The Abbor-Alz comprise the mountains lying south of the Cairn Hills. The Abbor-Alz descend into a hill range, becoming less steep and undulating as they approach the southerly Bright Desert. Information about what lies within is laid out in a similar order to that for the Cairn Hills.
Settlements and Locations in the Abbor-Alz
- Canimarr’s Towers
- Castle Seh
- Ghost Tower of Inverness
- Griffon’s Nest
- Karistyne’s Castle
- Lord Ellis Outpost
- Mines of Father Eye
- Nil Keep
- Pits of Azak-Zil
- Storm Keep
- Tarth Moorda
- Zarak, Ruins of
The Abbor-Alz hills are rocky, granitic, and generally have poor mineral resources. Farther east, where the Duchy of Urnst still rules them as they pass into the wooded hills of the western Gamboge Forest, there are richer deposits of gems and metals. Because there is little of value in the Abbor-Alz regions ruled by Greyhawk, the formal border with Urnst is not heavily patrolled or teeming with border guards.
The Abbor-Alz are infested with many more monsters than the Cairn Hills, notably manticores, wyverns, a few dragons (fortunately, mostly brass and copper dragons), a few leucrotta and lamia, sphinxes, mountain tigers and weretigresses, many ogres and hill giants, and a few trolls to boot. The northernmost reaches of the hills are reasonably safe, since dwarves and gnomes have a number of small settlements there, but farther south, they become much more dangerous.
Flora and Fauna
Animal and plant life here are similar to that in the Cairn Hills, with some exceptions that become more pronounced the farther south one travels. Plant life becomes scarcer, hard-leaved alpines and small cacti become more prominent, and trees and shrubs become almost wholly absent. There are fewer pigs and deer here than in the Cairns, but more of the nimble mountain goats and a small, llama-like animal that is too small to be used as a pack beast. As noted, monsters are more plentiful than in the Cairns.
There are fewer settlements here than in the Cairn Hills, since population density is lower and a higher percentage of the people are nomadic hillsmen. This is made up for by the greater number of ruined, unexplored, mysterious, or otherwise hazardous locations, however, and the curious adventurer will find greater opportunity for acquiring wealth, or an early death, in these southern peaks.
Rumors and Whispers
Tales of desperate battles beneath the dusty peaks of the Abbor-Alz against dark dwarves and the discovery of an alliance between the duergar’s mysterious leader and the Monarch of the Bright Lands have caused much consternation in the taprooms and alehouses of the Central Flanaess. Exact details of the pact are unclear but surrounding nations are bound to view this development with no little trepidation. Secure in his desert fastness many label Rary as one of the greatest, and most dangerous, powers of evil currently active in the Flanaess.