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Author Topic: Iceland Shortsnout (Icesnout)  (Read 8711 times)
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Vesk Lyricahl
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« on: 01 September 2007, 12:25:21 »

Overview: The quaking and shaking of ice heralds the arrival of the Iceland Shortsnout, or Icesnout for short. Black horns gleam in the sunlight as a pack of the creatures come upon anyone unlucky enough to enter their domain. And it is with a mighty bellow that the male asserts his rule over the Icelands and the Peninsula of Iol.

Appearance: Majestic and fearsome, the Icesnout stands at an average of one and a half peds at the shoulder. With shoulders that span a ped, the beast is nearly as broad as it is tall. A thick hide serves as protection from the elements, entirely xazure at birth yet lightening with each passing year. By adulthood the creatures are almost completely a pale blue, only the xazure dapples across their backs serving as a reminder of youth. Muscle and fat bulge beneath the skin, further insulating the Icesnout against the cold.



(click on image to enlarge)

A Remusian woman is shown here tending to the mount of her husband, a scout in the army. With one hand upon the beast's collar, she controls it, aiding herself in remaining wary of its horns.

Thick and low to the ground, their bodies hardly seem to possess necks and are more than doubled in length by a long, thick tail extending for more than two peds behind them before ending in a tuft of dark hair. A ridge of bone, black as darkest night, runs along the tail, starting midway up the beast’s back. Stout legs carry the Icesnout’s great weight, each one ending in sharp, black claws suited for digging through ice.

The most dominant feature of the beast’s face is perhaps the snout for which the Icesnout was named. Short and wide, the size of the snout hints at a heightened sense of smell. But there remains a facial feature even more notable than the snout, particularly to those unfortunate enough to anger the beast: long, black horns that ascend from the forehead and curl slightly before ending in cruelly sharp points. The horns are present in either gender, the only difference being that those of the females are noticeably smaller and less threatening.

With sharp teeth, black as the horns, their status as predators is made known. Incredibly strong jaws allow the Icesnout to snap even the thickest of bones with only a single bite. Within small, dark eyes gleam a cold intelligence, deep-set beneath a thick, protruding brow.

Special Abilities: A frost-like mist is exhaled from the Icesnout’s mouth, emanating for a couple of peds in a thick cloud, perhaps earning it the shortened version of its name. Their icy breath is apparently born of their ingestion of large quantities of ice and frozen carcasses, ensuring that they remain near frozen on the inside, the way they seem to like it. More than a mere parlor trick, this breath has been known to freeze water and fresh kills. It has been speculated that perhaps the beast uses its remarkable breath to slow or even freeze prey, but it has yet to be shown which prey animal will hold still for such a treatment.

An able hunter, the Icesnout does not rely on its poor eyesight to track prey but on its incredible sense of smell instead. A scent may be tracked up to a distance of several leagues; only the harshest of snowstorms are severe enough to interfere. More than prey is tracked by scent, as they will use their olfactory capabilities to track others of their kind or even avoid competitors for the same prey.

Without some ability at swimming the Icesnout would not be able to migrate through the frozen tundra, as there will be channels with either no ice or ice too thin to support their great weight. Luckily for them, Icesnouts are more than capable swimmers and even seem as at home in the water as they are on land. Whereas their powerful tails serve to balance them on land, in the water they are used to propel the beasts through the water as strong legs kick beneath them. A thick hide and layer of thicker fat beneath serve to insulate them from the frigid waters and maintain a body temperature slightly above freezing.

Territory: To date, Icesnouts have been found only in Northern Sarvonia, or to be more specific, the Icelands Coast for which they are named. The Peninsula of Iol is also home to them, particularly in the summer months as they migrate north to seek colder temperatures, contrary to the instincts of most animals. Their migratory pattern is known to follow that of the wison, hunting any injured or young animals to stray from the herd. However, they stray from the migratory paths of the wison as the herds turn south in autumn, the Icesnouts choosing not to venture far from their northern territories. Icesnouts seem to possess an intense dislike of warmth and noticeably suffer in warmer climes, where their thick hides and layers of fat work against them, bringing only discomfort.

