The dizzyingly steep, sometimes reaching elevations of up to 1,200 feet, Laatzen Hills are picturesque and beautiful. Locally they are referred to as the Warheit Hill chain. Not only are they part of the area’s defenses, being incredibly difficult to travel without a guide, they also are home to some of Gotha’s finest vineyards. Despite being treacherous to navigate, much less work, the local peasants pride themselves on this centuries old tradition. In some of the more valleyed areas between the hills, several small villages and towns have settled, both working the hills for grapes and local fruit (mostly apples), and grazing animals on hillsides that do not yield any produces. Over the last few decades, at least half a dozen villages and farmsteads have sprung up that are run mostly by offshoots of the extended Bergenthal family, who are running a productive exchange of goods and coin with the town of Laatzen itself, as well as with the lower-lying villages and towns on the Laatzen plains.
Along with the Vineyards, there are many rugged communities of goat herders dotting the hills, although those settlements are less permanent and more likely to move, adapting to the land to settle briefly where their animals will find sustenance, and the nights hold fewer horrors. A hardy and stoic folk, the Warheit people are extremely close-knit communities and suspicious of strangers. Other than times where they take their goats to sale down in the plains, they historically keep to themselves.
There are several small mining communities along the Hill chain. They usually rise and fall quickly. The largest, and oldest, of these communities is Kohleloch. A large coal mine within with a small town of the same name. The majority of the residents work in the mine, the rest are their families and/or support the mine in some way.
It’s a bleak ugly little town that is off of any major trade routes. The people are ill tempered and very few people travel there unless they must.