The land of Icewind Dale is defined as everything north of the Spine of the World and uncovered by the Reghed Glacier.
- c. -2100 DR: Survivors of Illusk travel to Icewind Dale. Their descendants mingle with the Ice Hunters to become the Reghedmen.
- 226 DR: Year of the Empty Turret: Dwarven refugees fleeing the destruction of Mirarar finally arrive in an abandoned hold of Gharraghaur in the Vale of Kuldahar and establish Dorn’s Deep.
- 894 DR: Year of Cold Flame: Elves from fallen Eaerlann are chased by orcs into the Spine of the World mountains and the Vale of Kuldahar. A battle takes place at the Fields of Slaughter where the elves are saved by the timely intervention of dwarves from Dorn’s Deep.
- The elves create the Hand of the Seldarine as their new home in the Vale of Kuldahar.
- 1050 DR: Year of the Keening Gale: The Dinev family, displaced from troubled Arabel in Cormyr, arrive in Icewind Dale.
- 1058 DR: Year of the Spider’s Daughter: Orcs raze Dinev Keep and slaughter the Dinev family.
- 1068 DR: Year of the Seer Born: The surviving Cormyreans in Icewind Dale retake Dinev Keep from the orcs but their numbers dwindle over the following years.
- 1172 DR: Year of the Hoary Host: The dwarves of Clan Battlehammer arrive in Icewind Dale and settle in the valley of Kelvin’s Cairn, naming it Valladrul.
- 1196 DR: Year of the Shrike: The barbarian hero Aihonen and the White Queen Icasaracht slay each other above the waters of Lac Dinneshere. The White Queen’s brood of white dragon offspring fight for supremacy leading to a collapse in white dragon numbers in the region.
- 1210 DR: Year of the Armarel: The dwarves of Valladrul establish the trademeet of Barammyn on the western shores of Maer Dualdon.
- 1231 DR: Year of the Bright Star: Damien Morienus, Master of the North Tower of the Hosttower Arcane creates the Accursed Tower from a circle of menhirs in the western shore of Maer Dualdon.
- 1232 DR: Year of the Weeping Wives: Anga Kinnuki; leader of the Tribe of the Hoar Fox, steals Mathild, the wife of Damien Morienus. In response Damien summoned the devil Belhifet and the marilith Yxunomei and commanded them to return his wife and slay her captor.
- 1233 DR: Year of Many Monsters: The Great Thaw: Belhifet and Yxunomei work great magics with Damien Morienus (including opening a gate to Avernus) to melt the ice and snow of Icewind Dale, this affects the weather and ecology of the dale and surrounding regions for many decades.
- 1234 DR: Year of the Full Flagon: Dorn’s Deep and the Hand of the Seldarine fall to the forming Black Horde.
- 1235 DR: Year of the Black Horde: Refugees from beseiged Illusk flee north to Icewind Dale, making it through the North Pass just before the snows of winter close it completely. They found Bremen, Targos, Termalaine and Lonelywood over the next few years.
- 1243 DR: Year of the Blue Dragon: Last appearance of the white dragon Ingeloakastimizilian as it soars across the North freezing any living thing in sight. After re-establishing the claim on his territory, and attacking the besieged Illusk and looting some of its treasures, Icingdeath retreats to his lair beneath the Evermelt and becomes trapped beneath the ice, ceding his territory to younger dragons like Arauthator.
- 1278 DR: Year of Many Bones: Refugees from the Korinn Archipelago, fleeing pirates and the collapse of Viledel’s kingdom, get lost in the Sea of Moving Ice and run aground northeast of Ironmaster. They eventually chance upon the settlements of Icewind Dale and establish Caer Dinneval amid the ruined fortification.
- 1284 DR: Year of the Dying Stars: Caer Konig is established by norl from Caer Dineval.
- 1309 DR: Year of the Sunset Winds: Bryn Shander is established on the site of a waystop cabin.
- 1313 DR: Year of the Shattered Oak: A feud between traders from Bremen, Lonelywood, Targos, and Termalaine results in Bryn Shander being burned to the ground. The Council of Speakers is created to settle all future disputes.
- 1326 DR: Year of the Striking Hawk: The Tribe of the Elk sacks the settlement of Termalaine.
- 1330 DR: Year of the Marching Moon: Criminals elements from Tethyr begin arriving in Icewind Dale, desperate to escape the reach of the Shadow Thieves. They settle in Easthaven, transforming it into a large settlement overnight.
- 1332 DR: Year of the Sword and Stars: The Tribe of the Elk defeats the Tribe of the Bear. Anga Heafstaag slays Raag Donnig in single combat.
- 1338 DR: Year of the Wanderer: The Eastway is paved, all commercial traffic from Lac Dinneshere begins to route through Easthaven.
- 1346 DR: Year of the Bloodbird: The Tribe of the Elk sacks the settlement of Termelaine.
- 1347 DR: Year of the Bright Blade: Drizzt Do’Urden arrives in Icewind Dale.
- 1351 DR: Year of the Crown: Akar Kessel uncovers Crenshenibon buried amid the snow of Icewind Dale.
Life and Society
The Reghedmen of Icewind Dale are nomadic hunter-gatherers that endlessly migrate from east to west and back again on the trail of the great deer herds.
Families of Reghedmen gather together in tribes and follow a leader known as an Anga (a corruption of the ancient Norl word for King). These leaders are expected to be great hunters, warriors, and decision makers (although many follow Anga the advice of their shaman).
The tribes of the Reghedmen survive due to the cooperation of all its members. The hunters gather food to feed the entire tribe, the women look after the children and establish the camp. The Anga and his family get the best of everything, while the newest and youngest tribe members get the least.
Hengorot: The Mead Hall (a rough translation of Hengorot), is a meeting place for all the tribes of the Reghedmen. Hengorot can only be called by one of the Anga, and it designates the camp as a safe meeting spot for anyone wishing to enter the camp. The power and prestige of a tribe usually determines which other tribes attend the Hengorot. A Hengorot called by a Raag must be attended by all the tribes or risk being labelled as enemies.
During Hengorot, the barbarians of different tribes mix together to trade wealth and information. Those accepting the Hengorot (entering the camp willing and without intent to battle) must abide by the laws of Hengorot or be outcast from their tribe. Hengorot is a time of peace, the tribes share their food and mead at a great feast tent that lasts several days. Hengorot is used by the Reghedmen to marry their children off to other tribes, shares stories and information, make alliances against common enemies.
No-one may shed blood during Hengorot unless they have claimed the Right of Challenge in front of many witnesses.
Right of Challenge: Reghedmen society is loosely based on ancient Norl principles that have gradually evolved into the Right of Challenge. Reghed society dictates that everyone gets their share (although not necessarily an equal share), the most important and stronger members of society get a bigger share than the lesser members of society (children, elderly, etc).
Anyone is entitled to claim a better position in society through the Right of Challenge, but first they must earn the right to that claim derived from the achievements of their family or through their own deeds. Those wishing to become a hunter must either be descended from great hunters, or go out on their own and hunt some dangerous animal (like a crag cat or polar bear), those wishing to become Anga of the tribe must be directly descended from one or kill some legendary creature like the white dragon Icingdeath.
The Council: Every month between Tarsakh and Uktar (the winter months are too fierce to leave the safety of a settlement) on the 1st day of the month, the Speakers of each of the Ten Towns all travel to Bryn Shander to attend a meeting of The Council.
