Frostsprites Species in Creus | World Anvil
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The following is a verbally transcribed report by Magistrate Tarinn of House Orius, a result of his investigation into the death of Violet DuFries, a freelance journalist on contract with the Etoilean Monitor. Scrivener Matthias Thomson received at the Longhall at Ebensberg.
Alright. Today is the fifty-sixth day of Fourth Season, 724. I'm four or five days returned from the Whitecaps, had to nurse a nasty cough away before I could do this report. Let it be known to all interested parties that all Magistrates commit themselves to suffering to uphold the spirit of Progress.   Background context. The Etoilean Monitor has offered payment to any individual who can return to the Capital and present a live example of a 'Frostsprite', the popular term for a type of glowing insect native to the peaks of the Whitecaps. This insect was considered mythological or a hallucination until a few years ago, when dead samples were returned on pinboards by the Cartographer's Southeastern Expedition of 721. The report on that Expedition is available in the archives for further pursuit and will no longer be discussed here.   My preliminary investigation of this incident was prompted by a missing person's report filed by one Natalia DuFries, a widow of the Capital City whose daughter was five weeks overdue from what was ostensibly a vacation trip to the Icefalls, a small town outside of Etoilean control, the circumstances leading to which are outside of the scope of this report. My interview with her led me to conclude that she was lied to by her daughter, who claimed merely to want to vacation on a Powered Cruiser that stopped at the Icefalls. Some kind of inexpensive package deal, where tourists would work to pay part of their passage. I digress...   An ordinary missing person's case would be left to the Capital Guard, but a clipping I retrieved from the room of the younger DuFries indicated her interest in the Monitor's payout. The Monitor is derelict in its duty to inform would-be adventurers of the dangers of the Whitecaps that justify such a high payout, but the debate as to whether it is in the interests of the Principality to proactively prevent such dangerous enterprise, or permit it in the name of the freedom that leads to Progress, is not obviously answered, and will not be investigated in further detail in this report. A cursory visit to the Monitor's offices confirmed, after some pushing, that the younger DuFries did visit the office late in the First Season, not long after the sea travel route to the Icefalls frees of floating pack ice. Based on the published cruiser schedules, the younger Dufries departed the Capital on either the seventy-fourth day of First Season, or the third day of Second Season, arriving at the Icefalls likely sometime around the fifth week of Second Season. Depending on which cruiser she left on, she had been expected to return to the Capital somewhere around the eleventh week, which obviously did not happen. At this point, I was formally tasked with this investigation due to my wilderness survival skills, though I had not personally visited the Whitecaps in the past.   My own travel there was less circuitous than the cruiser route; my departure from the Capital was on the forty-first day of Third Season in 724, on a chartered power-sail directly to the Icefalls, following the great circular traderoute until the branch to the Whitecaps. My arrival there was co-incident with the departure of another Magistrate. No, redact his name, you can't put that in the report, remember the rules of compartmentalization. I mention it only because the Icefalls is not subject to Magisterial oversight, as it is not within the borders of the Principality - they are generally hostile to authority figures from the Principality, and the prior Magistrate had put the locals in a foul mood. Through some extended negotiation, while I was unable to secure lodging, I was able to exchange for supplies and learn that a young woman matching Violet DuFries' description had stayed for a number of days before departing in search of frostsprites. In the words of the proprietor of the Icefall Inn, she was 'a stupid girl looking to freeze and die'. My own words would have been more circumspect in the presence of a Magistrate...   My travel through roughly twenty miles of the Whitecaps was, strictly speaking, uneventful, but allow me license to file complaint in this report. It is cold. It is viciously, bitterly cold, the cold that would freeze the eyes had I not been wearing goggles and full facial warp. Shelter is, while not impossible to find, always a major risk in the region; the open glaciers and katabatic winds howling cliff faces make setting camp in the open an impossibility, let alone lighting any kind of flame. Crucial to this enterprise was a single sample of Wizard's Ember, which proved sufficient to warm me in the evenings in lieu of a campfire, as there was no wood to be had. I should additionally note that this is in Third Season, not even the coldest this part of the world becomes. Nevertheless, conditions were not unexpected, and I was able to make good time, helped by the discovery of evidence of DuFries' own travel, with recently discarded trash and evidence of camp setup in the few caves I was able to encounter.   Let it be known that I discovered the frozen body of Violet DuFries wedged in a crevasse on the windward face of one of the higher Whitecaps, unnamed. She was attempting to descend from the mountain, having successfully captured a frostsprite, though by the time I reached her, the jarred sprite was dead and frozen. She had two broken legs and severe damage to her head; it is my belief that she died on impact some time before her body wedged itself into the gap where I found her. I spent two days near her body thinking of a solution to remove her, before settling on a relatively simple solution, details of which I will not submit here, but will provide to the coroner in her death report. The frostsprites themselves, the cause of all this ruckus, are insects that emit a pretty blue light as they get blown around in the winds on these mountains. Fine fodder for some painter or dreamer, but I found them a distraction - their lights catch the eye against an endless expanse of white snow and cloudy sky, which can lead to accidents in mountaineering. No doubt this contributed to the death of DuFries.   Upon my return to the Icefalls, I returned the supplies I did not consume on my journey to the innkeeper in exchange for a spare barrel and some preservative, which I used to conserve the body of DuFries as we returned to warmer climes. I was feeling slightly ill before departure, which turned to something more serious on the way back to the Capital, but otherwise I have no complications to report.   My official declaration, in my capacity as Magistrate of the Principality of Etoile under the Eye of Solitus, is as follows. Violet DuFries died of misadventure and none are implicated or complicit in her death. I declare, however, that DuFries did successfully capture a frostsprite, and I am declaring on my own initiative that the Monitor is obligated to pay the elder DuFries the payout reward as punitive damage and pay for costs incurred by the Magistrates in pursuit of this case. This declaration is not subject to appeal and is final.   May the light of Progress shine over Etoile on this day, the fifty sixth day, Fourth Season 724.

