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Towards the roof of the world lies a vast, untamed wilderness of frigid plains, shadowy evergreen forests, forbidding mountains, and gleaming glaciers. This primordial land is home to resilient tribesmen, savage monsters, fading gods, and relics of antediluvian civilizations. The Forlorn North is a huge expanse of permafrost plains and taiga running through the northern hemisphere of the world. The savage land briefly blooms into explosions of color during the short summertime, highlighting that this is a place of both pristine beauty and formidable dangers.
During the long winter months, temperatures can plunge as low as -20° F and rise to 35° F on the warmest of winter days. Summer in the Forlorn North lasts a mere two months, but during this brief thaw, temperatures can rise to almost 80° F for a few hours each day. Winds are far more active in the region than elsewhere, racing and howling out of the northwest year-round, bringing cargos of cold air down from the even icier lands near the pole. Despite the cold of the region, heavy snowstorms are a rarity. Precipitation ranges 2" to 30" annually, most of which falls as rain during the summer months. But when snow does fall in the North, the accumulation lingers for months on end.
Numerous species of plant and animal thrive in the region, in turn supporting the human and humanoid inhabitants that dwell here. Trees are largely coniferous, with spruce, larch, pine, and fir trees predominating. Some deciduous trees - birch, alder, willow, and poplar - survive in areas that escape the worst of the winter freeze. The forests and craggy mountains also support many species of ferns, ramps, mosses, lichens, and berry bushes. Fauna run the gamut from harmless to deadly. Smaller mammals such as beaver, squirrel, hare, and vole serve as prey for the wolves, bears, foxes, lynxes, snow tigers, and wolverines that prowl the forests and meadows. Moose, elk, caribou, and wood bison graze in the woods and fields but towering over all these species is the wooly mammoth, who thunders through the land in migrating herds. Whales, seals, and walruses cavort in the icy oceans, while the streams and rivers teem with fish. Birds are seasonal in the cold lands, only ravens, eagles, buzzards, and other scavengers along with a few seed-eating species survive here year-round. Amphibians and reptiles are nearly non-existent here; only the rare blue snake, ice salamander, frost-death toad, and wood frog endure.
The being known as Many Names was held in captivity contained within the Ghost Ice, trapped in stasis in Zepes Null-Eleven's vault. While this greatly diminished his power and abilities it did not render them useless, over several centuries he was able to slowly gain the ability to influence the surrounding lifeforms. This was his introduction to humans, a species that at first was utterly fascinating. He saw a great depth in humanity, wide-ranging emotion, intellect, drive, complexities not found in even some of the ancient races who traversed the planes of existence and time. Many Names saw the potential to do great things, he could guide them, they could free him. Eventually, even in captivity, he was able to reach the far corners of the planet and both planted and cultivated the seeds for his release.
The lightkeepers entered the vault on the second seventh day of Leaffall 472 Amtal Standard. Rudy Randy allowed Many Names to enter his mind and release the stasis holding him, bringing on his second birth and the Awakening. Immediately Many Names dove into multiple timelines and planes of existence where he eliminated many of the Temporal Guardians who could trace his new presence. Yet his intrigue into humanity and the human condition remained despite this newly wielded power and perspective he had cultivated while trapped. He now had a purpose behind his existence and it was frightening how many beings opposed what he sought to do. Knowing that humanity would need to make their ascension from within, he began to seek out and cultivate champions to his cause.
His acts within Amtal Standard time from his release date to present had focused on individuals within Waldo's Lightkeepers guild. He helped them defeat a Temporal Guardian and doomed versions of their future selves, he has transported them to the Temple of the Fates, and most dramatically intervened against the forces of Cadixtat during the Cleansing of Hirot. He asked the Lightkeepers to abandon their country's war effort against the southern neighbors in the Dragon King War in order to focus on a threat to the race on a larger scale. However, the Lightkeepers rebuked his request, which has led his focus to the nexus of humanity residing in the Forlorn North.
He has recruited the man who freed him, Rudy Randy, to his side and together at the foot of the Ghost Ice they begin to build humanity's resistance.