The Great White Walker of the wastes
The Story of Tholan Frostmane
To properly share the story of Tholan Frostmane, one must trace the steps far back into the earliest days of the history of the world.
In the earliest days of the world before the rise of mortal man, the world was home to the foundations of nature. The elements of life, the earliest beasts, and the flora and fauna were the rulers of the land. The world was in balance. Binding this balance was the great druidic King Olomorn and his bride, the Fey Princess Elora. Together, they kept a harmonious balance between the growth of the world and the existence of nature.
The origins of Olomorn are said to be older than any history. It is said he was born from the first tear of Gozreh as the great and ancient god wept at the beauty of the creation of nature and the elements. Olormorn was born to be the protector of this raw beauty, the first steward of nature.
As Olomorn took to the mantle of protector of the natural world, those of the First World grew jealous as they saw this new realm as a mockery of their plane. The ancient rulers of the First World began to plot of ways to destroy or ruin the new world. The entire balance of nature, the elements, and even time were on the knife edge of chaos.
Not wanting to lose the beauty and power of this new creation, Gozreh and other gods of the new world struggled to find a way to maintain control of their realm. Eliciting the assistance of Erastil, Gozreh held court with the rulers of the First World to establish a treaty. It was decided to tie the two planes through a marriage between the Druid King Olomorn with the eldest daughter of the Fey Rulers. This eldest daughter was the beautiful and mysterious Princess Elora.
Initially, both begrudgingly accepted to this agreement for respect of balance. However, they soon found joy in the company of each other. This joy grew to become a companionship and love that defied all expectations. Through this love and partnership, Olomorn and Elora protected the delicate balance and grew it into a bastion of strength, peace, and growth.
With balance maintained and their love for each other always growing, Olomorn and Elora started a family. They had four children, two male and two female. The eldest was the Princess Iriesyia. After Iriesyia, came Prince Kelorin. Finally, the twins Prince Thoril and Princess Alistinia were born.
The family was happy and the children were well loved. However, old grudges and buried instability began to come back to the surface. Hoping to influence the new princes and princesses, dark forces from the First World tried to influence the thoughts and actions of the children. It was thought that if the children could be influenced, they would eventually succeed their parents and plunge the world into turmoil. Not wanting to revert to the threat of chaos once felt, Olomorn and Elora knew they must take action to not only protect their children, but also the delicate balance they were entrusted.
Knowing this, the couple fractured their power and gave each of their children an aspect of the world they were entrusted with protecting. Princess Iriesyia was given the earth, the home to all living things. Prince Kelorin was given the strength and purity of the wild beasts. Prince Thoril was given the cleansing quality of fire while Princess Alistinia was given the power of the storms and sky.
After giving their children the gifts of the natural world, Olomorn and Elora sent each child away from the influence and politics that could otherwise have influenced them – thus sustaining the ever important balance. Upon sending them upon their way, the couple set off to the stars to forever watch over their children.
In having control of each domain, the children began grew powerful, yet divided. Argument grew regarding which domain was more important to the world. Argument gave way to tension, which gave way to conflict and war. The children and the faithful to each domain fought for dominance. One morning, the children met with their forces in a war-torn vale, intent on finishing their conflict once and for all. However, as the princes and princesses faced each other with intent of all out destruction, a geyser sprang from the middle of the vale. This spring was said to be made of bubbling water, soil from the earth, and snapping flames. Surrounding the spring was a host of beautiful and magical birds capturing all the colors of the world. It is said the geyser and birds were the great Druid King Olomorn and his bride Elora – coming to keep their children from destroying each other and reminding them of the essential need for balance and natural harmony. (Excerpts taken from Pathfinder Campaign Setting – Inner Sea World Guide – pg. 236)
In seeing the geyser and birds, the children were reminded that although their domains and aspects were distinct and different parts of nature, each held an essential and equal part in the overall whole of nature. Knowing this, the children decided not to battle each other, but rather forged an eternal peace. (Excerpts taken from Pathfinder Campaign Setting – Inner Sea World Guide – pg. 236)
Ages and ages passed as the children of Olomorn and Elora held the balance and peace of nature. The children had children of their own and generations passed down the respect for all aspects of nature.
