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A History of the Ice Warriors

By Murray Cramp

Mars developed as a snowy world, with a cold and bitter climate. But it was able to sustain some forms of life. Unlike Earth, the reptiles of the planet thrived on cold; whereas the mammals thrived on heat. Since the planet was so cold, the reptiles developed at a faster rate. But some blubber-covered mammals were able to survive. Unfortunately at about 12 million B.C. the Fendahl came to Earth and in passing almost completely devastated Mars. All mammalian life was destroyed and only a small number of the hardiest reptiles survived, to live in areas near the polar ice caps. In time a biped race, later known as Ice Warriors, developed.

They formed tribal communities and developed a militaristic society with many competing factions fighting for political power. An Emperor had nominal rule (but not authority) over the many loosely-aligned fiefdoms and clans. Some of these groups were more loyal than others. Civil wars and coups were quite common events. This fairly chaotic political situation promoted separate development, isolationism and a certain amount of xenophobic paranoia.

Because of the completely different lifestyles experienced by the inhabitants of the planet, the race soon formed various subspecies. Some were smaller, stronger or more cultured than others. Many were nothing more than militaristic barbarians while a few were more peaceful and educated, but still keen on military discipline. Some even managed to send craft into space to explore the nearby moons and planets of the solar system. One such group was led by Commander Varga, who travelled to Earth at about 50,000 B.C. This group was seemingly lost in a snowstorm but were revived many years later [see The Ice Warriors].

Because Ice Warriors have a mild fear of the unknown and are basically conservative and cautious by nature, they sent no further ships as far as we know.

Also at about this time the Martians were developing sonic technology and quickly developed weapons and torture equipment with this new skill. They created bulky armour with sonic weapons built in. This armour has remained fundamentally the same ever since.

The sonic torture device known as 'frequency seven' emits the dreaded sound which all Ice Warriors fear. Long exposure to this torture device will destroy their brain. They are more susceptible to this than any other race.

By about 30,000 B.C. the various sub-species of the planet had been defined as three main castes; and the Emperor had become something of a religious figure, for some a spiritual leader. The Warrior caste (sometimes referred to as the plaster caste because they always took the brunt of the fighting) were large and aggressive. The Ice Lords were those of great learning and knowledge, the Ice Warrior equivalent of the aristocrat. Finally, the Marshalls were the leaders and controllers of the race. Those born into a particular caste remain in it for life. Social mobility is non-existent.

By about 25,000 B.C. a group of Arcturian traders went to Mars on a 'peace mission' to seek out new markets for their booming weapons manufacturing business. The Emperor greeted them warmly and was keen to learn any new skills and buy any technology that would improve the lifestyle of his 'subjects'.

But some of the more conservative and reactionary elements of Martian society were fearful of the consequence of this exchange. They were suspicious of the Arcturian motives and felt their Emperor was being manipulated by alien interests. Marshalls of the Sokalyxr Clan managed to convince many of their planetarymen of this perceived threat. They managed to end the petty quarrels which had formerly divided the clans and soon amassed a large revolutionary army of so-called 'Loyalists'. This reactionary army removed or suppressed those who wanted change. The Emperor was forced to abide with what was made to seem like the majority of his subjects. But this removed the god-like status he had previously enjoyed. The general populace saw that he was not the all-powerful being they once believed. Having lost most of his credibility as a lizard of status he was allowed to continue in his position, but as a puppet of the Sokalyxr. Small groups of Emperor-worshippers continued to exist, but they had no political influence and remained a constant embarrassment to the new regime - 'The New Order', nicknamed the 'New Chaos' by some more liberal-minded Ice Lords.

The Marshalls were determined to preserve the 'military way'. A number of Arcturian diplomats were killed in rather suspicious 'accidents'. For example the Arcturian Minister for External Relations and Trade was beheaded when he was mistakenly accused of being a spy. War seemed inevitable. But being more interested in profits than vengeance, the Arcturians gave up and left the planet altogether.

A long period of stagnation ensued on Mars. This was the Martian twilight and the beginning of a long dark age. The caste system was more rigidly enforced than ever. Warriors couldn't even change their Marshalls. No space travel or interplanetary contact was allowed. The Martian race descended to live in large underground cities. The revolution which started off in the name of loyalty to the Emperor and justice for all had degenerated into a ruthless and dictatorial application of power over a completely subservient populace.

