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Gloomberg Tempest

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From the
Encyclopedia of Marvels, Life Forms and Other Phenomena of Zamonia and its Environs
by Professor Abdullah Nightingale

Gloomberg Tempest, The. Because of their iron content, the atmosphere above the Gloomberg Mountains always carries a heavy electrical charge. Thunderstorms are a very rare natural phenomenon there. When they do occur, however, the consequence is something that need not fear comparison with any other natural disaster and is known as "The Gloomberg Tempest' or "The Tantrum of the Gods'. Within minutes, gigantic black rain clouds accumulate above the mountains, miles high, and dispense raindrops as big and heavy as kitchen stoves. A single one of these raindrops can fill a bathtub or slay an elk. Millions of flashes of lightning per second turn night into day, darting in directions from which normal electrical discharges are debarred. Long, thin thunderbolts go hissing into valleys and send up cascades of white sparks; others, wide as streets. cleave whole mountain peaks in half. Bolts of globe lightning fall to earth like spinning comets Huge explosions at their point of impact create smoking craters filled with molten iron. The flashes of lightning take a wide variety of forms. Some undulate through the mountains like giant serpents, others are short and sharp like spears - they even quiver for a moment after piercing the ground. As for the accompanying thunder, it sounds as if demented giants are beating the iron mountains like a gong.

Gloomberg Tempest, The [cont.]. The Gloomberg Mountains are porous in structure, being perforated like a termites' nest (→Mountain Maggot, The) by countless passages. Because many of these lead to the open air, the mountainsides afford the masses of water teeming down during a Gloomberg Tempest numerous apertures through which to penetrate the tunnels and wash them out. This is hygienically beneficial to the mountains but life-threatening to the creatures that inhabit them. Natural denizens of the Gloombergs like →Mountain Maggots and →Troglotrolls do, however, possess innate skills that enable them to survive under such conditions. A Mountain Maggot, for example, can hold its breath for as long as two hours.

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