Zep's Faunas: Scandinavian Conglomerate Picture

(Please note that every mythological creature listed are either pulled from the internet and reinvented into Zep's world or just made up entirely. None of these historical/mythological references are to be taken seriously as accurate depictions of the sources taken from; however, I will try to do my best to keep certain mythological creatures within their historical regions of origin.)

Color Codes: Identifies the region in terms of risk/danger levels. Factors that affect the risk zone include: harsh environmental conditions, local creatures, state of war/peace, and/or crime rates/bandit population. *Note: the color of the region does not guarantee the safety or danger of travelers; however, it is advised to stay away from particular areas until risk levels of the area have been known to reduce.*

White: Safe.
Light Yellow: Relatively safe with little to no common dangers.
Yellow: Moderately dangerous, it is advised that you stay away from anything that appears suspicious when traveling in these areas.
Orange: Dangerous, it is advised that you find the nearest safe haven when possible. Do not travel alone in these areas.
Red: Deadly, do not stay here for as long as 24 hours, you WILL be attacked.
Gray: War zone, risk level is unpredictable in war zones, ranging from moderately dangerous to beyond deadly. Civilians are advised to get out of these areas as soon as possible.
Black: Has not been evaluated for risk levels. This will mean two things: either it is a new city that has not been surveyed and recorded by the Covenant, or no one who has ever entered these parts has ever made it back alive to report anything.

Known inhabitants:

1. Draugen: Mistakenly described to be ghouls that only lurk in bodies of water, these soaking wet, moss and seaweed covered corpses are actually a whole population of the unconsecrated undead. It used to be that the Draugen were only seen in lakes, seas, or oceans; however, this was only the case back when the undead could be accounted for on the mainland and be given proper burials and consecration. The Draugen are considerably fragile individually; however, they are not to be underestimated. When hostile, they are known for their loud shrieks which serves to paralyze creatures with weak mental fortitude as well as awakening any other nearby Draugen for reinforcements.

2. Nokken: Popularly known as the Feral Mer, the Nokken are genderless sea-dwelling shapeshifters who enjoy using deceptions to lure their prey into the water. Their personalities are rather mercurial, ranging from being childish, kind, and sensitive to being cruel and manipulative, which makes it difficult for any traveler to trust their intentions. Their individual strength is reliant on the moisture of their skin, making them at their strongest when in the water or rain and at their most feeble when drying up in the sun. The misconception about defending oneself against a Feral Mer involves throwing a piece of metal, such as an iron cross into the water or shouting the Nokken's name. While the second method remains untested, one Arcanist notes, "The only time I've ever found an iron cross to be useful when fighting off a Feral Mer was this one time where I threw it into the water out of panic and that it actually struck the Feral Mer's eye as it was emerging. This of course had hurt its feelings and so it ran away... but other than that, it's complete bollocks."

3. Mare: Also known as Dream Witches, the Mare are known to show vampiric features and habits such as emerging during the night, having pale skin and fangs, and harvesting from their living creatures. They tend to harvest the pleasant dreams of others and often replace them with horrific nightmares based on one's personal fears or memories of trauma. The Mare are known to be powerful illusionists, being able to conceal themselves as everyday people or travelers using magic. While it is often hard for people to die of fear or lack of sleep, the Mare's feeding habits are far more detrimental to one's health than your everyday insomnia. The life-expectancy is estimated to be 3 days if one were to be fed upon by a Mare. Fortunately, not all Mares are evil; there are many within the CSG that are domesticated and have earned their citizenships, serving as therapists and alchemists.

4. Huldra: Also known as the She-Troll or the Cow Witch, these beautifully human looking seductresses with cow tails are known to have lured men with their charms into their caves or into deep forestry. Most men who assume that the Huldra are nothing more than sexy nymphomaniacs often do not live long enough to take back their statements. The Huldra are dangerous for their mischievous and bi-polar behavior and can be offended really easily if one were to resist her charms or insult her. Their skills in illusion magic are often strong enough to create jealousy and mistrust within a group of people. And if one were to fail to satisfy a Huldra's libido, they often pay with their life essence. It is rare to see a domesticated Huldra within the Middle Kingdom's territory. Often times, one would see a Huldra to be an old married woman or a prostitute. To this day, people joke about how Mad Cow Disease is transmitted from a 'working Huldra.'

