|The coldest area in the known world.|
|Second||Mountains and ice|
Since Highrise is not a real nation, it has no flag.
The northern mountains of the Eastern Territories were always considered impassable and uninhabitable for many years. It wasn't until 215 AU that an expedition into the frozen cold mountains was first undertaken. The first attempt was disastrous. and resulted in the death of all but three of the explorers. When they returned, however, they claimed to have found a strange valley between the frozen mountains which they had dubbed the Firelands. In the following years, few were interested in actually venturing further into the lands. With the formation of Berma, however, more settlers began making the journey and taking the risks. As technology also improved, so did the guaranteed safety in their travels.
The first real settlement wasn't established until 308 AU after several minor nobles from Berma had gotten rich from the gold rush in their country. They had wanted to escape a nation with rules and establish a more anarchic society, so they purchased the best ships and traveled with a few interested commoners to a land of equality, or so they told their followers. They made landfall in the summer just off the coast of the Firelands on a small island they dubbed Ragos named for the raging volcano off on the mainland. The settlement flourished under its own rule, though it eventually devolved into anarchy when the first leader, Lord Orod Yemert perished in 332 AU.
In 469 AU, a great debate within the Pale Reach caused an exile of some of the more passive members of the Dragon Faith clergy. With religion abolished in Avalot and the Pinelands, and barbarians to worry about in their western neighbors, the clergy had no choice but to venture north where there was still land open. Though the cost was high, they managed to brave the mountains and established their own village on the site of two twin mountains near the Avalotian border. Dubbed the Twin Peaks, the village quickly became the most populated place of the entire region. However, the clergy who had settled there strongly held onto their religious beliefs and demanded all who ventured there do the same. They eventually became well-known monks and pacifists, who created a massive temple and trained vigilantly along the mountain tops. It was not long before the site became the unofficial capital of Highrise in 501 AU.
In order to survive the harsh environment, the monks often trained their bodies and mind in order to have no fear, constructing a large bridge between the Twin Peaks as a result. The mountains peaks because a famous pilgrimage spot for troubled souls. In modern times, they have continued to stay out of most conflicts, as even the barbarians of Westward refuse to venture too deep into the mountains.
The people of Highrise often have to live very simply because of their location. Many most hunt the location wildlife just to survive, while the monks of Twin Peaks have their own gardens they tend to eat from. Life is hard in the wilds of the frozen north, and everyone in a society is expected to carry their own weight. But no one subscribes to any lords or nobles, preferring to exist separately whenever possible. But should a neighbor ever need help, a Highman is expected to provide for them.
There is no formal army of Highrise. The only soldiers come in the form of either rangers from Ragos or highly trained monks from Twin Peaks. The biggest defense Highrise has is its own natural ones in the form of their inconsistent weather and impassable mountains. It is impossible for any army to fully invade their territory, and no force has ever tried. Highrise holds not aggression towards their neighbors, and thus a sort of acceptance is held between them and the nearby nations.
The closest thing to any sort of true leadership in Highrise lies at Twin Peaks, where the head of the clergy lives in the monastery. The monks of Highrise all bow to the wisdom of the Dal Comrada, the elected head clergy official who has spent at least ten years in the temple. The Dal Comrada acts as a sort of spiritual guide for the others more than an actual government head. He holds no ownership of land, but he can speak for all of the other monks. In Ragos, because it exists in a system of anarchy, has no leadership outside of a family head. Everyone in Highrise knows that they must put their differences aside in the face of winter, and any misgivings are usually brought to the attention of the whole village in spring when the snow thaws. Winter is the time for survival, and no matter the crime it must wait.
The line for Highrise starts past the White Hills and goes all the way into the northern most tip of the continent. The western side is completely covered in frost, with the northwest having amazing spires of ice. These are natural formations from the many geysers beneath the surface. At the very edge of the of the northwestern outlands is a large inactive volcano known as Mount Artano. To the northeast is the warmer and more spring-like land known as the Firelands. It has the only forest in the entire region, which provides much of the game and means of survival for the local inhabitants. Finally, there is the Void Gulf between the Firelands and Icelands. This is a largely unexplored ocean that could potentially hide islands in its mists.