DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES
Guide to Icewind Dale
MAR 2, 2023
Trailers for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves have given glimpses into many potential locations in the Forgotten Realms, none more obvious than the icy region known as Icewind Dale. It exists in the farthest north region along the Sword Coast, and is an unforgiving land. With exception to Bryn Shander, the ten towns are built on the shores of three big lakes and mostly rely on fishing. In 1988 R.A. Salvatore, debuted the character Drizzt Do’Urden who is among Icewind Dale’s most legendary heroes. Perhaps the drow ranger will make a cameo appearance in the movie. What is known is that Revel’s End in particular plays a role in the film along with some of the settlements in Ten-Towns. The prequel comic Honor Among Thieves: The Feast of the Moon details the events leading up to the start of the movie, including the capture of Egin the Bard (played by Chris Pine) and Holga the Barbarian (played by Michelle Rodriguez). Spoilers ahead.
Holga first met Edgin when they both attempted to rob the same shop in Targos, one of the settlements in Icewind Dale. Targos is home to the region’s largest fishing industry and has the biggest fishing fleet in all of Ten-Towns. Everything in Targos revolves around hauling knucklehead trout out of the local lake. There is a nomadic barbarian tribe in Icewind Dale known as the Reghed Tribe of the Elk, but somewhat confusingly Holga is from the Uthgardt barbarians’ Elk Tribe who roam the Evermoors which are southeast of Ten-Towns and east of Neverwinter. The Uthgardt tribes take their name from Uthgar Gardolfsson, an ancient hero who conquered much of the North and each tribe venerates a totem animal spirit after which the tribe is named.
Together the unlikely duo of barbarian and bard eventually form a crew with Forge the Rogue (played by Hugh Grant) and Simon the Sorcerer (played by Justice Smith). While in a tavern in Targos, a mysterious woman named Lady Sofina hires them to steal a powerful magical horn from Korinn's Keep. When they pull off the job, Sofina absconds with the item. While Edgin and Holga are incarcerated at Revel's End prison, Simon manages to escape, and Forge betrays the crew and takes the loot from their heist.
Chris Perkins has said that Revel's End was introduced in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden specifically to set it up for the movie. Revel’s End is a maximum-security prison location that also appears in the D&D adventure anthology Keys From the Golden Vault as a setting for one of the heists. Revel’s End is controlled by the Lords’ Alliance. Each member assigns one representative to form a parole committee called the Absolution Council and the prison warden, who is a neutral entity, acts as a tie-breaker in votes to determine whether to commute a prisoner’s sentence. The prison itself is configured in such a way that the activities of the prisoners can be closely monitored from a central tower which houses the prison’s administrative offices and guard barracks.
If you’re a DM looking to add Icewind Dale locations to your campaign, Rime of the Frostmaiden is an excellent starting point. The book details the ten settlements and includes adventure hooks as follows:
Bremen: A local researcher claims that a monster living in Maer Dualdon has been attacking and sinking fishing boats.
Bryn Shander: After a yeti attack, a group of shield dwarves were forced to abandon a sled loaded with iron ingots which they were transporting from the mines at the base of Kelvin’s Cairn.
Caer-Dineval: Devil-worshiping cultists have taken over a cliffside castle and confined the town speaker to his quarters while spreading stories about his ill health to hide their presence and restrict access to the castle.
Caer-Konig: A quiet village is being tormented by invisible thieves!
Dougan’s Hole: Two winter wolves are extorting the townspeople for food and treasure on behalf of an awakened woolly mammoth.
Easthaven: Some fishers have gone missing, and the captain of the militia assistance searching for them.
Good Mead: Three casks of mead were stolen by a verbeeg as they were being loaded onto a dogsled and the town needs them back to make coin from deliveries to taverns throughout Ten-Towns.
Lonelywood: A white moose is attacking loggers in the nearby forest, putting the logging industry and survival of Ten-Towns in jeopardy.
Targos: A wilderness guide has gone missing after leading a small expedition into the mountains.
Termalaine: A nearby mine has been overrun by kobolds.
These starting adventures make for great hooks in the setting. For player options, Uthgardt Tribe Member is a background available in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide so PCs can embrace their inner Holga.