The Desolation of Nordhelm

Old Jun 20 '09, 8:40am
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Quarterpound Quarterpound is offline
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The Desolation of Nordhelm

The Desolation of Nordhelm - Forum
Iron Heroes
Estimated Members Requested: 5

Greetings and welcome. Some of you may know me from around the site while most of you do not. I have been DMing for approximately six years, both at the game table and on various online sites (such as this fine one). I am always available via PM and AIM and am certainly an "approachable" DM. Now that the introduction is out of the way, let's get this show on the road.

First of all: I do not want you to create a character sheet at all. Instead, I want you to create a person, filled with life, background, and personality. Let me repeat myself:

Do NOT create a character sheet, create a living being!

In regards to this game:
This will be a Viking campaign with elements of horror, as such, there are certain things you should keep in mind as you apply.

1) To cooperate with me in setting the mood: A player who refuses to allow himself to be swept up in the game, and who will not portray his character as scared or shocked when the situation warrants, destroys the mood not only for himself but for the entire group.
2) To accept that horrific events will happen to them: In a horror campaign, not every ending is a happy one. The PCs will, at times, encounter opponents too powerful and too terrible for them to defeat. They will not always be able to prevent their loved ones from suffering. They won't have as high a survival rate as characters in other campaigns. They should not expect every fight to be winnable and every plotline to end on a positive note.
3) To create horror-appropriate characters: Horror works only when the characters have something to lose. A character with a rich background, goals and ambitions, and friends and family is a much better choice for a horror game than the stoic loner with no emotional attachments. If a character fears nothing, then nothing inspires fear, and while that might fit certain heroic archetypes, it doesn't encourage horror roleplaying.
4) To avoid metagame thinking: A character in a horror game who thinks, "Dear gods, that creature utterly ignored my fireball! It cannot be a normal troll!" is fine. A player who grows irate at me for creating a flame-breathing troll is not. Fear is about surprises and the unknown. Trust me enough to accept that I have a reason for making changes. Furthermore, don't assume that I won't let a character die; this is a horror game, after all. The danger is real, and the players should treat it as such.
5) To tell me if it's gone too far: This is a game. This is about having fun. If my idea of horror goes further than you're comfortable with, tell me so.


The Setting:
The world is young. Monsters and beasts roam the wilds and kingdoms have not yet been forged. This is Europe during the 9th to 10th century with a fantastical twist. The only magic that exists is extremely wild or wielded by the darkest of forest demons. I repeat: there is NO PLAYER MAGIC.
Sources used to inspire this setting:
--Iron Heroes
--Heroes of Horror
--The 13th Warrior/The Eaters of the Dead
--Norse Mythology (yes, there will be elements of the 18th century re-awakening and romanticizing of the "Viking")


1) A paragraph describing your character's looks in detail. I don't want to see anything like "average height", be specific.
2) A paragraph describing your character's personality, including a short roleplay of these two scenes:

3) An in-depth background, including memorable childhood events, family members, friends, as well as what has given your character his current goals.
4) The following questionnaire:


The Character:
I realize that creating a character concept requires at least a certain amount of character building information, so here goes:

1) The only book allowed is Iron Heroes (Revised) and the Player's Companion. If you do not have a copy, PM me and we might be able to work something out, since the fighter, barbarian, and rogue are only changed a little. Again, there is NO player magic in this campaign, at least to start out with.
2) Keep in mind a viking setting. Playing characters from that time period who are non-viking are fine, as long as there is a reason for you to be consorting with the pirates and explorers known as the norsemen.
3) The only race allowed is human.
4) We will be creating characters together once accepted. Keep in mind when creating your being, that you will be starting at a very low level.

Wow! Wall of text! Like I said earlier, feel free to PM me, contact me on AIM, or ask questions here. You have until the 30th of June (a week) to apply. Application is rolling so if the first 5 applications are amazing, I will close the thread. Good luck everyone!

Game Description:

"Do you not see what I see?
Do you not hear death approaching?"
--Final words of Jarl Grimr II, last ruler of Nordhelm

Once upon a time, Nordhelm was a thriving city. Skalds still remember Nordhelm's best may-fairs and scribes can recount the celebrated lives of the Jarls, back many generations into history, who helped turn the farmlands into a village into a town into a city. Skilled craftsmen of all sorts populated the Nordhelm economy with works of such intense mastery that merchants would embark on pilgrimages to be the first one of the season.

It was the first of these merchants, last spring, who happened upon a different Nordhelm. The Jarl of that time, Jarl Grimr II, had taken ill and half of the population of Nordhelm had disappeared. Livestock were few and far between and the work of the remaining craftsmen was mediocre at best. Though troubling, the merchants were more annoyed than worried. They left and made sure to tell those they passed in the wilds of what they found. Most merchants turned back, but a faithful few stayed the course. A month after the first merchants of the season had arrived, the last people to see Nordhelm and live to tell of it arrived.

No male survived between the ages of ten and sixty. Women were bruised, malnourished, pale, and pregnant. Jarl Grimr the II had gone mad and locked himself in the highest tower of his fortress. Stray animals meandered the streets, rife with disease and fleas.

Still, it was after the sun set that the merchants truly experienced the new horror of Nordhelm. Only two of the original five merchants ever made it out of Nordhelm and of those two, only one survived with any recognizable portion of his wits. Unfortunately, the man chewed off his own tongue.

So what horror lay in Nordhelm? What eldritch myth arose from the lands to consume the shining beacon of art? The two merchants who survived can only hint at the depraved terrors they experienced while any who have gone back have never been seen again. What about you, stranger? Will you brave the dreaded wilds? Will you survive the bitter voyage? Will you discover Nordhelm's fate?

Last edited by Quarterpound; Jun 23 '09 at 8:49am..
Seems like this will be an interesting game. I'm playing around with a few ideas currently.

Posting interest! I'm working something up now...slowly.





Hm... I might be interested as I have been looking for a game without much magic for a couple of weeks, but I don't have the Iron Heroes and Expanded Iron Heroes books. From what I have read so far the Man-at-Arms could be a class for me.
Will have to look more at it tomorrow.

EDIT: It would seem I spoke too soon. Iron Heroes is an incredible book, and I'll definitely get something up and running for this game!
Btw, what exactly do you mean Expanded Iron Heroes? To my limited knowledge after doing a net search, only your thread came up in the search for "Expanded Iron Heroes". Do you mean the Revised Handbook or the Player's Companion book?

Maybe we'll actually get to play together this time, Pramxnim, instead of just stalking each other's threads =P

Hmm, I'm thinking of making a Thief, inspired by Loki's flyting Eddas. Insults to verse would actually be fun to write.


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