Crossroads in Cain
The Broken Spine
The Broken Spine of Cain
The major mountain range dominates the landscape of Cain. On a clear day, the mountain range can be seen from north and south alike. It is said one of the Titan Gods split the range out of rage after he was betrayed. The range is called “The Broken Spine”.
The mountain ranges on the east and west run miles and miles below sea level. On the west side, the range is called by its name, Dir-Drouthar. The Drow – a race of subterranean dark elves rule here. On the east side, the mountain range is known as Ull’Thar and is ruled by a subterranean race of dark dwarves known as the Duergar.
Ull’Thar: East Range of the Broken Spine – Dwarves
At one time, Ull’Thar was controlled by the Ull’Thar Clan of dwarves. They were the most powerful clan, and proudly boasted their heritage of being the first Speaking Race created in the Known World. Deep in the mountains lies a wondrous forge that the Ull’Thar clan used to craft items of magic and non-magic. They were also keen miners, carving precious gems out of the vast network of caves.
The fault of the Ull’Thar clan came in their leadership that was crass, greedy, and treated their subterranean kin and neighbors, the Duergar, with the utmost contempt. The Duergar, mistreated and bitter became disillusioned and were set on destroying the Ull’Thar clan. A war soon broke between the two clans.
The Duergar were led by the mad King Derro and entered into an alliance with their neighbors from the west, the Drow. The Duergar also formed an alliance with the Karim Dwarves, a proud (but smaller) kingdom in the north known for their powerful constructs. The Duergar turned the Karim against the Ull’Thar clan by using intrigue, conspiracy and murder. In a routine clan meeting the King of the Karim, Borim, was slain by a Duergar agent posing as an Ull’Thar clan leader.
The Ull’Thar, found themselves fighting a three front war, and lost. The Ull’Thar descendents are now spread across Cain, slowly losing sight of their once proud ancestors. The Duergar theocracy is ruled by Derro’s descendant, Hierophant Xadraxim, who speaks for the Duergar Creator Diety Molak, the God of Nightmares.
Dir-Drouthar: West Range of the Broken Spine – The Drow (Dark Elves)
Dir-Drouthar is the underground empire of the Drow. Former allies of the Duergar. Once the two nations (plus the Karim kingdom) overthrew the Ull’Thar Kingdom, they instantly began fighting the Duergar and now experience a cold war of spies and assassins always on the brink of tipping over into open conflict.
The men of the Northern Sanction consider this something devoutly to be avoided. As soon as war breaks out between the Drow and the Duergar, the Maw (well travelled pass between the mountains) will become impassable. And trade via the Titan’s Gate, will end.
Within the vast expanse of Dir-Drouthar are several kingdoms, ruled by the Starless Court, and their Empress Veylastravix, the Dark Star.