5. Kraken: This gargantuan squid species are rare to come by in the ocean; however, every encounter more or less ends in a disaster. With its massive size and thick insulin coating of the skin, electricity is useless against this monster and requires several days worth of siege ammunition in order to take this monster down. Contrary to popular belief, the Kraken's origins actually come from Scandinavian waters rather than Greek; however, it is likely that the Kraken have a seasonal migration pattern for whatever reason. Further observation of these species is required for better understanding.

6. Dwarves: If you were to assume that all Dwarves were short, stout, hairy, and loud, a Dwarf would compliment you, especially since they fit much of the stereotype. After the destruction of their homeland of Midgard, many of the Dwarves have colonized and populated alongside the local Scandinavian humans. With similar cultures and values of tradition, frugality and industry, they are treated as equals to men and can are notably concentrated in the city of Newgard. Better not try to get smart with them though, they can easily pick up snobbery and can give one a hard time for that, but one can just as easily gain their respect with beer or some test of manliness. Recently, their relations with the other human civilians have been strained due to political matters concerning the well-being of Newgard and the honoring the traditions of the Dwarves.

7. Elves: A relative species of the Dwarves, the Elves once flourished in prehistoric times underneath the surface of the earth. After some devastating seismic activity, much of the Elven populations below have either been cut off from the surface or crushed entirely, and the ones who made it out migrated into Scandinavian territory to rebuild. They are an innovative race, both adept in magic and technology; however, much like the Dwarves, they are morally bound by their beliefs and traditions, which often times prevent them from advancing any further in civilization. They share the same worship as the Dwarves, which is nature. They frown upon the desecration of wildlife and the harvesting of materials without proper compensation to nature (ie. growing back trees after cutting a few down). Like many secularists of the Middle Kingdom, they do not believe in Pantheon Rule and scorn the arrogance of gods for abusing their authority; however, at the same time, they are reluctant to work with the Middle Kingdom because of mankind's reputation of war and abuse of the wilderness. The Elves do not particularly understand the concept of 'race' between humans. If you were to ask them what kind of elf they are, they would explain that all elves are brothers and sisters of the same roots and thus do not have need for labels of segregation. Apparently, Elves see the Dwarves to be Elven as well; however, the Dwarves seem to relish the idea of being their own kind.

8. Humans: The humans of the Scandinavian Conglomerate are very simplistic and neighborly by nature. "Do unto others as they would unto you" is usually their motto, though it is not universal from village to village. Lacking the unification of a central government, the humans here will react differently to certain behaviors and actions and will take the law into their own hands if necessary. Most human villages are affiliated with pagan worship. Some benign pagan gods will welcome outsiders, while others may be a bit defensive... and then there are cases of malignant pagan gods who may have brainwashed an entire community into practicing human sacrifices or blood orgies.

9. Will O' Wisps: A vengeful collection of animal spirits condensed into one autonomous sphere, the Will O' Wisps appears as a buzzing fist sized orb surrounded by spectral particles that buzz around it making it appear larger than it seems. The Will O' Wisps are not to be taken lightly. As weak as the spirits may be, they are active suicide bombers that detonate upon touching any living flesh. The damage and size of the explosion can very on how much energy that they consume. Luckily, the Will O' Wisps are not too bright (ironic, I know), and will often wander aimlessly without direction. They are attracted to energy; however, making them to be effective mage-seeking missiles. The Will O' Wisp will always be seen near dead forests or near hunting grounds where large numbers of animals have been slain and cannot stray too far from their dead bodies. The best way to counter the Will O' Wisps is either draining their magical essence, or burning the corpses of the animals that they originated from.

10. Elementals: Shape shifting entities of nature that often wander the land with unknown intentions. For the most part, they are described to be benign until provoked. They typically are threatened by the presence of mages due to bad history (Mages often attempt to capture Elementals as energy sources or slaves). Their origins are unknown and it is likely that they are not exclusive to the Scandinavian region. For the most part, the Scandinavian Conglomerate has more water, ice, wind, and wood elementals than the rest of the elemental family. Some pagan villages will worship an Elemental and are often blessed with good crops or protection against any outside threat. Elementals are often kind to those who respect nature and dangerous to those who seek to control or desecrate it.

