The Frozen North: Dwarves, Winter Elves and Werewolves

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The Frozen North: Dwarves, Winter Elves and Werewolves

Postby Ben » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:09 pm

The Frozen North

Far to the north of Pargon sit a cluster of islands known as the Polar Isles. Cold and inhospitable, these mountainous islands are covered by ice and snow and little lives here either plant or animal. However, this was not always so.

The Dwarves
In the beginning Lavelas created the oceans, covering much of Velmaneth, leaving few land masses exposed. The largest of these would become known as the continent of Pargon and far to the north was the second largest, about the size of the Heartlands.

Far from the gaze of Velnashar, the land was several degrees cooler than its neighbour and Lenamo recognised that humanity was not designed to thrive in this environment. Instead he created a race who were shorter of stature so would require less food and broader so as to be more resilient to the cold: the Dwarves. Lenamo gifted this race to Lavelas and so this great island became the land of the god of water.

Many of the first Water Elves, Lavelas' gift to his mother Eremine, lived upon the island enjoying the peace so far from the influence of the god of chaos. However, this peace was not to last for the land was not to be free from the lord of destruction for very long.

The Fall
Upon the birth of his sister Asternia, Velnashar was enraged. He was the God of the Sun and nothing he could do could harm the Goddess of Light. He was the God of Destruction but unable to harm the Goddess of Creation. He was the God of Fire…so he turned upon his brother, the God of Water.

On dark winter nights the Dwarves of the north still tell tales of the great eclipse that occurred in the first few days of the world: the blue moon of their god passing in front of the sun but instead of passing out the other side the sun burst through the centre, fracturing the moon into a thousand pieces. Lavelas had been defeated, destroyed, but this was not to be the end of the destruction.

Over the next few days great meteors fell from the sky, smashing into the island, cracking and breaking the land, drowning many of the early dwarves. When peace finally resumed, the homeland of the dwarves was no more. What remained were dozens, perhaps hundreds, of smaller islands: the Polar Isles.

The majority of the surviving Dwarves split into nomadic tribes and spread across the broken land, rarely settling for long and always ready to move on. Some made the decision to leave their sundered homeland and travelled to Pargon where they built the port city of Nauko but for those who stayed this was their only chance of survival: small groups fighting the elements in this new, even harsher landscape.

It is said that on the day their creator died, the hearts of the Water Elves who witnessed it broke. They embraced the cold, forsaking warmth and emotion and so were born the Winter Elves.

The Polar Isles
The land beneath the isles is extremely unstable with extreme tectonic activity causing annual changes in the landscape with some islands disappearing beneath the surface of the sea for years at a time and new land masses arising. During the winter vast areas of the ocean freeze and the Dwarven tribes cross these temporary bridges of ice to tap the islands for whatever they can. Resources are extremely limited with metal, timber, cloth and food being extremely rare commodities. The tribes are constantly at war, fighting for survival and supremacy.

Spring is usually a time of relief for most races: the long nights of winter recede, the weather gets warmer and food becomes less scarce. However, for the Dwarves the spring is to be feared for this is when the ocean thaws, the land cracks and shakes and the landscape changes once more. In this short space of time the Dwarves must get to their boats and hope not to be sunk by the lethal islands of floating ice or sucked down into the depths by the earthquakes that plague land and sea alike.

Frostheim
The exception to this ever-changing landscape is the island at the very top of the world, the largest of the Polar Isles known as Frostheim. Unlike the rest of the isles, Frostheim has remained relatively unchanged since the creation of the world. Ruled by the King of the Dwarves, Frostheim is the one area of the isles which is not contested between the tribes, it is neutral ground where all tribes may come to trade items, commodities and services, form alliances and share news from the wider world.

Trolls
Large blue-skinned creatures equally at home on land or sea, these creatures are the bane of the Dwarves. Though often seen as slow and stupid, trollish society is not that different from that of the Dwarves: tribal, nomadic and constantly battling against the elements and warring for resources. Though a stereotype exists of Trolls fighting Dwarves, an observer is as likely to find troll slaying troll or dwarf battling dwarf as one race against the other.

The Midari
In the first days of the world the great tribes were founded by those who had travelled to the Heartlands seeking out others of a like-mind. For example, many of those with a particular talent for martial skills formed the Larkant whereas those with more academic leanings founded the Telerfret. What few remember today is that the Midari were once a human tribe founded in much the same way.

It will surprise many to learn that the founder of this ill-fated tribe, Midari himself, is believed to have been the first druid: a man of the woods with the ability to talk to animals and he taught his ways to those around him. Though he and his tribe had heeded the call to travel to the Heartlands, they felt no inclination to participate in the councils deciding the fate of this new land and instead made their home out in the wilderness of the Heartlands around the Morne Mountain. When the councils had concluded they called upon the people of the Heartlands to attend the construction of a great city in the name of Eremine but Midari refused. He did not believe in the city and spoke out against it and the council, in particular the High Elven representative, Erathil Coshwood.

In response Erathil used his influence to convince the council that Midari and his people should not be trusted and that if they would not help shape this new land, they had no right to call it home. In this way the Midari were banished from the Heartlands.

