On the Ecology of the Yeti

Daniel R. Horne
"She had those damned crazy eyes. I don't got nothin' else to say about her or any of 'em." - Zauzikhoo Khalimas

Nomenclature: Yeti, Frost monkey, Ice ape, White death, Hunters, Snow Giants, Abominable snowmen, The horror that walks the mountain

Description: A white, furred, giant, ape-like creature

Things that are known:

  • They live in cold, arctic, climes
  • Their gaze leaves men not what they once were

Rumors and other whispers in the dark:

  • Some things are lost in the mountains what a man does what he must to survive. Many will not pay that cost, and they freeze to death. Those that do are transformed in both shape and spirit, possessing only rage and pure madness. 
  • The emotions of a Yeti are so strong that they are contagious. Meeting their gaze is glimpsing the deepest, obfuscated, recesses of your soul. Apart from the terror, it causes your human nature to traumatically rebel against your animal flesh.
  • The fear that results from gazing into a Yeti's eyes, is the realization that each yeti is in fact their far future selves, returned and sent to slay themselves before the horror of their transformation into the yeti occurs. Sadly, this does not cause the yeti to cease to exist.
  • Yeti fur is actually a wiry red-orange, yet invisible in the snow. Nearby tribes will often have colors considered strange by foreigners. However bright orange huts are a sure sign you are in yeti territory.
  • The urine of a Yeti is thick and viscous and warm. It turns snow into hardened ice, melting it, and the water refreezing in the cold. This is why their are so many deadly slick traps near yeti lairs
Cédric Plante
  • When the lost, spiritual, or weak willed die in the mountains, they dream they are a beast, walking the land as a Yeti. If you gaze into the eye of a yeti you can see the dreamer, but also their dream reflection of you in their eyes. This is knowledge forbidden, and those that see it can lose their minds, becoming mad forevermore
  • Yetis do not have brains. They all worship Ithaqua and Wendigo and madness, chaos, and an icy hear lurk behind their eyes, and it is this you see that drives you mad
  • Yeti are bailiffs of terrible evils frozen and hidden in the mountains. They try to prevent people from visiting their prisons by yelling, throwing things, and scaring people away, but no one ever listens
  • The yeti and the abominable snowman are two sides of the same species. During interglacial periods, men turn into yeti. Except in rare peaks, where the torturous elements conspire to create and awaken an abomination. When the winter comes and the cold descends, the yeti are subject to this cold and become abominations themselves. 
  • Yeti, although as intelligent as a normal man, able to speak and reason and act as any creature can, is touched by the fae realms and lives only in the moment, unthinking of the future or the past
  • They yeti are not as intelligent as their abominable snowmen cousins, and have none of their psychic powers, save one. Their blue, blue, paralyzing eyes are the only psionic power they possess
  • The yeti is adapt at swimming in arctic waters, and dives deep feeding off the plankton filtered through it's fur
  • Yeti are not creatures. They are the parasitic spawn of the elder kind who sleep beyond the universe, burning with the fire of infinite darkness. Their eyes are portals to their masters, and to look upon them is to lose ones self. Those who die from this gaze are drawn through the portal to suffer eternally at the hand of the darkness in the universe
  • The glare in the eye of the yeti is lust. The hugs are a prelude to something horrible and it is that thought that drives men mad
  • Yeti are 4 feet tall, and very angry for short people
  • Yeti are not of average intelligence. They are hyper-intelligent, smarter than any other living creature. They act like beasts, because they take the minimum effort to survive, maximizing every ounce of brainpower on greater cosmic mysteries. They care for no other creatures, and not even themselves, convinced this world is just an illusion attempting to distract them from greater cosmic mysteries. It is this - this otherworldly intelligence far beyond that of mortals or even gods, that is seen when one gazes into their eyes.
  • Yeti don't naturally live in frozen wastes. Their life their is a choice to separate themselves from worldly things.
  • A yeti is winter manifest. It is the cold embrace of winter. Those that fear the frozen cold are frightened of its spirit, and the cold chills of fear grant the yeti power over them
