KALTA'GOOR ("ICE FANG ISLE", "ISLE OF THE SNOW DRAKE")

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - PEOPLE - CLIMATE
FLORA - FAUNA - RESOURCES - MYTH/LORE - HISTORY

The island known as Kalta'Goor is but one of many unexplored regions of Northern Sarvonia. The name "Kalta'Goor" is orcen, meaning "Ice Fangs" or "Ice Maw", probably because of the twin mountain peaks that dominate much of the island. Located in the Ice Sea, northwest of the peninsula of Caaehl'heroth, much of the historical details surrounding this island are a mystery. Contemporary research has uncovered several links between the island and the Aeh'os'th'er'oc orcen clan. One intrepid researcher, Ihea Miwone, a Kasumarii expert on ice drakes, spent over ten years and partook in six expeditions to Kalta'Goor exploring the island. She was convinced that the rare Guldorian snow drake, also known as the "White Drake" and the "Ivorine Drake" made their home on the island. Ihea discovered far more than she thought possible and her work answered a few of the many questions surrounding the mysterious island.

The Isle of Kalta'Goor

View picture in full size  Picture description. The snow covered island of Kalta'Goor far up in the North of Caelereth, also known as "Ice Fang Isle". Pic by Seeker.

Description. According to Ihea's journals, Kalta'Goor is largely a land of ice and snow. The island is dominated by two mountain peaks. The name "Kalta'Goor" is thought to originate from a now extinct orcen dialect called "Org'kom'gh". It roughly translated means "Ice Fangs". The sea surrounding the island is thick ice and a ship wouldn't make it within six to eight peds of the shore without having to stop before crashing into the ice shelf. The sky is perpetually overcast with light snow falling at all hours of the day and night.

When stepping foot on the island, the snow is deep, sometimes up to half a ped. Travel is slow through the thick snow, which is pristine white and undisturbed of footprints or trails. Immediately, the two mountain peaks can be seen rising up into the clouds from anywhere on the island. The tips of which are forever hidden in the thick, grey clouds that hang low over the ground.

As one moves farther inland, the snow maintains an estimated thickness of between one palmspan to half a ped. A traveler must forge their way slowly into the snow while hiking cautiously over the stony ground underneath. Snowshoes are recommended when traveling over such deep snow as fortunately, the cold and damp sleet hardens the snow turning it into a hard surface. In her journals, Ihea found little evidence of any kinds of bodies of water such as lakes or streams except for a small half frozen stream on the western side of the island. It is surmised that, much like the western stream, any other bodies of water would no doubt be frozen underneath many palmspans of snow and ice.

Surrounding the island, the sea is very icy with large pieces of broken ice floating randomly in the water. Approximately four to seven peds from the shore, there is a solid, unbroken shelf of ice that renders any traveling ship impossible to get close to. Only by leaving the ship and walking over the ice can a traveler get to the shore.

The eastern shores of the island are dominated by high, jagged rocks that protrude from the snow. It is here that one of the mountain peaks slope down close to the water line. The jagged rocks make foot travel difficult as the surface is unstable with many rocky pits and spikes.

The southern shore is marked with six ice caves that begin about four peds from the shore line. Three of the six caves run deep into the mountain and have low ceilings with long, sharp fingers of ice that stab downward. Traveling through the caves is hazardous because if one tries to stand fully, the ice spikes would easily stab into one's skull. The ground surface is a mixture of ice and solid soil. Without a source of light, it is impossible to travel further into the caves for more than six to eight peds.

The western shoreline is mostly flat ground with a few boulder piles sitting randomly near the ice shore. The mountainside here is not as smooth as the other areas and contains many high cliffs and rough surfaces. Most likely, the boulders are a result of a landslide that looks to have sheared away some of the mountainside. The snow here is quite deep and almost impossible to cross in the high winter months. Along a running section of area, the snow is not quite as deep, perhaps just a few palmspans. The shallow snow runs up into the mountain side into a narrow valley. Upon digging through the snow, a stream can be found, half frozen and covered with a thin sheet of ice.

