While not a true deity, Cryonax and the other archomentals cultivate small followings to further their ambitions against their enemies on the Inner Planes. The cults are small as yet, but may grow with time. As only uniquely powerful near-powers, the archomentals can only grant up to 3rd level spells to their followers on the Prime Material Plane, unless they appear in person.
Cryonax (PDF Version)
(Prince of Evil Ice, Prince of Evil Ice Creatures, the Archomental of Evil Ice)
Near-Power of the Paraelemental Plane of Ice, NE
Portfolio: Paraelemental ice, cold, supremacy of ice, destruction by ice and cold
Domain Name: Paraelemental Plane of Ice/Chiseled Estate
Allies: The Elder Elemental God
Foes: Albrathanilar, Elemtia, Kostchtchie, Thrym, most other powers
Symbol: A mountain of ice behind a fortress
Wor. Align.: LE, NE, CE
Unique among the archomentals by representing one of the paraelements, Cryonax (KRY-oh-naks) is almost without rival on his plane. He embodies the strength and power of ice and cold bent towards evil and destructive goals, and the supremacy of ice over all other elements.
Unlike the other paraelemental lords, Cryonax is most certainly an archomental, at least by measure of his physical power. Not only does his elemental affinity set him apart among the other archomentals, but so does his lack of a moral opposite on his home plane. There is no Prince of Good Ice Creatures; why this is the case is debated endlessly by sages. While there is little evidence of there ever having been such a creature, some of these sages suppose Cryonax eliminated his rival in the primordial past; others scoff at that and claim that ice as a force of nature is too destructive to manifest in such an archomental. However, most sages believe the real reason is simpler: neither Cryonax nor the Elder Elemental God bore such a creature. Whatever the case, this has resulted in few rivals for the Prince of Evil Ice Creatures to contend with.
Cryonax’s ambitions are well known to those who have contact with the creatures of his native plane. In the near term, he wishes to elevate his home plane to the level of a true elemental plane, complete with new paraelemental planes of Slush and Snow. His goals do not end there, however, as he desires to extend the supremacy of ice over all other planes of existence, including the Outer Planes and the Prime Material. Many scholars scoff at this, claiming his goal is impossible and thus of no worry. Other scholars claim that outer planar layers can shift, and so inner planes may also be able to shift; they point to ancient and poorly understood texts that have been interpreted as listing the quasielemental planes of Dust and Steam as paraelemental planes alongside ice and magma. Whatever the case, Cryonax has a long road before him before it can even be determined whether his goals are achievable or not.
As the lone archomental of a Paraelemental plane, Cryonax has little competition on his home plane. He has no counterpart dedicated to good, he has no unfeeling elemental lord to contend with, there are no noble genies of ice who claim rulership of a realm on the paraplane, and if there are any true powers on the plane, they are well-hidden. His sole competition for dominance is a powerful great white wyrm named Albrathanilar. As yet, their conflict has been limited to skirmishes as each builds up their forces and watches what the other does. Cryonax is nominally aligned with the other archomentals of evil against the forces of good, but without an opposite of his own, he most often ignores them or even works against them. Cryonax bears no love for the Elemental Dragon, Elemtia; while that wandering power has shown no desire to dominate any of the elemental planes, the Prince of Evil Ice Creatures considers the Tempestuous One a disruptive influence on his plane every time she appears, and he worries Albrathanilar may somehow gain her aid. Finally, and perhaps surprisingly, Cryonax bears no love for Outer Planar powers of cold and winter. He sees such powers as taking the element of ice for granted and having more interest in petty planar politics than the purity of ice. Even a power like Thrym, whose goals seem similar to those of the Prince of Evil Ice does not escape this antipathy.
As he is not a true power, Cryonax cannot create avatars and dispatch them to the Prime Material Plane; instead, he must appear in person or send trusted followers to carry out his will. For the most part, he must rely on mortal summonings or temporary or permanent gates if he wishes to act on the Prime; despite this he is actively recruiting followers and has been most successful among disparate tribes of yeti.
Cryonax’s Form (20-HD Ice Paraelemental)
Cryonax appears as a hulking, ape-like humanoid with thick white fur and a pair of long, sinewy tentacles instead of arms. Full details of his physical form can be found in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III. Should Cryonax become a demipower, he is likely to continue to use a modified version of this form for some time.