The Council discusses various agendas, with each of the Speakers able to nominate one point for discussion providing he can find another Speaker to support his nomination. Most discussions revolve around fishing territories and disputes, but occasionally current events and threats to the Ten Towns are discussed.
Agreements of the council require a majority vote, such events are very rare indeed.
Fuel: Wood is a precious resource in the Ten Towns, the few trees that grow here are used as a building material not for burning. Only Lonelywood, Termalaine, and Good Mead gather deadwood for the fires, everyone else trades for whale or seal oil if they can afford it, and uses dried dung if they can’t.
The Reghed Barbarians are a group of humans descended from Norl migrants that fled the destruction of old Illusk around -2100 DR and came to the lands of Icewind Dale where they mixed with Ice Hunters that had been forced to relocate here originally from the lands around Illusk.
Over time the two groups mixed to form the Reghedmen, a nomadic hunter-gatherer society made up of different tribes that worshipped the Norl deity Tempos and sought out powerful animals to slay (which their tribes became named after).
Much of the recorded history of the Reghedmen is kept in songs and epic poems so they are prone to corruption and mingling with other events.
There are between 10,000 and 20,000 barbarians spread across the various tribes of the Reghedmen.
Tribe of the Elk: The largest and strongest of the Reghedmen tribes, this warlike tribe is led by Anga Heafstaag, mercilessly attacking goblins, orcs, even the frost giants of the Reghed Glacier as well as other Reghed tribes and even the Ten Towns.
Tribe of the Wolf: Second largest tribe of the Reghedmen and the only true rival to the Tribe of the Elf. Led by Anga Beorg
Tribe of the Bear: Led by Anga Haalfdane
Tribe of the Hoar Fox:
Tribe of the Great Cat: This tribe is so named for the striped crag cat (many southern zoologists incorrectly think this is a tiger and so have named the Tribe of the Tiger) that stalks the northern foothills of the Spine of the World.
Tribe of the Seal: This tribe spends the winter roaming the Sea of Moving Ice in search of seals to hunt. In the spring and summer months they migrate west along the Sea of Moving Ice to the coast of the Barbarian Tundra.
Tribe of the Snow Reindeer: This tribe spends almost its entire time on the Reghed Glacier, hunting herds of snow reindeer that do not migrate south to the Cold Run.
Icewind Dale is a thousand square miles of broken tundra bordered in the east by the Reghed Glacier, in the south by the nearly impassable Spine of the World mountains, and on the north and west by the Sea of Moving Ice.
The mountain of Kelvin’s Cairn and its surrounding lakes are the only major features in the icy tundra, with rivers from the Reghed Glacier winding through the dale and feeding the lakes while other rivers drain them south and west to the sea.
Icewind Dale is cold all year round. In the height of summer the temperature ranges from 1-8 Celsius, keeping the conditions just above freezing. In winter the temperature ranges from -15 to -6 Celsius. The rest of the year temperature ranges from -5 to 1 Celsius. The higher temperatures are usually daytime temperatures in good weather (not storm conditions), and the lower temperature is usually reserved for night or poor weather conditions.
Terrain at higher altitudes (such as Kelvin’s Cairn, or the Spine of the World mountains) can lower the high and low end temperatures by 5 degrees.
Cold winds blow down from the Reghed Glacier from east to west all year round, lowering temperatures by as much as 10 degrees in winter, and 1 or 2 degrees in summer.
Storms, particularly snow storms are a frequent occurrence all year round. In winter the wind speeds are high enough to flatten the poorly constructed shacks of Icewind Dale.
Hoar Foxes: White furred, arctic foxes, some possesses a breath weapon akin to a cone of cold.
Knucklehead Trout: This bony fish possesses an over-large skull that has become a prize commodity of the Ten Towns. It swims in the rivers and lakes of Icewind Dale, spawning in spring and reaching large numbers in summer. The Ten Towns rely on the knucklehead trout as a major food source (with an acquired taste), the skulls (known as knucklehead ivory) are then sold to scrimshanders to fashion into a variety of scrimshaw sculptures that have a growing trade market in southern lands.
Tundra Reindeer: This black and white spotted deer spends the years migrating in great herds between the Cold Run and the Reghed Glacier, all the while followed by the Reghed barbarians that hunt them.
In summer the reindeer migrate towards the Reghed Glacier, following the tundra scrub grass as they break through the thawing ground, it is rumoured lush lakes and green grass lie atop the glacier to feed these huge herds, but only the Reghed barbarians know the truth of this.
As winter approaches the reindeer herds race south and west along the coast (bordered by the Shaengarne River) to reach the relatively abundant lands of the Cold Run before the severe snowstorms make such a journey impossible.
Reghed barbarians consider the tundra reindeer herds to belong to their tribe, the citizens of the Ten Towns do not dare hunt the reindeer (and get caught) for fear of inviting the wrath of the barbarians upon their families. Desperate individuals however have been known to slay a lone deer for food.
Tundra Widowmaker: This small, white and grey striped snake is the lament of many a couple in Icewind Dale. In winter it searches for burrows dug under the ice by small mammals, which it eats and uses the tunnel to hibernate in. In summer it winds across the tundra searching for prey. It naturally avoids large creatures, but many a traveller has fallen foul of the Widowmaker when his foot plunges through the ice and into a burrow containing a sleeping snake.
Tundra Widowmaker are highly venomous, quickly paralysing prey and shutting down their thermoregulatory systems, which proves lethal in the freezing Icewind Dale.
Tundra Yeti: These primitive humanoid creatures are covered in brown fur in summer and white fur in winter, making them well camouflaged for life in Icewind Dale. They are fiercely territorial and carnivorous, but only actively hunt lone travellers (or small groups if really desperate).
Encountered in the dale, the tundra yeti are likely to be a group of 3 or 4 yeti out on the hunt. In the Spine of the World the tundra yeti will be a group of 20 or more adults defending their young and their lair.
Tundra yeti are inedible to most creatures.
Water Constrictor: This snake is a large, thick, silvery snake that lurks in shallow bodies of water, waiting for prey to loom overhead before it strikes with lightning speed. It is most dangerous in late spring and summer when pools of water dot the tundra, but it can also be found on the banks of the three lakes or the rivers that dot Icewind Dale. Its silvery colour allows it to camouflage in the water (particularly if ice or snow is around).
Water constrictors can grow up to 50 ft long (and longer according to some explorers), with the strength and speed to grab and kill a verbeeg. Some fishermen claim that water constrictors of enormous size have even wrapped themselves around their boat and crushed it to splinters.
Giants: Frost Giants live on the Reghed Glacier.
Goblins: Live in the Spine of the World but most often forced out by the bigger goblinoids and giants.
Ogres: Live in the Spine of the World
Orcs: Live in the Spine of the World
Blood Ice Tribe:
Barbarian Tundra: This region refers to the lands outside the Ten Towns, roughly north of the Shaengarne River, it is a land of endless flat plains covered in scrub grass and stunted bushes. In the winter this land is entirely covered in a blanket of frozen snow, which melts in spring, giving way to an icy bog.
Lone Tree: This isolated tree stands 10 miles from Lonelywood near the edge of the Sea of Moving Ice. It has numerous blocks of cut ice arranged around it, as though someone left them for lost travellers. Legends say this tree sprouted from the ground where a great ice floe cracked and sank into the see. The truth is that Kinnuki; the leader of the now vanished Tribe of the Hoar Fox, planted the tree at this site atop the bodies of his tribe (which he recovered from the sea). The tree grew during the Great Thaw in the muddy ground and has survived long after the ice returned to the dale.
