Merciless and unforgiving are the great tundras of the north, the ruthlessness of the landscape not the only thing earning the region the nickname of the Frozen Wastes.
Long before one reaches the mountains that frame the Roof of the World, they must survive a long, cold nether world of ice and bone biting winds that rip down from the mountains. It is a place where nothing survives. Small village settlements dot the borders of the tundra, where the seasons still melt the snow and plants can grow. These villages are mostly made of hardy men and dwarves, seeking the rare water creatures that thrive int he cold, or seeking mineral deposits beneath the snows.
A few brave souls venture into the wilderness in search of myths and legends, with promises of gold and power and fame. Few ever come back, and those that have rarely have found anything. But, every once in a while, a traveler will come out of the Waste with a tail of bizzar and ancient structures half burred in the snow, or having found some odd sculpture. Stories of voices and great cries on the wind are common, and many swear on their lives of the existence of great, towering people, the Frost Giants. But certainly a creature of such massive size could not live on the bare nothing that exists in the far north.
Myth and Legend
The Lost Secrets of the Aldruin:
According to ancient stories, the Frozen Wastes and the Roof of the World mountain range were not always an uninhabitable tomb of ice and snow, but once had fields of warm sunshine and brilliant flowers, flowing rivers and an abundance of wild life. But that was all due to the magical sorceries of the Aldruin. Old myths tell of the Aldruin being a tall and dark skinned race, ranging from deep chestnut to midnight black, and hair that was stark white, silver, or icy blue. Lithe of frame, the Aldruin were said to have full lips but slender facial features, with large, expressive eyes that shone in the dark. Instead of ears, they bore four or five ribbed fins, which were nimble and expressive, as well as similar fins hidden along the back curve of their skull and forearms. These odd features have led scholars to believe the Aldruin descendant from the sea or rivers.
Most of the culture of the Aldruin remains unknown, due to the scarcity of their structures and remains, but it was rumored that they were exceptional in their talent with magic, and thorough in their study of the magical and the divine. It is also said that they may have been necromancers, and studied the darker arts with the same fervor. Stories of the Aldruin appear in ancient Empiral texts of man dating back over 8000 years ago, with some stories that seem to include the robbery of mausoleums and funeral homes. However, none of these can be substantiated. What is known, however, is that nearly 8000 years ago, the Aldruin vanished without a word, to the last, and their warm, sunny domain was overtaken by ice and snow, never to be heard from again.
Races of the Northern WastesEdit
Surprisingly to many in warmer, sunnier climes, there are two specific intelligent races that make their homes comfortably within the tundra.
The Nadaheed are the humans that call the wastes their own. Sturdy and hearty, the Nadaheed are tall and strong with fair complexions and red or blonde hair. They are a people without much use for social niceties, and often come across as gruff and crude. Despite their temperaments they are a very good and honest people, willing to treat as they are treated. They never forget a wrong and are unshakably loyal allies.
The Abruid are a rare and elusive race of humanoids possessing human bodies and bear's heads. They are a primitive and tribal culture, mistrusting outsiders. On average, a male Abruid, or Bear-Man, stands eight feet tall, the demales are a foot shorter. They never leave the North unless taken as slaves or gladiators for the amusement of the humans of the Western Empire.