Habitat/Behavior: Holes dug into the ice and snow, enlarged by tooth and nail, comprise the homes of the Icesnouts. Sharp claws serve to dig into the tundra with ease as strong legs supply the power. Despite living as a pack, the creatures sleep one to each hole, a mother and her young being the only exception. Frigid ice makes for a better bedmate than another of their kind, as the shared body heat would only serve to make them uncomfortable. A cluster of these holes, created anew each night, is commonly found wherever the Icesnouts slumber and are not to be stumbled in carelessly. A rudely awakened Icesnout is scarier even than any noblewoman seen without her cosmetics.

The pack is all there is. Each individual animal lives only to serve the pack and to ensure that it thrives. An individual may die, but the pack is immortal, living on beyond the lifespans of any Icesnout through their offspring. They move as one, whether hunting or merely traveling, the entire group moving in unison, guided by the one and only male. There exists an exception to the rule, lone males that roam without a pack of their own. Miserable creatures they are, scarcely able to hunt and unable to mate. Little more than scavengers, the rogue males seek packs of their own by deposing the dominant male, if possible.

Whereas females are docile and subservient, always deferring to the dominant male, the males are anything but. The male of a pack may be challenged by a rogue on any given day. Challenges are issued by the gnashing of teeth and stomping of feet before the two males charge at each other, locking horns as they push against one another. They may remain locked so for hours on end, each refusing to submit to the other. Only after one is thrown to the ground and his feet knocked out from under him is a victor determined. The loser is left to wallow in his own self pity as the pack moves on, perhaps with a new leader.

Should a new leader arise, his first order of business is to slaughter any young traveling with the pack. Only his progeny is allowed to thrive; the offspring of an inferior male cannot be allowed to survive. It is only then that Icesnouts can be considered cannibals, as no food is to go to waste, not even the carcasses of their young. One by one the new male throws down the females much as he did his former opponent, staring into their eyes as his dominance is made known. With his greater strength and larger horns it is not much of a struggle.

Diet: Icy cold, frozen solid meat is what the Icesnouts love to chew. Fresh kills, complete with warm, flowing blood, are to be avoided with disdain. It is thought that once the beasts merely buried their kills in the snow, waiting for them to freeze, yet such a method often earned the caracal a free meal. Now the Icesnouts treat their kills with an icy breath, believed to be a gift from Pargis, the god of ice, freezing the carcasses in mere moments. Incredibly powerful jaws help to break the ice into smaller, chewable chunks.

Pack hunters, the Icesnouts stalk their prey, moving effortlessly through ice and snow. With the male out front, the females spread out, their gazes intent upon the male, following his lead. He is the first to strike, the one to mark their chosen prey. The net closes as the females move in for the kill, surrounding the unfortunate beast. Wison are by far the preferred prey, stragglers in particular as they are herded away from the safety of the herd. Icesnouts follow the wison as they migrate north, often preying on the newborns of the herd. Any wison to drown in the icy channels are set upon by the Icesnouts, the pack diving in after their intended meal and taking chunks out of it at a time, the frigid water ensuring that the meat remains nice and cold.

As the wison migrate south in autumn, the Icesnouts prey upon other herd animals such as the tar’andus deer and cloaked elk. Their hunting tactics remain the same as the only difference is that they require more of the smaller animals to sustain them than they would the much larger wison. Icesnouts have been known to hunt the gigantic thunderfeet in times of desperation, always choosing the lone males, but otherwise they give the majestic creatures a wide berth.

Mating: The summer months are perhaps the only time that the blood of these frigid beasts warms as the mating season comes upon them. The males sense the readiness of the females by scent alone, making a whuffing noise as they inspect each of their females in turn. Any found to be ready are then mounted by the male as he attempts to impregnate them. Should he be mistaken about any given female, then she will not tolerate his advances, for once acting out of character as she becomes aggressive and refuses to stand still long enough for him to mount.

After a gestation of half a year on average, the young are born, sightless with only their sense of smell to guide them to the teats of their mothers. It is rare for the mothers to give birth to more than one infant, though twins are a possibility. The young fully mature only after a full three years have passed, the females joining the herd as adults whereas the young males are cast out by their sire. Only after another two years have passed will they be strong enough to take over packs of their own. On average, Icesnouts live ten to fifteen years with the females living a few more years than the more rambunctious males.

