The Balinoks are a mountain range that divides the Core between the West and the East. They once reached from the northern frontier of Markovia to the southern frontier of Bluetspur. Since the The Great Upheaval, they are circumscribed to the north by the frontier of Barovia; the moderate peaks of Markovia have been replaced by the nothingness of the The Shadow Rift. The south has likewise seen monumental change: the tremendous peaks of Bluetspur have been replaced by the substancial peaks of Hazlan.
Seasonally, the Balinoks may be traversed by the Old Svalich Road and, at its top, the Svalich Pass. The mountain range affords Count Strahd von Zarovich a choke-hold over East-West commerce, a choke-hold that he applies lightly in the form of a minor tax collected in the Village of Barovia. There may be higher passes over the Balinoks but they are bound with snow and ice nine months of the year.
Notable Peaks after The Great Upheaval.
- Mount Baratak is the highest peak in the Balinoks, with an elevation of 7,440 ft. It is a source of the Musarde River. It is located on the northern frontier of Barovia, previously overlooking Markovia, now staring into the abyss of The Shadow Rift.
- Terestrãu (“Mount Sawtooth”) is the second highest peak in the Balinoks, with an elevation of 7,170 ft. Terestrãu dominates south-eastern Barovia. Standing at its foot is the town of Immol. The summer melt waters from its flanks feed the adjacent lake, which is the source of the Saniset River.
- Mount Veduradeth is the highest peak in the Hazlani Balinoks, with an elevation of 6890 ft.
- Mount Urkoth Sor is the second highest peak in the Hazlani Balinoks, with an elevation of 6310 ft.
- Mount Soren is the third highest peak in the Hazlani Balinoks, with an elevation of 5230 ft. It stands in the centre of Hazlan. At its foot is the Red Wizard’s Vale.
- Mount Ghakis is the third highest peak in the Barovian Balinoks, with an elevation of 4620 ft. It stands at the heart of Barovia. It is a source of the Musarde River and is the source of the Ivlis River.
- Mount Arawn is the highest peak in Forlorn, with an elevation of 4580 ft. It stands in the center of that land.
- Mount Gries may belong to the foothills of the Balinoks or may belong to the Balinoks proper, for the matter is not clear. In any case, it is the highest peak in Borca, with an elevation of 4480 ft. It stands in the east of the land, with an unobstructed view of the Shadow Rift.