Ancient legends and tales in every kingdom and land, speak of a powerful and maloveant evil that lurks behind the Peaks of ice,a wide range of low hills that lie to the north of the great Isthian river.It is at the the snow covered feet of these mountains,that civilization ends and the lands of the ice begin.Trade caravans who venture too close to the hills vanish and are never seen again.
For beyond these mountains,lie the domain of the savage ice nomads.Anyone who strays to close to these hills is ambushed and spirited away by raiding parties of these fierce warriors, out on the prowl for slaves and loot. But these reivers do not stop at swooping on the unwary that have the misfortune too fall into their clutches.It is not unusual for the inhabitants of the more isolated and remote duchies and villages to suddenly find in the dead of night,a band of terrifying,bearded, warriors dressed in bear pelts and mounted on stocky mountain ponies, smashing down the gates and riding in to put their homes and farms to the sword.All the infim and very young are slaughtered outright,while the able bodied men and women are carried off to be thralls,along with anything of value that is found.Those of the captured who accept their fate as the possesions of their captors are not harmed,but the ones who are brave and determined enough to put up a futile struggle, are sacrifced to the ice deity by the shamans.During the sacrifice,their blood is shed in a vast,enchanted clearing known as a Change Circle,and offered to the ice by a powerful shaman.A hideous demon emmissary of the ice then appears,and at the command of the shaman proceeds to shape twisted and deformed monstrosities from the blood spilled across the clearing.Once the demon breathes life into them,these things are the mindless slaves of the the shaman,at whose command they were spawned.
Meanwhile frantic armies are dispatched to fight the invading rievers by enraged kings,only to find the invaders gone with the night.Any army that attempts to pursue them over the hills,find themselves lost in a nightmarish,icy wasteland that is utterly devoid of food,and succumb to the brutal cold and thirst.The few who do manage to survive the cold,are devoured by the vicious abombinations such as trolls, that wander freely in the domain of their master,the ice.The situation being such,most kings have decided to pay the ice nomads a yearly tribute of gold and slaves,in order to get them to halt their depradations. The few kings and lords,who refuse to cut any kind of deal with ruthless killers that are known to worship a twisted and evil ice elemetal,find themselves at a loss to stop the devastating raids.
A few among them realize that if they are to prevent the
nomads from encroaching any futher,an alliance of their nations is necessary But with each kingdom suspicous of the others, given the overlapping claims made on these wild,desolate lands, such an alliance will not be made easily. Meanwhile the nomads grow ever bolder…