lowland draft beasts, and the forest is protected from defiling by the ancient primal wards of the halflings.
Despite these daunting obstacles to invaders, the Ringing Mountains are thinly settled. Halflings, and those who trade with them, use secret roads and hidden passes to reach the lowlands. Vicious raiding tribes of goliaths and other warlike races lurk in the wild fastnesses of the peaks. And, as in most of Athas, monster-haunted ruins lie scattered through the mountains, tempting explorers to try their luck.