As yet, Cryonax is unable to manifest powerfully on the Prime Material Plane. He is limited to sending vague thoughts and dreams to followers, typically embodied by strong emotions. These sensations are designed to convey approval or disapproval of a course of action, but the vagueness means there is much interpretation necessary by his followers.
Cryonax works primarily through the actions of predatory wintry and arctic animals, as well as ice fundamentals, ice mephits, ice paraelementals, ice toads, white dragons, white puddings, and winter wolves. He is believed to express his favor through the discovery of pure white stones of all sorts and inexplicably frozen flowers in full bloom, as well as the discovery of ice mummies and long-frozen creatures in glaciers or permafrost. He is said to express his displeasure through the ominous sounds of cracking ice and glaciers, as well as the discovery (often too late) of snow-covered crevasses.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, crusaders, shamans, wizards
Clergy’s Align.: LE, NE, CE
Turn Undead: C: No, SP: No, Cru: No, Sha: No, W: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: Yes, SP: No, Cru: No, Sha: No, W: No
All clerics, specialty priests, crusaders, and shamans of the Prince of Evil Ice receive religion (Cryonax) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency. As Cryonax is only a near-power, he can only grant 3rd-level spells to his followers on the Prime; if he appears in person, or for those on the Paraelemental Plane of Ice, he is able to grant 4th-level spells as well.
The church of Cryonax is mostly found on the Paraelemental Plane of Ice; when found on the Prime Material Plane, it is mostly a secretive and informal cult found among human and humanoid cultures living in cold regions. These cults mostly consist of outcast or disaffected persons looking to gain power by any means, rather than true believers in any sort of tenets of the church. In fact, these cults rarely outlast the lives of their founding members. Only among yeti and their kin has Cryonax achieved anything like the persistence of other faiths, but even this is one of simple cultural rituals rather than one of specific services honoring the Prince of Evil Ice. Cryonax is slowly expanding his influence among these creatures, having started with those living near natural gates to his home plane; as yet he has still not managed to converts many groups besides these, but those he has brought under his control have become much more territorial and expansionistic.
Cryonax’s faith has not yet settled on any standards of construction for temples and shrines. Cults dedicated to the Prince of Evil Ice among civilized races tend to create unique shrines within their hidden meeting places, often decorated with fanciful and inaccurate depictions of the Plane of Paraelemental Ice. Among Cryonax’s yeti followers, sacred spaces are generally decorated with the remains of defeated foes. Locations where creatures can be sacrificed using the natural terrain and extreme elements are also favored, such as glacial crevasses or high mountain escarpments. If a creature can be preserved in its death by the cold, so much the better.
The cult of the Prince of Evil Ice is as yet completely unorganized on the Prime Material Plane, and there are no formal terms for novices or full priests. Each individual cultic cell creates their own rank and hierarchy, complete with titles, and there is no uniformity between cells. On his home plane, Cryonax dictates the structure and ranks as he wishes, rearranging the positions and titles as he deems necessary. Specialty priests, currently only found among his servants and priests on the Paraelemental Plane of Ice, are known as abominables. Cryonax’s priesthood consists overwhelmingly of shamans (78%), with the remainder being the wizards (12%) and clerics (7%) of human and civilized cults, and the specialty priests (2%) and crusaders (1%) found on the Plane of Ice. Most of Cryonax’s Prime Material followers are yetis and their kin (70%), other cold-dwelling humanoids (9%), humans and other civilized races (19%), and the various planar races (2%) who serve directly on his home plane. Finally, the clergy is heavily skewed towards males (92%) over females (8%).
Dogma: The power of ice supersedes all others. It grinds down and gouges earth. It floats on and solidifies water. It is carried by and blocks air. It chills and snuffs out fire. Bring ice to the other elements and cover it all; encase all of the multiverse in cold and ice. Revel in its power and carry it to domination.
