Ice Lands

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Far to the north and east, past the northern borders of the Flamespire and the northern mountain ranges of the Desert of Dust, lies the vastness of the Ice lands. One of the largest areas of unexplored wilderness, the Ice lands beauty is as deadly as those who call it home. To the south west you have what the locals call The Stōrm Mountains. Because the cold air from the Ice Lands are constantly hitting the warm air of the Desert of Dust, violent storm are common almost every day. South east you run into the Ice Dales. The Dale River makes a natural border running east/west and is the main outflow for the lake known as Crystal Lake. The Ice Dales are the only place in the Ice Lands where snow melts for a short time of the year. East, North and West all are bordered by ocean or gulf. Most of the Ice lands are covered in the giant trees of the Stōr Woods.

The Ice Dales are known for many types of inhabitants. Rumors of ice elf tribes in the northern wastes, stōrm giants taming the lightning in the Storm mountains, bands of orcs and goblins raiding the Dales and Stōr Woods, savage beast folk scouring for food, Even rumors of shadow dragons protecting their hordes and home. However, the most common races you will find are the lesser giants, or as the locals call them, snø giants, and gnomes. Snø giants have created a culture and have adapted well to this harsh climate. Mostly located in the Stōr Woods, some call the Dales home as well. Gnome communities dot the Dales as well, learning to live with the extreme cold and with their larger neighbors.

The Snø Giants[edit]

  • We value freedom above all else.
  • We follow the path of our totem spirit.
  • We will die to defend what we have built.
  • We respect the land, for it is out to kill us.
  • We are suspicious of any strangers.


Paragons[edit]

The following aspects represent people revered in this culture and who represent the ideals of the culture. These are roles that can be attained within the culture. They, or variations of them, can be used to help define an NPC aspects.

  • Warrior of Renown, Hunter of Stōr, Respected Crafter, Wise Totem Seer


Cultural Values[edit]

The following one-word descriptive adjectives or nouns can be used to describe what things this culture values. Use them to help fill out aspects for NPCs and to help provide a deeper sense of who the people of this culture are.

  • Brave
  • Indulgent
  • Loyal
  • Protective
  • Proud
  • Resilient
  • Stubborn
  • Strong
  • Superstitious
  • Utilitarian

Cultural History[edit]

The Sojourn[edit]

Lesser giants were known for their savagery and brute strength on the battle field. This was the main reason why the titans had created them. Because of this, these creatures were used as slaves and shock troops for much larger giant masters. When the war ended and the world shattered, many of these creatures instinctively sought out other brutal masters to indenture themselves to, still living a life of savage slavery.

After the The Shattering, many lesser giants found purpose in world now full of opportunities. One such giant called Forfer of the Hollows, had learned that there could be a life away from the slavery of others. Leaving his solitude he journeyed, looking for a sign or opportunity of what his purpose was to be. As he sojourned he began to attract others of his ilk, also lost and purposeless, and soon he found himself the leader of near a hundred lesser giants. Finally they had found themselves in the forests of the Ice Lands they would come to call the Stōr woods. These woods were perfect for these massive creatures since the trees towered over four hundred feet with trunks thirty feet wide. They saw the woods as a sign that they had found a new home.

The Struggle[edit]

Building a life in their new hone was not without struggle. Other creatures also resided in the Stōr Woods and were not happy to see intruders. These confrontations would later become lessons for the younger giants of future birth, for they found themselves attacking and defending against ice elves, and even a dragon of grey and black. Fewer their numbers became and with such loss came Dissent. Many giants believed this quest too hard and costly, and so deserted. The remaining few they looked to Forfer of the Hollows. It was Forfer who told them that they needed to march with respect, and not force. It was at this time they came across the gnomes of the Dales. Many of the giants saw this as an opportunity to take out an easy target, but Forfer held out hands and approached the guarded gnomes with a sign of peace. It was the gnomes who helped the giants first learn how to survive in the Ice Lands and with that an alliance was formed.

A Culture Rises[edit]

In time, the Snø Giants, as those of the Ice Lands began to call them, settling into their new home and a new way of life. The gnomes of the Dales helped them learn to respect their home and not ravage it. This new way of thinking allowed for the simpler thinking giants to see the power of the the animals who survived here and soon tribes formed, in respect to these animals. Three major tribes thrive now in the Ice Lands.

  • The Bear Tribe - Through the Ice Bear we learn strength can overcome.
  • The Wolf Tribe - Through the Winter Wolves we learn strength in numbers.
  • The Owl Tribe - Through the Snø Owl we learn strength in knowing.

Smaller tribes are also out there like the Raven, Fox and Badger tribes.

