In the far northwestern reaches of the peninsula of Caaehl’heroth in Northern Sarvonia, a region known as Osthemangar is engulfed in a thick, vaporous mist. This tainted land has been poisoned by the touch of the Netherworld, so many a sage claims, in that those who travel Osthemangar are changed forever. Twisted and corrupted creatures stalk the grey fog in search of prey amidst ancient broken towers and fields of bone. Hidden deep within the mists stands a structure like none other in all of Caelereth. This spire of pure malevolence is known as the dreaded Deep Winds Portal of Osthemangar. According to incomplete historical accounts, this tower (actually said to be a group of spires) was built ages ago by the rebel dark elves of Fá'áv'cál'âr who were bent on bringing forth Coór’s chaotic influence into the world. According to elven legend, when the rebellious dark elves called upon the power of the shadow god, the tower opened its fetid maw and a gateway was created into the blighted lands of the Netherworld. A hungry mist seeped forth from this portal that has slowly spread corruption over the land, like a disease, devouring everything in its path. Today, the mists are spread over a distance of many leagues covering a size comparable to one of Santharia’s provinces or larger. Some scholars have come to the terrible realization that the fog is continuing to spread until, eventually, all of Caelereth will be blanketed with the tainted mists.
Image description. View on the notrious Cursed Tooth as seen through the Mists of Osthemangar. Picture drawn by Seeker.
Description. The region known as the Mists of Osthemangar can be described best by listing the following key locations/elements:
The Withering Plains
Before one reaches the Mists itself, a tumultuous journey across the Plains of Ehelvin is required. The journals of the Erpheronian explorer Marvan Swiftrook describes the plains in his journals found within the Mists some 200 years after his death in 1200 a.S. He describes it thusly:
"Coming from the coastline east of the tower, one can begin to feel the weight of dread and despair, even from that distance. The plains of Ehelvin are cold and dry, with grey-brown soil devoid of any lush growth. Instead, barren trees and thorny wild bushes dot the landscape like gnarled fingers being thrust up from the ground. The sight of flocks of birds or grazing beasts is rare. One such creature, which I have dubbed the the "whither bird", can be seen soaring overhead, shrieking loudly as it drops down on wandering grall worms (an orcen delicacy), devouring them in a few quick bites. Some of the eastern regions are decorated with the occasional lonely boulder that looks to have been dropped haphazardly from the sky or small hills that resemble warts upon wrinkled, dried up skin."
His journal goes on to describe another hazard of the plains. Pools of multicoloured, viscous ooze dot the plains landscape. Most of these pools can be easily seen and avoided as they bubble quite loudly and appear in multiple shades of green, red and yellow. The noxious fumes surrounding these ooze pools can be overwhelming as their stench has been likened to "piles of fresh wison dung in the high afternoon sun mixed with the smell of a thousand pinnip seal corpses". Such a description comes from more than one explorer to the region. Most of the pools are only a few peds in diameter while some of the larger ones are over a stral wide. Where these oozes come from is not known. Some researchers believe that the earth under the tower is melting, with the dark magics mixing with the stone and many corpses of war to create the ooze. Others think that the fetid pools once were clear lakes and ponds of water before the mists corrupted them long ago. It is believed that from these fetid ponds of corruption live the creatures known as slimers, as detailed below.
The Dread Mist
The misty border begins perhaps perhaps twenty strals from the eastern coastline and, one assumes, encompasses a circular area around the tower. It is known that portions of the Caaehl Mountains and the Cartashian Woods touch upon the mist in some areas. The closer one gets to the mist border, the sky slowly disappears to be replaced by a grey shroud. Even the bleak coloured ground beneath one's feet seems to vanish as the mist begins to cover it. It is estimated that the mists covers many hundreds of strals across the northern Caaehl'heroth region.
There can be no underestimating the overwhelming sense of dread and sadness that the mist subtly subjects on one’s senses. The Injerín ranger Saryas Kelweather wrote in his journal that the fog reaches to the highest points in the sky and sweeps travelers up like a malevolent storm. He says it is quite easy to become lost in the Mists as disorientation and confusion take hold. In many places, the Mists are so thick that one cannot but a few handspans in front of them. But in some areas, the Mists part and one can view up to a strals distance all around. But just as quickly as the mists part, they close again and embrace the senses in bleak turmoil.
