The planet Morozhko,is a Feral World littered with mountains and caves near the poles of the planet with wide plains and dense forests near the equator. The average temperature of the planet ensures a near constant state of winter. It is part of the Pyatonus System, which consists of 6 planets orbiting the red giant Elaroth located at the outermost edge of the Agripinaa Sector.
The mountains in the planet are enormous and foreboding, which is a trait that had made one of them a prime location for the construction of the Laughing skull's Fortress-Monastery. In fact, Death Gorge, the largest mountain range in the planet, could house an entire Titan Legion and still have room to spare for a single Astartes Company. However, the weather around the mountains is unforgiving. Powerful gusts are always present at the base of any mountain, and would only get worse as one climbs any mountain. The temperatures of any of the mountain ranges could range between -40 to -90 C. The caves are warmer and decent places of shelter from the winds, but are as foreboding as the mountains for the darkness and the silence within the caves could drive a man mad. If one has not lost his mind in the caves, then chances are that they will lose their lives either by the natural traps or by the creatures that lurk within.
The equator of the planet just as dangerous as the pitch-blank, silent caves or the nigh unclimbable, rocky mountains. The plains offer no place to hide from the predators that stalk these hunting grounds while the forests house poisonous fungi and savage primates.
Flora and Fauna
Creatures of the Mountains
A Tahlbex is a fairly large feline-like creature that roams near the base of a mountain as it hunts for food. They are loners in their habitats, only interacting with other Tahlbexes for competition or for mating. Their white and grey fur provide great camouflage, but their greatest tool is their sense of scent. Even during the most powerful blizzard, a Tahlbex can still pinpoint the position of their prey accurately to a foot at over 50 miles. Once they locked onto their prey, they quietly stalk up to them before pouncing and sinking their massive 4 inch fangs into the poor unfortunate creature. After ensuring the creature is dead, the Tahlbex drags it back to its home and eats it in solitude.
A gigantic and top-heavy humanoid being that is seldom seen outside of its dwelling, the Acreox is a mysterious creature. It's physical structure is reminiscent of an Orks and the only thing that sets it apart from the xeno invaders is the white fur that encompasses the creature. Its arms are large and powerful enough to tear one of the planet's trees in half. However, it's movement is somewhat limited because its legs are rather small.
Creatures within the darkness
Larkhus Lizards are the most common inhabitants of Morozhko caves. These are fairly small reptiles as a full grown male is roughly the size of a Space Marine's foot. It is near impossible to see them in the darkness of the caves for their skin is as black as the cave itself. They rely on echolocation and scent, and due to an evolutionary process, they have lost their eyes. The Larkhus Lizards travel in packs of 13, and are scavengers that prefer rotting meat. However, if it is required for survival, they will attempt to eat anything that wanders into their dark domain. These creatures have poisonous glands on their skin as well as sharp teeth that could rip a man's flesh apart easily. A swarm of Larkhus Lizards have been known to completely devour Acreoxes within minutes.
The most dangerous creature that can be found in these caves is the Ghaulox. A terrifying creature that devours anything it can lay its claws on, and like the Larkhus Lizards, it relies on echolocation and scent. A bipedal monster, it stalks its prey quietly and prefers to toy with its prey's psyche before killing and eating. Any person lucky enough to survive an encounter with a Ghaulox will never forget the creature's horribly disfigured and mutated body, cephalopodic head that houses rows of razor sharp teeth, and deceptively lanky arms that extend to the ground which can rip the stalagmites of the cave from their positions without effort. The most terrifying thing a Ghaulox could do is turning any sentient being into its slave. It accomplishes this endeavor by exerting fungal matter that eats away the victim's brain when the Ghaulox captures one.
These creatures were once men, who were foolish enough to wander into one of the many caves of Morozhko without any light, escorts, or defensive measures. Now they are hollow images of what they once were, wandering the depths of Chaeron caves in service of their master, the Ghauloxes. Each Ghaulox usually has a small party of 5 Nhalaiduxes under its command, but there has been one occurance when a Ghaulox assumed control of 15 Nhalaidux. The Ghaulox was called 'The Ghoulmaster' by locals. They are usually tasked to aid their master either through stalking and psychologically attacking prey or by roaming the caves in search of sustenance for the Ghaulox.
Creatures of the Plains
The apex predator of the plains, the Xhael'rai (plural) are enormous ursine creatures with a height of 20 feet if they stood on their hind legs, a height of 5.5 m from foot to shoulder, jaws that can crush Terminator power armour and sharp claws that can rip any space marine in half. These creatures are packed with muscle and bone with killer instincts that is much more powerful than any Khornate Berserker Their reflexes are akin to a fully-fledged Astartes and their sense of smell rivals the Acreox's.
The main food source of the Xhael'ruz, the Yuurlugs are nimble quadrupeds that graze on whatever can be found in the desolate plains of Morozhko. They travel in large herds, with the young in the centre and the old in the rear and in the front. They are relatively harmless, but when provoked, they will defend themselves with the tusks on their heads which have been known to pierce through certain parts of power armour.
Creaures of the Forests
Flora of Morozhko
Due to the cold and brittle environment of the planet, the only plants that survive in these conditions are the hardy Vraxus Trees, certain shrubs, and highly poisonous fungi.
Humans of Morozhko
The humans of Morozhko are experiencing a decline of techonology as they have lost the skill of smithing. They are divided into three main tribes that do everything they can to prevent contact from each other. The tribes are the Vossmortin, the Laeda-Krovus, and the Oxthonik. These three tribes are rather tame, mainly pacifistic in their ways. This is due to a conflict two thousand years prior. It was known as the 'Felltime', an era of constant war between three kingdoms that lasted for 3 centuries. There was bloodshed everywhere, alliances were made and broken and the planet suffered grievously due to the increase of resource demand for weapons of war. It came to an end when a psyker had lost control of his abilities. The man was engulfed in an explosion of psychic energy. The light from the explosion could be seen within the fortresses all three Kingdoms. However, it was the light that had killed the people, for the psychic explosion grew exponentially, and within minutes, had destroyed the fortresses with such force that many of the ruins were scattered far from the original kingdom's location. The survivors of this event, the ones who took refuge from the war within underground tunnels and the mountain caves, became the three tribes of present day Morozhko.
The Vossmortin are one of the three main tribes of the Feral World Morozhko. They are nomadic, preferring to be constantly on the move. They were once the people of Magnus Drakon, before he snuck into a White Scars Thunderhawk during a visit from the Space Marines.
An aera of constant war between the three most powerful kingdoms of Morozhko that lasted 300 years.
- The names of the three main tribes of Morozhko are influenced by modern Russian. Vossmortin is an alteration of the Russian Word 'bessmertnyy', which means "deathless". Laeda-Krovus is a combination of altered Russian words: "led", which means "ice" and "krov'" which means "blood". Oxthonik is the alteration of "okhotnik", which means "hunter". The planet itself is an alteration of a Russian Folk Tale character: "Morozko", also known as Father Frost.