Dungeons & Dragons’ Icewind Dale setting is many things to many people. But first and foremost, it is a home to those looking for a fresh start, many of whom were forced into the lands, either through punishment for a crime or a need to escape a former life. Needless to say, the inhabitants are hardened, tough, rough, and not to be messed with.
Heroes Of Icewind Dale
One of the more famous heroes of the land is the Drow (Dark Elf) ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, who turned his back on the evil ways of his kin and instead chose peace and friendship. He wanders the lands hunting yetis, frost giants, and those who threaten the Ten Towns. His acceptance as a friend to the people of the Ten Towns began with him defending them from the local barbarian tribes who fought as one under the direction of King Heafstaag. Through his travels of Icewind Dale, Drizzt was able to ascertain the attack plan and relay information to the town council through his friendships with the halfling Regis and dwarf Bruenor. He fought alongside the people and exchanged blows with the Barbarian King. He has continued to roam the lands and defend the Ten Towns.
Bruenor Battlehammer fought alongside Drizzt and Regis in the defense of the Ten Towns. He is the King of Mithral Hall, as well as the adoptive father of Catti-brie and Wulfgar. While they started as enemies, he took pity on the young Wulfgar after the battle for the Ten Towns was won by sparing his life and taking him in. Breunor’s adopted daughter Catti-brie was one of the survivors of a goblin attack on the town of Termalaine. She later played an important role in assuring her Father of Drizzt’s true intentions after befriending him upon his arrival to Icewind Dale. After many years she would marry Drizzt.
Wulfgar had served as the standard-bearer for his Barbarian Clan but was captured during the attempted raid of the Ten Towns. Because he was but a boy, his life was spared by Breunor, with his punishment being to serve Breunor for five years and one day. It was during this time of servitude that Wulfgar’s opinion on Breunor changed as he was shown nothing but love and kindness. This would see Bruenor becoming a father figure to Wulfgar. At the end of his service, Wulfgar continued to fight alongside his adopted father and played an important role in the recovery of Mithral Hall.
Regis is a friend and sometimes traveling companion to Drizzt and Bruenor. As a serving councilman of Lonelywood, he was instrumental in convincing (with a little sprinkling of magic mind) the council of the Ten Towns of the imminent threat of the Barbarian raiders. Despite his aversion to violence, he fought valiantly along with his friends during the defense and retired his position after the victory.
Enemies Of Icewind Dale
The frozen wastes are home to many a foe, starting with Akar Kessell. During a trip to Icewind Dale, the unskilled mage was persuaded to kill his teacher Morkai the Red by Dendybar the Mottled. In part through greed and also the promise of a position of power, Kessel now found himself abandoned in the frozen land. During his attempts to return home he found the Crenshinibon (or perhaps it found him), the Crystal Shard. It dominated and tainted his mind – it gave him the power he wanted, and control over armies of orcs, goblins, and trolls. Eventually, he was defeated in battle, killing himself by accident. It was discovered much later that his spirit still roamed the wastes in search of the crystal.
Errtu is a powerful Balor, the second most powerful class of tanari’ri demons. He served the creators of the Crenshinibon but was cast back to the Abyss, where he ruled over a domain, upon the creation of the living crystal. He sought power but remained in the Abyss, assuming the crystal to be destroyed only for it to be awakened years later by Kessel. Upon detecting the crystal awakening, he sought to reclaim it. Unable to do so, he chose to serve the new wielder until an opportunity arose. As general of Kessel’s army, he commanded a large contingent of Orcs, goblins, and trolls, and ordered them to carry out his masters’ bidding. He eventually acquired the artifact and used it to create a stronghold in the Sea of Moving Ice. He has battled Drizzt on numerous occasions and has twice been banished by him, having his physical form destroyed by Icingdeath, a scimitar wielded by Drizzt imbued with powerful ice magic. He is essentially immortal, only able to be destroyed completely when in his realm in the Abyss.
Haerinvureem, also known as Shimmergloom, is a dragon and last remaining member of the Jaezred Clan. He was the demise of the dwarves of Mithral Hall, who ventured too far down into the Underdark, rising up and killing all but a handful of escapees which included heir Bruenor Battlehammer. He ruled over Mithrall Hall for 250 years but was eventually defeated by Bruenor, who upon his return, managed to slay him by strapping a burning barrel of oil to his back.
The Frostmaiden, also known as Auril, The Cold Goddess, and The Goddess of Winter, is a malevolent deity worshiped out of fear by many. Her followers, The Chosen of Auril, were defeated following a war with the Ten Towns, but little more is known. No doubt she is biding her time, as her loyal followers continue to worship and do her bidding.
Icewind Dale features many colorful characters from a variety of diverse backgrounds and across all of the Forgotten Realms. The upcoming release, Rime of the Frostmaiden will only add to this by bringing new monsters and creatures as well as a host of new people to interact with as we explore the frozen wastes. We hope to see some of our favorite characters return, but it is the unknown we are most looking forward to.
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