Trudvang Chronicles Preview Part 1 - Setting
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  • Trudvang Chronicles Preview Part 1 - Setting


    RiotMinds Trudvang Chronicles was voted the Most Anticipated RPG of 2017 by ENWorld Readers earlier this year. Part of the ongoing Swedish Invasion Trudvang Chronicles was translated into English after an incredibly successful Kickstarter that wrapped in October 2016. Now the game is finished and about to be released to the masses and we’ve managed to get some sneak peeks of the game courtesy of RiotMinds Theodore Bergquist and Magnus Malmberg. We’ve split the preview in to two parts. This first part looks at the world of Trudvang


    Welcome to Trudvang Chronicles, a roleplaying game set in a world of fairy tales, heroic deeds, trolls, and dragons, where much of the land is covered in primordial forests full of darkness and mystery.

    Trudvang, a world of sagas, legends and myths. A place where nature rules over all with greater power than men, elves, dwarves, and Wildfolk combined. A world of magnificent mountains, roaring rapids, and deep, enchanted forests.


    Wilderness and ancient tradition
    It is a land of extreme wilderness and ancient tradition. Trolls lurk behind moss-covered rocks and pierce the cover of night with their yellow eyes in search of unwary travelers on the muddy Darkwood roads. Great horsemasters thunder across the plains of Mittland with swords and shields upon their mighty steeds, in search of conquest that will allow them to take their place among the heroic kings of old. To the east, in the Stormlands, a hard and grizzled folk shed blood in the name of the gods of storm and chaos. Bound by ancient customs, they seek to honor their forebears and clan in defying the untamed wilderness that they call home. To the west the Viranns sit in lofty towers of stone, seeking ancient knowledge that mankind thought lost forever, while in the south the elves seek to understand why their gods once left them in their time of greatest need. Under mountain, rock, and stone, the sons of soot hammer away at their anvils by the roaring logi furnaces in the underbelly of the world. And to the farthest north there is only The great ice plains, a place so cold and dark that it is said that none can remain alive there longer than they can remain awake.

    As a campaign setting, the world of Trudvang is imbued with great mystery and adventure but also sadness and weariness to a certain extent. In contrast to many other fantasy worlds, Trudvang is highly influenced and colored by Norse and Celtic mythology and history in all forms. In creating the world, great inspiration has been drawn from many places, but none are more apparent than the art of John Bauer, the Finnish national epic Kalevala, and the story of Beowulf.

    The Lands and Peoples of Trudvang
    Trudvang is made up of the Stormlands to the east, Westmark to the west, and Mittland between the two. There is also the archipelago of Soj in the south where the elves make their home, and the wild Nhoordland to the north where trolls, Wildfolk, and all sorts of unsavory characters dwell in the shadow of the great mountain range called Jarngand and the deepest forest of them all: Darkwood. To the farthest north, where only hrimtursirs roam, there is the Great White, where few dare venture. To travel across such a vast continent is no light matter. Merely traveling from city to city or from forest to forest can be the focus of an entire campaign. The wanderers and heroes who undertake such a magnificent trek will soon find that nature itself can prove to be the mightiest adversary of all.

    Mittland
    Mittland is, above all else, a land of great heroes and mighty deeds. A place sprung from legend and myth where plains of high grass spread out as far as the eye can see, upon which wild horses roam, majestic and free. Gryphons soar above mighty mountain peaks that cut open the red sun in the sky as if it were an open wound. Rapids thunder forth and grow ever wider as they slither across and around the hills and cairns that stand testimony to the lost warriors and kings of old that all Mittlanders seek to join in glory. Mittland is a place almost frozen in time, greater and wider than any other realm in Trudvang. A place where danger is as connected with death as it is with the chance for glory and great deeds. A place where skalds record and immortalize the people who lead their lives by the sword in search of the moment where all will be counted and they will go down in history for what they have done. It is an awe-inspiring place unlike any other, savage and civil all at once, caught between the Stormlands and Westmark not only geographically but also in spirit. To the east the faith in The Eald Tradition is strong, but from the west the influence of Westmark and the One god Gave grows ever stronger. Just as religion unites the Stormlands, it divides Mittland.

    Mittland is also very fertile, considered to be the greatest farmland in all of Trudvang. Wheat and rye and a man’s harvest will determine his riches, and the greatest families and clans are often made by the land that they own and farm. So even though Mittland is iconic by its tradition of heroes and legends, its true power lies within the earth and sets it apart from other lands as a place of prosperity and great fertility.

    But even so, the Mittlander is defined by battle. Here all men and women are created equal under the sun as long as they can wield a weapon and use it to strike down their enemies. Courage and bravery are considered to be traits that all great Mittlanders must possess, and death by old age or sickness is considered a great dishonor. This is perhaps why most Mittlanders welcome death in battle gladly, as it might be their chance to claim a glorious end. This has led to many Mittlanders using their shields to deal blows instead of parrying them.