The northern seed of the island is quite impossible to explore fully as it contains the deepest snows and there is hardly any flat surface to cross. The mountainside comes up directly to the shoreline leaving very little flat area. However, a single ice cave can be seen from the western side of the island, but access to the cave has proven impossible as it is located high up the mountainside. Return to the top


Location. Kalta'Goor is located northwest of the peninsula of Caaeh'heroth in Northern Sarvonia. The island is part of a group of islands and peninsulas that surround the Ice Sea. To the east of Kalta'Goor is the Icelands of Aeh'Os'th'er'oc, where the rare ice dragons makes their home. To the southwest is a very tiny island called Krooj, while a small distance further south is Kalta'Goor's sister island, Karma’Goor, which contains the ruins of a possible orcen village called Hol'mangar. The name Karma'Goor roughly translated means "Ice Maw" in ancient Org'kom'gh. An old story persists among the Osther-Oc that Hol'mangar was a dragon aviary during the Third Sarvonian War, or even possibly during the War of the Chosen. Return to the top

People. There is little evidence that Kalta'Goor is, or was, inhabited by any specific race or tribe. The island is so remote and largely inaccessible that it is doubtful that any race could travel there easily. And, there is little evidence of any flora or fauna that could subsist anyone living there.

One possible theory brought forth by the researcher Ihea Miwone is that the island once was visited by a little documented orc tribe called the Aeh'Os'th'er'oc, for which the nearby icelands are named. The Aeh'Os'th'er'oc are thought to be a small clan related to the much larger Osther-Oc tribe who dwell on the mainland Caaehl'heroth. It is possible that at one time, the Aeh'Os'th'er'oc had perhaps a small village or outpost on Kalta'Goor during the past.

Ihea found such evidence when she crossed the eastern ice shelf of the island. There, half buried in snow and ice, were blocks of ice and a few stone monuments protruding from the ground. Ihea surmised that perhaps whoever may have settled the island long ago carved for themselves shelters made of ice blocks and snow. The stone boulders were carved with runes and lettering thought to be ancient Org'kom'gh. The island of Karma'Goor to the south contains some ancient ruins that are more extensive known as Hol'mangar, so it would be safe to assume that Kalta'Goor was also settled. One of the biggest unanswered questions is: what happened to the settlement? Why did the Aeh'Os'th'er'oc abandon the islands? Did the snow drakes drive the orcs out? Return to the top

Climate. The climate of the island of ice is not a varied one. Being located so far north, the island is trapped in perpetual winter with even the summer season bringing very little sunshine and warmth. Snow fall is constant all over the island with heavy snow falling during seven months of the year along with freezing rain and low fog. Summer months bring warmer temperatures (still very cold however) with winter months bringing harsh, blizzard-like conditions with biting winds that blow from the Ice Sea. Return to the top

Flora. The near constant snowfall and overcast skies make for a harsh environment for many kinds of flora that would require sun and hardy soil. Hence, one would not find many kinds of green flora on the island.

However, one such unique flower does grow on the island and that is the tear frost flower. The flower is unique in that it can grow in cold, hard soil and the seedling pushes its way through the snow to produce fantastic translucent blooms. The leaves of the flower are a shimmering light blue in colour with pure white stalks. The plant requires little to no sunshine and the cold climate enhances its blooms.  Return to the top

Fauna. Kalta'Goor is known to be one of the few locations where the rare and beautiful snow drakes are known to live. Although no nests have ever been seen or studied, Ihea had the pleasure to watch a snow drakes hunt their sole source of food - the pinnip seal.

