Motivations of a winter goddess: any ideas?


I'm sure that many of you are familiar with Auril, the FR goddess of winter, also known as the Frostmaiden. In one of the campaigns I'm running, I've hinted heavily that she is currently involved in a major plot, trying to manipulate the orcs of the North and other creatures into some scheme, which I have yet to determine.

Her primary goal - encasing the whole world in a perpetual winter - is pretty boring, IMO. So I'd like to hear more ideas - what would an ice goddess want, other than an ice age? Have you used her (or any other ice deity) and her priesthood in your campaigns? How?

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First Post
I am not familiar with the goddess but here are some general ideas of a winter goddess. I would imagine her as cold, calculating. Logical and not liking emotional beings. She likes everything to fit into a pattern, and doesn’t like races that are unpredictable.

Also, she might be afraid of change, and prefers the world to be static. One way to accomplish that is to control it.

Not sure why she is a goddess of cold, but maybe she was exiled to stygia, (Or wherever her realm is) and is jealous of the people who are not limited to living in cold climates. She wants to turn the material plane into a place where she could live freely.

Maybe she feels that cold is the ultimate endurance test and if you can’t survive it, you should be wiped off the planet.

Revenge is a good one to, against the goddess of nature, or sun.

Maybe she cared for her "cold blooded" followers and wants to shape the world into a place more suitable for them.

(Just a few generic ideas)


What about intermediate steps on the way to perpetual winter?

The destruction of important fire creatures (like Imix) or the destruction of the plane of fire itself.

Acquisition of artifacts that can help, or destruction of artifacts that can oppose.

The soul of a great (something) to serve her: a general to lead armies, a wizard to cast forgotten magics, etc.

The essence of a fallen god to boost her own power.

Or maybe she is just looking for snowflake twins, or the First Icicle, the Perfect Snowball, or the Fortress of Solitude...


Here's a little something I came up with... criticism would be most helpful:

For centuries, Auril the Frostmaiden has rewarded her most faithful priestesses with a fraction of her divine power. These Chosen would then roam the North, seeking to bring eternal winter to Faerun. Inevitably, each and every one of them would fail, leading to the Frostmaiden’s disappointment. Each Chosen would be magically transported to the massive Temple of Ages in the far north, stripped of her powers, and forever encased in a block of ice as a warning for others to come.

It is the year 1374. The priests of Kossuth the Fire Lord are gathering at the Peaks of Flame, awaiting an ancient prophecy to be fulfilled. This prophecy will stir all of Faerun’s volcanoes to action, making them spew ash and smoke for months and years before finally erupting. The skies will be blackened by smoke, and lava will cover many inhabited areas. By 1380, the year of the Blazing Hand, Faerun will become a much more inhospitable place. Behind all this is the imprisoned slaad lord, Bazim-Gorag the Firebringer, who has spent years learning to manipulate Faerun’s fiery core from his prison.

Ironically, even though the cataclysm will be born of fire, the final effect will be that of winter - as the ash clouds block the sun, the temperature will begin to cool with acidic snows covering the planet’s surface until nothing is left but the wasteland. Auril will have won without any effort on her part.

As the dormant volcanoes began to wake, a series of earthquakes shook the entire planet. While not particularly violent, one of these earthquakes was strong enough to crack the icy walls of Auril’s Temple of Ages, freeing the former Chosen from their prisons. While the priestesses of Auril were never big on teamwork, this time, they realized that banding together will give them the opportunity to get even. In other words, they have to avert the prophecy. And the only way to do that is to discover what is causing volcanic activity and to stop it. So far, the former priestesses have pinpointed the source of this strange magic to northwestern Faerun.

To scour this huge area is no small task, and so the Circle of the Thawed (as the former Chosen are calling themselves) are now manipulating the orcs, frost giants, and other savage humanoids into doing their bidding. In return, they are supplying these creatures with foul rituals and magic items they took from the ruined temple.

They care nothing for the North and will gladly abandon it to the savage orcs after they fullfil their goal. Once they discover the source, they will try to destroy or banish Bazim-Gorag.