Like the rest of the North, one assumes that the region around the tower was known to be permafrost cold and damp at one point in time, but the presence of the mist has created a mild, temperate chill in most of the explored areas. There is no natural wind or even a breeze within the fog, but orcen lore tells of the "Jup'lako" (lit. "Deep Wind") that blows the mists about in certain places. The stories go that when the Jup'lako blows, the mists part to reveal strange sights and sounds within the fog.
Ruins of a Forgotten
In areas where the mist haze is not as thick, one can see farther within. Stony ruined structures of a long lost race litter the broken landscape. Some scholars believe that the ruins are the remains of the Morgerim tribe, also known as the Dark Dwarves. Another theory holds that the ruins are instead of elven in origin as many of the stone inscriptions that have been found resemble the language of the dark elves. Even fewer go so far as to say the ruins were built by Netherworld demons during the construction of the tower. Regardless of their origin, it has been suggested that the ruins were once arched roadways that presumably lead to the dark tower itself. Protruding watchtowers are connected to the roadway every few strals. Some of the watchtowers are nothing more than crumbling piles of stone while some rise as high as fifteen peds. Perhaps by using the archways as guides, it is thought that one could be led to the tower proper itself. However, no explorer in modern history has ever attempted such a journey and lived to tell about it. The ruins, the mists, and the winding canyons and storms are sure to test the mettle and skill of any experienced explorer. There are more than a few corpses that lay scattered about in various places in the region as testament to the foolishness of wandering about.
Earthquakes and Storms
Another deadly aspect of the region is its frequent earthquakes. The area is well known to explorers and the orcs as being highly unstable geographically in some areas. As one walks, a sudden shift in the earth can cause tremors to be felt for many strals. Also, gaps in the earth are created in a blink of an eye and if one is unfortunate enough to be standing on one, a long fall awaits you. Some orcen tales say that sometimes when a chasm opens up, strange beasts emerge from the lower depths to feed. Descriptions of these creatures vary from being small mouse-like rodents to spindly multi-legged worms with bony sharp protrusions and gaping maws. In many areas, the soil is sunken in, forming pits of loose and crumbling dirt. Deep chasms wind their way all over the surface of the wasteland like broken spiders' legs. The chasms begin small and widen the further into the fog. It is impossible to view the entirety of most of the chasms as the fog envelops and hides them and one misstep can lead to a very long fall.
The Mists also possess a rare occurrence in what the orcs call "Jup'lako Onkul” or “Deep Wind Storms”. One recent witness to these storms was a shaman named Proojh. In his youth, about forty years ago, the shaman, then a young warrior, was praying near the mists' border. He was interrupted by a deep rumbling that made the fog vanish for a distance of several peds. Overhead, moving quickly towards Proojh, was a swirling mass of black clouds with arcs of what resembled blood red lightning flashing from it. The winds began, becoming more fierce as the cloud crept closer. The warrior witnessed stone ruins and dead trees melt as the lightning struck it. Panicking, the man fled away from the storm where it paused at the mist border before turning back.
The Wyrmrot Spire
The southern fringes of the Mists of Osthemangar hide many dark secrets of an evil past. One such oft whispered bit of lore concerns the now decrepit tower known to the local orc tribes as "Rhazga'mish" (orcen lit. “Wyrm Rot”). If the old orcen legends are to be believed, this tower of shadow was once a temple to the Chaos God where the ancient dark elves worshiped during the Age of Sundering when Caaehl’heroth was the domain of the elven and orcen rebels from the sundered empire of Fá'áv'cál'âr. Today, the tower stands as an ominous monument that has been seemingly dormant for many centuries. Yet, as anyone familiar with the Netherworld Mists knows, nothing is ever truly asleep in the warped region of Osthemangar.
The first documented explorer to visit the Wyrmrot Spire was the famed Injerín ranger Saryas Kelweather in 1470 a.S. His exploits are well known throughout the North and during one of his forays into the Mists, he encountered the tower. The structure stands in the center of an immense bramble choked expanse of bone known as the Umbral Fields. This region is said to be littered with the remains of powerful dragons who once ruled the region during the Age of Sundering. The thick Mists swirl over the ground preventing a clear view where to step. Large thorny vines twist over and through the bones that further hinder any travelers’ progress.
