As adults fully armoured Ice Warriors were large and imposing reptilian humanoids, reaching up to 7 feet tall. Armourless, they had flattened, scaly faces with sharp fangs, large black eyes and thin green tongues. Ice Warriors had a skeletal structure much like that of a Humans, though with a flatter skull and wider eye sockets. Among Ice Warrior women, their females tended to possess a slighter build and a dorsal spine. They had dorsal crests. Some Ice Warriors found larger dorsal crests on females sexually attractive.
They had clamp-like hands, at least in their armour. They preferred cold climates and could be killed by extreme heat, though small fires were no more dangerous to them than a Human. Due to differences in atmosphere and gravity, in Earth-like environments, Ice Warriors perpetually wheezed and tended to move slowly. Despite this, they were capable of moving at fast speeds when needed. They spoke in a drawn-out hiss.
The species possessed a large lifespan with some Martians in 1997 being alive since the time Shakespeare was writing his plays. The typical lifespan for an Ice Warrior was living for nearly three hundred standard years.
Martians were noted as being herbivores.
Ice Warriors almost always wore hard thick, green, ceremonial armour. They usually wore a similarly-coloured helmet with a red blast-screen covering their eyes, which covered everything but their mouths. The helmets also had "ear holes". They particularly hated it when an enemy fired at their eyes. Common Ice Warriors wore patterned thick shell-like bulky green armour, while the Ice Lords wore lighter armour, sleeker, bullet-shaped metallic helmets, simple breastplates and capes. During the late 20th century, it was known that the nobility of many Martian clans wore a form of bio-armour.
By the late 26th century, at least, this armour was built directly into the body. This armour was controlled by an implant at the back of the brain and powered by the Ice Warrior's nervous system. Ice Warriors also had artificial membranes inside their throats, allowing them to filter out gases not necessary for their survival.
The armour consisted of carapaces and helmets that were grown in nutrient tanks and augmented with cybernetics. This provides a warrior with an increased level of strength and also gave them a direct link to the Martian battle net as well as boosted reaction time by five hundred percent.
Ice Warriors also used small, hand-held sonic weapons built into their armor just above their "hands" more colloquially called "sound guns". The Ice Warriors tended to used rifles and sonic cannons.
They also made use of genetically engineered weapons such as the Red Death which was programmed to target individuals with a specific DNA pattern. Similarly, Ice Warrior geneticists discovered the lethal nature of Martian sleeping fever which tended to burn itself out after a decade and used it as the basis for their bacteriological weapons.
The Ice Warriors never developed subspace technology. During the 22nd century Dalek invasion, the Ice Warriors had one superweapon, the GodEngine, put together from technology left over by the Osirians, god-like visitors to Mars from long ago. The GodEngine could destroy a star by making it go supernova.
The Ice Warriors were capable of terraforming planets to better suit their needs with the process being known as "ares-forming". They were capable of deploying seeds on a planet that altered the environment and turn it into an icy world. Beyond this, their vessels were capable of bombarding a planet with bombs at specific locations in order to knock the world out of its orbit and drift further from its home sun.
It was known that Martian rockets had remained unchanged for a hundred thousand years and followed the same technological development of tens of thousands of worlds in the galaxy. It was believed that one of the reasons why the Martians had never conquered their solar system or indeed the rest of the galaxy was due to the scarcity of resources. The propulsion system on their warships were magnetic engines that emitted no heat and was capable of playing havoc with primitive guidance systems.
On their homeworld of Mars, the Ice Warriors used air cars.
Ice Warriors had a strong sense of honour. As an example, after the Doctor saved the life of the Ice Lord Izlyr, he felt obliged by duty to help the Doctor escape. Ice Warriors also had a strong dislike for lying, though they would do so in serious situations. They also believed that a victim of murder would not rest in peace until their killer had atoned for the crime. During the ritual blood duels, Ice Warriors often spat at their opponent's face in the challenge. Due to their sense of honour, terrorism was considered an anathema by the Ice Warriors were typically did not perform such attacks.
The Ice Warriors used a hereditary system of rulership, with fathers passing on their land to their sons. These sons had to become adults first in the Ritual of Tuburr named after a deity of the same name. On the other hand, advancement in the hierarchy was decided on merit and skill. This feudal way of life was maintained at least as late as the era of the Galactic Federation. In their early years, the Ice Warriors often would send their young on the surface of Mars as part of a ritual trial of endurance. If they survived, then they took the oath of Turburr where they try and pull the Sword of Turburr from a brazier. The holy nature of the Sword of Turburr meant that Martian law forbade any forging of copies of it.
