The Northlands Saga - Myth-Weavers

The Northlands Saga

Old Jul 8 '19, 7:07pm
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The Northlands Saga

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The Northlands Saga

The Jarl

Jarl Olaf Henrikson is one of the most powerful men in the North. He is not a member of one of the great families such as the Gats or the Hrolfs, nor is he a resident of Storstrøm Vale where dwells the true old blood of the Northlander peoples. But he is nevertheless jarl of the most populace and cosmopolitan settlement in the Northlands and, as such, commands a great deal of respect and power. He is not even the ruler of Hordaland wherein his city of Halfstead lies, but even the køenig of Hordaland (the closest Northlands equivalent to a king) respects and listens to the words that Jarl Olaf speaks in the mead hall or at the Thing.

It is well know that Olaf Henrikson began his career as a sellsword in the Southlands, where he gained his reputation as a leader of men and as a generous ring-giver. He also amassed his fortune with plunder from his days of fighting for foreign lords before attaining command of his own ships and reaving against the settlements of those same lords. Upon returning to the North at the head of his own fleet of sixteen ships, he landed at Halfstead, at that time a stockaded port town known more for its surly jarl and acerbic residents than anything else, and put the place to the torch. Those residents who did not yield or flee were put to the sword, and a new banner raised over Halfstead — the boar and rings of Olaf Henrikson. That Køenig Ragi Steinson raised no hand against the newcomer brought forth more than a few suspicions as to whether or not the crafty ruler had not paid Olaf to raze Halfstead in the first place. Regardless of any real or imagined collusion, the result was a port rebuilt by Henrikson into a large and prosperous settlement open to trade from abroad and a powerful jarl loyal to the køenig and with a fleet of ships at his command that only grew as his reputation spread.

Today, twenty years later, Jarl Olaf is a settled man raising a family, and Halfstead is a booming Northlands port largely left to its own devices. The local Thing makes most of the decision for the town, though Jarl Olaf does keep a hall within the city from where he holds court and feast twice a month in which to hear complaints and settle legal cases and give rings to the worthy. This also allows him to claim his sizable share of the duties collected from the many visiting merchant ships. The fleet of longships Jarl Olaf maintains is down to four, and these are more prone to patrolling the waters off the peninsula for raiders than going a-viking on their own. But many rightfully expect that should the need arise, the jarl could raise the call and gather a fleet of loyal ships twice as large as what he had before.

A self-made man, Jarl Olaf is enjoying his quiet semi-retirement despite even the recent turmoil for the crown of Hordaland. He remains loyal to Leif Ragison, the young køenig, but holds Halfstead carefully neutral in the current political machinations to keep the port open and prosperous. In his mind, a healthy Halfstead is good for all of Hordaland and the North, regardless of who rules the country. As such, he and his family spend most of their time at his personal hall of Silvermeade, which is situated on the coast halfway between Halfstead and Galvë. It is here that they winter and here that you begin your career in his service.

The Intro

During the winter, there is a great deal of boredom. Snows are deep and travel is largely cut off. Few merchants or other travelers make it through, and cabin fever is not uncommon. Other than feasting and drinking, there is often little to do over the harsh winter months of the North. As a result, when there are days good enough to go outdoors, all manner of brash contests and dares are set forth and participated in with alacrity — even if the occasional knocked skull or broken bone is the inevitable result. In addition to these physical contests or wrestling, hunting, and general feats of strength (or idiocy), there are also riddling contests, singing or chanting the sagas by skalds and would-be skalds, and games of hnefatafl and other types of challenges to participate in.

The Northlands Saga Adventure Path calls for characters that are in service to Olaf Henrikson, the Jarl of Halfstead. These members of the jarl’s household are lesser servants, would-be huscarls, and other attached persons. If any PC is not a member of the household, then he should be associated to it in some way, possibly as a seasonal hanger-on (especially appropriate to wanderers from outside the Northlands). The Northlands are not like other fantasy settings. Rulers and others in positions of authority simply do not hire adventurers to solve their problems; they either take care of things themselves or send members of their household to see to the situation.

Having the PCs all be in the service to the same jarl allows for the party to have a solid foundation. Not only do they have similar goals and directives, but they also will likely know each other, if not since childhood, then at least from the mead hall of their jarl. Even outsiders would have had time to fraternize with the locals before the adventure begins. This allows for friendships and rivalries to be set up from the start. Finally, do not feel like the party is locked into a life of service to one jarl. Events will unfold that allows your characters to stretch their own wings

Game Description:

If this sounds interesting to you then I recommend that you take a look at the setting section before moving to character creation.

Posting Rate: Every other day or so. Minimum of two per week would be ideal.

Due Date: I would like applications finished by 7/19/2019.

Excellent write up! Your forum details on the life of a northman are very intriguing. I am going to guess you get more than a few submissions of that giantblood/trollblood type. I wish I had time to start a new game, but good luck to you with this.

Tempted to channel a bit of Eaters of the Dead and play someone from the Caliphate, or perhaps something akin to a Goth come north, horseman style. Lot of options, lot of thoughts, I'll have to think on it.

Mmm~ Norse based game is always rather tempting~

Edit: Can we get an OoC in the game thread, where we can ask questions and talk and such? Also, do you want character apps here?

Edit: Tempting, but most of my character ideas that I want to do don't really fit, who knows~

Roughtrade - Thank you.

fenrirlokison - We are already using the character creation thread as an OOC. Yes, apps can be in the same thread group as the character creation thread.

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