Princes of the Apocalypse
The Sumber Hills are windswept badlands sparsely covered in dry grass. Many of the hills have exposed rock faces or steep escarpments. While the hills are dry, countless tiny streams rise from hidden springs (usually clean and drinkable), then flow down to join the Dessarin River, which bisects the hills.
Most locals only think of the wilder, higher hills west of the river when they hear “Sumber Hills,” because it’s there that once had rich quarries and good hunting. Some hunting lodges and keeps owned by wealthy Waterdhavians or adventurers remain—and in recent times have become homes to bandits and monsters. Those who quarry the Sumber Hills for building stones and gravel often trade tales of finding gemstones and rich veins of ore in the hills—but for the most part, these persistent tales have never been more than talk.
In the last few years, the infamous “Haunted Keeps” in the western Sumber Hills have all been reoccupied. Sightings of strange beasts and menacing figures have increased, too.
Sites of Interest
The Haunted Keeps
In the southwestern Sumber Hills stand four ruined keeps built centuries ago by a band of adventurers, the Knights of the Silver Horn. According to most locals, these crumbling stone castles are haunted by ghosts and prowling monsters. Sensible valley dwellers avoid them.
This gigantic stone archway (two miles long and four hundred feet high) comfortably spans the widest spring flood of the Dessarin River. It is a sacred site of pilgrimage for many dwarves. Long ago, the dwarf god Moradin appeared atop the Stone Bridge to rally dwarves of the Ironstar clan against a horde of orcs. The founder of Besilmer, King Torhild Flametongue, died fighting a hill giant atop the Stone Bridge. (He is entombed within the Halls of the Hunting Axe.)
Built to connect those parts of the dwarven realm of Besilmer on both the western and eastern banks of the Dessarin, the Stone Bridge is made of smooth, fused hard granite. It is only six paces wide and lacks railings or barriers, so anyone atop it is at the mercy of the wind, particularly in winter.