The Guldorian snow drake is covered along its eight-ped-long-body in white coloured fur, rather than the hard scales or thick skins typical to drakes, undoubtedly an aid against the colder climates and higher altitudes it will sometimes fly to. There are no noticeable horns or spikes on the body, but it does have two delicate looking ears that tip back from its head. The eyes are golden, with deep black pupils set in an elongated face. The four black claws contrast rather sharply with the whiteness of the beast, and the paws are almost hand-like in shape. The wings span somewhere between sixteen and twenty peds, and rather than the thin skin of most drakes they sport long white feathers, making them very capable fliers.

A snow drake

View picture in full size  Picture description. A snow drake is perched atop a shelf of ice hunting his favorite prey, the pinnip seal. Image drawn by Sheil.

The Snow Drake Dines. "During my third expedition to Kalta'Goor, my team of explorers consisted of an Osther'Oc guide, two dwarven adventurers and a Erpheronian ranger. We ventured around the east side of one of the mountains, keeping low to the shore. I heard barking noises, like a dog, only deeper and longer. We waited in between two large boulders and watched as a group of pinnip seals crawled upon an ice shelf to bask. Several of them had fish in their mouths and were quickly devouring them. The seal's social gathering was truly astounding to watch but not as much as what happened within the next few moments.

I felt a strange sensation along the back of my neck as if something was watching me. I peered upwards and was met with only the overcast sky and the blowing snow stinging my eyes. I ignored the feeling and continued to watch the seals. Suddenly, there was motion above. I instinctively lowered my head and gasped. A rush of white feathers came diving from the clouds and landed amidst the group of seals. Dumbfounded, I could only stare as my first snow drake sighting had come at last.

The magnificent beast was almost pure white, covered in what looked like feathers. It appeared as a bird with the head of a large lizard. Its talons were long and curved much like a Kasumarii moonblade. The drake emitted a screech that pierced the cold wind and made me wince in pain. The seals scattered in a panicked rush to the open waters to escape the drake, but one was not so fortunate. The drake had underneath it a lone pinnip seal still struggling for its life. The beast gave one long screech that sent chills up my spine despite the cold before tearing into its prey with hungry abandon.

I waited and watched the drake bloody its pristine feathers with the seal's meat before it took wing and disappeared above the clouds. The seal's remains, what little was left, were abandoned. It took me several moments to make myself move after watching the spectacle and when I finally did move on, it was far away from that ice shelf as it was an obvious hunting spot for the drake and I did not want to be mistaken for another drake meal."

Clash of the Dragons. "My sixth and final journey to Kalta'Goor was my most memorable. It was this time I proved that not only do the snow drakes inhabit the island, but perhaps the great ice dragon does as well.

I sat upon a cliff of ice hoping to catch a glimpse of another successful hunt. For several hours, I had tried to locate a snow drake nest but had been unsuccessful. It would appear that the snow drake nests high above in the very peaks of the mountains, far beyond the reach of most men and beasts. Hence why there have been no documented sightings of the drake's nest and eggs. It was just as well as I had no tools with which to make such a climb anyhow.

Again, the sound of the drake's screech met my ears, even over the howl of the wind. The screech had become a normal sound to me but rarely did I ever see the drake that made the screech. The sounds always seemed to come from the perpetual overcast sky above. I heard a second and third screech followed by a deeper, louder noise. It was not a screech, but almost like a roar.

Startled, I backed against the rock wall behind me and looked up hoping to see the source of the roar. I was rewarded not a moment later when a massive beast came soaring down from the clouds. It was large than a snow drake and had ice blue scales over its body with leathery looking wings that stretched almost twenty peds from end to end. It was a pale blue colour and glanced at me with piercing dark blue eyes.

I gasped as I realized what I was seeing. An adult ice dragon. I was simply shocked to see such a wondrous beast on the island, but then was struck with a thought. What was an ice dragon doing among the snow drakes? Was there an ice dragon nest on the island? Was the dragon from the Caaehl'heroth mainland? I soon had my answer and, as most always, nature spoke for me.

