[personal profile] kpram
The World:

The world is bounded to the north by mountains of ice. Those aren't too far away.
To the west, around the arm of mountains, is a vast ocean, with fewer islands the further you go,
and mighty storms. To the east, across the sea, are the lands of wild men, and many goblins.
To the south are men, and far south are lands of good plunder. (Use a real world
map of Scandinavia to get the general idea, but that becomes less accurate the further you go from
Stockholm.)

The Viking kingdoms are generally small, but gather into large federations under a high king.
The kingdoms to the south tend to be larger, with stronger central governments, and more stable
alliances. Generally, a great leader spends as much time keeping his followers going in the same
direction as picking a direction.

Local travel is mostly on foot, and boats dominate the distances. People live mainly on the coasts,
avoiding the thick forests and steep slopes of the mountains. Winters are harsh and dark,
and legends tell of giants attacking during the worst of them. Horses are known but uncommon, becoming more common further south.
Fishing is a mainstay, with some basic agriculture and pig/cattle raising.

Climate:
Cold. Winters are damn cold. Up in the mountains the weather is even worse.
Old folks talk about how winters today are easy, but they also had to walk uphill both ways to get
to the well. Summers are nice, even warm, but nights at sea are always cold.

Magic:
People see magic in many things, attributing many things to curses or good luck charms. Blatant magic (flying, fireballs) is rare. Friend of a friend, or 'my grandfather told me' stories, include more obvious magic. The less verifiable the story, the bigger the magic. Exotic beasts are uncommon. Dire wolves and goblins are the most common of these.

Non-humans:
Goblins (nasty little claws and teeth, not intelligent but clever and vicious) are uncommon,
but most folks that don't live in larger towns have seen them. Usually about the size of a
pre-adolescent human, they must gather in packs to be dangerous to a warrior.
Dwarves are known to exist, but it is rare to see them. Perhaps one or two will come to
a big town once a decade. They trade mostly for ivory, offering excellent weapons.
There are stories of fey creatures in the woods, but most 'sensible' folks attribute them to wild
human tribes, like the Finns (east) or Germans(South).

Campaign Notes:
The game focuses on the actions of Jarl Skorri's personal warband--his elite troubleshooters. Full-time warriors, they live in his hall, ready to act at a moment's notice. Skorri has many more troops available, if the call goes out, but it would take days or weeks to muster them. Every member of the warband can (and will, in the shake-out session) pass a combat trial. They are all accomplished warriors, and can live off the land, sail a ship, or sneak by a guard.
As vikings, they don't think twice about trading or piracy, depending on the strength of those they meet.
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