Travel Center and Tourist Station of Weland
Guide to Weland Gorge
Credit to Armin for writing this.
Terrain and Climate
Weland Gorge is a deep, winding maze that cuts between two mountain ranges: the Dragon’s Tongue Mountains to the east, which resemble the dry lands of a desert, and the Greenland Mountains to the west, which are covered in dense foliage. The climates and terrains of these opposing ranges are at constant odds. While down in the gorge one can travel through the dense, cool brush of a forest for miles, and then suddenly find their footfalls met with sand, cacti and the heat of the desert. As odd as the dramatic climate shifts are, it is stranger still that they never stay constant in the same area for more than a few months. This phenomena is cataloged by one Oliver Beckett:
“We traveled through the desert location as we had done so on our last visit to the gorge, but upon reaching the curve in the pass where we once found comfort in the shade of palm trees, there was yet more desert! By a stroke of fortune alone it seems, the shade of trees was not far off. Upon reaching the trees, my mate Henry Longfeet observed that the palm trees were less dense than they were on our previous visit and seemed to be retreating west towards the Greenland mountain range. I returned later that very same year to see if the whole area might not now be barren, only to find the whole site covered with grass and oak trees! Had my party not been with me for these journeys I’m certain I would have thought myself mad.”
It is important to note that with this strange phenomenon in terrain there is also a drastic change in the wildlife one may encounter. Several documented journals tell of encounters with different varieties of fay in the forested areas, while in the desert terrain they have found Tunnel Beasts and man-sized spiders. One entry also tells of a Suujali that stalked a caravan before losing the creature in the vast network of caves.
The River, Caves, and Underground Lakes
One doesn't need to search very far for a clean source of drinking water should they stay close to the river that runs through Weland Gorge. Clean water flows from many caves and streams along both mountainsides, though they may be more difficult to spot should one encounter a patch of desert, as often streams dry out before reaching the river.
The cave network is also fascinating in its own right. There is a huge tunnel system that leads in and out of the mountain ranges and also into large underground lakes. What makes these lakes truly unique is the healing and refreshing properties they carry in their water. This occurs with the help of a rare form of algae that grows near heated magma vents that purify the water and grant restorative properties capable of healing small to medium sized wounds and curing fever and cold. These waters are widely sought after, but it is unfortunate that the properties don’t seem to carry all the way to the gorge’s river where the lakes drain out.
The inhabitants of Weland Gorge are far and few between, and despite the harsh climate changes that are present year round, the individuals of these tribes and small towns have been pleasant and helpful to many a traveler. It is important to point out that many of these tribes and towns have spoken of other tribes that have yet to be documented. The locals tell of half-men half-beasts that steal children and men alike into the night, but as none have been recorded, it is possible that it is just superstition.
In the center of Weland Gorge there is rumored to be an oasis on a highly elevated plateau with a water fall that spills around the entire surface. There has only been one recorded account, but the traveler was alone and could not recall that he had ever written the journal entry.
“I have traveled around this marvel for the better part of the evening, and I fear I will soon die of thirst, for the water that falls from the plateau does not reach the ground. It merely blows away with the wind over the mountains. But as I glance from these pages, is that a bridge I see leading into the side of the rock? But should it be another mirage, I declare, a terrible jest for Gaia to play on me as I am so close to death.”
Another, more obtainable destination for the sensible adventurer would be would be the hot springs and cooling falls scattered throughout the many desert and jungle locations in the gorge. A few of these locations are inhabited by local tribes, but there are so many that privacy should not be hard to obtain for couples returning from the Hills of Lost Hearts.
Enjoy your journey, be safe, and we'll see you on the other side!
Edited by supernal