Jäätta Settlement in Istralar | World Anvil


To the north of the Hands of the First and serving as an artificial waymarker for the boundary of the Witch-Tribes and the Kylmävikk Desert is a valley charred not with blackened ash - but with everlasting ice. At its centre stands a magical masterpiece: the city of Jäätta, formed entirely from ice and snow. Its beauty is breathtaking, especially in the rare rainbow lights of the aurora borealis.   Do not be fooled. No living being should set foot within Jäätta. The fate of the Elsrei should be warning enough.
  Once upon a time, the land of Jäätta was a miracle brought to life. The area in which it stands has always been known as Iskaldhal's most bitter cold, with those shamans watching the skies warning of any storms "kissed by the eternal ice", so it was a surprise to the ancient walkers of Iskaldhal when a snow elven tribe split off from the Isyrei to settle there. The group quickly became known as the Elsrei, a name derived from their differing values and dominance over the ice, and set about constructing a masterpiece.   The elven race had previously dealt with unusual materials such as crystal and ice upon their past homeworlds, but most knowledge of their techniques had long since been lost. How the Elsrei rekindled their racial talents to build a city of eternal ice remains a mystery to this day, though some scholars of the region posit that it was Jäätta itself that called to them to construct it. It would fit the area's fel call, after all. As it was, Jäätta was constructed as an elaborate masterpiece of ice and snow, with enormous crystals used as supports. The magicks used were strong enough to conjure up a constant ambient glow that still shines to this day, bathing the city in a cool blue light. It can be used as a beacon for lost travellers even now. A beacon - or a warning.   Jäätta's fall came unannounced by its inhabitants. The exact cause remains unknown to this day. All the rest of the world knows is that one day, after well over a century of Jäätta's operation and proliferation, the city fell silent for a period of three months. Traders on missions to Jäätta did not return. Scouts, sent from various other nations across Iskaldhal, similarly failed to report. After that time had passed, the messages began.  
We're sorry for our absence. We have much to share with you. Please, come and visit.
  Do not heed their calls. Though it may seem tempting to explore the mystery left behind, no mortal being entering Jäätta will leave unscathed. The Elsrei's fate demonstrates that - for they forever lurk the halls of Jäätta, their skin and bones now crafted from the same ice, snow, and crystal that they worked so well. They speak, but their voices are rarely their own.   When They speak, it is as a siren's song - a haunting melody that wrenches one's soul.


Perhaps once there were other citizens of Jäätta. Elves, dwarves, humans - they might have lived in peace, long ago.   Now all that remains are their remnants. Frozen mimicries of life, only occasionally permitted to speak with the souls forever chained to their cursed bodies.
Main Hall by Laplandish, edited by Hanhula


Alternative Name(s)
the Cursed City
Large city
Inhabitant Demonym
the Elsrei or the Cursed
Location under
Owning Organization
Header image photobashed by Hanhula using [1] and [2] from Unsplash.


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