    However, no death is worth much unless it is sung of by a skald. The skalds are as revered as dimwalkers (the name for holy men and holy women) might be in other cultures, as they hold the power over people’s destinies. Legends told by skalds have come to define Mittland and its people, as many religions, gods, and systems of belief have been sprung from them. In this fashion, most things are legendary and mythological in Mittland. Beasts, people, objects, and poems all hold power and legacy.

    The Eald Tradition
    The Eald Tradition is a complex belief system that still rules over the eastern parts of Mittland, while the western parts are slowly but surely being converted to The Tenet of Nid. What started as a simple worship of Whote has developed into a pattern of myths and customs that are deeply connected with nature and the four seasons. The Eald Tradition has evolved into the worship of great deeds and battle due to the hostile climate of Mittland. Gryphons soar high in the sky, lindwurms lurk in the marshes, and thornbeasts come down from the mountains to swallow people whole.

    Thus, The Eald Tradition is centered around reverence of heroes and their accomplishments. Bravery in one’s heart is the greatest trait that one can possess, and lone warriors and heroes often have more power and respect than kings and lords that hold great riches. The old hero kings who lived their lives by the sword before they rose to power are truly respected. One will often hear in the songs of the skalds that a battle was won by a single hero or a beast was slain by a lone warrior. The greatest wish of a warrior from Mittland is to have a song or tale written about their deeds. To reach such status is the ultimate proof that you will live on forever.

    Not only are heroes revered within The Eald Tradition, but so too are the weapons and objects they wield. They are inscribed, decorated, and given names and legends of their own. Items are often passed down from generation to generation and continue the legacy of a family or clan. It is not uncommon that such a weapon or object will become more famous than the hero who wields it. People out to make names for themselves as heroes of Mittland often seek such items.

    Some of the most prominent gods, heroes, and nature spirits renowned within The Eald Tradition are Whote the restless wanderer, Othwolk the guardian of Othwa, and Shurd the lord of darkness and dragons.


    Whote

    The great wanderer, maker of the ancient tree Yggdhraasil and the father of all mankind. Whote was the one who would not sit and hearken, but instead he abandoned the other gods and spirits and with his ravens and great spear he wandered out into the world to experience it for himself. He is often depicted as a great and huge man even though he is seldom worshipped or prayed to. He loves man most as they are his creation and he often concerns himself with their business - which he learns a great deal about through his raven messengers.

    Othwolk
    Othwa is the realm of heroes and the kingdom of the fallen, and Othwolk is its undefeated guardian. He takes the shape of a great wight with cuirass of skulls and a huge axe, or as a black lindwyrm that lurks in the shadows. In the mists in between Othwa and Trudvang he stands watch. He only enters Trudvang to retrieve the ones who have left Othwa, for no one has that right. He is the great warrior who will meet the fallen and judge them at the gates of Othwa. He is both feared and respected.

    Shurd
    If Whote is the protector and guardian of mankind, Shurd - his son - is its greatest enemy. Shurd is a dark lord and master of great beasts such as dragons. He battled the gods in the Age of Dreams and forged bindings of shadow to shackle mankind. He loathes all that is synonymous with light and life and always seeks to thwart the prosperity of the world. Only dark and obscure cults dare worship shurd today, as he is shunned by most people.

    Muspelheim
    But Nhoordland is also inhabited by another people, the dwarves of Tvologoya in the realm om Muspelheim. They are steadfast and durable like the mountains they live under. They do not allow themselves to be bothered or moved by arbitrary things and events, standing where they always have unlike the humans that wage war or emigrate for even the smallest change. The sons of soot and stone value that which is lasting, that which remains and is as it always has been, like the mountains. This is perhaps because the dwarves have been here for so very long, some people even say longer than the elves. It is said and sung that the dwarves came from the sparks that were emitted when the shaper Borjorn struck his mighty anvil with his hammer and created the world. When these sparks hit the ground, they took the shapes of worms that slithered about and hid beneath rock and stone. Borjorn noticed the sparks and was fascinated by their transformation. He started to shape the worms and bestow them with a consciousness, the power to craft, and strong and sturdy souls. Ever since that moment when the worms became what we today call dwarves, there have been three types in Trudvang: the Buratja, the Borjornikka (gray dwarves), and the Zvorda (troll dwarves).

    Today the dwarves live in the underbelly of the world known as Muspelheim. They keep to themselves and hammer away by the burning logi furnaces, forging things of such might and beauty that ordinary folk cannot fathom the craftsmanship. But the dwarves, however stubborn, have no choice but to commune with the outside world, and it is most often the Borjornikka that deal with traders of the northern Stormlands or the parts of Mittland that exist in the shadow of Jarngand.

    The Buratja keep to themselves and labor by the lava rivers of the deep chasms. They do not seek to commune with or understand others and are perfectly happy to simply do that which they do best: craft. They spend so much time by the anvil and the logi furnaces that their very skin has evolved to withstand their heat. The Buratja are the greatest crafters of all the dwarves.

