Player Name: Wyndi
Player ID: 42558
Deep in the northwestern fastnesses of Valornian wilderness are a proud range of snowy peaks, containing numerous caves and dells, not to mention a host of exotic flora and fauna. The hoofprints of centaurs crisscross these white-capped spires high and low, marking out their sprawling territory and establishing the unspoken superiority of their race over all others within the confines of the hills...all, that is, except one. Where the chill is deepest and the storm is at its ever-raging epiphany, there exists a creature that even centaurs, in their age-old pride and purported wisdom, now avoid...the Glacial Gnomes.
While traversing the Snowy Plateau or foraging within the nearby Ice Cavern, one might notice the occasional furtive flicker of movement. Sometimes, such movement is only the reflection of muted sunlight on snow and ice; at other times, it is the stealthy approach of a Glacial Gnome. Whether assailed by bear and dancing dervish of snow on the flat-topped expanse of the plateau, or by the tooth and claw of any cavern-dwelling creature willing to brave the outside world, the threat of attack from a Glacial Gnome is not to be taken lightly.
These diminutive gnomes stand no taller than the average Valornian's elbow and are humanoid in appearance. Beyond that, however, the physical characteristics of these creatures are difficult to discern, most likely due to the chaos of whirling wind and scouring snow that often surrounds them. Some adventurers claim that Glacial Gnomes are made from solid ice and, by magical means, can appropriate the physical form of anything they desire; still others insist that the Glacial Gnome is static in its appearance, possessed of blank features, no visible mouth, and huge dark holes where eyes might otherwise rest. It is said by these self-same sensation-seekers that to stare into the empty eyes of a Glacial Gnome is to offer your immortal soul for its use, to imbue it with your own life force and, consequently, to afford it far greater power than it might otherwise have. Tales and myths abound, however, and in this time of strife and struggle, all but the most dedicated observer would find it nigh impossible to distinguish fact from fiction...and he who at last made the distinction might never live to tell about it. One particular facet of their physical characteristics is never disputed, however. When destroyed, a Glacial Gnome shatters into a fine whitish dust, to join the snow from whence it came, leaving nothing in its wake but a fist-sized crystal of ice which, although frozen, feels somehow warm to the touch. These beautiful but useless trinkets can often be found at the stands of wandering merchants the world across, should an adventurer not brave or strong enough to slay a Glacial Gnome for its heart decide to obtain one by less dangerous means.
Just as the physical specifics of the Glacial Gnome are shrouded in mystery, so is the history of the creature itself. Ancient beyond telling, even the oldest and wisest sages do not know from where the Glacial Gnomes originally arose. Many intrepid souls speculate that a mage, wishing to control Trinaldian weather, managed to create the Glacial Gnome when one of his spells went awry. If one should dare seek communion with a centaur from a tribe within the Western Mountains, however, one would doubtless hear the tale of Kor Tsae-Ka'alana, the arrogant second daughter of Time. who attempted to create life straight from the elements of which the world was shaped; elementals, as well as Glacial Gnomes, came about due to their goddess's haste, which caused her to forget that all living creatures should have souls; according to legend, the soulless creatures are beyond the influence of Balthazar and even the gods themselves, for they can be neither good nor evil without the etherial essence possessed by all other beings in the service of the gods or the demon lord. It is for this reason that all centaurs stay away from the Glacial Gnomes and their kin...they fear an entity that has no soul. Still others, having encountered Glacial Gnomes for themselves, label them as well-disguised and mysterious servants of Balthazar, mostly on account of their eagerness for trickery and wanton violence. The unfettered truth of their past may never be wholly revealed, but there is one fact about which very few Trinaldians will deign to argue: the Glacial Gnomes are growing more and more dangerous. Perhaps it is owed to the close proximity of Frost Demons in the Ice Caverns or the natuaal ferocity of the large bears and other carnivores with which the gnomes associate. Perhaps instead, the demon lord has become aware of another breed of creature and has begun to exert his malignant influence upon them in an effort to gain sway over them. Or mayhap the gnomes themselves have grown bold and have decided to let their natural bloodlust reign over their once passive nature for reasons that none save the gnomes themselves could possibly hope to comprehend. Whatever the reason, caution is strongly advised in the frozen northwest. A moment spent admiring the idyllic white paradise without heed to one's safety might very well be fatal, and one's grave could hardly be colder.