The strict code of honour descended from the time of the early Martians before they became a warrior species and their planet began dying. At that time, they only hunted for food but did not fight one another nor did they ever experience warfare. In fact, the word "warrior" was unrecognized in that era and instead their belief in honor meant that they operated under a "gift economy"; this was a system where people did not pay for things but instead were given freely with the reciever giving something in return. In these early years, the Martians were more involved in the arts and the crafts rather than be soldiers. In time they began to slowly change after the disastrous climatic changes and the deaths they suffered but were always considered a reasonable people. They were also a prideful people who refused to admit a problem even if it was dangerous.
It was believed that the Ice Warriors were not known for their sense of humour. Nevertheless, Bernice Summerfield actually had done a thesis on that very subject and knew at least one "hilarious" Martian joke. In fact, Martian humour was occasionaly elusive to humans and most of it was lost in translation.
Ice Warrior marriages were short affairs, made when the participants were young and intended to preserve bloodlines of clans. The Martian homes were typically known as "nests". In such locations, young Ice Warrior males tended to scratch virility symbols onto the walls in order to attract females. Among the circular shaped military nests, entrance was achieved through a passageway known as Xssixss. At the very centre of the nest was the Queen's Chamber and the tunnel's mouth was the only entrance or exit from a nest.
Typically Martian Lord funerals involved cremations, but for a short time in their history they froze the bodies in coffin-sized blocks of ice - a symbol of their wealth on the water-scarce planet - whereupon they were sealed in crystal spires. This was inspired by the Osirians. Tomb raiding was punishable by summary execution and territorial reparations by the raider's clan. In fact, it was believed that their use of tombs, pyramids and burial of the dead was similar to that of Earth's Egyptian civilization which suggested that both were influenced by the Osirian race. Warding shrouds are metallic cloths used to protect the Martian dead prior to cremation. During the funeral rites, a deceased Martian had metallic clothes known as warding shrouds to protect them before the cremation.
Amongst their culture, the Ice Warriors prided beauty and aesthetics above everything else except for those items related to war. Furthermore, the planetary identification glyph of the Martians was a triangle overlaid with a lightning bolt with an artificial burning sun at its centre. Many of their myths as well as legends dated from the time of the Primal Wars. In terms of religion, they were known to had worshipped Oras. In addition, there was another Martian god known as Claatris who was the god of war and also an Osirian.
They were known to had possessed a caste based society with chefs highly prized witin its structure. Amongst their people, it was known that women and family were considered sacred. Despite this being the case, it was known at times that women were known to eat their young.
Much of the Ice Warrior's early history and culture was defined by clans and families. They had a very rigid society of castes and classes. There were many struggles for power between the different families. When the Doctor and Stacy came to Mars, there was a struggle for power between the Balazarus Mons and Darsus Mons families.
At some unknown point in the past, the species that became known as the Ice Warriors constructed a large moon shaped craft that would later become known as Phobos. This vessel served as a generation ship designed to transport the prehistoric Martians to their homeworld of Mars. The Martian Industrial Revolution was noted to had taken place at the same time as the Pliocene era on nearby Earth.
Thousands of years ago, the Martian civilization was noted as being a peaceful people who were not warriors but artisans who hunted for food but never experienced war amongst their own kind or other races. In this era, their world was a thriving planet with the native sentient species thriving for 12,000 years in peace. Though they preferred the cold, one settlement was built in the equator but its construction of the shelled shaped buildings allowed for a cooler climate and there were waterways which kept the populace fulfilled. Their sense of honour stretched back from this time as their civilization was based on a gift economy where things were given freely and recievers gave something back in return. It was a world of craftsmen, builders and farmers which built wondrous pyramids on their home planet. During this Early Period, Martian cities were noted as being much like those on Earth where food waste and plant matter was left on the streets.
However, a visit by The Doctor and his companion Amy led to the fall of the race. The two time travellers were looking for a segment from the Key to Time one of which was located in the equatorial settlements pyramid. Two further travellers from the Commune of the White Sky had also arrived and by tampering with the segment, it led to the formation of a gravity plug which sent earthquakes and hurricanes across the planet for three decades which devastated the Martian civilization. Some managed to get off world but most remained on Mars where they fought amongst themselves for food and shelter. After thirty years, the energies from the segment of the Key to Time had been spent and finally the ground had settled. What remained of their race emerged onto their world where they planned to rebuild it even if it took them a thousand years.
