Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Shadow of Yggdrasil Campaign: Introduction

An ash I know there stands,
Yggdrasill is its name,
a tall tree, showered
with shining loam.
From there come the dews
that drop in the valleys.
It stands forever green over
Urðr's well
-- Poetic Edda, Völuspá, Stanza 19

The Children of Odin
Long ages ago, the sons of Odin Star-Father sailed the skies, bearing His light and life throughout the nine worlds.
Among them were also the daughters of Odin, whom we  call the Norn.  Their's is the gift to sense the flow of fate, to peer into the abyss between the stars and to hear the Star-Father's voice from his throne in Asgarth.

When they arrived in this world, they found it rich with many beasts and metals to claim in the name of the Star-Father.  But the air and the waters were filled with poison and the lands and seas were rife with giants and demons that were an abomination in the eye of Odin.

And so they planted the roots of Yggdrasil, the tree of life, deep into the stone.  For many centuries and lifetimes it has grown and purified the airs and waters of this world.

Eventually the sons of Odin departed and left a generation of pilgrims to defend the world tree Yggdrasil.
They sometimes return to Yggdrasil to collect the holy tithe of Odin or to call the pilgrims to war.

Some few Norns remained behind. It is their task to guide the pilgrims in their good works and ensure the tithe is worthy of its divine purpose.
And they alone possess the knowledge to preserve the world tree and to listen for the voice of Odin Star-Father.

The tree of life towers above the mountains and the clouds. By day it commands the Sun and at night it chases the Moon.
So colossal is Yggdrasil millions of pilgrims make their homes inside its trunk, some never realizing there is an outside world.

The source of one dozen rivers, each one as large as the Amazon or the Nile. The Well, as it is called, is technically older than Yggdralsmir.  It was constructed to start the process of purifying the air and waters so the tree could grow strong and true.
It provides life giving water to thousands of square miles of jungles and swamps to the south.

This heavily fortified enclave is the ascendancy of the Norns. Their main concerns are ensuring the tithe by any means and maintaining the world tree.  They are skilled in the arcane arts of science and technology.
The forges of Urdarbunnr are capable of creating a wide variety of tools for maintenance and defense.
The typical pilgrim would never suspect the extent of this technological advancement.
It's veiled in layers of ignorance and superstition.

This is a lawless land of jungles and swamps. Mutants and criminals run wild, confident that they are safe from the watchful eyes of the Norns. 

This fortress city provides many resources from the sea and also serves as a base for further exporation of the islands to the south.