A chwinga is a tiny elemental spirit that lives in plants, rocks, and rivers far from civilization. Those found in cold climates also live in ice and snow. Painfully shy, chwingas prefer to move about unseen. Chwingas resemble 6-inch-tall animated dolls with mask-like faces, spindly limbs, and wild hair. Their appearance is sometimes foreshadowed by gentle breezes, the sweet smell of flowers, dancing fireflies, or snowflakes. They don’t have names and cannot speak. Chwingas find the trappings of civilization fascinating. They puzzle over creatures that wear armor, carry weapons, use tools, and cook food. When a chwinga encounters one or more humanoids, its curiosity sometimes gets the better of it, and it follows them for a short time to observe them. If it takes a liking to a humanoid, a chwinga might use its cantrips to aid the creature, or it might bestow a magical gift before departing.
The creature referred to in Northlander lore as the Hunter of Men is a sure-footed predator that can be found anywhere except the deep forest, preferring to patrol ledges and cliffs in the mountains. Its cry resembles a human scream of terror. It often elicits such sounds from its victims, for it prefers human flesh to all other fare. Crag cats blend in with their surroundings. During winter, their fur turns white to blend in with the snow. At other times of the year, their fur is gray, enabling them to hide among the rocks more easily.
The exact disposition of mephits depended on their plane of origin, though they were universally capricious tricksters and rarely endearing. They took great pleasure in being pests, displaying tendencies towards vulgar behavior. They were by no means inherently evil, and in fact were highly impressionable, always eager to please their masters and shifting alignment to better do so. Their habit of making mischief simply made them more inclined to serve evil-doers, becoming sadistic, vindictive, and malicious under such being. Mephits are not native to the Prime Material Plane, being linked to the various elemental or quasi-elemental planes of existence. Comprising frigid air and water, ice mephits are aloof and cold, surpassing all other mephits in pitiless cruelty.
The tasty and tenacious knucklehead trout can’t easily be caught in nets. Moreover, using a line to reel in such a strong fish is a significant undertaking. Incautious fishers who get pulled into freezing water can quickly die, particularly if they’re weighed down by heavy furs and cloaks. A male knucklehead trout can weigh 70 pounds or more. The females tend to be smaller, weighing about 50 pounds. Both are prized for their ivory-like bones.
Mountain goats are found throughout the Spine of the World and on the slopes of Kelvin’s Cairn, their thick fur and layers of body fat protecting them from the extreme cold. They are expert climbers, able to leap and bound up sheer slopes. Mountain goats are territorial but easily placated with offerings of food. Their stubbornness makes them difficult to domesticate.
From beneath the snow and ice bursts a remorhaz, also known as a polar worm, in a cloud of steam, its body pulsing with internal fire. Growing up to 50ft in length and weighing 10,000 lbs, the adult remorhaz lies dormant in burrowed hollows, awaiting potential prey.
Yeti are hulking monstrosities that stalk alpine peaks in a ceaseless hunt for food. Their snow-white fur lets them move like ghosts against the frozen landscape. Folk of the high peaks travel in groups and go armed, knowing that yetis can smell living flesh from miles away. When it finds prey, a yeti moves quickly over ice and stone to claim its meal, howling to the thrill of the hunt. Before an avalanche, a blizzard, or a deadly frost, the yetis’ howls sweep down the mountain slopes on the icy wind. An abominable yeti is larger than a normal yeti, standing three times as tall as a human.