ar to the north, as many well know, the land is covered in thousands of miles of ice and glaciers. Islands of rock may occasionally be found within this vast icy sea, but one in particular sticks out, the place known by the people of the Arkene as Nunataq Gryphus. A wide, flat island made mostly of marble, the island would be easy to miss, if it weren't for the hundred-foot pair of gryphon statues guarding it. Today, the statues are covered in bluish ice, much like the cold flames of ice gryphons. However, the legend around the island says that it predates the first appearance of ice gryphons, and that indeed it predates the ice of the Arkene itself. Once, the north was a vast forest, so the stories go, so lush that it housed more creatures than Silva Forest and the Jungle of Raza combined. Humans lived in the forest as well, a civilization who built their capital on a lone, tall peak in the richest part of the forest. They carved a royal city into its walls, and immense marble gryphon sculptures atop its summit -- a pair of gryphons being the coat-of-arms of the royal family. The people of the forest considered this mountain palace their crowning achievement, but in creating it, they had become greedy. The stories say that in building their palace, the civilization had awoken a powerful wind spirit who lived within the mountain. When it saw what the people had done to its home, the spirit howled in anger, bringing snow into the world, and burying the forest in a sheet of ice. The palace was covered until only the very top of the peak remained, the gryphon statues frozen with blue icicles on their wings. As creatures of the forest fled its destruction, they were covered in ice from the angered spirit and became magically fused with the element, transforming some of them into the first ice phoenixes, ice gryphons, nandi bears, and Arkenian kitsunes.
Today, the civilization which built the statues of the Nunataq Gryphus is lost to history. No palace has ever been found within the depths of the mountain island, and its remote location and the ice surrounding it make study difficult. No one lives there permanently, though it is a popular place for travelers on their way up north to visit, both because of the impressive statues and the dark story surrounding them. Most magi dismiss the nunataq as an oddity, though plenty will insist that the winds around it are, for no particular reason, especially harsh.