Ice Age (comic)

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Ice Age
Ice Age Volume 1.jpg
Publication information
Publisher ARMADA
Publication period July - October 1995
Number of issues 4
Character(s) Jason Carthalion, Freyalise, Tevesh Szat, Zaraya, Lim-Dul, Leshrac, Faralyn, Taysir, Kristina, Ravidel, Rhuell, Jaeuhl Carthalion
Creative team
Writer(s) Jeffrey Gómez, Jeofrey Vita
Editor(s) Bob Layton
Penciller(s) Rafael Kayanan
Inker(s) Rodney Ramos
Letterer(s) Adam Niedzwiecki
Colorist(s) Eric Hope
Preceded By
Fallen Empires
Followed By
Shandalar

The Ice Age comic was the first publication to tell the story of Ice Age block. It was first published as four monthly issues during the summer and fall of 1995 and later compiled into two volumes. In 2006, those compilation volumes were digitized and made freely available on magicthegathering.com in preparation for Coldsnap.

The later novels of the Ice Age Cycle often contradict the story of the Ice Age comic. As a result, many events from the comic are unlikely to remain canon.

The Twilight Kingdom[edit | edit source]

Dominaria. Deep in Northern Terisiare, some four millennia before The Gathering, by the reckoning of the Sages of Minorad.

The shaman Oriel Kjeldos flees through the ice wastes. Pursued by an Johtull Wurm, she is determined to reach her home: the glacier kingdom of Storgard. She summons a giant bear to fight the wurm, but that isn't enough. Then she receives help from the castle: her young champion Jason Carthalion, the wizard Zilgeth of Clan Ruby, and the militia from King Miko join the fight. When the wurm still almost overpowers them, Zilgeth casts an Incineration spell which kills the wurm but also costs him his life.

Safe inside, Oriel reveals to the Stone Council that Storgard is the last stronghold of civilization in all of Terisiare, that the cold has a magical origin and that it is still deepening. As head of Clan Emerald, she urges the council to leave Storgard and bring their people to the south. The other members of the council, Oriel's younger sister Arimaya of Clan Onyx, the grim Master-at-Arms Hurn of Clan Pearl, the burly dwarf Lorthun of Clan Emerald and King Miko himself are unconvinced and accuse her of blasphemy, arguing that their gods are not dead but only sleeping. The new leader of Clan Ruby, the powerful court-mage Freyalise, adds that it would be a folly to journey across the wastes because they lack the magical power to do it.

Deep within his prayer chamber - the most forbidden of all rooms in the palace of Storgard - King Miko meets his secret adviser, the demonic planeswalker Tevesh Szat. Szat warns Miko that Clan Emerald plots against him, and argues that this discord must be dealt with.

As Jason and Freyalise, who are childhood friends, meet on Raynor's Rise to discuss their differences, a magical explosion is heard in the quarters of Clan Emerald. In the hour that follows, sixteen lifeless bodies are pulled from the rubble. Hurn accuses Clan Emerald of causing the explosion and of treason. Jason and Freyalise magically quell the following fight between the clans. But Miko decrees that a magical duel must decide the conflict. To the death between two champions: the same Jason and Freyalise!

Oriel guesses that an evil power has allied itself with the King and that they need all the help they can get. In a duel of spellcasting, Jason would clearly be Freayalise's inferior. Their ally Mariska, wife of Hurn, provides them with two magical items: the Bow of the Nordic Warrior and the Shield of Prince Bilikis.

Jason and 'Alise (as he calls her) confront each other on the tundra south of Storgard. Freaylise uses red magic and begs Jason to yield, but he defends himself with [[green] magic. He calls forth a Woolly Spider called Seklistis. Then a dark wind sent by Tevesh Szat picks them all up and drops them at Storgard. Szat hopes that they will destroy the castle and grand him peace and quiet. The duelists are dashed onto the Bridge of Hielos. Kianon, Freyalise's bonded wolverine makes short work of Seklestis, at the cost of its own life. Neither mage pauses to notice that the folly of their conflict has forced the glacier to come crashing down on the castle. As Freaylise fires bursts of molten lava at Jason, Jason is influenced by Szat to use black mana for an Icequake. As the bridge collapses under Freaylise's feet, Jason fires the Fyndhorn Bow and wounds her mortally. Too late, he recognizes the influence of the demon and rejects the temptation of the black mana.

Jason finds Freaylise dying in the snow. She is thankful that Jason has found the strength to reject Szat. She hopes to ascend and will turn to green mana in honor of her childhood friend.

Forty days later, King Mika grants the Emerald and Pearl clans a leave to depart the kingdom. He also grants Jason his staff, which is able to hold the Johtull Wurms at bay. After pledging that one day the staff will serve as a symbol for all the glory of Storgard. Jason, Oriel, Mariska, Hurn, and four dozen other people start their walk to the south. Many others chose to stay behind with their king, in a vainglorious attempt to rebuild what had been destroyed. Tevesh Szat is seen looming over the destroyed castle.

The Frozen Dead[edit | edit source]

The second issue of the Ice Age comic books is no longer canon. The later novel The Eternal Ice provides a contradictory account of the same story.[1]

It has been 500 years since the fall of the Glacier Kingdom, and though the Ice Age continues, the world has warmed enough for heroes to make their return. The city is Kjeldor[2], named for the descendants of the shaman Oriel Kjeldos. Its marble spires are an ode to the mages and kings who gave their lives, so that life might continue ... even in the cold. But even a city as great as Kjeldor can possess wounded knights and sworn enemies.

