Friday, February 3, 2017

Iron Edda - Holdfast Creation, PC Introductions

So, way back on January 11th, I met with my Wednesday group and we had our first session of Iron Edda: World of Metal and Bone. A big part of the first session was Holdfast creation, a bit of collaborative world building where the players had to decide on important matters, or as the book puts it...
The holdfast will be the center of your campaign. Adventures may take you far across the world, but you will always return here, where songs will be sung of your journeys.
Creating your holdfast is a collaborative process. To begin, put a blank piece of paper in the middle of the table. This will be your map of the holdfast and its surrounding area, populated with issues that will drive the campaign.
So each player took a turn, rolling to determine a random category and issue, then they answered the question(s) raised (or at least answered some, re-reading what my group came up with and I see some places where I didn't push hard enough) and drew something on the map to represent the issue. Here's the map we ended up with and the results are below, with the PC introductions below that. I'll post my summary and commentary for the first session elsewhere.

Holdfast creation map with PC runestones.

A few things to note, the Petruvian empire is a pseudo-Roman empire south of the main campaign setting, they ended up coming up a bit in the first session (and will continue to, I imagine). The Category and Issue are in Italics, and the player response is in normal type.

Political Maneuvers - The Jarl is gravely ill. Some whisper that their spouse is responsible. What is the true nature of the Jarl’s illness? What will happen if they do not recover? – The Jarl has been seduced by one of the elves in the nearby Elven Woods who is stealing her strength.

Local Resources - The river is the lifeblood of your holdfast. What threat is being posed to those who ply the river? How can their way of life be maintained? – There is an encampment of frost giants near the source of the river who are freezing it. The PCs will have to battle the giants or parley with them to get them to stop freezing the river.

Tidings of War - Crucial supplies need to get to a nearby holdfast. What is preventing the supplies from getting there? How can this obstacle be circumvented? – There is a camp of the Petruvian legion in a mountain pass blocking trade routes to the west. They will need to be dislodged or another pass through the mountains will need to be found.

Blessings of the Gods - Word has reached the holdfast of the first Bonebonded, said to have pieces of Ymir, the Father of Giants in his skeleton. What special properties does this give the Bonebonded? How can your holdfast benefit from this legendary force? - Ymir's bones give their bearer frost breath when giant. The hermit Toki has them, PCs can try to befriend him to try and find the bones.

Trade and Commerce - A bountiful harvest means an abundance for the people of your holdfast. Why was the harvest so good this year? What new trade alliances are being formed as a result? - The Holdfast made many sacrifices to Freya, become of an omen of the Frost Giants from a Seidkona. Trade excess is sent to the holdfast of Vanukas, controlled by Jarl Swarley, as they are also dealing with the frozen river.

Sword Talk, Axe Talk - A great victory has been won over enemy forces! Who was responsible for turning the tides? What did they do ensure future victories will come? - The PC Shieldmaiden,  Þorunn, led forces to vicotry over the Petruvians, and brought the battle standards of another Holdfast, Bartertown, to lead the to be blamed.

Once that was all done, the players choose to name their holdfast Jokilaasko, though the did not yet name their Jarl.

Right away, I had plenty to work with as a GM, tricksy elves, rampaging frost giants, a legion encampment, even a rival holdfast with a reason to really dislike and distrust the PCs. After the holdfast was created, we moved to character creation and here is the result (in the order that I grabbed character sheets to type up.) Note, I bought a bag of runestones, thinking I'd use them to indicate where PCs were instead of miniatures, so I had each player choose a rune for their PC and that will be before the PC name and archetype. I'll also include the starting bonds, the introductory Saga that players wrote up and their PC's starting vow. If that's missing, I'll hopefully bother the player until they provide it to me and then I'll update this post later.

ᛟ  -  Þorunn  -  Shieldmaiden

  • Origin - Wolf Clan
  • Look - Dark Hair, Determined Eyes, Calm Smile, Imposing Stature
  • Wields - a Longsax (broadsword) and shield
  • Wears - Light Mail
  • Starting Stats - 
    • Arm +2
    • Eyes +1
    • Heart +0
    • Tongue -1
  • Wounds - 
    • My blade is broken, but I am not.
    • My blood on the ground will not deter me.
    • Better that I know pain than they.
    • Face me! I yet liv!
    • I will come home with this shield of or it.
    • Tis but a scratch.
    • I can still fight you!
    • I die as I lived: with honor.
  • Bonds - 
    • I do not trust Helgi in battle.
    • Urp Hothead saved my life once. I must repay the debt.
  • Vow - 
  • Saga - 

