Zaveru, the Blizzard-Spawn Species in Araea | World Anvil

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, made manifest within the frigid cold and howling winds. As spirits, they made of more than mere flesh and driven by hungers alien to humanity.    


I think the ice is chasing us.  
— Senchai, Blight-Trackers
  Zaveru are vaguely quadrupedal in shape, though the exact number and configuration of limbs vary. Not all make sense either, with some legs or arms sprouting in odd angles or in places that would be worse than useless on a living creature, but is of no hindrance to the spirit. Because of this, Zaveru are rarely fast runners but are implacable hunters that never tire, never rest and never stop until they melt.  
The limbs of a Zaveru can bend and crack in any direction, no matter how misplaced they first might seem. No matter how strange or malformed, the spirits always find some function for them.
All Zaveru share a similar mask of ice, covering their heads and rises up like a crest into a haphazard collection of spines and antler-like protrusions.   The storm that births them determines 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 less 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 rather than cut or scratch. As the spirit thaws, the cold blue color turns into a spreading rot grey with splotches of black, while other parts of it melt off entirely. When harmed by blow, the Zaveru bleed powdery snow and arctic wind. Fire and heat melt the creature, releasing a foul stink as it rots and burns simultaneously.    


The ice is definitely chasing us. Move faster.  
— Senchai, Blight-Trackers
  Drawn to fire like a starving man to a feast, Zaveru seeks to destroy any and all places of heat they find. From miles away, the spirits can sense even a flickering candle and anything greater soon draws the Zaveru's smothering attention. Once it has their attention, they will only give up their chase if they sense another, brighter flame.   Living creatures are no more safe. The Zaveru attack by enveloping foes with their arms to freeze them or use their shard-like talons to rend apart flesh to quench the heat of their bodies. Heedless of any damage to themselves, Zaveru will even throw themselves into a fire to extinguish the blaze. When they are too far to find a victim, Zaveru wanders aimlessly without purpose or goal, waiting for a flame to stray close enough.  
Zaveru shuns water and will never enter it, although diving into the freezing waters of Hēla to evade them is only considered by the most desperate.
  Even brief contact with a blizzard-spawn can freeze skin and flesh stuck to the spirit, while a longer assault can turn a limb into solid ice. Many Zaveru carry parts of victims with them, joined to their killers at the moments of their demise.  
From the moment they are spawned, the Zaveru are dying. Once their birthing blizzard settles, they begin to melt into nothingness. Finding another storm or remaining within frigid temperatures can stall the process. Some legendary Zaveru have remained alive for decades this way, if not centuries, and earned terrible places in myths and folklore.   Despite this fleeting mortality, the Zaveru don't display any sense of self-preservation or even identity. They don't seek out new blizzards to prolong their existence, only roaming into them searching for heat to extinguish.
by Kev Walker
  Although they sometimes travel in packs spawned from the same blizzard, they show almost no sense of cooperation or even awareness of the other spirits. Zaveru will pile onto the same victim, regardless of how many of them are already in the fray. Sometimes, several Zaveru will fuse together, becoming abominations of flailing limbs and flame-hating fury.    

Devils Clad In Cold

The thing followed us for three days without rest. When it finally caught up with us, imagine my surprise when it hurled itself at our campfire with a sort of frenzy I wouldn't reserve for my worse enemy.  
— Senchai, Blight-Trackers
  On the Surface, the Zaveru haunt lands like Hela like vengeful shades. They feature prominently in the folktale of the Phtangi as villains or demons, ever ready to snatch unwary children or careless heroes alike. Seers carefully watch any storm for signs of the blizzard-spawn, while hunters wear charms of bone or obsidian to ward off their hunger. A rare valiant few assume the mantle of devil-hunter when the Zaveru's rampage becomes unbearable, setting out with blade and fire to at least lure them away. If the spirits mass in sufficient number, entire caravans of Phtangi risk annihilation.  
Parents warn children not to waste fuel or wander off, least the Zaveru get them and freeze them to the bone.
by MrZarono
  In other tales, they are said to be the servant of the gods, and their passage marks the boundaries between the land of mortal and the divine. Though no less dangerous, these tribes honor the Zaveru and consider whatever land they guard to be closed to mortals. In these stories, the Zaveru's relentless hunt is the result of foolish mortals who trespass into the realm of gods.   Some ancient spirits survive within these forbidding wastelands for centuries, by fortune or destiny never called to hunt. Instead, their wandering brings them deeper into the frigid cold, where the eternal snow and ice slowly grows them to the size of titans. These are worshipped as gods by those who know them.
  Zaveru incursions into the Outer Shell are rare, and few unified accounts of what the creatures are exist. In Phrōjhana, they are another danger among many - more mysterious, perhaps, but one they can fight. This relative lack of understanding means few understand why the Zaveru attack when they do, and fewer still listen to those who do. Most of the time, the spirit is an unpleasant and deadly surprise, a predator driven to cryptic, suicidal fury.
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 even ritualistic compulsions.   Spirits of the surface are rare, making the Zaveru one of only a handful known Surface spirits.   Read More About Spirits

Least Spirits

From the dread tome of the Black Star, Spirits are divided into four distinct categories of power. Least spirits are at the bottom; often fleeting, temporary creatures that live only for some specific purpose.   While not as dangerous as greater spirits, they are much more common and often more than capable of dreadful carnage. It is a small comfort that most of them can be battled with blades and physical force rather than more esoteric means.  
"Less deadly" doesn't mean "not deadly".  
— Senchai, Blight-Trackers
Despite lacking eyes or ears of any kind, the Zaveru can find its way through both darkness and storms. They are almost impossible to hide from and are at best distracted by greater prey.


