By David Kuijt
The Icy Wastes are home to forces of freezing glory, and numbing might. Ice Elementals and Frost Giants are the most powerful of the denizens of the pack ice of the Frozen North, and they can muster an army of terrible minions when it suits their purposes.
Home Topography: Icy Northern Wastes.
Stronghold: Ice Castle of the Frost Giant Jarl.
Note that there are more than 24 points in the above. These are the forces the Ice Elementals or Frost Giants can command, not necessarily the ones that will appear in every battle. The rules for phalanx element types are here. If you do not choose to use the Phalanx rules, treat the Shard Trolls as any other appropriate type -- Blade, Spear, or even Hero.
Frost Giants are the most feared denizens of the Wastes, living in ice castles or huge longhouses. Unlike their cruder cousins, the Hill and Stone Giants, Frost Giants use armor and weapons, either of their own making or of the Frost Dwarves, their servants and underlings. Most Frost Giants use huge axes or swords, like that shown in the image above and to the right.
The Jarl of the Frost Giants, shown in the image to the left, is the mightiest of their race. He wears the pelts of Ice Trolls for leggings, and the skull and hide of a White Dragon for a cape. His armor is forged by Frost Dwarves, and his mighty sword is named Icestorm, a magical blade formed of the essence of a Glacier. None know how it was made, or on what anvil of ice, but is has passed from one Jarl to another since the dawn of time.
These are the Spirits of Bitter Cold made manifest. As tall as Giants, their strength is that of a mountain avalanche; their fury a northern blizzard. Only great heros can stand against them even for moments before being overwhelmed. They do not slow, they can not be stopped, and they are as pitiless as the Arctic Winter itself. See above right for an image.
Dwarves have sub-races and divisions among them, just as any other race. The Frost Dwarves are one such, and deny any allegiance to the King Undermountain. Most Dwarves consider them traitors, if they speak of them at all, because they have bound their loyalty to the Frost Giants. They serve him as metalsmiths, servants, and warriors, for they are like their kin in this at least - the Frost Dwarves are hardy, strong, and stubborn warriors.
Frost Dwarves are reputed to be greedy, stubborn, and contentious, but this does not mark them as different from the rest of the Dwarven race. They share one characteristic with the Frost Giants - their resistance to cold.
Tordek has served the Ice for a century now, but his origin is obscure. Some even say that he is not a Frost Dwarf at all, but from some other group of Dwarves, driven into exile for a great crime, or because he would not stand by and let such a crime be committed, depending upon which rumor you would believe.
Aside from rumor, though, some facts about Tordek are clear. He wields an axe called Iceblade, akin in appearance to the sword of the Frost Giant Jarl. It can cleave iron like snow, and wounds it causes do not bleed, they freeze. Tordek is a mighty warrior, rarely seen without his friend and ally, a huge snow wolf. He can ride the snow wolf like a horse, even into battle. Whatever crime Tordek may have committed, it is unlikely to have been cowardice in battle - his warskills are great.
The Ice Bowmen are doughty archers, nearly as innured to cold as the Frost Dwarves. They wield magical bows of ice, and are armored in mail. They are not of Dwarven kin, but some race of Men, or Elves, or perhaps half-elves; tall and blonde and blue-eyed, fair of face.
Many of the servants of the Ice are not flesh at all, but animated spirits of the Ice akin to the Ice Elementals, although not as powerful. One such are the Shard Trolls. They are slow, but terribly strong, and very difficult to damage. The image on the left illustrates their appearance.
These are the last major type of Ice Elemental, and share many characteristics with their kin -- they are terribly strong, very difficult to damage, and quite slow. See the image on the right.
Not all the spirits of Ice are slow and ponderous. Ice Mephits are swift-flying, for all they seem made of Ice. Their malice for enemies is great, but they are not strong. Still, their ability move quickly and attack unexpectedly is an important addition to the forces of the Ice.
The closest neighbors to the Frost Giant Jarls are the Ice Barbarians. They fight each other frequently, but have also allied to combine forces against shared enemies, or for loot.
If the Frost Giants have a true enemy, it is the Fire Giants.
Almost all the figures shown are D&D Miniatures figures. The sole exception is the Shard Trolls, who are also prepainted plastic figures, but from the Dreamblade miniature game. Most of the figures are reasonably cheap, around $1. The Ice Elemental is more expensive (around $8), and the Frost Giants are not cheap (about $20 or so each).
As with the Fire Elemental army and the Shadow army, one of the super-keen things about this army is that the DDM prepainted plastics produce these translucent plastic figures. Painting something to look like ice is very difficult; painting an opaque figure to look like translucent ice in three dimensions is frankly impossible.
Page created December 5, 2008.
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