    The Zvorda dwarves are sometimes called troll dwarves by common folk. This is because of their immense size and strength and their more brutish appearance. These dwarves often labor as warriors, masons, or tunnel diggers and lead lives of great unrest and weariness. This may have to do with the fact that, until The Age of the Iron Dragon, the Zvorda were few in number and were very lonely folk.

    Thuuldom
    The dwarves of Muspelheim worship the mountain itself. They believe in the stone, in its inner workings and the precious metals within. Holy dwarves are known as rune smiths, or Thuuls. They are the ones who hold sway over the mountain and the art of shaping it into things so precious and near-divine that not a living soul in Trudvang could hope to mimic them. Thuuls have learned the secret ways to study and refine the mountain and its raw materials. This art is worshipped by all dwarves. The rune smiths can spend days, weeks, and even years to find the perfect materials and components for their divine craft. It is as if they seek precious stones and metals that were made by Borjorn himself for the sole purpose of being used by the Thuul.

    This is by far the most important mission that the Thuuls have in the everyday lives of dwarves. Certain minerals, gems, and ores have a single purpose. Some are meant for weapons, and others for armor, houses, or tools. Not until a Thuul receives a vision of what a certain piece of rock should be used for can it be drained by other dwarves. When a Thuul receives such a vision, they place a rune upon that rock and its purpose is then known to all. Some parts of the mountain remain unmarked for long periods of time, sometimes entire ages. These mineral deposits and their purposes are unclear to the Thuuls and thus remain untouched. The dwarves have deep respect for such deposits, fearing what slumbering power resides within, and avoid them until they are marked by a Thuul.

    Borjorn
    The great maker and shaper, Borjorn is the one who is believed to have created the dwarves and perhaps even the very mountains themselves. When Borjorn struck his great anvil with his mighty hammer, sparks erupted. From those sparks maggots appeared and they crawled around at the feet of Borjorn. The maggots slithered away to dig nests and homes under the rock. Borjorn quickly grew fond of the maggots, as he did with all his creations. He saw that they loved the rock, the soot and the mountain and that they seemed to be in connection with it. He gave them a soul and little hearts of their own and the power to shape the rock that they loved so much. He also gave to them the kingdom of Muspelheim where the dwarves now dwell, deep in underbelly of the world.

    The Mountain
    If there is one thing that his holy to the dwarves, it is the mountain itself. It is their home and the place from which they draw their power. Their entire culture is centered around the mountain and the stone that makes up its shape. Therefore, mountain is revered in a greater way than anything in the dwarven culture. A mineral or rock can only be mined and shaped once its purpose has been revealed and understood. For even the smallest pebble and grain of dirt has a destiny. Such destinies can be as mighty as being the jewel in the king’s crown or to be a step in a stairwell. The ones who can decipher the destiny of the mountain are called Thuls and once they have decided what role a stone or mineral has to play, they will place the mark upon it in the form of a great rune. There are some rocks that never have their purpose revealed and such rocks are feared and respected. The dwarves do not know what events might be set in motion or what forces might be called upon if they should dare tinker with it. Therefore, entire cities can sometimes be constructed around a single block of stone or a deposit of minerals that have no known destiny.


    Nhoordland
    Nhoordland is untamed wilderness. It is the greatest landscape to the far north and stretches from the shorelines of the west to the cold forests of the east. In its midst sits the great mountain range of Jarngand that splits the land in half like a great tooth, its peaks so high and inaccessible that not even the greatest giants or well-traveled dwarves have managed to tame them or master them. Like a great wall, the range stretches across all of Trudvang and protects the world from the dark forces of the unexplored north.

    Nhoordland is home to the legendary and mythological forest of Darkwood, which is known far and wide as a dangerous and treacherous place. Under the covers of its gnarly and twisted branches, tribes of trolls and wurm-like dragons keep secrets untold, unfathomable by humans, dwarves, and elves.

    The Great White is also considered part of Nhoordland, a region of icy plains where no human, dwarf, or elf dwells. Here the land is so cold, dark, and ancient that it is nearly uninhabitable. The snow lies so deep and cold that most people cannot summon the strength to wander through it. The mountains reach so high and are so ice clad that no explorer could hope to climb them. Many a brave adventurer lies buried beneath the ice and snow, slain not by foe but by weather. Here the great frost giants, the hrimtursirs, roam the landscape and build great castles of ice. Here the wind bites the skin like a thousand icy daggers and moves great mounds of snow with such fury that some say Stormi himself seeks to subdue the landscape. The Great White is the true domain of the wild.

    Nhoordland is so vast that many people and creatures call it home, including dragons, Wildfolk, trolls, and many others. But when people talk about Nhoordland, most speak of two kingdoms: one above ground and one below. Arkland is the name of the kingdom in western Jarngand, where the wild Arks roam with their horrid thorn beasts. Tvologoya is the kingdom beneath the mountains in Muspelheim, where the dwarves of soot and stone dwell.

