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Creatures of the fog

Creatures of the fog

Apr 07, 2023

1. Many soldiers feared graveyard duty more than actually fighting the Lashtrians. Out of all the things that came from the fog, the so-called "collectors" were probably the least deadly, yet the most... Wrong.

They say a collector's pale skin, its rotting stench and long claws are nothing compared to the pulsating *something* that rests within it and drags the lanky limbs along the ground like an amateur puppeteer.

They are no better in death than in life. Maybe worse. The hoods are an act of mercy, some say.

2. Na'kormostum. They always come with the fog, hence their name. Just marching, in perfect order, in silence, without stopping. These were the main troops of Lashria, "the Land of the Dead". Though to be fair, the fog walkers are not "dead", not really.

Their armor and weapons are finely crafted from a cold metal, silky to the touch, and all the gaps are covered with thin fabric. And it is always perfectly clean, no matter what.

There is nothing underneath, nothing at all. When the armor is broken, they "bleed". And when they "die", blink for a moment - and their remains are merely a pile of coal and malformed rusted iron

3. "Necromancer" would be a confusing term. After all, this isn't a human raising the dead. Just like the "footmen" fog walkers, there is nothing underneath the light armor and the gray veil of this thing.

They swim gently through the mist like absent-minded gray jellyfish, and their will controls the armies of the recently dead.

Do not mistake their slowness for vulnerability - they can bring even the healthiest men to the brink with their malignant presence alone, and veterans tell stories of soldiers suffocated in the long black creases of the creature's dress

4. The warlike nomads of the steppe used to be prized mercenaries, but in time they came to be much more. The loyal clans were given land and control of some trade routes. When Astarion was formed, these clans held immense political power.

Before you is a Halaite (a̤-la-í-te) warrior, of the clan that proved to be the most resilient to the many changes in political landscape. Trade lords of the old city-states and the growing Church of Askaena slowly, but steadily pushed these clans out of power.

External wars and rebellions exhausted these warlords, the regular army displaced them, and courtiers plotted against them. They didn't go out quietly, but they didn't make much of bang, and, in the end, only the Halais still stand. Barely.

Askaena displaced most of the old pagan gods, but Halaite still have a strong esoteric tradition that honors their old patron deity without explicitly mentioning anything about it.

Their mastery of horse and bow proved crucial in the Lashtro-Astarum War, and the soldier before you is one of many who helped drive back the Fog. Not mentioning countless conquests, supressed rebellions and keeping the enemies of the growing Astarion at bay.

Still, the House of Halais sees its last decades. Long gone are the days of glorious battles and legendary warriors. At best, they will soon turn into just another group of hereditary regional bureaucrats. At worst, they will cease to exist and will never have existed.

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