Shaengarne River: The head of this river starts at the south-western tip of Maer Dualdon, with its mouth near Ironmaster as it empties into the Sea of Moving Ice. Along its route the Shaengarne is joined by tributaries from Dellon Lune and run off from the Spine of the World mountains.
In winter the Shaengarne is frozen over, although its waters run free beneath the ice. In spring and summer it is swollen by the vast amount of melt-water running off the Reghed Glacier and draining from Icewind Dale.
The river marks the southernmost border of the territory of the Reghed Barbarians for their seasonal migrations. It is filled with stocks of char and knucklehead trout, and in spring salmon swim upriver to spawn in the lakes of Icewind Dale.
Ten Towns: The land between Kelvin’s Cairn and the three lakes of Dellon-Lune, Maer Dualdon, Lac Dinneshere is known as the Ten Towns for the number of settlements that survive in the barely hospitable land surrounded by the hostile Icewind Dale.
The Ten Towns region is slightly warmer than the surrounding tundra, it lies atop a region of volcanic activity, keeping the land and the lakes unfrozen for a few days more than the surrounding tundra. The differences between the Ten Towns and the Barbarian Tundra are barely noticeable, but it means people can live here all year round if they can gather enough food to survive the harsh winters.
Bryn Shander (Town, 800): This walled settlement lies upon a low wide hill, south of Valladrul, halfway between Maer Dualdon and Lac Dinneshere. Bryn Shander is the economic centre of the Ten Towns, lying less than a days travel from Targos, Termelaine, Caer Konig, and Caer Dinneval. The majority of trade in Ten Towns comes to Bryn Shander, and caravans from Luskan travel almost exclusively to this town (although the last of them has usually left Bryn Shander by the end of summer).
The south of the town is given over almost entirely to visiting caravans and merchants, with inns and wainwrights present, although some traders shelter in empty shacks that are not uncommon in Bryn Shander. Bryn Shander is the site of a monthly meeting held between the Speakers of every settlement in the Ten Towns, although in recent years this meeting is held in a converted warehouse.
The Speaker of Bryn Shander, and leader of the Council of Speakers, is Cassius. Cassius has claimed the palatial former Council meeting house for his own residence.
Dellon-Lune: This lake is smaller and shallower than the others, and lies south of Lac Dinneshere, linked by a narrow water channel. Knucklehead trout populations are lower in this lake too, which often freezes over each winter, this has led to a number of confrontations between local fishermen and has led to the lake being renamed Redwaters after 4 boats of fishermen slew one another on the lake.
Dougan’s Hole (Hamlet, 50): The smallest and most isolated of the Ten Towns, it survives entirely on its fishing industry and does not welcome visitors.
Twenty Stones of Thruun: This perfect triangle of twenty, granite menhirs (with a single stone in the centre) just outside of Dougan’s Hole is of unknown origin, many believe it was laid by the Reghedmen when they first arrived in Icewind Dale. The only name associated with this site is Thruun.
It is known that on several occasions in the distant past during times of dire need, the Reghedmen have called upon a fiend known as Thruun the Hunter, who in return for a sacrifice of twenty severed hands (one placed on each stone) stalks his target and devours them alive.
Thruun is known to have aided the Reghedmen when they fought the giants of Kelvin’s Cairn, when they battled the goblin tribes of Skrigget, and hunted the traitor Anga Melstaag. After each summoning he wanders free until slain again, but always returns to the stones to which he is bound. Reghed legend speaks of a great battle between man and fiend, summoned by the shaman Arakon. Thruun was one such fiend who survived the battle, each time he was slain he would rise again, and so the shaman of each tribe worked great magic to bind him to the stones (each one sacrificing a hand to do so).
Good Mead (Hamlet, 70): This hamlet is named for its delicately flavoured mead, made with honey from bees adapted to living in the nearby pine woodlands. It has a fierce rivalry with Dougan’s Hole, made worse by priests of Tempus and the limited resources.
Dellon’s Run: This stream drains Lac Dinneshere into the Dellon-Lune, it is little more than a series of trickles and spills during autumn and winter, but in the spring and summer it turns into a raging torrent.
Kelvin’s Cairn: Legends of the dale hold that this snow capped mountain was created following a titanic battle between the god Tempus and the frost giant hero Kelvin Duarol. Tempus carved the rocks from the earth and piled them into a burial cairn as a mark of respect, leaving behind Kelvin’s Cairn and the Dwarven Valley. The mountain is certainly unusual in that it appears to be a pile of enormous boulders gathered into a burial mound.
The truth is likely far more mundane, Kelvin’s Cairn is probablt a dormant volcano that has not erupted in many millennia but the eruptions that created the mountain likely also collapsed part of the dale and created the rift of Valladrul, with the annual freeze and thaw pattern and nearby glacier carving valleys and caves into the mountain. The legend of Kelvin’s Cairn probably comes from the Reghedmen and their defeat of the frost giants (ruled by a king named Kelvin Duarol) that ruled the dale long ago.
Kelvin’s Cairn lies situated between Maer Dualdon in the north and west and Lac Dinneshere in the south and east, with the valley of Valladrul extending south from the lower slopes of the mountain.
The dwarves of Valladrul have mined extensively into and under Kelvin’s Cairn, chasing the veins of iron ore that snake through the mountain. The majority of the easy and large lodes have played out, and the tunnels extend deep into the mountain and even out beneath Bryn Shander and as far as Bremen. The surface of the mountain is unsettled, home to wild animals and monsters such as the striped crag cat.
Bremen’s Run: This natural causeway runs between Kelvin’s Cairn and Maer Dualdon, worn smooth by thousands of years of wind and ice and the former migrations of the Reghedmen.
The Cave: This abandoned cave leads into a tunnel network of dwarven make and design that leads down into the depths of Kelvin’s Cairn and rumours link it to the Underdark. When the dwarves first came to Icewind Dale, the valley was occupied by many strange creatures and so they first carved out a home in Cauradrul (their name for this cave). Their delving disturbed creatures deep in the mountain and after many battles they were forced to abandon their home and instead relocated to the valley below (driving the monsters out into the wilderness).
The Cave is now abandoned by the dwarves but frequently becomes home to giants, goblinoids, and monsters until they become a nuisance to the dwarves or the Ten Towns and adventurers are hired to drive them out (or the dwarves do it themselves).
Daledrop: This natural switchback sits at the far north-eastern end of Valladrul and is only accessible from Icewind Pass. It has been used by the dwarves many times as a natural bottleneck to defend their home.
Icewind Pass: This natural causeway runs between Kelvin’s Cairn and Lac Dinneshere, worn smooth by thousands of years of wind and ice and the former migrations of the Reghedmen. It is now guarded by the settlement of Caer Konig to watch for goblinoids and giants that come down to raid the Ten Towns.
Valladrul: Known as the Dwarven Valley to those in Icewind Dale, the name of this place literally translates as “Mountain Valley of the People”. Valladrul is a volcanic rift formed millennia ago by the collapse of the same volcanic vent that created Kelvin’s Cairn. It is home to the dwarves of Clan Battlehammer, an exiled family from Mithril Hall.
The entrance to the valley lies several miles north of Bryn Shander, leading deep into a cleft in the mountain where a pair of thick iron doors block the entrance to the halls where the dwarves live and mine and work the forges.
Maer Dualdon: The largest lake in Icewind Dale with the greatest population of knucklehead trout, it is also home to a population of spawn salmon during late spring. Maer Dualdon is sheltered from the winds of the Reghed Glacier by Kelvin’s Cairn, making the waters much calmer than Lac Dinneshere and the temperature higher.