Usages: Believed to be beloved of Pargis, the Icesnouts are not hunted by most of the Ice Tribes. They will not even make use of the carcass should they come across one dead for fear of being taken by the lord of ice. Those that make their lives in the frozen tundra have come to respect the power of ice and its ability to deliver death.

But there is one tribe that makes use of the Icesnout, though even they will not eat of its flesh. Remusian scouts ride the fearsome beasts, using only an ornate collar to remain in control of their mounts. Only the docile females are ridden so, as it would take a fool to try and tame a male Icesnout. Fools have tried in the past, only to become their mount’s next meal.

The method in which the Remusians claim their Icesnout mounts is ingenious considering the nature of the pack. Mounted on their horses, other Icesnouts are not to be used for fear of disobedience, the majority of the Remusians surround the dominant male, using their spears to occupy him, all the while trying not to injure him too severely. Should they kill the male it is of no matter; there is always a rogue male willing to take his place. As the male’s attention is occupied, the nearly mature females are herded away toward the nearest settlement. It is of the utmost importance that the females be around two years of age, old enough to be weaned from their mothers yet not fully grown and thus too ingrained in the ways of the pack.

Once stabled, the females are kept separate lest their pack natures reassert themselves. It must be noted that the way in which the Remusians assert their dominance resembles that of the male Icesnout. Ropes are tied around each leg of the female as her soon to be master grips her horns and stares into her eyes. With the aid of several men she is thrown to the ground, her eyes never leaving those of her new master. Only one scout may ride any particular female; she will accept only one as her dominant male. From then on, her rider is to be the only male around her on a daily basis lest she begins to question his dominance. Women will see to most of the Icesnout’s care.

Scouts range far and wide from the calvary, relying upon their Icesnouts’ sense of smell to track any quarry through the frozen tundra. Each scout is solitary, operating almost independently, which is well for the Icesnouts considering that were they to be gathered as a group, their pack instincts would undoubtedly take hold.

Myth/Lore: As to the creation of the Icesnout, the men of the Ice Tribes tell a tale of the union of the gods and the gift one bestowed upon his children.

The Union of Ice and Snow.
Snow and ice caroused in the sky above, flakes of snow falling only to be pierced by shards of ice. It soon covered the world in a snowy white blanket, much as it is today, and a mist formed as the very air chilled. Two figures danced high above the world, one as soft and yielding as snow and the other as hard and reluctant as ice. Flurries of snow and ice swirled around them as they descended to the world below, the very earth beneath their feet freezing with every footfall. They became as one then, and of their union were born a pack of creatures formed of the ice and the snow, never freezing so long as they remained in the domain of their parents Pargis and Chelinor.

But the snow from which they had been born was destined to betray them. Attuned to the cold, they could not bear to eat of warm flesh and so buried their kills in snow drifts, only to have them plundered by the notorious caracal. Pargis soon passed over the world in a sleet of hail and gazed upon the theft of the caracal as an icy fury gripped his frozen heart. He came to his children then, the Icesnouts, forming a manlike figure out of shards of ice. His ice shot up from the ground then, encasing each in a frozen cocoon as his power flowed into them. A breath of ice was his gift to them, so that they never again need to rely upon the murderous snow. It is said that the snow will always crunch beneath the heavy tread of an Icesnout, warning any prey of the imminent danger, yet ice will never break beneath them, for it would not betray them.


The Remusians do not hold true to the beliefs of their less sophisticated brethren. Instead, they believe the Icesnout was created by Kor’och, their god of war and creation, to serve as mounts for their scouts. It would not do to show scorn by rejecting the gift of a god, so it is with almost a religious fervor that the Remusians tame the mounts for their scouts.

Carved from Ice. Snow and ice beat against the great oaken doors of the mansion as the fierce winds howled their fury. Only torchlight lit the great chamber as the sun was barred from shining by the gathering of dark, ominous clouds. The men and women of the Lanrul’s hall counted themselves fortunate for the roof over their heads, yet there was one not quite so fortunate, his presence made known as the great doors were thrown wide and the bitter cold entered unbidden. Ice clung to him, slowed his every movement, and his fingers had blackened with frostbite. With a piteous voice, one humbled by the snowstorm, he spoke to the Lanrul, the leader of his people.