At one of the towers of the High Palace, a Silver Erne bearing a message arrives at the balcony of Prince Darien Kjeld.[3] The Staff of the Ice Lords positioned atop of the palace prevents the creature from touching the battlement, but Darien gives it permission to land. The message is a cry for help from one of the nomadic tribes far to the west of Terisiare. They are besieged by some sort of evil force. Though they are not truly allies, Darien won't allow these people to be slaughtered. He summons Sir Zaraya and orders her to collect the finest Knights of Kjeldor and to travel to Balduvia.

Zaraya recruits her former lover Lord Kailo, the best tracker in the Order. The one-eyed and one-handed Kailo holds a grudge against Zaraya since their son Severin died four years earlier on a mission under her command.

The Erne that carries Darien's return message is intercepted by "Sir" Lim-Dûl, a former Knight of Kjeldor that has embraced black magic. To prepare a "welcome" for his former comrades-at-arms he raises his undead legions from a frozen swamp: Foul Familiars, Gangrenous Zombies, Skeletons of Morej[4], Ashen Ghouls, Legions of Lim-Dûl, and Minions of Leshrac.

Zaraya and her five companions have been traveling through Balduvia for days, but there is no sign of the nomad tribe. Zaraya makes a deriding remark at their tracker - Kailo - and orders the shaman Bolar to use his sorcery to find the tribe. While Bolar, who has an extra pair of tiny arms sticking from his chest, and Kailo bicker, to of their other companions distance themselves. Sir Onala questions her place in an Order that has become so bitter and full of resentment. Her lover Sir Gregor laughs at her, remarking that she is of the royal blood and was born to be a knight.

The knights are alerted by a terrible howling. Zaraya orders Onala and Gregor to make up, while she investigates with Bolar, Kailo and Xian. They are filled by incomprehension and disgust by what they find. A pair of Guard Wolves of the Nomads has fallen victim to an outlawed trap. Knives planted into the ground, hilt-side down, are coated with water and deer's blood, and left to freeze. The wolves lick the ice and split their tongues on the blades. Frantically, they keep licking until they bleed to death. Zaraya concludes that only one man could something so foul - Lim-Dûl. Too late realizing that it is a trap, they are too late to come to the rescue of Onala and Gregor, who are attacked by the walking dead. As Onala is rendered helpless by sudden visions of her ancestor Oriel Kjeldos dying in the snow, Gregor is killed by the zombies.

The next day, the four remaining companions find the abandoned camp of the Balduvian nomads. Kailo expresses his anger that Zaraya hasn't shown regret at the loss of Gregor under her leadership. Zaraya counters that she will mourn after Lim-Dûl is rooted out and destroyed. She wonders if Kailo questions her leadership or rather her womanhood. Bolar finds a dying man hanging in full armor from a tree. The man tells them that he is Samiks of the Marked Ones, and that Lim-Dûl has destroyed his tribe by killing their livestock and guard wolves, and by poisoning their drinking water. Bolar offers Samiks a Healing Salve and proposes to find Samiks remaining tribe to make amends the crimes of Lim-Dûl, their former comrade. Samiks reveals that they can be found in the foothills to the south and that Lim-Dûl is after them because they possess powerful magic relics. In his dying breath, Samiks gift his last relic to Zaraya. Xian recognizes it as a Nova Pentacle, an ancient artifact of untold power and meaning.

Lim-Dûl has been watching the scene through the eyes of the undead erne. He begs his master, the planeswalker Leshrac, for greater power to fight the Kjeldoran knights. Leshrac casts the Master of the Hunt spell on Lim-Dûl, transforming in a mighty creature. He tells his minion to quickly end his quarrel with the knights because a greater task is at hand with the reveal of the secret of the shard.

Lim-Dûl attacks in full force, but the five knights manage to defeat his creatures by working together. Zaraya confronts the necromancer and casts her one true spell: the Winds of Kataba which incapacitates Lim-Dûl. Bolar follows up with a Word of Undoing that sends the necromancer back to his master. Leshrac is not pleased and leaves Lim-Dûl stuck in an Icy Prison, with the promise to free him in about five years when has returned from the Summit of the Null Moon.

Later, Bolar's Healing Salve is used to cure the remaining Marked Ones. Onaya resigns from the Order. She has recognized that she had been unable to save Gregor because Lim-Dûl had preyed upon her deepest desires - to have a family and a home. She plans to pass on the noble name of Kjeld to her children and will let them make their own decisions about joining the Order. Zaraya says goodbye wit regret and understanding. Kailo has come to an understanding as well. He has realized that years back their son was the smallest and lightest of their party and that Zaraya's decision to send him last across the ice bridge had been a sound one. Only now, he realizes he can the pain in her eyes. Zaraya says that she is sorry too. She explains that her vows to the Order must stand above her personal desires, even above her blood.

The leader of the Marked Ones has another gift for Zaraya: an Iron Star. Later Zaraya prays to Freyalise and asks for guidance. She wonders if the world will ever be free of the ice and the endless cold.

The Shard[edit | edit source]

The third issue of the Ice Age comic books is of uncertain canon status. Unresolved continuity conflicts exist between this comic book, Shandalar, and other stories.[1]

Forever Silent the World[edit | edit source]

The fourth issue of the Ice Age comic books is of uncertain canon status. Unresolved continuity conflicts exist between this comic book, Shandalar, and other stories.[1]

Extras[edit | edit source]

Issue #1 came with a Chub Toad card and Issue #2 with Bone Shaman. Issues #3 and #4 included sets of heavy cardboard counters.

Covers[edit | edit source]

All cover artwork was created by Charles Vess.

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. a b c Squirle (January 28, 2015). "Timeline". Multiverse in Review. Tumblr.
  2. This is prerevisionist. In the revisionist the Eternal Ice the nation is called Kjeldor, but the city is called Kjeld
  3. In this comic, Darien is spelled as Darian
  4. BigAr (March 5, 2020). "Melissa Benson Interview". BigAr.com.

External links[edit | edit source]