"The tower, if it is such, resembles a massive fang rising out of the ground. It's as if the tower was suddenly thrust up to impale something above and was stuck there. The fang is a deep black, perhaps made from the same stone as Osthemangar itself. It smells of blood and death, with strange looking flying birds hovering over it at all times. Bones of various sizes and shapes litter the area around the tower, some as large as a dragons. I would even dare say that the tower is perhaps a piece of dragon bone itself..."
It rises over 20 peds high and is forty peds in diameter at its base, if the orcen measurements are roughly translated. The orcs say that over time, the fang stone came to be inhabited by strange people. During the Third Sarvonian War, it is said that a powerful dark elven mage was able to carve out the inside of the fang and make a home for himself. Ever since, the orcs say, the tower has been occupied by this mad mage who would now be hundreds of years old. There is no known lore of the tower in current Northern Sarvonian elven lore, according to Kelweather. However, he says, the druids known as the "Lost Ones" depict a tower resembling the spire in several stone carvings found in some ruins within the Cartashian Woods. More study will need to be done to determine if the carvings and the fang are one and the same.
Location. There is
no easy, or convenient, route to the Osthemangar region. Travel overland
through the Heaths of Eph'denn and the valley of Cartash or the surrounding
mountains carries much risk for an expedition. Many nomadic clans of
Osther-Oc orcs roam central
Caaehl'heroth and do not take kindly to visitors. The Cartash region, in
particular, is a land of dangerous wild beasts such as the
giant spiders and savage
Running through the region, from north to south, is the Avessa river. The river begins in the southern reaches of the Hills of Innings, a group of small snow covered hills believed to have many hot springs of water sprouting from below the surface. The river runs south, through the Mists region, and between the Cartash valley. The Cartashian Woods lie along the center of the river's path as it winds down to finally exit in the bay. It is thought that long ago, the settlement of Davessa (named after the river) had a thriving fishing culture of orcs at one time. The Avessa river is the longest river in Caael'heroth, with the Kharim river being the second longest.
Another route is sailing from the Erpheronian settlements on the peninsula of Aden, across the Ice Sea. However, this route poses many dangers as the Ice Sea is mostly composed of massive icebergs and dreaded storms powerful enough to cast a ship under. It is also rumored in some tales that strange beasts inhabit the icebergs. One ancient tale from an Erpheronian pirate ship, which was swept too far north during a storm, says that these creatures are made of solid ice and are the size of ogres. They are said to look like walking icicles with massive arms and legs.
People. You find some strange people in the Mists of Osthemangar, among them the following:
|Image description. The spine wyrm has been seen hunting in and around the ruins and caves surrounding the ruined watch towers. Picture by Bard Judith.|
"Noq Vak'hol" (lit. "Veil Stalkers" or "Mist Stalkers")
The orcen clan known as the "Noq Vak'hol" (lit. "Veil Stalkers" or "Mist Hunters") inhabits the southern fringes of the Mists borders. This clan is unusual among the orcen and Kaáer'dár'shín peoples in that the group is composed of members of both tribes. The Mist Hunters came together perhaps 300 years ago as the story goes. When the Kaaer people brokered an accord of peace with a small, conquered clan of Osther-Oc known as the "Imkuk Orok'tu" (lit. "Beast Tail clan") in the year 1369 a.S. The orcen chief and his people were offered a place among the Kaaer. The groups' merging created some discontent among both tribes and they were forced to leave their homelands. However, they soon made a name for themselves by hunting the Mists and selling the hides and artifacts of the creatures of the region. The clan embraced the worship of the Kaaer deity known as Durgho and developed special magics to protect themselves against the Mists' taint. No region is more dangerous, or more worthy, of a glorious hunt than the unpredictable Mists region. It is said that no one in all of Caaehl'heroth knows the Mists better than the Noq Vak'hol. Some explorers who seek to explore the Mists can hire trackers from the Hunters as guides. The group is said to have several hundred members who live in a large village at the base of Mount Osthen.