“The storm blocks my path; I cannot return to my post as scout. My horse has already succumbed to the cold, and I fear I am next. What am I to do, lord?” If pity lived within the Lanrul’s heart, then he could do naught but offer this poor man warmth and shelter.

“Look not to me for a better horse, consult the horsebreeders. And think not to ask me to halt the storm, you know such power belongs to Kor’och alone. Now begone from my sight and return to your post ere the sun rises tomorrow.” With only a wave of his hand, the Lanrul dismissed the disheveled scout.

Despair weighed heavily upon his shoulders as the scout trudged back to his piteous hut. He had scarcely cast himself upon his simple bed before slumber overtook him. Troubled and frightful, his slumber was that of a man haunted by demons he could not conquer. Sweat poured freely from his brow as his entire body trembled in fear. For a figure had appeared in his dream, a winged warrior he recognized as his god Kor’och. Blood caked the god’s thick beard as he smiled, a smile to freeze the blood of even the staunchest warrior. His voice was everywhere and nowhere, booming in the scout’s mind.

“Your only desire is for a mount to bear you safely through the frozen tundra, this I will deliver unto you and your people. But fail to appreciate this gift and its worth and my wrath will be greater than the fury of a thousand blizzards.” In the dream a block of ice appeared, and the god’s great axe descended once, twice, and finally thrice as it carved a figure from the ice. Its appearance was intimidating, a fearsome creature with sharp horns and teeth, no doubt capable of swallowing a man whole were it alive. And live it did as Kor’och exhaled the breath of life into the beast, causing it to shake and tremble as the ice shattered, yet it would always seek out the ice as if to return to its former self.

“Sleep now mortal and worry not, the Icesnout will protect you and your kind.” The scout awoke then, believing it all to be a dream, yet he stopped short upon exiting his hut, his eyes wide in awe as he gazed upon the fearsome figure of the first Icesnout, the creature impatiently pawing at the snow with one foot.
« Last Edit: 16 September 2007, 15:06:56 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged
Vesk Lyricahl
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« Reply #1 on: 01 September 2007, 12:32:11 »

I'm posting what I have so far to see if there are any objections to the basic concept of the creature or any of its abilities. The overview will be expanded once the entry is finished, it'll just be easier to do last. And its worth noting that this picture will serve as the image for the Icesnout.

There is one idea I have for the creature that may or may not work. In the original entry for the Remusians a scout calvary is mentioned yet they're lacking in Altario's rewrite, so I'm doubtful about using the Icesnout as a mount for the Remusian scouts. I could definitely make it work, the only question is would the Remusians have such mounts for the scouts instead of their horses? Only the scouts would ride them, they'll be pretty much useless for anything but scouting, so the horses will remain the Remusians' mount of choice.
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« Reply #2 on: 01 September 2007, 22:28:55 »

Well personally I have no problems with the concept...In fact I like it alot Vesk. Beasts like this, so capably written with thought through and logical ideas, are not too common to find. Its an added bonus that its got a picture to go with it, but I have one query:

The woman in the picture- She looks a little exotic for an Ice tribes(wo)man, Do you have an explanation of who she is?

And on the scout Idea: It seems that Altario has taken on alot of the work surrounding the Remusians, so perhaps you should adress the question directly to him. I don't know anything about icetribe culture- and so there could be someone else more qualified on the topic- but Altario is who comes to mind first.

Good Work so Far!

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« Reply #3 on: 02 September 2007, 00:03:25 »

Very nice Vesk. grin

I like the idea for this as a scout animal.  My thinking of the scouts are that they are basically a frozen wastes suited ranger.  An animal like this would benefit someone alone out in that type of environment much better than a more fragile horse.  So, go ahead and create that as a use for them, and when I see what you do, I can add that to the revision.

Some questions.  I assume because they are being used for the scouts that they will be more solitary in nature?  Lone riders away from the main body of the cavalry.

Also, how do the scouts bond with these beasts?  Must they be raised by the scout from when they are young?  And then trained by them?  Or do you see them as being more adaptable, wiling to take on almost anyone as a rider?

Are the mounts mostly female, as they are more docile?  Males seem like they might be too much to handle.

