The Hridbalk is the Yddr name for the high cordillera running down the spine of the continent; its crest separates Ydra from the Qlithoth plateau to the northeast and from the trackless wastes to the east, though a sizable pass opens through it into the forested heart of eastern Ydra. It includes Ydra's highest inhabited land (though several mountains both in and outside it have been claimed as the region's tallest), and hosts its largest glaciers and ice-fields.

Its name refers to the landform as a whole, and to the highest chain of mountains within it; many of its smaller subsidiary ranges have their own names. The scattered string of volcanic mountains known as the Askfjallen parallel it for much of its length, running north to south through further Ydra.

Though it is nominally part of Ydra, the high country around the Hridbalk is only tenuously connected to Yddr culture, and its petty kings and chieftains hold close their own gods and folkways. Even the working of iron is unknown to some of its more remote valleys, and scarcely a Yddr taboo is not routinely broken among one of its tribes or another.


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