    The Wildfolk are a barbaric and untamed people that live all across Nhoordland, from the deep forests and inaccessible mountains of the Stormlands to the coasts of Sylvan and the war-ravaged land of Thoorkal in the west. They are often viewed as unsavory characters with a nature more like that of beasts than of humans. They view themselves differently and call themselves “Hwelpor,” or the Wildborn. Comprised of smaller groups and peoples connected by their savage way of life and culture, they include Amurs, Bults, Kandovs, and Arks.

    Wildfolk live in hidden places that others find hard to access. They dwell in deep forests, high up in the mountains, and in abandoned castles and cairns far from the watching eyes of others. Their way of life is barbaric and primitive, and they value strength and conflict as the only true meaning in life. Most Wildfolk live like nomads, moving from place to place without settling for too long in one spot. They are also held together by Haminges, the dark faith.

    Haminges

    Haminges is the dark and barbaric faith practiced by the wild and troll folk of Nhoordland. The backbone of the religion is simple: strength. Followers believe that the soul has power and that within every living creature resides its strength and might. They believe that this soul can be controlled and whipped into submission and, in the end, consumed. When you kill a body in which a soul resides, that soul and all its power will be transferred to the one that struck the killing blow.

    Those who practice Haminges worship violence, battle, bloodlust, death, and chaos. To be strong and hold command over others are awe-inspiring traits in the religion. The wild and troll folk that follow Haminges have started many a war and slain many foes in the belief that by doing so they grow stronger. This is also why many Wildfolk, trolls, barbarians, and other evil creatures don the skulls and remains of their slain foes, not only to display their power but also to enhance it. Because of this, Haminges is often connected with cannibalism.

    The most prominent gods in Haminges are Gellti the dark mother, Vigan the giant, and Mastru the deceiver.

    Gellti
    One can say that the goddess Gellti is the aspect of life for those who follow the dark traditions of Haminges. She is the great devourer and the dark mother. Gellti both gives life and takes it away as she eats from the corpses of the dead and then gives birth to new life from her womb. She is heavily connected with the earth and all that grows, but also that which withers away and fades.

    Vigan
    The leader and destroyer. Vigan is often depicted as a great giant wearing a bone mask and he is often sacrificed to when one wishes for power in battle or victory. His great strength comes both from his size and brawn, but primarily from the wailing souls he gathers and consumes as he treks across Trudvang.

    Mastru
    The master of lies and deception. The great deceiver. Mastru is an untrustworthy in ill-thought-of god that is most often depicted as a slender and crooked man with a ram’s head. He holds the power of falsehood and truth and since no one can truly know the ways of Mastru or how he wills things, no one trusts him. However, it is impossible to ignore him and not respect since he holds way over luck and those who cast him aside will often find their luck failing them.



    Soj
    It is known by all people on Trudvang that the elves live on Soj, a mythic archipelago far in the south in the stormy Althissea. They came from beyond the rim of Trudvang, where everything is dark and cold and silent. Like spears of burning starlight, they blasted down upon the surface of our world with their gods and makers, the Vanir. When the elves and the Vanir came to Trudvang, many things had already been shaped and crafted. But this new people of starlight came to grow and make many things of their own. They laid seeds in the earth that soon blossomed into forests deep and enchanted, and thus together with their gods they created much of the world that we know today, including their home of Soj. They made it into a place of untamed nature unlike many other places in Trudvang. The stormy Althissea smashes against great jagged sea rocks that rise so high that those who have never seen them could not fathom their enormity. The forests are so deep and the gnarly dwarf pines grow so tightly next to each other upon dark lyktgubbe moss that not even the most skilled adventurer can hope to traverse them without risking becoming lost forever within.

    The land has been allowed to become like this since so few humans have settled upon Soj. Apart from the island of Dalheim (ruled by Stormlanders) and parts of Edras (settled by Thronelanders), elves rule supreme on Soj. They do not interfere with nature. They do not farm the land or cut down trees to fuel furnaces. No, they live in harmony with the land, and they do not stay in one place very long to avoid harming the flora around them. Like nomads, they move from place to place, ever seeking to uphold the balance of nature.

    To understand who the elves are today, one must understand their history and their relationship with their gods, the Vanir. For the times of prosperity and beauty would not last for long on Soj. The wurms, dragons, came from their blackened pits and spread their dark wings to take Trudvang as their own realm of chaos. The elves and the Vanir rushed to defend their creation and defy the dragons. The two battled side by side, the Vanir seemingly unscathed by dragonfire, and together they turned the tide and held back the oncoming darkness. But so it was that one day the elves went to do battle, and the Vanir did not join them. The elves were abandoned by their makers and had to face their foes alone. The Vanir watched from afar as many elves fell to the fire of the dragons hiding in the shadows. And so, in the end, the elves paid a mighty price for their hard-won victory against the dragons. When the elves sought the Vanir to ask why they had turned their backs in their people’s hour of need, the gods were not there anymore. The Vanir had left Trudvang and returned to the cold darkness whence they came. Unable to follow their gods, the elves could do nothing but watch the stars grow ever smaller in the night sky as the Vanir drifted farther and farther away.