Otters and birds are often seen on the lake, and clam beds litter the sand banks formed by the annual spring floods. The sight of Maer Dualdon is a tranquil scene for any explorer.
There are rumours of a sea serpent on the lake that occasionally attacks and capsizes boaths. These attacks always seem to happen at night and every so often the remains of a boat wash up on the shore with bite marks in the hull. There are in fact a family of plesiosaurs in the lake that were planted here as part of an Arcane Brotherhood plot to take over the running of Targos and Bremen (by ruining their fishing and scrimshaw economies and then solving the problem) that has yet to reach fruition.
Bremen (Town, 200): The town of Bremen is the most westerly of the Ten Towns, located on the western bank of Maer Dualdon at the head of the River Shaengarne. It is a friendly town with a few services that cater to the caravans from Ironmaster in summer. Bremen is one of the few settlements in Icewind Dale able to grow vegetables.
Farawood: The Farawood stands on the western shore of Maer Dualdon, north of Bremen and roughly parallel with Lonelywood. It is a small collection of pine trees and laurel plants in and around a 150 ft depression which holds a druidic circle of stones known as the Summer Circle. The pine and laurel growths are quite close together which makes the wood unusually warm but very difficult to move through.
This wood is a recent growth, planted in the muddy depression during the Great Thaw by Kinnuki to cover the site of the Tower of Damien Morienus. The wood has survived the climate of Icewind Dale and is too far away from Bremen to be used for logging which has increased its longevity.
Mituki, the Great Tree: This huge, ancient oak lies leaning inwards on the edge of a 150 ft depression many miles north of Bremen on the west shore of Maer Dualdon. The tree was once the burial place of the legendary barbarian hero Mituki of the Tribe of the Hoar Fox (a now vanished tribe of the Reghedmen), the tribe used to visit here every year on their annual migration to offer thanks to Mituki, until the Great Thaw collapsed the tree. Years later a great storm snapped off one of the limbs of Mituki.
The Reghedmen believe this land is cursed, linking the fall of Mituki to the sudden extinction of the Tribe of the Hoar Fox, the citizens of Bremen however hold a ceremony here each summer at the druid circle to ward off winter a few weeks longer.
The Summer Circle: This collection of 2 ft by 2 ft standing stones are arranged in a near perfect circle 20 ft wide circle at the bottom of a 150 ft wide depression filled with trees and laurel. Legends hold that the land around this region thawed completely about a century ago (a time known as the Great Thaw) and later the people of Bremen were able to plant crops all year round (for about 10 years until the winters returned in full force).
In truth the Summer Circle are actually the crenelations of the Tower of Damien Morienus, which sank deep into the mud during the Great Thaw that Damien indirectly caused through his summoning of demons to hunt his wife and enemies. All the inhabitants of the tower were trapped and most became undead, a few of which escape every now and then.
The Accursed Tower: Directly below the centre of the Summer Circle (about 3 ft below) is a trapdoor entrance in the top of what was once the Tower of Damien Morienus, which became briefly known as the Accursed Tower before it sank into the mud during the Great Thaw. The tower was originally raised by Damien Morienus, from a set of stone menhirs that already existed here long before his arrival. Using magic similar to that used in creation the Hosttower of the Arcane, Damien expanded, moulded, and shaped the stones to form his tower.
Damien Morienus still resides in Accursed Tower, cursed to forever roam the halls as an undead monster along with many of his loyal retainers. Occasionally one of these skeletal monsters will claw its way out of the tower and through the ground until it reaches the surface and menaces the living, which only reinforces the notion that this region is accursed.
When Yarmuth the Brown was slain by Damien and his guards, he cursed the tower, placing a Soul Ward on the whole building. This powerful magic is known only to the greatest of Myrkulites, it prevents the souls of the dead from leaving and migrating to the outer planes, instead trapping them inside their dead and decaying bodies.
Lonelywood (Village, 100): This isolated town is well protected from the elements and the monsters that regularly threaten the rest of the Ten Towns, it is surrounded by the Lonely Wood, sitting in a corner of Maer Dualdon. It takes little part in the politics of the Ten Towns.
Targos (Town, 650): This walled town of fishermen was once the largest of the Ten Towns and the economic centre of the dale, it has since been overshadowed by Bryn Shander. Targos is solely dependent upon fishing and knucklehead industries for survival, it boasts the largest fishing fleet in Icewind Dale.
Termalaine (Town, 400): Compared to the other settlements of the Ten Towns, Termalaine is almost picturesque, with wide cobbled streets lined with pine trees, and the Lonelywood to its north. It is one of the richest of the Ten Towns (especially considering its size), with lumber and mining industries supplementing fishing and scrimshaw.
Lac Dinneshere: The most northerly of the eastern lakes of Icewind Dale, this lake is as large as Maer Dualdon but is shallower and so has a slightly smaller population of knucklehead trout (but large enough to support the fishing industries of Caer Dinneval, Caer Konig, and Easthaven). The waters of the lake are blasted with the full force of the winds blowing off the Reghed Glacier, making the waters rougher than Maer Dualdon or Dellon-Lune.
Tree cover around Lac Dinneshere is low (the winds stunt tree growth), which forces birds to seek shelter in Maer Dualdon and Dellon-Lune. Lac Dinneshere has a rocky shoreline that keeps the lake from flooding but makes it more likely for novice fishermen to run aground on jagged rocks.
Caer Dineval (Town, 200): This settlement is built around an ancient and ruined keep atop the cliffs around the north shore of Lac Dinneshere. It was founded by ffolk refugees and has a fierce rivalry with Caer Konig to the north.
Caer Konig (Village, 150): Founded by northmen originally from Caer Dinneval, this small settlement was intended to be an outpost to guard the end of the Icewind Pass. It boasts its own keep, built to rival Caer Dineval, but the foundations are poor and it is regularly toppled by spring melts and goblinoid assaults.
Easthaven (Town, 500): The town of Easthaven is one of the newest settlements in Icewind Dale. Originally little more than a few shacks at the southern point of Lac Dinneshere, this town was transformed overnight by the sudden arrival of a thieves guild outcast from Cape Velen in Tethyr. Easthaven still has a frontier feel to it and is among the rougher towns in Icewind Dale.
Eastway: This road has only been formally established in the last 20 years, due to the rapid growth (by Icewind Dale standards) of Easthaven from a tiny village into a town . The Eastway has increased trade between Easthaven and Bryn Shander, and allowed Easthaven to grow even larger, enough to rival the long established Caer Konig and Caer Dinneval. There are snow covered paths that branch off this road and lead to Caer Dineval and Good Mead.
Reghed Glacier: This enormous glacier lies north and east of Icewind Dale.
Evermelt: A hot spring from inside the Reghed Glacier feeds this large, steaming, opaque pool on the edge of the Reghed Glacier.
Sea of Moving Ice: This region of constantly shifting ice floes of varying size hides ice covered rocks and islets or large islands. The whole geography of the region can change over night as icebergs move or the ice grows (or shrinks) to cover old waterways and uncover new ones. Only the bravest or craziest of sailors would even think of venturing into this sea, where floes can shift at a moments notice, crushing a ship like tinder, and passages can close up behind them preventing escape.
The Sea of Moving Ice is home to seals, walruses, polar bears, the frozen hulks of ruined ships, and even a few tribes of Reghedmen and other nomadic groups. Most Reghedmen sensibly avoid “the floating land” due to its deadly reputation, but it is part of the migration pattern of a few of the smaller tribes, such as the Tribe of the Seal.
