Arrah: The Second Dive
Drachenzahn, as it is now most commonly called, is the largest mountain range in the world south of Therak and Beorn. Loosely translated from the giant tongue, its name means “Dragon Teeth,” and a well-deserved name it is, for there are few mountains more treacherous in the known world. The foothills, the only part of the mountains that most ever see, and indeed what many believe to be the entire mountain range, often rise above the treeline, and are riddled with old gorges and no small number of crevasses both narrow and wide, some appearing to be great black mouths filled with jagged teeth. A fall even in these areas can lead to being sliced open on the way down, and if one does not get themselves impaled or their head gashed open, they are sure to be caught in a narrow section and cut in half. Either way, one is not likely to survive a fall here.
On a rare clear day, if a traveller has made it to the peaks of the inner foothills, they might catch a glimpse of the peaks of the true mountains, but such a view is an extremely rare sight indeed, for upon those peaks storms often rage, blocking the view for dozens of miles.
What lies beyond these mountains is unknown, although philosophers, bards, and would-be-explorers alike have long told tales of what might be found there. Many have imagined a land of plenty; a paradise in a huge valley just beyond the mountains. Others have said that the dragons lay claim to what remains of their ancient kingdom there, but no dragon has ever confirmed this theory, and indeed they are few and far between who claim to have crossed the mountains; the range is treacherous for even these mighty creatures.
Of course, then there are those who assume the entire land beyond to be nothing but mountains, for the only reports that come back from trade ships on the eastern shore of the continent describe rocky beaches where the cliffs choose to recede, and brief forests, beyond which rise the enormous mountains once more.
Nonetheless, expeditions of anywhere from fifty individuals to a single person leave for the mountains on a regular basis, all determined to find out what lies beyond the imposing peaks. Many do not return, or return much diminished, with members crippled with altitude sickness, falling injuries, or extremeties dead with frostbite. Each one is different and brings back more stories, but one fact about these mountains is unlikely to change any time soon: None have ever crossed them.