White Skull Lake
White Skull Lake is a shallow lake with many branches nestled among the hills of Medial D6. Known simply as White Lake in the centries prior to the outbreak of the War of Reunification, the famous battle that took place there in 9951 AR gave the region a much more grisly reputation. Now, quartz deposits and brilliant white sand aren't the only shiny, pale things one might discover beneath the surface when the summer thaws come.
White Lake is located in a hilly region of Medial D. Geological activity in the adjacent Ventral-influenced Medial G contorts the landscape without causing rock formations to break the surface. Whitish granite and quartz deposits in the region were exposed over eons by glacial erosion, and the resulting shallows were subsequently filled by glacial melt. The white, coarse stone of the lake bed, coupled with the sediment carried into the water by the actions of the glaciers overhead, gives the lake its characteristic milky appearance.
White Skull Lake is situated in a sparse subalpline forest. Pines, scrub, grasses (including Penrose fescue), and lichens are the most common flora in the region. Hares, foxes, elk, and even a few black bears live around the lake, and fish adapted to reduced activity during the long, cold winters live within it.
White Skull Lake is comparatively shallow, reaching only around 40ft of depth at its deepest point. The surface freezes completely over during most winters, leaving only a few deep pools on the bottom for aquatic life to persist in. The shallowness of the lake, coupled with accumulations of snow and other detritus across the surface when frozen, can decieve travelers into thinking that it is safe to traverse where it otherwise might not be.
The Battle of White Skull Lake took place near the end of a seasonal freeze. A massive infantry engagement punctuated by harsh sleet storms, the battle left thousands dead on either side. Medics found it difficult, if not impossible, to recover the fallen closer to the center of the lake, forcing them to leave these unfortunate souls behind to succumb to injuries and the elements. The battle dragged on until the weather changed; bodies sank or were washed into the lake by landslides during an unprecedented rainfall. Forces attempting to retreat found themselves bogged down, multiplying casualties and preventing the battle from reaching a natural conclusion. Over months, the activities of animals and the elements broke the bodies in the lake down to skeletal remains, but cold temperatures prevented the bones themselves from breaking down further. For this reason, bones - especially skulls - are frequently found scattered across the lakebed. This grisly phenomenon is the source of the lake's modern name.
White Lake was once a popular ice fishing spot before the advent of the War of Reunification. In modern times, the lake sits on the Caudal front of the War of Reunification and remains a potential site for engagements between the Grand Army of Voxelia and Coalition Defense Forces. The danger of accidental entanglements with the military, coupled with growing superstitions surrounding the numerous unclaimed dead beneath the water, makes the White Skull Lake a relatively unpopular spot for tourism.