Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Iron Edda: Bees, Runes, and Disease

Last night we made characters and a holdfast for Iron Edda: War of Metal and Bone. I had the pleasure of playing this game at Origins this year, and what really hooked me (aside from the Bonebonded, which are just a fantastic concept) was the holdfast creation. I love collaborative world-building, but I like it when there's a framework, and Iron Edda delivers.

Anyway, we're playing a two-session game (not counting last night's) while +Michelle is out of the country. The holdfast that the players created is called Byheim (Bee's Home), and I figure it's in the Midlands, north of the River Vid.

So here's what Byheim has going on:


  • There's a bag of runes on a pedestal north of the holdfast. The runes can foretell the future and the battle plans of the enemy, but they're guarded by Odin's Wolves. The runes are meant for the gods, not for mortals, and so a mortal better be able to roll with the gods before they can get the runes. 
  • Tensions are high in Byheim. There's an ancient guardian stone in the center of the holdfast, placed there (so says legend) by Balder. Since Balder was a peaceful god, debate rages about whether it's appropriate to use the power of the guardian stone offensively. Duels have been fought on this subject, which is kind of ironic if you think about it.
  • The Snake Clan, which maintains a covered hall south of the holdfast, is dying from a disease that causes paralysis and boils. The method of transmission hasn't been determined, no medicine works, and so the Jarl - Ingvar Ubbesson - has simply ordered quarantine. 
  • About the same time the disease hit, traders from the land of Jgol arrived bearing furs. Folks from Byheim don't trust (and even be blocking them from moving north), so they've set up a camp.
  • Byheim, as the name suggests, is famous for its bees, which also means it does a brisk business in honey and mead. There's a huge still in town. Of late, though, the bees are getting aggressive and ranging further to find flowers. Locals know how to avoid them, most of the time.

And now, the characters:

  • Alisdair is playing Ragnar Giantsbane. He's the descendant of an olden warrior who slew Waerferth the Giant, and now has taken up the great Hammer to protect the holdfast. He's Bear Clan. His Trouble is Heroism Is Its Own Reward.
  • Sarah is playing Helga Kalfsdottir. She's Bonebonded...to Waerferth. Byheim has a tradition, that the bones of Waerferth are passed along from the current holder to a successor she (always she) finds worthy. If the holder dies before naming a successor, the eligible women have a little contest to determine the winner. That wasn't necessary for Helga, though; she's been training as a Shieldmaiden since she was young. She was Ox Clan before the Bonding. Her relationship with Waerferth is...interesting (the Aspect is Big Love). Her Trouble is Straight Path to Valhalla
  • Matt plays Aegir Brimeson. He's the meadmaster, the venerated old sot who makes the fantastic honey-wine of Byheim. One drink from his horn and you'll have...well, some kind of Aspect. He's of the Raven Clan. He's also Runescribed with Eihwaz, and his associated Approach is Drunk. His Trouble is My Drinking Horn is Never Empty.
  • Amanda plays Solvi Bergfalk. She's a Seer, and she's cursed. She's dedicated to the holdfast and its people, but she never gets close to individuals. Her Sight has driven her a little mad over the years, and she wields Earth magic. Her Trouble is Sees the Deaths of Those She Touches.
  • Toasty is playing Rune Thorvald, an outsider, newcomer, and Bonebonded. He took up the Bones to avenge his family, village, and pretty much everything he knew. His Trouble is Untrusted, Untested, Outsider. He used to be of the Horse Clan, before the Bones. 
So, some fun stuff to work with. I'll be doing a game prep post sometime soon. Meantime, I'll thank +Tracy Barnett for this awesome game.