October 24, T.A. 3017
I left Rivendel again in a search for hunting grounds that would provide a new challenge. I had heard of the frozen lands to the north from the dwarves in the misty mountains, and seeings as everything is under control at this point, I saw no problem with A Short holiday in some strange new lands that would expand my experience and give me some escape from the scouting done around The Valley.
Here’s hoping for the best hunt and a chance to gain some experience from these icy lands and their creatures. the furs here are expensive and considered rare in many lands to the south. This change will be something nice though not entirely different from the misty mountains.
The land up here is flat, like great plains of ice spread for miles and continue into the ocean in glaciers. Wind is a constant here. Although the weather here is much colder than normal, the wind does make the temperature even colder. Some places are worse than others, the wind seems to push through even the thickest garments and pierce into your very bones. Snowstorms whip up without warning and bring visibility to nearly nothing. Snowdrifts can be deeper than a lake and cracks and crevices in the ice are easily missed, claiming lives of locals and travelers alike.
The beasts here are varied, the saber-tooth cats that prowl are clever and silent. Their coats blend them into their surroundings. There are two major types here. One type has all white fur, they blend perfectly into the snow, this allows them to hunt during the day or night, regardless of visibility. Another makes it’s home in the rocky outcroppings where the snow does not cover or is spotty at best. Their fur is spotted with grey and brown, blending them in with their surroundings of dirt, rock and snow. They rely on hunting during the night, or creatures straying into their territory unawares. Both are extremely dangerous and a constant threat.
The other creatures such as moose, elk and Aurochs are peace full compared the the main predators of the lands. They often reside near the pine forests. They are specially adapted to digesting the pine needles and finding small plants under the snow. They are sought after by the locals, the Aurochs for their milk and the elk for their antlers, but all for their meat and skins. The locals use very part of the animal either for decoration, warmth, or food. Nothing can be afforded to be wasted here. The land is unforgiving, and the locals have their beliefs around being responsible for the land and treating it well as it treats them well.
Worst of all the creatures here are the Grims. They are not one single monster but an element. It is as if nature itself manifested only as an evil power. They cannot be native here, though they take the properties of the weather and the land where they have invaded, they are still altogether alien. They are, or were crafted by a dark power and sent into this land to torment the people here. Though their prey is mainly hunting parties and stray travelers their numbers remain uncounted and they cannot be thought of as merely a legend.
Though there are great dangers here in this region there is great beauty also. when the sky is clear and the snow shies the light of the setting sun there are few things as beautiful as that.