There are rumours of ancient towers of unknown origin lying as many as a hundred miles out to sea, floating on icebergs or perched atop ice covered islands. Legends say that the Sea of Moving Ice was once completely frozen, while others depict it as ice free.
Tower of Ice: This 100 ft tall of crystalline ice stands far out in the middle of Sea of Moving Ice atop one of the few stable ice floes. This tower is shaped from opaque ice, magically transformed and hardened to make it as beautiful and as hard as diamond.
The Tower of Ice is one of the last remnants of the mighty realm of Ostoria, that ruled this region nearly 30,000 years ago, used by the giants as a focus for their climate transformation magics that once protected Ostoria from an inevitable ice age and then later doomed it to be covered by one.
The Tower of Ice is split into 3 stories, each 30 ft high (giving some clue to the stature of its builders). The top most level was supposed to hold some kind of pole or spike that was thrust through a bore in the ceiling and held in place by two gigantic arms emerging from the wall, but the bracket is empty and the device is now mysteriously absent.
Spine of the World:
Kuldahar Vale: This alpine valley cuts through the Spine of the World, it takes 3 days to travel through the Kuldahar Vale along the mountain trail but the vale itself is much larger, extending east to west for many miles. Much of the Kuldahar Vale is covered in pine trees and mountain laurel and so is shielded from the merchant caravans that pass through without anyone knowing its there.
Dorn’s Deep: This ancient hold of long lost Gharraghaur was refounded a millennia ago by refugees from fallen Mirarar (otherwise known as Ironstar). They were led by a war leader known as Dorn (a corruption of Doraunlor – the Iron Hammer Lord) who is believed to have led his warriors and their families following the disastrous fall of Ironstar Mountain.
The dwarves of Dorn’s Deep were famed for their skill at crafting magic arms and armour. They forged an alliance with elves from fallen Eaerlann in 894 DR when they came down to the plains to meet an approaching orc horde and rescued the beleaguered elves from certain destruction. Together the elves and dwarves made some of the finest items ever found in the North.
The alliance between elves and dwarves failed when both parties discovered the fruits of their labour were in orc hands (and each blamed the other for it). An orc horde descended upon Dorn’s Deep and the Severed Hand in turn, and without the assistance of their allies both races were doomed.
North Pass: Known as South Pass to those in Icewind Dale, this mountain route marks the entrance to Kuldahar Vale and Icewind Dale. This pass straddles the Spine of the World mountains and takes 3 days to travel through in good weather. It is renowned for sudden and fierce storms that can bury a caravan in snow in a few hours, with winds strong enough to throw a man to the ground.
The North Pass is one of the entrances to Kuldahar Vale, although most never realise they are travelling through the vale because of the thick pine and laurel growth on either side of the road (and a lack of desire to explore), but somebody has to restock the waystops with wood and it is the people of Kuldahar Vale that do it.
Ten Trail: This earthen path, marked by furrows worn into the ground from decades of caravans travelling along the rocky, broken ground on their way towards Icewind Dale. The Ten Trail starts in Hundelstone on the southern side of the Spine of the World mountains, and ends in Targos in Icewind Dale (although nobody travels further than Bryn Shander anymore).
There are no inns along the route to shelter or rest at (although some waystops and lean-tos exist for travellers to weather a storm), and the road is often plagued by crag cats, bandits, goblinoids, and even giants, all waiting to attack a laden caravan. Only the bravest, desperate, or foolhardy of caravans use this route, and yet scores of them travel along it every year.
Atremus Bellwether (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Expert 2): A caravan merchant often referred to as “Badweather” because of his poor luck. He has lost a total of 11 caravans to snowstorms, landslides, goblinoid raids, etc. It is whispered Atremus offended a priest of Beshaba and has suffered for it ever since. Despite his bad luck, Atremus always manages to find abandoned caravans, inherit them from family or friends, (one time a new caravan magically appeared before him on the trail, or so he claims) and so he is rarely out of business for long.
Baundoh (Neutral, Dwarf – Shield, Warrior 2): Baundoh is the son of a famous dwarven warrior Gaurkhon “Fellhammer”, who once slew 4 orcs single-handed with his iron maul. Baundoh desperately wants to emulate his father, and avenge his death at the hands of a tundra yeti.
Anga Beorg (Neutral, Human – Reghed, Warrior 3): This blonde king of the Tribe of the Wolf wants nothing less but total conquest of the Ten Towns.
Beorne Steelstrike (Neutral, Dwarf – Shield, Expert 3): Beorne Steelstrike is a veteran caravan master that, until very recently, toured the cities of the Sword Coast making his fortune from Amn to Luskan. Beorne has won and lost many a fortune sponsoring risky ventures and dangerous expeditions, now that he is approaching middle age he has moved to the Ten Towns for the quieter life.
Beorne is a hale and hearty dwarf with endless amounts of energy, he wears a brown bear skin for the cold and carries a hefty axe for negotiations (which he is more than capable of using well).
Beorne knows almost every route and backroad between Icewind Dale and Waterdeep, and half a hundred tales of lore about the lands inbetween. He can speak dwarvish, elvish, illuskan, tethyrian, orcish, and giantish, he can also understand twice as many other languages (mostly human), but he rarely lets on to his linguistic skills in a negotiation.
Speaker Cassius (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Expert 4): Cassius is the Speaker of Bryn Shander and likely the richest man in the Ten Towns. He is middle aged, small framed, with neatly trimmed grey hair and big blue eyes. Cassius takes his position as Speaker very seriously, mostly because much of his wealth is derived from his current status. He is a trained swordsman and many wonder if his former life did not involve some form of criminal activity (given his small frame).
Colwyde Bernezan (Evil, Human – Tethyrian, Expert 3): Colwyde only answers to the name deBernezan, few know his full name. He is a shady character from Luskan that is employed as a spy by the Arcane Brotherhood.
Damien Morienus (Evil, Undead – Crypt Thing [Formerly Human – Illuskan], Magic User 15): Damien Morienus was a great mage from Illusk, Master of the North Tower, and an incredibly skilled summoner. Although not an evil man (at first), he was very ambitious and unforgiving, as he entered his twilight years he became obsessed with achieving immortality and sought to learn the secrets of lichdom.
His research led him to discover the location of a lost enclave of Netheril; Ythryn, and he went to Icewind Dale in 1231 DR in search of it and the magical grimoires it was rumoured to contain. He was assisted in his researches by one of the most powerful priests of Myrkul, one Yarmuth the Brown, and together the two attained new depths of evil by experimenting upon the native Reghedmen.
Eventually the Anga (King) Kinnuki of the Tribe of the Hoar Fox stole into his tower to try and slay Damien and Yarmuth, instead he met with the imprisoned Mathild and helped her escape into the icy tundra. Damien’s wroth was great and he summoned two very powerful fiends; the devil Belhifet, and the marilith Yxunomei. With their assistance Damien opened a gate to Avernus near what would one day become Easthaven, and began melting the snow that hid Kinnuki and Mathild.
This melting caused the Great Thaw and saw the icy floes of the Sea of Moving Ice to collapse as the Tribe of the Hoar Fox was crossing them, it also turned Icewind Dale into a huge, stagnant morass as the permafrost melted. The mud caused the Accursed Tower to sink, and during its collapse Damien Morienus was rendered helpless. Belhifet and Yxunomei returned to the Accursed Tower and attempted to slay their master but upon his death he returned as a crypt thing, theythen began an endless feud that saw both of them exiled to the Material Plane permanently.