Despite this honourable goal, it was the Ice Lord Izdaal who had been observing the sky and his studies determined that there atmosphere was no longer capable of keeping out the deadly radiation from space which would eventually kill them all. Taking this to his government, he told them that their turmoil was not over and with evidence seen amongst the sickening children, he declared that their world was no longer sustainable. He was ultimately ignored by his people and thus Izdaal took the ultimate sacrifice. To prove himself right, he elected to step outside and face the Red Dawn, knowing that such an act would be fatal. His death led to his people coming to the same conclusion and they worked to survive, slowly becoming a conqueror race that took what they wanted from others. As Mars slowly began to die, one million Martians remained trapped in suspended animation onboard the generation ship that became the moon "Phobos".
The Ice Warrior’s prime was around several million years B.C.E.. Millions of years ago, a group of Ice Warriors led by Lord Arakssor were convicted for their warmongering ways and declared war criminals with their sentence being imprisoned in the ice on the primitive planet Earth in Antartica where they were to remain for all of time. Despite the imprisonment of the war-like groups, the Ice Warriors continued to be become a more violent people. Some exploration attempts to other planets were made. One of these explorers, Varga went to Earth, but his ship was trapped in a glacier for millions of years. Sometime after this, the Ice Warrior’s civilization went into decline as Mars became more inhospitable.
Centuries ago, Martian scientists concluded that the possibility of oxygen breathing lifeforms to be a complete absurdity. There were many attempts by the Martians to revitilise their world but they lacked the resources to accomplish this feat. They had attempted to grow plants in the barren soil of their planet but these were always rotten and dying. By 1997, Mars was in its dying days and its people racked by sterility and disease. The Argyre clan of Ice Warriors made an attempt to invade Earth, nominally taking over the United Kingdom with human collaborators to form a mutually beneficial relationship, but actually intending a mass terraformig ("ares-forming") of the planet. This was thwarted and the clan was eradicated.
In 2008, an invasion was attempted in Sydney, Australia but was thwarted by UNIT. Later, in the year 2012, an expedition by Lord Barset went to Antartica in order to follow an earlier failed expedition by his grandfather in 1929. His ancestors mission was a complete failure with only a single survivor who informed others that the expedition had fallen prey to intelligent reptile men with superior technology. Seeking to uncover this advanced weaponry for himself, Barset's people accidently freed the imprisoned Arakssor and his fellow murderers.
Another invasion and terraforming was attempted in the mid-21st century, when the Ice Warriors, led by Slaar, invaded a base on the Moon regulating the global T-Mat system and attempted to use a type of Martian fungus, which would turn the Earth into a more hospitable planet for them.
In 2086, another invasion was attempted, leading to the Thousand Day War. By 2088, the Humans had won this conflict. By the early 22nd century, the Interstitial Mass Transit System had been established, linking the planetary bodies of the Sol system in a way that allowed humanity to treat Mars as a colony world, marginalising the few remaining survivors of the war and, through the 22nd century, marginalized the Ice Warriors on their own home planet. Later, though, the Ice Warriors had become allies with the Humans. The Ice Warriors colonised a new planet and named it New Mars.
At some point during the 22nd century Ice Warriors came into conflict with the Selachian Empire when one colony refused to sell weapons to the Ockorans. The Ockorans used their sun-stoker on these colonists to kill them. Circa the 24th century, a group of Ice Warriors on the planet Magnus got caught up with the deals of the Mentor, Sil, who said he would lower the temperature of Magnus in order to make the world a more comfortable environment in which Martians could live. The Doctor and Peri put an end to this plan.
In the 25th century, the Doctor combated the plots of the Ares Corporation and awakened the sleeping Martians in the artificial moon of Phobos; the event became known as Resurrection Day. However, by the 26th century, the Ice Warriors were an isolated species. They had left Mars entirely and were isolated on New Mars. During this century, an Ice Warrior, Haama, accompanied Abslom Daak and his crew in the Kill-Wagon.
In the 34th century, during an Ice Age on Earth, Varga and his crew were finally revived and decided to take over first Brittanicus Base and then the world. By the late 40th century, the Ice Warriors had, for the most part, renounced their war-like ways and the Ice Warriors joined the Galactic Federation. At some point after their entry into the Federation, the Ice Warriors served as monitors and were dispatched to Draconia to oversee the crisis developing among the Draconians after the ascendance of Empress Adjit Kwan. Led by Commander Ixzyptir who was empowered to declare martial law in case the civil unrest became too great and was charged with overseeing the protection of Adjudicators that were to negotiate a peaceful settlement. At the time, the Tenth Doctor arrived and was mistaken for the Adjudicator where he was kidnapped by rebel factions though the Ice Warriors were responsible for the protection of Donna Noble.