Zaveru, the Blizzard-Spawn

No matter how cold, be careful where you light a fire out there.  
  Zaveru are spirits of the Least kind, creatures of cold and ice. They are born in the heart of raging blizzards of the Surface, dancing and howling in the storm. As spirits, they made of more than merely flesh and their motives inscrutable to humanity.   The blizzard-spawn are feared and when a blizzard is particularly bad, it is a dire omen.      


  Zaveru are vaguely quadrupedal in shape, though the exact number and configuration of limbs vary between each spirit. Not all make sense, with some limbs sprouting on angles or in ways that would be worse than useless on a living creature, but is of no hindrance to the spirit. Because of this, not all Zaveru are fast runners but they are implacable hunters that never tire, never rest and never stop. The one feature all Zaveru have in common is a mask of ice. It covers their heads and rises up like a crest.  
The limbs of a Zaveru don't work as they should, able to bend and crack in any direction. No matter how strange its malformed and misplaced limbs might seem, the spirits always find some function for them.
  The storm that birth them determine many things about the blizzard-spawn. Harsh winds make for sharp and angular shapes of the Zaveru, smaller but more numerous, while slow and thundering blizzard conjure colossi of ice. On average, a Zaveru are about a meter tall and twice as long. Some have tails (or arms masquerading as them) but it is not common.   Zaveru are made out of matter not quite flesh - somewhere between meat and ice. It has the consistency and feel of flesh, yielding slightly when pushed against. When struck, it chips and cracks like solid ice, a fact that make it difficult to harm with cutting or stabbing weapons. It is grey with splotches of black and it is usually coated in a layer of ice, with some parts of it body seeming comprised entirely from ice. When harmed, the Zaveru bleed powdery snow and arctic wind and when exposed to great heat, the flesh of the Zaveru melts.          


  As soon as the storm that spawned them fades, the Zaveru are dying. They slowly begin to melt and fade, though finding another blizzard can stall the process. Some legendary Zaveru have remained alive this way for decades, if not centuries, and earned terrible places myths and folklore. Despite this, the Zaveru do not seem to have any particular sense of self-preservation. They will not seek out new blizzards to prolong their existence, it is just happenstance.  
Zaveru that melt will harden the ice where they end. It is distinguishable from normal ice by touch and by the way it screams when the fierce winds touch it. This ice is harder than steel and colder than the heart of a blizzard.
  Despite the way it affects them, the Zaveru seem to seek out heat. Fire-pits and bonfires become their target first, but even the heat from a human body eventually see the Zaveru's smoothering attention. Without a maw to bite with, the Zaveru freeze by touching foes with their head or use their ice-like talons to rend apart flesh. Heedless of any damage to themselves, Zaveru will even throw themselves into fire to extinguish the blaze. Although they travel in packs when spawned together, they show only the most rudimentary of cooperation.  
Zaveru avoid water and will never enter it, although diving into the freezing waters of Hēla to avoid them is only considered by the most desperate.

Demons and Devils

  Zaveru are often cast in the role of villain or demonic spirit in the societies that live near enough the Surface to worry about blizzards. Parents warn children not to waste fuel or wander off, least the Zaveru get them and freeze them to the bone. With the way the spirits hunt flames, there are some pragmatic value to those tales.   Other times, they are said to be the servant of some god or goddess. Some Phtangi tribes consider the path of a pack of Zaveru to be the border between lands where humanity may live and where they are forbidden. Zaveru-ice is rare and valuable, believed to be alternatively blessed or cursed.  
Some Zaveru of titanic size are thought of as gods in their own right. They roam the far reaches of glacial wastelands and never leave the ever-lasting blizzards that spawned them. If they ever do, entire towns could disappear beneath its freezing touch.

Spirits   Alien and ethereal, spirits are primordial and magical creatures. Spirits are birthed from the center of earthquakes, the last breath of a dying man or the scream of a falling star. Their motives and agendas are not driven by things like hunger, ambition or even survival but bizarre and sometimes ritualistic compulsion.   Spirits of the surface are rare, making the Zaveru one of only a handful.   Read More About Spirits

Standing Tall

  It is rare for a Zaveru to stand on two legs, but it does happen. Although their form is vaguely humanoid, mistaking that for a common ground can be a fatal mistake. These few Zaveru on occasion have arms, but just as often don't.    
Despite lacking eyes or ears of any kind, the Zaveru can find its way through both darkness and storms. Some speculate that they can sense heat, even that of living things.


  As time goes on, the Zaveru's flesh begin to dry out and tighten together. Even as it thaws and melts, it shrinks and becomes brittle until the Zaveru can no longer support itself. The spirit simply ceases to move and eventually melts into nothing, revealing no bones and leaving nothing behind save for transmuted ice.      
by Per A. Haagensen


  For people in the Phrōjhana Region or Phtangi Nomads, the Zaveru are terrible and fell spirits that must be avoided or appeased. In places where blizzards are frequent, it is a common practice to construct flame-caerns for the creature.   These hold a small flame and are placed away from the settlement. They are meant as a sacrifice and offering, but does nothing to satiate the spirit. When placed well, they lead the Zaveru away from people and so the practice continues in blissful ignorance.


Please Login in order to comment!