Damien Morienus persists, trapped inside his Accursed Tower, waiting to wreak his vengeance upon Kinnuki.
Speaker Dorbulgruf Shalescar (Neutral, Dwarf – Shield, Expert 3): Dorbulgruf Shalescar is the Speaker for Bremen, an elderly but calm dwarf whose addled wits are masked by his demeanour. Dorbulgruf has many connections in Ironmaster that he uses (or used) to his advantage.
Speaker Dorim Lugar (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Expert 2): Dorim Lugar is the Speaker for Caer Konig. He is a gaunt man with dark complexion and nervous disposition.
Dourgas (Good, Dwarf – Shield, Warrior 2): Dourgas is the son Argo “Grimblade”, an excellent but taciturn swordsman who could be a legend among the dwarves of Valladrul but is far to practical to take risks with his life. Dourgas is proud of his father’s achievements but wants to be a hero like those who died defending Mithril Hall.
Errtu (Evil, Tanar’ri – Demon): Errtu is one of the demon lords of the Abyss, commanding the 397th layer. Ten thousand years ago he was a demon in service to Malkizid, tempting the elves of House Vyshaan with limitless power. It was Errtu that helped the Vyshaan to craft Crenshinibon (using the selu’kiira of House Vyshaan to assist), and in the process created a weapon of awesome destruction.
Errtu lost a good portion of his power in the creation of Crenshinibon (something that he desperately wants back) and was banished back to the Abyss. He has spent millennia trying to obtain his most prize possession, but is always foiled at the last minute by the hands of Fate in the form of angelic devas, scheming illithids, and traitorous drow.
Now that Crenshinibon has been found once again, Errtu is drawn to it like a moth to a flame. He serves the holder of Crenshinibon, because the Crystal Shard holds a piece of Errtu, but like all demons Errtu will scheme and plot against his master until he is free and in possession of Crenshinibon at last.
Fenndas (Neutral, Dwarf – Shield, Expert 4): Fenndas son of Mahllot is a second cousin (once removed) to Bruenor Battlehammer, born after the dwarves of Clan Battlehammer arrived in Valladrul. He is an able administrator and a capable smith and warrior, most often left to organise the dwarves in the valley while Bruenor is off on one of his adventures.
Garagai (Neutral, Giant – Frost, Expert 5): Garagai is a former Skald for the Ird Karf, a giant once renowned for exploring the depths of Icewind Dale in search of the lost ruins of Karffbadh.
Garagai is now too old to continue his adventurous ways, and has long since retired as the skald for his clan of frost giants. He currently lives in an old lodge many miles west of Dellon-Lune, it was built ages ago by the giants of Karffbadh and has had many occupants in the millennia since.
Speaker Glensather (Human – Illuskan, Expert 1): Glensather is the Speaker for Easthaven.
Anga Haalfdane (Neutral, Human – Reghed, Warrior 3): Haalfdane is the rightful son of Raag Donnig, the last king to unite the Reghedmen and claim the title of Raag (roughly translating as over-king). Haalfdane is the leader of the Tribe of the Bear.
Anga Heafstaag (Evil, Human – Reghed, Warrior 5): Heafstaag, son of Hrothulf the Strong, son of Angaar the Brave, this huge, red haired barbarian is over 7 ft tall and almost as wide, he is a brutal warrior interested only in plunder, glory, and inflicting death upon his enemies. Heafstag is renowned as the thrice killer of the Great Bear who crushed his left hand, twice conqueror of Termelaine, hunter of the White Stag who gored out his right eye, he leads the Tribe of the Elk with an iron will.
Hruna (Neutral, Dwarf – Shield, Warrior 1): A caravan master, she delivers iron ingots, and worked goods from Valladrul to Bryn Shander for trade.
Ingeloakastimizilian (Evil, Dragon – White): The consort of Icasaracht the White Queen, rumoured to lair in the Evermelt.
Speaker Jensin Brent (Good, Human – Ffolk, Warrior 2): Jensin is the Speaker for Caer Dinneval, appointed for being the most trustworthy man in the settlement. He is young, golden haired, innocent looking, and a courageous warrior.
Jensin recently discovered the Nightsword in a secret room in the cellars beneath Caer Dineval, his possession of the sword has begun to twist his mind, making him appear bolder and more courageous, training in combat at every opportunity. The sword is also making him more violent during his training (although none have yet noticed), and ever more ruthless in his outlook.
Jensin is attracting a group of loyal followers, each sworn to serve him (they actually swear with hands on the Nightsword and the oath of service is ambiguous enough that they are actually swearing to serve the sword itself), each of these followers is a brave warrior, and all are being slowly twisted by the sword’s influence, they are known as the Knights of the Black Sword.
Speaker Kemp (Evil, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 3): Kemp is the Speaker for Targos, he is a stern, no-nonsense man that has bullied, bribed, and threatened his way to the position of Speaker and will accept no challenge to his status. Kemp is of middling height, barrel-chested, with large notted arms. Kemp claims to be a wilderness man from the Savage Frontier that came to Targos seeking a new life, many believe he is a man on the run
Anga Kinnuki (Neutral, Human – Reghed, Warrior 10, Expert 3): Kinnuki is the last surviving member of the Tribe of the Hoar Fox of the Reghedmen. He is 7 ft tall, muscled, covered from head to foot in polar bear furs but beneath the layers he is clearly ancient, with age spots covering his body. He carries a 12 ft hunting spear, a two handed great axe with obsidian blade, a silver necklace with a pendant in the centre of an elk and bear doing battle, a silver ring of flowing waves (water elemental command), and a pair of silver bracers.
Kinnuki lost his tribe during the Great Thaw, which he inadvertantly caused by rescuing Mathild; the wife of Damien Morienus, from her evil husband. Damien summoned demons to find his wife, and they unleashed horrifying fire magics to melt the ice. The great floes north of the Shaengarne began to melt and sink into the Sea of Moving Ice, Kinnuki and his tribe were travelling through the region when this happened and were lost in the waters. Only Kinnuki and his daughter (with Mathild) survived.
The Great Thaw was over a century ago, and Kinnuki has turned from a brave warrior and Anga (roughly translating as king) of his tribe, to a druid and wildman. It is unknown how he has survived to this great age, but some suspect he made a pact with some power for vengeance upon Damien Morienus.
A student of the old ways, Kinnuki speaks an archaic bastardisation of Ice Hunter and Illuskan. He knows more about the hidden locations of Icewind Dale than anyone else alive.
Korux (Neutral, Dwarf – Shield, Warrior 1): A guard that delivers iron ingots, and worked goods to Bryn Shander for trade.
Nymetra Myskyn (Neutral, Dragonborn – White, Warrior 4): Nymetra was, 50 years ago, one of the Reghedmen of the Tribe of the Bear, and the daughter of a chieftain. Nymetra sought to prove herself by fighting one of the remorhaz of the Reghed Glacier, instead she found a way into Icingdeath’s lair and pledged her service to the white dragon in return for her freedom. Transformed by ancient rites into a dragonborn and sent out into the world to seed the knowledge of Icingdeath’s lair among the Ten Towners and Reghedmen, Nymetra has long since abandoned her master and sought solace among other humanoids. Nymetra has joined the Legion of the Chimera for safety.
Oobok (Good, Dwarf – Shield, Warrior 1): A guard that delivers iron ingots, and worked goods to Bryn Shander for trade.
