Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
If a violent, powerful force brought two land masses smashing together, the result would surely resemble the jagged, broken peaks of the Galena Mountains. Two hundred and fifty miles long, this narrow range averages only twenty-five miles in width and Bloodstone Pass offers the only sensible way through. Adventurers walking in the range find themselves plodding 10 miles up, down, and around for every mile they move in their desired direction.
The western Galenas define the border between Vaasa and Damara as sharply as any border in the Realms, while the eastern Galenas completely separate Vaasa from the Moonsea Region. The mountains are laced about with ice and snow, with a year-round wind howling down from the Great Glacier.
The Galenas are home to hundreds of thousands of orcs, goblinoids and giants, and countless other monsters. The western Galenas play host to large clans of humanoids. The range south of Bloodstone Pass is named the Black Holes of Sunderland due to the sheer number of caves. The eastern Galenas hold more giant holds than almost any other range in the Realms. The southeastern range has enough volcanic activity to make them palatable to the fire giants, while frost giants live in the northeastern range.
But people come to the Galenas by the thousands. They cannot ignore the lure of wealth promised by some of the richest mines in the world. Miners bring out millions of gold pieces worth of bloodstone, and tons of iron and silver.
Dwarves love the Galenas, and have three major settlements well established, along with a new settlement of Gold Dwarves:
- Orothiar Hall (village, 500)
- Hillsafar Hall (small town, 1,500)
- Ironspur (small town, 1,000), and
- Firehammer Hall (hamlet, 300), a new settlement of gold dwarves
The residents of these four dwarven settlements mine the Galenas for iron, silver, and bloodstone. Well-armed dwarf patrols keep the monsters at bay. The stone here is hard and pure, and dwarven hammers chime silvery notes worthy for the ears of Moradin.
Only the strongest survive, be they dwarf or human. Mines are often closed down by monsters and other calamities, but many new ones open up. Miners run the constant risk of breaking into the lairs of the dark denizens of the underworld: the duergar and derro, and the drow. But the lure remains, and the hammers ring.
The Underdark is close by, and the inhabitants of drow, derro, and duergar cities also mine deep veins under these mountains.
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