Girl Genius
Girl Genius

The Ice Will Remember

The Polar Ice Lords are a faction that seem to rule the regions north of Europa. (As is often the case in the comic, the political boundaries here are very vague.) They are mentioned by Gil when talking to Zola about bad governance; he describes them as taxing their subjects' use of fire. They are later mentioned by Tarvek when talking to some Jägergenerals where it is stated that a Doom Wyrm of theirs was responsible for the death of the Jägergeneral Øsk. At another point some other Jägers refer to "those reindeer boys" up north which is eventually confirmed to be a derogatory reference to the Lords, or at least their troops. The Lords are also responsible for other draconic creatures such as the Great Sky Wurm, one of the last of these being taken and used by Gil following a unsuccessful Ice Lord challenge to his post-Timeskip authority . (Gil later admits that his campaign was greatly helped by the fact that a whole bunch of the Lords' troops mutinied and surrendered to him.)

When Agatha and Co. are in England, a report arrives that the Ice Lords have launched a massive attack on northeastern Europa, with a million troops backed by snow demons. This prompts Queen Albia to order Gil to return to the continent at the head of a British airship armada to lead the defense; he sets off with Tarvek, Dimo, Seffie, Orotine and Kjarl Thotep in official tow, and Tweedle and "Rita" as stowaways. The official group meets with Master of Paris Colette and Othar, the latter informing the group that the Ice Lords are somehow bringing arctic weather south with them, allowing them to use their cold-based Sparky creations to more devastating effect. (It is eventually confirmed they are using Slaver Wasp technology as well, though this tactic has been blunted by now-Baron Gil's widespread distribution of Tarvek's inoculation draught.) The attack is specifically aimed at Mechanicsburg, but the attackers oddly pull back when Gil and Tarvek and Co. finally arrive in the area to take charge.

Meanwhile, traveling to the Continent herself on another British airfleet, Agatha learns a few more details from that indefatigable British researcher Princess Neena, who says that the Ice Lords have been around at least as long as her mother, and ruled much more of the world during the most recent Ice Age. Neena even managed to talk to some of those aforementioned troops, who claim the Lords are monster-demon-wizards who can control reality. During this conversation, Zeetha, who is listening, refers to these former troops of the Polar Lords as "the snowfled". Based on the context and the structure of the word itself, this would seem to be a term that specifically refers to members of the Polar Lords' troops who managed to defect and escape from the Lords; metaphorically having fled the snow. It isn't clear why Zeetha is the only one who uses this word, but perhaps she learned it from her boyfriend Axel Higgs. She mentions that he told her about them and, after all, he has been around long enough to pick up all sorts of information.

Agatha's fleet then encounters a single Ice Lord airship, which is an eldritch thing evidently powered by chained and impaled flying Wyrms, generating an intense field of cold, and able to project some sort of effect which forces the entire British fleet to land near some surrounded Wulfenbach ground-troops. The two groups are then confronted by a shadowy glowing-eyed giant who orders his/its mass of reluctant human-ish minions to attack. When a member of the Wulfenbach forces, Captain Berton, is dispatched to attempt to parlay with this individual, he is instantly frozen into an obedient ice-zombie. The same fate also seems to befall any member of this Polar Lord's own troops who question their orders to the slightest degree. The Ice Lord and his troops show signs of being vulnerable to heat-based attacks, but the Lord is able to call down intense cold from the "endless void between the stars" using it to resist all future attacks, at least for a while. During this cold invoking process, the Polar Lord rants that he/it is a Grand Duke of the Arcana.

Agatha and the other resident Sparks cobble together a collection of miniature "suns" which beat back the Lord's attack; when he activates a couple of Hive Engines, Agatha uses the renewed Prende's Chronometric Lantern to time-freeze the Queens long enough for the suns to incinerate them. The Ice Lord is also zapped and melted, leaving a small rather scrawny bipedal figure sporting a pair of antlers. Another Polar Ice Lord (from the airship, evidently) calls the first one by the name "Ixtha", banishes him from the "Arcana" (although it is not entirely clear what this entails), and allows Agatha to take custody of his remains as a spoil of war, but warns that the Polar Ice Lords won't forget this defeat. The Polar Ice Lord's army then withdraws from the Mechanicsburg area; those that are left behind surrender and seek sanctuary from Agatha's forces.


The are first mentioned by Master Payne as examples, along with Petrus Teufel and Lucifer Mongfish, of typical Sparks in the popular imagination.[1]

Later, a bizarre trip to Paris by a group titled "The Ice Tsars" is briefly described[2] in the context of their effect on the city's (and thus wider Europa's) fashion scene. It should be noted that along with the name change, the "human barbarian Cossack" types who appear in this vignette bear little resemblance to the eldritch horrors who eventually are featured in the comic.