The Great Glacier, also called Pelvuria was a large mass of frozen land in northeast Faerûn.[1]


It was created in -2550 DR when the god Ulutiu laid himself to rest in his ice barge in the Cold Ocean,[note 1] a favourite inland sea of his. The barge sank soon after and the Necklace of Ulutiu, an artifact that he wore, encased his body in ice when his divinity had departed to the Astral Sea.[2][3]

The Cold Ocean became completely frozen by the necklace's magic over the next seventy five years then, due to a lack of interference from the giant kingdom of Ostoria, encroached upon the land as well.[4] The glacier eventually destroyed the remains of Ostoria (the city of Gharreil was a testimony to its former existence)[5] but was held in check by the High Magic of the elves of Lethyr.[2] Over three thousand years later, the Ice Queen Iyraclea was granted the power to overcome the High Magic by Auril and the glacier began to grow larger once more.[6]

Again and again, the pattern of history reveals a simple truth—that history has no pattern.
— Inum, Iulutiun philosopher[3]

However, some rumors credited the extremely old gold dragon Protanther the creation of the glacier, as one of his plans to get rid of the evil from Vaasa. Although there was no absolute proof of this, given Protanther outstanding magical abilities, such a feat was not impossible for him, giving credence to this rumor.[7][8]

It is not known exactly why she stopped, but Iyraclea ceased her magical ministrations to the Glacier, causing it to begin to retreat in 1038 DR, four hundred years after her original icy expansion, suddenly clearing massive swathes of formerly frozen land on its southern edge.[9] The Glacier continued to retreat more and more, but much slower, and when the Ice Queen died in 1373 DR, there was nobody to reverse the process.


As of 1359 DR, it hosted several distinct societies in Alpuk, Angalpuk, Nakvaligach, and Novularond.[citation needed]

Important LocationsEdit

The Glacier of Ulutiu
A 1,000 foot high wall of ice covered in glowing runes created by Ulutiu.[10]
Iyraclea's Castle
Formed from magical ice, it was occupied by Zaol, an outcast angel, after the Ice Queen's death.[11]
The Novularond
A massive mountain range in the centre of the Glacier.[12]
A lost city, freed from the Glacier by its retreat, full of undead that feed on the heat given off by the living.[11]


Portal to the Ruins of GharreilEdit

A featureless sheet of ice deep inside a crevice in the Great Glacier marked the entrance to the ruined city of Gharreil. In shadow and darkness, the ice appeared black, but when directly illuminated by the sun overhead, it appeared bright blue and an inscription was revealed. This inscription was written in a large circle on the smooth ice wall, in characters of the ancient giant tongue.[5]

The city of Gharreil, seat of the Satrap of the Great Glacier, loyal servant of the Emperor of Jhothûn. May the qorrash smile upon it and nurture its mighty works, and continue to favor all of Jhothûn. Let no thieves or heretics enter this gate, for both suffer death in this city.[5]



  1. the name of this lost ocean was translated from the writings of a thayan scholar studying the ruins of Hotun-Shûl


  1. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  4. Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 James Wyatt (2002-06-19). "Portals of the Frozen Wastes: The Great Glacier". Perilous Gateways. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-10-18.
  6. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  7. Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), p. 36. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  8. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  9. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  10. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), pp. 59–60. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 188. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  12. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 66. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.

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