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Extra resources for A magical medieval society - ecology & culture
Much of the artic tundra is the result of permafrost’s actions. Permafrost is the perennially frozen subsurface that can run hundreds of yards deep. Below the thin layer of soil melted by the summer’s heat, a massive piece of permanently frozen earth awaits. Because the permafrost is impervious to water, it forces all water to remain above it. This creates a wet, marshy environment allowing plants to survive even though most of the tundra experiences yearly precipitation levels equal to deserts.
Artic druids will tell you that the tundra is a vicious killer if you don’t know what you’re doing. And they’re right. But they won’t always tell you how fragile the tundra’s ecology is and how easy it is to disrupt. Since conditions are so harsh, disturbances o�en result in almost permanent destruction. Something as simple as digging a grave can destroy the life around the site. Not that you’d succeed in making a decent grave; anything you put down is eventually pushed up by the permafrost cycle.
Magical plants are o�en hardier than their animal counterparts, able to withstand long periods of drought or starvation. Just because magical plants are hardy, don’t think that they’re immune to what their ecosystem can throw at them. Magical insects (vermin, to be more precise) are some of the most dangerous creatures on any magical planet. Their shear numbers, efficiency and o�en-militaristic social orders make them worthy of consideration. Although most magical vermin are fairly innocuous and fill a niche much like their nonmagical brethren, those few that are not innocuous can be truly terrifying.
A magical medieval society - ecology & culture