Can ice, without the use of major magic, be used as an effective, easy to produce weapon?
On my story's fictional planet, overall technology level comparable to late medieval Europe, I have a nation that is living in an icy desert, surrounded by extremely tall mountains, leaving only one small passage to leave the area.
The people have adapted to the harsh conditions (average temperature of −25° Celsius, not a whole lot of edible things to choose from). They are a peaceful bunch, never had they needed to defend themselves, as no-one dared to set foot into this incredibly awful place. Now they need to defend themselves though, as an Evil-Overlord-of-Doom-and-Destruction is coming. With thick fur-coats and enough food and water for his small, 3000 men army, that carries swords, bows and shields.
a few important points about the soon-to-be-invaded ice-people:
- they do have access to iron and stone to some extent.
- they are completely self-sufficient, no need for imports from outside their land
- they have some tools, mostly to prepare their food
- they do not know how to make fire, only exception is in the next point
- a few of them are capable of perform minor magic, such as tiny sparks and flames, levitating lightweight objects for short periods of time and so on
- population: ~8.000
There will be a warning, prior to the invasion, so the people will have some time to prepare. Currently I am thinking about 2–3 weeks. But how should/can they prepare?
Can they use their abundance of ice to craft weapons or generally use the ice as a weapon? If not, are they basically doomed?