Regbald Stonethrower (Evil, Dwarf – Shield, Warrior 1): Regbald Stonethrower is a warrior originally from Mirabar who has signed on with numerous caravans over the years. He is surly and cowardly, and is known among the caravan companies of the North for abandoning his employers when things get rough, as a result he can only now get work among the more dangerous routes such as those to Icewind Dale.
Revjak (Neutral, Human – Reghed, Warrior 2): Revjak, son of Jorn the Red, is a warrior in the Tribe of the Elk.
Stokely Silverstream (Neutral, Dwarf – Shield, Warrior 3): Stokely Silverstream is a cousin of Bruenor Battlehammer and childhood friend of the ruler of Valladrul. Stokely is more often left in charge of the dwarves when Bruenor heads off on one of his adventures. Stokely has lived in Valladrul for as long as he can remember and has spent most of his youth exploring the mines and tunnels that work their way under the mountain, as a result he is an expert prospector and can “sniff” out a mineral lode from 40 paces (or so he claims).
Storn (Neutral, Dwarf – Shield, Warrior 1): A guard that delivers iron ingots, and worked goods to Bryn Shander for trade.
Torrga “Icevein” (Evil, Shield – Dwarf, Warrior 1): Torrga is an outcast among the dwarves of Valladrul, kicked out for theft, blackmail, and attempted murder. Barely an adult, Torrga spends her days driving a dogsled caravan between the Ten Towns where she trades for food, wine, furs, medicines, and black market goods. As a side business she takes travellers between settlements and also takes on bounties for the Speakers.
Torrga is black hearted and without mercy, she steals from those she can overpower or murder in their sleep, sells passengers to bandits and goblinoids, and deals fake goods as often as stolen goods.
Yarmuth “the Brown” (Evil, Undead – Ghoul [Formerly Human – Illuskan]): Yarmuth the Brown was a powerful priest of Myrkul renowned for his ability to create undead of all kinds. He was commissioned by Damien Morienus of Illusk to help him achieve a form of lichdom not seen since the time of Netheril.
Together Damien and Yarmuth went in search of the enclave of Ythryn, rumoured lost in the Spine of the World mountain range, finding evidence that it crashed in Icewind Dale. Using magic recovered from the frozen tundra, the two experimented upon the native Reghedmen until circumstances drove Damien and his wife apart and engineered the downfall of Damien, Yarmuth, and the Accursed Tower.
As the tower sank into the mud and all his works were undone, Damien lost his mind and saw enemies everywhere including his former ally Yarmuth, and the two battle to the injury of both. Eventually the two inflicted much harm on one another and retreated to separate corners of the tower, Damien’s retainers attacked and slew the weakened Yarmuth, but not before Yarmuth put a Soul Ward curse on the entire tower which would mean the souls of anyone who died would remain trapped in their decaying bodies.
Clan Sunblight: The shadow dragon Shimmergloom of Mithril Hall evicted the dwarves of Clan Battlehammer from their home centuries ago with the aid of the duergar of Clan Sunblight (locally known as BukBukken among the duergar).
After the conquest of Mithril Hall, Shimmergloom learned about the history of the nearby fallen kingdom of Ironstar and believed the dwarves of Mithril Hall had taken a powerful artefact with them that he very much desired to possess. He charged Xardorok with destroying the dwarves of Clan Battlehammer and retrieving the artefact.
Xardorok has travelled to the Spine of the World mountains and established a base amid a ruined complex in the mountains. From here Xardorok has been building his forces and resources while exploring Icewind Dale and scouting out his enemies.
Cult of Frost: In a frozen land beset by fierce cold and deadly winters, it is no surprise that the worship of Auril always has a place in Icewind Dale. Roaming zealots try to convince the locals to sacrifice to Auril in order to save themselves from her wrath, all the while searching for ancient magics that could help plunge the world into an endless winter.
Frozenfar Expeditions: This organisation has shops in every settlement in Icewind Dale, making money selling provisions and gear to adventurers, explorers, and anyone else that might need to travel in Icewind Dale. The shops are just a means to make money to support the organisations true goal; rescuing lost or kidnapped individuals in the wilds of Icewind Dale.
Frozenfar Expeditions was actually first established by Kinnuki of the lost Tribe of the Hoar Fox, who has spent many decades rescuing individuals lost in the fierce storms that strike Icewind Dale. His shelters and stocked lean-to’s have been a life-saving boon to weary travellers trapped by the winter snow. Those he has rescued have often been adventurous types, and more than a few have dedicated their futures to helping continue Kinnuki’s efforts, creating Frozenfar Expeditions.
Ird Karf: The frost giants of Icewind Dale are mostly descended from a single stock, the inhabitants of the now vanished nation of Karffbadh which once existed on the peninsula that is today covered by the Sea of Moving Ice.
The frost giants of Ird Karf are the strongest group of giants in Icewind Dale and until the arrival of the Reghedmen, they controlled all the lands of Icewind Dale, clustered around the peak of Kelvin’s Cairn. The Reghedmen slew the Jarl of the Ird Karf and broke the power of the Isejotunen in Icewind Dale.
Today the frost giants of Ird Karf dwell on the outskirts of the dale (particularly in the wilderness around the Ten Towns), amid the Spine of the World mountains, atop the Reghed Glacier, and in ancient ruins in the Sea of Moving Ice. They long to reclaim their position of dominance in the region and rediscover the lost legacies of Karffbadh, but even their skalds have no idea where the ruins of that ancient city now lie.
Knights of the Black Sword: The Knights of the Black Sword in its current incarnation are a handful of young men from Caer Dineval, loyal to Speaker Jensin Brent (the holder of the Nightsword) for whom they act as bodyguards and agents. The group is less than two years old, but already they are working to increase conflict between Caer Dineval and Caer Konig, as well as gather riches and magic from all over Icewind Dale (by legitimate or nefarious means).
Unknown to Jensin Brent or the other members of this cabal, the Knights of the Black Sword are an ancient group that have been recreated many times and in many places over the years as the Nightsword seeks to locate and wreak vengeance upon its creators. When the Nightsword was first brought to Icewind Dale in the hands of the Dinev family, the Knights of the Black Sword were a secret cabal within their ranks. As the Dinev’s expended their power against the goblinoids, the ranks of the Knights dwindled, but the connection to the sword and their secret oaths remained.
A few of the original cormyreans survived, either joining with the nomadic Reghedmen or remaining in isolated groups around Kelvin’s Cairn and their descendants mingling with the refugees from fallen Illusk. Some of those whose ancestors swore an oath on the Nightsword and still possess a token (a stone with a black sword etched in it) will find themselves unable to disobey a command from the holder of the Nightsword.
Legion of the Chimera: Icewind Dale has a larger than normal population of half-breeds, especially considering its low “normal” population numbers. There are part dragon, part demon, part devil, part orc, and many other combinations of creatures. Dragons have always been present around the Spine of the World mountains in large numbers (especially white dragons), orcs are similarly numerous in the region, but the part demon and part devil half-breeds are almost all descended from Belhifet and Yxunomei; two powerful fiends summoned by Damien Morienus and freed upon his death.
While these chimeric people are not welcome among the xenophobic illuskans, they have found solace among their half-breed kin in the isolated regions of the Dale. These half-breeds have been gathered together into a group known as the Legion of the Chimera, led by the children of Belhifet; Isair and Madae. The Legion was even secretly responsible for orchestrating an attack on Targos and Kuldahar in 1310 DR.
Isair and Madae are supposedly long gone, slain by adventurers, but the Legion of the Chimera has survived and its members are trying to secretly infiltrate the Ten Towns.