One of the beliefs that Midari instilled in his tribe was that of totem spirits they could speak to or call upon for aid in times of need. These spirits took the form of animals, creatures such as the bear, the hawk and the wolf. No one knows whether these spirits were ever truly ‘real’ but the Morne Mountain is a strange place, a crack in reality and when the Midari called on the tribal spirits in this, their greatest hour of need, their voices echoed through the void until someone answered: the Fey. Each member of the Midari tribe heard, clearer than ever before, the spirit of the wolf calling them north.

When they reached the coast, they were met by a great pack of ethereal wolves, these were the Fey who had taken on a shape that the humans would recognise and respect. The Midari thought they had found the tribal spirits they had long called upon but as they drew close the wolves bared their fangs and charged. So began the great hunt, dozens of spiritual wolves tirelessly chasing their prey. Over the coming minutes, hours, days and nights every member of the tribe was caught, their bodies mauled and shredded by tooth and claw. However, the Fey had not done this simply to kill, they had a greater purpose in mind for the Midari tribe. At the point of death, the spirit of the wolf would whisper in the mind of the fallen tribesman "Embrace your fate or accept the spirit of the wolf within you". For those who accepted, the wolf merged with them making them stronger, more agile and more hardy than ever before. They found themselves able to stand despite the most grievous wounds, wounds that began to rapidly heal. The Midari believed they had been tested by their tribal spirits and found worthy, blessed with the extraordinary ability to shift their shape between wolf and ‘human’.

Today, the majority of the tribe reside on the mainland near the coast, only straying onto the isles in winter when the sea freezes forming a bridge to the islands during winter. Some claim they do so for food but most realise they do so for sport, the great hunt spreading death, discord and panic.

Polar Beastmen
These humanoid polar bears are used to a diet consisting mainly of fish so have no interest in prey beastmen (except possibly those of an aquatic nature). Although gruff and imposing, they are noble creatures: respected more than feared by the natives of the isles especially because they have taken it upon themselves to protect the inhabitants of the isles from the Midari.
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

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Re: The Frozen North: Dwarves, Winter Elves and Werewolves

Postby bedevere » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:34 pm

All damned good reading, but were not the midari originally a tribe of humans who were cast out by the other tribes for speaking against Erathil, before the betrayal? They were meant to have been in the northern areas of human lands if I recall, and were supposedly cast out into the seas to the north. Certainly ties in, and perhaps have the wolves being the first hosts for the spirits, which is why were creatures are usually wolves, but not always, as a few might have inhabited other animals first, aspecting them towards other creatures from then on?

Of course, if we are quietly changing history, that's fine. I doubt anyone else is left that would remember this, after all. :)
So then he goes, YOU SHALL NOT PASS, and I say "I've got WINGS? I can FLY?" It was hilarious! The dwarf was tough, but the elf was delicious and they had some men and these four bite-sized guys, too. The wizard was fuming when I flew off.

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Re: The Frozen North: Dwarves, Winter Elves and Werewolves

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:12 am

I like to think of it as retro-chronology...

I write background based on what I can (a) remember, (b) find on forums/the journal and (c) fits on.

Wasn't aware of the other stuff so will make a few changes
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

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Re: The Frozen North: Dwarves, Winter Elves and Werewolves

Postby bedevere » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:28 am

it was originally written by tom, back when he was a ref and doing all his Midari stuff. Few people seemed to pay attention to his plot / background, but I found it quite interesting, mostly because I was going through a phase of interest in viking / norse mythology at the time. I borrowed a very small amount from what he wrote to update the midari into their current form, and introduce the other fey races as monsters.

Like I said, I really do like what you wrote, so if you want to go with it, I won't mind in the slightest. :)
So then he goes, YOU SHALL NOT PASS, and I say "I've got WINGS? I can FLY?" It was hilarious! The dwarf was tough, but the elf was delicious and they had some men and these four bite-sized guys, too. The wizard was fuming when I flew off.

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Re: The Frozen North: Dwarves, Winter Elves and Werewolves

Postby spsblue » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:04 am

I also vaguely remembered that, but thought I'd remembered wrong until I read Kieth's post above.
Andy Cooper or
Kestrel Updraft (Avian scholar)
Korthain DEAD (1)
Derwent Thurza DEAD (2)
Corporal Cynrick DEAD (3)
Fionan Druce (Life Elf Druid)
WOA: Jasper Methlar (Telefret High Mage)

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Re: The Frozen North: Dwarves, Winter Elves and Werewolves

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:10 am

Changes made :)
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

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Re: The Frozen North: Dwarves, Winter Elves and Werewolves

Postby bedevere » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:15 pm

Oh, now that is absolutely fantastic. As always, your imagination seems to know no limits. Many many kudos, Ben. :)
So then he goes, YOU SHALL NOT PASS, and I say "I've got WINGS? I can FLY?" It was hilarious! The dwarf was tough, but the elf was delicious and they had some men and these four bite-sized guys, too. The wizard was fuming when I flew off.


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