20 miles north of the nation of Rhyrjia lies the cold northern wastes known as Arctoria. Home to dragons, beast-folk, frost giants, and other creatures the land is a region of dangerous monsters and heroes of legend. Prior to the Collapse this area held an outpost for the Sascrian magocracy who through a series of arcane web ways managed to secretly supply and arm with troops an isolated outpost for a possible invasion and exploration of the frozen north. Once the Collapse occurred, and with it the changing of magic on the surface of Gondal forever, the outpost was abandoned leaving the doorway to the North seemingly closed to all save the few souls, brave or foolhardy enough to adventure there.
Landmarks and Locations
Tower of Frost
– Northernmost outpost of the kingdom of Sascria
. It was a medium size military fortress with a single large centralized tower magically shaped from the stone and ice of the surrounding areas. Used as both a base of operations for the magocracy and a military stronghold, it also served as the final resting place for political prisoners and the final stop in the careers of higher profile rivals within the Sascrian government, rivals who were too well known to be assassinated but too dangerous or ambitious to be allowed to remain within the Sascrian border. To the uninformed it was seen as a great honor to serve the nation in such a clandestine and important role but to all those who actually spent any time there, The Tower of Frost was the last place on Gondal anyone would want to go.
After the Collapse and the shut down of the arcane web ways linking it with Sascria, it was abandoned, the local troop of Nordinvulk migrated further north inland under the guidance of Bodinvuld and formed the first tribe of the Beorinvulk, All of the prisoners that remained inside were left behind to freeze to death in their cells. Since then it has remained uninhabited and is considered a cursed location to be avoided by the local tribes. In spite of its grim reputation, it is rumored that all of the artifacts, maps, and equipment that the Nordinvulk did not recognize a use for were left behind when they abandoned it, tempting many a foolish treasure hunter since then to their icy dooms.
Village of Kerr – This village, five miles from the Tower of Frost, are all that remains of the Nordinvulk troops once garrisoned at the former Sascrian outpost. Unlike other types of bear-folk these cousins of the more southern Ursidians bonded together under the banner of one strong leader who has given them a national and cultural identity almost unheard of in other parts of the world. They have existed since the Collapse with complete autonomy and lack of interference from both Sascria and the other nations further south on the Gondal mainland although some of their kind have venured as far south as the Eastern League.
Valley of Eternal Night – This valley is lodged completely between two mountain ridges that run almost perfectly parallel with one another for several hundred miles preventing any kind of sunlight from entering the valley at any point of the year. Home to many creatures who prefer the darkness the Valley of Eternal Night is also said to be the final resting place of the Great Wyrm Mephiston who fell to Gondal after battling the gods of old.
Veil of Endless Shadows – According to Nordinvulk legend, deep within the Valley of Eternal Night is supposed to be a place so evil that all life is devoured once it crosses over the threshold, that even light is afraid to enter it, and that not even magical light can illuminate it. It is also rumored that it is from this place that Mephiston first took shape from the living darkness and rose up to destroy the gods.
Arakhan Mountains - Tallest and furthest northern mountain range of Gondal, it dominates over 50% of the Arctorian landscape. The other 50% is comprised of only 10% inhabitable land, the rest is a massive sheet of frozen sea.
Village of Osten – This Arctorian fishing village has remained a point of interest for the Nordinvulk living in Arctoria as it is comprised mostly of what the larger bear folk would consider inferior races of humans and other travelers who have journeyed to the frozen north to eke out an existence. As a result they have earned the respect of the “People of the Bear” and benefit from regular trade and fairly good relations between the two nations. The Nordinvulk still consider themselves the unofficial “guardians” of their weaker neighbors and have come to Osten’s aid on numerous occasions especially with their mutual encounters with the Frost Jotun.
Bodinvuld – Chieftain of the Village of Kerr, it was under his guidance the Ursidian garrison of the Tower of Frost left their outpost, following the Collapse to venture further inland and form their own independent nation of Beast-folk. Unknown to his people Bodinvuld is actually a lycanthrope who refuses to take his normal human shape when around his people and instead switches between his hybrid and full animal forms depending upon the situation. Because of his immense strength, invulnerabilities, and this ability to transform back into his “true” bear form the Nordinvulk believe him to be blessed by their god the Great Mother Bear of the Northern Sky and as such will follow his orders as religiously as possible. He has contemplated infecting others of his "people" with his particular form of lycanthropy but is not sure what reaction, if any it will produce in them since it was through magic that all true Ursidians were first created.
Mephiston – Great Wyrm Shadow Dragon in the heart of the Valley of Endless Night
Legends say that long ago when the world was young and the gods still roamed the heavens and spoke into the hearts of men, a great beast born of shadow and flame came from beyond the Veil and devoured them. This beast, the Great Wyrm Mephiston, suffered such wounds during the battle that he fell to Gondal to crash upon the very roots of the Arakhan Mountains, and there rests to this very day healing his wounds and waiting for the time when shadow and flame once again cover the lands.
Jarl Ymirgot –High Thane of the Frost Jotun (frost giants) of Arakhan Mountains. Ymirgot is in a constant war with the followers of the White Dragon Balinfrost.
Balinfrost - Ancient White Dragon