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The Howls of the Forsaken

Once long ago the Howling Mountains were silent, the wind was calm and rare and the snowfall was tranquil and beautiful. In those days they were simply known as the Northern Range. Many people settled in the mountains however as they looked from their mountain houses over the sea to the north they pondered as to whether there was yet more land to be claimed. As they pondered this they saw a man in a small dingy come from the north towards the base of the mountain. They went down and helped the man out of the boat and took him in to get warm from the cold and bitter ocean water. As he recovered they asked him who he was and where he came from. His name was Callik Howlflind. He said that he had sailed north and that what he saw there was incredible. Beautiful lands as far as the eye could see. There was snow and there was cold but it was nothing that a good coat couldn't cure. The people were already excited when he pulled something out of his pocket. A beautiful gemstone, completely transparent on the edges with a colors like that of an aurora in the center, fluctuating and mixing as he turned the stone around in his hand. He claimed that the land to the north had beautiful caves filled with these gems, and that there was likely even more beautiful stones deeper in the caverns. After he had said this the people of those towns began to build fleets of ships to start an expedition. After many years the fleet was finished and hundreds of brave and foolish souls alike had agreed to sign aboard, however Callik Howlflind claimed he was too old and too feeble to go on the expedition. Those that stayed in the mountains waited feverishly for months, awaiting for their loved ones to come back with the precious gemstone they so desired and to bring gold and glory to their towns. However that day never came. Instead after 5 months of waiting fierce winds began to blow through the range. It had taken these winds long to come down from the north and reach the mountains but now they had arrived. These winds were the howls of those hundreds of men and women who had gone to the northern land but had all too late realized that they were going to die, too deep into the land, realizing now there were no gems to be found, no food, no shelter, and with no ship that had not been torn apart by icebergs, and with their last breath uttered a curse upon the world Throughout that day the winds started off bad and then only got worse. People were tormented by the agonized voices of those they recognized as those of their loved ones, asking why no one had come for them after their ships had crashed, asking why no one mourned them, why no one warned them, why they had been forsaken. No one alive hears the winds as those of men and women because all those who knew those who died in the north are now dead themselves. By afternoon only the most sturdy structures stood as the winds had rended the rest of the homes, inns, stables, and everything else to pieces. Men were blown off the cliffs of their settlements to their deaths while women held their children to their breast as the wind threw them against the walls of the mountains, with shards of ice tearing at their skin. As each person died their screams joined the cacophony of horror and mourning blowing through the mountains. By the time the sun had set and moon had rose no structure stood, no one breathed in the mountains, no one had survived. But among the dead Callik was not counted. Now he is known as Callik the deceiver, for he was no man, for no man could ever surive the Northern Wastes as they are called now. He was a fiend who came to trick the townspeople of the mountains and lead them to their deaths. It is said that to this day he grows fat, eating the souls of those he sent to their deaths and those who died from the cursed voices of their loved ones, one by one, hence why the winds of the mountains have calmed, even though it might be only a little, since that day. It is because of this that we now call that dreaded range, the Howling Mountains.

Historical Basis

Although many ships have disappeared in the Northern Wastes and many have died there the Howling Mountains have always been called such and have always been windy, the name simply inspired such tales. There have always been very few settlements in the mountains and it is unlikely that a fiend was responsible for luring the explorers to their deaths. If there is one ounce of truth in this tale its that all those who encouraged their loved ones to go and explore the north are filled with regret.

Variations & Mutation

Depending on where this tale is asked almost everything varies, the only constant theme is that the mountains used to not be windy and then at least one person died in the Northern Wastes and now their howls of remorse echo through the mountains causing the wind.

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