"G'hun’Morta-oc" (lit. "The Cursed-Dead")
The Mists warp and infect any living being who dwells in them for a long period of time. Not only that, but the Mists are rumoured to even keep the dead from truly being at peace. Some orcen legends tell of a clan of Osther-Oc who were ordered to stay and guard the tower during the Third Sarvonian War. The "G'hun’Morta-oc", (lit. "The Cursed-Dead", or "Cursed-Death Orcs"), sometimes called the "Traag'Vok" (lit. "Dark Blood"), a group of around eighty to one hundred festering souls, inhabit the fringes of the mists in the area around the northernmost tip of the Cartashian Woods. The title ‘oc’ seems to be a misnomer in this case, however, as there are numerous members of other races to be seen within their ranks, including elves, dwarves, humans, and ogres. There is even rumour of a hobbit having been seen roaming with the group, but these are, as yet, unconfirmed. It is supposed that these other poor souls are the animated remains of wayward adventurers, lost travelers, or even researchers who stumbled a little too close to their subject.
As with everything which comes under the dark influence of the mists, the Ghun’Morta have become twisted in both mind and body, seeming to have little or no will of their own. They wander slowly and silently within the confines of the mist, alone or in small groups, apparently unwilling, or unable, to cross the divide which separates our world from theirs. Day and night seem to have no distinction for them, as they sleep and hunt (seemingly their only occupations) to no visible timescale.
In appearance, they resemble nothing more than long-dead corpses. Their skin has been drained of all natural colour, and has become instead shades of dirty-grey, white, and pale-blue. They are covered all over in large, weeping sores, many of which are infested with maggots. The faces of many of them are all but hidden beneath grotesque masks of bloody scabs, evidence of their habit of scratching and clawing at themselves. When they open their mouths, only moans and grunts escape their throats, all semblance of language gone. Their rotting teeth and swollen, black tongues taint the air around them with the stench of death and decay. Their eyes have become huge circles of yellow-white, with a tiny speck of black in the centres, giving them an expression which lies somewhere between surprise and terror.
The once muscular frames are now mere skeletons, diseased skin hanging like tattered cloth from bones which appear to have been stretched and broken, and then put back together by a child. When not hunting, they walk in a stooped manner, with shoulders hunched and their arms hanging loosely down. Their fingers, bloodied, filthy, and with nails so long they have become curled talons, almost drag along the ground. Their calloused feet, red-raw from dragging across the barren, stony earth. They wear little or no clothing, and seem to be unaware, or unconcerned, at their nakedness.
The Ghostlings are a savage and very primitive Rat Brownie tribe that makes their home in the southern borders of the Osthemangar mists region. Very little is known about these Brownies, with the only factual research having been done by Rat Brownie researcher Gratcha Swath, over a period of one year, in 1668 a.S. Gratcha, who herself is a Milken Brownie, conducted her studies under the most unusual of circumstances. She was captured alive by the Ghostlings during an expedition to Osthemangar to find them. Rather, they found her, killed her research team, and kept Gratcha captive. She was unable to fit these cannibal Brownies into the usual Rat Brownie classifications due to their assortment of physical mutations brought upon them by the magical effects of the Mists of Osthemangar. The Ghostlings are a pale skinned, white haired tribe who govern themselves with primitive superstitious beliefs. According to her, the Ghostlings are not friendly to any race but their own, and behave like animals, on a very instinctual level. The Ghostlings are hunters and gatherers with no means of trade or production. They believe the Mists are the home of dark spirits and the native ooze pools are used for sacrificing offerings to these spirits. Unfortunately, Gratcha's experience in the Mists with the Ghostlings proved terribly bad for her as she suffered permanent madness from the Mist's malevolent effects.
Coat of Arms/Sign.
The mist itself has no formal coat of arms. However, the Deep Winds Portal
itself is thought to once have had a symbol to represent it during the Third
Sarvonian War. Evidence of the actual appearance of the symbol has not been
found, and is presumed to be visible in or around the tower itself. No known
records exist of any who have successfully traversed the mist to reach the tower
proper to see it as of yet.
