Rocks and Ice
Dirmand Tundra is located at the northern extreme of Sleyterra. Vegitation is sparse and smaller than in more southern locales. Scattered clusters of thin short trees provide most of the vegetation and most of the area is dusted with snow that blows like sand across the rocky expanse. Lakes are frozen over most of the year, and the few plants and grasses that can break through the permafrost enjoy a short window of growth.
Druids of The Stones make their home in this wasteland maintaining and worshiping an ancient stone monument dedicated to the Diety Umera. Life here is unforgiving, but offers immense beauty for those who can look past the difficult weather and living conditions. What at first might seem impossible, large preditors and specialized grazers are supported and reinforce the idea that Umera is everywhere within the world.
Flora & Fauna
Giant Ground Sloth
Giant Ground Sloths are the undisputed champions of the tundra. At their full size they are impossible for predators to take down alone, and young are guarded closely by small family units. They have three sharp claws on each of their toes that are used for digging up nutritious roots in the spring and summer, and pulling branches lower to eat the tender tips of new growth higher up. These claws are also used to dig burrows into the permafrost and establish large caves for their family units.
They are nomadic and cooperative with other units. Some get along better than others but they will often share caves with foreign families in storms or when they have strayed too far from their own burrows. It is in these meetings and gatherings that diversity is maintained as families will often cross breed or a female will leave with a male of another family.
Sabre Toothed Leopards
Often called the white ghosts of death, they are some of the greatest hunters in the world of Sleyterra and are hunted with great caution, members of a clouder remember individuals that hunt their number and will target them with fierce tenacity. They are a social hunter and clouders of sabre-toothed leopards can reach a size of 10 individuals that hunt cooperatively, with strategies that vary depending on their preferred food choices. These cats have deep socials bonds and structures in the clouders, and an intellect that is often startling to those not aquinted with them.
A small and unassuming flower that speckles the tundra. It has small delicate petals that are a pale irridecent blue. These flowers can take up to a decade to produce their first bloom, and some may never bloom at all. It is said that Umera was so disheartened with the lack of life that wept over Dirmand Tundra and where her tears landed flowers sprung from the cracks of rocks. These first flowers bloomed and bestowed the other species of life to the land in an effort to ease the deity's sorrow.
Great efforts are made by those who live in the tundra to avoid stepping on these delicate plants and they are only ever harvested for the most sacred of rituals by Druids of The Stones. To steal these flowers or harm them deliberately will earn the ire from all druidic tribes in Shov Stril.
These hardy little trees are a distant relative to the ironwood species found in more southern locations. Named for their black trunks that absorb as much heat from the weak sunlight as possible they are slow growing and reach a maximum height of 20feet. Their trunks can be as thick as a grown man's thigh but that can take up to a hundred years of growth with ideal growing seasons.
A large monument of cut stones stand in the middle of the tundra. This is used as a gathering point for the Druids and a main camp for hunters to come and go from. It is the location used for ritual, festivities, and training in survival skills for those coming from Virstas to join the tribe. The Stones are covered in runes whose meaning has been lost to time, but they seem to keep the worst of winter weather at bay and radiate warmth that allows the growth of berry bushes that would otherwise be unable to grow in the environment. They are seen as another of the great gifts of Umera and a statue of the deity has been errected at the center of The Stones. The statue is hewn from marble that was transported across vast distances from the mountains and is considered one of the most beautiful representations of her. She is depicted as a young woman with a beaming smile and a loose dress with flowers that cascade down the skirt and gather at her feet.
Druids of The Stones
This tribe of Druids are based around the principles that life will always find a way. Even in their frozen and harsh home life can grow and flourish. The Stones are the main camp for these druids and hold great significance in rituals and reinforcing their beliefs in Umera. This monument is seen as Umera's greatest gift to the druids as it helps provide for the camp. Homes are half dug into the permafrost with small roof structures that are made from the pelts of giant sloths and their bones. These bones are exposed inside the structures and are highly decorated with intricate carvings that tell the stories of the family that live there. Fires are lit at ground level in the center and smoke is allowed to billow out through a small hole above the fire. Hammocks are hung around the outside ring of the home and hang at mid level where the heat is trapped, creating a comfortable environment.