Eisengrim, Winter’s Children

“People ask the way to Cold Mountain.
Cold Mountain? There is no road that goes through.
Even in summer the ice doesn’t melt;
Though the sun comes out, the fog is blinding.
How can you hope to get there by aping me?
Your heart and mine are not alike.
If your heart were the same as mine,
Then you could journey to the very center!


Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.

The Eisengrim

Eisengrims are pale blue-grey furred lupine humanoids with breath cold enough to create frost. According to their oral history, the eisengrim trace their origins not only to the winter wolves whose traits are most obvious among them, but also to werewolves, wargs, and the hounds of Gwyn ap Nudd–the fey lord of the Wild Hunt.

Living Omens

Some superstitions say that trouble follows an eisengrim, while others say eisengrim arrive just ahead of trouble, with enough time to combat it. City folk tend to view both as incidental consequences of the tendency of wandering eisengrims to join adventuring parties, but there is enough truth to tales of fey hounds, church grims, and the like that one can never be certain. The fondness of eisengrims for raising pet ravens certainly does nothing to dissuade storytellers, either.

One Pack or Another

Many an eisengrim runs the alpine forests with their enormous quadrupedal kin or joins the Wild Hunt, but most have a distaste for such perpetual aggression and live in communities of hunters or travel in nomadic warrior bands. Those who leave these options behind do not travel alone for long, however, because even the most anti-social among them feel uncomfortable without a small tight-knit community of some kind. Their bonds with chosen family often drive them to incredible deeds of heroism.

Eisengrim Names

Eisengrims rarely have more than a single personal name. With regards to pronunciation, eisengrim names are similar to German, with “j” making a “y” sound, “w” making a “v” sound, and “a” always being a long “a” as in “hall.”

Example Androgynous Names: Anjo, Eike, Gabi, Goda, Hanne, Hvid, Ingar, Mille, Netanja, Nore, Ricmod, Storm, Ulli, Wolke

Example Feminine Names: Alwine, Bianka, Edelgard, Gerda, Hadewig, Isolde, Jennifer, Jördis, Kasimira, Leonore, Nerthus, Ortrun, Ursula, Wenke

Example Masculine Names: Alberich, Bode, Carloman, Donar, Erdmann, Gundahar, Hludwolf, Hrodebert, Ingulf, Karsten, Lambert, Olaf, Pankraz, Raganhar, Till, Weland

Eisengrim Traits

Your eisengrim character has several inherent traits resulting from their magical heritage.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution increases by 2 and your Intelligence increases by 1.
    Age. Eisengrims age much more slowly during the quarter of the year centered on the winter solstice, and as a result they reach adulthood around age 20 and typically live to be over a century old.
    Alignment. The monstrous creatures known as winter wolves are a physical embodiment of the uncaring brutality of polar winter and their culture reflects that supernatural nature. As such, eisengrim who follow the ways of their quadrupedal ancestors tend towards neutral evil, but most eisengrim live in their own communities rather than serving those massive beasts, and have no particular tendencies in terms of alignment.
    Size. A typical eisengrim is over six and a half feet tall and weighs nearly 250 lbs.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
    Bite. Your bite is a natural weapon which you can use to make unarmed strikes. With a hit, you deal piercing or cold damage (your choice) equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier.
    Cold Resistance. You are resistant to cold damage as well as the environmental effects of cold weather and frigid water.
    Frigid Exhalation. You gain the winter’s breath cantrip (see below). When you reach 3rd level, you learn the grease spell and can cast it once without using a spell slot. When you cast the grease spell using this ability, the spell produces an ice slick covering the affected area but the effects of the spell are the same. When you reach 5th level, you also learn the snowball swarm spell and can cast it once without using a spell slot. You regain the ability to cast these spells in this way after a long rest. Your spellcasting ability for these spells is Constitution and you do not require material components when casting these spells in this way.
    Frost Walk.. You ignore the effects of any difficult terrain composed of ice or snow (such as the effect created by using your Frigid Exhalation ability to cast the Grease spell).
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Giant.

Random Height and Weight

Base Height Base Weight Height Modifier Weight Modifier
5’6″ 150 lbs +2d12 x(2d6)

New Spell

Winter’s Breath

Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 20 feet
Components: V
Duration: Instantaneous
Classes: Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
You exhale a blast of extremely cold air. Choose one creature you can see within range and up to two other creatures within 5 feet of it. The targets must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 cold damage.
This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th (3d6), and 17th level (4d6)

Legal Appendix

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System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Eisengrim, Winter’s Children Copyright 2019, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.