The Bear tribes can be found among a honeycomb of caves carved along the border of the Stōrm Mountains and the Stōr Woods. The Wolf Tribe mostly calls the Dales and southern woods of Stōr home, while the Owl tribe resides deeper within the Stōr Woods. Through the totems they follow, the snø giants have learned to become part of something they can finally call a future.

One of the fiercest battles in sno siant history in the Ice Lands was with the deadly encounter with the Ivory Dragon of Stōr, an albino shadow dragon. Since that battle, they have not been bothered by it or sought it out. In fact, the sno giants have developed such a high respect for the shear power of such a beast, a holiday was created on the day they first encountered it. The Day of the Dragon is a time when all the tribes gather at the edge of the woods, in the Dales. They make camp and tell tales of heroism and craft. Games are played to challenge each of the tribes focusing on strength, team work and puzzle solving. A champion is determined through these games and named that years Warrior of Renown. This warrior will come to represent the clans when they confront the Ice Elves at the first of the new year. In the end, respect is paid to the great beast with songs of it's glory and power near a bon-fire large enough to see for miles. When the fire finally dies, that signals the end of the festivities and life goes back to normal.

The Great Sojourn is a time when students of the Totem Seers journey alone in the Stōr Woods to see if they are able to gain the title of Totem Seer. Totem Seers are those in the tribe that others feel are more attuned to the spirit of their tribe's totem animal, that they can see and teach it's wisdom to others. Totem Seers are not magical in nature, but have the wisdom to advise others and use their totem animal to help discover these truths. The Sojourn is a test for if a seer can survive a day in the woods by wit alone, then they are worthy to gift a tribe with wisdom.

Little is known about the ice elves who live in the deepest parts of the Stōr Woods. Past conflicts taught the Snø Giants to have a great respect for them and the woods they claim. Markers of warning have been created to help them recognize when they are getting to close to the ice elf borders. However, a great responsibility falls to all the tribes as the first of the year comes. On the first day of the new year, the entirety of the snø tribes meet at a place known as the standing rocks, deep in the Stōr Woods. Here they are met by the pale-skinned ice elves residing in the Stōr Woods. The two groups stand ready for combat and stare upon each other for hours until the sun's mark hits the tallest of the standing stones at it's base. At this time, the Warrior of Renown for that year and the apparent leader of the ice elves step forward, still eyeing each other. A symbolic gesture is given as each of the representatives strikes the rock with their weapon at the same time. Only then do the two lose sight of each other as they bow to one another in agreement. At this point the two group part. This ceremony was developed by past generations of both sno giants and ice elves as a show of strength and trust as they bare all they have to defend themselves. The striking of the rock represents that it will only be the rock that they strike and not each other... for another year at least.

Cultural Skills[edit]

The culture’s skill pyramid has Fight at it’s peak with Physique and Investigate below it, and NPCs from this culture will tend have these at a higher than normal rank for an NPC of that type. Note: Totem Seers will have Investigate as it's Pyramid's peak.

Cultural Stunts[edit]

With the skills are stunts. Each skill has a rebel and a paragon stunt. Rebels reject the cultural norm while paragons represent this aspect of the culture.

Fight

  • (Paragon) Martial Strength. Specify one type of hand weapon in which you are especially proficient. When using that hand held weapon, gain a +2 to that weapon's damage.
  • (Rebel) Hurling. Capable of hurling giant rocks at your opponent, you can use Fight in place of Shoot to throw them.

Physique

  • (Paragon) Thick Hide You are just naturally tough. You can use Physique in place of Athletics to defend against attacks.
  • (Rebel) Second Breath. Never give up! When you make a Physique check, you may make a re-roll without paying a fate point once per scene.

Investigate

  • (Paragon) Left and Live. You are good at making a good choice based on the scene around you. You may substitute Investigate with another skill check once per scene to help make a good choice.
  • (Rebel) Tracking. You are a natural at following tracks and signs of movement. Gain a +2 to your Investigate roll when tracking something.


Gnomes of the Dales[edit]

  • We see the value in everything.
  • We respect those who respect us.
  • We welcome trade - coins are for melting into prettier things.
  • We Live for good drinks and good company.
  • We are good hosts.


Paragons[edit]

The following aspects represent people revered in this culture and who represent the ideals of the culture. These are roles that can be attained within the culture. They, or variations of them, can be used to help define an NPC aspects.

  • Resourceful Provost Defender, Tricky Caster of the Phantasmal, Respected Vintner of Ice Wines


Cultural Values[edit]

The following one-word descriptive adjectives or nouns can be used to describe what things this culture values. Use them to help fill out aspects for NPCs and to help provide a deeper sense of who the people of this culture are.

