The Rust-Top Peaks are so named because of the high iron content within their rocks and the constant rainfall of the region giving them at glance a "rusty" hue. It is a massive mountain range traveling east to west for nearly 3,000 miles. With its many steep peaks that seem to be jutting upwards from each others' bases it is nearly impassible.
Ghost Wail Pass, once known as Miner's Pass, is a narrow valley through the Rust-Top Peaks that is only about 30ft at its widest point. It treacherously winds its way north from the southern entrance for about 170 miles. It is truly the only practical means through the mountains. The southern end of the pass opens to a vast expanse of forests mottled within the hilly terrain. The northern end reveals a lowland coastline with easy access to the Cold Sea beyond.
Many years ago, Karlsfell, a great city south of the Rust-Top Peaks had a war-minded king come to power by the name of Urlgen. He grew jealous of the wealth of the northern kingdoms and their ease to trade routes via the Cold Sea. He, too, wanted access to these trades routes and the riches that came with them so he built a grand army. An army the likes of which had never before been seen. And he marched it north to conquer everything beyond the mountains.
King Urlgen's massive army, some 300,000 strong, had difficulty navigating through the narrow Miner's Pass. It was no wonder, then, that word would reach the northern kingdoms of his intentions long before his army could get there.
The northern kingdoms under the banner of King Bjoron would assemble a small army of what they could quickly muster and set it at the entrance of Miner's Pass, hoping to buy themselves some time. Urlgen's army arrived weary from the journey and did not put up much of an initial fight. The narrow pass made it exceedingly difficult for Urlgen to gain an edge against his dug-in foes. As the fighting progressed , days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months. Urlgen's forces were steadily diminishing as the northern kingdoms continued to gain fresh, able-bodied soldiers from their sea-faring allies.
Eventually, Urlgen and his men could continue no longer and were ultimately defeated by the ever reinforcing northerners. King Bjoron and his allies rode down what was left of Urlgen's army and killed every last one of them. And as a warning to any future southerners that would dare challenge the norther kingdoms again, he paved a road through Miner's Pass with the bones of the fallen soldiers.
Many generations have passed since the defeat of King Urlgen. The pass, once known as Miner's Pass, now goes by the name of Ghost Wail Pass. The "road" made by King Bjoron has become overgrown over the many years but there are still many bones protruding from the ground. A femur here, a jaw-less skull there, a rib-cage covered in moss that is home to a family of rodents, etc.
Those that travel the pass nowadays are clearly unaware of the legends that surround it. It is also worth noting that those that do travel it are seldom, if ever, seen again. It is said that when the winds blow south, wafting the smell of sea-water into the pass, one can hear the echo of a battle going on within its jagged walls. Cries, shrieks, clanging steel and war horns reverberate throughout the narrow valley.
Legend says a few travelers have made it from one end to the other, though, no one has actually had an eyewitness account of these survivors. But it is said they tell tales of skeletons rising from the dirt to add more "mortar" to the road. Others say King Urlgen's men are still trying to take the pass, slaughtering anyone not waiving the banner of Karlsfell. And others still, say it is King Urlgen's ghost that wanders the road still seeking the riches of the northern kingdom. But of course, these are all merely myths to keep travelers away from the iron rich mines within the valley... right?
Additional Ideas (1)
It turns out that the pass is perfectly safe by day but from sunset until sunrise, various undead rise, making it very dangerous after dark.