Not sure if you looked up the goddess yet here Auril - The Forgotten Realms Wiki - Books, races, classes, and more particularly the section that states:

Relationships Much of Auril's power has been absorbed by Talos in recent times, weakening the minor deity. Despite this, or perhaps as a result of, Auril has quietly been siphoning power from the slumbering deity Ulutiu who is in stasis under the Great Glacier. Kossuth and Auril are mortal enemies, but their followers seldom come across each other. Sune opposes Auril, as she blames her for the destruction of much that is beautiful. Uthgar hates Auril as she has turned the Elk Tribe away from his worship.
As a denizen of the Deep Wilds, Auril is technically a subject of Silvanus, the dominion's ruler, although Auril does not consider herself accountable to the greater god.[5]

Personally, I'd play up the part of Talos and make it fight between those two deities in some way.

I also like the ideas from the other two posters as well as the storyline that you came up with [MENTION=4475]Sammael[/MENTION]


I was aware of the relationship between Talos and Auril, but it didn't occur to me to weave it into the plot. I'll have to think of it some more.


Wells here's an idea I planned to publish someday, but my current projects are taking up so much time it might be forever before I get to it.

Working on an Iron Age Celtic theme, my winter goddess is the Caillech Bheur (kalyech var) or the Winter Hag. She seeks to create a series of events through dark rites and politics that brings back the Ice Age. By starting a war with the Fire Spirits of the neighboring volcanic island (Iceland analog) she hopes for ash to fill the sky and start a 'nuclear winter' effect.

During the last Ice Age, my goddess was the chief deity of the northern hemisphere (at least its northern latitudes) which have since been dimished by the change of climate. Her goal, of course, is to bring back the Ice Age and regain her rightful spot as head deity of the frozen north.

Being a Hag deity, she has infuence over the hags, ogres, (no orcs in my setting) and other powerful warlike goblinoids and giants. These are her troops. She has great arcane/fey powers with PF Witch power...

It's an epic concept - something for a group of heroes to adventure to stop this from happening... might work for your campaign (slightly tweaked).
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First Post
I love the combo of ideas of Talos (chaos and destruction) versus Auril (permanency of winter).

I played a demon of Auril (along with another pc who was a priestess of Auril) in a campaign. I only lastes 6 sessions (a divination to Auril led to my death, and the furtherance of discovery of a mythic ice artifact that the priestess eventually discovered).

In the end, I learned that Auril is a bit like the mob, offering "protection" only so long as it benefits her.

It's a cold, cold world..and you're going to suffer and freeze if you don't have her protection (the easy way) or the protection of a god of heat, or your own preparation (the hard ways).

This is both a reminder that she expends her own followers (pcs should find frozen priests of auril...frozen in acts of failure as mess ages to her other followers) as well as the lives of non believers (but offers them the salvation of life in turn for the damnation of their souls).

The more I understand Auril, the more I understand environmental warfare, but also "friendly fire" and "acceptable losses" this case as related to cold/winter.


If it were me I think I would attempt to play up the faerie aspects of Auril. She is the fabled Queen of Air and Darkness, after all! She should be capricious and to some degree inscrutable.

As for goals, well, one theme that could be pursued in more immediately ways is that of " landscaping " . Ice ages do not just the status quo + frosty bits, they are glacial movements and effects; their coming changes the shape of the world. Perhaps Auril likes remodelling even in areas which are not covered in permanent Winter.

She may also take pleasure in disturbing creatures and animals that hibernate or otherwise take some kind of special shelter in the Winter, as she finds it insulting that they think to be able to ignore her. Perhaps her servants hunt migratory animals in the warmer seasons. Perhaps she even has creatures under her domain that dwell in the cold upper reaches of the atmosphere and can strike downwards into the warmer climates for short durations.

Maybe Auril seeks to exert greater influence over comets, which she could use to strike devestating blows on the planet. They are essentially ice, after all.

Just remember the faerie aspects. They can bring the spice to whatever you have her doing...

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