Frozen Wastes
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A collection of mountains, ice sheets, glaciers, frozen rivers, and flat tundra, the Frozen Wastes are not a country, but instead were named for what they were: a frozen wasteland. Glaciers, tundra, mountains, and frozen rivers dominate the landscape which suffers from intense freezing temperatures year-round. Over the past twenty years, these ice sheets have been creeping south into more civilized and settled lands, and nobody knows why, although many countries are desperately trying to push back the ferocious wild pokemon that come with the cold climates. The wilds of the wastelands roam in packs, and feel no qualms at savagely attacking anything that enters their hunting territory be it human or pokemon. In the frozen wastes, survival is never assured and one must always be on watch for the hidden hunter in the constant flurries of snow. Between the pokemon, the geography, and the climate, the Frozen Wastes constitute the single most deadly expanse of land in all of Aatos, and only one heavily fortified settlement has managed to eek out a home here. Players in the Frozen Wastes will be playing games of survival and exploration, as other humans are nearly nonexistent, and they will never meet a wayward stranger.

Regional History:
Originally created by hordes of Regice eons ago, the Frozen Wastes have remained untouched by large scale human interference ever since. While individual explorers commonly delve into the wastelands to prove their skills, no united human front has attempted to conquer the wastes. Instead, the Wastes seem to have a mind of its own, mercilessly claiming the lives of many who venture inside of it and fostering packs of monstrous pokemon that kill on sight. Recently (and quite inexplicably to humans) this land has been expanding in the past twenty years. The changes may be progressing glacially, but these deadly lands are slowly consuming more and more land, taking its deadly predators with it. Due to this phenomenon, countries have begun sending organized parties of explorers into the wastes to try and discover the cause of this deadly climate change, and human activity in the area is beginning to increase. Man and nature are finally beginning to collide in a great war and, if the humans lose, the Frozen Wastes may claim the entire continent of Aatos in two or three centuries. Northern countries like Galla, Gavent, and Sarn may be lost much more quickly however, potentially as soon as 25 - 50 years from now, well within the lifespan of many influential leaders in those countries. It is imperative to these countries that the encroaching ice be stopped as quickly as possible.

Culture: The only humans residing permanently in the Frozen Wastes live in the mountain city of Fort Malvin. These individuals are all gruff, harsh, and to the point, especially when outsiders visit their community. Individuals stupid enough to get themselves killed deserve to die, as they won't last a minute when they leave the walls. While the people work together, it takes a long time for an outsider to earn the trust and respect of those already established, especially if they have been born and raised in the city. When your survival oftentimes rests on the shoulders of others, trust is rarely bestowed, and never easily. Self-preservation is essential, and the residents of the mountain fort do not care about anything else until that primary concern is assuredly met. The people of the Frozen Wastes tend to be gruff, quiet, and reserved. Many are jaded from their long years away from true civilization but stubborn enough never to leave their guarded homeland.

Geography: The Frozen Wastes are cold - always cold. Blizzards and snow-showers frequent the territory, and white outs happen without warning. Even when not in the mountain ranges, large rock spires and crags are quite common. In fact, the land is covered in a variety of mountain ranges, each holding more dangerous pokemon than the next. Half-frozen rivers can break or crack with the slightest disturbance, plunging those walking on it into waters cold enough to kill, even if the pokemon don't finish the poor soul off first. In the Frozen Wastes, even the land is just as dangerous as any sword, and those who treat the earth lightly will inevitably find themselves consumed by it.

Mountain Ranges:

  • The Spine is the largest, tallest, and probably the most dangerous range of mountains in the world. Sheer ice faces and spontaneous avalanches are common occurrences, and powerful wilds roam the peaks. Icicles the size of castles fall without warning, and a voice can trigger any number of hazards Nobody has ever crossed the spine and lived to tell the tale, and it is shrouded in mystery. That being said, it is clear from sightings of monstrously sized caves in the Spine's side that a series of huge caves riddle their interior, meaning that they could be explored more easily if an underground entrance was found.
  • On the other hand, the Daggerteeth Mountain Range are smaller than the Spine, and are named due to the sharp peaks and large number of passes between the individual peaks. The only human settlement in the wastelands, Fort Malvin, makes its home in the side of one of Daggerteeth's mountain faces. The interior of the mountains have a large number of cave complexes that make it the most easily explored region in the Wastes, though it is still quite dangerous. Its rumored that, somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth underneath the mountain range, Groudon lurks guarding a lake of molten gold. Many have searched for this treasure, but none have succeeded.
  • The Actium is a mountain range furthest to the East. It is known for its large number of ice shifted areodactyls which hunt in large flights throughout the range and across the tundra. They must have a roost somewhere in the mountains, though nobody has found it. It remains more deadly than the Daggerteeth Mountains, although it doesn't even approach the level of danger that the Spine presents.

The Quar Ice Sheet is an expansive mass of ice that continuously freezes, cracks under pressure (making a sound like thunderclaps) and refreezing to create an evershifting landscape. Many times would-be explorers have fallen to their deaths when an ice sheet breaks out from under their feet and they fall into the icy cold water - a sure death sentence without immediate extraction and fire pokemon therapy, which would only result in permanent injury. Dewgong swim the waters, and beartic hunt skillfully in the deadly climate.