  • Arcane
  • Brave
  • Crafty
  • Festive
  • Friendly
  • Logical
  • Loyal
  • Protective
  • Quick
  • Smart

Cultural History[edit]

Gnomes have always been around, underfoot as some might say. From the time before the [of the World], to the Great Healing of it, gnomes have had a presence in just about every civilized culture. Their inquisitive nature along with their natural gift to craft only strengthened the community they became a part of. When the Healing of the World happened, a number of gnomes found themselves in the Dales of the Ice Lands. Instead of venturing forth to seek out the civilizations of others, they built a Community of their own. One town was created to give the smaller communities a place to trade and visit, called the Nall Mar (Elvish for Dale Home). Here the gnomes have created their own community of creativity and wealth.

The homesteads surrounding Nall Mar are not without their challenges. Wild animals form the Stōr woods, along with the occasional orc band make their way to the Dales from time to time, seeing the gnomes as an Easy Target. Unfortunately, they are. Farmers and craftsmen make up most of rural gnomish community of the Dales so life can be a challenge for those who seek to live far from Nall Mar. Because of this, the Nall Mahtar (Elvish for Dale Warriors) was formed. Trained by the provost and few warriors of Nall Mar, the militia of Nall Mar patrols their lands astride large mastiffs and try keeping it safe for their people.

The gnomes have celebrations for each first day of a new season, birthdays, victories, the new year, days of past great deeds or events, Birthdays of great leaders... Actually, almost a third of the years calendar is a time for celebration amongst these festive folk. So for those visiting the Ice Dales, you have a one in three chance of becoming part of a party or celebration.

The Alliance with the Snø Giants was a major event in the lives of gnomes. It took some time but through the trust that was built, the two groups learned to live and trade together in peace. For the giants, the gnomes were a blessing. Their way of life helped them usher in a new culture for them and the gnomes suddenly had an ally they could call upon in time of defense. It is not uncommon to see a gnome traveling or living near a tribe of giants. Or, a giant carefully asking about a gnome farm or Nall Mar itself. Trade of goods such as fur and food from the giants get them not only crafted items such as weapons and tools, but also knowledge of learning to craft themselves.

If the gnomes of the Dales are famous for anything, it due in part to the master wine maker Trulaie Caskervine. This gnome has a vineyard just south of Nall Mar a few days travel. Trulaie is the inventor of a wine created with frozen grapes. Served cold, this wine is boasted to be the sweetest drink in all the world. Travelers do come from all civilized lands looking to trade for such wine. Bottled in magical casks to keep them as cold as the ice they were fermented in, the wine is expensive, but to those who treasure it's taste, well worth it. The Caskervine Vineyard has traded with places like the Flamespire, Avonia, and even as far as the Sunspire. This has help keep Nall Mar economically connected with it's southern neighbors, though trade is not that well travelled.


Cultural Skills[edit]

The culture’s skill pyramid has Craft at it’s peak with Lore and Rapport below it, and NPCs from this culture will tend have these at a higher than normal rank for an NPC of that type. Note: Totem Seers will have Investigate as it's Pyramid's peak.


Cultural Stunts[edit]

With the skills are stunts. Each skill has a rebel and a paragon stunt. Rebels reject the cultural norm while paragons represent this aspect of the culture.

Craft

  • (Paragon) Thing of Beauty. You are an artist when indulging in your craft. You can use Craft in place of Rapport when engaged with those who have an appreciation for your craft.
  • (Rebel) Marvel of Crafting. Your creations are ahead of their time. Gain a +2 to create an advantage actions to place aspects regarding your creation's fine quality.

Lore

  • (Paragon) Master Illusionist Magic runs in your veins. You can purchase Wizardry like any other character. But when when you purchase this stunt, you are also allowed to prepare spells and gain the benefits of doing so, but do not require a focus when manipulating Phantasm Magic. You use Lore as normal for wizardry magic for your Phantasm magic and gain a +1 to do so. Note this stunt does not replace the Wizardry stunt, but adds benefits to it.
  • (Rebel) Politician. You know the history and laws of your community so well, you can manipulate the system to benefit yourself or others. If you gain success with style using Lore, you gain a full scene aspect you can use for any rolls to help win your arguments.

Rapport

  • (Paragon) Good Manners.You always make a good impression with others, no matter how small they treat you. You can use Rapport in place of Will checks when others are using Provoke to intimidate you.
  • (Rebel) Party Animal You are the life of the party and the one who eventually makes a fool of themselves. Of course that throbbing head of yours won't allow you to remember that the next day. In a party or celebration you can choose to gain a +2 bonus with any Rapport check. However, for time you used this stunt to receive a bonus, you are at a -2 penalty to your Rapport check. You cannot gain a bonus to Rapport again until you've worked off all the penalties.