Eternal Ice
“You northerners speak of ‘land’ like it was a mother’s breast, a soft bed of feathers. We whose mother is the Ice know a harsher milk, and deeper lessons.” - Grekk Blackeye, Ith’n yar’oo chieftain

Capital: None
Settlements: Yza’tor (500+)
Ruler: Tribal chieftains
Government: Tribal
Races: Ith’n yar’oo, Qit’ar, Undine
Faiths: Ice Tyrant, Ithreia, Nise, Wind of Jewels
Resources: Bonecraft, meteoric iron, polar wares, whale products
Languages: Aquan, Ith’n yar’oo
Border Conditions: None

History
Few can speak definitively of what people and cultures exist on the Eternal Ice, the ‘lands’ of the Porpyran South Pole. It is presumed that no soil exists there, unless one can penetrate to the ocean bedrock, and all is ice and snow, malleable in form with the winds and seasons. There are terrestrial countries fairly close to the Ice, and seafarers frequently approach, especially to take advantage of the whaling grounds that migrate around the white shores. Shipwrecks and flensing camps that come ashore had better finish their business quickly, as there are inhabitants of this frozen wasteland, and food is very hard to come by. The undine servants of the elementalists were probably the first to use the Eternal Ice, as an impregnable base camp for monitoring sea lanes, raiding southern nations, and later, during the NewGod Wars, a frequent staging ground for seafaring ice giant missions.

There are some few remnants of summoned stone and other terrestrial materials in the Ice, and they make up the seasonal camps of the main inland races, the ith’n yar’oo and the polar offshoot (or throwback) of the enigmatic and psionic race of the qit’ar.

Primal creatures made, and still make, their homes in the Ice, no doubt, before the arrival of humanoids, such as polar bears, dire penguins, and the dreaded ice worm. Legends persist of a possible hidden colony of aquatic elves under the ice in the exact location of the South Pole, a reclusive remnant of the genocide exacted upon them by the sahuagin. In any case, with the advent of The Calling and the NewGod Wars, the ever-desperate elementalist forces, encouraged by the southern-dwelling undines of their now-bereft empire, sought to breed warriors that would defeat deist forces lured to the ice to die.

Strange experiments using yeti and human slaves produced the race of ith’n yar’oo, the (ant)arctic beastmen, and those throwbacks of the serendipitously arrived qit’ar race who were resistant to cold were recruited, probably for an aborted invasion of the psionically prevalent Pinnacle Lands.
These newly-recruited humanoids wisely made themselves scarce when the seaborne cetaceal forces of Veiloaria the Wayfinder, and the airborne owl-harpy forces of Ithreia massed to the attack. The legion archons slew only giants when they came ashore. A millennia later, nearly every piece of metal, bone, or magic from that isolated conflict is still used in some capacity in the Eternal Ice, where resources are so scarce as to be a major event when discovered. The seldom-visited land is still a source of bogey-stories, and sighting the spire of Yza’tor is said to be an ill-omen for southern sailors.

Current Events
Little has changed on the Eternal Ice in the last eight centuries, save for the inexorable growth of Yza’tor. The ith’n yar’oo squabble and skirmish with the nomadic snow-qit’ar, both fight the plotting undine when they get the chance, and every molecule of organic material is put to use. Rookery season is a time of relative plenty in certain areas of the ice, when both the ice-cats and the beastmen compete for birds and eggs, while being careful to preserve the viability of the flock. Seal-hunting is more dangerous and more profitable, as sometimes a fierce seal can be a fiercer undine come up to stealthily claim a victim. That doesn’t account for incredibly dangerous ice worms, ice giants, and the odd white dragon and ice drake that can mean death or bounty for the ice people.

Curiosity about the dirtlands to the north, likewise from persons intrigued by legends of the southern frozen land create a trickle of exchange of information and adventurers between the two. Orthodox theology in the Middle Kingdoms paints the Eternal Ice as a paragon of victory over elementalism, but with the nagging suspicion of a job not completed, as it is well known that that inhospitable land was being groomed as a respite of last resort.

All of the ice-bound races know that there are fellows of theirs in the warm north, and bear a natural curiosity about them. Magically-created viability may yet increase the population in the Eternal Ice, as, strangely enough, there are no known sources of disease in the entire place!

Settlements
The major settlement in the Eternal Ice is:

  • Yza’tor is the ith’n yar’oo phrase meaning ‘blue spire’. It has been built over the last 900 years from their shamans using create water spells artistically, in fluting passages, spiky towers, and long slide-ways the young of the beastman race love to travel on. It is at least 50 miles inshore, in summer, but is sustained by several clerics and druids using spells such as abstemiousness, create food and water, dream feast and goodberry. A small fragment of polar agriculture is carried out in chambers for reclaimed waste. Those who think the ith’n yar’oo truly beasts should visit this ingenious place. Ironically, most northerners think it a cursed castle from a vanished ancient race… you can’t believe every rumor.

Intrigues

  • The polar folk make their weapons from fragments of meteorites that crash with a fair amount of frequency over the pole. As any dwarf will tell you, this substance makes the best weapons in existence, magical or otherwise. Bringing trade goods to the isolated people of this land would be an ideal way to obtain this precious material.
  • A ship bearing the royal family of one of the cities of the Holdfast of Celestial Parishes has run aground on the Ice. Being aasimars, they are in no danger of freezing to death, but have likely been taken by one of the three races of the Ice Eternal. A swift flight of griffons will take you to this forbidding land, but the fate of the precious leaders is not known.
  • As in days of old, the undines are plotting to raise one or another of their lost Elemental Lords, and it is rumored that many hid in the deep fastness of the Ice, in secret camps left over from the NewGod War. The spymasters of the High Codion of Pium is offering dukedoms to whoever can bring evidence of an expunged elemental tyrant.

See Also