Shadows of Absalom
Kortos Mounts – A massive series of mountains in the center of the island, these are among the tallest, most jagged tors in the known world, with a tree line that ends well before the peaks of their rocky reaches and tops eternally clad in caps of ice and snow. The tallest mountain on the Island of Kortos is Arazlant Mox, which rises more than 5 miles from its base. The mountains have a few volcanic peaks, are crowded together so closely that passage through them is often impossible, and are full of twisting crevices and sharp ridges. The tops of the mountains are controlled by flocks of ice-demon-worshiping harpies, while minotaur tribes rule the mid-ranges. Around the base of the mountains exist several tribes of centaurs, who constantly fight with the minotaurs and see Absalom’s residents (and other humanoids in general) as interlopers who have stolen the island of the centaurs from its rightful inhabitants.
Dragons have taken root in the mountains many times over the centuries, though any who reach adulthood are eventually killed by heroes and treasure-hunters from Absalom. The last major dragon in the Kortos Mounts was Maejerex Steeleye, a tyrant of amethyst-colored scales who survived 500 years. A major expedition slew her in 4592 ar, just as she began unifying the minotaurs and harpies under her rule. Since her death, a few young blue and red dragons and similarly colored chimeras pop up every decade, but none have risen to be a major threat.
The Kortos Mounts occupy much of the inner, lesser inhabited and still wild portions of the Island of Kortos, and are among the most jagged and highest-known peaks in the world. Arazlant Mox is more than five miles high. The mountains are typically forested at lower altitudes but barren and icy at their peaks. Some of the peaks are volcanic. Despite passage through most of the range being nearly impossible, rare metals and gems are still mined from them, and are then exported to other parts of the world.
For some reason, teleportation magic tends to be unreliable in the Kortos Mounts. The exact reason for this is unknown, although scholars argue either it as an after-effect of Aroden's raising on the island with powerful magics or some old ward placed by the great wyrm Maejerex Steeleye.
The 13 highest peaks of the Kortos Mounts are named (in old Azlanti), and as a group are known as the Thirteen Sisters.