Cairn Hills

The Cairn Hills are generally regarded as a northern spur of the Abbor-Alz, stretching north to the Nyr Dyv (as is obvious). The landscape becomes increasingly differentiated from the Abbor-Alz the farther north one travels, becoming less sharply undulating and lower. The hills are granitic and contain large quartz deposits and important resources, although the surface soil is usually shallow and of poor fertility.

The northernmost promontory of the hills, beyond the mouth of the Selintan, yields fine gems, especially rubies and emeralds and a few diamonds. The Free City is happy to allow the gnomes of Grossettgrottell and the outlying smaller mines exclusive control over mining them, given gnomish skills. The gnomes prize this, and protect their terrain jealously.

Settlements and Locations in the Cairn Hills

As one travels east along the Midbay of the Nyr Dyv, these gem deposits rapidly diminish and the hills here have poor mineral wealth; farther south, jade and amethyst can be found. However, in this area are found many of the legendary burial sites which give the Cairn Hills their name. These are the ancient treasure troves that provided such a vital source of revenue in Greyhawk’s wild, early days before trade brought the coffers of the city its present largesse.

To the south, where the Cairn Hills approach the atlas of Greyhawk Lands, the Abbor-Alz, there are a handful of gnomish gem mines, fairly widely scattered, and more dwarves and hillsmen. The easternmost fringes of the hills have three important corundum mines that remain part of the lands of the Duchy of Urnst.

The Cairn Hills contain some mediocre metal ore deposits, mostly iron and copper. These are concentrated in the hills southwest of Midbay, where there are three important mining towns, and to the south around the Abbor-Alz. There are also two silver- mines of note, at the Sourlode complex and the dwarven citadel of Karakast.

Gnomes of the Cairn Hills
Halflings of the Cairn Hills
Dwarves of the Cairn Hills
Hillsmen of the Cairn Hills
Bandits of the Cairn Hills
Humanoids of the Cairn Hills
Militia in the Cairn Hills

Flora and Fauna of the Cairn Hills
In brief, the hills drain water swiftly so that few lakes are present, although there are a few streams that flow most of the year round. The pattern of plant life follows the course of waterways to a great extent, but the dirt of the hillsides is populated only by tough grasses and a rare bush struggling for survival. Alpine plants with hard leaves cling to the surfaces of less exposed hillsides. Along stream beds, larger bushes and a few trees, mostly evergreens, can be found. A few galda trees manage to survive in such places.

Smaller fauna here include mice, other small rodents, and the grey hawks that eat them and gave the Free City its name. Very rarely, a roc will be seen among its much smaller cousins. Larger mammals of note include wild pigs in the lower valleys, hunted by hillsmen, and a species of grass-eating deer, hunted for its tender, sweet meat.

Domain of Greyhawk

Cairn Hills

Greyhawk Samaryllis Samaryllis