Climate. The climate in Northern Caaehl'heroth is typically permafrost, damp and cold. The tower itself is located near the farthest northern area of Sarvonia and thus is prone to year round snow, deadly blizzards and high winds. However, within the misty region itself, the climate is something else entirely. It has been said that within the mist, the air is temperate in many areas. There is no wind or breeze, save for the mythical orcen "jup'lako" winds, which blow every so often to part the mist in places. Otherwise, within the mist, the temperature is akin to farther south of the peninsula where is it cool and dry. Some orcen lore tells of area pockets within the mist that is so cold that it instantly freezes the flesh upon any living thing. Evidence of this has been seen on corpses who lay in certain mist regions covered in ice but the area around the body was not nearly as cold.
Flora. All that once grew within the Mists region from ancient times is now long dead or twisted into nary a semblance of what once was. Hardly anything green or lush grows within the dead mists. One may occasionally find a random pale looking bush or blackened forest of trees, but nothing one would ever call beautiful. It is thought that many other varieties of flora may exist deeper within the region, but most explorers have only documented a scant few among the fringes and borders. The four well documented varieties of flora are two types of fungus, the "savage mushroom" and the daoles. The third is a magical bush called a "forget-me-nut". The fourth is an odd variant of the juk'lan bush called a "brimstoneweed".
Savage Mushroom ("Flesh-Eater Fungus", "Sorcerer's Pet")
The "Savage Mushroom" is actually a rather poor translation of the orcish name "K'arg'Batuk" (lit. "attacking vegetation"), which somehow seemed to stick in the minds of those who heard it and gradually became accepted. Some also call it "Flesh-Eater Fungus" or “Sorcerer’s Pet”. It is a small, hardy fungus found only within the Mists of Osthemangar in Northern Sarvonia. The dull, grey-brown lichen of the main plant is the exact colour of the plains themselves, allowing it to lie hidden against the ground and prey on anything which comes to pick its deep red fruits. It can kill and devour humans, orcs, apes and even very young spine worms with a noxious gas it releases from these large red pods. This gas somehow contains the fungus itself, which then eats into living skin and flesh, slowly devouring the victim.
The second type of fungi is known as the daoles, a strange luminescent mushroom that thrives in the caves and deep earthen wounds of the Plain of Ehelvin and the northern border of the Cartashian Woods. The mists of the region touch many areas where this mushroom grows leading many researchers to think that the blighted region causes the mushroom to glow. It is thought that the Ghostling Brownies grow this mushroom within the damp caves of their homes and use it for food and illumination. However, the mushroom is thought to be quite toxic, at least to smaller animals and insects, that it is not fully understood how the Ghostlings have adapted to eating to it.
"Forget-Me-Nut" ("No-Know-Nut", "Lithnut")
This putrid plant from the southern borders of the Mists of Osthemangar has but one feature which makes it worthy of mention; the subterranean seed known commonly as the Nak-Nut. Containing the power to befuddle the memory, it has been the subject of much experimentation through the centuries, most of it dangerous and misguided. Names used to refer to this planned are "Forget-Me-Nut", "No-Know-Nut", "Nak's Bane", "Nak-Nut" and "Lithnut".
This variant of the juk'lan shrub which grows only in the Osthemangar region and which was identified by the botanist Eleanna Kalrinwenens or rather her expedition to the area, is similar to the normal plant in general conformation. It is quite thick and bushy, grows best in damp or marshy areas, and the leaves are identical in shape and size. However, that is where the similarities end. This variant, called "Brimstoneweed" by Eleana and "Juk'lan'yale" ("Burning Juk'lan") by her Kuglimz assistants and co-workers, has yellow gray leaves and instead of the pleasantly pungent scent of normal juk'lan, gives off a pervasively stomach roiling stench of rotted eggs. It is not poisonous and may be consumed, but without any of the qualities which make normal juk'lan an desirable beverage. Anything made with this variety smells disgusting, tastes worse, and induces vast quantities of foul smelling flatus, so very little experimentation has been done with this plant. It is thought to be responsible for the explosive quality of the dung produced by the darkmist whelp, an unlovely ape-like beast which frequents the Osthemangar region.