Day-to-Day Activities: Followers of Cryonax seek to gain power through his faith. Those who can wield magic often extort others by creating problems of wintry weather that only they can “solve,” using the funds to either research further magic or recruit new acolytes. Power and dominance are important, but most feel a need to maintain secrecy about their faith.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: No holy days gain widespread acceptance among the following of the Prince of Evil Ice’s followers, although many set the founding of the local cult as a holy day. Tribal humanoids who have been brought to Cryonax’s faith usually have a variety of days important to the tribe as holy days, but these tend to be related to events the tribe must keep track of, like the start of seasons or when certain prey animals migrate into their territory.
Major Centers of Worship: Currently the only location holy to the clergy of Cryonax is his Chiseled Estate on the Paraelemental Plane of Ice. Even then, few members of his Prime Material following ever become aware of its existence, other than select high-level wizards.
Affiliated Orders: On the Paraelemental Plane of Ice, Cryonax maintains an order of crusaders, consisting mostly of genasi and planar humans, known as the Blades of Ice. These priests form an elite fighting force that he deploys to battle any ideologic foes throughout the inner planes.
Priestly Vestments: Cryonax’s clergy wear white and pale grey garments during ceremonies with a fur-lined cloak worn over the vestments. A cloak made of winter wolf fur is especially prestigious, with more powerful members of the priesthood often seeking them out to acquire their pelts. The holy symbol used by the priesthood is a small glass icicle, although tribal priests are not restricted to use this symbol.
Adventuring Garb: No consistent non-ceremonial garb exists among the following of Cryonax. Most members of the cult favor outfits and equipment suited to their class, often incorporating winter clothing and colors that evoke or blend with ice and snow.
Specialty Priests (Abominables)
Requirements: Intelligence 13, Constitution 10, Wisdom 12
Prime Req.: Constitution, Wisdom
Major Spheres: All, astral, combat, elemental (air, water), healing (reversed only), protection, summoning, wards, weather
Minor Spheres: Animal, charm, elemental earth
Magical Items: Same as clerics
Req. Profs: Survival (arctic or mountains)
Bonus Profs: Survival (Paraelemental Plane of Ice)
- Abominables can be of any race capable of becoming priests, although most are genasi or planar humans. Until Cryonax becomes a true power, only those who travel to the Paraelemental Plane of Ice to train directly with him or his servants can become a specialty priest.
- Abominables are not allowed to multiclass.
- Abominables are immune to normal cold, including that found in all but the coldest regions of the Paraelemental Plane of Ice, and gain a +2 bonus to saves versus magical or extreme cold, such as the breath of a white dragon or winter wolf.
- Abominables can never cast any spells involving the creation of heat or fire or using items (including spell scrolls) that do the same.
- Abominables may use magic items related to cold and ice regardless of class restrictions. Similarly, they are unable to use any items related to fire, heat, and magma.
- Abominables can cast wizard spells related to cold and ice as described in the Limited Wizard Spellcasting section of “Appendix 1: Demihuman Priests” in Demihuman Deities.
- Abominables are able to ice walk (as the 1st-level priest spell) at all times. This allows the abominable to walk on all forms of snow or ice as if it were solid ground, leaving no trail and with no chance of slipping.
- Abominables can cast chill touch or Snilloc’s snowball (as the 1st-level wizard spells) once per day.
- At 3rd level, abominables can cast hold person or ice trap (as the 2nd-level priest spells) once per day.
- At 5th level, abominables can cast cold shoulder or ice shatter (as the 3rd-level priest spells) once per day.
- At 7th level, abominables can cast ice storm or wall of ice (as the 4th-level wizard spells) once per day. Currently, this power is limited to those abominables who operate on the Paraelemental Plane of Ice; should Cryonax eventually become a demipower, this and the other powers listed hereafter will become available.
- At 9th level, abominables become completely immune to magical or extreme cold, but suffer a −2 penalty to all saving throws versus fire.
- At 10th level, abominables can summon 1d4 ice mephits or yeti who serve faithfully, even laying down their lives, for 6 turns. The creatures appear anywhere designated within a 30-yard radius on the round after the summoning. They can perform this summoning once per week.
- At 16th level, abominables can summon a 16-HD ice paraelemental once per week. The paraelemental is utterly loyal and control cannot be wrested by another spellcaster. The paraelemental serves for one turn per caster level, until dismissed by the caster, or until dispelled by the appropriate magic.