11. Pagan Gods: Remnants of the old Nordic faith, the Pagan Gods are the last surviving members of the Norse Pantheon. Before the war with the ROE and the UK, the Norse Pantheon had once helped the Scandinavian regions consolidate their central government; however, during the war known as the Crusades of the North, many have died because of a plague sent by Archangels, which effectively wiped out most of the population because of the Scandinavian Congolmerate's lack of security and walls. Disease and panic spread like wildfire, and the the Norse gods were too focused on invading the UK to tend to the disaster at home. And when people died off, they lost their faith to the Norse Gods, and when they lost their faith, the Norse Gods began to weaken until they shriveled up and died. Famous Norse Gods such as Odin and Thor were said to have died in this war, and the few who survive were too minor, or rather too selfish to set aside their differences to help reestablish the Pantheon and revive their fallen relatives. In order to survive, these Pagan Gods were force to "fall from grace", a method in which one can choose to abandon Godhood and become a mortal. Despite the loss of their status, they are still powerful beings and can still gain strength and vitality through worshipers. Thus, the remaining Pagan Gods have settled in small villages, fooling the locals into believing that they were their saviors by using simple magic and have been hiding in the dark, hoping that the time will come where they would rise again.

Known Areas/Landmarks:

A. The Valley of Dead Mists: cdn.walltowatch.com/files/0/0/… A massacre site caused by the Angelic forces of the ROE. What was once a thriving and lush land populated with wildlife and villagers has now become a corpse ridden wasteland with burnt trees and black snow. Much of the undead are cursed to wander these parts, filled with regret and vengeance against the living. It is advised to stay hidden within a secure shelter during the night. The frozen undead are at their strongest under the moonlight.

B. The Baltic Sea: A body of water that was often a convenient route for trade merchants. However, at this time, it is considered dangerous due to the sightings of Kraken in the area. The Baltic Sea is currently a ship graveyard due to the seasonal migration of Kraken. It is advised to take the sea route from New Alvheim's harbor.

C. Newgard: wallpaperswa.com/thumbnails/de… Built upon the ruins of the Nordic civilization, the Dwarves and the human settlers have rebuilt and renovated much of the city's structure and have fortified it well with sturdy walls, enchanted with runes and wards. With the Dwarves' and humans working to expand, Newgard stands as the most modern city in the Scandinavian Conglomerate; however, compared to the rest of the world's city capitals, Newgard is a mere fortress among castles and cultural palaces. But culture and technology notwithstanding, the magic that holds in this city as well as the skill of the local militia arguably makes Newgard, home to the best military minds in the world, efficient in guerrilla tactics. Oddly enough. Newgard has the capacity to conquer the rest of the Scandinavian Conglomerate with its superior numbers, resources, and men; however, being loyal to their faith and worship with nature, the Dwarven leaders refuse to take any action that involves surrendering their religious freedom. Newgard is the only other city besides New Alvheim to have a class structure and a formal city government. Along with a ruling Chief, there is a house of rep comprised of both Dwarven and Human council members. At this moment, the issue of expanding territory and unifying the Scandinavian Congolomerate is still under hot debate by those who wish to unite with the other villages (mostly Dwarven) and those who wish to guarantee the safety of the people of Newgard by allowing the ROE to annex them and converting to the ROE's church (mostly Humans).

D. Vinterstaden: Known as the Winter City, Vinterstaden was once populated by those who worshiped the Norse gods before the Black Death. Now it lies as a crumbling ruins, harboring some strange magic that seems to make most of the creatures in the surrounding area become hostile. It is advised not to stay in the city, especially during the night.

E. The Rose Haven: Current status unknown. Travelers are advised not to come near here unless information has been updated about its inhabitants.

F. New Alvheim: An Elven colony modernized with the help of the CSG's collaboration. New Alvheim is home to many pagan refugees who were once worshipers of the Norse Pantheon. With international laws enforced, the ports of New Alvheim were claimed by CSG in order to prevent refugees from crossing into Middle Kingdom territory. Many who come here must go through a bureaucratic process before getting permission to cross the waters, which could take days on end depending. The Elven rulers of this city have established an open city policy to both humans and wildlife but have a zero tolerance policy for uncalled violence and aggression. With the open city policy and the Elves' skilled diplomats, a lot of wild mythical creatures such as Elementals, Mares, Huldra, and even Nokken would be lined up to seek passage into Middle Kingdom territory for either a new life, a new adventure, or a new opportunity. Like Newgard, New Alvheim is ruled by a formal city government, specifically an Aristocracy. And while aristocrats in general do not have a sound reputation of being an ideal government, the Elven Aristocracy has been fair for the most part; however, these like minded Elves are one sided and are resistant to change that could threaten their ideals.
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