I look forward to where this is going.
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Vesk Lyricahl
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« Reply #4 on: 02 September 2007, 06:11:02 »

Altario, I'm glad my idea for this to be a scout animal for the Remusians works. grin

I think my additions have answered all of your questions. Yay for finally finishing this.

And Deci, she looks like a Remusian woman to me. The only thing that might be off, in my opinion, is her hairstyle, and that's minor enough. I even managed to account for a woman being in the picture with the Icesnout instead of a man, since only the men serve in the military. The women are the ones to care for the beasts. grin
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« Reply #5 on: 02 September 2007, 22:23:24 »

Okay Vesk...Seems you got approval from the beastiary and remusian fronts...so do you want to add more or would you like me to give you a check of what you have got here?

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« Reply #6 on: 03 September 2007, 00:05:08 »

The entry is finished now, so by all means, check away! ;)
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« Reply #7 on: 03 September 2007, 03:22:15 »

Okay Vesk...Here be the comments....



Overview: By the crunching of ice underfoot great beasts (Eh? This sounds...off...I think that 'The Crunching of the ice underfoot heralds the arrival of the great Icesnout beast' could be better don't you think?) is the presence of the Iceland Shortsnout, or Icesnout for short, made known. Black horns gleam in the sunlight as a pack of the creatures come upon anyone unlucky enough to enter their domain. And it is with a mighty bellow that the male asserts his rule over the Icelands and the Peninsula of Iol.

Appearance: Majestic and fearsome, the Icesnout stands at an average of one and a half peds at the shoulder. With shoulders that span a ped, the beast is nearly as broad as it is tall. A thick hide serves as protection from the elements, entirely xazure at birth yet lightening with each passing year. By adulthood the creatures are almost completely a pale blue, only the xazure dapples across their backs serving as a reminder of youth. Muscle and fat bulge beneath the skin, further insulating the Icesnout against the cold.

Thick and low to the ground, their bodies hardly seem to possess necks and are more than doubled in length by a long, thick tail extending for more than two peds behind them before ending in a tuft of dark hair. A ridge of bone, black as darkest night, runs along the tail, starting midway up the beast’s back. Stout legs carry the Icesnout’s great weight, each one ending in sharp, black claws suited for digging through ice.

The most dominant feature of the beast’s face is perhaps the snout for which the Icesnout was named. Short and wide, the size of the snout hints at a heightened sense of smell. But there remains a facial feature even more notable than the snout, particularly to those unfortunate enough to anger the beast: long, black horns that ascend from the forehead and curl slightly before ending in cruelly sharp points. The horns are present in either gender, the only difference being that those of the females are noticeably smaller and less threatening.

With sharp teeth, black as the horns, their status as predators is made known. Incredibly strong jaws allow the Icesnout to snap even the thickest of bones with only a single bite. Within small, dark eyes gleam a cold intelligence, deep-set beneath a thick, protruding brow.  I think the appearence section is completely fine, especially since there will be a picture for reference anyway grin.....

Special Abilities: A frost-like mist is exhaled from the Icesnout’s mouth, perhaps earning it the shortened version of its name (Hmmm...Won't everything's breath in the Icelands be frosty, like when you breath on a cold day? Perhaps change it's colour to a light blue or something....). Their icy breath is apparently born of their ingestion of large quantities of ice and frozen carcasses, ensuring that they remain near frozen on the inside, the way they seem to like it (obviuously scientifically incorrect...but It's a good 'medieval' touch that shows the lack of true understanding IMO) . More than a mere parlor trick, this breath has been known to freeze water and even freshen kills. It has been speculated that perhaps the beast uses its remarkable breath to slow or even freeze prey, but it has yet to be shown which prey animal will hold still for such a treatment.

An able hunter, the Icesnout does not rely on its poor eyesight to track prey but on its incredible sense of smell instead. A scent may be tracked up to a distance of several leagues; only the harshest of snowstorms are severe enough to interfere. More than prey is tracked by scent, as they will use their olfactory capabilities to track others of their kind or even avoid predators.

