Monday, January 6, 2014

Fireseek: Winter Things of Greyhawk

As I sit inside during what future scholars will call the Great Midwest Polar Vortex, I lament the loss of good gaming time and I curse the gods of winter. Then I started thinking back on a few things cold or winter related in Greyhawk:

Wintershiven: Capital of the Theocracy of the Pale. I've always wondered the word origin for this place. Is it known to be a cold place generally or is to emphasize the Pale's cool reception for outsiders?

Winter Wolves: Worgs and dire wolves are fun but winter wolves beat them all. Plus their fur brings in a pretty penny as a coat or blanket; 5000 gp according to Dragon #137.

Vatun: Despite his imprisonment and his unfortunate impersonation by Iuz, Vatun's Blades of Corusk had some of the greatest backstories and the best multi-part quest ever constructed for that half of the setting. If only TSR and Carl Sargent had followed through on the legend and actually brought back Vatun and his barbarian empire in the North (instead of adding redundant Mayaheine one could argue). That would be a great point for a rebooted Greyhawk.

Telchur: Who could forget leave out this icy bastard? Two winter gods was too many so he got rid of Vatun. Whats most interesting is that he allegedly had help from the arch-devil Belial (a strange alliance). Evidently he is also in league with the Wolf Lord and the Slaad lords. Yeah, nice deity there.

Thrym: The frost giant deity Thrym is a puzzler. In the original Deities & Demigods fire giants worship Surtur, so why not Ymir for the frost? Thrym was a king of the joten yes, but not a god per se. Sure Ymir was more of a primordial god in norse creation but that never stopped Marvel comics from using him.

Land of Black Ice: Everyone knows this place. So much going on there. Here's one thing I bet no one else ever tried. I once had a 2nd Edition campaign where the black ice melted (some curse removed I think) and the land forms beneath was exposed, leading to a rush for explorers. The black ice had covered the remains of an ancient empire (Flan I'm sure) whose secrets would've come to light had 3e not come along. Hm, I'm not sure if I still have that map laying around or not...

Icy Sea: I'll end on this thought. If the Land of Black Ice glacier is truly black then the Icy Sea should have lots of black icebergs yeah?





8 comments:

Mystic Scholar said...

I've always wondered about that "diss" to Ymir myself. Howard used him Conan and then there was Marvel, as you said.

What's up with that? yet another WotC mystery we will never get to the bottom of. Pity!

Joseph Bloch said...

It could also be argued that in Norse mythology the kings of the Jotens *are* as like unto Gods.

Your mention of the Land of Black Ice also made me think of this post of mine from several years ago:

http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com/2010/07/land-of-black-ice-and-hollow-oerth.html

grodog said...

If you find that LOBI map, Mike, do please post it---it sounds quite cool. I also like the idea of black icebergs too, particularly if they wander farther afield....

Allan.

mortellan said...

Mystic: yes, perhaps it was a conscious decision by gygax to be different.

Joseph: It would be nice then to see a larger hierarchy of the FG pantheon.
Ah yes, hollow-oerth. gotta love mysterious geography!

Allan: I always turn up old game maps but most are pretty sketchy. This one was done on graph paper in color iirc. I'll search.

Lee B said...

Black icebergs as roving temples for a revived winter deity? Powered by giant walruses and hiding an altar of unhatched frost dragons perhaps...

grodog said...

I like the way you think, Lee: "Winter is Coming"!

Or perhaps "the Fimbulwinter is coming" is more like it? ;)

Allan.

Patrick Ciraco said...

Always wondered where a good Canadian Winter could be transferred on the Greyhawk map...
and it seems Theocracy of the Pale best matches this? No?
Maple surup region? Hmmm...

:)

Cheers

caribdevist said...

Oh man, if the Black Ice melted, imagine the flood myths that'd be generated. It'd be well nigh apocalyptic.