Grasp of Kalma


Author Comments

"If one walks into the middle of a frozen lake, where the currents are the strongest, during a warm winter day when Kalma is driven below, disregarding the crackling of the ice beneath their feet, oblivious to the shadows under the ice, it will crack and crumble from beneath them. As you fall into the frigid water below, one can feel their body simply seize, as the grasp of Kalma overtakes your body and drags you under and into the murky depths of the lake below, pulling you under the mud to never be seen again."

This is a common cautionary tale told to the children and adolescents of northern dragonoids. Its purpose seems to be to teach them to be cautious when walking on the ice that forms on top of lakes and the sea alike. The name "Kalma" that is referred in the folklore means death or the bitter cold that can be experienced during winter. In the folklore of the northern dragonoids death and cold are synonymous and "Kalma" is used to refer to both. Of note is also how grim this fable is, this is a notable characteristic of the folklore of the northern dragonoids, their fables often include grim subjects, probably to accustom their children with the harsh environment they are going to live in.

Early in the winter it is a common practice to arrange particular ceremonial dances on the shores of lakes that the dragonoids intent to use for ice fishing. They are colorful events intended to stave off kalma and wish for thick and strong ice.

To note is also a method of execution that was used in some fringe communes. The subject was stripped naked and heavy boots were tied to their feet and additional weights were attached to their legs. Then with the persuasion of spears and blades they were forced to walk onto a frozen lake as the executioners stood on the shore. Now what would happen in most cases is that the ice would eventually break after they had walked long enough and they would fall into the water. Sometimes however they would manage to walk to the shore on the other side of the lake. If they managed this feat they would apparently be allowed to walk away or at least have a head start in running away until the executioners made it to the other side of the lake. This was of little comfort however, as they didn't have any clothes the cold would most likely kill them through hypothermia. A particular Legen Granis survived this type of execution according to some statements. Those who lived next to the sea had a more cruel form of this punishment, wherein the subject would be set to walk towards the horizon on top of the frozen sea. Little evidence exists that either form of this execution was used and if it was used it was very rare.

higher-res: https://sta.sh/0rond6urssq


Really hard to see what's happening, a bit unreadable. But I really love the style and the backstory of this piece.

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Credits & Info

4.61 / 5.00

Nov 10, 2017
12:23 PM EST
File Info
1600 x 811 px
1.7 MB

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