the Ice-King
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The so-called "Ice-King" is the evil commander of an army of giants who dwell in the Crystalpeak Mountains of northern Cyrendar.

Little is known of his background or his true identity, other than his lair is the ancient fortress of Jorgenfist.

BACKGROUND


In stone giant society, those born with an innate magical ability are often marked. Although these markings border on deformities, a stone giant gifted with sorcererous power can expect a role of honor and power in his tribe. The disadvantage of unsightly crystalline growths on the skin or a diminished physical stature are outweighed by the increase in social status and respect. When the stone giant Mokmurian was born, his parents were thus pleased with his diminutive stature. Mokmurian grew slowly, and as he became a young adult he stood barely more than ten feet tall. His parents and kin waited anxiously for him to develop the magical powers his deformity promised, yet Mokmurian had a secret he dared not reveal. He knew he had no burgeoning inborn magical ability. He knew he was nothing more than an unsightly runt. And he knew that when he reached full adulthood without developing the gifts of the elders or sorcerous talent he would be shamed and likely exiled.

So Mokmurian fell to study, secretly poring over the texts of spellbooks taken from captured adventurers or taboo magical writings preserved in stone from the days of Stor-Val. It took him years, but eventually the giant self-taught himself mastery of the art of magic. Casting spells as a wizard but hiding his need to study, he successfully posed as a sorcerer to his tribe for nearly three decades. It wasn’t until he took a wife that his charade collapsed, for when she discovered his hidden spellbooks, she confronted Mokmurian in rage and shame. In desperation, he killed her with his magic, but before he could conceal his crime, his tribe’s elders found out. They burnt his books, censured him as a traitor, and exiled him into the wild.

Humiliated, enraged, and alone, Mokmurian wandered the Crystalpeak Mountains. Forced to conserve his prepared spells for emergencies and harried constantly by other stone giants, Mokmurian decided to seek solace in one of his people’s taboo lands—the Vale of the Black Tower. This ancient ruin held dark memories of the Stor-val tribe, and most giants avoided it as a result. Mokmurian found the place to be strangely soothing, and when he discovered not only a network of caves below the site, he ventured inside, only to be encountered by Teraktinus; a powerful wizard and apprentice of Karzoug.

Teraktinus spent several years more studying the magic of the library, organizing its holdings, and translating the ancient texts. All the while, as he grew more powerful, the seething seed of humiliation festered. His need to return to his tribe and show them just how powerful he became entangled with a growing desire ot comnquer the lands of Cyrendar. He had learned that most, if not all, of the land’s mighty monuments had been built by his Iskari ancestors, yet now, much of the land was infested with weakness and sloth; with peasants who cared little for imperial Iskari history and who treated his ancestors’ triumphs as curiosities at best or silly bed-time stories at worst.

In his studies, Teraktinus learned also of the runelords and their mighty cities. Most of these cities were gone; destroyed by the catastrophic events of Skyfall that laid low the Iskari Empire so long ago. Yet rumors persisted that one of these ancient cities had survived through the ages; Shalast, the city of greed. Teraktinusgrew obsessed with it. If he’d found such power and secrets in this remore, desolate ruin, how much treasure and lore might await him in a lost Iskari city? Teraktinus devoted the next ten years of his life to the search for Shalast, he traveled across the Wyn Myr in a small hired ship, and endured countless hardships, but when he finally discovered the site of the ancient city, he was not disappointed.

Yet Shalast was not abandoned. Where once dwelt the armies and artisans of Runelord Karzoug now lived monsters; cruel and bickering factions of lamias, flights of dragons, degenerate tribes of skulking humanoids, pockets of immortal devils bound to ancient ruins, and even bands of bitter cloud giants.

Relying on his now considerable wizardly power, Teraktinus made the dangerous journey to the spires of Shalast, high on the face of the mountain called Mhar Massif. Following upon fragments and legends he’d gleaned from his studies, he finally made his way to the actual tomb of the Runelord Karzoug’. Hoping to discover the greatest magical treasures of Shalast, Teraktinus opened the ancient tomb, and in so doing, sealed his own fate.

Karzoug was unable to fully awaken simply due to one ambitious giant’s tinkering—the runelord’s release from hibernation required much more elaborate and complex magical rituals. Originally, these rituals were to be performed by Karzoug’s surviving apprentices and minions, yet the fall of the Iskari Empire left no one to undertake these tasks. In Teraktinus , Karzoug had his first window to reality in 10,000 years, and the slumbering wizard struck with fierce and desperate power. Teraktinus felt Karzoug enter his mind and soul, and his fate from that point on was no longer his own—his one driving goal became Karzoug’s revival.

Now the runelord’s puppet, Teraktinus found himself in command of even more power as the denizens of Shalast pledged their loyalty to him. With this army, Teraktinus descended from the city, saield bakc across the sea to Corwyn, amd returned to the Storval Plateau and the Vale of the Black Tower. He and his followers claimed the tunnels below as their lair, and rebuilt the ancient fortress of Jorgenfist. Over the course of several years, Teraktinus united seven tribes of stone giants under his banner.

His rallying call of taking back the lands of the ancestors and claiming the stolen wealthof Cyrendar found fertile soil in the minds of these tribes’ young soldiers, and those elders who opposed Teraktinus' near-heretical call were too slow and mired in tradition to react quickly enough to stem his recruitment. Before they realized the scope of what he was doing, their tribes had abandoned their traditions for the siren call of glory and riches.

Today, Teraktinus has gathered hundreds of giants to his side in Jorgenfst—giants ready and eager to conquer the Kingdom of Cyrendar for themselves, yet unknowingly, they are little more than pawns for Karzoug’s return. For all of these new recruits have been branded with the Sihedron Rune, and even if they fall in combat in the coming war, their souls will be put to the runelord’s use.