Creatures of Askrlim

This page outlines some of the creatures that inhabit the world of Askrlim, where The Tenth Rune and some other stories take place. It will be updated periodically as the world develops more fully.


There are several different types of dragons that inhabit Askrlim, but all are fairly rare and there is no classification system to differentiate them. All dragons are descendants of the duplicitous union of the shapeshifter goddess Faceless and Saptooth, her onetime prison guard in the roots of the Great Ash, through their monstrous son the World Worm. Many dragons adopted some of the shapeshifting ability of their matron and can transform into humanoid shapes or change their size. The intelligence of the various dragons varies wildly, from feral hunters to cruelly cunning predators of humans and gods alike.


Dvergir are subterranean humanoids evolved from large, ancient grubs. They are likely relatives of the svellwurms, though it has been postulated that some god or other granted them reason and shaped their changes into the bipeds that now work in the many cavernous mountains of Askrlim. Dvergir know of magicks that humans do not and are masters of charms and forging as well as brewing fungal potions and ales that can bestow any number of temporary effects on the drinker.


The Eldmen are a massive, intelligent people who trace their heritage to the union of one of several giant gods with human partners. There are several different tribes based on which of the giant gods their blood is from. There is no physical difference between the tribes and it is likely that significant interbreeding has occurred in the generations since their conception. Eldmen have flames instead of hair and their blood seeps out and cools into black stone like magma. Their intelligence may surpass that of humans, but their temperament tends to get in the way of any sort of societal progress as an Eldman who considers itself wronged will fight with a blinding fury until it decides revenge has been issued.


An race of birds that has had its mind magically expanded is known as Mind-bearers. Mind-bearers serve as useful messengers and spies as they are physically indistinguishable from their animal counterparts. They can take the form of various birds, usually ravens, eagles, hawks or roosters, but the apparent species of the parents seem to have little impact on that of their offspring. Mind-bearers are able to cross vast distances far more quickly than should be possible, though if observed they do not appear to be moving with any unusual speed.


Nokks are sentient pools of water that sometimes sit alone as a puddle or spring and sometimes join into other bodies of water where they often appear as an eddy. Though Nokks are alive, in that they move and reproduce, Nokks do not appear to require any form of sustenance. They are not intelligent, however they do instinctively create beautiful songs that often lure humans into dangerous situations. Nokks can take on other forms and often reflect the shape of any creatures near them. Through charms and the manipulation of sacred geometry, some skalds have managed to ensorcell Nokks to use as steeds or muses.


Skogra are living tree creatures that appear the same as other trees. It is possible that their spirits are able to survive even after their woody body is destroyed as there are many legends regarding Skogra taking revenge on the those who felled their bodies. Skogra do not act very often and when they do their motives are often difficult to discern. Many old farms have a single ancient tree remaining in the field which is believed to be a guardian Skogra. Generally these farmers provide annual blood sacrifices to continue to appease the beings.


Massive, armored beasts that swim through the earth and anything larger that a deer, the Svellwurms plague farmers and frequently kill solitary hunters. Svellwurms are a prized food source, as their massive size means they can provide meat for an entire village for the winter. However, only the most talented hunters are able to both dodge the behemoth's unpredictable maw and strike its vitals at the proper angle between its chitinous plates.


Thurstrolls are monsters seemingly composed entirely of ice. They feed on the warmth of living creatures and according to legend are descended from the cursed hero who stole fire from the giant-gods. Though attracted to warmth, the only thing that can permanently injure a Thurstroll is fire. Many villages near Thurstroll territory will entice an Eldman to guard their village, as the giant kin are particularly suited to combating the vile creatures and consider them an abomination against their gods.


Valkyrie are winged, batlike women that are often seen hovering over battlefields, waiting until the combat is decided to swoop down and fly off with the bodies of the fallen. These women do not reproduce by the typical means, but rather perform some dark ritual with the corpses of human males. Soon after, their ravenous young emerge from the putrified body and consume it. All Valkyrie live off rotting remains, but most do not do the killing unless desperate. Possessing a humanlike intelligence, some Valkyrie will don robes to cover their wings and interact with humans.


Often used as mounts by particularly daring warriors, Wargs are essentially large, solitary, vicious wolves. Their skin is tougher, their teeth sharper and their eyes keener, but the resemblance is obvious.


Wights are fickle beings with no corporeal body of their own. Somehow, they seem able to manipulate the fertility of life in their vicinity, animal and plant alike, and are often bribed with sacrifices and deals. However, the Wights operate on an intelligence that is not parallel to that of humans and other races, so these arrangements often go awry.

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