Fauna. The fauna of Osthemangar is diverse, eerie and creepy, even if we don't mention the supposedly mythical creatures of this place - here's a short overview of awaits travellers there:
Details concerning the various horrific varieties of fauna within the Mists region are sketchy and full of myth. One creature known and seen actively hunting within the crumbling ruins of the tower aqueducts is a large snake-like creature known as the spine wyrm. This beast, according to various reports from the Mist Hunters, is a dull green creature resembling a snake. However, along its back runs a spine of bone covered with yellowish skin that flaps up as the creature lurks near its prey. The skin is thought to secrete a vile webbing type poison that spreads in the air and entwines its prey. The worm has been seen hunting in and around the ruins and caves surrounding the ruined watch towers.
Along the southeastern edge of the Mists, at the base of the Caaehl Mountains and the Plains of Ehelvin, are one of the most unusual creatures of the North. Known as the Darkmyst Whelp, these apes hunt the plains and woods for prey and are known to be quite aggressive. Their chief method of defense and hunting is to throw their dung, a nasty product of their Mist warped bodies that when it strikes, it explodes with tremendous power. The apes live on the fringes of the Mist and know well that the region provides adequate cover from predators. One explorer, the famed Kuglim Rev'lor, and owner of the Menagerie collection of animals, managed to capture a baby whelp for display. Oddly enough, he discovered that when the ape was away from its Mists tainted territory, the explosive properties of its dung disappeared.
Ezorrak'ladan (lit. "Death Mist Lizard")
Another, even more dangerous and terrible beast, is the dragon known in the orcen tongue as "Ezorrak'ladan" (lit. "Death Mist Lizard"). The myth surrounding this monstrous beast is long, but legend has it that the dragon no longer lives as a mortal soul. Instead, it is rumoured to be a living dead creature forever cursed to haunt the Mists as punishment for the dragon's rebellion during the Third Sarvonian War. No known researcher has lived to study its eating habits (if it even eats at all) or its other ways of (un)life. Almost nothing of fact is known of this creature with only few scant stories that are hundreds of years old. Certainly no one recent has ever seen this dragon and lived to tell of it. For now, most only think of this beast as a myth created by over-imaginative explorers.
The pools of ooze are known to house a most horrible creature, one so bizarre that most scholars have failed to really classify it. The creatures are known as slimers, and appear as slowly moving oozes that, depending on the variety, are capable of killing prey in truly terrible ways. It is said that these slimers are created by vast amounts of wild magic or failed experiments where magic becomes warped and draws a life of their own. The ooze pools within the Mists are truly a suitable home for these creatures. Any explorer who has survived an expedition to the area knows to stay well away from them.
Resources. The Mists
of Osthemangar offer no known usable resources anymore. Its land is devoid of
any possible means to sustain any but its twisted remains.
Myth/Lore. Many of the creatures said to exist within the Mists are twisted and supernatural in origin. The origins of the Mists and the connection that the great tower has to the Netherworld is documented in many ancient tales of lore. Such beasts as the mystran, the netherbeast, the wraith and the truly mystifying entity known as "that-which-devours" all find a home in this region. Fortunately, these fiends are known only to exist in the Mists, safely away from most inhabited areas, but some, like the wraith and mystran, are thought to haunt places all over Caelereth. - Among these fiends are the following:
The Mist also carries another strange story. Among the orcen clans who live nearest the Mist's borders, they say a powerful creature roams the region, circling the tower hunting for living flesh. They say this entity devours the mind, body and soul of all it touches. They call it "That-Which-Devours". The exact appearance of this entity is not known. Some accounts say it is made of the mist itself, and it is somehow alive. Others say it is the spirit of a massive beast or demon haunting the region. One specific theory among many demonologists is that the creature is the living soul of the rumoured undead dragon Ezorrak'lakdan. Either way, the entity is powerful and is said to be devoid of mercy or even intelligence. It only knows how to devour. Some demonologists have theorized that the entity is a manifestation of the darkness in one's mind. The presence is so overwhelmingly frightening and oppressive that it drives the victim to kill themselves in the most horrific of ways.