Without some ability at swimming the Icesnout would not be able to migrate through the frozen tundra, as there will be channels with either no ice or ice too thin to support their great weight. Luckily for them, Icesnouts are more than capable swimmers and even seem as at home in the water as they are on land. Whereas their powerful tails serve to balance them on land, in the water they are used to propel the beasts through the water as strong legs kick beneath them. A thick hide and layer of thicker fat beneath serve to insulate them from the frigid waters and maintain a body temperature slightly above freezing.

Territory: To date, Icesnouts have been found only in Northern Sarvonia, or to be more specific, the Icelands Coast for which they are named. The Peninsula of Iol is also home to them, particularly in the summer months as they migrate north to seek colder temperatures (perhaps you should comment on how unusual it is to migrate to find cold?). Their migratory pattern is known to follow that of the wison, hunting any injured or young animals to stray from the herd. However, they stray from the migratory paths of the wison as the herds turn south in autumn, the Icesnouts choosing not to venture far from their northern territories. Icesnouts seem to possess an intense dislike of warmth and noticeably suffer in warmer climes (Why? Is their fur too thick? Do they feel distressed if they reach 'normal' temperature?).

Habitat/Behavior: Holes dug into the ice and snow, enlarged by tooth and nail, comprise the homes of the Icesnouts. Sharp claws serve to dig into the tundra with ease as strong legs supply the power. Despite living as a pack, the creatures sleep one to each hole, a mother and her young being the only exception. Frigid ice makes for a better bedmate than another of their kind, as the shared body heat would only serve to make them uncomfortable. A cluster of these holes is commonly found wherever the Icesnouts slumber and are not to be stumbled in carelessly. A rudely awakened Icesnout is scarier even than any woman seen without her cosmetics (hehehe...grin...Can I ask though...are these permanent dwellings or are they built when needed....if they are permanent...where do they sleep when migrating?).

The pack is all there is. Each individual animal lives only to serve the pack and to ensure that it thrives. An individual may die, but the pack is immortal, living on beyond the lifespans of any Icesnout through their offspring. They move as one, whether hunting or merely traveling, the entire group moving in unison, guided by the one and only male. There exists an exception to the rule, lone males that roam without a pack of their own. Miserable creatures they are, scarcely able to hunt and unable to mate. Little more than scavengers, the rogue males seek packs of their own by deposing the dominant male, if possible.

Whereas females are docile and subservient, always deferring to the dominant male, the males are anything but. The male of a pack may be challenged by a rogue on any given day. Challenges are issued by the gnashing of teeth and stomping of feet before the two males charge at each other, locking horns as they push against one another. They may remain locked so for hours on end, each refusing to submit to the other. Only after one is thrown to the ground and his feet knocked out from under him is a victor determined. The loser is left to wallow in his own self pity as the pack moves on, perhaps with a new leader.

Should a new leader arise, his first order of business is to slaughter any young traveling with the pack. Only his progeny is allowed to thrive; the offspring of an inferior male cannot be allowed to survive. It is only then that Icesnouts can be considered cannibals, as no food is to go to waste, not even the carcasses of their young. One by one the new male throws down the females much as he did his former opponent, staring into their eyes as his dominance is made known. With his greater strength and larger horns it is not much of a struggle. 

Diet: Icy cold, frozen solid meat is what the Icesnouts love to chew. Fresh kills, complete with warm, flowing blood, are to be avoided with disdain. It is thought that once the beasts merely buried their kills in the snow, waiting for them to freeze, yet such a method often earned the caracal a free meal. Now the Icesnouts treat their kills with an icy breath, believed to be a gift from Pargis, the god of ice, freezing the carcasses in mere moments. Incredibly powerful jaws help to break the ice into smaller, chewable chunks.

Pack hunters, the Icesnouts stalk their prey, moving effortlessly through ice and snow. With the male out front, the females spread out, their gazes intent upon the male, following his lead. He is the first to strike, the one to mark their chosen prey. The net closes as the females move in for the kill, surrounding the unfortunate beast. Wison are by far the preferred prey, stragglers in particular as they are herded away from the safety of the herd. Icesnouts follow the wison as they migrate north, often preying on the newborns of the herd. Any wison to drown in the icy channels are set upon by the Icesnouts, the pack diving in after their intended meal and taking chunks out of it at a time, the frigid water ensuring that the meat remains nice and cold.

