The Dragon of Ice and Snow
Written by Konig

Jormag, the Elder Dragon of Ice, was the second of the five currently awake Elder Dragons to rise. Ruling over the north in the Far Shiverpeaks and beyond, Jormag is continuously pressing south, invading the warmer lands and freezing them as his influence grows. Like Primordus and the mysterious Elder Dragon of the Deep Sea, Jormag has displaced several races, including the norn.

Corruption of Jormag

Minions and Means of Corrupting

Though all Elder Dragons seem capable of corrupting all things, or rather their draconic energies hold no known bounds on what they corrupt, each dragon has their own unique way and element in doing so. Jormag is no different.

2007 concept art for Jormag by Kekai KotakiJormag’s power lies in mentality and ice. He corrupts primarily the living, though is known to spread his influence into the very land, air, and water around him and his minions. On rare occasions, he’s even known to twist corpses in the same way that Zhaitan does. His minions, the icebrood, have progressional stages on their age - newly made icebrood are just caked in ice, which grows over the individual's skin. Like this, the icebrood are still capable of bleeding and thus can be felled by piercing weapons such as arrows. In time, the ice expands and soon enough the blood freezes and the insides and skin of the creature turns to ice itself, leaving nothing but bones and ice in the final stages of corruption - during such stages, crushing blows are the primary means of destroying these creatures.

But what makes him most unique amongst the Elder Dragons is not what he corrupts, but how he corrupts. Jormag is the only Elder Dragon to have non-minion followers, and on top of this, the only one who’s minions do not immediately kill any and all living beings. There are many cases where even seemingly mindless icebrood work alongside the Sons of Svanir.

Not only this, but Jormag has another unique ability. According to a Whispers spy within the Vigil, Khrigar Ripjaw, unlike the other Elder Dragons that corrupt to enslave, Jormag entices his victims with promises of power before they become corrupted. This can be seen in various places; most predominantly is via the Frost Portal in Drakkar Spurs in which a voice echoes through, promising passer-byes gifts of power – and should you claim to be powerful enough, challenges you with icebrood. Should you pass the challenge, the voice offers once again for Jormag to show true power.

Despite this, though, the Sons of Svanir are known on multiple occasions to forcefully corrupt and twist victims for Jormag’s armies – and are granted with more power by Jormag for doing so (Side interjection: on the opposite side, however, he does not punish when the Sons of Svanir kill female norn that were twisted into icebrood – what’s interesting is that whenever Jormag and his champions are attacked, there is retaliation, but if left alone they bide their time within their territory). But those who are fully icebrood first use mental powers to convince their victims of joining – such as when Zojja, Snaff, and Eir fought the Dragonspawn for the first time.

The promises of power that Jormag and his minions offer for servitude extends a bit further, in that it shows the mentality of Jormag’s minions. To quote the aforementioned Frost Portal:

”Strength alone governs this world. Embrace Jormag, and you will gain power beyond belief.”

Though one may think it is misguided of the Sons of Svanir in their belief that Jormag grants them power and that Jormag, to them Dragon, is the strongest predator and Spirit of the Wild, perhaps it is not so foolhardy. At least, even non-Sons of Svanir minions seem to view this very same way.

In the end though, one thing of Jormag is certain:

He seeks willing victims for his army, and does not hate it when his army is decreased by his own men. And all his minions – Sons or not – value strength and power above all else.

Known Champions

Aside from Zhaitan who’s very domain has been breached to its heart, Jormag is the one whom we know the most dragon champions of. As a brief introduction, dragon champions – or lieutenants – are the higher ranked minions among the Elder Dragons’ individual armies. Said champions are capable of leading, or bullying, lesser minions (whom are usually mindless) and are capable of high intelligence and tactics, often times even conversation (should they choose to have such). They are the leaders of the army, and their death often sends nearby lesser minions into a panic frenzy as they retreat, or alternatively turn into mindless killing machines with no tactics or thoughts of self-preservation.

Concept art of Jormag by Levi HopkinsThe oldest known champion of Jormag's name is not entirely known. Hints and indications have led to what's still only a nickname being likely to be its true name: Drakkar. A creature from the previous dragon rise, it is huge and aquatic-looking, with pincer for legs and was frozen beneath a large lake in the far Shiverpeak Mountains known as Drakkar Lake, from which its nickname came (and given the aforementioned indications, the lake's name may in fact come from Drakkar). Drakkar is also the only known minion of Jormag to have survived the supposed 11,000 years since the last dragon rising, and may still live to this day.

The first icebrood, and champion, of this rise was corrupted by Drakkar. Svanir, a norn hunter, was twisted into his bear form and coated in ice akin to the early forms of icebrood stages. Unlike any other icebrood shown he was capable of disappearing into and appearing from thin air. These acts were that of traveling into the Spirit Realm – a name sometimes used for the Mists. How he was capable of this is unknown, as it is an ability akin to that of the norn Havrouns, and Jormag is said to have no Havroun (nor was Svanir one before corruption). He was eventually slain in 1078 AE, not long after his corruption.

The Dragonspawn was a construct made of ice, mist, and multiple animals' bones - including a minotaur skull. It's well known for its mental abilities, capable of mesmerizing nearly anyone even when they held resistances to such magic. It acted as a guardian in Jormag's southernost territory, living in a deep cave just north of Hoelbrak that was full of hundreds of icebrood - from wolves and bats to norn and even giants (a rarity in the Shiverpeaks). The Dragonspawn never expanded Jormag's territory, but only defended it. On occasion it would send icebrood to raid Hoelbrak, bot only when itself was attacked by wannabe heroes; its retaliations being stronger the more danger it came in. It was the first of the dragon champions felled by Destiny's Edge, slain in 1320 AE.

