Population: 709,900 (Whole Country)
Official Language: Grey Berlon
Dominant Magic Form: Incantation/Spoken Spells
The Grey Hills only has two towns worth the title, the Greater and Lesser Citadels, and the few yearly visitors to this part of the world only ever stay at the former. This is at least partially because the residents of the Lesser Citadel have been known to chase away strangers on sight. It is also because the Greater Citadel lies some five kilometers back from the River Glick, which is the main thoroughfare in and out of the country, while the Lesser Citadel was built in the hard to reach rocky interior of the Hills.
A land-locked country of rugged terrain, The Grey Hills tends to be more attractive to the traveling adventurer rather than the wandering pleasure seeker. In fact, so seldom is this country subject to tourism that this writer struggled to find attractions to document. Instead of the usual list of bars and festive events you will here find some more obscure pursuits, which may or may not be available to you upon your visit to this strange and often hostile land.
Where to stay:
There is only one proper lodging house in the Greater Citadel, and one can presume in all of The Grey Hills. The Stables used to be the main stable for the Citadel and is built against the wall between the town and the Inner Fortress. Travelers who’re wealthy enough, or who happen to be of noble blood, may petition the Old Family who defacto rule the town to let them stay at the Inner Fortress itself. However, even they may find the recommended lodging more hospitable.
Other places in town may offer you “somewhere to sleep”, but more often than not they simply mean that they wont harass you if you fall asleep in their tavern. Note that you still have to pay for this privilege.
What to do/eat/see:
- Hiking – As mentioned, The Grey Hills is most popular with the adventurous sort. This extends primarily to those who’re keen on activities such as mountain climbing and hiking. As a mostly vertical country The Grey Hills offers many routs for the avid hiker, but be warned that rescue teams are few and far between, and what seems like a trail may turn out to be little more than a goat track.
- Eating – Speaking of goat, this is one of the few culinary specialties of the region. You’d be advised to avoid the other local delicacies.
- Mama Ging – Befriending this delightful yet intimidating old woman may be beyond the realms of possibility for most travelers, but bears mentioning. She is a superb cook, particularly of goat, and once you win her favour she will guide and protect you during your stay. There may be other, similar, grandmothers in town who you could likewise befriend, but I wouldn’t know. It’s worth a try though.
Mama Ging can be found at the Mule’s Tail tavern most afternoons between 2pm and 4pm.
- The Inner Fortress – If you’re rich or of noble blood you could perhaps induce the Old Family to entertain you in their ancestral home, but you may wish you hadn’t.
- Did I mention Hiking?
How to get there:
A spot of advice; don’t. There’s better mountain climbing and far more pleasant towns elsewhere.
However, if you’re determined to go through with this, you can reach The Grey Hills via river barge and train. Or you can hire a vehicle to drive yourself there, but do not be surprised if it disappears in the middle of the night.