The Great Glacier, also called Pelvuria was a large mass of frozen land in northeast Faerûn.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

It was created in −2550 DR when the god Ulutiu laid himself to rest in his ice barge in the Cold Ocean,[note 1] a favorite inland sea of his. The barge sank soon after and the Necklace of Ulutiu, an artifact that he wore, encased his body in ice when his divinity had departed to the Astral Plane.[2][3]

The Cold Ocean became completely frozen by the necklace's magic over the next seventy five years then, due to a lack of interference from the giant kingdom of Ostoria, encroached upon the land as well.[4] The glacier eventually destroyed the remains of Ostoria (the city of Gharreil was a testimony to its former existence)[5] but was held in check by the High Magic of the elves of Lethyr.[2] Over three thousand years later, the Ice Queen Iyraclea was granted the power to overcome the High Magic by Auril and the glacier began to grow larger once more.[6]

Again and again, the pattern of history reveals a simple truth—that history has no pattern.
— Inum, Iulutiun philosopher[3]

However, some rumors credited the extremely old gold dragon Protanther the creation of the glacier, as one of his plans to get rid of the evil from Vaasa. Although there was no absolute proof of this, given Protanther's outstanding magical abilities, such a feat was not impossible for him, giving credence to this rumor.[7][8]

It is not known exactly why she stopped, but Iyraclea ceased her magical ministrations to the Glacier, causing it to begin to retreat in the Year of Spreading Spring, 1038 DR, four hundred years after her original icy expansion, suddenly clearing massive swathes of formerly frozen land on its southern edge.[9] The Glacier continued to retreat more and more, but much slower, and when the Ice Queen died in the Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373 DR, there was nobody to reverse the process.

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

As of the Year of the Serpent, 1359 DR, Pelvuria hosted several distinct societies in Alpuk, Angalpuk, Nakvaligach, and Novularond.[citation needed] This included three of the four Ulutiun peoples: the Iulutiun people of Alpuk, the Angulutiun of Angalpuk, and the Nakulutiun people of Nakvaligach. In addition, white dragons and frost giants were known to live there.

Important Locations[edit | edit source]

Regions[edit | edit source]

Also called the Central Basin, Alpuk was the largest of the three regions of the Great Glacier. Mostly an open, vast tundra, it also included the Novularond mountains and the Lugalpgotak Sea and the Nakalpgotak Sea within its borders. The Uppuk River formed its northern border, the Tuutsaas Chain in the west, and the Lugsaas Chain in the south and east.
Another tundra basin, Angalpuk was smaller than Alpuk. It was east of Alpuk, separated from it by the Lugsaas Chain, and bordered in the south and east by the Angsaas Chain. Angalpuk was also home to several forests.
Sometimes called the "Northern Barrens", Nakvaligach was covered in rocky, mounatinous terrain and icy crevasses. It was located north of Alpuk across the Uppuk River. Its western and eastern borders were Tuutsaas Chain and the Angsaas Chain, respectively.

Mountains[edit | edit source]

The Tuutsaas Chain
One of the three great mountain chains that form the borders of the Great Glacier, the Tuutsaas Chain is the western border of both Alpuk and Nakvaligach. It meets the Lugsaas Chain in the southwest.
The Lugsaas Chain
The longest and tallest of the three mountain chains, the Lugsaas Chain forms the southern border of Alpuk and the Great Glacier.
The Angsaas Chain
The eastern border of both the Great Glacier, Angalpuk, and Nakvaligach, it overlooks the plains of Sossal to the east.
The Novularond
A massive mountain range in the northeastern corner of the Alpuk basin, the center of the Glacier.[10]
The Surykyk Range
A small mountain range in south Alpuk.
The Lugalpgotak Range
Another small mountain range in Alpuk, the Lugalpgotak Range was situated on the northern shore of the sea of the same name.

Seas[edit | edit source]

The Lugalpgotak Sea
The largest body of water in Pelvuria, this inland sea was located in the middle of Alpuk.
The Nakalpgotak Sea
The second-largest body of water on the Glacier, it was located in northeastern Alpuk between the Novularond mountains and Nakvaligach.
The Lugotak Sea
An inland sea located in western Alpuk.
The Igotak Sea
A triangular-shaped sea northeast of the Glacier of Ulutiu, in western Nakvuligach.
The Ahtahqugotak Sea
The smallest inland sea in the Glacier, it was located in the Ibelgrak Valley in south Angalpuk. Notably, it was surrounded by forests.

Other Locations[edit | edit source]

The Glacier of Ulutiu
A 1,000 foot high wall of ice covered in glowing runes created by Ulutiu. It was located just north of the Uppuk River in southwestern Nakvaligach.[11]
The Uppuk River
The longest river on the Glacier, it formed most of the boundary between Alpuk and Nakvaligach.
Ibelgrak Valley
A forested valley in south Angalpuk, it was avoided by the Angulutiuns despite the abundant wildlife.
Iyraclea's Castle
Formed from magical ice, it was occupied by Zaol, an outcast angel, after the Ice Queen's death.[12]
A lost city, freed from the Glacier by its retreat, full of undead that feed on the heat given off by the living.[12]

Settlements[edit | edit source]

Portal to the Ruins of Gharreil[edit | edit source]

A featureless sheet of ice deep inside a crevice in the Great Glacier marked the entrance to the ruined city of Gharreil. In shadow and darkness, the ice appeared black, but when directly illuminated by the sun overhead, it appeared bright blue and an inscription was revealed. This inscription was written in a large circle on the smooth ice wall, in characters of the ancient giant tongue.[5]

The city of Gharreil, seat of the Satrap of the Great Glacier, loyal servant of the Emperor of Jhothûn. May the qorrash smile upon it and nurture its mighty works, and continue to favor all of Jhothûn. Let no thieves or heretics enter this gate, for both suffer death in this city.[5]

Rumors & Legends[edit | edit source]

Some believed that aasimon began construction on an empyreal citadel underneath the ice of the glacier in response to events triggered by the ruins at Hellgate Keep.[13]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The name of this lost ocean was translated from the writings of a Thayan scholar studying the ruins of Hotun-Shûl.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  4. Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 James Wyatt (2002-06-19). Portals of the Frozen Wastes: The Great Glacier”. Perilous Gateways. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2004-02-16. Retrieved on 2015-10-18.
  6. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  7. Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), p. 36. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  8. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  9. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  10. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 66. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  11. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), pp. 59–60. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 188. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  13. Christopher Perkins (April 1999). Warriors of Heaven. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-1361-4.
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