The Kron Hills stretch from the Lortmils to the Gnarley Forest, and form the frontiers of Dyvers, Celene, Verbobonc, and the Archclericy of Veluna. They are the remnants of mountains, their peaks now worn and rounded with age. The grassy upper slopes are very fertile and provide grazing for the many flocks of sheep raised by the Kron Hills gnomes. The forested lower slopes shelter numerous valleys and glen where crops of all types are grown.
The Kron Hills are also mined for many metals and gems. Considerable deposits of silver and natural electrum are found throughout, while iron and tin are found in abundance where the hills meet the Lortmils. Along the Shortspur are found great deposits of gemstones, namely malachite, chysoprase, chrysoberyl, a dark green jade with unique turquoise swirls, and brilliant black opals and emeralds.
With an estimated population of 20,000 gnomes, the Kron Hills are home to the greatest concentration of those sturdy folk in the Flanaess. Large portions of the Hills are officially under the control of Verbobonc, Celene, Veluna, and Dyvers. However, the Kron Hills gnomes are accorded much freedom to govern themselves, the hills are considered more of a protectorate by the surrounding states than anything else. The gnome communities are very organized, and they tend to keep themselves as isolated as possible from humans. They feel a strong sense of brotherhood for their relatives who have moved to Verbobonc and other urban areas in the region, but resist any attempts to export city ways to their villages. The trade from the gnome mines is all conducted within the Greenway Valley, with gnome merchants buying commodities for resale in Verbobonc and beyond. The mines are all owned by the gnome nobility, and their locations are closely guarded, even from other gnomes. Only the most foolish have ever sought out the hidden locations of the mines, as the gnomes do not treat intruders gently.
There are a few dwarven strongholds in the Kron Hills where they meet the Lortmils. Although the dwurfolk remain aloof from the humans in the regions, they are quite friendly to the gnomes whose help was crucial in driving the humanoids out of the Lortmils during the Hateful Wars. These solitary halls serve as a link between the wealthy and isolationist dwarven kingdoms in the heartlands of the Lortmils and the outside world, aided by the gnomes.
The halflings of the Kron Hills are nearly all concentrated in the village of Littleburrow. They are a very isolated bunch, separated from the gnomes and outside the borders of any other state. They tend flocks of sheep in the surrounding hills, fish for the great pike of the Clearwater, and cultivate grain in the river valley.
The valley is also the home of a tribe of centaurs. The halflings share their crops with the centaurs, who in turn have pledged to protect their little community. They are very fond of each other, and centaurs will often be seen racing through the lightly wooded valleys with halfling riders clinging to their backs.
The only elves within the Kron Hills, except for those in Ostverk, live in the stretch of hills running through the Gnarley Forest. They happily roam the forested crests and avoid all contact with other races. The elves of Celene have attempted to extend greater control over this region, but have met resistance. It is said that great veins of ore are to be found in the Kron Hills here, but exploratory parties have been constantly thwarted in their attempts to penetrate the highlands by bands of elven bowmen and their druidic allies.
The Hills are also home to many humanoids, mostly small groups of goblins. These are kept in check by the gnomes, but patrols often find the remains of missing caravans in some of the more out-of-the-way spots. The real problems are the verbeeg and hill giants who live in the southern hills along the Shortspur. They often raid into the Greenway Valley, and retreat before the gnomes can retaliate. Punitive expeditions by the gnomes after particularly bloody or destructive raids are not unknown.
Settlements and Locations in the Kron Hills
- Castle Hagthar
- Cienega Valley
- Dorob Kilthduum
- Gallow’s Corner
- Greenway Valley
- Village of Hommlet
- Kron Fortress
- Loren’s Ford