Habitat: Mountain tundra
Activity Cycle: None
All cultures use magic, and similarly, all regulate magic, judging what is and what isn’t acceptable. Inevitably, some schools manage to fall into a grey area, and what better occupant of that space is grey magic?
Most users of magic are members of the temples, staples of society who spend much of their time learning the ways of magic. On the other hand, grey mages are not accepted into any major temple’s society in any city, even those who honor the god of the dead. Their conflicts with the traditional ritual of the sky burial have the marked as downright heretical, and in general they are considered subversive and trustworthy by most.
On the other hand, they are not totally forbidden, and usually organize as cults dedicated to the god of the dead in his aspect as the god of blood; Grulguthur the Scarlet. With their view of blood as the seat of the soul, they buy blood from butcher’s shops and hunt wild animals, as well as partaking in bloodletting rituals of their own in order to create mighty sculptures of frozen blood. These are the cocytians, living embodiments of the god of death, frozen altars who wade into battle seeking sacrifices.
They are rarely active, only unleashed for all-out war. Not allowed within city limits, they are usually stored in ice caves, the sacred spaces where their creators perform their rituals. When sent to war, they are terrifying opponents, both incredibly difficult to meaningfully harm and capable of repairing what damage is done to them by absorbing blood from the dead. As they march forth, a red fog follows, thinning the barrier between life and death, both allowing easier summoning of the undead and causing the injured to die quicker.
When left to their own devices, cocytians enjoy carving ice, and often create tiny versions of themselves.