As the wison migrate south in autumn, the Icesnouts prey upon other herd animals such as the tar’andus deer and cloaked elk. Their hunting tactics remain the same as the only difference is that they require more of the smaller animals to sustain them than they would the much larger wison. Icesnouts have been known to hunt the gigantic thunderfeet in times of desperation, always choosing the lone males, but otherwise they give the majestic creatures a wide berth.

Mating: The summer months are perhaps the only time that the blood of these frigid beasts warms as the mating season comes upon them. The males sense the readiness of the females by scent alone, making a whuffing noise as they inspect each of their females in turn. Any found to be ready are then mounted by the male as he attempts to impregnate them. Should he be mistaken about any given female, then she will not tolerate his advances, refusing to stand still long enough for him to mount. (I thought these females where very obedient and the fact a  male could easily overpower her is mentioned above....Does the female become highly aggressive...not staying still doesn't seem very effective to ward of such a fearsome beast....)

After a gestation of half a year on average, the young are born, sightless with only their sense of smell to guide them to the teats of their mothers. It is rare for the mothers to give birth to more than one infant, though twins are a possibility. The young fully mature only after a full three years have passed, the females joining the herd as adults whereas the young males are cast out by their sire. Only after another two years have passed will they be strong enough to take over packs of their own. On average, Icesnouts live ten to fifteen years with the females living a few more years than the more rambunctious males.

Usages: Believed to be beloved of Pargis, the Icesnouts are not hunted by most of the Ice Tribes. They will not even make use of the carcass should they come across one dead for fear of being taken by the lord of ice. Those that make their lives in the frozen tundra have come to respect the power of ice and its ability to deliver death.

But there is one tribe that makes use of the Icesnout, though even they will not eat of its flesh. Remusian scouts ride the fearsome beasts, using only an ornate collar to remain in control of their mounts. Only the docile females are ridden so, as it would take a fool to try and tame a male Icesnout. Fools have tried in the past, only to become their mount’s next meal.

The method in which the Remusians claim their Icesnout mounts is ingenious considering the nature of the pack. Mounted on their horses, other Icesnouts are not to be used for fear of disobedience, the majority of the Remusians surround the dominant male, using their spears to occupy him, all the while trying not to injure him too severely. Should they kill the male it is of no matter; there is always a rogue male willing to take his place. As the male’s attention is occupied, the nearly mature females are herded away toward the nearest settlement. It is of the utmost importance that the females be around two years of age, old enough to be weaned from their mothers yet not fully grown and thus too ingrained in the ways of the pack.

Once stabled, the females are kept separate lest their pack natures reassert themselves. It must be noted that the way in which the Remusians assert their dominance resembles that of the male Icesnout. Ropes are tied around each leg of the female as her soon to be master grips her horns and stares into her eyes. With the aid of several men she is thrown to the ground, her eyes never leaving those of her new master. Only one scout may ride any particular female; she will accept only one as her dominant male. From then on, her rider is to be the only male around her on a daily basis lest she begin to question his dominance. Women will see to most of the Icesnout’s care.

Scouts range far and wide from the calvary, relying upon their Icesnouts’ sense of smell to track any quarry through the frozen tundra. Each scout is solitary, operating almost independently, which is well for the Icesnouts considering that were they to be gathered as a group, their pack instincts would undoubtedly take hold.

Myth/Lore: As to the creation of the Icesnout, the men of the Ice Tribes tell a tale of violence and misery, of rape:

The Rape of the Ice. In a time long past, when the gods were still young, Pargis had yet to establish his icy hold upon the earth. Valiantly he clashed with Ertemmir, god of the earth, who yet denied the right of ice to exist in the world. Strong as Pargis was, the power of the earth was ever greater, and he found himself forced to submit to Ertemmir. Of their reluctant union and of the ice god’s body was born a creature with a love for nothing save ice. At birth it received the gift from Pargis of an icy breath, becoming the Icesnout, forever a bane to the earth as it spread the ice of its parent. A single Icesnout became many, turning the once warm earth into a frozen tundra long before the birth of man. Proud of his offspring, Pargis declared it sacred, forbidding any to hunt it lest the ice one day swallow them whole.

