At the furthest edges of the habitable realm are the frozen Losivaa of the Frost Margin, where the warmth of the Light of the Keeper finally fails. Some of the Losivaa of the Frost Margin are just about habitable, trapped in an endless winter, and human and non human settlers live in small villages or abandoned keeps, but life is a constant struggle for warmth and food. More distant Losivaa have become completely icebound, some resembling floating icebergs and others lost in blizzards and freezing fog. Treasure hunters and those searching for the Keeper’s hidden secrets make their way by raptor to these frozen relics of the Celestial Realm, but many find death, not riches. The chaos of the Devourer changed life in the Losivaa it touched, and in the ice and cold, its offspring wait for the unwary. Many of the Shuravai, who still see themselves as the Keeper’s loyal enforcers have found a home in the Frost Margin, where they watch the colonies of mortals that have established themselves in the Celestial Realm.
Vetrstrale is an extensive archipelago of Losivaa at the outer edges of the Frost Margin held together by gargantuan ice shelves long deemed untraversable by explorers. The surface is a land of silence and semi twilight, with no points of orientation save the Light of The Keeper. The pervasive silence of Vetrstrale is broken only by the otherworldly sounds made by the movement of the ice shelves beneath the vast plateau of its surface. The ice appears to sing in strange tones beyond the reach of any known instrument, cracking, roaring, booming and whistling. Only a faint echo of these sounds reaches the surface of the archipelago, any journey to reach their sources would take weeks of descending beneath the ice. The full magnitude of each sound would burst all the blood vessels in the bodies of those who descend into the bowels of the ice without magical protection.
The Mad Anchorites
To journey into the beating heart of the archipelago deep beneath the surface one must secure the blessing of one of the monastic orders drawn to Vetrstrale by its remoteness, . These are women and men who are transfixed by the strange harmonies and carcophanies they have attuned themselves to in the singing of the ice. Known throughout The Frost Margin as The Mad Anchorites. It is thought that The Mad Anchorites were originally schismatics from four Solustine Orders, The Dromonites, The Aruastics, The Rabodniks, and The Ulmoritics. The Anchorites have been reshaped beyond recognition by the tonal and physical movements of the ice. The small monasteries they once secluded themselves away in, the Anchorages, have become lost under the shifting ice shelves and glaciers. The Mad Anchorites never leave the confines of their cells and are as still as necessity allows them to be. The Anchorites believe they have detected, a totally alien, yet distantly familiar voice amongst the sounds generated by the glaciers. They came to believe that the groaning ice shelves were speaking directly to them, and some monks who meditated in the unbearable cold for long enough began to hear a voice that some imagined was the last remnant of the Keeper’s soul, locked away in the prison of the ice itself. Some tried to proof their cells against the noise, but were denounced as heretics and unbelievers by their brethren and accused of trying to evade it. Others became convinced that it was not the Keeper, but another, darker entity trying to seduce them; the confusion led to anger and discord between the monks and the network of cells and monastic retreats under the ice has become a place of terror and fear as the voice slowly gets louder and something hideous now stalks the frozen passages.
The Peals is the roving dominion of a corrupted and insane Grace Y’Nauraadsel, roughly translated as ‘the laughing enigma’. Y’Nauraadsel fled into the Frost Margin to escape the Shuravai, hiding deep beneath the ice of Vetrstrale. It is thought he awoke strange interdimensional beasts from the time of The Devourer War, relics of the great interdimensional battles, whose remnants fester in the boneyard of the Red Waste. These beings showed Y’Nauraadsel secrets of these remote dimensions, corrupting and mutating him, and eroding what little remained of his sanity. When Y’Nauraadsal was nearing his goal and his understanding of his visions was growing more perfect with each new mutilation, Y’Nauraadsel came to realise that he was being tricked into providing a gateway for his tormentors into the Celestial Realm. Fearing the power of these creatures, and growing more and more terrified of what abominations were already being released through him, Y’Nauraadsel's mind snapped completely. He fused the abominations that were pouring out of him into an ever expanding ship he called The Peals, which he sailed desperately round the subterranean ocean of in the heart of the Vetrstrale. The hideous creatures that had been created by Y’Nauraadsel were temporarily trapped by him through the power of their own cacophony. He used the endless dirge that they created to control them, and believed it would finally control and entrap the evil forces that controlled him. For centuries, there has been silence from the dark waters that the Peals sailed in, and there are few who have heard the terrible fate of Y’Nauraadsel, but the Anchorites fear that the mutilated grace and his crew of abominations will one day awaken.
A Fire in the Heart of Knowing
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