Chronicles of Ascension
The Iron Wind is the Ninth-World term for clouds of dangerous nano spirits, that are far too tiny to see, which travel across the landscape in terrible clouds borne by strong winds. These warp everything they touch, transmuting all matter.
An Iron Wind storm twists the ground, turns rock into clouds of vapor, and creates new features out of thin air. And woe to any living thing caught in its passing. Trees become rocks, pools of water, or unrecognizable lumps of pulsing, living substance. The Iron Wind tears apart creatures only to rebuild them in bizarre, seemingly random shapes. Flesh is transmuted to nonliving substances, ropy tendrils, or even more alien configurations or textures. Nine times out of ten, this transformation results in the death of the creature—sometimes a long, painful death as it tries to cope with its new form.
I stood in Yrkallak Tower and watched as the cloud of orange and red passed across the landscape in the distance. Through my spyglass, I saw the formation of a hillock that had not existed before. Atop that rise grew polyp- like blue trees that then wavered and died. The ﬁeld of grain that had grown nearby became a cacophonous mixture of glass, green vapor, and writhing serpents. An aneen tried to run as the Iron Wind approached, but its legs became tiny, ﬂuttering wings, and it collapsed. Its back sprouted a thousand insect legs, but its head had turned to a coppery metal, and it was dead. Further horrors I witnessed, I shall not describe, for I wish that I had not seen them. They shall haunt my dreams forevermore. Truly this was a storm born in Hell, carried on the backs of invisible demons of madness and misery.
—The journal of Lady Charalann