Demographics With only one settlement in the entire area and few visitors surviving long enough to reach that settlement, the human population in the Frozen Wastes remains fairly constant. Unfortunately, this leads to a certain amount of inbreeding, as everybody is distantly related somehow, and the fort will need to find a solution to this problem in future generations or risk an epidemic of birth defects. On a brighter note, nearly everybody knows each other and who to trust. As a city that's 100% self sufficient, the people of the Wastes pride themselves on being a well-oiled machine.

Economy: While the Frozen Wastes do not have an economy in and of themselves, many people make use of the wastes for their own benefit (or they try at least). Several large deposits of precious metals and gemstones are found all over the area, especially in the mountains. Mining companies are routinely established in Fort Malvin, although they oftentimes fall apart within the month. More often, specialist groups venture into the wastes, extract whatever they can carry, and return home. Others make money off of capturing and selling the powerful pokemon that frequent the wastes. Even more make money promising solutions to the encroaching ice upon southern countries. In Fort Malvin, there is a sort of barter system in place that the residents know by heart. Everyone produces a certain amount, mines a certain amount of steel, forges a certain amount of weapons, and they trade these for the same things over and over again. Even with this system, the community as a whole barely manages to eek out its existence in the icy world.

Politics and Government: Fort Malvin has little official political structure. Mallakan is universally respected by all members of the community, even if they may not like him all the time. His word is law, and he is a fair and just leader. He has several subordinates that are treated as enforcers of the rules and judges of disputes, and, while they receive less undiluted respect, their words are followed. Internal conflict results in death from the external world, and the people here maintain an almost militaristic attitude toward daily life. Those who deviate threaten everyone's safety and livelihood and are dealt with appropriately. Individuals will often band together to carry out duties, and these may have their own internal structure.

Pokemon: As one might expect, Ice type pokemon are the most common type found in the wastelands. They are everywhere, attacking enemies and prey while defending themselves against attacks from similar predators. The wastes also see a fair share of ground, rock, steel, and flying types. The aron line is quite common in many of the mountains, and several steelix torment miners. The further south one goes, the more variety of pokemon is to be found, though the mons are usually weaker than in the north. Fossil pokemon are common throughout the Frozen Wastelands, especially pokemon in the Frossil evolutionary line, which constitute the single most viscous and dangerous presence in the wastelands. Curiously, large numbers of mienfoo roam the wastes, although nobody is entirely sure why. Their fighting type attacks certainly give them an edge over many of their opponents however, and it has allowed them to carve out a niche in their enviornment.

Important People:
Mallakan: A skilled weaponsmith and symbol magician, Mallakan is the leader of Fort Malvin. He is single handedly responsible for the survival of the fort, and his wits have turned a dire situation around several times. His right hand pokemon - a machamp - is key to his successful defense, and its power is used to continually renovate the stone framework of the fort. He commands universal respect in the community, and, although he doesn't venture into the wastes very often, his ability for survival is uncanny.

Important Areas:
Fort Malvin: Fort Malvin, located inside the Daggerteeth Mountain Range, is the only permanent human settlement in the Frozen Wastelands. It is built into the side of one of the cliffs, and is protected from burrowing pokemon with powerful symbol magic. The people cultivate mushrooms and domesticated swinubs for food, and they melt snow for water. More than once a large scale attack has come against the people of Fort Malvin from wild pokemon, but the sturdy warriors there have managed to resist the incursions. Fire type pokemon roam unrestrained, breeding freely in order to keep the temperature inside the city at a comfortable level despite the bitter chill outside. There are several tunnels from the city that lead into the Daggerteeth mountains. However, all of these tunnels are blocked off by thick stone doors guarded with powerful magic, with a contingent of guards always waiting tersely on the inside of the doors, keeping an ear out for the telltale sounds of an incoming attack.

Frozen Wastes in your Campaign
The Frozen Wastes are the single most dangerous region in Aatos, making it an ideal location for a game whose focus is on exploration and survival (for a more temperate climate, see Silvastre). In a game where the primary antagonist is nature itself, the PCs would need to be ready to ration their food, fight off bloodthirsty wild pokemon, and figure out how to stay warm at night. PCs could either be from Fort Malvin, struggling to make a life in this land, or they could be visitors from the south, searching for the legendary lake of gold in the Daggerteeth, trying to capture the unique and rare pokemon that make this place home, or searching for valuable mineral deposits that they could use to make it rich.

However, even without making a campaign centered around the wastes, even a short visit is a large enough change of pace for players to jolt them out of their comfort zone. Perhaps a criminal from the south fled to Fort Malvin to avoid being caught and killed and the PCs are chasing him down. Perhaps they have been sent by their king to discover the cause of the ice's gradual encroachment south into the more temperate lands. If the PCs are working to reverse the strange changes around Aatos by the newly reanimated Regi-golems, then the Frozen Wastes are going to be an inevitable stop in their quest to stop the world from becoming a frozen wasteland.

For games outside the wastes, players can still draw on this northern wasteland as an inspiration for their characters. Especially if they want to start with a host of ice pokemon, they could be disgruntled exiles from Fort Malvin, either leaving of their own free will for greener pastures or being forced out by the locals for some undisclosed reason. Even a short visit is enough to scar most visitors, and a northerner who has come south for a new life will consider any environment heavenly, no matter how sparse or dangerous others may view it.

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