Basic Information


Frostsprites are not the humanoid sprites of mythology; these are a type of large hopping insect, not unlike the common grasshopper or cricket, with large, folding wings. The major difference is in the wings themselves, which emit a bluish light as they flap. Their size makes them comparatively poor at flight compared to crickets; they can only hop in short and somewhat clumsy movements.

Ecology and Habitats

Given the climate of The Whitecaps and relative lack of food, it's not entirely known what frostsprites feed on or how they manage to breed in the frozen mountains and wastelands. What is known is that they are not particularly common, being sighted in small numbers high in distant mountaintops.


Frostsprites are nocturnal insects that begin to glow not long after sunset. Once the night has risen, frostsprites are easily visible from a distance due to their bluish glow when they jump from point to point. Reasoned presumption from the Academy assumes that they jump in order to cover distance efficiently in the thin air at altitude, hunting for food.

Additional Information


A few frostsprites have been captured for examination, but all die within a few days of their capture - it's unknown what they eat, as they refuse smaller insects and carrion when in captivity.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Frostsprites were at one point considered a legendary phenomenon in the Whitecaps, a hallucination brought on by the thin air and bitter cold of the high elevations. It was only after a dead sample was returned to the Etoile Capital City that accounts of glowing spheres dancing in the mountains were taken seriously. Several scientific expeditions have recovered additional samples, with a bounty on returning a live sample to the Capital capable of casting its glow.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Frostsprites are only found in the deepest and highest points of The Whitecaps. This distribution is inferred from witness reports of their lights on the snow, rather than ordinary naturalist species sampling, as the peaks of the Whitecaps are too treacherous for naturalists to take samples.
Unknown in the wild, <1wk in captivity
Conservation Status
Geographic Distribution
Discovered by

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