Scatter Mountain

As a massive active volcano where there are ample rifts leading to other very hostile planes, especially fire-based ones, Scatter Mountain is at once an ideal location to hide one's vast hoard, and also a terribly dangerous place. This comes not just from the environment and terrain, which is treacherous in itself, but also from the creatures that live there, since they must be terrifically hardy to endure such an environment.

Basic information that anyone can gather without the use of magic or other special investigative measures is as follows:

  • It is possible to set up a lair on Scatter Mountain, as there are several locations that are relatively untroubled by the many and frequent eruptions, mostly in isolated valleys that were somehow formed with natural shields against falling debris and flows of lava. It is also possible to reinforce some of the larger caves with magic and good building practices to turn them into effective lairs. The local fire giants are generally willing to provide such services, though their work does not come cheap.
  • Scatter Mountain is itself - the entire mountain - a massive focal point for planar energy, especially energy based on fire. Because of the weaker planar boundaries here, it is very easy to summon creatures of great power…but also a great deal harder to bind them to the summoner's will.
  • Maintaining a lair on Scatter Mountain is a matter of two things: power and balance. It is not enough to simply be able to dominate all opposition. Someone who sets up a home there must also be able to establish some sort of peaceful situation with the other inhabitants of the mountain. This is because even dragons need sleep, and there are a host of creatures that can become a constant danger, some of them even able to tackle dragons, and some of them that are dragons. In other words, someone setting up shop on Scatter Mountain will have to demonstrate immense power, sufficient to take a lair away from one of the present owners, and then find a way to settle into the balance of powers among the remainder of beings living there. This last can be a daunting task, even greater at times than getting a lair in the first place, and can require an immense amount of time, effort, and patience. Not everything can be solved through violence…though it can help.

Some information on the history and resources of Scatter Mountain: has a brief summary of the location which can be of use - just scroll down a bit and read, if you have not done so already. Scatter Mountain was formed from the fall of Tiamat's tail when she struck Therafim while grappling with Bahamut, leaving a deep gouge in the planet's crust that has been bubbling and steaming ever since. It is sometimes called "Tiamat's Cunt" because of this. As an active volcano, aside from the fire giants living there and acting as mercenaries in various conflicts through history, Scatter Mountain has been largely free of the machinations of history. It is known as an occasional portal for lower-planar creatures, however, which makes its reputation quite horrific to anyone that has never been there. Such occurrences, thankfully, are terrifically rare, though portals to the plane of elemental fire are an almost daily occurrence.

Minerally-speaking, Scatter Mountain is a prime source for diamonds and other gemstones. The fire giants who live there frequently mine them from the lava tubes where they are thrown up by the volcano's many upheavals and use them in making their weapons and tools. It is also possible to find several rich veins of adamantine, the abundance of this fire- and shock-resistant metal explaining how the volcano has not long ago blown itself to bits. Any attempts to mine out more than trace amounts of adamantine, however, are doomed to failure because the process is very time-consuming, and not even fire giants or infernal creatures will dare to face the wrath of the mountain directly when it starts to shake. Because of the immensely important supportive role of the adamantine, only a tiny amount can be mined out each year. Any more tends to weaken the very roots of the volcano, which causes even more terrific and violent eruptions than normal, and has almost always destroyed any would-be professional miners that dared such impudence towards the mountain. Silver is sometimes present around the diamond tubes, while gold can sometimes be found running in molten rivulets from the rock, driven to the surface by volcanic action. In other words, the whole mountain is a vast and almost utterly untouchable treasure trove. With care and patience, some immense treasures can be gleaned out from the mountain. But take too much, and doom awaits, no matter who or what you are.

The People and Creatures of Scatter Mountain:

