At the far southern end of Amber, beyond the Vale of Garnath, is a comparatively barren region dominated by the volcano known as Mt Caoranach. Caoranach is the tallest mountain in the Spine of the World, and the only one still volcanically active. On a clear day, you can see Caoranach’s smoke plume from the top of Mt Kolvir.
The landscape is unfriendly to visitors, for only locals can keep track of the safe paths around the mountain. Falls of ash and scoria, drifts of sometimes toxic smoke, and occasional lava flows keep all but the bravest pilgrims away. The northern side of the mountain (facing Amber) is what most visitors see – either the barren grey slopes of the mountain itself, or the unfriendly smells of the nearby sulphur mines. Behind the mountain, however, the landscape is violently lush where the southern reaches of Arden become true jungle.
Arras is a mining town built dangerously close to the slopes of Mt Caoranach. Despite its proximity, the town has never been adversely affected by the volcano, a fact the townsfolk put down to a combination of magical effort and religious piety. The most impressive building in the town is Arras Cathedral, which was built to give thanks to the Unicorn – local folklore has it that during a great eruption eight hundred years ago, the Unicorn manifested to redirect the lava flow, saving the town.