The ice dragon had clutched within its claws a large stryker shark. The huge fish was thick and well muscled but it could only squirm in the dragon's powerful clutches. The dragon began to feed when suddenly a symphony of screeches seemed to come from all directions. I counted six snow drakes diving out of the clouds to attack the ice dragon.

The behemoth bellowed a challenge and took flight. The snow drakes circled around the dragon, dipping in and out, each time biting the dragon's skin. The larger beast whirled and circled, exhibiting dexterity unheard of in a creature its size. Its jaws snapped once and a snow drake was gone. The others screeched and nipped at the dragon all the while the larger drake whipping its tail and launching its head around in hopes of snatching one of the pestering snow drakes.

The aerial battle continued for a few moments before the dragon landed atop its kill and attempted to take it up with it. The drakes descended upon the dragon with talons and beaks in a courageous display of battle. Never before has a documented battle been witnessed between a drake and a dragon. The dragon was covered in bloody wounds while the group of six drakes was now down to three. The obvious ferociousness of the snow drakes was more than a match for a single ice dragon and the larger beast knew it. It backed away and flew off, its great wings carrying it higher and higher until it vanished among the clouds.

The remaining snow drakes screeched and called and feasted on the dragon's abandoned kill. I sat back and sighed, wondering how to possibly document such a fabulous spectacle. I realized that my study of Kalta'Goor was at an end. The harsh environment of the island was not suited for humans. The island would remain a snow drake home for the foreseeable future."

It is evident therefore that the pinnip seal makes a home on the island and serves as a food source for the snow drake. One of the seal's favourite prey is the silverpearl fish. These fish thrive in the ice waters around the Ice Sea and provide the seals with a hearty meal. The seals store thick fat on their bodies that enable them to withstand the cold climate. Ihea Miwone suggests in her brief research that the drakes do not hunt the seals often and perhaps the drakes only feed irregularly throughout their lives. The seal sightings on the island are numerous, which suggests that the island is perhaps one of the breeding ground locations for the seals. Return to the top

Resources. The island of Kalta'Goor has no natural resources to speak of as there is no evidence that the ancient Aeh'Os'th'er'oc tribe ever produced any natural resources from the island. However, Ihea surmises that the tear frost flower fern could possibly be used as a magic reagent and be quite valuable in performing spells from the Ximaxian water school of magic. The flower's cold properties and unique way of survival among the cold climate of the island could perhaps be studied further by a trained herbalist.

The island also contains many varieties of crystals buried under the mountains that could be mined and used in jewelry, as reagents or for other uses. Ihea Miwone found several such crystals crushed and scattered around some of the ice caves, perhaps as a result of the snow drake's digging through the ice to make a nest. The crystals were multi-coloured in hues of blue, white, purple, and deep black. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. As previously mentioned, the name Kalta'Goor is thought mean "Ice Fangs" in the now little used orcen dialect called Org'kom'gh. According to the lore of the reclusive orcs of the Icelands of Aeh'os'th'er'oc, it is told that the island was long inhabited by dragons. The story goes that after the War of the Chosen, the remaining dragons fled to the nearby island and dwelt there away from civilization. The orcen colonists settled Karma'Goor for a time, and aptly named it "Ice Fangs" in honour of the twin mountains that dominate much of the region.

One possible reason that the colony was abandoned was perhaps the harsh climate proved to be too much for the orcs. However, this explanation is not viewed as legitimate as the current home for the orcs, the Icelands of Aeh'os'th'er'oc, are not much warmer or more hospitable than the island. The second reason is that perhaps the snow drakes drove the orcs off the island. The question being then, why settle on an island known to be inhabited by drakes? Ihea surmised that perhaps the orcs were dragon hunters who pursued the drakes for food or trophies. The smaller snow drakes were a friendlier game than the massive ice dragons and thought to be easier to kill perhaps. Rumors persist that the Aeh'os'th'er'oc eat dragon meat to this day so perhaps the beast's meat has been a dietary staple for the tribe for centuries.

