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Mickey Flash

The Grey Mountains

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The Grey Mountains

The only things to be found in the Grey Mountains’re a shit ton’a snow, a whole town of religious nuts, and The Wendigo. Ain’t worth shit going there, lest you’d like to bring back frostbite as a souvenir.”

-Quincy Kelsin, Proprietor of The Van Kelsin Inn

I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “cold as a witch’s tit”. It suggests something as being quite cold. Well, if said saying holds any water, then one would assume witches and their kind would fare quite well in cold weather. Well, the fact that no magic users, Vechynachtian witches or otherwise, call this place home, can surely attribute to how cold it is. The only people who call this place home are the people of Beacon, and no one ascertains this to their intelligence or ingenuity. In other words, the only things that live here are stupid, or monstrous. Let’s learn a little more about this charming place, shall we?

 

Environment

The Grey Mountains are just that. Mountainous. There is little flatland to be found, and whatever lives there has adapted to travelling across uneven surfaces, and through high elevations. Temperatures rarely rise above freezing, so not only is it important to stay properly layered, but water needs to be kept warm. On the bright side, food reservation isn’t a problem.

Flora

Cryo Bloom

A flowering plant that absorbs thermal energy in lieu of sunlight. It is believed that these plants are part of why The Grey Mountains are so permanently cold. In their standard form, they resemble stark white roses, that have yet to bloom, with specks of blue smattered across. When a source of heat, such as a human, draws near, the flower will quickly bloom, revealing a dazzling sight. The flower itself is made up of whites, and light blues, and glows like ice, reflecting the moonlight. But its beauty hides its danger. One must avoid drawing close enough for these flowers to bloom, otherwise they will begin to suffer from hypothermia, as the plant saps away their body heat.

Black Icicles

A type of fungus that lives in the harsh environment. It grows off the few trees that are scattered across the landscape. To protect itself from the cold, it secretes a black liquid, which quickly freezes, acting as insulation. The fungus is edible, and easy to spot due to its pitch black color, and the relative oddity of icicles in a place where water is always frozen.

Creatures

Frost Wraiths

Sometimes called Razorwinds, Frost Wraiths are phantasmal creatures, that feast, like most of the beasts that live in The Grey Mountains, on thermal energy from unlucky travelers. When stalking a victim, Frost Wraiths are completely insubstantial, hence their nickname Razorwinds. They weaken their prey through hit and run tactics, forming sharp shards of ice to maul their victims, which quickly melt away, to keep their location secret. Once they’ve finally weakened their prey, they become substantial, and begin to leach away the victim’s body heat. The Wraiths resemble emaciated humans, wearing ragged cloaks. Their jaws unhinge like snakes, giving them large, twisted smiles.

Frost Weavers

Few would consider spiders, or anything related to them as beautiful. But the creatures known as Frost Weavers create the most beautiful designs for their webs, resembling massive snowflakes frozen in freefall. But alas, like most things in Vechynacht, they cannot be trusted. Their beautiful webs prove hypnotic, even to humans, and to come into contact with the web is to freeze to death, as the silk absorbs your body heat. Pretty much everything will kill you for your sweet, sweet body heat. Get used to it. The Weavers are small, about the size of a garden spider, but seem to resemble moths of all things, having a pair of wings, as well as eight legs. They’re most commonly found in groups of 12.

The Wendigo

A creature that rules over these mountains. Due to its nature, little is known about what it is, how many of if there may be, or why it exists. But that hasn’t stopped people from theorizing. For the people who live within The Grey Mountains, the most common belief is that the Wendigo is a demon, that eats anyone who is disloyal to the Bishop, and the people of Beacon. But considering that they’re Gaianists, and a fundamentalist off-shoot at that, it is likely that this theory holds no water. Luckily, wiser men have taken a stab at explaining the Wendigo. The current theory, is that the Wendigo is a semi-phantasmal parasite, which feeds off of human flesh. How it goes about doing so, is where things get interesting. The Wendigo normally lacks a solid form, and requires a host as a conduit. So, to obtain a suitable host, it needs to make one of its victims consume human flesh. To make this happen, it will stalk unwary parties out in the wild, and wait for them to make camp. Then, it will begin to destroy the group’s food rations. Once done, it will assault the mind of the party member who is psychologically weakest. When this member, desperate from perceived starvation, lashes out and slaughters a fellow traveller, the Wendigo will possess this man as soon as the first bite of flesh is in his mouth. By this point, the host is beyond help. Their body will be warped beyond recognition by magical means, leaving them assumably resembling the Wendigo’s true form. Eyewitnesses have described the creature as resembling a man-shaped, emaciated deer, a foot or two taller than a man, with long arms, ending in razor sharp claws, and a seer skeleton for a head. The antlers are large, and sharp enough to gore a man unlucky enough to get too close. The Wendigo will then attack any and all humans he can reach, quickly gorging himself on their corpses. Once all of its prey is slaughtered or escaped, the beast will briefly search for more meat, and if it doesn’t find any, will quickly succumb to its hunger, and die, its ethereal form leaving the host, which rots away within minutes.

 

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