Shalgiel, called "frostworms", "remorhaz", "snow worms", "ice spirits", "icegods", and a variety of other names which are hardly descriptive of the being itself) are very large creatures, though it is difficult to say just how large, because the entirety of such a being has never been seen. This is due to the conditions and locales which they inhabit and which precede them, and the superstition accorded them by the cultures which surround them.

It is perhaps useful to imagine them as being similar in general outline to a titanic centipede or worm of some kind, but this analogue quickly becomes outmoded when one stretches it to include a length of as long as a seventy feet, among other strange features of which we have only hints of. The body of a frostworm is known to be covered in an intricate structure of complex, overlapping plates of glassy or metallic-looking armor in iridescent silvery shades. It's loathsomely-thin many-jointed legs end in strange hooves, or possibly gnarled claws, or perhaps even man-like hands. Those who have encountered these beings from a closer remove have discovered them to be studded with numerous strange and hideous organs and extremities which have little obvious purpose, but which give the creature an overwhelmingly alien affect. In addition to the silvery plates of armor, the shalgiel's body is generally sheathed in jagged masses of ice and rime which hang from its length and encrust its segments in complex wind-sculpted whorls.

Their bodies are typically obscured by the clouds of ice and snow which they generate, which can surround them for as far as a mile and a half. Wherever a shalgiel goes this storm follows, and though it seems that they greatly prefer the high mountain peaks and glacial wastes where they are most often seen, it has not been unknown for these strange creatures to descend into the lands of mortals, bringing with them a sudden and deadly winter.

While the unenlightened often say that these creatures are gods, most sorcerors hold the theory that these creatures have gained this extraordinary ability through the burial within their bodies of ancient organs, devices, and machines of magic; these immortal monsters are the creations of ancient sorcery, made for unknowable purposes in elder ages. Some are of the opinion that in the time of the ancients the world was becoming desert, the sun god having come very close through the intervention of planar forces, and that the ancients, to save themselves from dying of heat, summoned up the snowgods to cool the world. Another theory holds that the shalgiel are another of the creatures brought by the ancients out of the Void (but even other sorcerors disbelieve the small faction who hold to this belief). In any case, a shalgiel brings with it heavy snows and ice storms, in a swirling column around itself, a blizzard which the creature naturally generates from its body and which is a necessary component of its survival.

Shalgiel cleave mostly to the great mountain glaciers and the frozen wastes which are their home. It is unknown what they prey on or how they are sustained, but it is known that corpses found frozen and stiff in the wake of their storms are often gnawed and dismembered in terrifying and monstrous ways. These creatures are immensely long-lived if not immortal, and follow the direction of a form of intelligence not like any born of Earth. It is known that these creatures can be dissuaded from passing through a territory if an offerings of a virgin or of large quantities of warm blood is made to them (typically it must be brought to the edge of their storm, where it is drawn in by a great wind; thereafter they will depart in a new direction).

It seems that they wander at random; no pattern, natural or pleromatic, has been determined to be followed by them, though some sorcerors have noted a kinship to certain emanations of Ra'hal, the Emerald Plane Of Duty. It is known, however, that when the crimson planet (most often known to sages as Tzorom, World of Blood, or by many other names to many peoples) shines in the sky, the shalgiel sleep- their storms dissipate and they bury themselves in great frozen mounds, rising again after the night is through. Only then do they cease their eternal blizzarding march.

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? Quest

Winter. The final frontier. For who truly knows, if spring will ever come.

This months quest revolves around the concept of winter, in all its hoary splendor. Cold, death, decay, and torpid hibernation. Snow, ice, and frost. These are the ubiquitous images of the long, bleak season.

We are looking for the finest examples of winter-themed submissions. The winners of this major quest, will become worthy recipients of frosty mugs and glasses, engraved with odes to victory, courtesy of Scrasamax! Good luck to all. Don your mittens!

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