Not to be confused with the Dragonback Mountains or the alternate name of Cathay's Great Bastion.

Dragonspine Mountain

The Dragonspine Mountain

The Dragon Spine Mountains (sometimes spelled Dragonspine Mountains or "The Dragon Spine")[3a] collectively form a volcanic region within the High Elf Kingdom of Caledor made famous for the great beasts that dwell within. Upon the blazing black island at the very tail of the Dragon Spine sits the great shrine of Vaul, god of smiths.[1a]

The black slopes of the Dragon Spine Mountains of Caledor are often shrouded in steam from the many volcanic peaks of the region. The mountains' shoulders have been built up over many thousands of years by deposits brought up from the world's fiery core. According to Elven legends it was the very gods who dug deep beneath the earth's crust to find the secret gems and minerals that are concealed there. Today the mountain sides are studded with veins of wondrously coloured minerals, precious stones and metal ores, many found only in this part of the world. These gems are prized by both Elf and Dwarf craftsmen, and many have magical and unusual natural properties. The Elves themselves do not mine for gems or minerals, but harvest the exposed slopes for stones loosened by erosion and by the occasional tremors that shake the mountains around Vaul's Anvil. This is the largest of the volcanic mountains of the range, the legendary seat of the Elven god of smiths. Under its steam-clad slopes can be found the world's sole vein of the metal known as ithilmar.[2a]


The red-lit caves beneath the mountains echo with the ringing chants of fire mages as they sing of ancient days, when dragons soaring over the highest peaks were as common as the sight of doves in Avelorn. Hot steam and a magma glow suffused the glistening rocks of the caves, and countless braziers burn with aromatic oils said to be pleasing to the senses of dragons. Such braziers sometimes utilise a plant called heartleaf, which burns white gold, and has been used in ancient times to guide dragons to their riders in times of war. Regardless, the light of these braziers shimmering stark reflections off the scales of sleeping dragons.[3a]

Ghostly figures move through the cavern, exhausted mages whose voices grow hoarse with singing the songs forgotten by all save the line of dragonriders. Hidden by the acrid smoke, vast forms of scale, claw and wing lay coiled around the hottest vents, their mighty chests rising and falling with the slow rhythms of their ancient hearts.[3a]

In these days of dwindling, the old songs of valour cannot rouse the dragons from their dreams, and the clarion call to wake falls upon deaf ears. As the mountains had cooled, so too had the ardour of the dragons to shake themselves from their centuries of sleep. Only the youngest dragons awaken now, and even this is becoming rarer and rarer.[3a]

Down here, where the dragons sleep, curtains of sulfurous smoke hiss and vent through great splits in the rock, alongside the heartbeat of creatures older than any now living could remember. Droplets of sweat run down the cheeks of every Elf like tears, their hair oft hanging in wet ropes. Armour must be left outside, replaced with white robes to avoid injury.[3a] It becomes easy to lose track of time down here, for nothing changes in the cave of dragons. Their great slumbering hearts beat ever on with gelid slowness, never varying in their cadence or tempo.[3b]

Yet despite the lack of awakenings, many dragons still reside within these mountains, giving hope to Caledorans like Prince Imrik who believe that a species as noble as dragons won't just slip away as their hearts cooled, for the Prince knows things that the naysayers do not.[3a]


  • 1: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (7th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 10
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (5th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 55
  • 3: Sons of Ellyrion (novel) by Graham McNeill
    • 3a: Chapter 6
    • 3b: Chapter 10

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