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ID: 764

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December 31, 1969, 6:00 pm

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The Ice Lands

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The ice lands…. A place where the forces of ice and frost hold power eternal over the lands,a place where the life giving rays of the sun are smothered and mocked by an eldritch ice mist.. For these desolate,frozen plains are home to the dread Ice Worshippers,a race of savage and feared nomads who are as merciless and relentless as the sinister ice that dominates their lands,the same ice they revere and hold in awe. Held in terror and loathing by the folk of the fair south,they eagerly await the day the ice sends them forth to unleash upon the civilized lands, a demon winter that yearns to consume all life..

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…



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Comments ( 8 )
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Scrasamax
August 2, 2004, 15:24
0xp
I think rather than waste army after army in failed attempts to hunt down the barbarians, I think these enraged kings would do what Kings do best. Build.

Villages would in short time become fortified, staring with wooden palisades, but building with stone when they can afford it. The king, and the coffers of these kingdoms would be directed to building a defensive line of fortifications and watch towers, perhaps even going as far as the Chinese did and building a great wall against the northern riders.

Raiders would encounter armsmen, mercenaries and trained militias as well as fortifications in the process of being built. We humans are an industrial people, and lacking the protection of the forests, or the mountains, we make due with what we can.
Maggot
August 2, 2004, 22:54
0xp
Well,the raiders are smart enough to avoid the heavily fortified settlements.And as for building an extensive line of defensive structures,that's immpossible given the fact that no one kingdom actually controlls these wild border lands. It's a no man's land,so as to speak. Building a great wall to keep the riders out,will end with a king being decried as a land grabber by his neighbours. Remember that with these lands being so close to the Ice, no one acthually rules these lands.
manfred
August 3, 2004, 5:49
0xp
But indeed, building a memorial for yourself is very fit for any King. It is not necessary to build a wall around the whole kingdom, just the northern border plus something more. The other kingdoms will have to manage it on their own, or could (in theory) become allies because of this terrible threat. Those northerners can't freely move around and slaughter/capture people forever, or there won't be soon no kingdoms anymore.
Maggot
August 3, 2004, 5:57
0xp
That's likely to become the case,yes.The respectives kings will soon realize that they need to band together.I'll add that part in.
Ancient Gamer
August 3, 2004, 17:11
0xp
Ahem. Ice and snow can be melted so water should be easily accessible in these lands ;)

I like this idea, it shows promise but I feel it needs more fleshing out.

If you are stuck, then perhaps you could run the campaign from the border nations viewpoint? The ice nomads could be an enemy wrought in mystery and the PC's could fight this strange evil threatning their homeland. The PC's could be the ones that help the nations unite and build aforementioned stonewalls and palisades. Think of all the twists and turns you could come up with as a result of this distrust between the kingdoms...
Barbarian Horde
June 12, 2005, 6:21
0xp
why doesn't a king just build one wall around his land. if it is his land then it shouldn't be a problem.
MoonHunter
June 12, 2005, 10:16
0xp
Re: Barbarian.
Static defenses are nothing without active defenders. People can eventually just climb over them or go around them. Unless the barrier has VAST PSYCHOLOGICAL POWER (like the Great Wall because of its sheer size), it has little stopping power without defenders (i.e. an armed force big enough to patrol it). And even the greatest barrier with psychological power needed defenders.

So a hundred to two hundred years later, causing starvation (as people are pulled off farming to build the wall) at a cost that will bankrupt almost any government (just for supplies and materials... if they not not paying labor), they will have a wall that will not stop, but only slow down the targets.

King's edict does not generate goods without gold (hence the whole tax thing). If the King does just takes said goods, anyone who owns or makes said goods tend to leave such countries (or die, but the results the same- they still stop making things).

If you don't believe me, check the history of The Great Wall. While a more ambitious project, this wall would protect a smaller country with a smaller population. Heck... check out the success and cost of Hayden's wall in England. The cost of that (and its lack of stopping power) is one of the reasons the Romans abandoned the Isles.
Voted valadaar
June 30, 2014, 8:56
0xp




Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

The Candle-Eyed Man

       By: Murometz

The third son of a candle-maker, and secretly a spy, Tsiao Fong Wei betrayed his family, clan, and town to the merciless Qongg Dynasty, causing the deaths of his own family members. He survived to an old age hiding out in the country side and keeping a low profile. One day however, the “Paper Knife” finally found Tsiao Fong Wei , and exacted his revenge on behalf of the folk, dead and tortured.

After a furious struggle, the “Paper Knife” plunged twin burning candles into the eyes of the traitorous old man and laughed, as Tsiao Fong Wei howled in dismay and pain. Some say Tsiao Fong Wei died that day. Others say that the old man somehow escaped despite his sudden anguish and utter blindness.

The truth is lost to time.

But to this day the children of the Red-Ridge County towns and villages are told by their parents to always beware twin lights in the darkness and to never venture into the woods at night, and to keep an ear open for the Groaning Ghost, for somewhere out there Tsiao Fong Wei the Traitor, now a vengeful spirit, stumbles about the darkness moaning and wailing, candles still sticking forth from out of his otherwise empty eye sockets. And though the candles plunged into his eyes all those years ago were a’flame going in, now the wax protuberances are somehow lit from within and burn without, and two flickering lights in the darkness, always portend his coming.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | December 6, 2013 | View | UpVote 4xp


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