From Dragon Eye Atlas
The mountain range is famous for two things: Its wet western side and the dragons living along it.
As the Gedaxa Mountains rise steeply out of the forested and grassy hills of Njombia, they create a weather divide along their north-south line, with the western side being wetlands and the eastern side being in the rain shadow and arid. A map clearly shows the many rivers flowing back towards the ocean on the western side, keeping the water cycle going, while not a single river flows out of the Gedaxa Mountains to the east.
Fed by glaciers and rainfall, the entire western side of the mountain range is a unique ecological zone, with distinct flora and fauna. The rainfall on this side of the mountains creates a high precipitation environment, leading to an abundance of water and moist soils. The wetlands are characterized by shallow ponds, bogs, and swamps, with tall grasses and sedges dominating the landscape. They are also dotted with small shrubs and trees that have adapted to this unique environment.
The fauna of this high-altitude wetland is diverse, with a variety of amphibians, reptiles, and birds making their home here. Theser are important breeding grounds for many species of waterfowl, such as ducks and geese. Migratory birds also stop over in the wetlands, using it as a resting and feeding area. The wetlands are home to a variety of fish, such as trout and salmon, that spawn in the shallow streams and ponds.
The population density in this area is low, as agriculture is difficult, as are herding and hunting. The few hardy locals rely on the wetlands themselves for food and resources. They hunt waterfowl and fish in the ponds and streams. The are a source of medicinal plants and herbs, which could be used to treat various ailments, and make up part of the trade that the locals engage in. They also use the tall grasses and sedges to make baskets, mats, and other household items.
The primary industry in the area is fishing and hunting. The local people also cultivate small plots of land on the fringes of the wetlands, growing crops such as barley and oats. They also raise small amounts of livestock, such as goats and sheep, which graze on the nearby hillsides. There are few mines as they tend to get flooded.
Once one leaves the wetland zone, however, and enters the foothills, settlements become more common and the ground is fertile. This and the regular rainfalls make for good agriculture.
The west side is also the location of the only city within the Gedaxa Mountains, Mpi Luma at an altitude of 1143 metres.
The eastern side of the Gedaxa Mountains is arid and lacks rainfall, resulting in a dry and rugged terrain with sparse vegetation. The landscape is characterized by rocky hills, mesas, and canyons with limited water resources. The flora and fauna of this area are adapted to the arid conditions, with species that can survive with minimal water. This is one of the most dry regions in all of Auseka, a stark contrast to the western side.
The vegetation in this area is dominated by drought-resistant plants such as cacti, succulents, and shrubs. The hillsides are covered with scrub vegetation such as sagebrush, creosote bush, and yucca plants. The flora in this area is often characterized by its thorniness and ability to store water, helping the plants to survive during extended dry periods.
The fauna in this area has also adapted to the arid environment. There are species of reptiles such as lizards and snakes, along with rodents, rabbits, and other small mammals. Larger mammals such as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions also roam this area. The birds in this area include species such as roadrunners, eagles, and hawks.
The local people living in this area have adapted to the harsh conditions and developed a lifestyle that is closely connected to the environment. They have a deep understanding of the local flora and fauna and have learned to use the resources in a sustainable way. The primary industries along the eastern mountain sides are agriculture and animal husbandry, with crops such as wheat, corn, and beans grown on irrigated terraced fields.
The local people also raise livestock such as goats, sheep, and cattle, which graze on the sparse vegetation. Water for both fields and animals is gathered in cisterns during the rare rainfalls and made use of as carefully as possible. In the lower areas, wells have been dug as well, though the depth and luck required to access one of the rare underground aquifiers make them rare.
Overall, the flora, fauna, and people on the eastern side of the mountain range have adapted to the arid environment and developed a unique way of life that is closely connected to the local resources. They are resilient and self-sufficient, relying on their knowledge of the land to survive in this challenging environment.
The Dragons of Gedaxa
Most of the dragons living here are relatively young, only a small number exceeding 200 years of age. The area cannot sustain more or older of them, as there are few animals larger than goats living in the mountains.
The sparse population of humans, especially at higher altitudes, and the distance they tend to keep from any area known to be the hunting grounds of a dragon, lead to relatively few encounters between humans and dragons.