8/23/2014

Icons of the Ashen Coast: The Ice Titan and the King of Thun

Two very different Kings, both desiring to defeat their enemies and bring the Ashen Coast to their heel.

The Ice Titan, Shattradin. is a good example of using Icons to gauge interest in plot hooks. If any of my players choose him as one of their relationships, I'll have a good idea of the kind of stories their interested in. 

The Ice Titan was a dangling plot thread written into the Ashen Coast long ago. Since reading the 13th Age Bestiary I've been able to flesh him out a little. I like the idea of playing a barbarian who's fled the True King's rule. Maybe someone else in my group will run a game on the Coast some day and I'll get to!



THE ICE TITAN
The True King of the frost giants, who desires that the Ashen Coast become a land of ice and snow fit for his kin. 

Quote
'We can prosper only if the cycle is destroyed; there must only be winter.'

Usual Location
In his glacial fortress at Hammercrag Fell. This ice palace is the coldest point even in that freezing land of permanent winter.

Common Knowledge
The Frost Titan, Shattradin, rules Hammercrag Fell and desires to turn the warm and pleasant lands across the Coast, and eventually beyond, into a realm of indefinite chill. The remaining peoples that live there, the winter tribes, revere Shattradin as a god, and ride great white sabretooth cats into battle at his behest. Worse still are Shattradin's close kin, the frost giant jarls, who have stopped fighting amongst each other to serve their this new True King.

The Ice Titan's patience is glacial and every passing year the frosts spread further. It is only a matter of time before the seas themselves are a part of Shattradin's frigid domain.

Adventurers and the Icon
Whilst it's rare for adventurers to serve the Frost Titan or his giant kin directly, the winter tribes will at times venture into the lowlands looking for hired hands. Some have even left the Fell, seeking adventure. These barbarians often find the clement climate of the coast almost as hard to adapt to as the strange civilised behaviour of those who live within it.

Allies
None of the icons have anything to gain by seeing the world plunged into eternal winter.

Enemies
The High Thane of the Dwaves desires to reclaim the Fell, and one day he may be a threat enough for Shattradin to notice. The Lady of the Woods is more proactive, attempting to unite the scattered goliath tribes; if she were to succeed, then the Ice King would have an enemy worthy of the name. 

History
Frost giant jarls have inhabited the Vycarian Spires for time immemorial, making their home in the dense peaks, largely warring amongst themselves and only rarely sending raiding parties in the lowlands. Then the great Titan, Shattradin, appeared. The frost giant sagas say that he was born of the ice to lead them to victory. Humanoid scholars say that he likely arrived through a portal from a plane of ice or air. Either way, he was revered by the frost giants and swiftly united the jarls. He then cast a powerful spell to freeze Hammercrag Fell. Frost giants soon marched into the lowlands, smashing the unprepared and scattered goliath tribes before they could organise and unite. Hammercrag Fell was the new home of the frost giants, plunged into an eternal winter. Shattradin used magic and the might of his people to build a huge glacial palace befitting his stature there. 

The True Danger
Everything will be alright as long as the Ice Titan cannot secure power enough to perform the ritual required to turn the Ashen Coast into a wintery home for his people in one swoop. 

Of all the Icons, I found the King of Thun the most difficult to write. He serves the same purpose as the Emperor in 13th Age - supporting him is supporting the status quo. I took a leaf out of the 13th Age core book and kept the writeup for the King brief. I trust my players to help me fill in the blanks.


THE KING OF THUN
Standing strong against myriad threats, Thun stands, prospering despite the evils gathering beyond its walls. 

Quote
'The Kingdom cannot rely on the eastern spice trade, we must strike out and take prosperity with our mailed fist!'

Usual Location
The Grey Keep in Thunaar. The keep has stood as the seat of the royal family since the desecrated Royal Palace was burnt to the ground during the uprisings that followed the Empire of Turin's defeat. 

Common Knowledge
Thun stands strong in the face of adversity. Its people have suffered enough in living memory, and the King would have them suffer no more. Each threat must be dealt with if the Kingdom is prosper and return to its historical status as a powerful centre of trade. These threats exist everywhere, however - the evil clerics to the north of the Plague Bulwark are a constant reminder of the old empire's evil; pirates roam the Great Ocean; and dark cults are forever in the shadows. 

Yet of late the King has seemed distracted and is often absent from court. For such a passionate man, this dereliction of his duty is very strange. The people grow concerned. 

Adventurer's and the Icon
Is there any greater honour than serving your King? The King needs strong and able hands if he is to see Thun through these turbulent times. 

Allies
A longstanding alliance with the Elven Baron means the free peoples of the lowlands stand united. The High Priestess sees the spiritual needs of the King's people. The Platinum Shield is a bulwark between evil and the Kingdom. 

Enemies
The Dread Pirate stands between Thun and control of the sea. Naval superiority cannot be safely re-established while he still lives. The Tenebrae Cabal is a blight on the Kingdom, and to see it purged and its lands freed would be a glorious victory. 

History
King Pedro II rules through birthright, tracing his lineage back to the kings and queens of old, before the Empire of Turin swallowed up all the free nations. 

The True Danger
Everything will be alright as long as the King is on the throne. 

So, as always, what would your relationship be with these icons? Would you fight against a land of frost and snow - or stand with it, hoping to secure your own power in a new, frigid, order?