For a change of pace, this week I’m going to talk about a region instead of a town or city, one that figures prominently in one of my periphery novels, Torment Surfacing. The Lost Hills have played a significant role in the continent of Tremjara’s history, often changing hands over time.
*As is always the case with these location blogs, what you’re reading is a brief description of around 500 words. Quite easily I could go on for ten times that (or an entire novel). Okay, on we go…
Geography & Climate
The summers are mild and humid with above average rainfall, the winters moderate with above average snowfall. Part of the reason is that it’s sandwiched between the Colossus Range to the north and the Barrier Range to the south. Its forested hills and small mountains separate wide valleys and ample rivers.
The region possesses a number of unique features. To the west is the Rift River, and where passes the Colossus Range is the Rift River Canyon and its thousand foot cliffs descending to the river’s swift waters. To the northeast is Beacon Peak, the tallest mountain on the continent of Tremjara and near its geographical center. In the east is the Repose River that lazily makes its way around to the west—until it races down a canyon and plunges into the Rift River at Kryorphia Falls.
It’s always been the case that east-west travel across the continent was easiest through the Lost Hills, making it a valuable region to possess. The only alternative was dangerous Raptor Gap far to the south near the Juka Desert.
Long ago it separated the Aramon Kingdom from the Emprensen Empire, and it was via the Lost Hills that the Empire invaded its neighbor. After the Empire collapsed Carrdia was created and absorbed the Lost Hills, the region serving as a buffer against threats from the east.
Over the centuries, as Carrdia’s fortunes waxed and waned, the Lost Hills were lost and gained. Regardless, the military’s hold was always limited and tenuous, the largest settlements located in the northwest. Otherwise, the region was doted with scattered villages, outposts, and homesteads facing a multitude of threats.
Modern Day Lost Hills
After Carrdia was overthrown in 4113, leaving those in the region cut off from aid, many settlements met violent ends as the frontier region became increasingly wild.
Besides natural threats like bears and wolves, the tribal grolns from the southeast of Tremjara would often hunt in the region during the warmer months. They’re a people still bitter about how humans treated them for thousands of years when the Empire existed. They’re also a people often spurred to violence by powerful forces in the Boiling Wastes.
In the fifty years since the government overthrow there’ve been many settlements rendered ghost towns and many homesteads destroyed, making the protection gargoyles provide a worthy investment.
It isn’t the kind of region you’d want to find yourself lost in, as Kasaria discovers in Torment Surfacing.