In the Alabaster Fangs, vestiges of an ancient battle appear behind the layer of gypsum that has been washed away from the walls in the narr
Recommended tier: 3
Six main peaks stand out in this mountain range. This cluster known as the Alabaster Fangs owes its name to the gypsum quarries on its base and its snow-capped peaks, whose off-white color reminds mountaineers of the abundant alabaster mines around them. If you want to connect this region with Sarsben’s Lowlands, the Alabaster Fangs are to the north of Plaidmoor.
The Painted Pass
The Painted Pass was once a thriving quarry and mining community in the Fangs. Rains have recently washed away the coat of white, fine-grained gypsum that covered ancient paintings on the walls of the pass that depict dwarves fighting mysterious winged creatures. This area now serves as a mountain pass and toll station for mountaineers and shepherds, although fewer of these come this way now than in years past, as the paintings have instilled suspicion in the hearts of the mountain folk. However, the paintings have attracted the attention of adventurers, scribes, and scholars from different regions.
Just across the Painted Pass lies the only large settlement in the Fangs. Giants’ Lookout is a sprawling village on a plateau and a safe haven for mountain folk and travelers alike. The High-Keeper Stouts—a mounted dwarven patrol—keep careful watch over visitors and citizens. Giants’ Lookout is presided over by a small council comprised of a captain of the Stouts, the Chief Raconteur of the Storyteller’s Hall, and a guildmaster, all of whom were elected members by their organizations. At a cliff in Giants’ Lookout sits Pebbles, a friendly stone giant.
Gone Men’s Rest
Overlooking Giants’ Lookout is Gone Men’s Rest, one of the Alabaster Fangs’ six peaks. Townsfolk and people from other smaller villages once held climbing competitions that culminated in the finalists reaching the top of this mountain. The last race was two decades ago, when the three finalists vanished. The council then prohibited anyone from climbing this peak and disturbing whatever was responsible. Unbeknownst to most, an ancient elemental of ice and stone lurks there.
Centuries ago, mountain dwarves from the Brazier clan inhabiting the valleys built furnaces and forges that altered the temperature in the Fangs. Their skill was such that they drew on the elemental planes of fire and metal to open passages in the mountains to expand their villages. The mountains somehow reacted to this expansion, spewing elementals made of rock and ice to descend upon the Braziers. At that time, these creatures were lifeless forces and had little effect on the dwarven defenders.
The battles did not go unnoticed by duergar and stone giants who dwelt within the mountains, protected from weather and sunlight, for earthquakes and rapid temperature changes began disturbing their livelihoods. Thus, the giants and duergar performed a powerful ritual sacrifice to protect the mountains against the expanding Braziers. Duergar and stone giant souls were given to the Alabaster Fangs as proof of loyalty to the peaks, and the elemental creatures the mountain had spewed forth became winged vessels for the souls of the undermountain martyrs.
The battles grew more intense, but the Brazier dwarves triumphed, even after the binding sacrifices of the duergar and stone giants. After the last elemental guardian with a stone giant soul was exiled to the peak of Gone Men’s Rest, the Braziers created the wall paintings to commemorate their victories.
The duergar and stone giants inside the mountains were astonished, and decided it was time to defend the Fangs themselves. So, for the first time in centuries, the mountain doors opened and their armies fell upon the mountain dwarves. The underground forces ultimately defeated the Braziers, but at great price: they lost many soldiers and saw their underground cities collapse, as even workers had to bear arms against the numerous and emboldened surface dwarves. These duergar then covered the Braziers’ paintings with a coat of gypsum.
Decades of peace led the stone giants and duergar to grow careless, and they were attacked by Tunnelers—clans of hill dwarves who managed to form an army not far from there, no longer kept in check by the extirpated Braziers.
The Tunnelers enslaved the duergar and killed nearly every stone giant in the Fangs. It was only when the duergar sorcerer Gruthlin Braven called again upon the soul ritual that the duergar defeated the Tunnelers. Gruthlin had learned the ritual of sacrificing one’s body in order to transfer its soul into an elemental, but he modified it to swap the souls of duergar slaves with those of the Tunneler soldiers. He rallied nineteen duergar slaves who—possessing the bodies of hill dwarves—invaded Giants’ Lookout in disguise. There they released other duergar slaves and Pebbles, the last stone giant held there. It was a massacre. The Tunnelers were defeated as a clan. The survivors formed a new ethnicity of shared duergar and hill dwarf ancestry.
The nineteen duergar who passed as freedom fighters for the enslaved duergar hid their identities for fear of being judged by the common folk as evil sorcerers or demon callers. They were the founders of what is known today as the High-Keeper Stouts—a guild of mountain guardians and patrollers. The only individual in Giants’ Lookout who knows all of this is Pebbles, the stone giant. And the people of present-day Giants’ Lookout no longer care about these bygone warring factions.