[SotE Xmas special] A monster for the jolly season

I am still at home writing this, but when this appears on your screen I am celebrating Christmas with friends, hopefully without too much computer happenings.

I give you a description of another monster for the season. You can hazard a guess which movie I saw last week.

The Old Goat Of Midwinter

According to legends that circulate in Karelia, somewhere in the north there lies an enormous barrow, one large enough to mistake for a fell. No one is really certain of how old it is, but it is Old with a capital letter. Surrounded by ancient iron pillars that jut out from the ground at regular intervals, the barrow has three peaks and is about a quarter mile high or so. The forest around the fell has withered and died and the dead trees are petrified.

According to the legend, an ancient evil, even more ancient than the long-gone Old Enemy, was sealed within the barrow but as the years passed and the caretakers of the barrow died, it got loose again. By that time, it had  lost most of it’s old power but was still an imposing sight: half giant, half goat, with a permanently blood-caked beard and fiery eyes.

The Old Goat only comes out of the barrow during the midwinter solstice and roams the fells, looking for victims to eat. Entire herds of reindeer have been found dead and partially eaten after the Old Goat has appeared from it’s barrow. The Sami know to steer clear of the barrow during that time of the year.

Fellvindr the Cunning, the ancient dragon of Lapland, has in her hoard an old scrap of an Old Empire-era manuscript that details the burial. Some brave explorer once actually entered the barrow and saw the sleeping monster. The manuscript details what has diminished the monster’s strength: hundreds of Baubles, the antimagical spheres much desired by everyone today. Along with the Baubles, the barrow is full of the ordinary grave goods: golden goblets, silver plate, Elven weapons and even more preciously, actual Old Empire era swords.

If you dare, go north and raid the monster’s tomb.

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