Meanwhile on the surface of the seemingly dead planet in the year 5, 000 B.C. a group of Osirians set up a control pyramid in order to imprison Sutekh on Earth. Since the Ice Warriors seldom ever surfaced from their bunkers they were never aware of this. Sutekh was finally destroyed in 1911.

In 1926, a small group of Ice Warriors were taken for entertainment purposes by the Miniscope. Thanks to the Doctor and Jo Grant they were returned safely and unharmed, to their home planet.

Meanwhile the Ice Warriors themselves were beginning to gather evidence that intelligent life had evolved on Earth. For some time the Marshalls had exclusive rights to this information. Some younger ones wanted to inform the rest of the planet of this. As information filtered down through to the lower castes, discontent grew and the regime was in danger of collapse. In order to revive popular support the Marshalls decided on a so-called 'second revolution'.

The latest puppet Emperor was eliminated and a suitable cover story arranged. He was replaced by a 'democratically-elected' Grand Marshall, although only those of the Marshall caste could offer themselves as candidates and only the Marshalls and Ice Lords could vote. 'The Warrior Suffrage Movement' was ruthlessly suppressed and quickly silenced. Any further resistance to these events was quelled by news of the impending invasion of Earth. The Warriors were happy to be going to battle after so many generations of non-belligerence. Promises of riches, glory and an immortal place in Martian history stirred the uneducated masses into battle. Soon the dark times were forgotten as the planet mustered its forces in preparation.

The invasion was planned to the last detail. Earth had become completely dependent on the recently developed T-Mat travel system. By using only a small force of 'elite' troops led by Ice Lord Commander Slaar, they intended to take control of the Moonbase [see The Seeds of Death].

The failure of the invasion was the death knell of the corrupt dictatorship. Most of its military power had been destroyed in one swift movement. Peace terms were signed gratefully by the defeated survivors. A new phase called the 'Enlightened Period' dawned on Ice Warrior history.

They remained militaristic but most managed to control their aggression. This was heavily influenced by the fact that for the first time in history the female Martians outnumbered the male ones. These 'Ice Maidens' are more docile, peaceful and have long scaly tails which they greatly admire. Prudish Ice Maidens make a point of not showing their tail in public. Tail waving is considered grossly offensive in high society. The Martians remained a conservative and shy race. Few humans ever saw them.

In 2176 the Ice Warriors engaged and destroyed a small task force of Daleks. The Daleks could possibly have been a remnant battle group left over from the Earth invasion force which had been defeated only a few years previously. The Martians used a virus which attacked the insulation cables of the Daleks' electrical circuits. It is not known how the virus was discovered, as the Ice Warriors have kept all knowledge of it a secret (selfish bastards). This continued to cause friction between Mars and Earth for some years. But it was almost certainly a virus similar to that which was used later by the Movellans.

Throughout the 23rd Century large scale colonisation of Mars took place and soon the human population outnumbered the Ice Warriors. Most Ice Warriors accepted this whereas some left Mars and lived on other planets. A kind of apartheid developed. The Martians had a separate political and cultural development. They even competed in separate sports teams during the Galactic Games. They did particularly well in the shooting events and obtained distinction in lawn bowls.

In the year 3000 A.D. Commander Varga's team was revived [see The Ice Warriors]. The Ice Warriors refused to accept any responsibility for this embarrassing incident.

[Ice Warriors]

In 3200 A.D. the Ice Warriors decided to show their peaceful intentions by joining the newly formed Federation. In this they found their niche in the Universe and became active members of this group [see The Curse of Peladon]. Unfortunately the revival of Varga's expedition aroused some rebellious elements. For years small groups had been developing, which dreamt of the 'glorious' past and an end to 'cultural imperialism'. When the Federation seemed certain to go to war with Galaxy Five a small group did a deal with Galaxy Five and worked against the Federation [see The Monster of Peladon].

With the threat of war over, most Ice Warriors were content to be at peace, but in some isolated sectors of the Universe some pockets remain; plotting for the day they can emerge on a path of conquest.

This item appeared in TSV 24 (August 1991).