Perhaps the deadliest entity rumored to stalk the Mists is the mystran, a powerful being said to have originated from the Netherworld itself. The mystran is said to be as a living shadow, a spirit-like consciousness of unknown form. It is malevolent and dreadful, and also highly intelligent. These attributes make it a dangerous hunter. There is no real account of the mystran's true appearance or even survivors of its attack. The mystran exists to sow chaos and despair among the living and, it is said, it often uses other mortal races in its nefarious plots of destruction. The mystran is considered by some scholars to be one of the most dangerous and evil creatures in all of Caelereth. It is said that it not only cannot die by any known means, but it also has the power to bend mortal minds to its will and thus can create entire legions of minions at its beck and call.
The Móh-Mélor, literally meaning "dark shadow", though more commonly known as the wraith, is an unseen entity that inhabits empty space, including even the smallest cracks in buildings and ground. These entities are said to have the ability to pass right through any physical or mental substance, and are considered by scholars to be parasitic beings who feed on the living. Thought to be rare in any place other than the Netherworlds, when taking manifest upon the realm of mortals, the most common thing for the Wraith to do is seek out the nearest person and possess them. Accounts vary, but some demonologists believe that the wraith feeds upon the cár'áll of a living host which slowly drives the victim insane. The wraith has long been considered an elven mythological creature, with some stories saying that the wraith is the hungry spirit of a dead elf who became lost and trapped in the clutches of Coór.
The netherbeast is said to be a truly horrifying and bloodthirsty fiend of the Netherworld. Demonologists say that these horrific creatures were summoned and brought to life through magical means from the depths of the Netherworlds. During the War of the Chosen, and later the Third Sarvonian War, these creatures were called up through the Deep Winds Portal to serve as front line troops. Commanded by powerful magi, the netherbeasts tore swaths of bloody destruction during these wars, devouring all flesh they happened across. These beasts may vary completely in appearance, ranging from arachnid forms with human skulls to mighty horned skeletons or slimy, toxic creatures resembling crawling brains and possessing magical abilities never dreamed of. Some demonologists say that the netherbeast is a vile combination of corpses and bodily parts of other Netherworld creatures. There are some accounts that the bite or wound made by a netherbeast can turn its victim into a netherbeast themselves, which may explain how these creatures reproduce. Regardless, it is generally agreed by most demonologists that the Mists has a fairly high concentration of netherbeasts stalking about within.
Origin. The Mists are
said to have originated during the ancient times of the
elven empire of
Fá'áv'cál'âr. It is said that some of the dark elves who rebelled moved
north and founded settlements along Caael'heroth. The Plains of Ehelvin were
chosen for a new and mighty structure to reach up to the night sky as a gift for
Coór. The myth goes that the mightiest of
elven mages was chosen to open the door to the
Netherworld and bring forth the tower into
Caelereth. A massive ritual was performed with the
gathering of the most powerful of dark magics
the world had ever seen. A chasm was formed in the earth and a grey mist seeped
out. The ritual took many days, it is said, and out of the chasm arose the tower
like a black beacon of despair and darkness. Flowing freely from the chasm and
the tower was the mist, spreading slowly over the land, corrupting it over time
into a barren wasteland.
Another tale says that the tower was built by the ancient Dark Dwarves and dark elves as a gift to Coór. They took stones from a large quarry west of the Cartashian Woods (a place that still exists to this day) and built the tower over many decades. Once done, Coór himself came from the night sky and blessed the structure and gave it power to open into the realm of the Netherworld. It is said that the mist is actually the essence of Coór himself, as a remnant of his visit to the mortal world.
Taintings. Scholars of enchantments at Ximax academy term the effects of the Mists as “taintings”, areas that slowly change the make-up of the cár’áll of an individual, generally altering the natural balance to cause negative changes in both mind and body. The kind of effects the Mists produce create more lasting effects because, in addition to bringing about the effects (such as madness or deformations, caused through the manipulation of ounía and xeuá links), the Mists also alter the meta-states of the links. This makes the effects more or less permanent.
The longer an individual stays in the Mists, the more drastically their cár’áll is likely to be changed, and the longer it will take an individual’s willpower to overcome the changes and restore a natural state. After a significant period in the Mists, the changes may be effectively irreversible: they are so drastic that the willpower loses control over the cár’áll, making it unable to restore normalcy.
Taintings, like all “enchantments”, must be brought about through willpower. Most of the scholars at Ximax attribute darker willpowers are energies as the source of these changes, though this matter remains hotly debated.