The southern sister island of Karma'Goor holds one of the two settlements among the islands, Hol'mangar. It is believed that this settlement was once a thriving orcen colony long ago with the inhabitants working to draw out the islands' natural resources. However, the colony has long been abandoned and as Ihea writes in her journals, she visited the ruins of the colony only briefly and found several archaic pictures carved into some stones depicting dragons fighting in a great battle. Similar stones and runes were found on Kalta'Goor possibly indicating that both islands were settled at one point with Hol'mangar being the larger colony.

Could these runes be a picture from the War of the Chosen? One can't be sure. If it is, then perhaps whoever carved the pictures had first hand knowledge of drakes living on the islands long ago, and while the orcen settlers disappeared, the drakes lived on. Return to the top

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THE ERA OF CATACLYSM
(YEARS 9.500 B.S. - 8.500 B.S.)
ca. 9000 b.S. The Dragon Survivors of the War of the Chosen Move On
According to currently known lore, the dragons that survived the War of the Chosen move off to live in far away lands to settle after the conflict. Myths tell that some dragons came to live high in the North.

THE ERA OF CONSOLIDATION
(YEARS 8.500 B.S. - 3.400 B.S.)
ca. 8000 b.S. The Snow Drake Appears
It is thought that the lesser drakes become more prevalent and are related to the great drakes. While it is not known how the actual dividing of the groups occurs, it is thought that the smaller drakes, such as the snow drake, branch off and become their own group about this time.

THE AGE OF AWAKENING
(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
ca. 1600 b.S. The Aeh'os'th'er'oc Orcs Found Hol'mangar
Evidence found on the islands suggest that a small band of Aeh'os'th'er'oc sailed to Karma'Goor and found a settlement there called Hol'mangar. They hope to inhabit the island and expand their territory. The stone carvings on the ruins today are thought to have been made about this time.
  

ca. 1590 b.S. Snow Drake Sightings in Karma'Goor
The Aeh'os'th'er'oc record their first sightings of snow drakes flying high in sky over the island. The drakes become a regular sight as they seem to fly in the northern areas between the islands. The orcs document their sightings with elaborate stone carvings in and around the village of Hol'mangar.
  

ca. 1500 b.S. The Discovery of Kalta'Goor
For almost a hundred years, the Aeh'os'th'er'oc Orcs of Hol'mangar try to sail to the north and see where the dragons are coming from. Finally, around 1500 b.S., a group finds success and discovers another island north of Karma'Goor and they name it Kalta'Goor, the "Ice Fangs". They find no evidence of the snow drake and sail back to Hol'mangar.
  

1450 b.S. The Aeh'os'th'er'oc Civil War
An internal civil war among the various clans of the Aeh'os'th'er'oc orcs lasts for over two hundred years and the settlement of Hol'mangar is abandoned as the settlers are called back to the mainland to help fight. Hol'mangar is never again settled by the Aeh'os'th'er'oc.
  

1100 b.S. The Aeh'os'th'er'oc Tribe Splits
The Aeh'os'th'er'oc tribe splits into two clans with the Aeh'os'th'er'oc being driven to the far north icelands and the remaining settle in north-central Caaeh'heroth and call themselves the Osther-Oc.

THE TIME OF REUNION
(YEARS 1.540 A.S. - TODAY)
1.665 Dragon Researcher Ihea Miwone Discovers Hol'mangar
There have been no more documented visits to Kalta'Goor since the Aeh'os'th'er'oc civil war. The dragon researcher Ihea Miwone makes one visit to the island of Karma'Goor and discovers and discovers orcen ruins, which supposedly represent the ancient settlement of Hol'mangar. The ruins are half buried in snow and ice. The carvings done by the orcs centuries ago still exist and point north. This is Ihea's final clue as to the whereabouts of the rare snow drake.

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 Date of last edit 24th Sleeping Dreameress 1668 a.S.

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