    And so the elves were left to themselves. They wandered, unsure what to do with themselves now that the Vanir were gone. Soon they found that they were beginning to grow old. Time had caught up to them, for when the Vanir left, they took with them the elves’ immortality. The elves began to die, as they had never done before. Generation by generation, their bloodline grew thinner and thinner and the lives of elves grew shorter and shorter. From this almost cataclysmic change, two groups began to take shape: the bright Illmalaini and the dark Korpikalli. The star elves and the dark elves. The two peoples were divided in their view of the gods. The dark elves cursed the Vanir and raised their fists in anger toward the makers that had left them, vowing never again to acknowledge the gods or call upon them. The star elves, however, sought to understand the gods and why they left Trudvang. They view this time as a trial that they are meant to overcome, so they must persevere and not lose faith.

    Very few elves remain on Trudvang from the time of the Vanir. Those that do can be found only in dreams and visions.

    Toikalokke
    Toikalokke is the name for the divine practice learned by elven stargazers and priests (though the elves call them the high gifts, after the high gods). Those who master these gifts are called Ihana. The Ihana decipher the stars with the help of their star harps to contact the departed gods, the Vanir. By doing so, they learn the ways of the gods, what trials they have placed upon the elves, and how the elves might again walk in their bright starlight. Some elves decipher the stars to understand current events, to draw power, to gain advice on what to do next, or simply to meditate and calm their senses.

    The Vanir and the stars
    When the elves arrived to Trudvang they shot down upon its surface like great spears of starlight together with their gods and shepherds, the Vanir. Together the elves and the Vanir made many a thing of great beauty and magnificence and they brought into existence deep forests, roaring rapids and chirping birdsong. But when their hour of need came, when dragons of soot and fire marched out from their deep pits to battle the elves - the Vanir were not there. The elves had to endure this great war alone and even though they stood as victors when the end came, they had payed a mighty price. Alone and confused the elves wandered the surface of Trudvang. There were those who shunned the Vanir and turned to the deep forests - but there were also those who wanted to understand the gods.

    The elves believe that the stars that shine upon the night sky are in fact signs of the Vanir, drifting in the void. The ones who seek to decipher the patterns of the stars too gain understandings of the Vanir are called Ihana. By using their star harps they can know if the gods are coming closer or drifting farther away and perhaps what their intent is.

    Stormlands
    From the Wildfolk of the north there came a people that today are known as Stormlanders. This grizzled and hardy folk, bound by their traditions, customs, and faith in the great storm, live and do battle against the forces of nature that seek to overthrow their settlements in the eastern parts of the world known as the Stormlands. The Stormlands is the most iconic and wild land that often comes to mind when thinking about Trudvang. With roaring rapids, deep and untamed forests, snowy mountain peaks, and treacherous alpines, it is a hard land where nature still rules with a greater power than in other parts of the world. Here one lives in close contact with nature, both in spirit and in labor, as there is no other choice for the people who have decided to live in such extreme environments. The summers are short but fruitful, and the winters are long, barren, and dark. It is religion, above all else, that binds the Stormlands together as one. Before Gerbanis came to be adopted by the Stormlanders, most folk simply worshipped loosely connected nature deities and their forefathers. No raid, ruler, or common cause was so great that it would unite the peoples of this harsh land. In the end it was the god Stormi, blood gifting, and belief in the great storm that united the Stormlanders as one people.

    The warriors of the Stormlands are defined by their shaved heads, broad axes, and frenzied rage that is so great that some liken them to the vicious Wildfolk of Nhoordland. The Stormlanders are, of course, more civilized, even though they are descended from such folk.

    The borders of the different countries that make up the Stormlands are loosely defined. They change, expand, and decline as new jarls and chieftains rise to power. As skirmishes break out here and there, land is taken, lost, and then taken again. It is often said that a jarl’s land is no greater than that which his sons can successfully claim. Even so, the Stormlands is made up of these countries: Wildland, Vortland, Fynheim, Noj, Dain, Junghart, and Dalheim (an island closer to the elven archipelago of Soj but ruled by man nonetheless). The Stormlands is the home to the legendary forest of Wildheart.

    Many years ago, three peoples arrived in what is today known as the Stormlands. These are today known as Kremors, Brots, and Wildbrons. They settled here and lived off the land. Eventually they started to mix together and transform into what is today known as the Stormlanders, a people that have traits from all three groups. Many of these tribes still exist in smaller forms throughout the Stormlands. There are greater settlements of Wildbrons that remain, though they are often frowned upon or even resented by common folk. It is not uncommon that jarls and chieftains will hire Wildbrons to boost their fighting forces, as these tribes are known for their rage and bloodlust. It is also not unusual for these tribes to break loose, and they are often the instigators of many conflicts throughout the Stormlands.

