One of the more common elemental types, ice magic is well known as a battle-magic style. While ice mages aren’t quite as common as fire mages, they’re still numerous, much more so than any of the universalist types.
Fire and Ice
Like fire mages, ice mages start off by learning to control temperature, though they control it in the opposite direction. Ice mages are completely unable to generate heat, but they’re great at neutralising it, freezing liquids, objects, or areas. (Luckily for them, they generally also develop a high degree of cold tolerance at the same time – if they didn’t, they’d have a good chance of killing themselves through hypothermia before ever making initiate.) Ice magic tends to focus on locking down and controlling, rather than the wild destructiveness of fire magic, and unlike fire, ice doesn’t spread, meaning that new ice mages tend to cause fewer and less spectacular accidents than novice fire mages do.
Once they’ve mastered basic temperature control, ice mages start working with ice itself. Like most mages, ice mages are unable to actually create material out of nothingness without expending an enormous amount of energy, so the easiest way for them to produce ice to work with is to form it out of nearby bodies of water, or out of atmospheric moisture. With a ready supply of water, an ice mage can shape it into almost anything he likes: walls, platforms, ladders, handheld items, and tools of all descriptions. The volume of material is limited by the amount of water an ice mage has at his disposal, but ice magic has an advantage over types such as fire and force in that ice spells last. A wall of force vanishes as soon as the force mage stops concentrating, but a wall of ice lasts until it melts (which can be quite a while).
Kill It With Ice
Ice magic is well-suited to combat. Even relatively inexperienced ice mages can usually manage some sort of destructive spell: the most common one is a stream of ice shards and super-chilled air, the temperature freezing a target into immobility as the shards rip it apart. More skilled ice mages can simply freeze a target directly, dropping the temperature around it to the degree that it becomes a brittle, lifeless statue. While ice attacks lack the direct destructive power of fire magic, ice mages make up for it by being much better at defence. Ice shields can not only act as a physical barrier, but can slow and freeze attacks as they come in, draining away their energy.
Unusually for a battle-magic type, ice magic has the ability to be quite precise in its effects. While freezing an area or sending a blast of sub-zero air might sound pretty indiscriminate, ice mages can focus their spells to a degree that makes them surprisingly accurate. For this reason, they have a reputation for being good choices if you want to defend or protect something – they’re much less likely to cause collateral damage than a fire or force mages. If an ice mage hits something, it’s generally because he meant to.
Ice mages tend to be rational, organised, and reactive. Often they’re stereotyped as emotionless and cold, but this is inaccurate – ice mages have emotions the same as anyone else, they just tend to be self-controlled about them. Although not inherently destructive, they do have an aggressive streak, and it’s quite possible to make them lose their temper. Doing so is rarely a good idea. A personality quirk of ice mages is that they can be furiously angry, and yet at the same time control and channel their anger in a highly disciplined way. They’re also patient, and have a tendency to hold grudges.
Ice mages tend Light, rather than Dark. They’re disproportionately common in the Council in general and in the more militaristic branches of the Light Council in particular. Relatively few are independents, and those that are usually gravitate towards the more dangerous jobs. Ice mages might prefer order to chaos, but they’re quite happy with conflict.