The Hands that Move the World
“There is no more neutral ground. Cryonax has always owned the lands to the north, and has always warred with the devils to the south. Ataz-bal spells the end of freedom around the Winter Sea. The smart ones will pick a side.”
– Jarl Aegir of the Uteheim Frost Giants
Risia, also called the Plain of Ice, is exactly that: a plane that is comprised of layers of snow and ice. In some places these are piled so high as to form mountains, and in others, snowy valleys give way to valleys hosting frozen rivers. The weather is harsh and unforgiving, with the daily temperature averaging -18°C and often experiencing extreme blizzards, ice storms, or worse.
Risia has the following traits:
- Mildly evil-aligned
- Enhanced magic: Spells involving cold energy are empowered here.
- Impeded magic: Spells involving fire energy are minimized here.
- Cold: The average temperature on Risia is -18°C. On any given day, there is a 50% chance of extreme weather in the form of snow, sleet, hail, or a blizzard.
- Genasi, in particular, ice genasi
- Devils, ruled over by ice devils, and including cold-aligned devils of various kinds
- Ice paraelementals
- Demons, corrupted by the ice powers of Cryonax, the primordial demon that rules over Risia’s north
- Wandering goliaths
- Rime hounds
Effects on the Material Plane
When Risia is coterminous to the Material Plane, regions of intense cold—primarily the Frostfell in the distant north, but also the northern reaches of Khorvaire—begin to take on some of the plane’s traits. Conditions of extreme cold (air temperature below
–30°C) become even more intense.Entering an area of intense cold (such as a raging blizzard in the Frostfell) while Risia is coterminous has a 30% chance of opening a temporary conduit to Risia, taking creatures within their areas to the Plain of Ice.
Similarly, natives of Risia can enter the Material Plane in such areas, and are 70% likely to be encountered near any area of intense cold.
When Risia is remote from the Material Plane, cold becomes somewhat less intense. Conditions of extreme cold (air temperature below –30°C) are reduced in severity.
Locations in Risia
The Primordial Claims
Ruled absolutely by an enigmatic being called Cryonax, the northern half of Risia is controlled by elemental beings. It is jealously guarded against the devils from Devilfall to the south.
The harshest part of Risia is occupied by devils that are seemingly unrelated to those of Baator. Devilfall is an unlivable wasteland, and the devils kill any intruders on sight.
The Winter Sea
Ages ago, the Winter King of the genasi established a neutral ground by conquest between the Primordial Claims and Devilfall. These lands, the warmest in Risia (though certainly not objectively warm), surround a body of water called the Winter Sea.
Inhabitants of the Winter Sea include the Uteheim frost giants, the ice genasi (formerly the dominant presence here), goliath nomads, shifter packs, and the uldra.
Locations in the Winter Sea
- Ataz Bal – meaning “Unwelcome Heart” in Primordial, the center of the Winter Sea is now host to a tremendous block of floating ice bound with impossibly huge chains to the ice of the sea. Corruption has been spreading out from it, and those daring to venture close enough have sometimes reported an almost humanoid figure within.
- Genasi Domains – carved into the ice-mountains themselves, the winding tunnels of the genasi domains were the seat of power around the Winter Sea. Now, most of them lie empty.
- Fallen Domains – once prominent genasi domains, these have fallen since the arrival of Ataz-bal and are now possessed by the devils.
- Sar – the most ancient genasi domain, and home of the Winter King. When the Winter King died it was made into his tomb. Sar was lost for ages, but has been found again in an ice mote drifting in the Shattering.
- Oreblood Camp – a nomadic camp in the northern Winter Sea established by the Oreblood goliath nomads. They are governed by their chieftain, Kavaki Oreblood.
- Uldrastedt – a settlement of some kind in the southwest region of the Fading Gorge. Home to the uldra, a peculiar group of isolationist fey.
- Uteheim – stronghold of giants. A circular fortress built around a large meadhall seemingly made of actual wood. Uteheim is ruled by Jarl Aegir, though formerly it was controlled by the frost titan Athelmund.