    The religion of Gerbanis primarily binds the Stormlands together as one land where Stormi, the allfather, rules over the people in their everyday lives. Lives that are imbued with myths and tales of heritage, a culture of fertility and sacrifice, and a deep reverence for nature. The Stormlanders are heavily shaped by the somber environment that they live in. They’re hard, resilient, steadfast, and deeply traditional. It is perhaps because of this that the Stormlanders are deeply weary of magic and that which they cannot understand. Combat, axe, shield, and sword are things that are easy to wrap one’s head around. Some Stormlanders might be able to fathom being given powers by nature and Stormi after a blood gifting, but magic weaved and used as a weapon is deeply troubling and mysterious to these people. This has led to the Stormlanders being a superstitious folk who prefer that which is tangible and quantifiable.


    Gerbanis
    Most Stormlanders worship the great god Stormi and the deities that live by his side. Stormi is the allfather of the religion that has been given the name Gerbanis. Many Stormlanders expand their belief beyond their devotion to Stormi and worship their forefathers, the moon, and other nature deities. The religion of Gerbanis is one that is imbued with the rite of sacrifice. Stormlanders make blood gifts to the gods and to Stormi himself to wish for a good harvest, a merciful winter, or even saving a dying person from their fate. The greater a favor you ask from the gods, the greater you must sacrifice. A firstborn son is considered to be one of the greatest things to sacrifice. A blood offering is usually held at a ritual spot where a blot pole has been risen up, and the offering is drained of its blood by a sacrificial blade. This blood is then drunk by a priest and showered over others who take part in the blood gift using a blot broom.

    Those who follow Gerbanis view the universe as a great chaos storm filled with evil and eldritch forces that seek to penetrate the world, with Trudvang the eye of the storm. When a person dies, they are cast into this great storm and must take heart and be strong to navigate the maelstrom without being consumed by evil powers. If they succeed, they will find their way to a great green country where allfather Stormi rules. But the storm must be braved over and over again, for often Stormi will venture into the darkness of chaos and battle the forces that reside there. Those who have managed to reach him will accompany him into the storm and do battle at this side. Therefore, it is not necessarily a bad thing to die young and strong in the Stormlands.

    Gerbanis has a great number of gods, which are split into three categories: Sturmasirs (storm gods), Hvergelift (chaos gods), and Vanerlift (death gods).

    Stormi

    The allfather, god of wisdom, might and wind. His chainmail is blackened by the fire of a thousand dragons and his strength is supreme. Stormi is the main god in the Gerbanis pantheon and the god that is most tightly connected with this barbaric and ancient religion. He wields a mighty ring of iron on his arm named Gutra that empowers him with the strength of a thousand dragons and a thousand giants so that when he thrusts his mighty spear into his foes, the very fabric of reality trembles. None can defy his physical might and with it he defends the weak and the ones that pay tribute to him. He dwells in the midst of the great chaos storm and gathers his warriors that will join him in the final clash when the powers of chaos must be subdued.

    Jorn

    The aspect of night, the son of Stormi and the god of the ones who dwell in the shadow. Jorn is night incarnate. He slithers and weaves around the world, stepping from creature to creature without ever being noticed. You can never be sure where his motivations lie or what his true intent really is. He is cold and cunning and can never be captured or caught, even when he battles the other gods. For when he wraps the cloak of Fjorsvartnir around himself, he is as abstract and unfathomable as darkness itself.

    Enken
    The eyes and ears of Stormi, he who sees all, he who on the final day will call upon the warriors of the storm. Enken is the god of nature and the protector of animals, sometimes seen as a great bear. He sees after the small things and the great things in the world and is constantly watchful. At any time, Enken can shapeshift into any best or animal that he wishes and thus can be anywhere and see anything. He is the aspect of freedom and vigilance.

    Westmark
    The lands of the west, known as Westmark, are ruled by the great Viranns. Westmark is a realm of wisdom and knowledge. Its people are not short of great heroes or strong armies, but the Viranns do not value such things as highly as the Mittlanders and Stormlanders do. In the beginning they were a quiet fishing people who wished for nothing else than to be left to themselves in peace far away from any unrest or conflict. But this was long ago, before Gave came to the people of Westmark.

    That was a time of darkness and despair. A time when the people of Westmark were thrown into shackles and marched into the north, never to be seen again. This was an age when trolls, barbarians, and Wildfolk ruled over the lands of the west, and the peaceful Viranns were enslaved by their evil. When Viranns tell of this time, they call it the darkness before the One. And such it was that the One indeed came one day.

