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Sssurrssur and Ice Fang
By Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel

Living far to the north in the glacial wastes, an ice mephit named Sssurrssur partnered with a half-fiendish winter wolf named Ice Fang. The two lived quite comfortably, but rather sedately, until an old white dragon named Frostbreath captured them and made them his slaves. The two worked closely together, developing attack routines that emphasized their flying and mounted combat skills.

Servitude and Freedom

After about a year of service, when they went out on an errand for Frostbreath, the duo met a rogue/ranger named Rupert. According to Rupert, he approached the pair and solicited their help in killing the white dragon. Eager to end their servitude, the duo gladly betrayed their draconic overlord. Sssurrssur tells a different story of charming the easily-influenced Rupert and getting him and his partner to spearhead the attack.

At this time, Sssurrssur was a 6th-level sorcerer with a number of defensive spells like mirror image and shield and a few fire-based spells: burning hands and fireball. The intruders prepared well. The battle was short and decisive, and the team brought down Frostbreath. The adventurers divvied up the dragon's treasure, making every surviving member wealthy. Rupert "Wyrmkiller" returned to civilized lands in the South, while Sssurrssur and Ice Fang went off to adventure in the north.

The Freedom to Enslave

A bard who heard Rupert's tale of Sssurrssur and Ice Fang's defeat of their oppressor wrote a lovely ballad about how the frosty duo went about the north killing frost giants and freeing their slaves. In his tale, the ice mephit and winter wolf were legendary heroes who freed the enslaved, giving them their overlords' treasure, and meting out vengeance for the weak and wronged. Well, he got it partially correct.

Sssurrssur and Ice Fang did, indeed, rampage through the frozen wastes. They killed many frost giants and other impressive foes, destroying many by spell and tooth. However, they did not free their slaves and distribute the enemy's treasures. The ice mephit and winter wolf took for their own the wealth of the slain: slaves, magic, and gold. They felt that all the booty belonged to them by right of conquest.

Home, Chilly Home

Many great conquests led to the need to create their own stronghold deep in the arctic to protect their ill-gotten gains. The temperature of the land here never rises above freezing. Sssurrssur began building her ice castle using prisoners she and Ice Fang acquired in their raids. The inhospitable icy environment caused many of their slaves to die, although a few were naturally resistant to cold and survived. Even after death, they continued to serve for Sssurrssur formed a mighty force of undead using her animate dead and create undead spells. The castle is mostly formed of ice blocks cut and harvested from the surrounding countryside. Parts of the ice palace are bolstered with wall of iron and wall of stone spells.

Sssurrssur and Ice Fang are in residence at the ice castle only about half of the time. The remaining time, the pair travels the planes, seeking new challenges and opportunities for conquest. An adventuring party might encounter them anywhere on the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. Although fairly resistant to heat through magic items or fiendish attributes, the pair prefers colder areas and is more often encountered abroad in snowy weather.

Although interested in raiding and fighting, the ice mephit and winter wolf survived and thrived this long through being cautious. They prefer to use invisibility and their skills in hiding and moving quietly to spy on opponents and prepare an ambush.

About the Author

Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrelis an editor for Wizards of the Coast's Roleplaying Games R&D department. Recent credits include editing Faiths and Pantheons, Oriental Adventures, and Magic of Faerün, and designing part of the Book of Challenges. She's a frequent contributor to the Wizards of the Coast website. Also, check out the website she created for her fiancé, Andy Collins, at www.andycollins.net.


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