The Ashen Sagas (5e Campaign Setting)
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The Ashen Sagas
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|Viking Castle, Reza-Afshar-Art (Source)|
|“||My dearest Ivar,
Mother tells me you wish to hear my stories again.
Of the gods and the end times, and the times after that. Of our funeral pyres, the loathsome flesh-craving Draugr, and noble purpose filled Revenants. Of the runed sunstones your uncle Dagr used to craft, the now shattered chariot it was inspired from and the crippled god who still weeps over it. Of the Vulflaw, the honorable werewolves of the Ulfhednar, and the near mad god they serve. Of Lady Storm Helm, her skeletal silver hand, and her band of undead heroes that serve her in her monster slaying. Of the sleeping Jotun that tower over the earth, of the great Jotun Lord Iron Sides protector of humans, and the new living god of the Dwarves, Brimir who bested the god Dwergrd, the Unbroken Anvil in a brawl. Of how things go as a Vigilant, of all the monsters and beasts I have slain, and of the wild horse men of the south I have befriended.
How I wish I could tell you the things I have seen, the things I have done, the sights, the sounds, the smells. And every time I wish I was back in Valeswood and tell you myself instead of through parchment and ink.
But the world is dangerous my little brother. And as long as winter continues, there must be men and women who stand against it.
I hope someday you will understand and take up the torch and mantle as well, as I have done.
Your ever-loving sister, Aghi.
|—A letter recovered from an old fort of the Vigilant|
The World of the Ashen Sagas was destined to be destroyed years ago, in the final battle between the primordial Jotun, and the divine Aesir, where the heat and glory of the conflict would cause the World Tapestry to ignite into a mighty pyre, purifying the nine realms in flame and sparking the Second Weaving and the creation of the new World Tapesty. However, due to meddling and betrayals, the flame never went off. Instead, the conflict continued to escalate until four of the nine realms were lost in an period called "the Tearing", including Hel the land of the dead, forcing deceased mortals to return as undead, wether benign or malevolent, and all the Aeisir and Jotun were either killed or left to lick their wounds.
This world is now cold, savage and dangerous. A gritty warrior brandishes his axe from the prow of a long boat navigating around massive icebergs, warily watching them for any signs of an ambush. A barbarian draped in bear skins go into a frenzy, charging against a group of goblins, all with necklaces made of human fingers. A ranger tracks down animals gone insane with Jotun blood, silently padding around the dark entrance of the beasts lair, careful not to step on the bones scattered around. A Cleric wield runes and holy power to heal the wounded in a great hall, not sure how long the powers of her patron will continue to last. A druid, comforts a family as they cower near a great runestone, hoping the ancient wards are enough to keep the band of draugr at bay; draugr who not so long ago were their fellow caravan members.
With the winters getting colder, and less and less keeping the darkness from bursting through the remaining dots of civilization, will you bring back warmth into the world... or destroy the World Tapestry as it should've been all those years ago. You are free now from the threads of destiny, the choice is yours.
Think of it as Post-Apocalyptic vikings.
The World Tapestry