The Realm of Despair
The Fell is a gray-scaled location where the only color that exists is what outsiders bring into the land. Much of the things here are desolate and dying. The plants grown here harvest only bitter rations and unsightly beasts roam the area.
The Fell is the great culmination of anguish, woe, and despair. Suffering is the cruel guarantee in life and it’s this realm that reminds the living of this fact. Whether it be shades tormenting your emotions, the sprawling undead testing your fortitude, or the light of hope being snuffed by apathy. However, some find kinship through that shared pain and that is how some living residents get by.
Aspects of the Fell
Death by Despair
What makes this realm dangerous is that which is within, actually. A strong mental resolve is needed in order to survive for a long time within the Fell. For, if one comes unprepared, it is quite easy for a person to give in to extreme emotions as a result. If left unchecked, a form of disturbance will occur. If it persists for a year, the victim will suffer what the locals call, “Death by Despair.” The victim appears mostly unresponsive to their surroundings but internally, they are enduring a horrible psychosis of graphic and disturbed thoughts. Alternatively, the mind may go numb trying to repress such emotions. For at its climax, the heart inevitably strains from the constant stress and the victim passes away.
Creatures innately born within the Fell are mostly resistant to this subtle influence but it is still a factor to worry about. Only the unfeeling undead are truly immune.
When will this day ever end?
A common phrase among inhabitants of the Fell. It is in reference to the lack of a day and night cycle. Any sleep someone takes feels more like a nap with the feeling of time standing still yet the mundane parts still move.
Lost souls that have drifted to the Fell, shades are numerous as they prey on the emotions of others. If harrowed and forced into submission, shades become the servants and spies for powers greater than themselves.
Sprawled throughout the Fell are undead lords, such as liches and vampire nobles who clash amongst themselves hoping to dominate the other. Of course in Florenelle, none of these factions could stand up to the Arkonian Order, the dominant powerhouse in the realm. In theory, these divided factions could equal Arkonia's might but the only issue is that none of these lords could trust the other. So, they stick to warring with themselves.
Whether standing alone or in a forest of themselves, crooked trees are quite abundant. They never stand straight compared to the ones in the material world. Their trunk has a slant to it and its branches jut out as if exhausted.
Denizens harvest the branches from these trees, as they provide basic sustenance and have a long period without going stale for a whole season. The taste is horrendously bitter but it can be burnt out with fire, leaving it with a bland yet gritty taste. Arkonians call the meal "char sticks" because of it.
These hidden vines sprout discreetly from the dirt and especially come out after a conflict has occurred. These thorned nuisances often sprawl out and are hidden in the open. A reflex spider roots have are when a creature steps on it and it immediately coils around the leg with its barbed grip. Creatures often get stuck or are entirely tripped by the attack.
It's speculated that spider roots are a predator's best friend, as it often feeds and decomposes on dead bodies that the likes of a sar'drekt would leave behind.
What lurks among the Shadowfell's crooked trees and wilderness are malicious creatures known as sar'drekts. These abominable things are distinct with their antlers, reaching slender arms, nimble legs, and a skeletal head of a deer or wolf. They have only been known to lash out when given the chance but they only hunt outside of towns knowing that either the undead have no value in being food or that the town guard can repel them. Attempts at taming these creatures have proven unsuccessful and are only weaponized by Arkonia, as they simply release the rabid creatures onto the enemy.
Lumbering beasts that have learned more to tolerate its domesticators, warths have become a welcomed help in the City of Grathenvok. Warths are often used as mounts or beasts of burden. They can be found in the wilds though they aren't as friendly compared to the tamed ones. They are an odd mix of wolves and horses combined with the Shadowfell's influence on its development. They are omnivores and are quite adaptable.
Here are the signs to look for when determining if the Fell is the influencing realm.
Pale features with tired gazing eyes is an immediate notice. Hair turns to black as fingertips and toes also darken. A person also becomes slender in appearance, if not borderline skeletal in physique.
Animals become the most affected especially. Wolves grow into infamous dire wolves and bats become hostile to travelers. As a whole, animals will look sickened but still function normally. With intensive influences, wisps of shadow may trail off of hair like the ankles of horses and the tails of dogs.
An immediate sign is the loss of saturation as things go into grayscale. Trees may lose their leaves and their roots begin to show more. A fog or mist may even emanate to roam through the area. When the wind howls, it may instead sound like the subtle howling of spirits. The dead may even be animated as they rise up.
Influenced spells are often noted to be cold. A mage hand spell may look like a skeletal hand. Some bolts may even have ethereal screams as it travels through the air. Should one speak with the dead, there is a chance that spirit may never return to its rest.
Fell Ore is named after the only known source it comes from, that being the Shadowfell. It is a naturally destructive ore that can cause necrotic damage to the victim. That is why it's favored by the Arkonian military for its added potency.