    Siro Werte was a crownless king, a man from a knightly family. He looked out at the lands around him and didn’t see the Westmark that he knew and loved. He wished for nothing more than to free his people from these evil masters, so he swore on that day never to rest his head or lay down his blade until the trolls were undone and the Wildfolk had been driven back to the mountains. And so Siro went forth and fought his war all across the land. What began as small skirmishes here and there soon developed into great clashes between armies of thousands in open fields and by the moats of castles. More and more came from all over Westmark to join Siro Werte in his conquest, and time and time again he was victorious, it seemed as if no foe could slay him. It was whispered that Siro was sent by a divine being, for he had spoken of visions that showed him how the One would arrive and finally defeat the darkness. All this turned out to be true, as one day this deity came down from the blackness above and, with Siro Werte, undid the darkness and drove evil back to the pits whence they came. This god’s name was Gave, and he blessed the Viranns as his children. Since that day, the people of Westmark have been strong and united under The Tenet of Nid and the One true god Gave.

    Westmark is the home of knights, great rulers, philosophers, and holy men. It is a place driven by knowledge and war. The influence of Westmark is widespread and its religion, The Tenet of Nid, is perhaps one of the strongest in Trudvang, as it daily converts new followers to its teachings. The countries that make up the core of Westmark are: Silvtrunder, Bysente, Carlonne, Viranne, Throneland, and Vistergalp. Fjal that lies to the north of Silvtrunder and Thoorkal that lies to the south have more in common with the Wildfolk and are therefore counted among their lands, even though the Viranns themselves consider Fjal and Thoorkal to be parts of Westmark.


    The Tenet of Nid
    The Tenet of Nid revolves around the One god Gave. He is the allfather, the creator of the world and of all living things. He came from the nothingness before even he was shaped, and from that nothingness he separated light from darkness, and that which was from that which was not. He is the One, almighty and all-seeing. Those who follow The Tenet of Nid believe that Gave is the only true god, and some of the faithful might not even recognize other deities as anything but simple nature spirits or, in some cases, dark gods that can be likened to demons. Those who to some extent recognize the existence of gods from other religions see them as smaller deities on a much lower level of divinity than the One Gave.

    The Viranns believe that they are the chosen people. That they were once angels beside Gave and thus to some extent divine. They believe that their angel blades (shoulder bones) bear witness to the wings they once wore before they fell from grace. In the end, they will be lifted up by Gave as long as they remain true and walk by his side. They believe that the reason other creatures have similar bones is that they too can adopt the One Gave and become his servants. If you live your life free from blasphemy and heresy, you will be lifted up by the One. If you do not, you will be cast down into darkness.

    The Viranns of Westmark formed their society around their religion to a great extent. Many wars and battles have been fought in the name of the One, trying to convert other peoples to The Tenet of Nid. The great blood crusades are spoken of with fear across all of Trudvang. For instance, many parts of western Mittland have been converted to follow Gave and his teachings. Many holy men in Westmark hold great power. Greatest of them is the Ovus, the spiritual leader of Westmark. People gather in churches and temples to pay tribute and listen to holy men like the Ovus read from scripture. These men are thought to be the spokesmen for Gave, shepherding people into the light and away from darkness. This power is not only used to lead people into the light, but also used to imprison those who live in darkness. To torture blasphemers and punish heretics.

    Gave
    He is the one. The maker of himself and the world, Gave is the creator of the world and all that dwell upon it. He is light and his judgement is swift, just and absolute. In the time where everything was nothing and when there were neither beginnings nor endings, Gave was first. Deep within the void he sprung from the expanding nothingness. He separated light from darkness, that which was from that which was not and he found that he wielded the power over creation itself. He crafted everything from nothing and he brought into existence the very first beginning. Gave - The One - is the central figure within The Tenet of Nid. As title implies, he is the only god and therefore the entire religion is centered around him. In fact, the entire world is centered around him. For those who follow The One believe that other religions are not in fact religions but rather obscure traditions or perhaps even outright heresy. Life and death circles around Gave, for he made it so.

