The Black Mountains are a forbidding mountain range to the north of the river valley.
The mountains dominate the landscape and are visible from the river valley, the Badlands and the flood plain. Even a Southman standing on the edge of the southern sea would see the jagged snow-covered peaks of the mountains. A cold wind often blows from the mountain peaks into the valley.
The peninsula where the Northmen and Southmen tribes live is sealed off by these mountains. No one has ever crossed them and returned. Many of the elders in the Northmen tribe say that the mountains continue north to the end of the earth.
A journey through the mountains is a terrifying prospect as the range is populated with a number of fearsome predators. Mountain wolves roam the foothills in packs, packs of hobgoblins made Forbidden Mountain their home, and trolls have taken over a large mountain peak, now known as Troll Mountain.
Troll Mountain lies at the centre of a group of lesser mountains so that they appear to ring around while it soars majestically into the air. The lesser mountains are black, but Troll Mountain is a mysterious grey colour.
The eastern flank of Troll Mountain is craggy and has a well-used path leading between the dam at the base of the mountain and the main gate to the mountain. This is the path the draggers use to move supplies up and down the mountain. The western flank of the mountain is sheer and inaccessible.
Troll Mountain is a magnificent and sinister sight for any human. It is not surprising that few humans return from it alive, particularly since it is occupied by the trolls.
It appears that Forbidden Mountain was once used as a mine by an ancient civilisation. Inside the mountain is a sophisticated old cave system full of extensive tunnels apparently used to mine a strange rust-coloured mineral. There are remnants of crates, mining tools and ingenious pathways through the mountain with well-placed defensive structures.
In more recent times, the mountain was home to a hobgoblin kingdom, which consumed all of the ancient mine’s resources and then filled it with booby traps to prevent trolls from accessing the hidden pathways. The hobgoblins abandoned the mountain some years ago although their traps and warnings remain. It has earnt its name because any trolls who ventured there would never return.
Although Forbidden Mountain now appears derelict and abandoned, there are still some creatures living inside. While it provides a way of approaching Troll Mountain without being seen, it is a dangerous route to take.