The Endless Tundra of Isegrád
"To those brave, to those stupid, and to those forced to live upon these lands. May luck be on your side." - Unknown Traveler
The unforgiving Tundra's of Isegrád are not for the faint of heart to live in. Those who venture there willfully either die on their journey from the many dangers that lie in wait. Be it the harsh and cold everlasting winter. Or the monsters and beasts that prey upon any and all to survive. Yet even within this barren landscape of ice there lives a few settlements and villages from which those living there have managed to adapt and survive in said lands.
It is said that the first settlement came from those refugees from the slums of Isegrád's Capital. For the Slums began to grow too big. And some feared civil unrest as more of the impoverished began to go without basic needs. And so to quell the masses they simple tossed those who did not belong in Isegrádian society aside. To fend for themselves. Many died on the journey into the Tundra. Either from starvation. Sickness. The cold. Or the monsters that lurked. Yet those that survived would be known as the pioneers to these small new villages. Developing ways to fight the monsters from which they used as food. They did not thrive like those in more suitable area's. But they managed to live humble lives this way. For without the need to pay taxes, and being able to be left alone allowed them to continue on to their own devices.
Those that found themselves living upon these lands would live semi nomadic lives. Though a village would last for generations there was a time when hunters would roam the lands. Setting up camps for days to even months on end in order to hunt the monsters that lurked. This job was left to the men, while the women would be known for taking care of the villages. Most of which ran the villages as with most the men gone for long periods of time and they could not do such responsibilities. Though it was not uncommon to see women out hunting as well for those villages with smaller populations. Everyone had a role to play in the villages. The young would help collect blocks of ice and abandoned carts and wagons occasionally from adventurer's who had met their fates. The old would keep track of records as well as teach the younger generations.
After many generations these Draconian's began to slightly change in their physical appearances. Some more notable features compared to those not living inside the Tundra. Most had began to develop darker orange eyes from which hues would change. In the bright days from which the sun reflected off of the snow their eyes would become darker in color. While at night it would seem as if their eyes began to glow. A way for these people living in said area to more readily live in this unforgiving wasteland of ice and snow. This was not the only change. Those living in these lands found themselves with more scales, as well as hair that could be either darker gray or lighter gray. They began to find themselves taller than most other Draconians, not only that but with more muscular frames as well.
Family and community is a very valued thing in most of these villages. For without everyone doing their job or with friction and fights breaking out inside the the Village it would only mean certain death of that village. And it was not uncommon for villages to simple die off or stop existing. Money had no value other than for those who would make the journey to trade with the towns closer to the Capital. And thus much is shared and distributed in the village as for when one needs something. There is very little in the fact for personal belongings as there is not much other than the few weapons or little trinkets and items others may have.
But raids and attacks on villages are also very common as well. When a hunt goes bad or a village faces destruction there can be rivalries and fights between other villages. Only adding on to the many ways to die in these lands. When another village goes to fight another to take their supplies it is known that the entire village will be razed to the grounds with no survivors. For if any do survive it could only mean that those survivors could come back to attack their own village. The tundra was a game of survival of the fittest to those that lived there. Yet those that did survive in such a harsh place would find themselves much more physically stronger than most living on the main lands.
Funeral for the Deceased: Due to the nature of the ground being of ice and all the snow it became a problem of burying bodies. And so a simple solution was found. Those that died would be left out in the tundra dressed in ceremonial clothing. To be laid to rest there from where the monsters and beasts shall feed upon the body. A way to give back to the once feared and loathed monsters that had become apart of their way of life. One shall keep watch over the body from a distance till the monster or beast consumes it. After such that monster or beast would be tagged with red cloth by the one standing watch. A dangerous task. But after being tagged that said monster or beast would then be never hunted again. For it carries the life and energy of one of their own.
New Years Feast: One survival of any new year during the long and cold winters a feast is held. All will attend and eat their fill and have good food. Dancing partaken in as well as duels, competitions and the such. Each New Years Feast would change from village to village. But the general concept is kept the same of celebrating the survival of another year and remembering those who did not.
Coming of Age: After one turns eighteen they must within the next two years go on a journey to defeat a beast or monster. The stronger their first beast or monster is the more the more respect they will find within the Village. Those who do not complete this task are usually out casted from the village as they will be seen as incompetent hunters.
The Witch of Frost: It is said that in the most icy cold parts of the Tundra there resides a witch of ice. She who has adapted to the cold by turning her body into the very ice that covers the lands. A common folk tale about this strange woman is usually told many times over to children to scare them into doing their work or their lessons. Yet even far and distant villages in the Tundra have the general same Folk Tale about said Witch. Could they have actually existed at one point? Or perhaps they still roam the frozen Tundra's looking for their next victim?
The Lone Hunter: There was once a hunter who's entire village had been slaughtered by a single monster. Yet this monster was known to be one of the strongest in the area's. A monster that had been tagged with red cloth. Yet even so he went out to go and take revenge on said monster even if it was against the rules of the people of the Tundra. Now shunned from any village he came across he would find himself forever in the hunt for the one that destroyed his village. Some say that a hunting party may occasionally encounter this said Lone Hunter if there ever come a time when they are in need. Though those are only rumors.
The Guardian: They say it was one of the Largest Dragons one had ever laid eyes upon. Though if it was actually a dragon was debatable. But when the first settlers came and knew nothing of the lands it was this giant dragon of frost that had helped for them to obtain the knowledge to fend for themselves. Yet he never directly helped them unless a giant horde of beasts came. And not much else is known about this Guardian Deity.
Monsters and Beasts
Snow Wyvern: These creatures though resemble dragons, are no such thing. They are more akin to flying lizards. Covered in frost and icy scales. One of the more dangerous monsters to fight in the Tundra. Requiring one to be able to bring it to the ground. Yet it is said their meat is utmost satisfactory and truly prized.
Ice Golem: These Golems are inedible. And thus many do not hunt them and they are left alone. Most do not ever attack many either unless one gets too close. Many can be found around the Dark Frost Tower. Acting as guardians from any who decide to attempt to explore said Tower.
Frost Weasel: Though they are called weasels they are not that small. Due to their long bodies people have simple called them as such. But they are fierce hunters that work alone or in a pair. Much larger than your average weasel. Most larger than most of the Draconian Men living in the village. Though they are not too much a threat to handle for most hunters. They can still be very dangerous to any who does not hunt them. It is said that some even manage to get bigger than most homes.
Yeti: Though alone they are not dangerous. But these Yeti travel in packs. It is said at times they have an insatiable appetite. They will continue to hunt anything and everything they can get their hands on to eat. Their flesh usually covered in Ice that works as armor for them. If a pack of Yeti become too large it requires many villages to band together to subjugate the threat before it is too late.
Natural Phenomenon's and Mysteries
The Dark Frost Tower: In the far reaches of the Tundra, there is said to be a large tower that seems to go up into the sky forever and past the clouds. A tower made of Ice and Stone. It had existed long before any had settled these lands and continues to exist to this day. No one ever dared venture into it with the Golems surrounding the tower. Nothing is known about this tower other than for the strange and unnatural frequent Lighting Storms that take place around it.
Lightning Storms: Those they are storms, there is no rain. Only lightning that seems to strike upon everything and everyone in the lands. A true danger of the Tundra. Though it seems to be a constant phenomenon around the Dark Frost Tower, it has occurred on occasions in random locations of the Tundra. It is said if one of these storms take place that would should either find shelter or pray to the guardian for protection.