As the Zaveru inevitably melt, they transform the ice left behind, imbuing it with their essence. This spirit-touched ice is almost indistinguishable from normal ice, but screams when touched by the wind.   It is harder than steel and colder than the heart of a blizzard and treasured like gemstone by those who acquire it. Thaumaturgs especially seek the Zaveru Ice to forge relics and repositories with, finding it an natural channel for magic.   Read More About Zaveru Ice  
Left to its own devices, Zaveru Ice spawns small, white grub from all around it.   These worms never stray far from the spirit-ice and freeze solid within days.
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 common practice to construct cairns and leave offerings of fire within.   These fire range from candles to bonfires and are meant as a sacrifice, but does nothing to satiate the spirit. Since they are usually placed out of the way, these cairns inadvertently lead the Zaveru away from people, and so the practice continues in blissful ignorance.  
Others use criminal, bound or caged, for the Zaveru to vent their anger on.

Deep Freeze

In the The Far Deep, some caves are so vast that winds howl within them like the breath of a great beast. Where they freeze, it is rare but possible of them to be of such fury that even deep underground, the Zaveru emerge.   Beyond the frigid cold regions of the Far Deep, it is most common in Sheoin, where ice creeps across stone like a cancer, claiming ever more to its domain.   Read more about the Sheoin Region
Some legends tell of the day when a blizzard will blow across the world and freeze everything to ice, birthing the greatest Zaveru titan ever witness. As Araea becomes part of this monster, it's hunger is such that it will devour the very stars, until only darkness remains.

Ice Hound by Thomas Milus


Grimoire of Forbidden Knowledge



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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Jun, 2021 10:40

Those are great creature :D I love the idea of having what is basically a personnification of blizzard be attracted to heat and attempt to smother it :D Though I'm sad that they all eventually melt :( What happens if a new blizzard occurs above ice from melted Zaveru? Would it live again or would it be just another pile of ice?

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Jun, 2021 10:41

By the way, I arrived here after reading Stormbril's one shot :p

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
6 Jun, 2021 20:50

Hmm... Good question. It's possible that some residual of the last one could be part of the new critter... I'll think about it when I reach this one in my grand editing pass :D   Thank you :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
6 Jun, 2021 20:50

Hahaha, awesome. I'm trying to edit everything now very quickly :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
15 Jun, 2021 19:54

Great article Q, those are some truly chilling entities :D   I especially like the beautiful description of their eldritch "ice-flesh" as it does wonder to highlight their utterly alien nature.   Also I now really want to know more about the powers and ability of the other Spirit classes ^^

Author of Cenorad ; a bleak-dark sandbox of creativity.
15 Jun, 2021 20:43

Editing the article on spirits is on my to-do list! You might get that sooner than you think! :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
16 Jun, 2021 15:27

Excellent, looking forward to it ^_^   Or shoud I say: I̘̤͍̖̻̝ͅ ͍̝̯̙a͏n̥͔̙̤͎̫t̗̳̲̻͝i̹ci̞͚̰͎̫̦̭͜p̷̦͈̺͙̻͎̯a͎͎͇̥̝ͅt̘̫̲͙i̤̩͇͓͕n̸̞͎̫g̳̖̩̯͉l̢̻̝̤͎̼̮ͅy͙̳͕͍͙͍ ̘̲̭ga̯̳͙̟̟̻z͙̺̪̱̩͇̩̕ę͉͕̘ i̝̮̥̮nt͎̼͚̻͕̠͠o͙̗͕̼ ҉t͙̺h̞̞̙̀e̺̟͓̱ ҉A̡̰̳b̥̱͚͇̖y̟̜͠s̤͎̟̫̪s͚̫͉͕.̻͓̮͕̦̝

Author of Cenorad ; a bleak-dark sandbox of creativity.
15 Jun, 2021 20:48

An incredible article as always. I love the pictures that dot the reading, helping to invoke additional thoughts and understandings of the creatures. Likewise with the quotes that help make it seem more organic and give it more life. This is a stellar article that I feel no shame in favoriting.   Please continue your splendid work.

16 Jun, 2021 08:59

Thank you very much :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
15 Jun, 2021 21:50

Amazing and now we have a fantastic frigid north replacement for the most uninteresting tarrasque. Love the cold heartless monstrosity.

16 Jun, 2021 09:00

Thank you <3

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
15 Jun, 2021 22:25

Their flesh is a mixture of ice and meat?! D: D: D: D: D:   I kind of love them though?

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
16 Jun, 2021 08:23

Spirits are weird, and I wanted them to feel "impossible" even in their very make-up. So it's fun :D   And I'm glad you do <3 :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
16 Jun, 2021 12:28

Great myth to read while I'm enjoying almost winter :P

16 Jun, 2021 13:43

Watch out for any blizzards! :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
29 Jun, 2021 23:09

NICE. Love the touch that some have survived by hopping from storm to storm— will we ever hear of these legendary zaveru?

30 Jun, 2021 16:03

Possibly sometimes in the future, maybe as extra content! I haven'tdecided yet at all. :)

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
1 Jul, 2021 19:40

The description of their flesh being both meat and ice at the same time really threw me with the absolutely horrid mental picture that sprung, only aided by them both rotting and melting in the heat. These officially sound terrifying. Good job.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
2 Jul, 2021 07:26

I wanted to make them proper weird and alien... And it seems to have worked :D   Thank you <3

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.