  • Scatter Mountain has been traditionally the site of a few nomadic halfling tribes who actually manage to make a living from the rich, fertile soil of the mountain, and who have learned to spot the signs of imminent eruptions so that they can move on and take cover to avoid being killed. Many of these halfling tribes have gnomes and dwarves who travel with them, making use of the veins of minerals that are often uncovered after especially strong eruptions, and providing use of their knowledge of the earth for even more safety. These are some of the few good-aligned mortal humanoids on and around the mountain.
  • The fire giants of Scatter Mountain are a set of a few highly-organized and very militarily-minded tribes, united by common alliances. Most fire giants on Therafim call Scatter Mountain the point of origin for their ancestors, and in some places on the volcano they are thick as thieves. While the fire giants might forgive a few incursions against their fellows in other tribes, especially if the fire giants in question were asking for it through belligerent behavior, they are quite likely to unite with deadly military precision against any foe that seems like too much of a danger to their people as a whole. For anyone with an interest in continuing to live, this is generally regarded as a bad thing. Usually, though, the fire giants would prefer to live and let live with their powerful neighbors, since conflicts with them would certainly be high in casualties, and so not really worth the effort involved.
  • There is a potent tribe of salamanders that make their home very close to the caldera of Scatter Mountain, and who make use of fire elementals as slaves. They are regularly in a state of conflict with the fire giants, who they regard as rivals, but this conflict usually plays out in the form of casual raids, rather than concerted warfare - neither side seems willing to commit themselves to all-out combat.
  • An ancient and powerful efreet makes her home on Scatter Mountain in a cave in its side, magically widened out into a vast and intricate cave of wonders. Many other efreeti also live here, along with their many slaves and servants. They were apparently banished from the City of Bronze many thousand years ago for reasons unknown, and asking about these reasons is the fastest way to get the efreeti mad. Otherwise, however, they are often happy to receive visitors as a source of news and tales from the rest of the world, provided that such visitors are polite as well as interesting.

The Dragons of Scatter Mountain:
The Shatterlands in general have a very high draconic population, higher, proportionately, than anywhere else on Therafim. It makes sense, then, with so much treasure nearby, that many of them would make their homes on and around Scatter Mountain. Here are a few of the most important:

  • Mad Cray - This is an old howling dragon (Draconomicon page 180) of immense cunning and grandiose dreams. Mad Cray honestly intends to conquer the world, and deems himself a sort of Napoleon or Alexander (if he were on Earth, of course), a great conqueror-king with immense strategic ability. This may be true, as he does have a wickedly keen strategic mind, but he also has a terrible temper, and is known for paranoid rages in which he slaughters his key servants on a too-regular basis. Because of this, Mad Cray's plans of conquest never go anywhere, though he does serve a useful purposes to the rest of Therafim. His usefulness is in attracting lesser persons with similar grandiose schemes, eager to ride on the coattails of someone destined for power, only to discover that Mad Cray is…well…mad. This keeps the population of power-hungry toadies down to more acceptable levels.
  • Gunnar, Fritz, and Ecatarine - Gunnar and Fritz are mature adult pyroclastic dragons (Draconomicon 182), twins, who are very much in love (or as close to it as their sort of dragon can be) with Ecatarine, a female mature adult pyroclastic dragon. The names they go by are not their real names, but rather the ones that the local fire giants call them by, after some notable lovers of their own history. The two male pyroclastic dragons regularly work to gather great treasures and works of art to present them to Ecatarine for her attentions. Actually, most of their efforts are spent trying to get Ecatarine's affections. The twins live in a lair along one of the major rivers of lava that bubbles up from the caldera, about midway up the mountain, while Ecatarine lives close to the salamanders near the caldera. The fire giants are fond of the pyroclastic dragons, and frequently work for them as part of their schemes to get the attention of Ecatarine, or else for Ecatarine to keep the two males guessing. This state of tension between the three dragons tends to produce some strong passions, and since the fire giants associate with all three dragons regularly, numerous half-dragon and dragon-blooded giants are found in the tribes that associate with these three.
  • Dreadfell - Dreadfell is a truly sad case, a very old gold dragon who was once a great champion of righteousness. But in time the great dragon did battle with an enemy too great to defeat, and was infected with vampirism. The dragon lives deep inside of Scatter Mountain, spending most of his time in a series of ancient, obsidian-lined tunnels, preying on the occasional drow, troglodyte, or salamander who might venture too near. Dreadfell is also known to dine on giant's blood when the mood strikes him. Ever since acquiring vampirism, Dreadfell has gone from a brilliant, outgoing being to a total recluse, hardly more than an animal as he hunts for food.
  • The Oscura Clan - The Oscura Clan is a family of deep dragons of some size and repute who dominate most of the Underdark regions beneath Scatter Mountain. They have dug into the volcano deep enough, and carefully enough, that they are able to avoid all but the most terrible of eruptions completely. They have numerous troglodyte servants, and also rule over a small city of drow. Aside from interfamily scheming, as the Oscuras are constantly trying to outdo each other in an effort to steal each others' treasure, or acquire more treasure than the other family members, the Oscuras are plagued by Dreadfell, and hated by the fire giants of the surface, troubles which manage to keep this clan from drifting apart despite their rivalries.