    Simag
    The false prophet and arch enemy of Gave. Simag is the most powerful demon that has ever existed. Cast aside by Gave in the time when mankind still bore wings, she despises The One and all that he loves. She wishes to corrupt his creation which is why she spreads her dark seeds all across the world. Always she carries with her a bag filled with seeds of evil that she plants within all that draws breath and can carry out her will. Even the most powerful beings and deities of evil bow before her in her kingdom of Blotheim. Legions upon legions march shoulder to shoulder from her fortress of darkness, ready to do her bidding and plunge the universe into chaos. Knowing all this, it is not surprising that the crown that sits upon her dark brow is the most prominent symbol of darkness and evil within The Tenet of Nid.
    Comments 26 Comments
    1. Theodore Bergqvist's Avatar
      Theodore Bergqvist -
      @ all, hey ya all, Theo from RiotMinds here. Let us know should you have any questions! Pre-order will be up soon at www.riotminds.com
    1. Fireball36's Avatar
      Fireball36 -
      The setting of Trudvang is very evocative of dark fantasy - the world is a dangerous place and would-be heroes are expected to face death bravely. Reading the text, I think that warriors, barbarians and hunters will be most commonly found as potential allies or opponents. I don't see any mention of magic other than enchanted weapons being viewed with suspicion so I wonder how what sort of mages are available to players. Throwing rune stones for prophecies may be appropriate but magic looks to be very unusual here.
    1. Danyel Isberg's Avatar
      Danyel Isberg -
      Why don't you translate "lyktgubbe" to something like lanternwisp or lanternimp, maybe even go so far to actually call them for what they are "will-o-wisp?
    1. Theodore Bergqvist's Avatar
      Theodore Bergqvist -
      Ohh.... magic has a central role in the game, but it's more down to earth and shaman-like. Mages, and priests have good power in the game.
    1. Theodore Bergqvist's Avatar
      Theodore Bergqvist -
      Danyel, we're still working on some of the names, but one important feedback our beta-testers gave us was to keep the "nordic" names as far as we could to add the extra flavor to the game. But again, we're still working on some of the names.
    1. Jhaelen -
      Generally, I prefer if names of creatures, individuals, etc. are not translated. Just give us a pronounciation guide and point out how it would be translated either the first time you use the term or (preferably) in a glossary.
    1. Theodore Bergqvist's Avatar
      Theodore Bergqvist -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
      Generally, I prefer if names of creatures, individuals, etc. are not translated. Just give us a pronounciation guide and point out how it would be translated either the first time you use the term or (preferably) in a glossary.
      Yes, that's exactly our plan!
    1. the_nobodynoo's Avatar
      the_nobodynoo -
      I enjoy all these little inspirations and hints from the nordic culture and i like that you can see if something is inspired by something. The nordic culture itself is very interesting and i can't wait for the game to finaly be able to play. I am happy that i chose to backup this game at kickstarter.
    1. Danyel Isberg's Avatar
      Danyel Isberg -
      Valid point! I accept that
    1. Mirko Hess's Avatar
      Mirko Hess -
      Damn, does this look GOOD!! Great art, very good, strong nordic feeling in the writing. Get it done already! I can´t wait much longer ^^.
    1. Danyel Isberg's Avatar
      Danyel Isberg -
      Quote Originally Posted by the_nobodynoo View Post
      I enjoy all these little inspirations and hints from the nordic culture and i like that you can see if something is inspired by something. The nordic culture itself is very interesting and i can't wait for the game to finaly be able to play. I am happy that i chose to back this game at kickstarter.
      I've been playing the Swedish version since it released and it is one of the few role playing games I really enjoy and it is all because of absolutely immaculate artwork from bonner and specifically from tapia.
      And exactly like you I can't contain myself until thus release, that is how hyped I am!
    1. Jimmy Ringkvist's Avatar
      Jimmy Ringkvist -
      Are the shop down? http://shop.riotminds.se/ gives me an error on connection.
    1. Theodore Bergqvist's Avatar
      Theodore Bergqvist -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Ringkvist View Post
      Are the shop down? http://shop.riotminds.se/ gives me an error on connection.
      We're setting up the new site.. so just wait a few hours while we re-direct.
    1. Joakim1's Avatar
      Joakim1 -
      First time i read it in English. Well done! It sounds as great as it does in Swedish.

      How do you guys recommend to build the "adventure group"? When we played Trudvang we either all chose to play for example Stormlanders or we all Played Dwarfs because how the world is built its a bit strange to have a group of 1 Elf 1 Dwarf 1 Mittlander and 2 Stormlanders for example. Is this how you guys "recommend" it to be played? Or do you have ideas on how a world as unforgiving as Trudvang could work with a mixed group? I know it's a strange question but this is the only sort of problem i found in the Trudvang-world so far.

      Cant wait to get this btw!
      <3 Trudvang
    1. overbyte's Avatar
      overbyte -
      This is exactly the kind of setting I'm looking for. Swords & Sorcery with a Euro-centric mythos. I'm extremely excited to get my hands on this!
    1. Theodore Bergqvist's Avatar
      Theodore Bergqvist -
      @ Joakim1, well the boring answer is "you can play as you want as long as it's fun", but I agree, we too play a more homogenous group when we play, e.g "a group of stormlanders with different professions, or a party of mittlanders and a dwarf.. or an elf" but seldon "one of each". To play "one of each" demand more from the players to puzzle it all together and the reason why the group have decided to join forces. It's not that natural in Trudvang to do that. I'd say the elves are the toughest to get into a party (always these weird elves with pointy ears), for many reasons.. but on the other hand, they're pretty cool and with some work from the group and the players one could fit them into the group. Dwarves are dwarves and they are so damn cool so they fit in everywhere! By Stormi, they are cool
    1. Joakim1's Avatar
      Joakim1 -
      Thanks for a quick and great answer Theo!

      Mvh Joakim
    1. Danyel Isberg's Avatar
      Danyel Isberg -
      I forsee a full group of crazy thorkaals!
    1. Affe M's Avatar
      Affe M -
      Is there a chance to get you to create a new font for the logo-text that says "trudvang"? In my view it really doesn't fit in with the high-quality look of the rest of it.
    1. Eminence_Grise -
      I have to admit that it looks incredible.


      Will there be demos or games at GenCon this summer?
    Comments Leave Comment