The High Passes is a mountain range that separates the continent Izril in half. The mountains are incredibly tall, so tall that the peaks have never been climbed before. Deadly monsters make the High Passes their home and as such, travel over the mountains is practically impossible.
Archmage Chaiemegia estimated the High Passes' height to be more than 70'000 feet (23'300 m). It's unclear if that measurement is taken from ground altitude of the plains or from sea level, and also where in the mountain range that measurement was supposedly taken - but given that estimation, it hardly matters, and it might apply to several peaks all over the range.
The monsters in that area are so dangerous that one needs fighting skills, or insanely high levels, like something probably above Level 30, to get out unscathed.
The High Passes were apparently created artificially with a magic spell so powerful that it gives nightmares even to Teriarch. Whether this spell raised the mountains entirely from the ground or altered their shape, has not been revealed, but they were definitely raised higher.
According to interpolations of the first map drawn of the mountain range, the High Passes are a mountain range that can be roughly estimated as being over 2000 miles long, covering an area comparable in size to several of the largest mountain ranges on Earth. It has been described as a nigh-unsurmountable barrier between Northern and Southern Izril, except for two known passageways. The one still existing today is the valley that is home to the Floodplains and Liscor. The other gateway that was destroyed in the last several thousand years had been a Dwarven City which no longer exists and only appears on some very old maps.
The map only pointed out the name "High Passes" to what is labelled "Western High Passes" in the map depicted here. It was not pointed out whether the North-South mountain range bears a different name, so it is included here and labelled "East High Passes"; but it might also be considered as an independent mountain range. This second-largest mountain range of Izril continues to the south where the Shivering Falls Pass divides it in two separate ranges.
There are coastal routes that allow to circumvent the High Passes on the east and west,, but it has to be assumed that these routes are extremely unpleasant to travel, as the favored human invasion path from Northern to Southern Izril is by way of Liscor and the Blood Fields. The western coastal route has also recently been blocked by the Antinium Incursion Zone.
In the North, there are several human towns and villages in the immediate vicinity of the High Passes, among them the small and endangered villages of Ambault, Orefell, Verdun, but also Esthelm. Other cities are also nearby, like Celum which is just 100 miles away from the outer parts of the mountains where Teriarch has his cave. Invrisil is over 400 miles away.
In the south, there are no known other settlements as close to the High Passes as Liscor, which is pretty much a Drake outpost to the North. However, Wicess might be also close. A southern part of the High Passes is known to the Gnolls as the Grisrith Mountain Range.
The High Passes have a beneficial impact on the weather to their North West, where the Veltras family has their lands.
- Teriach's Cave
List of Known Creatures:
- Armored Crawlers
- Carn Wolves
- Eater Goats
- Rock Slimes
- Stone Starers
- Frost Wyverns
- Frost Greater Wyvern
- Frost Wyverns
- ? / Dark Things / Shapeshifting, Higher-level monsters
List of Known Golems
- Rock Golems
- Glacier Golem
- Horrors are lurking at the bottom of the High Passes, which might be similar to the dark thing that attacked Ryoka in Chapter 2.17.
- Chapter 7.25
- Chapter 7.33 I
- Chapter 1.07 R
- Chapter 7.25
- File:Prototype_map.jpg, drawn by Pirateaba, base for all further maps; combined with the knowledge that Celum is roughly 3800 miles away from First Landing
- Chapter 4.26 M
- Chapter 1.28
- Chapter 1.09 R
- Chapter 2.12
- Chapter 2.28
- Chapter 6.45 E
- Chapter 5.57