Those born with this element are called Winterborn. People who train to manipulate Ice may also simply be called 'Ice users'.
It is seen as the element of death, of winter, mindfulness, and introspection.
Winterborn are known for their intellect and being studious, but tend to have lackluster defensive ability.
Winterborn are quiet and cold, choosing to hide their true emotions beneath the frosty exterior they present to the world. This can manifest itself in various ways - some come off stoic and unfeeling, others shy and withdrawn, and others still may be sarcastic or downright hostile toward others. Regardless of 'type', however, the tendency to act in a manner that will cause people to avoid them (or actively drive them away) is a trait most Winterborn share.
The reality is that they actually feel emotions quite strongly, but are fragile and self-conscious about expressing them. Since they are born with this element, of course, this is not a response to having been hurt before so much as it is a preventative measure to avoid being hurt in the first place. Winterborn tend to be naturally distrustful and cautious of others, perhaps owing to their analytical natures - as they are easily able to spot the flaws of those around them, they become disillusioned and start to see the world in a negative light. This causes them to put up walls around their heart to protect their true selves from society.
Due to this natural defense mechanism, it can be difficult to convince a Winterborn to come out of their shells and warm up to others. With enough patience and dedication, though, one may yet melt their heart and draw out their true feelings. Those who manage to do so will find that Winterborn are surprisingly warm and loving, and may even become clingy toward the person(s) they've imprinted on. A dedicated Winterborn can easily become one of the most loyal and trustworthy companions possible.
Winterborn are strong believers in the logical, contrasting their opposites - the Firebrands - who are much more emotionally-driven. Where a Firebrand would act on their gut instinct, a Winterborn is much more likely to plan their actions out to the finest detail, accounting for possible contingencies and having at least one backup plan in case things go wrong. They are experts at understanding what their enemies are thinking and use this knowledge to form counters based on the perceived actions of their foes. These skills make Winterborn well-suited for careers as strategists, advisors, lawyers and coaches where they are able to put their wits to the test. Their tendency to view things from an analytical standpoint also helps them remain unbiased in conflict situations, making them excellent mediators. While Winterborn are more than capable of being excellent leaders, most prefer to operate from behind the scenes and leave a figurehead to act as 'the face' for the people. In fact, behind many of the most influential leaders in history has been a Winterborn acting as their advisor.
Most Winterborn tend to be remarkably intelligent and favor pursuits that can challenge their brains. As students, Winterborn are almost always among the top grades of a given class. Common hobbies include anything that may further enrich their minds such as reading, solving puzzles, or playing intellectually stimulating games against worthy opponents. They may also have an aptitude for gambling, provided it's not an entirely luck-based affair. Winterborn also possess the highest aptitude for arcane pursuits of any other element, with Winterborn of the more magically-inclined races a true force to be reckoned with. In general they favor jobs or hobbies that don't require a lot of socialization or physical activity, and many Winterborn even go so far as becoming actual recluses and hermits as well as emotional ones.
Winterborn are notorious for being distrustful of others. While caution is not a bad thing in moderation, their tendency to wall of their hearts and withdraw from the world leads them to miss out on many life experiences. Winterborn often have terrible self-esteem, afraid to be themselves for fear that others won't like them. They may actually be very interested in forming bonds with those around them, but hold themselves back and act disinterested because their hearts are too fragile to handle the potential rejection. Alternatively they may be so fixated on seeing the flaws of others that they come to believe themselves superior, the unclean masses unworthy of their time. In reality this is just another complex they use to justify their inability to get close to people.
A glass-half-empty perspective is common to Winterborn, often emphasizing the negative of a situation to where they can't even perceive the positives. This leads to a tendency to find things pointless and not worth their time. Their hyperanalytical ability only compounds this further - the Winterborn may believe that, since they can already perceive all possible outcomes of a situation, there's no sense in getting involved in the first place. They also have a very hard time seeing the good in people around them, often believing that 'good deeds' always have a selfish motive behind them. Many Winterborn may even become misanthropes who withdraw from society altogether, choosing to hole up somewhere as devoid of people as possible.
While many of these flaws can be diminished when a Winterborn comes out of their frozen shell, this can leave them open to a few new ones. If they latch onto a specific person the Winterborn may become clingy to the point of obsession. Their thoughts will be filled with nothing but the person in question and how they may devote themselves to being useful for them. Rather than deeming others unworthy of themselves, they may instead put the object of their affections on a pedestal of superiority. The Winterborn may even view others close to the person with contempt, or become insanely jealous if they try to interact with anyone aside from the Winterborn themselves. If they do not feel they're receiving enough attention they may withdraw again, becoming self-conscious and feeling themselves unworthy of someone so amazing.
