Here is another illoe featured in the “Bizantium and Northern Islands” book that is published by PalladiumBooks for is Palladium Fantasy pen & paper RPG game line. Created and co-written by Glen Evans and Kevin Siembieda, just read below to see the wickedness.
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ICE BEARMEN – (aka Winter Bearmen, White Bearmen and Dragon Bearmen)
The Great Northern Wilderness and Northern Sea are the source of many tales of monsters and exotic animals. Rangers, woodsmen and whalers tell stories of a different sort of Bear-men who feed upon raw flesh and blubber, swim like creatures of the sea and have coats of stark white fur. Isolated on the edge of the world, living in remote villages and temporary camps out on seasonal ice shelves, these Ice Bearmen are not a myth, but a rare and reclusive people with a tribal society based upon fishing, hunting, whaling and bravery. Ice Bearmen seldom travel beyond the harsh lands of snow and Ice that they call come, coming down from the mountains and he Great Ice Shelf and into the lowlands or onto the mainland only in the winter when the Great Northern Wilderness is covered in deep snow. Ice Bearmen consider most other humanoid species as weaklings. These warriors and hunters respect only the strongest and bravest individuals, and virtually all other people, regardless of race, are referred to as “Greenwalkers,” a term that is not just descriptive but a derogatory reference that, to Ice Bearmen, is synonymous with soft, weak, -civilized- people. Only their affinity for the Ice pixies is the known exception.
Ice Bearmen migrate with the snow and ice. They seldom see the green grass and leaves of spring, summer and autumn for they are creatures of winter, snow and ice, who live difficult lives. Even the Wolfen are regarded as “Greenwalkers” and considered soft; the conniving Coyles are despised as tricksters and lazy cowards. Only their brown Bearmen cousins, the ferocious (if minuscule by comparison) Kankoran and Ice Giants are considered to be equals or worthy adversaries and allies.
Like their more widely dispersed, brown coated cousins, Ice Bearmen are believed to be few in number. Though truth be old, no one really has any idea how many might exist on the Great Ice Shelf or places like the Land of the Damn, and Ice Bearmen have been seen in the Northern Hinterlands and around various mountains. Most of the year they follow the frozen ice pack, coming to the Islands of Bizantium or the coast of the Great Northern Wilderness by hitching a ride on an ice floe heading south as they track seals, arctic marine wildlife and fish to feed themselves. Sometimes they are brought back in chains as captives by a Bizantian hunting expedition.
Along the coast of Bizantium and the mainland, Ice Bearmen may be encountered in small hunting parties or large nomadic tribes. They live in small tribes and family groups, gathering together into larger villages during summer, and may travel vast distances following prey or in seasonal migrations. Small hunting parties and lone individuals regularly pursue herds of elk and deer or mammoth for hundreds of miles across the Great Northern Wilderness. They use their incredible swimming skills as well as kayaks made from skin, wood and whalebone to hunt and bring in seals, walrus and whales. They may also use logs and ice sheets as makeshift rafts. Most are proficient with harpoons, spears, hooks and lines. Ice Bearmen craftsmen make impressive jewelry out of bone, tusks and walrus or mammoth ivory, as well as decorative items like pins, combs or weapons handles. Ivory is as close to a currency as they have, a precious substance that can be traded for food, shelter, clothing or safe passage. Intact tusks and large bones are particularly valuable, necessary for constructing sod and animal hide shelters and used in the largest weapons and artistic carvings.
Ice Bearmen worship nature and the land itself, as well as the Winter Serpent, whom they portray as an ethereal, white Ivory dragon of incredible size. Some Wolfen priests who have studied the Ice Bearmen believe this “Winter Serpent” might be Kym-nark-mar, one of the deity dragons praised by the followers of Dragonwright. However, anyone who has encountered the Ice Bearmen knows that, while they may have had little to no contact with outside religions, they definitely pray and sacrifice to Ice dragons, particularly the Winterserpents who lord over the Great Ice Shelf and frozen seas that the Ice Bearmen call home. Ice Bearmen have their own strong religious beliefs rejecting the traditional northern deities and gods. Tribes of Ice Bearmen bring sacrificial prisoners and captured loot to the lairs of their dragon idols. They have little to no need for gold, silver or the metal armor used by humans and Wolfen, and gladly offer up such trinkets in return for the dragons ”favor” of an enchanted weapon. Magic weapons are used against a tribe’s enemies, prized by the elite warriors and Chieftans. Most dragons in the know comply, because they also know that Ice Bearmen will rush to the aid of the Winter Serpent, Ice Dragon, or sometimes other types of dragons, under attack or in distress. Ice Bearmen are NOT humble servants happy o wait on a dragon hand and foot. Quite the contrary, they are warriors who will fight to protect the dragons they hail as sacred, but they are no dragon’s, nor man’s lacky or servant.
In Bizantium, the Ice Bearmen are a semi-legendary menace, spoken of in the sagas of the Eoten. Mothers on the main islands sometimes tell of disobedient children that the “ice bears” will carry them away if they continue to misbehave, but no one takes the threat seriously. To sailors and fishermen, they are very real, however, and shipwreck survivors that wash up on the shore of the Great Northern Wilderness or worse, the Great Ice Shelf, run the risk of becoming a snack for these carnivorous warriors. Likewise, sealers and whalers hunt the same blubber-rich prey that the Ice Bearmen rely upon to survive, and sometimes encounter them on icebergs and ice sheets and are forced to fight for their lives. They typically build their temporary villages out on the seasonal pack ice, but are also known to inhabit the mountains long the Land of the Damned, the rough country around the Dragon Claw and remote wilderness stretching east towards the Algorian Sea. They, like the brown Bearmen of the North, area species that seems poised for slow extinction.
Along the Shadow Coast, colonists keep a sharp watch for the bear people’s signature two-legged, pawed racks, often organizing into hunting parties/vengeful mobs that rack the creatures down with torches, spears and bows. When individuals go missing, they are often blamed, whether or not they are actually responsible. The sight of an armed group of Ice Bearmen on the move will send every defender and lookout for miles running for reinforcements. On the rare occasions that an Ice Bearman is captured alive, they sell for a mint in the arenas of Bizantium and the Western Empire, as hey are powerful, valuable, intelligent combatants that can toss human beings around with ease and grapple with serious monsters.
Size: 10-12 feet tall (3 to 3.6 m) Weight: 1,200 to 1,500 pounds (540 to 675 kg).
Nightvision, superior Sense of smell and hearing, Can hold their breath for up to 8 minutes and can swim for up to two hundred miles (320km) without resting.
Cold Resistance (Special): Their heavy fur and blubber make them resistant to cold and they are virtually impervious to hypothermia and frostbite, even when immersed in freezing water. Ice Bearmen only take half damage form cold based magic attacks, no damage from ordinary cold and weather.
Consume Raw Meat (Special) Ice Bearmen are accustomed to a diet of raw meat, bones, fat and blubber. Their bleak habitat forces them to be both scavenger and predator, with robust stomachs tat can handle meat that has gone rotten or become waterlogged.
They are the same Species seen in this cover:
Suffice to say God bless you kind sir or madam for sharing this cool (pun!) picture with us! It's a really great piece!
I really enjoyed creating these ursine beings and wanted to make sure they got the visual support that I felt they deserved.
The disign looks awesome
Frost Pixies are their buddies, making excellent scouts and partners. I used them to convey scale as I didn't have the desired room to incorporate a man in the picture nor are Ice Bearmen fond of men, very much.