  • Yeti theater is melodramatic and wildly sentimental. It features long, tragic, repetitive musical interludes which are absolutely not songs and which are never woven into the narrative
Cédric Plante
  • Yeti shamans make a trade, they lose a portion of their boundless fury in exchange for an understanding of the spirits. Their 'damned crazy eyes' only deal 3-18 damage and they can cast Faerie Fire, Speak with Dead, and Preserve Manflesh once per day each.
  • Yeti are thoughts of a peculiar intensity, wandering the mountains high. They are hallucinations brought on by oxygen deprivation. Possibly they are the self, cast out by the mind and made flesh
    • If the character looks into the yeti's eyes, then the full weight and significance of the revelation grips them. It is a calling and a geas. Save versus spells or get another class at level 1. Roll 3d6:
    • 3: Barbarian - you have seen the wild and it is you. No more shoes
    • 4-5: Ranger. You can keep your shoes
    • 6-9: Druid. The wild has shown you things
    • 10-12: Monk. Duh, mountaintop
    • 13-16: Cleric. You must bring the word to the people
    • 17: Thief. But they can't hear it while they're distracted by fripperies
    • 18: Yeti. You can't come down from the mountain until you've passed the vastation on to someone else
    • What the nature of the revelation is left to the Dungeon Master and player to disscuss, but it must be heretical, troublesome, and right
  • Yeti are beasts that only live during the ages of ice. They estevate for millenia, frozen in glaciers, polar caps, far beneath the ice. They wait for the intense hot period that occurs briefly before the ice age starts
    • When the yeti come down the mountain, things are about to get much worse
  • Yeti are fire spirits, trapped in cold places lest they set fire to the earth and sky. Their fur is sooty smoke or pale mist. "Eyes" are holes in the smoky covering, through which primal fire, maddening to mortals, projects
Cédric Plante
  • Yeti is a pasta shape associated with the cannibal tribes of high Dolomites
  • There are beach yetis, marsh yetis, and perhaps others, each a tyrant of it's own territory
    • There are rumors of sewer Yetis, but no man has ever seen one
  • Yetis are bundles of sticks and fur, animated by rage spirits
  • Yeti have a propensity to rip your arms out of your sockets if they lose in a game
  • Yetis are the wandering, tortured souls of extinct volcanoes. As such, they are immune to fire, and disintegrate into ash when slain.
  • Yetis will guide travelers through frozen mountain passes if approached with the gift of a mirror and hairbrush
    • Perhaps their anger is due only to bad hair days
  • Yetis have a mortal phobia of mirrors and hairbrushes, blasting out the call of the yeti if confronted with them. The yodel causes all within 100' to save versus magic spells or become forever warped by the haunting trills and falsetto growls of the yeti yodel. 
  • All yeti's are functional hermaphrodites
  • Yetis are obsessed with salt
  • Yetis worship Cryonax, their progenitor and evil para-elemental lord of the ice realm. Without this holy worship, they lose powers of ice and cold and are less aggressive. 
    • Some are blessed with tentacles like their lord
  • Yeti's are the harbingers of snowstorms and blizzards
  • They are accomplished abstract  snow sculptures, focusing on the abstractions of good and evil
  • Yeti refer to themselves as "Ch'rrawr'grrah'hwtech", which in the yeti tongue roughly translates to "the true folk". 
  • Yeti are self-absorbed liars.



The ecology series is a crowdsourced series of articles, and contributors can be found on google+ under the hashtag #crowdecology. They are limited posts, but following me on G+ will allow you to see them. All artwork is credited where the artist could be found. Classic ecology articles from Dragon magazine are used both for reference and inspiration; the whole impetus of the idea was to create 'classic' ecology articles that are actually useful. Let's Read the Monster Manual by Noisms is also a source of inspiration.  If you're curious how to make effective use of these articles, read On the Use of Ecology.

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3 comments:

  1. I always thought that the creature on the Daniel R. Horne's illustration was a hill giant, but I admit that it make a amazing yeti. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't fool me. That's Kostchtchie fighting some soon-to-be-dead Roman dudes.

    http://castletriskelion.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, snap, it is. Only the rightness of your comment prevents me from deleting your link spam!

      Delete

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