We’ve talked a lot about different classes in the wild; giving you something more to work with than simply having a whole tribe of barbarians who are ALL Barbarians. It just doesn’t make sense. It also doesn’t make sense to have two classes in the wild. Barbarians being the warrior class and all of those underneath them with none. No, I think there should be as much variety in the wild as there is in an urban setting, right?
Check the links here to see our articles of Artificers, Sorcerers, Rogues and Wizards of the wild!
As many of you know, a lot of my articles come from necessity DMing certain games. One of my groups is playing in Icewind Dale. So, naturally, I would gravitate toward Patrons that would fit in this type of setting among the Reghed Tribes of the barbaric frozen north.
And, if, like me, you find yourself with either an elf or half-elf warlock, it’s rather natural to lean toward the FEY patrons. But, not just any Fey Patrons. We’re narrowing it down to those who would be suitable for the wastelands of the frozen north. Oh, sure, you could use just about any of the Selderine ie. the Elven Pantheon or any of the many other fey options out there. But, if you’re looking for the ice and snow flavor, I have a few suitable suggestions just for you!
FIRST! THE FLAVOR!
Ok, to begin with, there are not a lot of great spells that do cold damage without any tweeking. From Chill Touch to Armor of Agathys to Cone of Cold, it’s about as good as it get. But, never fear! There is always flavor!
You could definitely flavor your Eldritch Blast with cold damage although you’ll find more damage with the natural force damage. It doesn’t mean it can look like blasts of ice hurdling toward them. I think Pact of the Blade would be super flavorful. Your warlock producing a weapon of ice from nothing is damn cool. But summoning a familiar as a Frost Sprite would be great.
Your dark, Eldritch energy that permeates everything you do come come across more like black ice with a crackle of dark energy. Every time you cast a spell, a gust of wind filled with snow could erupt around you; empowering you. Ice can be seen running down your arm to the end of your fingers, exploding into an icy blast. Just because it isn’t printed doesn’t mean you can’t do some of this. Just get with your DM and see what the two of you can create!
RELLAVAR DANUVIEN: THE FROST SPRITE KING
Not much is written about the Frost Sprite King, but he is revered by the Snow Elves of the frozen north for his watch care over them. He works real well as a protector of the relentless tundra since one of his monikers is ‘Warder against the Elements’. Those who follow him are protected against the harsh elements of the cold. Reading the write-up about him in Dragon 236, there are spells given to those who follow him that range from simple immunity (5e would be resistance) to summoning tundra creatures or sprites to creating weapons of ‘ICESTEEL’ or even turning ‘cold base creatures’ like clerics turn the undead. And, although most of this is meant for his clerics, nothing in the rules says he can’t sponsor someone outside the clergy.
And, if you’re playing ICEWIND DALE: RHYME OF THE FROSTMAIDEN, he’s a perfect fit. Well, sort of. You see, one of Auril, the Frostmaiden’s, most ancient of names (Dragon 376) was Aurilandur and she was referred to also as The Frost Sprite Queen. Now, although I have yet to find any lore that actually connects the two, it’s obvious that there was a connection here. Whether Auril was the sister or consort, at one time, of Rellavar. Anyhow, this opens up a great many story arc connections for the wise and creative DM. Either way, she is listed as one of his foes and would make a great godly ally against the winter witch.
THE PRINCE OF FROST
Strangely enough, not two issues before in Dragon 374, the Prince of Frost of the Court of Stars was introduced.
Although we’re given so much lore and drama with this one, his goals and Aurils seems to be in tandem. He too seems to want to see the world covered in winter. He also is quite a little game player. You see, he hates noble, selfless heroes who want to leave the world a better place. The Prince of Frost apparently enjoys making game out of them; toying with them just to see them fail. He may strike at their family or clan to break them down or destroy the love of the heroes life to crust their soul bit by bit.
Although he’s an evil prick, there is still a great bit of storytelling left here. Your Warlock may have all the good intentions of the world and strike out to the frozen wasteland with a good heart ready to conquer evil in all of its forms, just to find that their Patron has been playing them all along! The final stages of the story would be the heroes struggle to defeat evil despite him either by jumping ship or tricking him. OR you could end up a broken, twisted waste or part of the Prince’s frozen zoo (very similar to Auril’s quest to freeze beauty in place).
Or the Warlock could be the reincarnated love lost of the Prince of Frost. He may be willing to go against Auril while trying to turn his returned love from the love of the world and into a cold hearted bitch like him.
An even better arch would be a PC returning as his lost love along with another PC or NPC (or visa versa) returning as the man who she fell in love with despite the affections of the Prince. Your warlock could have the Raven Queen as a patron and treat the Prince of Frost as the big bad.
There are a lot of choices and flavors to enhance any game.
TARSELLIS MEUNNIDUIN: LORD OF THE MOUNTAINS
The Patron of the Snow Elves doesn’t have as much flash and panache, but still would make a great patron for barbarians of the north especially if they have elf blood.
According to Dragon 236, snow elves of the Spine of the World and the High Ice of Anauroch, revere him as their patron god. He has a general set of domains like mountains (of course), rivers and the wilderness. Being an avid hunter, it wouldn’t surprise me to find mortal hunter following him. Possibly a Ranger/Warlock mix?
Being a god, most of his powered followers would be clerics, but ‘shamans’ make up more than half of his loyal followers. One being a warlock and gifted power as a patron would not be out of the realm of possiblities. His clergy are called Peakwardens and have spells gifted to them that give them advantage to dexterity saves vs avalanche, earthquakes, rockslides or falling down a cliff. They also have abilities that calm the weather, detect traps and pits as well as Find the Path and Pass without a Trace. He is also mentioned in Dragon 155.
For Icewind Dale, his people living in the Spine of the World, puts them in harms way as Auril increases her wintery grip on the area north of them.
MAYBE A BHEUR HAG?
If the pretty boy elves don’t strike your fancy, maybe your warlock can strike a deal with a hag. A winter hag! Being fey, they fit perfectly. They will help you, but their deals are thick and dangerous. They were known as Auril’s Handmaidens, so it might be hard to use one of these creatures against the queen of winter’s wrath. Of course, there’s always one exception to every rule. Maybe YOUR Patron is different. She either fights against Auril or just doesn’t care.
Your warlocks ‘Fey Presence’ could change their visage into that of a crooked and twisted old hag. Your Dark Delirium feature fits right in line with the MO of the Hag; Toying with the victim and ripping at their fears and triggers will be one way to please your Hag Patron.
QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS
My final suggestion is the most powerful and dangerous of all mentioned so far. The dreaded mistress of the unseelie court, the Queen of Air and Darkness.
Now, although she is not legally a winter power, there are plenty of connections that say differently. Notice the pic from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide with no text telling us who she actually is (pic above). She is also rumored to be Titania, the Summer Queen’s sister. If that is so, then, being her opposite, she would be the Winter Queen. Some have even equated her with a precursor of Auril; Auril being a fragment of the Unseelie queen (follow link).
Of course, Wotc has went to great lengths to end this comparison by using Seelie/Unseelie and not Summer/Winter.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use her or the many Summer, Autumn and Spring Fey.
What Fey have you used as patrons? Have I missed any important Fey powers? Right now, I’m using both of the above Snow Elf Patrons as well as Araleth Letheranil, god of starlight in my Icewind Dale game. This is mainly due to my players interest.