Aeron and the Wrekin Border
Rumours of a people before the Sidhe tell of their mighty cities carved from the very mountains themselves. Massive stone foundations, straight level roads and flattened or terraced mountainsides characterise the construction of these ancient ruins. Stories among the Riatans and Northmen of the Isles tell of great jade carvings, exquisite green ceramic figurines and buildings roofed in gold.
Called Skrellingshald among the tribes, the site is rumoured to be high in Monadh Ruadh, the mountain massif of northern Riata. The city itself is reported to be inhabited by particularly cunning and malevolent kobolds and their malign and otherworldly elemental allies. The skies of the region are the hunting grounds of griffons and great eagles, while trolls and worse haunt the gorges and cave systems of the lower reaches.
The city is protected not only by its ferocious inhabitants, but its remote location. Surrounded on all sides by deep gorges or high mountains, the high altitudes and bitter cold saps the strength of lowlanders. The weather is chilly and windy regardless of season and often so cloudy that vision is reduced to less than a hundred yards in treacherous terrain. Few have sought it out and fewer still have returned. Typical is the tale of Hradji Beartooth, a war chief of the Frost clan, who took a band of warriors in search of the city in 835.
Hradji returned later that year with a significantly diminished following and a greatly increased wealth consisting of jade and ceramic trinkets and numerous gold spheres about the size of a double fist. He and his band refused to talk too much of the expedition intending to return in the next season to recover even more booty. Unfortunately, all of Hradji’s men died of a sickening and Hradji himself is rumoured to be kept alive only by diabolical shamanic practices. The treasure when passed on seemed cursed as all who came into possession of more than a few fragments of jade similarly sickened. However, the truth of Hradji’s tale was confirmed by the noteworthy addition of two young griffons and a shield of a pebbly, fire resistant hide since identified as extra-planar.
Further rumours insist that Dwarven clans under the Monadh Ruadh know of the city’s location. They certainly use the roads and tunnels constructed by the ancient builders and it would not be surprising if they knew something of Skrellinghald’s whereabouts.