The Remusians do not hold true to the beliefs of their less sophisticated brethren. Instead, they believe the Icesnout was created by Kor’och, their god of war and creation, to serve as mounts for their scouts. It would not do to show scorn by rejecting the gift of a god, so it is with almost a religious fervor that the Remusians tame the mounts for their scouts.

Carved from Ice. The great axe descended once, twice, and finally thrice as it carved a figure from the ice. Its appearance was intimidating, a fearsome creature with sharp horns and teeth, no doubt capable of swallowing a man whole were it alive. And live it did as Kor’och exhaled the breath of life into the beast, causing it to shake and tremble as the ice shattered, yet it would always seek out the ice as if to return to its former self.



Very well written!

I like this entry alot and it is truly a very good work...I didn't make comments on the myth, since Iceland mythology isn't my domain...get Altario to check out that...

I think this is a very good entry and one that will soon be finished!

Decipher
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« Reply #8 on: 03 September 2007, 03:30:38 »

I will give a close look at the Myth/Lore when I get back tonight or tomorrow morning, Vesk.
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« Reply #9 on: 03 September 2007, 05:19:57 »

Thanks Deci. :)

Edits have been made and marked in blue.

I've also rewritten one of the myths for the Icesnout, since I decided I didn't like the original anymore. :P
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« Reply #10 on: 04 September 2007, 16:30:41 »

Myth/Lore: As to the creation of the Icesnout, the men of the Ice Tribes tell a tale of violence and misery, of rape:

The Rape of the Ice. In a time long past, when the gods were still young, Pargis had yet to establish his icy hold upon the earth. Valiantly he clashed with Ertemmir, god of the earth, who yet denied the right of ice to exist in the world. Strong as Pargis was, the power of the earth was ever greater, and he found himself forced to submit to Ertemmir. Of their reluctant union and of the ice god’s body was born a creature with a love for nothing save ice. At birth it received the gift from Pargis of an icy breath, becoming the Icesnout, forever a bane to the earth as it spread the ice of its parent. A single Icesnout became many, turning the once warm earth into a frozen tundra long before the birth of man. Proud of his offspring, Pargis declared it sacred, forbidding any to hunt it lest the ice one day swallow them whole.

I'm somewhat confused by this myth.  I know what you are saying, but i'm not sure it is very clear as to how/why pargis comes to give birth to the icesnout.  I know that gender is not so important in this regard, but motivations behind it are.  Was it an accident?  a result of the battles?  Or like the intro suggests, the physical rape of pargis by ertimmir?

On another note, you say the icesnout was born a creature with love for nothing save ice.  Could this be expanded on to include its disdain for warmth?  Why does it find warmth uncomfortable?


The Remusians do not hold true to the beliefs of their less sophisticated brethren. Instead, they believe the Icesnout was created by Kor’och, their god of war and creation, to serve as mounts for their scouts. It would not do to show scorn by rejecting the gift of a god, so it is with almost a religious fervor that the Remusians tame the mounts for their scouts.

Carved from Ice. The great axe descended once, twice, and finally thrice as it carved a figure from the ice. Its appearance was intimidating, a fearsome creature with sharp horns and teeth, no doubt capable of swallowing a man whole were it alive. And live it did as Kor’och exhaled the breath of life into the beast, causing it to shake and tremble as the ice shattered, yet it would always seek out the ice as if to return to its former self.

Very nice, i'm hoping that you can expand a bit on these.  Give them some atmosphere, some mood.  I know your writing ability, and you are very capable of it.   grin

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« Reply #11 on: 04 September 2007, 23:14:11 »

I'll get to work expanding these. But um, you commented on one of the myths I did away with. Its replacement is marked in blue. ;)
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« Reply #12 on: 05 September 2007, 01:38:40 »

how bazaar.... wonder why it wasn't like that earlier.... shocked
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« Reply #13 on: 05 September 2007, 02:06:59 »

What about risks of them getting preyed on from dragons and from large aquatic animals particularly when swimming?

I like the idea of them being used for riding beasts but how does the rider keep his butt from getting to cold while the icesnout gets to warm?
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« Reply #14 on: 05 September 2007, 04:14:22 »

I've added the picture here for easier comparison with the description. :)
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