Odin's Call - Ars Magica
[[The Mystery of Icefall - Setting Guide]]
Oppland (Petty kingdom north, northwest and northeast of Odin’s Call)
Ruled by Gudrod the Hunter, House of Yngling (the oldest know Scandinavian dynasty), jarl of the Scyflings. Oppland is one of the largest petty kingdoms, spanning from the western Glittertind and Galdopiggen mountain ranges to the eastern lowlands of south central Norway. Oppland is rich in wildlife and is a primary source for Nordic furs, pelts, freshwater fish, iron from the mountain hillsides and lumber from their dense forests. But being landlocked with the exception of a few river routes to sea, Oppland relies on coastal kingdom relationships for trade and Viking exploits (friendly ports to launch longships). Their strongest ally is the kingdom of Alfheim, as Gudrod is married to King Alfarin’s daughter, Aflhild.
Together, they have a teenage son named Olaf Gudrodsson. Local lore suggests that Olaf is an disciplined warrior and highly skilled marksman, possibly possessing “shamanistic” powers. One story describes a battle in which Olaf’s sword, axe and arrows struck his foes with the force of lightning, burning their bodies instead of slashing and piercing them. Word has spread recently that Olaf has gone missing, and Gudrod blames Eirikslag Sigtrygsson, Jarl of Vestfold for kidnapping him as a hostage, fearing Gudrod has plans to conquer Vestfold. Eirikslag strongly denies the claim.
Vestfold (Petty kingdom southwest of Odin’s Call)
Ruled by Eirikslag Sigtrygsson, Jarl of Vestfold from his longhall, Eirikslag.
A coastal region and center of merchant commerce and launch point of many Viking raids to the Celtic lands, Vestfold has become a relatively wealthy region in the past decade. Local lore suggests that Gudrod the Hunter, Jarl of Oppland has accused Eirikslag of kidnapping his teenage son, Olaf Gudrodsson, to prevent Gudrod from attempting to conquer Vestfold. Eirikslag denies the accusation, and there have been reports of various raids and skirmishes at the Vestfold/Oppland border.
A one-two hour march northwest from the eastern bank of Lillehammer (or straight north of the western bank of the Mjosa) takes you across a narrow wagon bridge spanning a narrow stretch of the Lagen river to the waterfall, Icefall. Icefall is formed from the mountain river of Gausa dropping 50 feet into the Lagen river. During the spring and summer, the falls are in their full glory. During the fall and winter months, the falls are mostly frozen although running water cuts through various sections of the river, keeping the ice from forming in the Lagen river below the falls.
Five years earlier, several Covenant grogs (three brothers: Ari, Hord and Ogmund Gausashir) who all hailed from Lillehammer, told Sigrud tales of mystical blue and green ice crystals forming within the foam at the base of Icefall. It was said that the crystals retained their crystal form, even when exposed to heat. Sigrud sent the grogs to collect crystals and return them to him. When he researched the crystals, he discovered they were pure Creo vis. Immediately, he charged the three brothers with the task of collecting the vis regularly. Since the brothers also had ties in Lillehammer and were competent shipman and traders, they were also charged with conducting trade on behalf of the Covenant. Sigurd also procured a vessel for them to use, a smabyrding (small carrier ship, hull size 2, crew size 10, oar and sail, cargo capacity 11, soak 7, speed 3, maneuver +2) which is kept docked in Lake Svelle, a 7 hour march east from Odin’s Call. Fjord horses and a wagon allow for transportation of larger loads between Odin’s Call and Lake Svelle.
The brothers can typically make the roundtrip in 3-4 days, and do so weekly. But, during the past two months (8-9 trips), they have turned up emptyhanded and reported that no vis crystals were discovered at Icefall. While an isolated instance would have not raised concern considering the rarity of the vis, there’s never been more than 6 consecutive trips when no crystals were found, and they are more commonly found in the frozen months.
A medium sized village on the northerneastern shores of the lake Mjosa, a delta formed by the river Lagen (also called Gudbrandsdalslagen”). Lake Mjosa discharges into the Vorma River, which joins the Glomma River running through to Lake Oyeren and along south to Alfheim, passing within a few hours march east from Odin’s Call. Lillehammer is a hub for trade – Oppland trade goods are brought here and sold to merchants who take ships down the Glomma to trade in Alfheim and Vingulmark. Aside from commerce, fish is the major Lillehammer export and fresh and salted Lagen trout are traded with Oppland Norse and shipped south to the coast. Vigar Lillehammer is Hersar here, and the village is populated by a few hundred Norse on the east bank of the Mjosa, and about a hundred on the west bank. Turf houses dot the perimeter of the lake.
A village populated by about 50 Norse in the mountains beneath Glittertind, the main export of Glitterheim is iron ore, mined for centuries by the Skdvaranger clan. Henrik Skdvaranger is the Hersar of Glitterheim and owes his allegiance to Gutrod and Oppland. In addition to mining iron ore, Glitterheim is well-known for the prowess of their blacksmiths, with the most notable work done by Henrik’s younger brother, Ulric Skdvaranger who is said to have forged Gudrod’s prized war axe, Bloodletter.
Jotenheim, foothills and mountainous terrain northwest of Oppland
A Midgard land rumored to be populated with giants. Hill giants, mountain giants, forest giants and half-giants are said to inhabit this area. Lore states that they live in tribal communities and are not united, with the exception of the mountain giant tribes who are ruled by the beautiful but ferocious queen, Groa Grimardottir.
Glittertind, Jotenheimen in Oppland.
Glittertind is the second largest mountain in Norway. Elevation 2,465. Accessible from Glitterheim (east), by a climb of 1000m. The route across the glacier that crowns the summit is completely without crevasses, and in summer the meltwater blows up across the summit, leaving hikers totally soaked. The view is magnificent. East and southeast of Glittertind there are hardly any high peaks, and hence most of the northern and eastern parts of the province of Oppland can be seen.
There is a legend that some 200 years ago, an infernal great white dragon named Hrimdraki IssWing sought to rule the Nordic lands, making slaves of the giants, trolls and men of Oppland. The ancestors of the petty Norse kingdoms rallied together to oppose the dragon, and with the help of the Svartalfarish Queen, Dis Skogsfrun and her dwarven vanguard, The Kegbelly Clan (rumored to be descendants of Brokk and Eiti, the dwarf brothers who created the Draupnir (Ring of Power) for Odin and Mjolnir (magic war hammer) for Thor), they subdued Hrimdraki and trapped him within the caverns near the peak of Glittertind. Lacking the power to kill the demon, they instead entrapped him in a tomb bound by powerful fae magic.
Trollheimen, northwest of Oppland near the barbaric region of Tronder, south of coastal Halogaland
A Midgard region rumored to be populated with trolls. Mountain trolls, rock trolls and forest trolls are said to inhabit this area. Lore states that it is ruled by the Troll King, Skuf Snorrisson.