  -  Erp Hothead  -  Berserker

  • Origin - Bonebonded
  • Look - Braided hair, Wild Eyes, Lopsided Smile, Battle Scarred
  • Wields - a Battleaxe
  • Wears - a Fur shirt
  • Starting Stats - 
    • Arm +2
    • Eyes +0
    • Heart +1
    • Tongue -1
  • Wounds - 
    • I beat my shield and ask for more.
    • Pain! Reminds me I'm alive!
    • Rrarrgh!
    • My blood steams on the snow.
    • Dropped my weapon. I'll use my teeth.
    • My leg! I will drag myself over my foes.
    • My arm is ruined, but I fight on.
    • I hear the horns of Valhalla.
  • Bonds - 
    • I can see fear in Sigurd's eyes when I show my fury. This is wise.
    • Þorunn spilled blood beside me, and I knew courage that day.
  • Vow - I will find the bones of the giant with which to bond.
  • Saga - Mother died giving birth to me. I never knew my father. Raised by holdfast, fell in with warriors.

ᚨ  -  Bjorn  -  Skald

  • Origin - Raven clan
  • Look - Glossy hair, Bright Eyes, Jester's smile, Noble bearing
  • Wields - Seax (shortsword), spear and hornpipes
  • Wears - Fine-looking clothes
  • Starting Stats - 
    • Arm +0
    • Eyes +0
    • Heart +1
    • Tongue +1
  • Wounds - 
    • A hero's tale is written in scars.
    • I've had too much excitement now.
    • It'll be hard to sign with a broken rib.
    • It grows dark, yet I go on.
    • Every poem has a final line.
  • Bonds - 
    • I will write many poems about Erp Hothead
    • Helgi must learn how to be worthy of song.
    • I composed my first tale about Þorunn's deeds.
  • Vow - Return honor to my family name.
  • Saga -Father and mother from a noble house. Father ran away from battle and shamed the family. Father killed, mother died of grief. Bjorn sold into slavery. Freed after 10 years. Traveled & learned my horn pies and storytelling. Am obsessed with warriors because my life would be different if my father wasn't a coward.

ᛖ  -  Helgi  -  Vargr

  • Origin - Horse clan
  • Look - Twig-strewn hair, Hunter's eyes, Narrow smile, Runner's build
  • Wields - Hunter's bow
  • Wears - Warm clothing and camouflage cloak.
  • Starting Stats - 
    • Arm +0
    • Eyes +1
    • Heart +0
    • Tongue +1
  • Wounds - 
    • Damn blood leaves a trail.
    • Can't feel it through the scars.
    • I can't wait around for that to heal.
    • That was my last unbroken bone.
    • …I haven't had much worse.
    • I've had worse.
    • That I would meet my end here…
  • Bonds - 

  • Vow - I will find a horse worthy of the Horse Clan and the gods.
  • Saga - This is the saga of Helgi, a northern Horse born in the lands of the Empire. Returned to the land of ice and snow, to the herd of his people, riding upon a horse that was no more than hides and bone. Cast out unto the wind. Cursed, exiled and outlaw. Washed to the shore of Jokilaakso. A vow made to find a horse of iron and stone.

ᚦ  -  Servius Julia Longinus  - Goði

  • Origin - Petruvian
  • Look - Gray hair, Wise eyes, Caring smile, Bowed back
  • Wields - Staff
  • Wears - Robes of office
  • Starting Stats - 
    • Arm -1
    • Eyes +0
    • Heart +1
    • Tongue +2
  • Wounds - 
    • By the gods, that was close!
    • My vision swims, I must focus.
    • I can't feel my arm.
    • Blood is a small price to pay.
    • I will not succumb. The others need me.
    • I died so my people can live.
  • Bonds - 
    • I remember when Þorunn was born. The gods smiled that day.
    • I must watch for the danger Sigurd may bring upon us all.
  • Vow - 
  • Saga - I am Servius, I have been in Jokilaakso longer than any living person. I do everything I can to make sure that this holdfast survives and learns the ways of the gods and honors themselves in the god's eyes. Err'body in town knows this as well.

ᛉ  -  Sigurd the Protector  -  Seiðmann

  • Origin - Raven clan
  • Look - Wavy hair, Knowing eyes, Easy smile, Narrow fram
  • Wields - Dagger
  • Wears - Woven protection
  • Starting Stats - 
    • Arm -1
    • Eyes +0
    • Heart +2
    • Tongue +1
  • Wounds - 
    • I must weave new protections after that blow.
    • The pain must not distract me.
    • These scars may spell out wisdom
    • Please, no more!
    • Death is the last great mystery.
  • Bonds - 
    • Servius respects my magic, but I don't think they trust it.
    • Urp courts disaster, but I can set them right.
    • There is something in Þorunn's future, terrible or great I cannot tell.
  • Vow - I will protect the members of this band, and assist them in their goals, regardless of my personal feelings about them.
  • Saga - I am known throughout the hold for my protective enchantments and runic weapons.

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