One of the generations descending from the line of Prince Kelorin – lord of the wild beasts – was that of Ursan – Great Chieftain of the Mighty Bear Clan. Although the Clan of the Mighty Bears was great and powerful in their home among the trees and other creatures of Gungir Forest, Ursan knew that to continue the prosperity of the great clan, it must expand beyond the protection of the sacred forest.
Ursan sent his brother Urthar to explore the world beyond Gungir. However, in sending out Urthar, Ursan also sent prophesy that one day, the great clans of the bear with need to reunite to help the other clans of the wild beasts protect the balance of nature.
Urthar led a small, but strong and dedicated group out into the world, eventually settling in the land far to the North and East of Gungir in a land known as Icemark. All who followed Urthar on his journey were blessed with what is known as the “Blood of Kelorin”. This was a trait that allowed members of the great beast clans to adopt traits or even take the form of a wild beast. For Urthar and his people, this was usually the form of a bear.
Although largely nomadic, Urthar led his people to prosperity, finding strength and resourcefulness in a land that many would consider desolate and unforgiving. As the clan spent more time in Icemark, the black and brown hair turned to a pale white – reflective of the environment they were now living in. Because of their prosperity in the desolate terrain as well as the distinct white of their hair, Urthar’s people became known as the Clan of the Great White Bear and Urthar became the Urthar the White.
Urthar’s generation gave way to others, each finding new ways to live off the land and among the natural beasts of Icemark. The role of chieftain for each generation passed to the eldest son. Each chieftain took the title “The White”.
Many years and generations have passed since Urthar and the Great White Bear Clan remains nomadic, yet prosperous. Over the years, the various generations of the clan built relationships with the other nomadic tribes (the Varki) in the area through mutual respect of the land, the wild, and the fortitude of soul for the people that chose the area as home.
In present day, the current Chieftain of the Great White Bear Clan is Nordak the White – father of Tholan Frostmane. Feeling a sense of unease amongst the natural world, Nordak entrusted his eldest son to venture out beyond the land that generations have called home in hopes of gathering more information and to protect the virtues and balance of nature in a changing world.
Tholan Frostmane is the eldest son and heir of the current chieftain of the Great White Bear Clan, Nordak the White. Tholan’s mother is an anamism priestess and healer in the clan. Tholan’s brother and two sisters are young and still learning the ways of the clan and of the land.
Tholan, like all males of age in the Great White Bear Clan, completed his right of passage in the trials of the clan. These trials test the mettle and capability of all males who reach appropriate age to survive on their own in the challenging lands of Icemark for a period of one month. The trials are particularly challenging to those that share the Blood of Kelorin. Those with this “blessing” are not only required to meet the rigors of the trials, but are also required to hunt, kill, and skin a polar bear as a symbolic capture of the essence of the great beast. Not all who set out on these trials are successful as it is also meant to root weakness from the ranks of the clan. Those that fail either die during the trials or are shunned from the clan upon return. Those that pass the trials are welcomed back as leaders and protectors of the clan. At times, those that share the Blood of Kelorin sometimes come back with a polar bear or other arctic beast as a companion – having created a bond based off survival and spirit while on the trial.
Having shown traits enabled by the Blood of Kelorin, Tholan was one who was selected to hunt a polar bear. Although demanding, the eldest son of the Nordak the White returned from his time in the wild not only alive, but with a bear in tow – of which he calls Rohrin. Upon completion of his trials, Tholan was seen as a young protector of the clan. Because he is the son of the Chieftan, he is also seen as an emissary of the clan to the Varki and to lands beyond those the clan calls home.
Feeling uneasiness and disruption in nature and fearing the ancient prophesy shared between Ursan and Urthar may be at hand, Nordak the White sent Tholan out to parts beyond the clan upon completion of his trials. Guidance was given for Tholan to protect the clan, seek information from parts beyond, seek ties with those that share our blood and bond, and to protect the ways and balance of nature.
As a result of where and how he was raised, Tholan has become a skilled explorer, tracker, and guide and has been able to use those skills to the employ of cartographers, hunters, travelers, and various merchants.