Steelstrike Traders: This one man caravan company makes a living travelling between the Ten Towns, trading for the goods of each settlement before bringing them to market in Bryn Shander. Beorn Steelstrike is one of the few traders that dares travel during the first and last days of winter before any of the other merchants, and so gets the best goods to bring to market.
Torg’s Shipping: Torg’s Shipping is another caravan company run by a single person that specialises in trading goods between the Ten Towns settlements. It is run by Torrga “Icevein”, who will bring or fetch any person or any item to or from anywhere in the Ten Towns at any time of year (although it costs significantly more in winter) aboard her sleigh pulled by a team of dogs.
Charlsidyan: This icy cold black crystal is formed from the places where Crenshenibon or one of its Cryshal Tirith towers has come into contact with the ice of the frozen tundra.
Crenshinibon: This foot long sliver of black crystal is tapered like an icicle and pulses with a dark glow. It was created millennia ago by the lords of House Vyshaan as a mythal weapon that was supposed to be linked to the mythal of Aryvandaar, able to create obelisks of black crystal that could fire beams of energy at invaders. Instead the creation went awry, the Crysharael (meaning Crystal Heart which was the intended item to be created) absorbed the sentiences and power of it’s creators and shattered into a hundred pieces that were scattered across the planes.
Crenshinibon was the largest of these shards and it possessed the bulk of the power and intelligence of Crysharael. It has been as far away as Zakhara, fallen into the hands of the houses of Menzoberranzan, and finally cast into the Spine of the World to be forgotten and lost to the world. Crenshinibon however has its own aims and always manages to find a pawn to spread evil.
Crenshinibon is a name of its own choosing, a corrupted and demonic twisting of elvish that roughly translates as “the sun’s discarded heart-tree”. It possesses the malice and ambition of 7 of the most ancient and elven Vyshaan lords as well as a significant chuck of Errtu himself. Like the Vyshaantar, Crenshinibon seeks to conquer the world, and it has a special hatred for the drow, it will seek to exert its control over anyone possessing the Crystal Shard (slowly or immediately depending upon its power level), and force them to begin a war of conquest against everyone.
Crenshinibon draws its power directly from the Weave like most magic items, however, it can draw upon such power in limitless quantities (depending upon the strength of the Weave), rather than waiting for the Weave to recharge its energies. In Icewind Dale the Weave is not as strong as elsewhere, and so it’s reserves are quickly depleted unless another energy source becomes available (such as sunlight). Even then, Crenshinibon is unable to manifest more than a score of its powers in a single day, and it cannot create more than two crystal towers at the same time.
Crenshinibon, when held, allows the possessor to draw upon its energies, acting as a spell pool and an Evil Node (tier 5-10), it also makes the possessor immune to cold energy. The possessor may create a crystal tower, a huge 4 story obelisk that can fire beams of concentrated energy on command. When within the tower, the possessor may scry upon any location within a 5-10 mile radius using any of its walls (they act as black mirrored surfaces), he may also create mirror doors through those surfaces to the scried destination.
The power of Crenshinibon depends upon the level of magical energies around it, in areas of greater power it can provide more spells and energy to its owner. When it creates a crystal tower, Crenshinibon lies at the heart of that tower, in order to create multiple crystal towers at the same time, additional pieces of the Crysharael must be found. If all the pieces are united then the Crystal Heart may be restored.
Dead Man’s Face: The ancient northmen of Illusk used to fashion the plain iron helmets with a hinged face plate. Famous or long lived warriors would often have the face plate tooled to resemble their own face. In death their name and description of their demise would be etched onto the inside of the face plate and the warrior buried with his helm. It was believed that the helms of true warriors would be blessed by Tempos and imbued with magical powers.
Many of the magic helms would be excavated and reused, leading to a littany of names and descriptions on the inside of these helms, some of them possessing powerful magic such as being able to resist dragonfear. The survivors of Illusk that migrated to Icewind Dale and became the Reghedmen brought a number of these helmets with them. Today the few helmets that survive are bestowed upon brave warriors and the king of a tribe to wear into battle.
Ice Throne: The Ice Throne (known as the Ise Throne or Seat of Snow to the frost giants) is one of 7 near identical, giant sized thrones carved out of solid obsidian and covered in a perpetual layer of ice.
These Ice Thrones were carved for each of the jarldoms of the Ird Karf, the survivors of the lost city and nation of Karffbadh. On a lone hillock known as Jarlmoot, in the foothills of the Spine of the World mountains, many miles south and west of the Ten Towns, the jarls of the Ird Karf used to meet to maintain their familial ties and discuss matters of importance.
The Ice Thrones are rumoured to possess many magical powers, including extending the life of those sitting in it (but only while they sit on the throne) and to call powerful blizzards to the region around it. It is rumoured that at the last meeting of Jarlmoot, the seven jarls were attacked by the white dragons of Hoarfaern and several were literally frozen solid into their throne. Over the millennia their bodies decayed completely, but their spirits remained bound to the thrones.
Today the Ice Thrones are spread out across the region, claimed by giants and goblinoids from the Spine of the World and Icewind Dale. If they are restored to Jarlmoot, it is said that the spirits of the jarls may allow individuals access to the vault beneath Jarlmoot, but only if they prove worthy.
Nightsword of Dinev: The Nightsword of Dinev is a family heirloom of the (believed to be) extinct Dinev family from Arabel in Cormyr. It’s blade was completely black and it possessed the ability to produce clouds of magical darkness and inspire fear in those around it.
It was originally constructed by the Archmages of Netheril from the enclave of Ythryn during the Age of Exploration when the elite of Netheril experimented with creatures and magics from the Outer Planes. A fiend of the lower planes was bound into the Nightsword, giving it a fell personality and a desire to seek vengeance against its creators. Whoever wields the Nightsword is gradually turned towards evil, compelled to commit acts of violence and betrayal, it also attracts evil towards it from afar. In order to complete its goal of vengeance against its creators, the Nightsword gathers together likeminded (evil) individuals into a cabal called the Knights of the Black Sword, these servants are sent out to find word of its creators and to gather resources to fight against them.
The Dinevs were supposedly slain in the orc assault on Castle Dinev in 1058 DR, and the sword was believed buried with Garren Dinev who was supposedly laid to rest near the site of the current inn known as Dinev’s Rest (the dead and dying were buried as they fled from the orcs).
In truth the orc assault came in the middle of the night and took the Dinev family by surprise. The youngest daughter grabbed the Nightsword and fled into a safe room in the cellars. Unable to leave because the orcs occupied the castle, she starved alone, in the dark, and the Nightsword remained with her. That is until Speaker Jensin Brent discovered the secret room during one of the many excavations of the original castle’s foundations.
The Nightsword is beginning to dominate his mind, making him more bold (and seemingly courageous) but prone to violence during his training sessions and less merciful during real combat.
Seven Seedlings of the Verdant Sages: The immature offspring of the wisest treants in the entire Northlands. Rumoured to possess the power to transform land into pristine wilderness, restoring its natural beauty.
Dwarf Tunnels: The people of the Ten Towns believe the dwarves of Valladrul have built a network of secret tunnels throughout Icewind Dale (some say for nefarious purposes, others believe to protect the Ten Towns).
It is true that the dwarves have built many tunnels in Icewind Dale, the majority of these tunnels predate the existence of the Ten Towns and spread out to previously exploited lodes in Kelvin’s Cairn. Since the Ten Towns has sprung into existence the dwarves of Valladrul have added tunnels to each of the settlements, allowing them speedy and secret access to the settlements if needed.