In addition to the spell listed below, priests of the Prince of Evil Ice can cast the 1st-level priest spell ice walk, detailed in Powers and Pantheons in the entry for Ulutiu. In addition, priests of Cryonax can cast any non-restricted priest spell that creates ice, cold, or eliminates fire regardless of sphere.
Ice Trap (Pr 1; Invocation/Evocation)
Sphere: Elemental Water
Range: 20 ft.
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 2 turns/level
Casting Time: 5
Area of Effect: Up to 400 sq. ft.
Saving Throw: None
When ice trap is cast over a pit, a very thin sheet of ice and snow covers and conceals it. A creature or object weighing more than 50 lbs. causes the ice to crack and break.
Ice trap can also be cast in a doorway or corridor (perhaps to conceal a corridor in an ice cave) but to little effect, since 50 lbs. of pressure breaks the ice.
Regardless of the duration of the spell, the ice and snow last only up to five rounds in temperatures above freezing.
The material component of this spell is a drop of water.
Cold Shoulder (Pr 3; Invocation/Evocation)
Range: 30 yds.
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 rd./level
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: 15-ft. radius sphere
Saving Throw: ½
Cold shoulder creates a swirling vortex of frigid air with a radius of 15 feet. All creatures within the area of effect suffer 1d10 points of cold damage. A saving throw vs. spell reduces damage to half. Creatures in the vortex suffer an additional 1d4 points of damage each round they remain there. (Save for half damage each round.)
In addition to inflicting damage, the frosty air is so cold that it causes a cumulative penalty of −1 per round to initiative rolls and reduces movement rates by half while creatures remain in the area of effect.
The material component for this spell is the priest’s holy symbol.
Ice Shatter (Pr 3; Alteration)
Sphere: Elemental Water
Range: 10 yds./level
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 4 rds.
Area of Effect: 3 sq. ft./level
Saving Throw: None
By means of this spell, the caster can cause glacier ice to crack and break. The solid ice may split along a single crack or splinter into hundreds of dagger-sharp fragments, at the caster’s option. In hard-packed snow, like that which forms bridges across crevasses, the area of effect is tripled. The spell can also be used to start avalanches in areas where there are unstable masses of snow on slopes above the glacier.
If the spell is used to shatter the ice rather than crack it, it can make a trail or path impassable. It can also provide the caster with icy spikes perfect for lining the bottom of a pitfall.
The material component for this spell is the priest’s holy symbol.
Conjure Ice Paraelemental (Pr 6; Conjuration/Summoning) Reversible
Sphere: Elemental Air, Elemental Water, Weather
Range: 40 yds.
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 turn/level
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: None
Upon casting a conjure ice paraelemental spell, the caster opens a special gate to the paraelemental plane of Ice, and an ice paraelemental is summoned to the vicinity of the spellcaster. It is 65% likely that a 12 Hit Die paraelemental appears, 20% likely that a 16 Hit Die paraelemental appears, 9% likely that two to four ice mephits appear, 4% likely that a frost salamander appears, and 2% likely that a huge ice paraelemental of 21 to 24 Hit Dice appears. The conjuring caster need not fear that the paraelemental force summoned will turn on him, so concentration upon the activities of the ice paraelemental (or other creatures summoned) or protection from the creature is not necessary. The paraelemental summoned helps the caster however possible, including attacking the caster’s opponents. The ice paraelemental or other creature summoned remains for a maximum of one turn per level of the caster, or until it is slain, sent back by a dispel magic spell, the reverse of this spell (dismiss ice paraelemental), or similar magic.
I didn’t get it, if he can only grant spells up to 4th level, why is there a 6th level spell in its entry? For his own use? For giving rules to the similar granted power?
That, and for if/when he gets strong enough to become a demipower.
“complete with new paraelemental planes of Slush and Snow.”
Cool idea! After all, there are 50 words for snow (I’m not sure about slush).
There’s been some speculation about whether the Qorrashi snow and ice genies of the D&D 3.5 supplement Frostburn dwell on the Plane of Ice. If so their settlements are likely on the Precipice near the Plane of Air (where their djinni cousins live), and/or deep under the surface of the ice.
Yeah, I would assume they would. Did 3e or later editions add genies for the other paraelements?