Lastly among the known dragon champions of Jormag are the Claws of Jormag. Each Claw of Jormag is a dragon-shaped construct of ice and bone (or bone-shaped ice), with wings of pure ice that is weaker than the rest of its body. Whether they were once living beings or if they're constructs like the Dragonspawn is unknown, but they match in appearance the latest stages of icebrood corruption, indicating having once been living creatures. They were the champions responsible for hunting down the kodan, harrying their Sanctuaries as they fled south, now residing in Frostgorge Sound. Now, the Claws of Jormag raid the southern edge of Frostgorge Sound where they fight the Pact, and occasionally can be found even in the skies above Snowden Drifts.

Many more intelligent icebrood exist, such as former Sons of Svanir like “Kodan’s Bane, the Huntsman of Jormag,” whom may be champions. But whether they are or not is currently unknown.

History of Jormag

When Last Awake

Very little is known about the previous dragon rising in general, with only the actions of Primordus, Jormag, and Kralkatorrik having any hint to what they were. Jormag’s influence in the previous rise comes in the form of the dwarves – though not much.

The Stone Summit dwarves are known to have held a relic of these times in their possession, known as the Sanguinary Blade. This sword was forged out of the frozen blood of Jormag during the previous dragon rise and was capable of corrupting those it cut – or wielded it too long.

Though he fell asleep far to the north of continental Tyria, his name was written in dwarven legends and they held artifacts that came from him, even one of his champions, Drakkar, was found in the Far Shiverpeaks in hibernation to show that his influence came far south during the previous rise.

As Dragon Slept

Jormag is one of the two Elder Dragons known to have held an influence on the world while in hibernation – the other being Primordus. As he slept in the far north, near the arctic seas, his champion Drakkar was frozen in a lake further south.

Drakkar Lake was forbidden territory to the norn who lived in the Far Shiverpeaks. But one day, two norn hunters and siblings, Jora and Svanir, crossed the lake hunting their prey. They felt an ancient presence calling at them, promising them gifts of power and prey if they listened. Jora pushed the whispers away; Svanir called upon them. And as Svanir tapped into the ancient magic that came from Drakkar, Drakkar corrupted Svanir, transforming him into the Nornbear – a new champion of Jormag.

As the Nornbear, Svanir ravaged the mountainside, raiding villages and lone travelers by appearing from thin air and disappearing the same after his kills – or rare failed attempts. Jora hunted her brother down and slayed him with the aid of individuals from other races that lived south of the norn. Time passed, and others felt the very call Svanir did. Drawn by promises of power and the story of Svanir’s sudden increase in the same, many norn created a cult that called upon Drakkar and shunned women for her deed against Svanir. This cult became the Sons of Svanir. And though they thought to be taking power from Drakkar, it was in truth taking power from them.

Power used to help Jormag rise.

And the Mountains Shattered…

Zhaitan may have raised Orr from the watery depths, and Kralkatorrik may have scarred Ascalon with the Dragonbrand, but both pale in comparison to the acts of Jormag’s awakening.

As he awoke, the tallest mountain range known in the world shattered. They broke and split so much so that the chasms created filled with water: earth and snow of such high elevation that the mountains is stuck in winter year round split so wide and deep so that a large basin of water, deep enough for glaciers, was made. This was the waking of Jormag, the formation of Frostgorge Sound.

Jormag’s attention first fell to the arctic seas, the closest area of known life to him upon waking. It was there that he sundered the kodan first. Living on their iceberg cities known as Sanctuaries, he toppled over the icebergs in whole, crushing them, and overall splitting the kodan race into the four winds. At least four Sanctaries eventually made their way south, through Frostgorge Sound, though one had sunk on the voyage: Morning Frost.

Next, Jormag pushed south. And the norn stood in his way. Unlike the kodan, the norn had ample warning of Jormag’s coming. For five years before his arrival, an endless blizzard reigned on. According to the skaalds, when the dragon finally arrived in norn lands, they threw themselves at the towering beast as the mightiest of hunts, and Jormag swept them all aside with ease. Even the greatest lodge of the north, Gunnar’s Hold, was crushed beneath an iceberg. The Spirits of the Wild saw this and feared for the race, seeing their extinction if not aided.

Together, eight Spirits of the Wild came to the norn’s aid. Guiding Asgeir Dragonrender, he became the first norn to ever injure Jormag – with an ancient scroll of the jotun in hand and the Spirits behind his back, Asgeir knocked a tooth out of Jormag’s own maw. Showing that Jormag could be beaten, he led the norn south with Bear, Wolf, Raven, and Snow Leopard guiding the way to the valley that would become Hoelbrak. But Jormag would not let his prey go easily. Eagle, Wolverine, Ox, and Owl had remained to keep Jormag occupied.

Above the skies as the norn fled south, a battle raged on. It came down to Owl alone to protect the norn, as she was the only thing between them and the Elder Ice Dragon. Seeing no chance of victory, Owl made a desperate move: she dove straight into the maw of the dragon. Scratching and clawing as she was within Jormag, she enraged and distracted the beast long enough to save the norn below. And Owl became no more. The fate of the other three Spirits that remained behind have been unknown, with no Havroun during or since to confirm or deny their deaths.

Concept art of Jormag fighting the norn by Richard Anderson.

Since then, Jormag has bided his time in the north. His forces push ever so slowly south, taking bit by bit and his influence spreading further than his actual domain through the Sons of Svanir. If the Honor of the Wave’s Claw’s words ring true, Jormag’s time to push south in full force is coming soon.