In extreme cases a Winterborn may become jealous to the point of violence, especially if they feel they've been betrayed by the person they've opened up to. This may lead to aggression directed at those who try to come between them and the person they adore, unwilling to 'share' the attention they crave with anyone else. The person in question may also be the one in danger should the Winterborn find that they've been lied to or betrayed, and will become difficult to convince of any misunderstandings once things reach this point. The Winterborn may even threaten their own safety in a last bid for attention, hoping to guilt the other person back to their side. A Winterborn who has been betrayed after opening up is unlikely to ever bounce back without a significant factor convincing them to trust again.
The tendency for Winterborn to over-analyze every situation can also prove to be their downfall. By seeing so many 'moves' ahead of an opponent and believing they have the upper hand, they may overlook simpler and more obvious weaknesses in their own defenses that are ripe for exploitation. This can apply both in battle as well as social situations. If a Winterborn should be defeated in this way it is sure to shake their confidence significantly, making them question all future actions and try feverishly to outmaneuver themselves until they become mentally exhausted. Indeed, the most surefire means of defeating a cunning and intelligent Winterborn is simply to make them get inside their own heads and ultimately destroy themselves.
Winterborn tend to have lackluster social skills as a result of avoiding contact with others. This can make them feel clumsy and uncomfortable when forced into such situations, overwhelming their minds with insecurity and making it difficult for them to use the full extent of their intelligence. Having many voices trying to talk over each other at once can also overwhelm their own thoughts, causing them to break down or lash out in an attempt to stifle the noise. Since Winterborn excel in planning and analyzing, having to think on the fly without sufficient time to outline their thoughts can make fast-paced conversations particularly challenging, so they don't handle being put on the spot very well.
Ice is one of the most powerful elements when it comes to the Arcane arts. Their keen intellect and ability to analyze their opponents puts them at a great advantage when fighting from afar, but they tend to have poor defenses and are not well-suited to fighting up close.
All Winterborn possess the passive ability of Subzero, giving them extreme resistance to frigid temperatures that would be harmful, if not deadly, to others. This doesn't mean that you'll always find Winterborn living in areas thick with ice and snow, they are generally at their most comfortable during the cooler seasons and do indeed thrive in the more arctic regions. Naturally this also gives them a bit of built-in resistance against other Winterborn.
Winterborn often use their element in an extravagant, flashy way that leaves a strong visual impression. In addition to combat usage such displays can be put on for entertainment value as well, with many finding the transient beauty of ice a reflection on the fleeting nature of all things.
As mentioned, most Ice techniques are meant for ranged combat. They include such things as hurling ice spikes, raining down a storm of hailstones, sending a steadily-growing rolling snowball to crush foes, whipping up blizzards, or even just chilling the air so much that breathing and moving becomes difficult.
If forced into close-ranged combat, Ice users can dramatically lower the body temperature of living targets with a touch. Naturally this requires getting particularly close to an opponent, however, which may be difficult. To that end, many Ice users employ their element defensively in the creation of frozen barriers and shields which, while efficient at absorbing and deflecting blows, don't tend to last very long before breaking. This is usually enough to at least buy the Ice user time to prepare other techniques and is not typically meant to be used for long-term protection. Ice is also popularly used to enchant existing weapons to augment their abilities, such as the frozen arrowheads commonly employed by natives of the Ice Plains' northern mountains.
Winterborn are naturally able to freeze existing liquids, including bodies of water. This can be a boon when traveling across ponds and rivers, as the Winterborn may freeze a portion of the surface to allow themselves and companions to cross easily. Similarly, their Subzero ability may be a useful means of keeping the party cool in warmer regions, or create ice that may melt and quench their thirst in times of desperation. However, as Ice is naturally weak against the heat, Winterborn may have some difficulty utilizing their powers in exceptionally hot regions as their internal body temperature may become too warm to create ice.
Ice is strong against Metal, and weak against Fire. While it may also have an advantage over Water by virtue of being able to freeze it, take heed that powerful Water users may be able to turn the tides by manipulating the particles of water inside the ice, making them tricky opponents.
Ice also has a natural advantage against certain flora, mechanical automata, and some aquatic races like mermaids. Races that thrive in warm climates (but are not outright Fire-aligned) may also find some difficulty dealing with Ice users as they are unused to the cold and may become sluggish. Undead races are typically immune to Ice and may prove difficult foes.
The Ice Plains region of IGNOLand is the most ideal location for Winterborn. The climate is cold and snowy throughout most of the region, bordered by the frigid northern seas and IGNOLand's tallest mountain range. Since civilization is also limited to spotty pockets of small villages and communities it is also an ideal location for the reclusive Winterborn who wishes to isolate themselves from society, making it a most favored location for the Ice element.
Legend has it that there was once a temple built to honor ice. The most likely location for this temple to have stood is the Ice Plains, but no evidence supporting its existence has ever been found.