The southern half of Sorrow Pass is dotted with rolling hills, almost idyllic if not for all the bones and aged war implements jutting out in protest. These are the Gathol hills, just as storied as the rest of a valley that has seen numerous battles and several wars. The area's first fortifications rose up in the Demon Spawn War. In that centuries long conflict, the Covenant strategy for Hells Womb was containment. They worked to keep Demogorgon's armies from breaking out of the Lirgaza sector by way of the Sorrow Pass.
In the Second Epoch, the hills east of the Foronir River were fortified by the Iburakthal. This was a confederation of Turkûn-Khâl with bloodlines tracing back to the Gimhak. Their civilization was centered on Strumpktar. They controlled the Sorrow Road in this part of the region, charging tolls and keeping the hostiles at bay. The hills began to see fortifications on threats from the north, giants and the growing might and aggression of the Orchish Empire. Hundreds of moats and watery pit traps were dug, each with beds of rusting spears and other obstacles. Near these, they built towers and redoubts, each atop a hill, all linked by miles upon miles of tunnels. They protected the area from their northern foes, attacks by fire giants coming out of the Trudnar Mountains and keeping the Orchish Empire from making much headway in the First Sorrow Pass War.
Near the middle of the Second Epoch, the area's defenses, and its owners, were put to ruin in the Black Tide War. The fighting in Gathol was the result of the Black Tide's advance towards the Lands of Purity, with Iburakthal centered on their line of advance. These battles became known as the Second Sorrow Pass War.
The slain did not go to waste. They soon rose again, gifted with Thasmudyan's blessing, they fought for a new cause, joining the First Dead's growing legions.
- Kyriyes, an imp serving Katrana, from the Black Journal - "Strumpktar's End"
Today, Gathol's eastern hills are untamed, with frequent raiding and slaving by groups coming out of Agulbandal and Raefknar. By treaty, Celebriän, Surticon and Yastorogg, the three main powers of the area, have declared this area a demilitarized zone with no party allowed to build settlements or defenses here. As a result, it is a lawless area with nomadic-like settlements that never remain in one area for more than a week.